Welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I'm glad you stopped by and hope you enjoy the five years of recipes and ramblings collected here.

The inspiration for this site was my son. To learn about our journey to restore his intestinal and neurological health read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Take a peek at my cookbook.  








Buckwheat Groats & Oats Waffles | GFCFEF

Poor waffle maker. It's been neglected for years. Tucked away in the dark abyss of a corner cabinet. But after today, no more. It's earned rockstar, front and center status thanks to this groovy groaty waffle recipe! This morning I tested it for the third time. And for the third morning in a row my kids gobbled them up. Served hot off the iron, they are crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. I actually prefer them to the egg batter Belgian waffles I used to make! They are more substantial and sustaining, like a hearty bowl of hot cereal, they stick to your ribs.

In this recipe I use buckwheat groats. My friend Kelly at The Spunky Coconut got me hooked on them (check out her recipe for Do-it-Yourself Cream of Buckwheat). Buckwheat is of NO relation to wheat, making it a safe choice for those with Celiac disease. It is actually a fruit seed (not a grain) and is related to rhubarb. Nutritionally, buckwheat provides vitamins B1 and B2, the minerals potassium, magnesium, phosphate and iron (buckwheat contains more iron than cereal grains), and has nearly twice the amount of the amino acid lysine found in rice. Buckwheat groats provide yet another way to sneak healthier, more wholesome ingredients into the everyday foods we enjoy.

If you are wondering what GFCFEF stands for, it's an acronym for gluten-free, casein-free, egg-free. As with 99% of the other recipes on this site, these waffles are also corn-free, soy-free, peanut-free, low in sugar and free of refined sugars.

Buckwheat Groats & Oats Waffles
Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Easily Vegan
Makes: 4 Waffles

Add to high-powered blender in this order and blend on medium for 30 seconds or until smooth:

1-1/4 cup filtered WATER
2 tablespoons extra light OLIVE OIL
2 tablespoons runny HONEY (vegan dieters should use an alternative)
1 tablespoon VANILLA EXTRACT
1 tablespoon LEMON JUICE
15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA
1 cup gluten-free rolled OATS
1/4 teaspoon SEA SALT

Add and blend 10 seconds. Then the fun part—watch it grow and expand:

1 tablespoon BAKING POWDER (make your own corn-free, aluminum-free baking powder)

Pour batter into heated waffle iron lightly coated with oil. Cook 5 minutes or to desired crispness.

Note: Waffles too light and airy? Funny thing happened the other day. It must have been my 6th or 7th batch of these. This time I used fresh lemon juice vs. bottled and found that the waffles were coming out a bit too light—to the point that I had to gingerly pick them out of the waffle iron. I have no idea what caused it. Even made a second batch to test and same thing. Was it the lemon juice or just the day? My only thought is that perhaps the fresh juice was more acidic and caused a greater reaction with the baking powder? I am no food scientist, just a guess. So if yours turn out too light and airy just give the blender carafe a firm tap or two on the counter—covered of course. This let's some of the air out of the batter and makes for a more manageable waffle.


Chocolate Mousse | Dairy-Free & Easily Vegan

This super-simple mousse chills in an ice cream maker.For it being dairy-free and easily vegan, this rich chocolate mousse will knock your socks off!  If you have veered away from recipes that call for ingredients like hemp seed, coconut oil, and Stevia, you will be delightfully surprised that the use of those ingredients will yield such a rich and "creamy" mousse that is quite healthy!

Chocolate Mousse
Serves: 2

In small saucepan, bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes:

1 teaspoon AGAR AGAR powder (available at Asian markets and natural food stores)
1 cup filtered WATER

In high-powered blender, blend on high for 1-2 minutes:

1/4 cup filtered WATER
1/4 cup liquefied virgin COCONUT OIL
3 tablespoons runny HONEY (vegan diets should substitute with another sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon instant COFFEE - optional (I use Starbucks VIA Ready Brew ® instant coffee packs)
20 drops SweetLeaf Chocolate LIQUID STEVIA
1/2 cup raw CASHEW NUTS (soaked in filtered water 2-4 hours and rinsed well)
1/4 cup hulled HEMP SEED
1/4 cup high quality COCOA POWDER
AGAR AGAR mixture

Pour mixture into an automatic ice cream maker such as the 1-1/2 quart Cuisinart® Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. Churn for 15-20 minutes or until mousse-like in texture.

This mousse holds up real well. For this photo, I scooped the mousse into a Ziploc bag, snipped off one corner and piped it into two serving dishes. The chocolate stars were made using melted  Enjoy Life® chocolate chips piped from a small Ziploc bag (with a small snip in one corner) onto parchment and refrigerated. A toothpick comes in handy for perfecting the shape.

NOTES: Agar agar is a vegetable "gelatin" derived from a number of seaweeds which are processed by boiling and drying. It is a clear, tasteless alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin.


Almond & Hemp Milk Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

I am one of those who enjoys a sweet treat after a meal. Tonight, strawberry frozen yogurt was on my mind and needed to be in my belly. With a few ingredients and my handy electric ice cream maker, I was able to make a batch of icescreamilicious frozen yogurt in 30 minutes flat! 

I loved this dreamy treat so much that I have made it my contribution to the June 2010 Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free monthly blog event created by Naomi Devlin. Zoe at Z's Cup of Tea is our gracious host for the month of June and has chosen the theme Cream of the Crop: Dairy-Free Delights. This round-up of recipes will be gluten- AND dairy-free and will post June 30th at Z's Cup of Tea. Be sure to check it out!

Almond & Hemp Milk Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Serves: 4

Cut into 1/4" chunks, spread on a plate and place in freezer:

5 medium organic STRAWBERRIES

In blender, blend until combined:

1-1/2 cups Almond & Hemp Milk Non-Dairy YOGURT or other plain non-dairy yogurt such as So Delicious® Coconut Milk Yogurt (see NOTES)
1 cup chilled unsweetened VANILLA HEMP MILK or other non-dairy milk (see NOTES)
15 drops SweetLeaf Vanilla Crème LIQUID STEVIA
3 tablespoons runny HONEY
1 teaspoon gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
6 tablespoons STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SYRUP or 2 additional tablespoons runny honey (see NOTES)

Pour yogurt mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. When the yogurt mixture begins to stiffen, add the reserved strawberries.

We have the 1-1/2 quart Cuisinart® Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker and have been quite pleased with it. It takes about 20 minutes of churning to produce a frozen treat. It's a good size for a family of four, but if you are serving any more than that, I'd consider a larger model. In my experience, it's best to dish up and serve the ice cream right away. If you must serve later, I suggest scooping scoops into individual serving dishes and freezing rather than transferring to, and freezing in, one large container. 5-10 minutes before serving remove from freezer and allow frozen yogurt to soften up a bit.

NOTES: If using pre-sweetened yogurt you may want cut back on the honey. Hemp milk is a highly nutritious non-dairy milk and one of the creamiest of the store-bought milks. Homemade nut/seed milks are superior to any you can buy, however I keep store-bought on hand to use in a pinch. The Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup tints the yogurt a beautiful shade of pink, but a few strawberries pureed with the yogurt mixture should work just fine for color, too.


Vegan Creamed Spinach 

Tuesday is the day we pick up our Grant Family Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce box at the drop point here in town. In addition to the beautiful assortment of fresh herbs and lettuce, it was loaded with spinach, spinach and more spinach. I literally could not close the door to the fridge because of all the greens stuffed in it. To remedy the space issue I spent the afternoon washing, steaming and freezing spinach. When dinnertime rolled around, creamed spinach popped into my head. It would be the perfect side for the steaks we were going to grill. Here is what I threw together. It surpassed my expectations! My 4-year old gobbled it down and my husband and I had thirds!

Vegan Creamed Spinach
Serves: 4

Add to high-powered blender and blend on high 1-2 minutes or until creamy:

1/2 cup raw CASHEWS (soaked 4-6 hours)
1/2 medium ONION
3 tablespoons Grapeseed Oil VEGENAISE® mayonnaise (contains soy protein)
1/4 cup filtered WATER
1/4-1/2 teaspoon SALT
1/8 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt:

2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated BUTTERY SPREAD such as Earth Balance (or olive oil)

When sizzling, whisk in:

1 tablespoon BROWN RICE FLOUR

Stir constantly for one minute. Whisk in the "cream" mixture and continue to whisk for one minute before stirring in:

2-3 cups steamed, chopped SPINACH (see NOTES)

Heat through and serve.


Washing Spinach: Fill both sides of a double sink with cold water. Plunge spinach into one side of sink. Agitate well then allow to sit for a minute or two while any sediment settles. Without disturbing the water, gently transer spinach to the other half of sink and agitate well. Transfer spinach in batches to a salad spinner and spin.

