Super Simple Raw Berry Pie (vegan, DF, GF, PF)

ImageMy friend Sandra turned me on to this recipe a couple of months ago and it has soared to the top of my “super easy-to-make, but fancy looking dessert” list. Friends who stress that they can’t make a fancy dessert, pay close attention. I swear this recipe takes less than 15 minutes, doesn’t even require baking! and everyone will rave about how delicious it is.

Super Simple Raw Berry Pie (vegan, DF, GF, PF)

Crust:

  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 8-10 dates (you can also throw in some figs for added deliciousness)
  • a pinch of sea salt

Throw all ingredients into a Cuisinart or blender. Run for a few minutes until everything is pretty pulverized up. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a pie pan and press against the pan into a “crust”.

Filling:

  • 3-4 cups of fresh mixed berries (I do 1 carton of each of the following: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey or sweetener (you also use dates if you want to avoid processed sugar) – if your berries are super sweet, you may not even need sweetener.
  • Optional – fresh basil or mint (just a small handful)

Take half the berries and throw them into the blender with the mint/basil and honey. Puree for just a couple of minutes. Pour the berry mixture on top of the “crust”. Pour the whole berries on top of the pureed berries. And that’s pretty much it!

It is best to chill the “pie” until it is served. Simply pull the chilled pie out of the fridge and serve to your impressed guests. I like mine with a dollop of almond milk praline crunch ice cream.

Please note that the “pie crust” is more like a loose, delicious crumble – it will fall apart as you scoop it out of the pie dish. Another way to serve this would be to reverse the order of ingredients in your pie dish – berries on the bottom, puree and then crust on top – this will create more of a berry crumble presentation.

The best part about this recipe (other than it being ridiculously easy to make) is that it is really very healthy. It’s basically nuts and berries – so yes people, it is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly 🙂

Enjoy!

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Things I will attempt to make GF and DF…

Maybe it’s because I’m on a food restricted diet right now,  but I keep seeing things that I really want to try to make gluten free and dairy free once my five four weeks are up. So, I’m going to start a list. Are you drooling too??

Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart

That is a garlic/beet tart! (above)

BREAKFAST CUPCAKES (original non GF/DF recipe below)

1 20 ounce package pre-shredded hash brown-style potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons flour
1 small sweet onion, coarsely grated
2 thick slices deli ham, chopped into small bits (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs, scrambled*
chives for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., and lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the first eight ingredients together in a large bowl. Spoon potato mixture into each prepared muffin cup until about 1/3 full. Gently press the potato mixture down in the middle and up the sides of each cup. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. If the nests have puffed up too much in the center, scoop out a little with a teaspoon. Spoon a few tablespoons of scramble eggs into each nest and top with chives.

Yep, Pigs in a Blanket…

But I’m gonna try tapioca starch (imagine a hot dog wrapped in Brazilian cheese bread  – come on, that has real potential!). By the way, did you know that April 24 is National Pigs in a Blanket day?

I wonder what else I will come up with in the next month or so! Is it lunch time yet??

Gluten Free Dairy Free Strawberry Almond Tarts

Strawberry almond tarts

Ooh – in this one the conversion work has already been done! and she has many other delightful looking GF/DF recipes….

Potsticker burgers

Potsticker burgers
Potsticker burgers

Ok, I’m still working on the title of this recipe but OMG it is soooo delicious!! So, I’m on this pseudo paleo sort of diet for the month of April. It mostly means that I’m trying to avoid refined sugar, starches, alcohol, legumes and dairy – which really means I’m mostly trying to avoid sugar since I dislike legumes and I’m already gluten free and generally dairy free and alcohol free. Anyway, I also try to make ground meat recipes so I can break the cooked meat apart for little B to eat.  Not to mention, I can always sneak in bits of greens for both of the boys when I make ground meat meals!

I’ve done a lot of beef lately and so I decided to branch out to ground chicken thighs –  after some recipe exploration courtesy of google, I was immediately sold on the “tastes like the inside of a delicious Chinese dumping” comment for this recipe. I haven’t had potstickers in almost three years. Sigh! Here is my modified version of deliciousness:

Potsticker Burgers (aka Asian Chicken Burgers) – makes 4

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce (tamari)
  • 1 1/2 tsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. white wine
  • 1 tsp of rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c. gf breadcrumbs (or panko crumbs if you’re not gf) – you could probably omit this if you had a little more meat otherwise, it’s too wet
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 handfuls of finely chopped baby spinach
  • 1 handful of finely chopped fresh basil

Combine all ingredients lightly.  If the mixture is very wet, add more panko.  Shape into four patties, and cook in a large skillet for about 5 minutes on each side.

On a side note: I decided to bake a package of bacon per a paleo suggestion…. I did not know you could overcook bacon quite that much. hmm. oh well.

Makin’ baby food

Around labor day weekend, Bailey began to show a strong interest in food. I would sit in a restaurant holding him in my lap and suddenly he would dive bomb for my food or my glass. He would watch Lee bring his glass or food to his mouth and practically lick his lips. The first time, we brought a glass to Bailey’s mouth, he grabbed with both hands and started trying to slurp water out of the glass. He’s still hasn’t figured out that you need to tilt the glass to get to the liquid but hey, he’s working on it!

Image

That weekend, we were on our way to Aspen for the long weekend. I quickly mashed up a little avocado and put it on a spoon to see what would happen. Bailey gobbled it right up.

