Wednesday, March 14, 2018

my favorite {Gluten and Dairy Free} chocolate cake

A client contacted me and asked me to make two gluten, dairy, nut and sugarcane free cakes.  I discovered this beauty and it was possibly the best cake I've ever made. A Girl Defloured,  shares this altered version of the glorious Hershey's cake and it is amazing. (below) I had to alter it quite a bit to meet the qualifications. I used rice milk instead of whole milk and chia eggs (3 TBS chia and 9 TBS water) instead of the eggs. For the coffee I did decaf to make it kid friendly. It was SO moist!  Here is what it looked like.  I used beet sugar instead of sugar cane sugar. For the frosting I used 2 cups palm shortening, 2 teaspoons gf vanilla and 1 cup arrowroot powder and 1 cup agave.
I went the natural route with decorations. 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1¾ cups Cup4Cup (235 grams) or other light gluten-free flour blend (I used 1 cup brown rice and 1/2 cup tapioca and 1/4 potato starch)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit of your blend has it)
  • ¾ cup good quality cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten (room temperature)
  • 1 cup whole milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • ½ cup butter (or dairy free stick butter substitute of your choice), melted and cooled slightly
  • ⅔ cup good quality cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cup whole milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with gluten-free cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar, flour, xanthan (if using), cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Carefully whisk in the hot coffee. The batter will be runny.
  3. Evenly distribute the cake batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. Make the frosting. Whisk the melted butter into the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined. Alternate adding the sugar with the milk while beating until the frosting is smooth and glossy and a spreadable consistency. If the frosting seems too thick, add a splash of additional milk. If it seems too thin, add additional powdered sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract and salt.
  5. Frost the cooled cakes as desired.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

EASY {Gluten and Dairy Free} Ham and Broccoli "Cheesy" Potatoes

This is one of my favorite casseroles. In fact, I'm not a big casserole fan, so the fact that I like to make this fairly regularly says something. It feels like a real treat every time I make it. Imagine au gratin potatoes that you have a great excuse to eat a large meal sized portion of. The ham and broccoli go so well with cheddar, so even though it sounds weird, somehow it just works. My family ravishes this dish! It's gluten, soy and dairy free. The best part? It takes about 2 minutes to assemble it. Then you can relax or do something fun while you wait for it to bake. EASIEST. GLUTEN FREE. DINNER. EVER! I am posting this at Allergy Free Wednesdays.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large 9 x11 pan mix together all of the above ingredients. Bake in the oven uncovered for 50-60 minutes. In my oven it takes about 60 minutes. When I take it out I mix it up to help the non-dairy "cheese" to melt and mix throughout. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Two Favorite Pork Recipes

I'm not a big fan of pork. I love me some ham and bacon (who doesn't love bacon??), but pork I find a lot harder to swallow. Until I found this recipe. This is one of my all time favorite ways to eat pork.  It's grilled on the barbecue which makes it very easy. We love to serve it with rice or baked potatoes.  We often sub pears instead of apples and may like it even better.  I have it in a Pampered Chef cookbook, but found it posted on-line.  We mix the rosemary and next six ingredients all together and use as a glaze on the pork and apples.

Glazed Pork Chops with Grilled Apples

Submitted by: ARAMINTHA here on

from Pampered Chef - It's all Good for You
Number of Servings: 4


    boneless pork top loin or sirloin chops, cut 3/4 - 1 inch thick (about 4 oz)
    1 tsp. dried rosemary
    1 garlic clove, pressed
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    (top 4 should be mixed together)
    2 tsp finely chopped, peeled fresh gingerroot
    1/2 cup apricot preserves
    3 T Dijon mustard

    2 medium gala apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices


Yield: 4 svgs

1. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium coals. Season both sides of pork chops with 1 tsp of the seasoning mix.

2. Peel gingerroot; finely chop using food chopper. Combine ginger root, preserves, mustard and remaining seasoning mix in bowl; mix well. Core apples; cut apples crosswise into 1/2 inch slices, using chef's knife.

3. Lightly grease grid of grill. Brush one side of apples and pork chops with glaze using bbq brush. Place apples and pork chops, glazed side down, on grid of grill. Grill apples 3 minutes and pork 5 minutes, covered, turning once. Brush apples and pork chops with remaining glaze. Grill, covered 3-5 minutes or until internal temperature for pork reaches 160 degrees for medium doneness.

