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Creamy Dairy-Free Pumpkin Smoothie

Anyone want some pumpkins? We've got an abundance with plenty to share! Every other day, it seems, I've been cooking up a couple of pie pumpkins in the slow cooker, a method I read about at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. I've made pumpkin bars, pumpkin pie, dehydrated pumpkin granola balls (total bomb!), pumpkin puree for my dog (yup, she needs to lose some weight) and today, a pumpkin smoothie. Let me know if you agree that it tastes a lot like chilled pumpkin pie served in a glass! Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids and is a good source of vitamins C, K and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium and iron. I'll drink to that!

Creamy Dairy-Free Pumpkin Smoothie

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan

Serves:  2-4
Prep Time: 3 minutes


2 cups ALMOND MILK (how to make almond milk)
1/2 cup cooked PUMPKIN PUREE (here is the slow cooker method for cooking pumpkin)
1/4 cup raw WALNUTS (preferably soaked and rinsed in water for 8-10 hours, but not necessary)
1 APPLE, cored and quartered
3 tablespoons no sugar added APPLE BUTTER (such as Tap 'n Apple)
1 tablespoon MAPLE SYRUP
1-2 cups ICE


Blend all ingredients, except for ice, on high in a high-powered blender (such as a Blendtec) for one minute. Add ice and blend until smooth. The colder the better!

Add additional almond milk or water to adjust smoothie consistency to your liking.


Kimchi Scared Me Silly

Every time I open Sally Fallon and Mary Enig's book, Nourishing Traditions, I learn something. This week I have been studying up on lacto-fermentation which Sally dedicates an entire section of the book to. She points out that "in earlier times, people knew how to preserve vegetables for long periods without the use of freezers or canning machines." The way they did this was through the process of lacto-fermentation. Here's what Sally has to say about it:

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility
and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful
enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product,
lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but
also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

                                                                         Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions

Honestly, up until this week, fermenting anything in my kitchen was out of the question—unless it was by accident in the back of the fridge. So to tell me that I should mix some vegetables together in a glass jar, add some salt and let it sit on the counter for three days and then eat it. Hmmm, "no thanks!" But putting fear aside, I did it. I tried Sally's recipe for Kimchi and it worked! I am alive, I am not suffering from gastric distress or food poisoning—I have tried it and am a convert.

Fermentation is a big topic and worth reading up on. If you're interested in adding more beneficial probiotics to your diet or just want to learn more about it, buy Sally's book or read up on it online. In the meantime, if you are a fan of kimchi, give this recipe a try. It's a flavorful condiment that I like to serve with Korean bulgogi and rice.

One more thing. If you are a fan of the Noursihing Traditions book, check out The Nourishing Cook! Kim Knoch has taken on the challenge of cooking through all 773 of Sally’s recipes—think Julie and Julia. Whoa! I am impressed. She has been at it since December 2009. There are no photos in the Nourishing Traditions book so if you want to see what a finished product looks like, head on over to The Nourishing Cook.

Korean Sauerkraut (Kimchi)
A recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Peanut-Free
Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Soy-Free |  Tree Nut-Free | Shellfish-Free |
Wheat-Free | Grain-Free
Sweetener-Free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan | Raw

Makes:  2 quarts
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Fermentation Time:  About 3 days


1 head NAPA CABBAGE cored and shredded
1 bunch GREEN ONIONS, chopped
1 cup CARROTS, grated
1/2 cup DAIKON RADISH, grated (optional)
1 tablespoon freshly grated GINGER
3 cloves GARLIC, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried CHILI FLAKES
1 tablespoon SEA SALT
4 tablespoons WHEY (if not available, use an additional 1 tablespoon SEA SALT — which I did. For more information on use of whey, consult the book) Do not use whey if you have a dairy allergy/intolerance.


Place vegetables, ginger, garlic, red chili flakes, sea salt and whey (or extra tablespoon sea salt) in a bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.

The next time I make this recipe, I will add more chili pepper or some cayenne and/or paprika for added heat and richer colored red juice.


Goddess Bread and a Day of Discovery

Another gluten-free bread baking success—Delicious Gluten-Free Bread from the Gluten-Free GoddessIf I am doing my math right—and let me warn you, I mentally checked out of that subject during my first year of algebra—it was 519 years ago that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas and what a discovery! Can you imagine? Well today I made a little discovery of my own, not as monumental, but one that made me jump and kick my heels, nonetheless.

Those of you who tune in regularly know that I have been on a bit of a bread kick. Maybe it's the onset of fall—cool mornings, a cup of coffee and cravings for cinnamon toast. A few weeks back I tried Ginger Lemon Girl's Vegan Gluten-Free Crusty Bread—a tasty rustic number. Today I discovered Gluten-Free Goddesses Delicious Gluten Free Bread. The two things I love about this recipe are 1) Karina designed it to be made using a bread machine and 2) it's not only gluten-free, but egg-free and dairy-free as well! Karina suggests the step of finishing off this loaf in an oven. I had planned to do that, but shortly after throwing all the ingredients in the bread machine we decided to head down to Ft. Collins for the day. On our drive home this afternoon, with the anticipation of Colombus, I wondered what I would find in my bread maker. A rock? A half-baked glob of dough? Well I was tickled to discover a lovely loaf, no, a beautiful loaf of bread. I may not have discovered a continent today, but I'm quite pleased with what I've found. Thank you Karina! Click here for the recipe.


Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger | September 2010

Rustic Bread! Gluten-Free (check), Egg-Free (check), Vegan (check).This post is a part of the monthly blog event "Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger" that Sea, at the Book of Yum, started back in February 2008. This is my first "adoption" and I look forward to more!

I am adopting Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl. Carrie and I met this summer at the International Food Bloggers Conference and have kept in touch since. I appreciate her gentle spirit, her sense of humor and have loved cruising her site for inspiration in the kitchen.

The two recipes of Carrie's I selected were ones perfectly suited for fall—Vegan Gluten Free Crusty Bread and Gluten-Free Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars.

Ginger Lemon Girl's Vegan Gluten Free Crusty Bread

Let's start with the bread! A few weeks back Carrie and I were all a buzz on Facebook about making vegan, gluten-free bread. That week I had a big bread baking flop and realized as many before me, that gluten-free bread baking can be challenging. Take away eggs and the challenge doubles, triples, quadruples! After lamenting over the failure in my blog, I got an email from Carrie that said she had a victory that very day; a vegan, gluten-free bread recipe that "worked!" Of course I was totally intrigued and as soon as she posted the recipe I took it for a test drive. I will second Carrie's "it worked!". It WORKED! I hope these pictures prove that anyone (even yours truly) can do it. The entire family thought it was the tastiest gluten-free, egg-free bread we'd ever had. My hat is off to Carrie and her Vegan Gluten Free Crusty Bread recipe.

Note: To make this the perfect oil and vinegar dipping bread I might add a tad more salt (hopefully this doesn't affect the "chemistry" of the dough).

Ginger Lemon Girl's Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars

This weekend I recruited my sister, husband and two toddler sons to help me work some hours on the farm—part of our "CSA working share." The job for the group was picking pie pumpkins and needless to say, pumpkins were on my mind all day. When we got home I fired up the slow cooker and used the Crockpot squash cooking method Amy Green shares on her site Simply Gluten & Sugar Free. In four hours I had cooked pumpkin which I then pureed in the blender. Then it was on to making Carrie's Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars. One thing I really love about these bars is the crumb crust. I've been feeling the pressure to find the ultimate gluten-free piecrust recipe for the upcoming holidays. But you know what? This press-in crust is so stellar and easy that I will be using it again.

I followed Carrie's recipe as closely as possible, the only modifications I made were 1) I used coconut oil where oil or buttery spread was called for. 2) The only granulated forms of sugar I have in my kitchen are evaporated cane juice and coconut sugar, so I chose to go with the evaporated cane juice wherever the recipe called for "sugar". 3) I added 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to the crust mixture since there's no salt in coconut oil like you find in buttery spread. Please note that this recipe is not egg-free. (Does anyone have recommendations for making it so? I've been hunting high and low for ways to make an egg-less pumpkin pie. I have a husband who can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!)

Thank you Carrie for some fall cooking inspiration! We look forward to more :).


Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad

This wedge salad is one of my favorite menu items at Outback Steakhouse. If you're okay with dairy, top this easy-to-prep salad off with blue cheese crumbles.

Because Outback Steakhouse makes the effort to accommodate diners on special diets, we give them our business. Their food and service is consistent. Like Starbucks, you know what you're going to get. When our boys dine with us (they are 3 and 4), we can get away with splitting an Outback Special GF—a 6-ounce steak accompanied by a naked sweet potato and unseasoned green beans. Ask mom what her favorite menu item is and she'd have to say the Wedge Salad. It's a simple little salad of iceberg lettuce topped with a blue cheese dressing, diced tomatoes, bacon bits, red onion and a drizzle of a sweet balsamic vinegar glaze. The menu suggests that gluten-free and dairy-free diners avoid the blue cheese dressing (both of which I can eat but my son cannot). How can a salad I adore not be enjoyed by everyone!? Using a tasty, dairy-free ranch dressing recipe from my friend Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom and a simple-to-make balsalmic glaze, you, too can have Outback at home—or close to it!

Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30
Common Allergens: Soy (trace amount in Veganaise)


In a small saucepan combine, bring to gentle simmer and reduce to a thick syrup:

1/8 cup raw HONEY
1/4 teaspoon SEA SALT

Brown, crumble and set aside:

6-8 strips BACON (choose organic or uncured Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon or Turkey Bacon) (optional)

Prepare Heidi's Ranch Dressing (dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan).

Prepare produce and set aside:

1 TOMATO diced
1/4 RED ONION thinly sliced
1 head ICEBERG LETTUCE quartered


On one large plate or on four individual serving dishes, arrange and top lettuce wedges evenly with and in this order, a spoonful (or two) of ranch dressing, tomato, red onion, bacon and a drizzle of the balsamic glaze. If you tolerate dairy, a spoonful of blue cheese crumbles tops this salad off perfectly!