Dessert “Spaghetti and Meatballs” (Vegan)

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I have been looking at recipes with spiralized vegetable noodles for years, but never took the initiative to buy a spiralizer. Then I started following a relatively new (but very prolific) blog “Inspiralized“. First of all, the name is so cute, and the photos are beautiful. I finally went out and bought one. The first recipe I came up with was this dessert; spaghetti and meatballs.

spag meat

You can make individual servings or a family style serving. If you spiralize the apples in advance I suggest soaking them in lemon water so they don’t brown.

On another note: I spiralized a butternut squash and one piece was about 20 feet long. My kids ate the way toward each other- this is a photo of the last 10 feet when they got full and quit.

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Dessert “Spaghetti and Meatballs” Recipe
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MEATBALLS
(Make more or less depending on how many servings you need. I do 3-4 per person.)

1 cup sunbutter (unsweetened)
2-4 tablespoons creamed honey (liquid honey will be too runny), sweeten to taste
1 cup (estimated amount) macadamia nuts

1 pound frozen strawberries (other red fruits can be substituted)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup water

1-3 apples (1/2 an apple per person)

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Prepare a tray with parchment paper (and make room in the refrigerator for the tray.)
Combine sunbutter and creamed honey then form a small ball with the mixture. Stuff a macadamia nut inside and roll in your hands until smooth. Repeat and set out on the tray, not touching each other, and chill until serving.

Combine the strawberries, honey, and water in a saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until the strawberries are broken down. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add honey if needed. If the sauce is the thickness of marinara sauce then it is done. If it is too loose, return it to the pan and reduce it. Chill the sauce until serving.

Spiralize the apples. (I do thin noodles).

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Assembling the dessert is fairly obvious, and eating it is fairly delicious.

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Chocolate Cherry Thumprint Cookies

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I took my inspiration for these cookies from the combination of two traditional cookies- thumbprint cookies and peanut blossoms. My favorite chocolates when I was a child were chocolate covered cherries. I remember trying to decide whether or not to eat them in one bite to avoid the mess or eat them in several small bites but end up a bit sticky!

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
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1 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons buttery spread or butter
1/3 cup raw agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
20-24 sweet black cherries, pitted and frozen
1/2 cup semi-sweet melted chocolate

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In a medium mixing bowl combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix in the buttery spread and agave. Set in the refrigerator to chill.

Set a baking dish or tray with parchment paper in the freezer until cold. Dip the frozen cherries in the melted chocolate and set them out on the chilled baking dish. Place them back into the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper. Roll about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball, set on the tray and flatten slightly. Repeat until all of the dough is used. Bake the cookies for 6-10 minutes until they start to get a bit of color on the edge near the pan. (Don’t overcook these- they will continue to cook after they are out of the oven.)

Set the hot cookies (still on the baking tray) on a cooling rack. Quickly press a chocolate covered frozen cherry into each cookie while they are still hot.

Wait until the cherries have thawed and enjoy!

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Lemon Cake (Grain-Free)

Well, it’s my Birthday today! For my Birthday this year I am giving you all 40% off of my cookbook, Culinary Creativity: Let your restrictions set you free. Head over to Amazon and purchase the book for $14.95 (off from $24.95). November 18-20, 2013. This is a super great deal and I know you are going to love the hard cover and photos of every item in the book.

Plus what’s a Birthday without cake, so here is a yummy lemon cake for you.

But first, one more thing, if you are inclined to give me something for my Birthday, here is my wish: more reviews of my book on Amazon. Now read on and enjoy some cute cakes.lemoncake

Usually I am opposed to any recipe requiring too much effort. I consider separating eggs to be too much effort usually. However, it is difficult to make coconut flour cakes feel light and fluffy, and separating the eggs really makes a difference in this situation.

This cake is barely sweet. It only has a 1/4 cup of honey in the whole cake. I am enjoying minimally sweetened desserts lately, but if you are used to full sugar this might seem a bit “light”. Each time I make it, I have also made a sauce to go with it. I highly recommend that you do the same.

The first cake I made was lemon with blackberry sauce (from my cookbook) and whipped coconut cream (also from my cookbook).

lemoncaketable

Next I made it cute. It is really cute isn’t it?

Then I made the cake with orange zest. And I made an orange caramel sauce to go with it. I didn’t measure the ingredients for that caramel so I don’t have a recipe to give you. Here is the gist of what I did: cooked down about 1 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of honey, orange zest, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk until it thickened into a caramel. (Sauce pan, medium-low heat). NOT sure on the specific quantities… but I make sauces like this by eye frequently and they always turn out fine.
orangecake

Lemon Cake Recipe
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WET
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup apple sauce
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons of honey
1/3 cup coconut water (apple juice would most likely work too)
zest of 1 lemon

DRY
2/3 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

WHITES
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon honey

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare a 6-8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and oil the sides.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.