Number of Servings: 4

Mustard Oregano Pork Chops

My friend gave me this recipe recently and I must say it was amazing. My husband even grabbed one of the leftover pork chops the next day, ate it cold and still commented on how delicious it was!  She told me this makes three servings for a family of five. She divides it into three gallon size bags and freezes it. That's three fast and easy dinners! I love it! She serves it with hasbrowns and apple sauce, so that's what I did, too. I used pomegranate juice instead of the vinegar and lemon juice and it worked out super well. I wish I had taken a photo before they were all eaten. Next time!


12 lean pork loin chops
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 T honey
3 t dried oregano
3 t minced garlic
3 one-gallon freezer bags

Whisk mustard through honey, divide into separate bags. Divide oregano and garlic evenly between bags. Add pork and freeze. Thaw and grill.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

EASY Allergy-friendly Sugar-free CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

You heard me. There is no sugar in these, but these are sweet and rich. I like to freeze mine and take one out to calm my sweet tooth. This is adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segerten and Tom Malterre.  (to find out more about the book, you can click on it's picture where I list my favorites on the right)

2 cups raw walnuts (or other nut)
1 cup medjool date pitted
4 to 6 TBS cocoa powder

I make it with 3 cups dates and omit the nuts.

  1.  Place nuts in a food processor fitted with an "s" blade. Process until finely ground and pasty.
  2. Add dates and cocoa powder and continue to process until well-combined. Add more dates for a sweeter taste and process again.
  3. Roll into small balls and place into a bowl of shredded coconut if you wish. Make sure each ball gets coated in coconut,then place onto a plate. I eat mine without coconut. They are great with the extras(I wonder what they'd be like with pistachios?) but I think they are dynamite even plain with dates and cocoa.

Monday, December 25, 2017

What's for Dinner Tonight?{Gluten and Dairy Free} Roast and Veggies!

Rub for Roast
1 tsp dried rosemary crumbled
1 tsp dry mustard or 1 TBS dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS oil

1/2 red onion sliced in chunks
1 bundle Asparagus
3 carrots peeled and cut in long slices
Gluten-free Tamari or Coconut Aminos
McCormick's seasoning
olive oil

Heat oil in a pan. A high heat oil like grapeseed oil works well. When it is smoking add the roast. Sprinkle the roast with McCormick's seasoning, sear on all sides until it is a nice gorgeous brown all over.  Rub with the above rub and cook in the oven at 325F for 20 minutes per pound. So if it's a 2 pounder it should be in there for 40 minutes, etc.  In the middle of the roasting process take some GF Worcheshire sauce and drizzle it all over the top of the roast.

Take the juices from the roast and make a gravy just like you normally would with gluten-flour. Instead I use 2 TBS brown rice flour and 2 TBS tapioca (or corn) starch. Mix in a mug with a little water until it is a thick liquid. Pour into the roast juices in a saucepan over low heat. Keep stirring as it thickens. I like to add some salt, and McCormick's seasoning to that as well.

Meanwhile, prep the veggies for the oven. Hold the asparagus on both ends and bend it slightly. It should naturally break off leaving the hardest part on it's own. Discard those hard bits! Peel and cut carrots. Cut the onion. Combine all ingredients on a pan. Drizzle with Gluten-freeTamari (or Coconut Aminos!), olive oil, McCormick's seasoning and salt. Roll them around until they are covered all over. Bake at 400F for 16-18 minutes.

I like to serve this with mashed potatoes.  I use rice milk (or chicken broth) and olive oil instead of dairy products. Don't forget the salt and pepper! I am posting this at Allergy-free Wednesdays.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

{Gluten and Dairy Free} Butterhorns:Our Favorite SECRET Christmas Treat!

The day has finally come! I have been carrying the baton from my husband's side of the family making these amazing rolls that his mother makes. The originals are filled with butter and gluten. First I made them dairy free without a hitch for my son. No one could even tell the difference! Then when my daughter went gluten free I decided to start trying to make them gluten free. There were a few years of rolls that were pretty pathetic. I would hardly call them butterhorns. Last year was a little better. This year, I made a few tweaks and came out with the closest thing I've ever had. Even my husband, the butterhorn connoisseur, gave me the two thumbs up. The lucky dog still eats the other ones, so when he says it tastes like them, it really means something! I've been gluten free for 10 years, so I am going on my memories from a decade ago!  So, it's my pleasure to share these with you!

