Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Latest Finds- 5 new recipes

When I started this blog I thought I would be converting one recipe a week.  That has not been the case though.  I have just found so much out there that I want to try.  While I have been searching cook books and online I have come across some recipe's that are naturally safe for us.  So, if you don't mind, I thought it would be nice to pass along some of my finds that are already safe, or are so close that it's not worth it for me to do an entire blog over. Like in the instance of this monkey bread.  The only substitution necessary is earth balance or blue bonnet light to replace butter.  So here is a recipe for monkey bread that I found.  I use pillsbury crescents, which I know are ok for us.  Please make sure to check your labels.   These should only contain wheat and soy.
Single serve monkey bread - use earth balance

If you are OK with coconut, this recipe is for you, as it is the only allergen in the recipe if you use the enjoy life chocolates!  I was looking around on chocolatecoveredkatie and found a recipe for girl scout cookie larabars.  They look great and I will be trying them out soon.samoas larabar

If you don't subscribe to The Allergic Kid, you should.  It is another great resource to have.  A while back they posted a recipe for vegan blondies. It is here.  They contain wheat and soy.

Another yummy no bake cereal bar I found is S'more Krispy Treats.  Just use your preferred butter sub. (earth balance for me) and enjoy life chocolates and you're in business!

Finally, my breakfast find. Blueberry Pie Pancakes!  This recipe gives you options, so if you choose to use gf flour and rice milk, you can make if free of the top 8.  I like that Katie pointed out how to easily adapt this recipe. blueberry m

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cocoa Puffs Bars

I have heard a LOT of opinions in the blog world about the peanut butter cheerios lately.  Mostly criticism toward General Mills for not sharing their exact manufacturing processes.  For me, GM has always been very forthright with all the information I need.  They have put made the extra effort to include "contains" and "may contain" statements on all of their products.  This is not something they are required to do.  GM has taken an extra step to keep us, their consumers, informed and I for one am glad there is one less company I have to call to check on manufacturing processes all the time.  I understand that some parents are worried about cross contamination between the new peanut butter variety and other cereal but lets face it, they have been producing honey nut cheerios for years without incident or outcry.  Is this all really about the manufacturer, or maybe partly due to the popularity of peanut allergies in the mainstream?  Anyhow, GM has guaranteed that there is no risk of cross contamination and I believe them.  I sent them an email this week requesting information on  their products and how they determine what goes on a "may contain" statement.  Here is their response.  

"Our products are labeled for the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, dairy products, eggs, soy, wheat, crustaceans, and fish) plus sesame, sunflower and mollusks. We label for these allergens using CONTAINS and/or MAY CONTAIN lists located directly below the product’s ingredient list.
CONTAINS means that the allergen(s) is included in the product’s recipe. The allergen(s) will be listed in the ingredient list, and also in the CONTAINS statement just below the ingredient list.
MAY CONTAIN means that the allergen(s) is not in the product’s recipe but could be present as result of the manufacturing process regardless of our best efforts to exclude it. These allergens will not be included in the ingredient list'

In this weeks recipe I am using both a General Mills product (cocoa puffs) and a new product I haven't tried before, Wow butter.  I had heard from others on the food allergies page on facebook that it was really similar to pb and it is.  Wow butter is a soy product, but is manufactured in a facility free of many other allergens.  Their page is here and I love how they put all the pertinent information online for easy research.  Ok, here is the recipe.

Cocoa Puffs Bars
1/4 c. earth balance buttery spread
1/4 c. wow butter
10 oz bag mini marshmallows
Cocoa puffs

Grease a 9x13 baking pan.  Get a big pot for the stove and melt the buttery spread.  Mix in the wow butter and mini marshmallows and stir until they are all melted.  Take the mixture off the heat immediately and pour in the entire bag of coca puffs.  Pour the mix into your pan and flatten it down with the back of you spoon.  Let it cool a while, cut, and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brownies - soy free

     I decided this week to make my recipe with no soy and to try a brownie recipe that I've been messing around with for a while now.  I have been adjusting it forever because it always turns into cake, so frustrating!  I started pulling out all the ingredients only to find my husband had used the end of the sugar on his cereal.  No worries I thought to myself and started looking through the pantry.  Jackpot!  There it was on the third shelf shoved behind all the flours and oats.  What is it I'm talking about? Brown Rice Syrup!  Why hadn't I thought of this before!  You see, liquid sweeteners like brown rice syrup and corn syrup tend to make traditional  recipes a bit soupy. Since the problem I've been having with the brownies is that they are too cakey maybe this will work.  These brownies are not as sweet as traditional brownies because liquid sweeteners are not as sweet as granulated sugar.  If they are too bitter for you, just add more syrup next time.  These are also free of soy, in addition to my norms.

1/3 c. canola oil
1 1/3 c. brown rice syrup
2 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp. water (let sit 2 minutes)
2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. chocolate chips (enjoy life)

Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.  In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.  Add in the canola oil, brown rice syrup, and flax meal.  Stir until everything is combined and incorporate the chocolate chips.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  
     I pulled these out of the oven and handed one to my husband.  He took a long look at me before he decided to take a bite (he's been my guinea pig for too long)  I asked "cake or brownies" and the answer "Brownies"  Finally!  We all dug in and they were good, but I have to tell you, the longer they sit on the counter the better they get.  I also noticed when looking through other vegan brownies online that these have much less sugar and oil.  I do have a very rich recipe that I've been messing around with that's soon to come, in case you don't like these.  Happy Baking! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

banana split bars

Banana Split Bars

So after a week of munching on that s'mores cake I kinda had my fill of sweets.  Then I was looking around in the kitchen and decided to throw something together while I was waiting on supper to cook.  I remembered a friend talking about how she put teddy grahams with chocolate chips and banana's and baked it.  It was a hit!  I thought why not make a bar.  So I put together a dough, then decided why not add strawberries too, so I did.  Along with chocolate chips and marshmallows.  I was trying to think of what to call these things while they were cooking.  The question resolved itself in the first bite!  I'm so glad that I decided to add the strawberry preserves, because the combo is great.  These are gooey and crumbly and we didn't wait for it to cool all the way so we had to eat them with forks, but YUM!

Banana Split Bars
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. rolled oats (I blended mine)
1/2 c. margarine melted (I used blue bonnet light)
2 or 3 scoops strawberry preserve
1/2  bag chocolate chips (enjoy life)
1 banana
2 handfuls of mini marshmallows

Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease an 8x8 pan.  mix the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, oats, and butter.  Once combined, pat the mixture into the bottom of your pan.  Spread the strawberry preserves on top and then chop the banana and arrange it on top.  bake for 15 minutes.  Pull the oven door open and sprinkle on the chocolate chips and bake another 12 minutes.  Then pop the oven open one more time and add the marshmallows to the top and bake until they are golden, about 5 minutes.  Finally cool, cut, and enjoy!

Update  I put these in the fridge last night and my husband and I both had some today.  It is REALLY good cold.  I think I'm gonna break some up and stir it into vanilla ice cream for our next batch!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

chocolate snowflake cookies

chocolate snowflake cookiesSo I found another great recipe and it is already safe.... so no conversion for me.  These cookies are great, but I may be biased.  There are a few foods that come to mind when I think of my family.  I can guarantee, at any family function, there will be pecan tassies, corn flake cookies, and ritz crackers filled with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate.  These are all family food traditions that we can't take part in, but my all time favorite dessert from family get togethers has to be the snowflake cookies and here they are in a "safe" form.  Yeah!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Amazing Banana Pancakes

I ran across a recipe tonight and really wanted to share it.  It is for banana bread pancakes.  It looks great and really doesn't need much conversion.  The recipe is here.  All you will have to do is switch the milk for soy, rice or whatever and then use your butter sub. (earth balance, blue bonnet light or whatev)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

S'more Cake

Hello to all! Hope you have all had a great week.  I have to admit, I feel like I have been cheating the last couple entries with the quick and easy recipe's.  So this week you all get a doosey.  This cake was originally made by Julia over at Fat girl Trapped in a Skinny Body.  She made it as an anniversary cake for her husband.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to give it a shot.  Here is Julia's cake, hers is much prettier than mine( my stacking skills might be a bit lacking) but it is a delicious cake.  The funny thing about this cake is that there is no actual cake involved.
 Here is what you will need:
2 Brownie layers
2 cheesecake layers
2 chocolate chip layers
5 graham crackers
1 recipe for cream filling
1 recipe for chocolate frosting.
I used the same two identical 9 inch pans to make all of these so the layers would match. On day one I made the cookies, brownies, cheesecake, and chocolate frosting.   You have to do at least the cheesecake and chocolate frosting one day in advance because they require an overnight stay in the fridge to thicken.

1 c. blue bonnet light ( or whatever you choose)
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ground flax mixed with 6 Tbsp. water (let sit 2 min)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 1/2 c. powdered oatmeal ( blend it into powder then measure)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips ( enjoy life)

Preheat your oven to 350.  Grease the bottom of your pan and line with parchment paper.  Cream the margarine and both sugars until smooth.  Add in the vanilla and flax mixture, stirring until combined.  Incorporate the dry ingredients thoroughly, and finally add in the chocolate chips.  Pour half the batter into each pan and bake for 25 minutes. Leave them sit about ten minutes, then run a knife along the edge and flip onto your cooking rack.   When mine cooled, they collapsed a bit in the middle, so I just tore the high edges off, to get a smooth top.  Once they were completely cooled on the wire rack I moved them into gallon storage bags.

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. water
1 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease your pan and line it with parchment again.  In a large bowl combine all your dry ingredients, then add the wet and stir until fully mixed.  Finally add in the chocolate chips.  Split the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 25 minutes.  I let these cool for about 20 minutes ( I got distracted) then ran the knife around the edge and flipped them onto the wire rack to cool.  Once these were completely cooled, they went into gallon zipper bags as well.  I have to tell you, these brownies were rather cakey, which worked ok for me, but if you already have a brownie recipe you like, use it.

6 tubs tofutti plain cream cheese
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. lemon juice
4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. flour

Grease the bottom of your pan and line with parchment paper.  It makes the cake come out perfectly.
Mix the first four ingredients until creamy ( I actually pulled out my electric mixer for this) then fold in the flour.
Pour half the mix into each pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is just golden.  Let it cool a bit and then you have to put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Chocolate Frosting
8 Tbsp. earth balance margarine
1 c. soy milk or rice milk
4 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 lb. bag of confectioners sugar
1 c. cocoa

Mix all the ingredients until smooth.  I start by cutting the earth balance into tiny bits because it's easier for me to stir.  Once I can't mix it by hand any more, I get out the electric mixer to smooth out any chunks of butter left.  Put this in the fridge overnight too.

Cream Filling(make this the day of assembly)
6 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
3 tsp. cream of tartar
3 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 c. soy or rice milk
1/2 c. dairy free shortening ( I used earth balance)
 Mix all the ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.  I used a Food Allergy Mama recipe (slightly modified) for this cream filling

Now for the assembly.

  1.  Put your brownie layer down first and top with cream filling.  I put way to much on (see picture above) and my next layer started sliding, so be careful not to put too much on.
  2. Stack a cookie on next and top with cream filling
  3. Grab a cheesecake from the fridge and cut along the edge with a knife to loosen it from the sides and flip out (don't worry, it is firm enough) and stack on top
  4. cover with chocolate frosting, followed by a layer of graham crackers, then chocolate frosting again.
  5. Now the second cheesecake goes on, topped with cream filling
  6. then comes the cookie layer, topped with cream filling
  7. and finally the last brownie layer.  
 Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting and get the cake in the fridge.  If the frosting gets too warm, it will start to droop(see below), but no worries, just get it in the fridge for a few minutes and go over it with a knife, from bottom to top, to smooth it all over.  The frosting firms up very quickly in the fridge.

Now that you have spent the last 24 hours making this huge, beautiful, delicious cake, you have to let it set overnight in the fridge.  It really lets the flavors meld together.  This cake is really good! It is decadent and perfectly fitting for a special occasion.  My husband's first comment was "I bet you could feed this to anyone and they wouldn't know it is allergy free"   For me that is the ultimate compliment.  I am not only trying to make a safe cake, I am trying to make a truly delicious desert that will be loved by all.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chocolate Mug Cake

I'm in big huge trouble!  I'm sure by now, my sweet tooth has become apparent to you all.  I found a chocolate cake recipe that I can make in the microwave, in a coffee mug, and all the ingredients are pantry staples!  One thing I don't like much about cake is that I find it to be a bit dry.  This is more like a lava cake.  It is also free of milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, soy, fish, and shellfish.  I assume you could make it wheat free by using a gf blend, but I am running low on flours around here and had to use whole wheat pastry flour.  Here you go!

2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour 
3 Tbsp. soy, rice, or oat milk
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. applesauce
1/4tsp. vanilla.
1/2 Tbsp choc. chips (enjoy life)
and a handful of mini marshmallows if desired

So put the first 7 ingredients in your mug and mix it good.  sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  If you want marshmallow "frosting" when there is 20 seconds left, pop the door open drop the marshmallows in really quickly, and finish cooking.  It is pretty good considering you get a chocolate treat with less than 5 minutes work and only end up with one dirty dish.  I have no idea what happens if you let it cool because, honestly, it hasn't survived that long in this house.  Happy eating everyone.  Here is the original recipe if you are interested. I found it at 2 stews

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Delicious Banana bars with Chocolate Frosting

So I joined the world of pinterest this week and found a banana cake recipe from Patricia over at butteryum. Here is her recipe.  I did the necessary tweaking, plus a bit more, and it turned out awesome and is very moist.  I was most impressed by how little butter and oil are used here in comparison to some other recipe's.  Here is my version

For the Cake
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. tofutti sour supreme
1 Tbsp. ground flax mixed with 3Tbsp. water (or replacement for 1 egg)
2 Tbsp. earth balance buttery spread softened
1 mashed banana
1/4 c. applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat you oven to 350*F. Cream together sugar, sour supreme, flax mix (or egg replacer), and 2 Tbsp. softened earth balance.  Add in the mashed banana, applesauce, and vanilla.  Finally mix in the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth.  I poured mine into a greased 10 inch round pan, lined with parchment paper.  Mine baked for 18 minutes. I waited about 5 minutes and flipped it onto a cooling rack and put it in the fridge.  Now to make the frosting!

Chocolate Frosting
2 Tbsp. earth balance, softened
1/4 c. soymilk
1 Tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. confectioner's sugar
1/4 c. cocoa

The original recipe called for heavy cream, which is an obvious no for us.  So I blended the soymilk and oil in the blender to make creamer (remember the ice cream recipe?).  Now that you have creamer, mix it in with the softened earth balance, and vanilla.  Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar and cocoa until it is thoroughly mixed.  Mine was a bit lumpy, so I ran an electric mixer through it to smooth it out.  Pull your (cool) cake from the fridge and top with as much frosting as you like.  We only used about half the frosting, but made graham cracker sandwiches with the rest.  Hope you like it and happy baking everyone.