Friday, September 28, 2012

Dairy Free, Egg Free Pumpkin Ice Cream

It's that time again! Fall is here, and I'm super excited about pumpkin everything! I've already had my pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, and the annual Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival is in two weeks. There we will get big pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and enjoy pumpkin pancakes, smoothies, curry, pie, bread, and even pumpkin ale!

I had a go at some dairy free pumpkin ice cream and it is so delicious. It tastes just like pumpkin pie without the crust. My recipe is completely vegan and low in sugar. Add an extra half cup of soy milk to make it creamier and less pumpkiny, if you like it like that. I hope you have an ice cream maker!

1 15 oz can full fat coconut milk, chilled
1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin, chilled
1/2 cup Very Vanilla Silk Soymilk (optional)
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Stir all ingredients together until smooth. I used an electric mixer but it's not necessary.

2. Pour into your completely frozen electric ice cream maker and it should be soft serve ready in 15-20 minutes! Put it in the freezer for an hour to harden it up if you prefer. If storing in the freezer, let it soften for a half hour before eating.


Ketchup Haters Best Meatloaf Ever

Meatloaf essentials.
My husband hates ketchup. I love ketchup, and I love meatloaf. So I concocted this recipe to make us both happy. After trial and error it is perfected. He also hates carrots. Along with the ketchup, he won't even guess these ingredients are in here! Instead of empty carbs, aka breadcrumbs, use oats and toasted wheat germ--they are full of whole grains, vitamin e, folic acid, and fiber. You can find both in the cereal aisle. Make the switch to hearty grains; they are delicious when you cook with them in a great recipe like this one. The title says it all!


1lb. extra lean ground beef or turkey
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 small zucchini or carrot, grated
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup quick cook or regular oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 Heinz Ketchup
1 tablespoon Frank's Hot Sauce, plus a little extra for brushing.
1 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large saucepan, melt Smart Balance over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper and cook for at least two minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for thirty seconds. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce, oregano, ketchup, and Frank's until well combined. Cook for one more minute.

3. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, eggs, oats, wheat germ, and cooked veggie mixture. Mix well. It's easier to use your hands.

4. Form mixture into a lightly oiled nonstick loaf pan. Brush the top with a thin layer of Frank's Hot Sauce.

5. Bake meatloaf 50-60 minutes. Goes great with roasted potatoes!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Three Easy Dairy Free Banana Breakfast Smoothies

When I had my mouth surgery, I drank a lot of smoothies. Being lactose intolerant, I get to experiment with many different dairy free milks. There are so many to choose from! While Very Vanilla Soymilk by Silk will always be my favorite choice, it's not perfect for everything.

If you're cooking something sweet, coconut milk works great, but if you are cooking something not-so-sweet, plain almond or soy milk works better. Of course, chocolate almond or soy milk is a delicious way to drink non-dairy milk by itself.

Here are some of my favorite dairy free smoothies. The best part about them is that the dairy free milks are interchangeable. You can use whatever you have on hand! The best thing about these smoothie recipes: they taste amazing!

More tips:

  • Just add some cocoa powder and sweetener to create chocolate milk out of any plain milk you have. Cocoa powder is always dairy (and sugar) free!

  • Adding some oats, flax seed powder, or wheat germ into your smoothies adds a boost of fiber and/or whole grains without taking away from the flavor. 

  • You can also experiment with soy, coconut, or lactose free yogurts. 

  • Adding instant coffee to a smoothie is a great way to combine your breakfast and your morning coffee :-).

1. Just add all ingredients into a blender and push the smoothie button. Blend for about 20 seconds, pour into a fancier cup than mine, and enjoy!


Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
(Put some whole grains in your shake!)

1 cup Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk, chilled
1 banana
5-6 strawberries, stems removed
1/4 cup oats

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie
(Hawaii in a cup)

1 cup coconut milk (I used Vanilla Coconut Milk)
3/4 cup pineapple pieces
1 banana
A few orange slices or 2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
A few ice cubes

Mocha Monkey Smoothie
(Inspired by Pittsburgh's Crazy Mocha)

1 cup Chocolate Almond Milk
1 banana
1/2 packet Starbucks Instant Coffee
1 tablespoon agave syrup
A few ice cubes


Vegan Black Bean Dip

Eric and I just got back from Maui and while we were there we ate at this awesome Mediterranean style restaurant called Pita Paradise. We had the best falafel, best humus, best olive tapenade, best pita of our lives! There was also the yummy chicken kebab with rice and grilled vegetables, the sun dried tomato and lamb penne, and the ginger hibiscus margarita. So good! If you are ever in Wailea we totally recommend it!

We didn't have much to eat when we got back to Cali, but we did have a couple bags of pita chips and I just got a brand new food processor! So with the recent Pita Paradise in Maui experience, the idea was to make humus, but upon raiding my kitchen cabinets I found only black beans. That gave me an idea to make black bean dip. I've never done it before, so I looked up internet recipes for inspiration. Some were complicated and I prefer very simple dips. Also, a lot of the recipes I looked up called for vinegar.

I love vinegary things, but when I tried Trader Joe's Black Bean Dip I couldn't get past the first bite. It was the worst vinegar flavor I've ever tasted. Since then I haven't bought black bean dip and probably never will again. I understand potatoes and vinegar, cucumbers and vinegar, oil and vinegar, but I just don't get black beans and vinegar. So here is a simple vacation inspired recipe I made with ingredients I found in my kitchen, minus the vinegar.


1 can no salt added black beans, almost completely drained
1/2 small onion, about 1/4 cup chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin


1. Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add onions and black pepper and saute for about five minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for no more than 30 seconds.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine all remaining ingredients with sautéed onions and garlic. You want just a little bit of liquid from the can of black beans. Pulse food processor 10-15 times and then hold in for 20 seconds. Your dip should be smooth. Let it chill in the fridge for a half hour so the flavors blend together--if you are patient. We just ate it!