Gluten Free, Raw, Vegan, Vanilla/Blonde Macaroons {Kinda like Hail Merry}

I love, LOVE my chocolate macaroon recipe. We make them often, especially during the summer months. When a  friend asked me to try making the "blonde" {vanilla} version, I couldn't turn her down. I'm really pleased with the way these turned out, but I confess--I prefer the chocolate variety. Probably because I never say no to chocolate.

And to be fair, I've never eaten a Hail Merry Blonde Macaroon. This is simply me taking my chocolate macaroon recipe, and vanilla-izing it.

Finally, wouldn't these be yummy with a bit of chocolate drizzled over the top? Or perhaps with some mini chocolate chips stirred into the mixture, before the macaroons are formed?

You'll Need:
1 {heaping} Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
6 Tbsp. Almond Meal
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup* {the real stuff!!}
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

To Make:
Add coconut to your food processor, cover, and pulse several times to further break up the coconut.
Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and run the processor again to mix completely. Scrape down the sides if necessary.Working quickly {coconut oil melts very rapidly in your hands!}, roll the mixture into small balls and place in a dish lined with parchment paper. Better yet, use a small scoop to measure equally sized portions, depositing them directly on the dish.Refrigerate immediately, allowing the macaroons to set up, then cover and store in your fridge or freezer.Makes 10-15 macaroons, depending on size.

*I had sweetened coconut on hand, and that is what went into this recipe. You may wish to add a touch more maple syrup or agave to your recipe if you're using unsweetened coconut.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free BBQ Chicken Pizza

Something about the beginning of this new year has flipped a switch in my brain. I'm craving healthier things during the day {yay!}, and flavor-filled, light dinners that don't leave me feeling less-than-awesome at the end of the day. This isn't a huge change from the way I normally eat, but I do confess to having a pretty big sweet tooth. Ok--let's call it what it is. A carbohydrate tooth.


This pizza seemed just right the other day. Filling, satisfying, and with more than a hint of tangy-sweet BBQ sauce. I used pre-made crusts so it came together quickly. When I've got more time, I like to make Silvana's crusts from Cooking for Isaiah.

Like many of the meals I put together, I didn't use precise measurements. Your needs will vary based on how many you are feeding, the size of your pizza crust(s), and so on. The sauce I put together was enough to cover one pizza about twelve inches, and two smaller "personal size" pizzas.

You'll Need:
Pizza crusts {Udi's and Rudi's are both great pre-made gluten-free options}
BBQ Sauce
Chicken Breasts {I used two and had some left over}
Almond or Rice Milk
Earth Balance Spread
Red Onion {I halved my onion and then sliced it very finely}
Daiya Mozzarella Shreds {or another cheese/cheese replacement of your choice}

To Make:
 In a small sauce pan, mix some BBQ sauce and water. I used less than 1/2 cup each.
Add chicken, and cook over medium-high heat, turning the chicken occasionally.
While the chicken is cooking, put together the sauce for your pizza. I put some BBQ sauce in a small bowl {enough to spoon over my crusts}, and then added roughly one Tablespoon each almond milk and Earth Balance. Of course, you could use plain BBQ sauce here, but I wanted to give my sauce a slightly more creamy consistency.
Spoon sauce over crusts.
When the chicken is cooked through, use two forks to shred the meat, and then stir the mixture to coat with BBQ Suace.
Add shredded chicken to your pizza.
Add finely sliced red onion and cheese/cheese replacement to your liking.
Bake your pizzas according to package or recipe instructions. I baked mine at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or so.
Before serving, top your pizza with washed, chopped cilantro.

Allergy-Friendly {P.F. Chang's} Lettuce Wraps: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, SOY Free!

When he sat down to the table yesterday, my hubby didn't look very impressed with the spread. A plate of lettuce leaves, a bowl of "ground turkey?? we're having ground turkey??," and some sweet potato fries sat in front of him. I reassured him that this wasn't just ground turkey he was about to dig into. So he tried a wrap.

"Oh, HONEY!" he said. He had all but declared the lettuce wraps his new favorite meal by the time he pushed his plate away. Yup--I win!

Anyway--these are good. Really good. They're light, and pretty darned healthy, but they're also satisfying. The perfect meal, if you ask me.

Ready to make some of your own?

