Dairy Free Caesar Salad

I love the simplicity of a really good caesar salad. What I don’t like is the fact that most caesar salad dressings have raw eggs and anchovies in them. I recently discovered that sunflower seeds make a great base for creamy dips and salad dressings and that is the inspiration behind this dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C Soaked sunflower seeds
  • 2 T Tahini
  • 3 T Lemon juice
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1 Tsp Miso
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Kelp powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tsp Granulated garlic
  • 1 Tsp Maple syrup
  • 1/2 Cup water

In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.

Dairy Free Caesar Dressing

Assembling your salad

  • 1 Head of Romaine Lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Crispy Tofu
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, sliced thin

In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuce, fried tofu, sweet onion and cucumber and dress salad with a few spoonfuls of dressing and toss well. Sprinkle parmesan on top.

This dressing is so darn tasty that people won’t even know it is dairy-free.  I also found myself using this dressing as a veggie dip throughout the week. Enjoy this anchovy-free alternative to a caesar salad.

Cheesesteak with text
Being a vegetarian most of my life, I’ve never had a Philly Cheesesteak before. I didn’t actually know what I was missing until I went to Philly and had my very first Philly Cheesesteak, and boy was I in love. After returning from my trip, I tried a ton of recipes, but none of them tasted as good as what I had in Philly. My friend Jenny, who lived in Philly for a while came to the rescue and sent me her recipe. Over the past few years I have made some alterations to her original recipe, and below you will find my version of her recipe…for a very tasty Veggie Philly Cheesesteak that even meat eaters will love
Shhhh…don’t tell anyone, but the secret is in the cheese and the spicy mayo.

Veggie Cheesesteak Ingredients

Ingredients 

(Makes 2-3 Veggie Philly Cheesesteaks)

  • 1 Package Seitan Strips (chicken or regular style)
  • 1 Small White Onion
  • 1 Small Green Pepper
  • 1 Jalapeno, without the seeds
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS Tamari
  • 1 TBS Ghee or Olive Oil
  • White American Cheese, sliced thin (you could also use Cheese Whiz)
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Hot Sauce, to taste (Cholula is my preference)
  • 2-3 Sub Buns
  • Spicy Mayo

Directions

  1. Cut up the pepper, onion and jalapeno (without seeds) into strips. If you cannot find seitan in strips, you can buy the cubes and cut it into strips.
  2. Heat 1 TBS of ghee over medium heat.
  3. Sauté onion, garlic and peppers until soft (about 8 minutes).

sauted veggies

  1. Add jalapeno, seitan, a decent amount of pepper (approx. 1 tsp.), and 1 TBS of Tamari (don’t overdo it, this just adds a little bit of flavor).

saute meat and veggies

  1. Cook about 5 minutes to meld the flavors, then remove from heat.
  2. Cut an opening in the sub buns.
  3. LIGHTLY toast the buns. Mmmm…toasty buns.
  4. Open the sub bun and spread a bit of spicy mayo on both sides.
  5. Put a couple of slices of American cheese on the inside of the sub bun, it should stick nicely to the mayo.
  6. Cram a bunch of the seitan/onion/pepper mixture in between the cheese.

filled cheesesteak11. Top the cheesesteak with a few slices of American cheese, and pop it under the broiler in your oven until the cheese is melted.

cheese layer

12. Pull the cheesesteak out of the oven, slice it in half and eat the living crap out of it! Add extra hot sauce if needed.

Cheesesteak and kale

*Note: This isn’t one of my most healthy recipes, but it is definitely better for you than a real Philly Cheesesteak. If you want to lighten it up a bit more, you could go lighter on the cheese, use Greek yogurt to make your spicy mayo and use gluten-free bread.*

Cheesesteak eating

Happy Cheesesteaking!

 

Spicy Mayo Ingredients

Have you ever gone out for sushi and fallen in love with the spicy mayo that they put on the top of your sushi rolls or have you ever had amazing sweet potato fries and fallen love with the dippin’ sauce they are served with??  Then you will love the heck out of this super simple sauce.

I always have a little container of this spicy mayo made up in my fridge so that I can smear it on anything and everything.  This recipe is so easy to make that you will probably find that after you make your first batch you will do the same.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Mayo of your choice
  • 2 TBS of Sriracha (Sriracha works amazing here, but you can use any of your favorite hot sauces)

Directions

To make this magical dippin’ sauce, simply put 1 cup of mayo into a mixing bowl and add 2 TBS of Siracha to the mayo and mix.  Taste and add more Siracha if needed.  The best thing about this recipe is that you can alter the quantities of both the mayo and the Siracha depending on how much you want to make or how zippy you want to make it.

Now go on and smear this stuff on anything and everything that you can.  I enjoy it with fried green tomatoes, sweet potato fries and Philly Cheesesteaks.

Enjoy!

Kale Chips I have what some people call a problem with chips…if they are in front of me I have to eat them.  I don’t discriminate…tortilla chips, kettle chips, hot chips…I love them all! This ginormous obsession forced me to find a healthy alternative for this not so healthy snack, and that is how I stumbled upon kale chips.  I like kale and I love chips, so how can you really go wrong…well unless they turn out soggy, cuz I hate soggy things.

There are a ton of recipes for kale chips on the interwebs right now and I have made a lot of these… below you will find the recipe that I put together based off of my many of batches of these magical green chips.

Kale Chip Ingredients

Kale Chip Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 head curly kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  • Canola/Olive oil spray
  • Salt of choice for sprinkling (I love sprinkles)

Additional Toppings: My current fave is nutritional yeast and truffle salt (I love love love this), but you could add parmesan, garlic powder, chili powder…the possibilities are endless.

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Remove the ribs/stems from the kale and cut/tear the kale into chip-size pieces.

3. Throw the chip size pieces of kale into a salad spinner or a colander and rinse your kale throughly.

*Note:  It is great to set your colander in a bowl and fill that with water so you can really swish around your kale.  Kale holds a lot of dirt and this will help you make sure it is extra clean.

4. This is super important! Dry your kale in a salad spinner, or pat it dry really well with a towel.  If the kale has any moisture on it when it goes into the oven it will steam instead of crisp. Remember, no one likes soggy chips.

5. Get a baking sheet and spray it is lightly with your oil.

6. Lay the kale out as a single layer on the baking sheet and lightly spray with your oil of choice and salt (see photo below).

Pre-baked Kale

7. Bake 12-15 minutes until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through.

*Note:  Really watch the chips around the 10 min mark, because they can go from green to burnt in 2.5 seconds.

HAPPINESS! Finished Kale Chips

Heck yes!  You just made your first batch of kale chips!

*Note: I can easily eat a whole head of kale chips myself, so don’t worry about having too much.  I did find that these chips do not do well overnight, they tend to be a little limp the next day (i.e. soggy, which we don’t like).  If you want chips that last longer, you might need to invest in a food dehydrator.  

Enjoy!

Coconut Macaroons - DF,GF,V,P

If you are looking for a super cheap, quick, and easy recipe… RUN don’t walk to the grocery store for the supplies and make the heck out of this recipe.  Just go ahead and save yourself some time and make a double batch of these, because you will eat half of them as they are coming out of the oven.  Try to save some so that you can drizzle chocolate over the top, these taste just like Mounds bars….but way way better.

Macaroon Supplies

Macaroon Supplies

 

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or disks

Directions

1. In a mixing bowl whisk egg whites and salt until stiff.

2. Fold in agave, vanilla and coconut.

3. Drop batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, one rounded tablespoonful at a time (see photo below).

*Note: To prevent the agave from sinking and messing up the balance in the batter, continue to gently re-mix batter as you go along.

Uncooked macaroons on a baking sheet

4. Pinch each macaroon at the top (so they look like teeny ghosts).

5. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Chocolate Drizzle

1. Boil a pot of water and put a heat resistant bowl in the boiling water.  Place the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in the heat resistant bowl and melt the chocolate.  Once the chocolate is melted take a spoon and drizzle the chocolate over the top of the coconut macaroons.

2. The chocolate takes a little while to dry, so if you haven’t eaten all of them at this point you can put them in the fridge to harden the chocolate.

Serve and impress the heck out of your dinner party guests. Enjoy!

I recently discovered that I like almond milk. Well, actually I LOOOOVE almond milk!  It has a great taste that goes great in just about anything and it is dairy free, so your tummy will also thank you for it.  Once you’ve had it fresh, the rich taste will keep you coming back for more! And guess what? It’s super easy to make. Why drive to the store and buy almond milk when you can make it in minutes, plus it is cheaper and healthier this way.

Let’s do this!

Almond Milk Supplies

Homemade Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw, organic almonds
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • Filtered water, for soaking
  • 1 pinch of salt

Optional Ingredients

  • Sweetener to taste (i.e. maple syrup, honey, stevia, or my fave…4-6 medjool dates)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Carob Powder (Yum!  Chocolate Milk)
  • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves…the possibilities are endless)

Directions

1. Allow the 1/2 cup of almonds to soak covered in filtered water for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator (I usually just let them hang out over night).

