Land and SEAsonings – why is my bottle half empty already?

As of late, I’ve been on the cheap. My job of 13 years came to an end in September. I had some vacation pay that took me almost through the end of the year, so I knew I had to wait to receive unemployment. Since Hubby and I eventually want to spend winters in Mexico and I didn’t have to work, we decided to hang out for a few months in beautiful Playa Del Carmen and see what it was like to be residents. We certainly found ways to save money, and it’s free to enjoy the gorgeous beaches. We ate in our little Mexican kitchen and discovered lots of inexpensive and delicious vegan foods. I made my own flour blends and baked bread, cookies, and brownies with local ingredients. We loved our stay, and it was hard to come back to the cold weather at home.

While in Mexico, I met the lovely Kathleen Foland, who was renting a condo just a few doors down. She asked me if I liked to cook. Of course, I shared that I had a food blog and LOVED to play in the kitchen with all ingredients gluten-free and vegan. Turns out, she’s quite the cook too. She even has a company, Midwest Mermaid Muse, that creates all sorts of cool stuff, including spice mixes. She shared a shaker bottle of her fabulous Land and SEAsonings spice mix. I couldn’t wait to try it, especially after I read the ingredients.

And guess what? I loved this spice. That’s why my bottle is half empty, and I haven’t even had it a month!

The spice mix is chock full of goodness; it’s super healthy, and it tastes terrific. What makes this spice mix different is the organic seaweed, nori, and mushrooms added to the traditional spices. Sea veggies and shrooms have health benefits galore, and their flavors are subtle in this blend. You won’t be overpowered by fishy or funky if you’re not a fan of the sea greens or fungi. 

The cumin is prominent in this blend. I use cumin in almost all my savory Indian and Mexican dishes. I tried Land and SEAsonings in my Veggie Curry with Riced Cauliflower, replacing 1:1 the cumin and garam masala and cutting back just a bit on the salt. It blended perfectly.

I also added the Land and SEAsoning to my Red and Green Chili, simply replacing the cumin 1:1 with this blend and salting to taste. I loved the flavor.

You could easily sub out the cumin in your favorite recipe with this blend. Because the blend contains salt, taste before adding extra salt to your dish. Land and SEAsoning has a slight kick of spice too – not too hot, but do be aware.

I think it might be great on popcorn too. Haven’t tried that yet. If you try it, comment below and let me know if you liked it.

Kathleen is working on her newest seasoning blend – Caribbean Mexican Land & SEAsoning. I love the Mexican Caribbean and the inspiration from the flavors in that region. I’m guessing a little sweet, a little spicy, maybe? Oh, the anticipation!

If you’d like to try Land and SEAsoning or Midwestern Mermaid Muse’s other tasty treats, please visit to learn more.   




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Lucky Gluten-Free Vegan Foods for Friday the 13th

13 has a lousy reputation. The Christians, Hindus and Vikings all have lore that 13 dinner guest are a bad idea.  And Friday, named after the Norse goddess Freyja, got a bad rap from the Teutonic people who believed it was bad luck to tie the knot on her day.

The Christians, in an effort to demonetization of the goddess,  commemorated the death of Jesus on a Friday.  As time went by, Friday and the number 13 got combined into a superstitious day of bad luck.

But it turns out, driving on Friday the 13th is actually safer. And the ancient Egyptians considered 13 to be a lucky number, representing ascension to the afterlife.  And for my hubby, 13 is his lucky number. He was #13 to be drafted to the Vietnam war and they cut the draft.  And I really like Fridays. Especially Friday night because the weekend kicks off.

So if you believe Friday the 13th is lucky or unlucky, it never hurts to eat some lucky gluten-free, vegan food right?

Here are lucky foods and a few tasty recipes too.

