(gluten + dairy free) moon pies w/ maple marshmallow crème


since i started this blog, my dad has always told me that i should make moon pies, mostly because i think he wanted eat them all.  i told him, yeah, yeah i'll get to it, thinking that one day i would get the recipe just how i wanted it.  moon pies were basically an anomaly to me when i was growing up.  yes, we had little debbie cakes, and the ubiquitous drakes' cakes; but moon pies were a whole other deal because us kids growing up in the north couldn't readily find them (apparently moon pies are a staple of the south).  my dad grew up in nyc, but spent a year living with his aunt, uncle, and cousins on the shores of virginia when he was young. years later, he would tell me and my brother tall tales of these marshmallowy, graham crakcer-y sandwiches that were covered in a chocolate shell.  by the time he finished describing them, i was wiping drool from my mouth, and ready to make my way down to the closest southern state to find one of these delights.  i can't remember exactly how old i was when i first bit into a moon pie, but i clearly remember how delicious they were: the graham crackers used to sandwich the pie weren't crunchy, but soft, the thin layer of marshmallow creme was just enough to separate the two cookies, and then the chocolate encasement!  




in my endeavor to recreate moon pies into a homemade version, i thought i would go ahead and make them a bit more wholesome (if that's even possible).  the cookies i made here are gluten free and dairy free, the maple marshmallow crème is devoid of corn syrup, and uses maple syrup in its place; and the chocolate shell is made from dairy free chocolate melted down with some coconut oil.  there was many a trial and error, some costly, some not; but in the end i am super duper happy with the outcome of this extremely tasty treat!  

and today i'm sharing the recipe over on Food 52!  so head on over there and check it out!  click here for the link.  xo


revelatory oat pancakes w/ pomegranate yogurt (gluten + dairy free)


it's been a good 4 years since i've been able to confidently (and easily) whip a batch of fluffy pancakes. since changing my diet then i had sworn off making pancakes (the gluten-free variety), because each venture to do so, wound up in a gooey, messy, disappointing disaster.  i tried the gluten-free pancake method of binding the flour with banana or applesauce, i tried whipping egg whites into stiff peaks and gently folding them into the batter.  there were times where i just said 'eff it and threw the runny batter into the waffle maker (because, let's face it, waffle makers can save just about anything), but then there was a magical morning where i read this Food 52 article, where Alice Mendrich explained that replacing wheat flour with equal amounts of brown rice, buckwheat, oat, chestnut, corn, or sorghum flour would work in just about any pancake situation - pancake-life saved!  as i can be a bit pessimistic, i wasn't totally sure that this substitute would work in my favor - given my tumultuous past with GF pancakes - but to my surprise they were just as good as their non gluten-free counterparts, if not better!  

oat flour is one of my favorite flours to utilize in baking, given its sweet, nutty flavor, and its light texture.  so to use it here was a no brainer.  i paired them with my favorite yogurt (Anita's coconut yogurt, this is seriously the most on-point plant based yogurt i've ever had!), along with some tart, juicy pom seeds.  all-in-all, a lightly sweet, but definitely wholesome breakfast meal.  

i'm looking forward to experimenting more with the list of flours above in pancake recipes, but in the mean time, i would love to hear what kinds of gluten free flours work best for you!? i feel like this revelation has opened my eyes to a whole new world of pancake possibility!  thanks, friends! xo



oat pancakes w/ pomegranate yogurt (gluten + dairy free)

the recipe below uses coconut yogurt to replace half of the almond milk, feel free to use any other plant-based yogurt here, or substitute it with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk.  this recipe can also be doubled easily for a total of about 20 pancakes.

| makes 10 pancakes |

ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt (or plant-based yogurt of choice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • coconut oil for cooking

pomegranate yogurt

  • 1 cup plain coconut yogurt (or plant-based yogurt of choice)
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts


instructions

  • in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with a whisk.  in medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the wet ingredients thoroughly.  add the wet to the dry and mix until no lumps remain.  let batter rest
  • preheat oven to warm and place a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper inside.  heat a 10 inch skillet over medium heat.  test pan with a splash of water before adding the oil; if the water sizzles and evaporates, it's ready. brush the skillet with some coconut oil and pour about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons worth of batter (i fit about 3 pancakes each batch); wait until you see bubbles appear on surface and edges of pancakes - about 1-2 minutes - then flip and cook the other side for another minute or so, until pancakes are golden brown.  place cooked pancakes in preheated oven.  re-oil pan before each batch of pancakes until no batter remains
  • while last batch of pancakes are cooking, mix the yogurt, pomegranates, and maple syrup in a small serving bowl.  set aside
  • serve pancakes with a side of pomegranate yogurt and chopped hazelnuts 

enjoy!