1 and 3/4 cups rice milk (or other milk alternative)
1/6 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS  Earth's Balance
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1and 1/2 heaping tsps yeast
2 eggs separated (or 6 TBS applesauce)

2 and 1/2 cups brown rice flour or sorghum
1 cup tapioca starch
1 and 1/2 cups potato starch (not flour!)
3 tsp guar gum

more Earth's Balance (you need almost a full container in total)

Vanilla frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup palm shortening or Earth's Balance (softened)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons milk or milk substitute

Put the above ingredients in a bowl. Whip with a mixer until well blended. If it's too runny for your taste add a little powdered sugar. If it's too thick for your taste, add a little more milk substitute.  I use this one for decorating frosting. For these I would add a splash more of milk substitute until it is creamy.

Optional toppings:
Shaved Almonds

Heat the rice milk, water, earth's balance, sugar, vanilla and salt in a sauce pan until the earth's balance has melted and then cool. When lukewarm (about an hour after started cooling) add the yeast. It should be warm, but not "hot".  Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the warm liquid mixture and beating the egg white separately until they are peaked and foamy (like a meringue). Mix the brown rice flour, guar gum, tapioca starch and potato starch together. Add to the flour mixture the liquid mixture and the egg whites, mix well with a spoon and then your hands until it makes a sticky dough. Cover and put in a warm place for 45 minutes to let it rise.

Divide dough into thirds. On parchment paper, that is sprinkled with brown rice flour, roll out 1/3 of the dough until it is about 3/4 an inch thick.  Smother with a layer of Earth's Balance. Starting on the long side of the rectangle roll up the dough into a roll. Cut into 1 inch sections. Put the round circles of dough onto a pan and press down. Cook at 350F for 12-14 minutes until cooked through. Let cool on a cooling rack. Frost with Vanilla frosting and add dip tops in desired toppings. Warm slightly in the oven before serving, until the frosting is oozy! Store in an airtight bag and frost right before serving. May be frozen up to a month.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

My Favorite{Gluten, Dairy, and Egg Free} Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I could eat this pie all day! I love this time of year! 

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour for a large pie 
or 35-37 minutes for a 4inch pie
Makes 7 small pies or 1 large one


For the filling:
1-14 or 15-oz can organic pumpkin
1 and 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk 
2 teaspoons GF vanilla
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the crust:

1 ¾ cups brown rice flour, plus more for dusting
⅔ cup plus 
¼ cup potato starch (not flour!)
⅓ cup tapioca starch
 1 teaspoon guar gum
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ⅓ cups chilled palm shortening or Earth Balance spread
⅔ cup ice water
Grape seed oil, for brushing
1 ½ tablespoons sugar

Instructions for the crust:
Preheat oven to 400F. In a food processor, pulse together the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, guar gum and salt. Add the shortening and pulse off and on until coarse crumbs form, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together and the water is thoroughly mixed in, about 30 seconds.Divide the dough into 2 pieces for a large pie or 10 pieces for mini pies. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours, until firm. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease a pie pan or mini pie pans. Sprinkle brown rice flour onto a sheet of parchment paper. For a whole pie, roll out half of the dough on the parchment paper into a flat thin circle (less than ¼-inch-thick).  After it is fully rolled out, flip it over onto the greased pie pan. Take a fork and prick the bottom of the crust. Warning: it will fall apart more easily than regular crust. Break off the excess dough that is hanging over the sides and use a fork to flute the edges. Put small pies on a baking sheet before baking. Poke shell with a fork and bake the empty shell for 15 minutes at 400F. 

You can save the excess dough for another pie in the freezer or cut it into shapes, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and bake in the oven until firm. 

For the filling:
Put ingredients in the blender. Cover and blend until smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl, if necessary to incorporate all of the dry ingredients.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Pour into the prepared pie pan(s) and smooth the surface. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about an hour for a large pie or about 35-37 minutes for a 4inch pie,  until done. The pie should be firm- but gives a tiny bit when lightly touched. The center should not be wet. When you shake them they shouldn't jiggle very much. 

Cool the pie on a wire rack completely. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving. I am posting this at Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays.