Posted by alisa on August 7, 2012 | Comments Off
Big news coming soon! But first …
I’ve got a new recipe being featured on Attune Foods today … Healthy “Cheesecake” Grahamwiches! The cheesecake-inspired filling is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and SO easy to make! Check out the recipe by clicking on the image below (yes, I did sandwich some chocolate in there, because why not?) …
Posted by alisa on May 15, 2012 | 16 Comments
I’ve gone back and forth over the years on smoked salmon. We enjoyed it weekly for a while, but then I learned about all of the additives and nitrate issues. Ugh. That knowledge ruins so many awesome-tasting foods, doesn’t it? We were still enjoying some once in a while, but when I discovered the “salmon trimmings” at our local grocer, it was back on!
Not only do they only use hickory smoke and salt to cure their salmon, no other ingredients, but they also sell the “trimmings” for just $8 a lb (basically the leftovers when they cut pretty squares of the salmon). And let me tell you, a half a pound of salty smoked salmon goes a long ways. In fact, we find their salmon to be a bit too strong, so I’ve had to tone down the amount I use per serving.
My husband really liked the following pasta salad recipe, stating that the salmon added a nice flavor, but didn’t overpower the dish at all. One thing I did discover though, vegan mayo doesn’t work quite as well in pasta salads from an overnight standpoint. It was beautiful on the first day, but unlike “regular” mayo-based pasta salads, it didn’t improve with age. The dressing got a bit thick. This was easy to remedy with a touch of added oil, and the dish did heighten in flavor by the next day.
If you want to keep the dish vegetarian / vegan, try using chickpeas in the mix instead of salmon. While it won’t have that fishy flavor, the mixture of vegetables, pasta, mayo, and old bay is quite nice on its own!
Recipe: Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
- 8 Ounces Pasta, wheat-based or gluten-free (I used this Barilla Piccolini Penne; for gluten-free, we like TJ’s corn-based penne)
- 1/3 Cup Mayo, vegan or regular (I used Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/8 Teaspoon Pepper
- 6 Ounces Smoked Salmon or Lox, diced into little flavorful morsels
- 1 Cup Peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1 Green Onion, sliced
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced (about 3/4 cup)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and rinse it with cool water.
- Whisk together the mayo, lemon, old bay, and pepper in a small dish.
- Add the mayo mixture and all of the remaining ingredients to the pasta in a large bowl.
- Serve, or cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Diet tags: Gluten free, Dairy free, Nut free, Peanut free, Sugar free, optionally Egg free, and optionally Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
Posted by alisa on March 6, 2012 | 4 Comments
Today, you’re going to love me and you’re going to hate me.
I’m sharing my recipe for what we call “Chocolate Crack Bars.”
See, look what they do to the gnome! Everyone gets excited when I pop these out of the freezer, which is far too often since they literally take minutes to make.
The recipe is being featured on Attune Foods today, so “crack bars” seemed slightly inappropriate for the title. You will find them labeled as Addictive Double Chocolate Granola Bars.
Go, check out the recipe here!
Posted by alisa on February 15, 2012 | 16 Comments
I see it all the time. The perfect baked “french fry” that the author swears is the method to make them crisp, followed by mixed reviews of “these were amazing!” and “they didn’t work, not crisp at all!” And you know what, both sets of reviewers are right.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that there are a lot of things that can affect a recipe, and this goes well beyond the ingredients and the oven temperature. Yes, there are methods … soaking, rinsing, coating, or none of the above … but the single most important factor, in my opinion, is climate. I’ve lived and recipe tested in them all. Dry as a bone deserts, high altitude, rusty towns by the sea, fertile valleys … and while some recipes will work pretty well everywhere, there is always at least a slight variance in the results.
Right now, we are in that rusty seaside town, and my nemesis is those darn crispy root vegetables. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that roasting could only be done at very high temperatures, and even then, they just get a nice firm exterior with browning. There is just too much darned humidity!
So this simple little recipe may yield “chips” for you, but for me, they were soft and just roasted. I can’t remember in what magazine I saw this “perfect chip” idea. They used some other root vegetable, but a similar one, and I wrote down the temp and cooking time, eager to give it a go. But alas, there was no crisping for me, not even a little bit.
Fortunately, whether or not these roots crisp up for you, they are darn tasty. I was lazy, I use a pre-mix of Cajun spices to make it even easier. So this is more like a recipe idea than a real recipe. But I’m all about sharing ideas, particularly when they use vegetables …
Recipe: Cajun-Roasted Root “Chips”
Summary: I used rutabaga, which has it’s own unique taste. I’m experimenting more with this root, since it is fairly high in non-dairy calcium (14% for 10 ounces!). That said, it has a stronger flavor than some roots. I find parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes to have mellower and sweeter flavors, so you may want to start with those.
- 12 Ounces (3/4 lb) Root Vegetables, peeled or unpeeled (your choice)
- 1 Teaspoon Melted Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Cajun Seasoning (mine had salt in it)
- Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
- Slice the root veggies 1/8-inch thick or thinner if possible. This is a good time to own a mandoline (alas, I don’t).
- Toss the chips with the oil and coat them with the seasoning.
- Spread them out on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan, and place them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
Keep a close eye on these, particularly if you cut them by hand. Thinner parts may start to burn a little quickly and should be removed early.