  1. Noodles represent long life to many Asian cultures.  Try to eat them without cutting them for extra luck.  My favorite gluten-free versions are rice noodles, zucchini noodles, Miracle Noodles (for those low-calorie meals), and cabbage noodles – click on the photo for Pesto Cabbage Noodles!
    Cabbage Noodles with Fresh Vegan Pesto
  2. Black Eyed Peas are eaten on New Year’s Day in the southern U.S. to bring luck for the year. Eat some on Friday the 13th to keep your luck going strong. They taste great and have fiber and protein. Here’s my recipe for Black Eyed Peas.
  3. Lentils  little round shape represents coins. Eating them is said by Mediterranean cultures to bring wealth and abundance.  Here’s  a recipe for Sweet Potato Peanut Lentil Stew.
  4. Pomegranates are symbols of fertility and represent sweetness and fullness of life. And antioxidants never hurt anyone’s luck either.
  5. Donuts and other ring shaped cakes represent coming full circle and are said to keep your life sweet.
  6. Leafy Greens are said to resemble money in their lovely color.  Eat more, earn more the legend says. Some wilted sesame spinach good be just the lucky ticket.  Here’s the recipe. 
  7. Garlic wards off the evil spirits and if you eat too much, it may scare away your friends too.  But it sure tastes good! Wear it around your neck, or better yet peel it and use it in your favorite recipe. Here’s the easiest way to quickly peel fresh cloves. 

Do you have any special foods or traditions for Friday the 13th?  Share it with me in the comments below. Let’s make this Friday the 13th a great one with some yummy gluten-free, vegan food!

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No time to bake? Try Sweet Magic cookies!

File Mar 23, 3 59 36 PMOne of the things I LOVE about being a food blogger is receiving new gluten-free, vegan product to try and review.  My Cottage Foods’ timing couldn’t have been better. I’ve had a full plate lately with a big project at work and yoga teacher training.  That means no time to bake.  I was happy to discover Sweet Magic Bakery and when they asked me to sample some cookies, I had to think long and hard about it…not!  These little sweeties came in the mail and I was thrilled to pop them into my mouth. And yes, I did share some with hubby.

Vivian started Sweet Magic Bakery and tells My Cottage Foods in an interview,”I saw how many people had allergies and couldn’t find delicious, natural, organic, well-made treats for themselves or their families. So, I decided to specialize in gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan treats.” You can read her entire interview on how she got started here.

Sweet Magic Bakery sells three varieties of gluten-free vegan cookies.  I got to sample two of them: the Orange Zest Sugar Cookies and Cinnamon Spice Molasses Cookies.  They also make a Snickerdoodle variety.

Both cookies had just the right amount of chewiness and sugary sprinkles on the outside for a little extra sweetness.  I was surprised I liked the Orange Zest Sugar Cookie a little more than the Cinnamon Spice Molasses because I LOVE molasses cookies and cinnamon. It could be because of my childhood memories of  my grandma’s  soft and spicy molasses cookies, but let’s face it –  it’s hard to compare anything in a package to grandma’s homemade goodies, right?  (I’ve gotta recreate a vegan and gluten-free version of that recipe someday.)  Still, I enjoyed the Sweet Magic version and would certainly buy more.

The Orange Zest Sugar Cookie was delicious.  It was soft and the orange flavor blended nicely with the vanilla.  I could see the orange zest in the cookie and taste that it was fresh, not artificial. The Sweet Magic website says these little cookies will “make your taste buds smile” and yes, they did! I want more for sure.

Sweet Magic uses non-GMO sugar and lots of organic ingredients, all listed clearly on the website. Products are baked and packed in a dedicated gluten-free kitchen facility in Boulder, Colorado, to eliminate cross-contamination and protect customers from allergens. A bag of 7 runs $5.50 plus shipping.

Order cookies from their website below.

And find them on social media:

File Mar 23, 3 57 52 PM

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Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks for Vegans – Book Review

Gluten-Free-Tips-and-Tricks-for-VegansI received a copy of Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks for Vegans by Jo Stepaniak, MSEd to review.  This book is terrific for someone trying to understand the basics of living with gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease.  It contains handy lists of foods to avoid and details on gluten-free grains to use as replacements in cooking.

Stepaniak shares a wealth of information on fundamentals including flour and spice blends to get new gluten-free cooks started.  The chapters that follow have many comfort food recipes including breads like “Sunny Seed Bread”, breakfasts like “Good Morning Muesli”, salads, main dishes, sauces and desserts like “Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie”.   Nutritional information is included for all recipes.  The recipes are made with easy-to-find ingredients and accessible to the everyday cook.  They are fairly healthy too.

The book doesn’t feature beautiful color food photos and the photos it does have are generic black and white shots of ingredient. While it would have been nice to see a few of these recipes pictured, the recipes stand on their own without photos and I can’t wait to try a few.

Stepaniak keeps this book short, sweet and to the point. All 147 pages are packed with useful information and recipes – no filler or fluff. If you or someone you know needs to eat gluten-free and vegan, I’d highly recommend Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks for Vegans.  The book is published by Book Publishing Company and retails for $12.95 US, $16.95 CAD.

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Good Luck for New Years – Black-Eyed Peas – Vegan and Gluten-Free


I read an article, “Black-Eyed Peas the Way Your Grandma Used to Make Them” and the problem is a:  my grandma didn’t make black-eyed peas and b: if she did, she probably would have made them with pork or bacon like the article recommended.  I’m not from the south, so I can’t say if this recipe is traditional, but the article said to use thyme, oregano, bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and celery to make a gravy.  I winged this one and it turned out delicious.  Not sure if it tastes at all like the black-eyed peas you may remember, but I can say it tastes good. And…it should bring a little good luck if you eat it on New Year’s Day!

Gluten-Free, Vegan Black-Eyed Peas

  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup water (adjust in instructions below)
  • 1 cup stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Pour dried black eyed peas into a covered pot and fill with water at least 2 – 3″ above the dried peas and soak overnight.  Drain soaked peas and rinse, set aside.

In pressure cooker, heat olive oil and add garlic, onion, celery and peppers, simmer until soft and slightly caramelized.

Add all other ingredients but the peas and water,  simmer for 10 – 15 minutes to mingle and mix spices and flavors.

Add peas, pour in enough water to barely cover the tops of the peas.  Follow instructions on your pressure cooker for preparing soaked black-eyed peas and cook until soft.  Mine take about 15 minutes.

If you don’t soak your peas, you will need lots more water and the flavor will be diluted, so I can’t say how this will taste.  If you use canned peas, you can prepare the ingredients on a stovetop, add and heat the beans – no need to pressure cook.

Wishing you much luck and a tasty pot of black-eyed peas in the New Year!

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Fugetaboutit Cookies – Vegan and Gluten-Free

fugettaboutit-cookies-gluten-free-vegan-me-2I’m finally getting a chance to play with aquafaba – the amazing chic pea liquid! It makes perfect merengue, whipped cream and egg substitute.  3 tablespoons equals 1 egg for most recipes. So next time you make some hummus, save the liquid your drain from the can and try making these cookies.

They’re super light, and while they only take about 5 minutes to bake, you turn off the oven and “fugetaboutit” for 8 hours – even overnight.  Apparently they keep about 3 days in an airtight container, but mine never seem to last that long.

Fugetaboutit Cookies

  • 6 Tbs aquafaba (chic pea liquid)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips or shavings
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried berries (I used a mix of dried blueberries and dried cherries)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the sugar, vanilla and cardamom, set aside so vanilla soaks into the sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine aquafaba and cream of tartar.  Mix with a whisk beater on medium-high speed for several minutes until the mixture gets fuffy and forms soft peaks.  Add sugar, vanilla and cardamom mixture. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form – scrape sides occasionally to ensure even mixing. Gently fold in chocolate chips, pecans and berries.

