Tips, Tricks, Recipes, etc.

Creamy DAIRY FREE oatmeal.
I went through the elimination diet a few years ago and discovered that dairy was contributing to a few of my issues.  My dairy issues aren't awful but I decided to eliminate it in a few ways just to help reduce some of my schtuff. One way I took it out was to give it up in my coffee, on my cereal and in my oatmeal. The soy does the trick for me on cereal and in my coffee but I was missing my creamy oatmeal.  I began adding frozen fruit to my oatmeal while I cooked it and that was good but didn't quite accomplish everything I was hoping for to jazz up my oatmeal.  Ultimately I found coconut cream concentrate.  It's just coconut but its blended like crazy to make it almost like butter, maybe dryer than butter is a better description.  I've been adding it to many things and in the last couple of months I've been putting it in my oatmeal.  BINGO!! It was a love at first bite kind of thing.  It doesn't have an overpowering coconut taste in my opinion but I love coconut though so I may not be super sensitive to the taste buy oooooh the creaminess. Nothing beats it on a cool morning...yum.  I'm getting hungry for some just writing this post.  

My recipe:
boil 1 cup of water in a pan on the stove with added frozen fruit of your choosing.
Add 1/2 cup of oatmeal (I use GF oats from Trader Joe's)
When the oatmeal has cooked add enough coconut cream concentrate to get your desired consistencey.  I find my coconut cream concentrate here:

Sweet potato and corn cakes - egg and gluten free style

First let me say thank you to for these savory goodies! I'm a big fan of Pinterest and these have been pinned to my board for months now.  My mom is visiting and I've had some time to tackle some things I otherwise wouldn't, for starters cooking my way through my pinterest recipes. These were high on my list.  We like to do brunch for Easter but it always makes me think a little more creatively when eggs can't be on the menu.  This year we did the fast cinnamon roll recipe  (my favorite) using Trader Joe's gluten free flour as well as some bacon, grapefruit and the following sweet potato and corn cakes recipe.  I am going to try to find occassions to make all of the above again!  Read below to see what we did differently, keeping in mind I halved the recipe because we don't have a universal love of sweet potatoes in my house. These were so good I had to have seconds and then felt a tad guilty about others that requested seconds but there were none to be had.  I do mean tad though!  SO. STINKIN'. GOOD!

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes with Garlic Dipping Sauce. They’re so good that they make you wonder why other food even exists when flavors this bright and vibrant are possible. Amazing!
3 lbs. sweet potatoes (I used 1.5 lbs and cooked them in the microwave which took more like seven minutes but even after I started taking off all the soft parts the center of the sweet potato was still hard so in the end it was likely more like 1.25lbs of sweet potato)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions (I love onions so I still ended up using quite a few but I used the green onions from my garden which are smaller so in the end this is probably accurate)
¼ bunch cilantro (divided)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 large egg (no egg for us, olive oil.  1/4 equals an egg)
⅓ cup yellow cornmeal (I didn't use cornmeal because I have yet to find any that isn't a problem for the allergies in my house)
1 cup plain breadcrumbs (I used GF Italian bread crumbs (I didn't have plain).  I was nervous about the bread crumbs being Italian but it worked out very well)
½ cup vegetable oil (for frying)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 clove garlic (I still used 1 clove in 1/2 cup of yogurt and it was yummy, but I love garlic so do what you gotta do)

Begin by cooking the sweet potatoes. The fastest way to do this is in the microwave. Prick the skin of each potato with a fork. Wrap one potato in a paper towel, place it on a plate, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Carefully remove it from the microwave, squeeze it to make sure it’s soft in the center, and the allow it cool as you cook the next one. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them open and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
Slice the green onions and roughly chop a handful of cilantro (about ⅛th of a bunch). Add the green onions, cilantro, frozen corn kernels, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper to the bowl with the cooked sweet potatoes. Stir until well combined. You can taste it at this point and adjust the seasoning as desired.
Add the breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and egg to the bowl. These ingredients will bind the mixture together and keep it from falling apart while cooking. Stir until evenly combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb moisture.
While the sweet potato mixture is refrigerating, mix up the garlic sauce. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, one clove of well minced garlic, and a handful of cilantro leaves (roughly chopped). Stir until combined and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
After the sweet potato mixture has refrigerated, it’s time to cook. Add enough vegetable oil to fully cover the bottom of a medium skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until the surface appears wavy (if it begins to smoke, remove it from the burner immediately and turn down the heat). Shape the sweet potato mixture into small patties (about 2-3 Tbsp each) and cook about 4 at a time in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on each side; about 2 minutes per side. After cooking, place on a paper towel covered plate to drain. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.- See more at:

Mummy cookies for Halloween!


1 box Udi’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 container of candy eyes
1 8oz portion of white frosting or buttercream


1 piping bag with a small tip

Tip- To make it extra easy you can buy the frosting already in piping bags.


Place cookies on a large tray, covered with parchment paper or tin foil.
Fill piping bag with white icing.  Icing should be stiff.  If too runny, add some extra powdered sugar until the desired thickness is achieved.
Place two dots of frosting on the front of the cookie, and press one candy eye onto each dot.
Starting from the left side of the cookie, pipe frosting all the way across, in a thin line.
Continue piping lines, varying the direction slightly, until you have a ‘mummified’ cookie!
Place cookies into refrigerator until ready to serve.

Black Bean Brownies
Thanks to Chocolate Covered Katie for these amazing, richly chocolate, healthy treats!

Gluten and Egg Free Pumpkin Pie

For the crust I used GF Jules's awesome GF flour and this recipe:
1 cup (16 Tbs.) gfJules™ All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour (135 grams)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tbs shortening, butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Shortening Sticks)
3 Tbs butter or non-dairy alternative ( e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
2 Tbs vodka* + 1-2 Tbs cold water (OR 3-4 Tbs. cold water) (I'v made it with both the vodka and the cold water and don't have a preference, both have been great).
egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbs. water) OR milk (dairy or non-dairy) for brushing on crust (I used the milk obviously)

To Make the Dough:

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening and butter using a pastry cutter (or the flat paddle attachment on a stand mixer or a food processor). Add the vodka/water gradually to make the consistency you need to form a ball – err on the side of it being wetter rather than crumbly. Don’t over-work the dough, or it may become tough when baked. Form a disc with the dough, wrap in plastic and set aside on the counter for 30 minutes while you make your filling.

Rolling the Dough:After allowing the dough to rest, roll the pastry out onto a surface dusted well with gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. A flexible pastry sheet (e.g. Silpat) is ideal for rolling and transferring a crust.

Roll to a diameter at least 1 inch larger than the diameter of your pie pan.

Preheat oven to 400º F (static). Brush the crust with egg wash or milk, then cover edges with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

For the Filling I used the recipe from this website as a guideline:

2 cups (500 ml) Pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups, sweetened condensed milk  (I used one can of 14 ounces)
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
3/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix in the pumpkin puree, condensed milk,  cornflour, spices and salt and beat until there are no lumps. Spoon the filling into the chilled crust and level with the help of a palette knife.

It said to bake for for 40 minutes but I think in the end 30ish seemed about right.  For a topping I whipped up some fresh whipping cream to which I added about 1 1/2 tsps of powdered sugar and the contents of two vanilla beans. 

Homemade Granola Bars - slightly modified from the food network magazine:
cooking spray: I use baking paper
2 1/2 cups of rolled or quick cooking oats
1 cup of crunch cereal of your choosing - we use chex mostly
1 cup of raisins (I've also used craisins and dried blueberries)
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk (I've tried to come up with substitutes for this but so far no good)
1 stick of butter (I've used 1/2 of a stick and 1/2 cup of pumpkin with success)
- any additions of your choosing - chocolate chips, seeds, whatever.
Preheat oven to 325.  Spray a 15 x 10 inch baking sheet (you can use baking paper or foil as well)
Mix the oats, peanuts, raisins, seeds, cinnamon, condensed milk and butter in a bowl.  
Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 45 minutes.  Cool slightly and then lift off the baking sheet using the foil and invert onto a cutting board.  Peel foil and cut into bars. 

Baked Oatmeal
Here's our favorite morning dish. Enjoy!!

Our favorite pancake recipe:
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. applesauce or 1 banana
1 cup milk
2 Tbs veg. oil
1 cup flour (or substitute GF flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs sugar (we use brown sugar)

Mix the wet ingredients together.
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
*You can adjust the sugar amount to your liking.
**You can also add eggs to the above recipe for a protein boost.

Have a tip or trick you'd like to share? Email us and we'll share it!
To replace eggs in a recipe, use any of the following:
     1 Tbsp flax meal with 3 Tbsp warm water = 1 egg
     1/4 cup of applesauce, pear sauce, peach sauce, etc = 1 egg
     1/4 cup of buttermilk or 1/4 cup of milk with 1 tsp of vinegar = 1 egg
     (Ener-G egg replacer works well also.)