If you have wire cookie racks or similar, you can place them on top of the baking sheet to allow the air to circulate under the chips, allowing for a more even cook/roast, and helping to prevent the moisture from locking in.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, Sugar free, Low fat
Number of servings (yield): 2
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
Posted by alisa on February 6, 2012 | 25 Comments
Today we are honoring our good friend Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten Free with a Virtual Baby Shower …
For my contribution to the shower, I went out on a limb, choosing something savory that doesn’t involve any butter, cream, or cheese (hang with Amy, you are still going to love it, I promise!). Nonetheless, these little frittatas are rich and packed with flavor.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any baby shower inspired props for decorating. But, I did my best to honor Baby Boy Green with some little blue plates that I actually won at a baby shower! That’s themed enough, right?
Recipe: Smoked Salmon & Dill Frittatas
Summary: Unlike so many egg-based recipes, these little bites are dairy-free AND soy-free! If desired, you can make them larger in regular-sized muffin tins and serve them for brunch.
- 8 Eggs (organic if possible)
- 2 Ounces Raw Cashews, ground in a spice grinder
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste (see note)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Dill (use fresh if you can get it!)
- 1/4 Cup Minced Onion
- 3/4 to 1 Cup Finely Chopped Wild Smoked Salmon
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF and grease 64 mini muffin tins. I actually used silicone candy cups, which worked great – they popped right out! If you don’t have 64 little tins, you can always make larger frittatas.
- Place the eggs, ground cashews, water, salt, dry mustard, and pepper in a mixing bowl and beat for a minute to combine.
- Whisk in the dill, onion, and salmon bits.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared mini-muffin tins, making sure to distribute the salmon and onion throughout. I fill them about halfway full. They do rise a bit, and I like them bite-sized.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until set.
- Let them cool for 10 minutes, then pop them out to serve!
- These can be made in advane and then reheated for a few minutes in a 300ºF oven.
The amount of salt you will need will depend on the saltiness of your smoked salmon. I used a fairly salty one with 1/2 teaspoon salt. They were devoured, but I definitely could have used a little less salt.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Diet type: Pescatarian, Dairy free, Gluten free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, Sugar free
Number of servings (yield): 12
Copyright © Alisa Fleming.
And don’t forget to check out the other delicious recipes (all gluten-free and refined sugar-free!) for this Surprise Baby Shower by …
Hallie with Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding Parfaits
Maggie with Vegan Gingersnaps
Alta with Grapefruit, Avocado & Jicama Salad
Lexie with Dairy-Free Crepe Quiches
Kelly with Grain-Free Lime Pound Cake
Carol with Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
Cara with Mushroom Pesto Pinwheels
Ricki with Vegan “Wine and Cheese” Charlotte
Kim with Maple-Glazed Apple Cinnamon Squares
Silvana at www.SilvanasKitchen.com
Jen with Tomato Panzanella Salad
Cybele with Allergy-Free Focaccia
Helen with Cranberry Chicken Salad Surprise
Posted by alisa on January 24, 2012 | 13 Comments
Guess what? I actually made something from Pinterest!
I know, mine isn’t nearly as pretty as the original, but I still love it!
I’m a contributor at the new website The Balanced Platter and talking about menu planning this month. Hop on over and checkout that post, and leave your own menu ideas! Links are welcome!
I’ve also got a post on Go Dairy Free on a similar topic, but covering a different perspective. It’s my Six Simple Steps to Dairy-Free (or anything “free” for that matter!).
Posted by alisa on January 10, 2012 | Comments Off
Today I’m sharing my secrets for cutting back on added sugars in the morning (I have a “no added sugar” before noon policy that I get right 99% of the time) and a quick recipe for Sweet No Added Sugar Whole Grain Cereal (this can also be used for hot cereals without added sugar too!). See my post with the tips and recipe here on Attune Foods.
While you’re there, please share your own tips for healthy breakfasts and cutting back on sugars (You can comment on that post – I will be checking!). I’d LOVE to read them and am always looking for new ideas!
Posted by alisa on December 26, 2011 | 5 Comments
Did you enjoy the holidays?
My husband and I don’t usually exchange gifts during the holidays, so this year, I felt like a little kid again with all of the wonderful surprises! Tony outdid himself in deal-finding (hello, awesome new, more powerful netbook for just $200!!), my in-laws as usual were so generous (love the new powder blue ski coat!), and I even received a cool, and completely unexpected gift basket of treats in the mail ….
Is it just me, or does Starbuck’s always make the coolest coffee accessories? (I’m sitting here right now sipping tea from my favorite Starbucks jumbo “world” mug that I bought years ago). That, above, is a ceramic travel mug – so, so awesome! Oh, and that StellaMare soy candle is heaven on earth. Seriously, I’m not a fan of most scented candles and nearly keel over whenever walking by those candle and bath shops, but StellaMare is now on my Pinterest loves (yes, I even created a new board just to have a place to pin those candles!).
So as some of you know, I adore tea (understatement of the year), but coffee and I are practically strangers. That said, I’ve been wanting to trial coffee in recipes, and the VIA instant coffee that they sent seemed like the perfect excuse. I love the individual packets, as I can use a small amount in recipes and the rest stays fresh! Anyway, I whipped up these amazing, caffeine-infused nibbles …
See the recipe here.
Take a look, do you see what I did? I actually “themed” them with coconut and pistachios for a wintery, holiday vibe. Yes, the girl who typically can’t take 2 seconds to style the food or even think about making it look seasonal. I know, this isn’t huge … but baby steps. Are you proud of me?
But back to those fudge bites, which are delicious! A touch strong in coffee for me … just a touch, so I left the amount in the recipe as is, but I might use a little less next time for my own tastes since the flavor of coffee is still a bit potent for my timid taste buds. But I need more ideas!
Do you have any recipe ideas or loves that use [a small amount of] coffee? (again, baby steps)
Also, the Home for the Holidays – Gluten-Free Event has come to a close. See the ginormous list of winners here.