Steaming Spinach: Trim large stems off of washed spinach. Add to a large pot along with 1/4 cup filtered water. Cover and steam 3 minutes or until spinach is soft but not mushy. Plunge steamed spinach into ice-cold water (this step helps preserve the vibrant green). Spin in salad spinner and/or squeeze out water with hands. Transfer to cutting board and chop.


Almond & Hemp Milk Yogurt | Dairy-Free


When Turtle Mountain’s® So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt hit the market we rejoiced! Finally, a dairy-free, soy-free yogurt our son could enjoy. I was impressed with the taste and texture of So Delicious—however the cost of a 6-ounce container was hard to swallow ($1.59-$2.29), so I decided to try my hand at making a similar dairy-free yogurt. Ten batches of yogurt later I am pleased to share this dairy-free yogurt recipe with you. I don't think any non-dairy yogurt can yield the creaminess and taste of a dairy yogurt, but it's a great substitute. What I am excited about is:

1) There's only one tablespoon of honey per quart.
2) The “curd and whey” do not separate during the incubation process!
3) It’s made with homemade nut and seed milks.
4) You know exactly what is going into the yogurt.

Whether it's cow's milk or nut milk, making yogurt is a labor of love. There’s a bit of time involved, but most of it is incubation and chilling time. Should you choose to give this recipe a go, here’s what to expect over 25-35 hours:

Nut Soaking Time: 8-12 hours
Yogurt Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus 45-75 minutes cooling time
Incubation Time: 8-10 hours
Chilling Time: 8-10 hours

Almond & Hemp Non-Dairy Yogurt

Yields: Approximately Two Quarts
Time: 25-35 hours (only 30 minutes of hands-on time)

*** These instructions are lengthy, I know, but it is CRITICAL to follow each step, use exact measurements, ingredients and temperatures***

Raw Almonds
Raw Hemp Seeds
Filtered Water
Arrowroot Starch (also called flour or powder)
Agar-Agar Powder (NOT flakes or bar ... available from Amazon)
Organic Cane Sugar
Allergen-Free YOGURT STARTER or Allergen-Free Probiotic Capsules
Yogurt Maker
3-Quart or Larger Stainless Steel Pot
Small Saucepan
Wire Whisk
Digital Thermometer
Nut Milk Bag
Blender (preferably a Blendtec or Vita-Mix)

Let’s Get Started:
Sterilize the nut milk bag and fermentation container(s) by carefully dousing with boiling water. Set up the yogurt maker per the manufacturer’s instructions and turn “on”. Ensure the machine will hold 2 quarts. If not, scale recipe accordingly.

In a small bowl, combine and set aside:

1/2 cup filtered WATER
4 tablespoons ARROWROOT STARCH

In a small saucepan, bring to a full boil then reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring often:

1 cup filtered WATER
1-1/2 teaspoons AGAR-AGAR POWDER

While the agar-agar mixture simmers, add to blender and blend on high for one minute (see NOTES on blending time):

1-1/2 cups raw ALMONDS (soaked in filtered water for 8-10 hours and rinsed until water runs clear)
1/2 cup raw hulled HEMP SEED
Enough filtered WATER to meet the 4-cup mark on the blender carafe

Drape the nut milk bag over a large bowl. Pour the “milk” into the bag and gently squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Toss or freeze the pulp for another use. Pour the milk back into the (rinsed) carafe and add:

2 tablespoons organic CANE SUGAR
Enough filtered WATER to meet the 4-cup mark on the blender carafe

Blend on medium for 30 seconds. Pour the milk into a 3-quart (preferably larger) stainless steel pot and add:

An additional 2 cups filtered WATER

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Immediately whisk in the boiling agar-agar mixture. Return to a full boil and immediately add the arrowroot starch slurry. Boil for 10 seconds and remove from heat. A note of caution: this mixture has the tendency to boil over so watch it carefully.

Allow the milk mixture to cool at room temperature until it reaches 105-108˚F. This can take 45-75 minutes. Placing the pot in a cold-water bath is not advised. The agar-agar will begin to gel on the sides and bottom of the pot and you will end up with chunks of "gelatin" in the yogurt.

When the digital thermometer reads 105-108˚F, it’s time to add the yogurt starter. You never want to add it when the milk is any warmer. You’ll likely kill the bacteria and it’s ability to culture the milk mixture.

Scoop onto a spoon:

Manufacturer's recommended measure of allergen-free YOGURT STARTER
35-40 billion CFUs of an Allergen-Free PROBIOTIC POWDER

With a small spoon, drizzle a teaspoon or two of the warm milk mixture over the yogurt starter/probiotic. With back of the small spoon, press out any lumps of yogurt starter and carefully blend until smooth. With a rubber spatula scrape every last bit of the yogurt starter/milk mixture off the spoons and into pot. Whisk, whisk, whisk to ensure the milk and yogurt starter are well blended.

Pour the milk mixture into the fermentation container(s) and place in yogurt machine. Incubate for 8-10 hours. Be careful not to disturb or stir the yogurt during this step. The bacteria are hard at work and need to be left alone. After 8-10 hours, carefully transfer the container(s) to the refrigerator and chill for another 8-10 hours. If you’re like me, you’ll take a peek and give the yogurt a poke before transferring to the fridge. Go ahead and satisfy your curiosity, but do not stir or disturb it too much. And know that the yogurt firms up quite a bit during refrigeration. Trust the process :). Yogurt will last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. Sweeten with honey, if you wish, before serving.


Yogurt Maker | You don't need a yogurt maker to make yogurt. A dehydrator works and even a Styrofoam cooler with a light bulb in it! But yours truly just doesn’t have the time to baby-sit yogurt in a lit-up cooler, ensuring the temperature remains at a constant 100-105˚F. I like that my Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker baby-sits it for me. The Yogourmet is a nice machine that allows you to make 2 quarts of yogurt at a time. I do recommend looking into purchasing and using a glass fermenting jar versus the plastic one the Yogourmet comes with. Lucy’s Kitchen has one that fits. If you want to give yogurt making a try but aren’t ready to invest in a new machine, check Craigslist or your local thrift shop for a gently used one. I see them quite often at our local Goodwill. If you plan to ferment the yogurt using a dehydrator or other method, there are plenty of sources online with helpful how-to’s.

Nut Milk Bag | There are a few nut milk bags on the market. The one I bought did not last very long. I ended up popping a seam open—squeezing gently is advised. A suitable and affordable alternative to a nut milk bag is a reusable mesh produce bag. You can buy a 3-pack of 3B Bags® for under $10 at most natural food stores. They are tough and durable. And, buying a 3-pack ensures you always have a clean one on hand. For clean up, just rinse and toss in with the laundry. I will say that these produce bags do allow a tiny bit of the fibrous pulp to slip through, but not enough to bother me. If you want to order an honest-to-goodness nut milk bag, try the Pure Joy Planet store online.

Yogurt Starter | Nut/seed milk yogurts are best made using a yogurt starter. Unlike animal-based milks, a scoop of yogurt may not work. I prefer working with a starter designed specifically for yogurt making. Because it is impossible for me, a consumer, to oversee every step in the manufacturing process when it comes to allergen-free yogurt starters and probiotics, I must leave it up to you to research and decide which yogurt culture or probiotic is safe for you and your family. One tip I can provide in your search; select one that includes the lactic acid-producing bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. In the United States, the USDA defines "yogurt" as containing these two strains bacteria.

Digital Thermometer | This must-have is available at most cooking stores for $10-15. I recommend a water-resistant model in the event it falls into the pot (two of mine died that way).

Arrowroot Starch | This easily digested starch is extracted from the root of the arrowroot plant. Many gluten-free baking recipes call for it and it is a replacement for cornstarch for thickening. Find it at some larger grocery chains, natural food stores and most Asian markets.

Agar-Agar Powder | This vegetable "gelatin" powder is derived from a number of seaweeds which are processed by boiling and drying. It is a clear, tasteless alternative to animal or chemical-based gelatin and is known to soothe the digestive tract and aid regularity. It comes in different forms (powder, flakes, sticks, etc). I use the powder form and purchase it at my local Asian market. Most natural food stores carry it. Amazon sells it, too. For more about agar-agar click here.


I would compare this Almond & Hemp Non-Dairy Yogurt to Turtle Mountain’s So Delicious® coconut or soy milk yogurt. I can pick up a 6-ounce container of So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt for $1.59 at our natural food store or for a whopping $2.29 at Kroger. This yogurt recipe makes close to two quarts—or approximately 11 6-ounce containers. My cost break down is as follows:          

Raw Almonds: $3.50 (expect to pay double for organic)
Raw Hemp Seed: $2.50
Agar Agar Powder: $0.50
GI Prostart Yogurt Starter: $0.50
Arrowroot Powder: $0.25
Raw Honey: $0.75
Total: $8.00 (savings of $9.49-$17.19)

NOTES: If you do not have a Blendtec or Vita-Mix you may need to blend your almonds, hemp seed and water for a considerably longer length of time.

You can do it! You can make non-dairy, nut milk yogurt!!