You'll Need:
1 lb. Ground Chicken or Turkey Breast {a 1.25-pound package of ground turkey breast works well too!}
1/2 Onion {chopped}
1 Tbsp. Oil
Salt and Pepper

1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp. Freshly Grated Ginger
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos*
3 tsp. Water
1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar {I used seasoned rice vinegar}
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 C. Green Onions {chopped}
1/4 C. Water Chestnuts {chopped into small pieces}
1/4 C. Chopped Peanuts {optional--I left them out this time because I didn't have any on hand}

Butter Lettuce or Iceberg Leaves {left whole, and washed}

To Make:
In a large skillet, heat oil and  cook the meat and chopped onion, seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir often and use a spatula to break up the meat into small crumbles.
Combine the garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil, coconut aminos, water, peanut butter, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a microwave-safe dish.
Microwave sauce ingredients for 20-30 seconds and then stir well to integrate the peanut butter, and then set aside.
When the meat is cooked through, add the green onions, water chestnuts, and peanuts and stir to combine.
Top the mixture with sauce, and mix thoroughly.
Serve the mixture with lettuce leaves for wrapping. I put ours out family style and we built a couple of wraps each onto our plates

*If you're not avoiding soy, or want to use gluten free soy sauce in place of oconut aminos, use 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, and add a couple of teaspoons of honey or agave nectar to the sauce mixture.

Shared on... Allergy Free Wednesday, Allergy-Friendly Friday

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free Chocolate Almond "Cheesecake"

Yum!! I am completely enamored with these rich, chocolatey little desserts. They were a Christmas experiment, and I'm so thrilled to share them with you. These little cuties are gluten free, soy free, vegan, free of refined sugar, paleo-friendly, and raw. Whew! Did you catch that??

Use quality ingredients, like real maple syrup and fancy cocoa powder. You'll be glad you did.

You'll Need:
For the Crust
1 C. Almond Meal
1/3 C. Cocoa Powder
3 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

For the Filling
2 C. Raw Cashews {soaked several hours or overnight in fresh water}
1/2 C. Maple Syrup
1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. Cocoa Powder
1/2 C. Coconut Oil
1/3 C. Almond Butter
1/2 tsp. Salt

To Make:
For the Crust
Combine the ingredients in your food processor or by hand, with a fork.
Press the resulting "dough" into the bottom of a pie plate, spring form pan, or individual serving cups, such as half-pint mason jars or custard dishes.
Set aside.

For the Filling
Drain and rinse soaked cashews, and add them to the bowl of your food processor.
Add maple syrup and water, and process for several minutes until very smooth and creamy. Pause to scrape down the sides occasionally.
Add cocoa powder, coconut oil, almond butter, and salt, and process again to thoroughly combine.
Spoon or pipe the mixture over top of your prepared crust, then store in the refrigerator for several hours to cool and set.

I have found that I most enjoy this dessert straight from the fridge. It tastes best cold, to me, and is almost too rich when it has warmed up a bit.

I filled eleven half-pint jars with roughly one Tbsp. of the crust mixture per jar, and then divided the filling equally between the jars. The jars wound up being just over 1/2 full, which, to me, is more than satisfying for something so chocolate-laden. For larger portions, you might want to reduce the number of jars you use.

Shared on... Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Fridays, Wellness Weekends, Raw Foods Thursdays

Gluten Free Baked French Toast Casserole {dairy and soy free too!}

I made this yummy french toast bake for Christmas morning because I wanted something I could simply put in the oven while we opened gifts and played with our new toys. What a success! I'll definitely be making this again--probably long before Christmas.

The best part? All of the prep work happens the night before. You simply remove the baking dish from the fridge, sprinkle on the topping, heat the oven, and bake!

You'll Need: 
1 Loaf Gluten Free Bread {I used Udi's}
6 eggs
2 Cups Almond Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon

1/3 Cup GF Flour {I used Bob's Red Mill AP Blend}
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Earth Balance Spread

To Make:
Cube the bread into bite-sized pieces, and spread evenly in a greased {I used coconut oil} 9x13 baking dish.
Combine the eggs, almond milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon {first set of ingredients} in a mixing bowl, and then pour over the top of the cubed bread.
Cover your baking dish, and place in the fridge for several hours, or overnight.
In a small bowl, combine GF flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon {second set of ingredients}, and then cut in cold Earth Balance with a pastry cutter, potato masher, or even a fork.
Put the flour mixture in the fridge in an air-tight container or zip-top bag.
In the morning, remove the casserole dish from the fridge. I suggest letting it sit on the counter for a bit, because I'm leery of putting a very cold dish into a hot oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare your french toast for the oven by sprinkling the flour mixture over the top of the bread.
Bake for about an hour, until the top is crispy and golden and the eggs are set.

Adapted from Pioneer Woman's recipe.