Spoon 1 1/2 inch plops onto parchment lined baking sheet and space accordingly as they will fluff and expand to about 2 inch cookies.  Bake for 5 minutes. Turn off the oven and fugetaboutit for 8 hours or overnight.  (ie:  leave the pan in the closed oven for 8 hours.) Store in airtight container.  Makes about 20 cookies.



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Sweet Potato Peanut Lentil Stew


As the weather cools down, I start craving soup.  While I make a lot of chili and tomato-based veggie soups, I was really in the mood for something a little different.  I was inspired by African peanut soups I’ve tried, but never made one. So I played around and came up with this stew. It’s most certainly blog-worthy.  The thick, hearty stew warms and nourishes on a cold day.

Sweet Potato Peanut Lentil Stew

  • 3 – 4 cups water or veggie broth (use more for a thinner soup – less if you want it really thick)
  • 3 cups cooked lentils (I like to cook mine with dried soup veggies – carrots, onions and bell peppers – to give it a little more flavor)
  • 2 cups pureed or canned plain sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped hearty greens (kale, collard, etc…)
  • 1 cup cooked split peas
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp berbere
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot.  Mix well while heating to a boil. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, preferably 30 or more to blend all the flavors.  Add more salt or water if needed while simmering.  Serve hot with a few sprigs of cilantro or parsley.

(Tips for cooking lentils and split peas:  I cooked mine in an Instant Pot pressure cooker 2 cups water to 1 cup dried lentil/peas.  I also added some dried soup veggies. You can add fresh veggies too like celery, bell pepper, onion and carrot. Just a few will give the legumes some nice flavor and add to whatever recipe you’re making. )

(Tips for cooking sweet potatoes:  I cook mine in a pressure cooker, skin and all with nothing added. They stay really moist. I puree them in my Blendtec high speed blender to make them smooth and perfect for soup. You could also use a food processor or just mash them too.)



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Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Cranberry Oat Crust – Vegan and Gluten-Free

pumpkin-mousse-cranberry-crust-gluten-free-vegan-meThe joys of fall are filling the air here in the Rocky Mountains. Leaves are turning shades of yellow, red and orange and pumpkins are everywhere. Time for a little pumpkin treat! This Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Cranberry Oat Crust is super easy to make and is a nice change from traditional pie or baked goods.

Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Cranberry Oat Crust

Cranberry Oat Crust

  • 1 ½ cup pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp clove

Combine all the ingredients above in a food processor with an “S” blade.  Mix until sticky and clumping into a ball.  Spread out evenly on a 9 x 9″ or pie baking dish.  Cover and set aside.

Pumpkin Mousse

  • 1 can organic pumpkin
  • 1 can organic coconut crème
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 4 Tbs organic corn starch
  • 2 vegan egg equivalents (I used EnRG egg replacer)
  • ½ Tbs agar agar powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp clove

In high powdered blender (a mixer would also work fine) combine all ingredients and blend or mix until smooth and creamy.  Pour ingredients into pan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Turn down heat and continue to stir until mixture thickens a bit.  Pour mixture on top of crust and cool.  When to room temperature, refrigerate.  Serve or store in refrigerator. Add a bit of vegan whipped cream if you like. Makes about 10 servings.

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Unfried Beans

unfried-beans-gluten-free-vegan-meFootball season is here and it’s time for snacks! I love bean dip and refried beans but not the oil and definitely not the lard that sometimes gets added to the mix. Here’s a super easy, quick and healthy way to make beans you can use in burritos, for bean dip, tostadas, tacos…and they taste amazing!

Unfried Beans

  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans, drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 2.5” in diameter)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ cup chopped roasted green chilies
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Small amount of water if needed

Mix all ingredients in high speed blender or food processor with “S” blade until smooth. Add a little water, slowly if needed to make the mixture creamier. Serve as a dip or use inside burritos, tostadas, tacos or layered bean dip.

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Summer Good Sandwich

Summer-good-burger-gluten-free-vegan-me  A non-vegan friend of mine posted a photo of his colossal sandwich (two burgers sandwiched with barbecued pulled pork, two cheeses, cole slaw on a toasted bun) with the caption SUMMER BAD.  I took one look and thought, well, yeah – that’s pretty bad for so many reasons.  Dairy cows and their babies, steers, pigs and chickens from the eggs – probably in the bun- all suffered for that sammie.  And let’s not forget my buddy’s arteries.  But something intrigued me about the combination and it did sound good veganized.  So… here’s my SUMMER GOOD sandwich!  And yes, it was pretty damn good!

Summer Good Sandwich

  • 2 veggie burgers

Grill your favorite gluten-free, veggie burger.  For this one I used Sunshine Burger Loco Chipotle. The spiciness was perfect with the tangy slaw and the BBQ Jackfruit.

Drain one can of young green jackfruit canned in water, add ½ cup your favorite BBQ sauce. Heat in a sauce pan until warm. Here’s my post with pictures!

  • ¼ cup Zesty Slaw (recipe here)
  • 1 slice white vegan cheese
    I used the Chao Coconut Herb from Field Roast  – yummy!
  • 1 slice vegan cheddar cheese
    I used Daiya cheddar. I didn’t have the slices so I used the shreds both work great.
  • Vegan, gluten-free bread (or buns if you can find them – I haven’t been able to find any where I live that don’t have eggs.)

Grill the burgers and add the white cheese, grill the bread and add the yellow cheese, place burger on bread, top with jackfruit and tangy slaw.  Devour!





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Peach Cobbler and Yes, it’s Raw, Vegan and Gluten-free!

Eating a a fresh, juicy, sweet peach is such a treat. In season, they’re pretty amazing all by themselves.  And when you combine juicy, fresh peaches with this raw cobbler topping, you get a little bite of heaven! It’s super easy and fast to make, not to mention it doesn’t come with all the oils, processed sugars and gluten loaded starches you get with standard cobblers.

Raw, Vegan Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup almonds
6 – 8 medjool dates
1 dried fig (or sub a couple more dates or raisins if you don’t have one.)
1 tsp vanilla

4 cups sliced fresh peaches

In food processor with bottom blade, add all topping ingredients and blend until ingredients are mixed well and almonds are finely chopped. Placed desired amount of sliced peaches in a dish and sprinkle on crumbled topping as desired.  Top with vegan whipped cream for an extra treat.


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Zesty Vegan Slaw


I’ve never been a fan of mayo. I’m not really a fan of vegan mayo although I highly support the product. I just never liked the taste.   I never liked white vinegar either. But then I had a chance to try balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar – all tasted so much better to me.  So I decided I might like slaw if it wasn’t too sweet and didn’t taste like white vinegar or mayo. Here’s the version I came up with to satisfy my palette’s preferences. Hope you like it too!

Zesty Vegan Slaw

  • ½ head of raw green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs agave nectar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

Mix the vinegar, agave, oils, powders and spices together in a large bowl so they are blended well. Add the cabbage and toss all ingredients together. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the cabbage to absorb all the flavors. If you’re not going to eat right away, refrigerate after 30 minutes until time to serve.

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BBQ Jackfruit

bbq-jackfruit-gluten-free-vegan-meCan’t go vegan because you miss BBQ too much?  Gone vegan but miss BBQ?  Have you tried young, green jackfruit BBQ?  If you have, you’re probably hooked like me.  If you haven’t – you need to find out what you’re missing!

Jackfruit is one of the largest fruits in the world. Ripe, it inspires the flavor for juicy fruit gum and is very sweet. But, young, green and canned in water, it resembles the texture of chicken or pulled pork, without any of the cruelty! It’s a perfect substitute for chicken, pork or pot roast in your favorite recipes.

Today, I’m making it with BBQ sauce. For the sake of time, I’m using pre-bottled sauce but you can easily make your own.

Simply open your can of jackfruit. Make sure it’s the young, green packed in water variety – not ripened, fresh or packed in sugar.  Drain the water and gently break apart each piece so it becomes the size and consistency you prefer.  I also chop up the young seed pods to keep them the same as the fruit. They taste just like the rest of the jackfruit at this stage so don’t waste them.  Add enough BBQ to completely coat your jackfruit and cook on medium heat until it boils. Reduce heat.  Spoon the mixture onto your favorite gluten-free bread, rice or potatoes or use it to top a salad.


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Curry Carrot Soup


Nothing like reaching into a giant bag of organic baby carrots, recently purchased at the store, only to find there were some slimy ones.  I didn’t want to waste the entire bag because only a few were rotten. I tossed out all the nasties and carefully washed the rest and cooked them to prevent further spoiling.  Cooked carrots are good, but 10 cups of them…can you say boring?  Time to create a new recipe.  It was late at night when they finished cooking and I was hungry and tired, so I whipped this up quickly  It turned out to be just the trick for a late dinner.

Curried Carrot Soup

6 cups cooked carrots
2 cups water or veggie broth
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp fenugreek
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala

Add all ingredients to high speed blender and blend until smooth. Heat to desired temperature and serve. Top with sprig of fresh cilantro or parsley. Makes 4- 2 cup servings

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Cranberry Orange Pecan Bars

cranberry-orange-bars-gluten-free-vegan-meI’ve heard that orange mixed with chocolate is very Italian. And my very Italian co-worker loved these sweet little bars.  I love them too and my mom’s Italian. But they were created in Colorado. And when people taste them, it won’t matter where the people are from or where your kitchen is located; most likely, they will love them. I hope you do!

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bars

Make the bars:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract

Combine all ingredients in a food processor with an “S” blade.  Puree until everything sticks together if you roll the dough in a ball. Spoon ingredients into a 9″ squared glass baking dish.  Press dough down so it evenly covers the pan. Set aside.

Make the frosting:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract

Combine all ingredients in a food processor with an “S” blade.  Puree until everything is smoothly mixed into a frosting consistency. Spoon over dough and spread evenly. Serve right away or refrigerate to serve later.

Makes 20 – 25 small squares.

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Curry Stuffed Peppers – Vegan and Gluten-Free

curry-chic-pea-stuffed-peppers-gluten-free-vegan-meI found some beautiful peppers at the store today and wanted to stuff them with something a little different.

I had some chic peas and brown rice already prepared in my fridge, so created this recipe for a little East Indian twist.

Curry Stuffed Peppers

  • 1 large red or green bell pepper
  • 1 cup Curry Avocado Spread (click for recipe)
  • 1 cup  cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked chic peas

Slice pepper in half, remove seeds and steam with a bit of water in a pan until tender.  In another pan, add avocado spread, rice and chic peas. Mix and heat on medium until hot, stirring gently occasionally. Remove peppers from pan, fill with rice mixture and serve.

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Avocado Curry – Sauce – Dip – Spread

avocado_curry_spread_sauceI hear a lot of people say they don’t like curry.  I always tell them to give it another chance. There are so many “curries” out there – red, green, yellow, Indian, Thai…. the list goes on and on and they all taste different.  I haven’t found a curry I didn’t like and was really craving some yellow(ish) curry tonight.  I like the following blend of spices for more of a yellow curry. Give it a try as a sauce or a spread. It even makes a great dip for veggies, crackers and chips!

Avocado Curry Sauce, Dip or Spread

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ½ Tbs Dr. Bragg’s Aminos or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp paprika
  •  1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and mix thoroughly.  Serve as a sauce, salad dressing or dip.

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Mushroom Pesto Quiche



Laura Hemmington has an amazing recipe for Basil Walnut Pesto Quiche on her blog, The Whole Ingredient.  I made it and it was amazing!  I wanted to try a variation without nuts for a lower calorie version. I also needed to use up the cremini mushrooms in my fridge.