In a small mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir.

Beat the egg whites and honey together until it forms a stiff peak (I suggest using a stand mixer for this). Add half of the egg whites to the other ingredients and stir together. Add the second half of the egg whites and gently fold them in.

Spread the batter evenly into the cake pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes until it is cooked through and slightly spongy. It will be darker gold on the edges and just turning color in the center.

Set out on a cooling rack and cool completely before removing from the pan and frosting.

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Grain-Free Chocolate Cake

spunkycakeKelly, from The Spunky Coconut, has a great white chocolate pie recipe. I have made it too many times (you know- as in eating too many treats). I came up with some fun modifications and ways to make it cute that I want to share with you. Plus I created a new cake base and I now call Kelly’s recipe “white chocolate frosting” instead of “pie”.

Above I cooked my cake base as a three tiered cake. Then I took Kelly’s recipe and split it into three parts: white chocolate (standard), pink chocolate (standard plus beet juice- can’t taste a difference), and dark chocolate.

spunkycake2Another time I split Kelly’s recipe and added peanut butter to part, and chocolate to another part and made a swirl by pouring all the white in first, then drizzling the dark over the top.

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And another time… I made mini cakes in tart pans and let three lucky girls decorate three cakes with homemade gummies, chocolates, homemade pink frosting, and cereal.

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So here is what my cake looks like up close.

Frosting Recipes
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Notes on Kelly’s recipe:
1) It works perfectly as written.
2) I prefer the white without vanilla extract.
3) I find it works a bit better to “bloom” the gelatin before adding it to the mixture. Just soak the gelatin in a couple of tablespoons of cold water. (I learned this watching Master Chef).
4) I don’t bother melting the cacao butter separately- I just toss it in after the heat is off, then blend it all together.

Peanut Butter White Chocolate: The Spunky Coconut Recipe plus… 1/4 cup of peanut butter or more to taste (I like it with salted peanut butter).

Dark Chocolate: The Spunky Coconut Recipe minus 2-3 ounces cacao butter… plus… 2 ounces baker’s chocolate (I use Ghirardelli) This can be a bit “un-sweet” so you may want to add a bit of honey (but I don’t).

Pink: The Spunky Coconut Recipe plus… a few tablespoons of beet juice. (I put beet peels in a pot with about a 1/4+ cup of water, boil it, then strain it.)

Grain-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe
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1 1/2 cups mashed Hannah Yams (sweet potatoes are not the same but they can work)
1/4 cup sunbutter
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup egg white (protein powder)
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cacao nibs

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cake pan or pans with parchment paper and oil the sides. You can use an 8 or 9-inch cake pan. Use smaller or bigger pans depending on the design plan. Remember to leave room for the frosting (a pan with tall sides).

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Smooth the batter in the pan.

Bake for 20-35 minutes. The time will depend on the size of the pan. The cake is done when it is spongy to the touch in the center of the cake and the sides are looking done.

Allow the cake to cool. Loosen it from the pan, then put it back into the pan. Pour the frosting on top and allow the frosting to fully set in the refrigerator. Run a knife around the edges and carefully tip the cake out of the pan.

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I am sharing this recipe on Allergy Free Wednesdays,

Fruit Sundaes

 bananasundae
The idea: to create a delicious dessert without any sweetening other than whole fruits. No concentrated fruit juice, no stevia;  just whole food ingredients.
The Banana Ice Cream was the launching point. This recipe has already made its rounds on other blogs, certainly not my original creation. But I am re-sharing it because everyone deserves to know exactly how to make this sundae.
The other stuff… Coconut Whipped Cream- use the recipe in my book but omit the sweetener. Deydrated strawberries are from Trader Joes. Unsweetened coconut flakes- I toasted them in the oven. Pecans. A cherry. And homemade fruit juice gummies. There are recipes online but I hope to post a good recipe for that soon.
bananasundae5
This sundae got rave reviews and everyone (including people who eat typical ice cream) said it was sweet enough and very creamy.

Banana Ice Cream Recipe
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1 banana per person
cacao powder (for chocolate)
Frozen cherries (for cherry ice cream)

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Chop up the bananas and set them out on a tray in the freezer. Once the bananas are frozen you can make your ice cream. You need a food processor- a blender will not work.

Put the bananas in the food processor with cherries or cacao (or both- my favorite!). Use a ratio of about 3 cups to 1 cup (bananas to cherries). As for the cacao, add to taste but I do about 1 tablespoon per 2 bananas.