2. After soaking, strain the soaked almonds and toss the soaking water.

3. Place your almonds, 3 cups of filtered water, and any optional ingredients in a high-speed blender.

*Note: I use a magic bullet since my food processor exploded almond milk all over my kitchen on my first attempt…that was so not fun! Since I use a magic bullet, I add all the ingredients and then fill the bullet container with the filtered water until it is full. You can add the rest of the water later.

4. Blend on high until the mixture becomes frothy…approximately 1-2 minutes.

5. Take a mesh strainer and put it into a bowl.

Package of 2 one gallon paint strainer for $2 at a hardware store.

*Note: Here’s a secret! Instead of purchasing a nut milk bag for $10, I went to the local hardware store and purchased a 2 pack of one gallon paint strainers for $2. They work great and they have a great elastic top that fits great over a bowl (See photo above).

6. Pour the contents of the blender through the mesh strainer lined bowl, and add the remainder of your water. (If you used a magic bullet to blend your milk). You can also add less water if you want the milk to be thicker.

7. Lift the bag out of the bowl and squeeze the contents of the mesh bag into the bowl to extract all the liquid amazingness from the almond meal (See blurry photo below).

Straining the almond milk

8. Use a funnel to pour the almond milk into a glass jar.

It’s finished! Storing your delicious almond milk

9. Store the milk in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to 3 days. Shake the jar prior to use.

Tah Dah!  You just made your very first batch of almond milk. Enjoy!

Don’t you dare throw away all of your lovely almond pulp.  Check out how to turn your almond put into almond meal.

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust - GF,V,P

I have been trying to reduce my gluten intake, but I love love looove pizza. I have tried a few similar recipes for this kind of crust, but they always turn out soggy… so I ended up making a few adjustments based off of my trial and error from other recipes and created my own. All I have to say is shitty bitch, this pizza is fantastic and if I never eat a real pizza crust again, I won’t even miss it!  This cauliflower crust can be cut like a regular pizza and surprisingly you can pick up the slices and eat them with your hands.

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Head of Cauliflower
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (You could probably use a nice firm goat cheese here if you have a dairy intolerance)
  • 1/2 Tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 TBS Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/8 Tsp Pepper

Topping of your choice: pizza sauce, pesto sauce, BBQ sauce, *pre-cooked veggies and meat…the possibilites are endless.

Directions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Take the head of cauliflower, wash it,  break it into florets, and dry it completely (a salad spinner works wonders).  You want the cauliflower as dry as possible, because if it is not it will make the crust soggy.

3. Place a couple of handfuls of the cauliflower florets at a time into the food processor, pulse it until it is the consistency of rice (note the photo below).  Pour the cauliflower rice into a mixing bowl and continue this process until you have done this to the whole cauliflower.

The beginnings of cauliflower rice in a food processor

4. Once all of the cauliflower is pulsed into rice, pour it onto a tea towel or a paper towel and absorb as much liquid out of it that you can. Really squeeze the cauliflower here; you will be surprised at how much liquid you will get out of it. Pour all of the dried cauliflower into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. (Note: A lot of cauliflower crust recipes will have you cook the cauliflower after you rice it, but I find that it just makes the crust soft and the cauliflower ends up cooking in the oven anyway.)

5. Take your prepared cookie sheet with parchment paper, and pour the cauliflower mixture onto the cookie sheet.  Press the cauliflower mixture into an even thickness on the prepared pan, into whatever shape pizza you love…circle, square, heart, or unicorn shaped…usually works best.  I kept the crust pretty thin, about 1/4-inch thick.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is firm and golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven, place parchment paper over the curst and another cookie sheet over that and flip the crust.  Bake for 10 more mins on the other side (this is the secret to make the crust perfect) remove the crust from the oven…turn on the broiler and move the rack up close to the broiler.

6. Top the cooked crust with sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice. Go lighter on the toppings here because the crust is thinner than most pizzas you will make at home.    Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Tah Dah! You have a perfect pizza that is gluten-free!

* Additional toppings need to be cooked before placing them on the pizza as after the crust is baked, the pizza is only under the broiler to melt the cheese, not long enough to properly cook the other toppings.

 

I found this honey on a highway in Virginia on a road trip with some friends.

Welcome to my very first blog post! I created this blog so that I could have a place to post recipes that I made and love, crafts that make me happy and places that I have been that I think everyone should know about.  I love to cook, craft, travel and eat at new places and I hope you find this blog useful and entertaining.

Cheers!