So, I made this version. It was really good too!  Anything with basil and garlic is pretty hard to mess up, right?

Mushroom Pesto Quiche

4 cups fresh basil
2 ripe avocados
1 12 oz. package of firm tofu
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp salt
1 cup cremini mushrooms (button and portobello mushrooms would also work great)
1 tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 tsp olive or avocado oil

Prep the potatoes:

Slice potatoes into thin pieces, add to frying pan with a little water, cover and steam for about 10 minutes on medium heat until soft.

Soak the tomatoes:

Place sundried tomatoes into a bowl and cover with very hot water. Soak while adding other ingredients to food processor.

Prep the mushrooms:

Chop mushrooms into bite sized pieces and place into a small pan.  Add Bragg’s and lightly steam on low heat. Stirring occasionally

Make the quiche base:

Add basil, avocados, tofu, garlic and salt to food processor with “S” blade. Blend until smooth.  Drain water from sundried tomatoes and add soaked tomatoes to the mixture. Blend until finely chopped.

Make the pie:

Lightly oil pie plate. Add potatoes to the bottom and side, forming a crust. Spoon avocado mixture evenly over the potatoes.  Add mushrooms to the top.  Bake at  350 F for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool a bit before serving. Makes 8 servings.



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Vanilla Creme Cappuccino Pie



When accidents in the kitchen go right to create a new recipe, it makes me smile!

I wanted a nut-free, chocolate-free dessert for a group of people coming to visit. I was attempting to make some raw coconut balls and the recipe flopped; they wouldn’t stick together.  I decided to add a few more ingredients and make mixture into a crust.  And I thought topping the crust with a vanilla pudding would be great.  When the batch of pudding didn’t go high enough in the pan, I thought, why not make a coffee flavored layer. This turned out great and my non-vegan guests wanted seconds!

Vanilla Creme Cappuccino Pie

Make the crust

  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil softened or liquified
  • 6 medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

In a food processor with “S” blade, combine coconut, maple syrup and coconut oil. Mix until creamy, add the remaining ingredients and mix until everything rolls into a ball and clumps. Spoon mixture into a 9 x 9 cake pan. Press and pack so the bottom is covered evenly.  Refrigerate to harden.

Make the topping

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 cups plant milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs instant coffee

Add all ingredients except coffee in a high speed blender and mix until smooth. Pour mixture into a large pan and heat on medium high, stirring until it thickens to a pudding consistency.  Remove from heat. Pour 1/2 the mixture on top of the crust and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes until set.  Add coffee to the remaining mixture and stir, keeping mixture warm on low heat to mix thoroughly. Pour the remaining mixture on top of the cooled dessert and refrigerate.  Pudding will set in about an hour. The second layer may slide off, so place each piece gently on the plate.

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Mega Omega 3 Spread

gluten-free-vegan-me-omega-3-spreadI recently learned vegans and vegetarians can convert Omega 3 fats into DHA easier with a bit of turmeric added.  According to the National Institutes of Health funded study titled, “Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders,” researchers found that curcumin enhances the biosynthesis of the essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Sayer Ji offers an informative article about it on Green Med Info here.

I’ll let the experts share more on the science.  But I got to thinking, “How can I get all these nutrients to come together for a tasty treat?”  And I came up with this spread – a little like a mustard,  a little like a nut butter and a lot of tasty goodness that appears to be good for your brain and your body too!

Mega Omega 3 Spread

  • 1 cup raw walnut halves (I don’t soak mine, but if you do, make sure they are dried thoroughly prior to making this recipe)
  • 1 Tbs ground flax seed
  • 1 Tbs chia seed
  • 1 1/2 tsps turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients into a food processor with an “S” blade or a high speed blender. I use my Blendtec mini twister jar. It’s designed to make nut butter. Whip until blended smooth to the texture of a nut butter.

Spread on crackers, celery, or if you like it as much as I do, just eat it with a spoon!


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