Process until the whole thing comes together as an ice cream- soft serve almost. It takes a bit of shoving around so don’t be discouraged if it feels like it isn’t working. Also don’t over process or it will get slimy. You can put it in the freezer for a bit before serving but I don’t like it to be fully refrozen.

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Triple Berry Pie

berrypie

My 6-year-old daughter has been ill. Today it seems she is turning a corner and feeling better, so we are grateful for that. She is already a slender child, but with her fever this week she was unwilling to eat. She dropped 2 pounds and suddenly you can see all of her little bones sticking out. So worrisome (and please know we are on top of the illness and have plenty of doctors on our side). I was offering her any food under the sun. Literally, I said, “I will go to the store and buy you anything you want. I will make you ice cream or cake or beef stew or ANYTHING.” She finally agreed that she could eat raspberries. So we bought two containers… Then last night I finished baking a chocolate cake made with sweet potatoes, eggs, cashew butter, and coconut milk at 10 PM. (I thought that might put some meat on her bones.) (And that recipe will come up on the blog at some point!) This morning I got up at 6:30 AM and made maki rolls- she ate about 5 pieces (not much but a start!)
The recipe for this pie is one I wrote a while back for an Earthbalance contest.
Cherries, cranberries, and blueberries give this pie a special tangy-sweet quality. I stopped making this pie after perfecting the recipe to save myself from gaining ten pounds. I kept sneaking into the refrigerator for “one more bite”. That being said, it would be very nice to make for guests!

Triple Berry Pie Recipe
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CRUST
3/4 cup almond meal, packed
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
3 tablespoons buttery spread or butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch salt

FILLING
1 1/2 cups pitted black cherries (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
3 tablespoons agave
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot)

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1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Generously prepare 4 (4-inch) tart pans or a pie pan with buttery spread.
3) Combine all of the crust ingredients in a mixing bowl.
4) Press the crust mixture into the prepared tart pans. It is sticky, but with a bit of patience it will make a great crust. You can pop it in the freezer for a few minutes if it gets too sticky.
5) Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until golden. (It also puffs up a bit.)
6) Combine the berries, bourbon, and agave in a sauce pan and simmer on medium heat until the berries start to break down.
7) Create a slurry with the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the berries and bring the mixture to a boil briefly. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool a bit.
8) Transfer the berry mixture into the prepared pie crusts. Enjoy warm, room temperature, or cooled.

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I am sharing this recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesday,

Chocolate Rootbeer Frosting

rootbeerfrosting
I was in the midst of trying to think of an original recipe. Let me tell you, that is nearly impossible. For example, try to think of a pie flavor. Something that would be edible but you think no one has done it before. Now Google it. It was there right? If not, go write that recipe quick before someone beats you to it! In any event, most “original” recipes are variations on existing recipes. So back to my project; I wanted to write a new recipe for an avocado contest. I came up with lots of ideas- but found most had already been done. Then I thought of Chocolate Root Beer Frosting on Chocolate Brownies. I made it without checking the search engines. It tasted fantastic! Just now I popped it into Google and there was one recipe there… but it was not made at all like mine. Anyways, if you have my cookbook you can easily whip up this recipe.

Hints on Making Chocolate Root Beer Frosting
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BROWNIES- your recipe or from my book on page 127 (omit the walnuts)
CHOCOLATE FROSTING – page 155 (omit the vanilla extract) ADD 3/4 – 1 1/4 teaspoon Root Beer Extract

Serve with:
VANILLA ICE CREAM- page 136

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For the frosting, you need will need to taste as you go, to get the right balance of root beer flavoring. (I use Baldwin’s Extracts for the root beer extract.)

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Most of you know by now that my posts usually contain free recipes. Every now and then, I mention my book instead of giving out new recipes because- it is a great book, I put a lot of work into it, and I hope to sell a few books here and there. Thank you for your support.

Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies

Sandwich Cookies

I was playing with a recipe from Gluten-Free Easily, and she (Shirley of course) referred to their “Samoa” taste (as in Girl Scout Cookies). One thing lead to another in my mind and I started thinking of the sandwich cookies that the Girl Scouts sell. Thus these Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies came to be. You might read this recipe and feel tempted to add chocolate. (Believe me, I always think of adding chocolate.) I personally encourage you to try them as they are… these are very tasty, not too sweet, cookies.

Cookies

Making them cute… Did I phone it in? I just didn’t have a brilliant idea, so I hand shaped them into … shapes!

Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookie Recipe
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3/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
2/3 cup almond meal/flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour (*if you omit this the cookies will not have a lovely soft texture)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (brown sugar for substitution)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
Cashew butter, for filling – stirred and refrigerated a day in advance so that it is not too soft

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Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toast your coconut shreds until light gold. This goes very fast, I stir them every 1.5 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the almond meal, coconut flour, salt, and coconut sugar, into a mixing bowl. Add honey, oil, and shredded coconut. Combine.