kabocha squash, fennel + ginger soup w/ spicy coconut cream (v + gf)


hot soup season is here yet again; another summer has passed, and a new season full of possibility is to come.  i'm a big fan of the "in-between" seasons of spring and autumn, as they are a beautiful tip-toe into the more intense hots and colds of summer and winter.   even as we're getting less direct light here in our tiny brooklyn apartment, there's an increased sense of ease - mornings are a bit more slow as i'm not ripping the covers back to cool off, but rather peeling them slowly, as to not have a rush of cold air come at me at once.  we've taken the ac unit out of the window (yay for more light! but eww for the spider's nest chilling just outside our window that was hidden by the unit - luckily frank took care of that!), and i've already put summer clothes away, and replaced them with sweaters, scarves, hats - all the cozies!   our pup, quint - who hails from LA - is seeing fall for the first time, crunching the fallen leaves playfully as he trots on his walks.  and there are plans in the works to sew him a little dog sweater to keep him from his morning and evening shivers when the temps are at their lowest.  

we're still looking at high's in the mid-70s this week, and a few hot peppers are clinging to dear life on our fire escape garden, but as soon as a pot of soup is made, the line between summer and fall seems a bit more clear.  and i'm curious, what marks autumn for you?  because for quite some time i've marked the fall season with same old pot of honeycrisp butternut squash soup; so, this year i've broadened my squashy soup repertoire to include this one here.  i've made it a few times so far, tweaking it each time until the consistency and flavors were just how i envisioned.  i've used different varieties of winter squash, as well different alliums, various herbs, fennel seeds, fresh fennel, ground ginger,  etc., so the recipe below highlights what i thought tasted best.  all-in-all, soup is a lovely, and forgiving dish, and adding a little of this, and a little of that, turned into a hearty autumnal flavor bomb of a soup!

wishing you all a good one! xo



kabocha squash, fennel + ginger soup w/ spicy coconut cream (v + gf)

inspired by this recipe

just about any variety of squash works well here, just be mindful that if it's smaller than a kabocha squash you will need to adjust the amount of liquid, seasoning, etc.  if you do not have fresh fennel or fresh ginger on hand, fennel seeds and ground ginger can be used in their place. also, if you prefer to use vegetable stock, reduce the amount of salt added in the recipe.  

| makes roughly 6 cups |

ingredients

  • 1 kabocha squash, halved and seeds removed 
  • 1 large leek (or 2 small), white and light green parts sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and sliced (reserve some fronds for garnish)
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger (about 3/4 of an inch big), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dry)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 5 cups filtered water (alternatively you could use low sodium vegetable broth - see notes above)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 cup spicy coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

spicy coconut cream

  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • a couple pinches of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

garnish

  • leftover spicy coconut cream
  • poppy seeds
  • fennel fronds


instructions

  • preheat oven to 375° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.  rub a good amount of olive oil over cut side of squash; place cut side down on baking sheet and place in oven.  cook squash until fork tender - about 50-65 minutes.  let the squash cool until it's ready to handle.  scoop squash out into a bowl and set aside
  • in a large soup pot, heat olive oil and coconut oil over medium heat.  add sliced leeks and oregano, and sauté until leeks are soft; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  add the fennel and ginger, and cook for about 5 minutes - until fennel is soft and ginger is fragrant.  add the kabocha, bay leaf, water, salt, and pepper - stir
  • turn the heat up and bring soup to a simmer, cook for roughly 30 minutes, stirring every so often. remove from heat and stir in 1 cup spicy coconut cream (instructions below)
  • in batches, puree soup in a blender, or food processor, until smooth.  transfer soup back to the pot and bring to a low simmer, stir in lemon juice and taste for seasoning (adjust if necessary)
  • serve soup with a dollop of leftover spicy coconut cream, poppy seeds, and chopped fennel fronds

enjoy!

spicy coconut cream

  • whisk the coconut milk a bit if separated; then stir the lemon juice salt and pepper in.  taste and adjust accordingly

warm sautéed grapes, autumn kale + edamame salad w/ shiso vinaigrette


a few times this past week i found myself in a super unfamiliar place; my hands and counters covered with non-gluten free flour, the smell of yeast and honey proofing - and when it didn't proof - the anxiety of whether my instant yeast from the back of pantry was still alive!   moments of worry? sure.  but the process of making bread by hand lands on the more gratifying side of the kitchen accomplishment spectrum for sure - weighing of flours, proofing of yeast, kneading, oh the kneading (can we just call this therapy? because i haven't had a moment of zen like that in the kitchen in quite awhile!), the RISE, the second rise, and finally the baking of it all.  i made 2 different challahs for the jewish new year this past week, both using whole spelt flour, and while i couldn't partake in the devouring of it i did manage to sneak a few nibbles (but stopped when my face broke out in a couple hives and my belly felt like lead - oy!).  it was dense and sweet and just the best piece of gluten i've sunken my teeth into in quite some time.  perhaps i've come to a certain place (or age) where i can really appreciate why there are a vast amount of books, techniques and procedures for the baking up of some leavened goodness because it is so clearly a form of art (and testament to one's patience!).  so, maybe if i gather up enough guts to venture into the bread baking world there will be a post in the future, but for now i'm leaving that to the experts (here and here) and sticking with what i know best: fruits + veggies! 

while i'm not the biggest fan of raw kale in general, i find that the baby variety is a lot easier going down and it's actually one of my favorite greens to use this time of year.  however, strong flavors and some good old fashion texture help out too when there's a big bowl of greens waiting to be chewed up.  enter: grapes, edamame, nuts + seeds; plus a super punchy, but herby, shiso vinaigrette.  it's a more plenteous salad than i was used to eating this summer, full of rich flavors like, sweet/savory warm grapes, earthy beans, and garlic-toasted nuts.  so, i guess as october is already here, this salad is a salute to next few months of more considerable, substantial fall meals.

happy october, all! xo



sautéed grapes, autumn kale + edamame salad w/ shiso vinaigrette 

if you can't find shiso leaves where you are, i would say that a mixture of basil, lemon verbena, and mint should suffice.  or, you could perhaps try 1/4 cup thai basil with some lemon zest for somewhat of a similar vibe.  and if you're not using fresh edamame pods, frozen ones are just as good. 

| serves 4 |

ingredients

shiso vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup packed shiso leaves
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (if you don't have mirin, substitute with 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup/honey/brown sugar
  • salt + pepper to taste

salad

  • 4-5 cups baby kale
  • 1/2 cup cooked edamame
  • 4 green onions, white and light green parts sliced thin
  •  1 cup grapes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon raw pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • extra virgin olive oil + splash of toasted sesame oil
  • salt + pepper
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • shiso flowers (or small leftover shiso leaves)


instructions

shiso vinaigrette

  • in a food processor, add the shiso, vinegar, mirin, olive oil, sesame oil, and syrup (or sweetener of choice) and pulse until leaves are broken up and liquid is mixed.  taste and adjust seasoning.  using a fine mesh sieve over a small fitted jar, strain the vinaigrette; use the back of a spatula or spoon to squish all of the liquid.  cover jar and place in the refrigerator until ready to use

sautéed grapes

  • heat a skillet on medium heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan; add the smashed garlic and pine nuts along with a pinch of salt.  cook until garlic is fragrant and nuts have toasted a bit - about 1-2 minutes - then add the halved grapes (try to arrange the grapes cut side down to get a bit of caramelization on them, but don't make yourself crazy, they will taste just as good!).  let them cook for about 1 minute, until their bubbly and juicy.  dispose of smashed garlic, and sprinkle with parsley; remove pan from heat and let the grapes rest

arrange salad

  • in a large serving bowl, mix kale, edamame, green onions with a couple tablespoons of vinaigrette - taste and adjust - then add the warm sautéed grapes and pine nuts.  gently toss the salad and adjust dressing and seasoning.  serve with toasted sesame seeds and shiso flowers/small shiso leaves 

enjoy!


all the nuts, grains & seeds in my pantry granola + homemade almond-macadamia milk


maybe it's just me, but macadamia nuts just have a way elevating the everyday nut situation.  where most nuts are creamy and delicious, macadamias come in a take that lusciousness to the next level.  besides munching on macadamias, i never had them in any form until this past summer when me and my husband were in LA.  we were walking around venice, and searching for any restaurant/cafe/bakery we could find to get an iced coffee and get out of the heat for a few minutes.  we happened upon gjelina - not really known for their coffee, but rather for their delicious fare - we ordered up some iced coffees: frank, black; and me, with almond milk.  the man behind the counter went on about how they hand-made their almond-macadamia milk, but not really caring (because all i wanted was my cold coffee on this super hot day), i yessed him to death and went along with the whole thing.  in the end, i'm glad he gave me that long spiel, and took the time to tell me about their super special milk, because honestly, it has changed the nut-milk game in my eyes!  while i love almond milk on its own, the macadamias add a super rich, creamy texture (close to a coconut milk or whole dairy milk) that when consumed just provides an extra velvety hug - which is totally necessary when the thought of colder months comes creeping in : /   i've been using it up in the mornings with coffee, oatmeal, porridge, and granola; and i'm super eager to test it out in baked goods and perhaps some savory dishes! 

but before we go, this granola!  when my brother was in town a couple of weeks ago, we were at the table eating breakfast, he asked what kind of granola i was eating.  very articulately, i told him that it's delicious, and basically made from every friggin' nut, grain and seed in my pantry.  he took a bite and agreed, and when my brother tells me something is good, i listen.  and it's why this recipe is even here.  the granola is super clumpy and crunchy, lightly sweetened with maple syrup, with layers of texture from all the nut, seed + grain action going on here - it's basically my superfood breakfast dream!  perhaps it's yours too :)  

have a good one, friends! xo



superfood granola w/ homemade almond-macadamia milk (v + gf)

i've dubbed this "superfood granola" basically because it incorporates a large amount of nuts, seeds and grains that have high nutritional integrity including minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants, and vitamins.  however, i understand that some ingredients are not readily available to all, so feel free to substitute or swap some seeds, nuts or grains for what you have on hand.  puffed millet can be found in the cereal section of most grocery stores, but can substituted with puffed quinoa, puffed amaranth, or puffed brown rice (just make sure they don't contain any added sweeteners).  and if you can't find quinoa flakes, just use cooked quinoa in its place.  additionally, the almond-macadamia milk can be sweetened with pitted dates, honey, maple syrup, etc.  *if using pitted dates, soak overnight with the nuts.

ingredients

almond-macadamia milk | makes about 4 cups/1 quart |

  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • pinch of fine grain salt

superfood granola | makes about 5 cups |

  • 1 cup (gluten free) rolled oats
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup puffed millet
  • 1 cup raw nuts (i used equal parts almonds, walnuts + pecans)
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1.4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup grade b maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil

toppings (optional)

  • sliced pear or apples
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • fresh berries
  • goji berries


instructions

almond-macadamia milk

  • combine nuts in a large bowl and cover with water.  cover with fitted lid, or with plastic wrap, and let them soak overnight.  drain nuts and transfer them to a high speed blender, add the filtered water, salt, and scraped vanilla bean; blend about one minute.  line a fine mesh sieve with a nut milk bag, or 3 layers of cheesecloth (you could also use a large dish towel), and place over a large bowl; pour nut milk mixture into the nut bag; gather the sides of the bag/cheesecloth and wring out as much liquid as possible 
  • place nut meal aside, and transfer milk to container/s with a lid and store in the refrigerator.  (you can reserve nut meal for baking purposes or it can be dehydrated and made into flour.)
  • shake before serving

superfood granola

  • preheat oven to 300° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment
  • in a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients thoroughly.  warm the maple syrup on the stovetop or in a microwave and add the coconut oil to melt it.  give it a stir to ensure the oil has melted fully, then pour over nut, grain and seed mix.  mix for about 1 minute; transfer granola to prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer
  • bake granola for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through.  remove from oven and let cool completely. store in an airtight container at room temp

enjoy!