Now, a month later, we are feeding him solids twice a day. I’ve decided to play around with making my own baby food since I can’t bring myself to actually taste jarred baby food and I would really like Bailey to end up eating what we eat!

So far, we have tried sweet potato, acorn squash, avocado, pears, apples, zucchini, baby greens, rice cereal, oatmeal cereal and gosh, he just tried carrots and turkey (that last one was from a jar). I guess, we’ve tried alot now that I’ve written it down, and he has loved it all.

 

My fav recipes so far:

Sweet potatoes and pears

  1. Bake one sweet potato (in foil in the toaster oven at 400 for 45 min or til soft)
  2. Steam one pear with a tiny piece of fresh ginger and some cinnamon (about 4 min)
  3. Scoop sweet potato out of its skin and puree with the pear, ginger and some water.
  4. If it is too watery, add rice cereal to thicken

I think that makes about 12 servings so about 6 days worth. You’re only supposed to refrigerate the food for up to 3 days. I bought BPA free icecube trays with lids and I fill the tray up and then freeze it. He gets 2-3 icecubes per meal (that I of course defrost and serve warm or room temperature).

Baby Greens, Zucchini and Sweet Potato

  1. Bake one sweet potato
  2. Peel, slice and steam one zucchini with dried dill (about 5 min)
  3. Steam a large handful of baby greens (I use SuperGreens, it takes just a couple minutes for the greens to soften and wilt)
  4. Scoop out sweet potato and add the other veggies to the blender and puree (add water as needed)
  5. If you want to thicken it, add oatmeal cereal

Random factoid – rice cereal can constipate, oatmeal cereal can do the opposite. I choose my cereal depending on what the other vegetables are. Pears are great for digestion so I add rice to slow things down. The other recipe might be normal to slightly harder to digest, so I add oatmeal since baby’s body is still learning how to process solids. Cereals are good to add because they are iron fortified.

Favorite gadgets for meal time:

  • Silicon spoons – got mine as a gift from my friend Annie
  • Bailey’s Fisher Price high chair space saver  – a gift from Aunt Judy (it has an infant setting for before they can sit up really well, plus it can change into a booster seat when they’re older)
  • Waterproof bibs (the cloth kind get so filthy – you basically have to go through one a meal- boo. This one you can just wipe off and reuse – yay!)
  • A regular blender (like for smoothies) – for pureeing the food

And I’m still breastfeeding/doing bottles like normal – the food is just on top of the liquid diet to get Bailey to have even more calories and to play with food. So far, making my own baby food has been pretty darn easy, you might want to give it a try too!

xoxo LG

I can’t believe it’s not spinach artichoke dip

The remnants of my vegan spinach artichoke dip

Actually, it was spinach artichoke dip but it was vegan which meant it was gluten free and dairy free. And, it was actually delicious. It was mostly gobbled down before I could even get a picture.

A few weeks ago, I attended a going away party for someone at work and narrowly avoided the awesome looking (dairy-full) spinach artichoke dip there. But the image and smell of that dip was stuck in my brain. I decided that I had to experiment with a dairy free version of my own. And I knew the perfect venue for said experiment. That Saturday, I was attending a Bradley method class reunion party and multiple people attending have similar food sensitivities.

The recipe was pretty straight forward and I boldly made it an hour before the party which meant it was going no matter how it tasted. Before I could even explain to people what it was, about half of it was gone. My dairy free friends were sadly eying the dip. I must have looked just like that at the previous party I attended. I quickly told them it was safe to eat and multiple sets of eyes lit up with excitement. The dip was a total success. In addition to being dairy free and gluten free, it’s completely vegan and probably a lot more healthy than the original version.

This gets filed away into my 30 minutes or less recipe folder of deliciousness!

http://www.food.com/recipe/yummy-vegan-spinach-artichoke-dip-212129

RECIPE NOTES: As usual, I made some adjustments to the recipe cuz I’m lazy. Here’s what I did different: I used fresh mixed Super Greens since I had a package of them. I used a can of artichoke hearts in water cuz that’s what I had in the house. And I used minced garlic from a jar. One last thing, if you’ve never used nutritional yeast before, it is key to this recipe. You can get it in the bulk foods section of Whole Foods. Plus, the silken tofu is not the refrigerated kind. You can usually find it in the “Ethnic foods” aisle.

On a side note, the reunion party was for all the families that took our labor and childbirth class which was a Bradley Method class with Judith Nowlin.

At Judith’s new house, celebrating all the babies

This class was amazing. It met for 12 weeks and each class was 2 hours long. Yes, you read that correctly. I was pretty petrified of going into labor/the whole birth experience and I honestly think that I might not have ever gone into labor if it hadn’t been for Judith’s class.

Everyone in the class agreed that they were completely prepared for labor and childbirth. Of course, there were unexpected moments during each of our labor experiences, but we all felt empowered and prepared thanks to Judith. I highly recommend that you take a longer series of classes if you are a FTM. Our class covered prenatal nutrition, laboring techniques, the stages of labor, all the possible interventions that can happen in a hospital, discussion on how to advocate for yourself at the hospital and more.

The length of the class also provided us with an immediate makeshift band of other couples going through the same experience of first time pregnancy and childbirth. I don’t know about other people, but I found being pregnant kind of isolating especially since I didn’t have any close friends that were pregnant at the time. Having the emotional support of other couples was huge for Lee and me and we continue to keep in touch with some of my Bradley method families.