Using your hands, create small balls of dough, set them on the baking sheet and press them flat. Repair any cracks or loose crumbs with your fingers. The cookies will not spread and will stay in the shape you make them.

Bake for 5-9 minutes. You are looking for a slight gold color starting at the edges. Set out on a cooling rack. The cookies will be fragile and should not be moved until they are completely cooled.

Spread cashew butter in between the cookies to make sandwiches.

Note: I really like this best with cashew butter. If you try to use almond butter I think you might want to mixing in a touch of honey.

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Grain-Free (Nut-Free) Brownies

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When I feel a little down I often choose to bake. Baking is exciting for me. The idea that you can pop a batter into the oven and it transforms into something new- like a cake- (or in this case ridiculously good brownies), is so gratifying. Then there’s the down side. A gooey failure, made from expensive ingredients that goes straight into the trash. (That happens when you are messing with baking chemistry sometimes.)

So, a few days before Mother’s day I was feeling a bit low and I decided to make brownies from the leftover baked Hannah Yam in my refrigerator. Without any consideration for baking science I put together this batter that should not work and yet it did! Over the next few days I made three more batches- tested a few theories- and perfected the recipe for Mother’s day.

Brownies
GFE is having a fun little blog post featuring grain-free, nut-free recipes that satisfy a craving for nuts. This recipe is so perfect for that, my mother-in-law even mistook the sweet potatoes for nuts!
These brownies break a blog promise. I claim to be dairy-free and this recipe calls for goat’s milk whey protein powder. But at the bottom of the recipe I offer an alternative, so if you want dairy-free, read that before you start mixing.

Grain-Free Brownie Recipe
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1 cup cooked Hannah Yam ** (baked is best, steamed is OK too), mashed but not completely smooth
1 banana (medium), mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (*not for dairy free version)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon oil/fat (anything is fine, I use coconut)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (to activate the baking soda)
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup goat’s whey protein powder, unsweetened (cow’s whey will work too- other protein powders? – egg white protein should be fine too) (*not for dairy free version)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

* For dairy-free, replace the honey with 1/4 cup coconut sugar plus 1 tablespoon honey. Omit the protein powder entirely. If you can tolerate the goat’s whey I highly recommend using it.
** Hannah yams are white and have a more mild flavor than orange sweet potatoes. If you can get them, they are preferable. Or the Japanese (white) sweet potatoes would be good too.

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare a baking dish (8×8 or 9×9) with parchment paper and grease the sides.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients in the order they are listed. Mix together and pour into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Less time for gooier brownies, more time for cakey brownies. The brownie will feel firm with a slight give in the center. (Toothpick testing does nothing here.)

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I am sharing this recipe on GFE, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday,

Chocolate Coated PB Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

Creamy, soft, sweet and salty peanut butter cookie dough encapsulated in the crunch of rich chocolate sets the tone for this perfect dessert.

scharffenberger

Crunch through rich chocolate exteriors into creamy peanut butter cookie dough. Extra crunches sneak in with slightly bitter bursts of cacao nibs. The flavor is rounded out with salted peanuts that surround the sandwich… And I could go on and on. Oh my goodness these are so good! So, so, so good.

If you don’t eat peanuts try these with almond butter and toasted almonds. It will be so yummy!

Chocolate Coated PB Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe
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COOKIE
1 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (lightly salted, 100% peanuts)
1/2 cup raw agave nectar (honey would probably be fine)
2 tablespoons butter or buttery spread
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Cacao Nibs

ICE CREAM
1 quart (approximate) Chocolate Ice Cream from my cookbook or purchased chocolate ice cream

TOPPINGS
2 (9.7 oz) 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars or about 19 ounce of any chocolate that you like
1/2 cup salted, roasted peanuts, chopped

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Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper and make sure they will fit in your freezer.

In a large mixing bowl combine the almond meal, peanut butter, agave, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine then mix in cacao nibs. Chill in the refrigerator until the dough is firm enough to handle.

Scoop one level tablespoon of cookie dough, roll into a ball then flatten onto the prepared sheet pan. Make about 24 cookies then place the sheet pans in the freezer.

Melt the chocolate bars in a double boiler.  There are two ways to coat the cookie dough in chocolate: dip them or paint them (one side at a time). If you plan on dipping the cookies, keep most of them in the freezer and dip only a few at a time (as they soften quickly). After coating both sides of all of the cookies with chocolate, set them in the freezer.

Make sandwiches with the ice cream and cookies. (The ice cream may need to soften a bit in order to form the sandwiches.) Roll the sides in chopped peanuts.

Freeze to set the ice cream, then serve.

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I am sharing this recipe on Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday,