Aug 13 2012

Recipe: Gluten and Dairy Free Incredibly Easy and Cheezy Mac and Cheese

Published by under Gluten free,Recipes,Vegetarian

So many things I miss since becoming gluten and dairy free, most important of those things is cheese. I find nothing more comforting the ooey gooey taste of Velveeta shells and cheddar, and I have yet to find a good option in the market or in even the nicest food-intolerence-friendly restaurants.

I have discovered the very BEST recipe for Baked Mac-n-Cheeze at The Gluten Free Vegan, which itself was based on a recipe from the Daiya site, as the recipe calls for Daiya cheese. I know this because I searched and searched for something that had just the right combination, and tested several. This was my favorite and no compromises had to be made. This recipe is 100% gluten and dairy free, it only takes about twenty mins to prepare, and will have everyone who tries ask for thirds, never mind not realizing there is no dairy in the entire dish. I made this version my way, but as long as you have the key ingredients feel free to add or remove any types of spices or flavors you may enjoy. Bon Appetit!

Gluten and dairy free mac and cheese - photo Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved

Gluten and Dairy Free Incredibly Easy and Cheezy Mac and Cheese

What you need:

  • A package of any flour of Gluten-free (brown rice) noodles you prefer. I used Gluten Free pasta shells
  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (had to search around for this, but ultimately found it at Whole Foods, Bragg’s makes it and it’s yellow and has a cheese-like taste. Note: this is not the same as Brewer’s Yeast which tastes nutty and is brown.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Garlic power to taste
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (soy or almond milk based on your preference)
  • 3 cups Daiya shreds
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free and vegan bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

What you need to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt vegan margarine.
  3. Add nutritional yeast and black pepper.
  4. Pour in non-dairy milk and add Daiya shreds.
  5. Whisk to mix and reduce heat to medium-low–(make sure you keep the burner on a medium low, so you don’t over cook the sauce)
  6. Continue to whisk occasionally while shreds melt and sauce becomes nice and smooth
  7. Once the sauce is smooth and heated-through, pour over pasta.
  8. Pour into a casserole dish.
  9. Mix up the bread crumbs, garlic powder (my added touch), and paprika then sprinkle on top.
  10. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes in preheated oven until sauce is bubbling and topping browns a little.
  11. Remove from oven and savor the moment. (I added some Louisiana hot sauce to mine when It was done cooking. It gives it that extra flavorful irristiable kick. My friend added Hunt’s organic Ketchup to his (Hunt’s doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup)

Gluten and Dairy free Mac and Cheese - photo copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved

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May 10 2012

Recipe: Tonic For An Upset Stomach

Well, in this fast-paced world, where we find less and less time for ourselves, we are bound, in spite of best efforts and intentions to get into less than optimal situations for eating the best stuff let alone taking the time to eat it properly. We end up with stressed out bellies and sometimes just need a little something to settle them down, help them detox, digest, and generally just be comforted.


NOTE: The following is not meant to stand in place of any medications you may be taking for pre-exisitng conditions, nor is it a miracle cure. It has not been evaluated be any doctor or nutritionist. It’s just something I make for myself after a lifetime of experimenting with the elements of a perfect belly-soothing tea to help slow things down and mellow out those grumbly, icky, stressed tummy feelings.

Upset Belly Tonic

What You Need:

  • 8-12 oz hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano (while Oregano Oil is extremely powerful in healing, the leaves and flowering stems of the plant are strongly anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, and aid in indigestion, stomach upsets, and painful menstruation conditions)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cinnamon or cinnamon stick (cinnamon has been used in traditional medicine for digestive ailments such as indigestion, gas and bloating, stomach upset, and diarrhea)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (too much will not help you relax, in half an hour you will be jumping up and down, so this is just to help sweeten)
  • 1/2 organic lemon (really, it should be organic, far more nutritious and filled with flavonoid, a composite that holds antioxidant and anti-cancer properties and helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, and indigestion among other things.
  • Chamomile tea – either 2 tablespoons loose leaf or a teabag of simple chamomile. German chamomile is preferred. (soothes stomach aches, eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, promotes elimination, and assists in overall digestion, menstrual cramps and restful sleep)
  • 1/2 inch of sliced fresh ginger (reported to alleviate symptoms from morning sickness, motion sickness and heartburn)

What You Need To Do:

Slice ginger into thin slices.

Place place all ingredients except honey into a teapot, then pour water over them. Squeeze lemon into pot. Let steep 5-7 minutes. Pour and add honey if desired.

This will prove a welcome tonic to aid in digestion, flatulence or otherwise mildly upset stomach.

Note, this might make you sweat just a little. Ginger may raise your body temperature a touch, but in these moderate doses it is unlikely to do so to a degree that will induce sweating. Also, do not add too much oregano as it, along with ginger, is an expectorant. These small amounts should help to calm even the most upset stomach, given that it is only a passing problem. If you have consistent heartburn, lightheadedness that accompanies heartburn or otherwise, you should consult a doctor. Again, please use common sense.

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Mar 11 2012

Food Diva’s All Natural Tangy Tomato Soup with Rice Recipe

Published by under Recipes,Vegetarian

Once in a blue moon, I get an intense craving for a warm delicous bowl of tangy, savory, tomato soup.  I wanted to share a recipe for what is one of the best-known and loved staples of American pop culture, because when these cravings arise I can never find a healthy canned option in the supermarket; there is either too much sodium, or high fructose corn syrup, or other artificial additives that I don’t want to ingest.

So as a gift to others who may have the same craving, I decided to share with you a recipe I found back in 1999 in Low Calorie/Low Fat Recipes magazine and have slightly modified to satisfy my most staunch desires and more closely resemble a version my grandma used to make and for which I have found only one restaurant in LA that comes close to matching it. I hope you enjoy, and feel free to write with any suggestions or alternative ways you may have made yours.

Food Diva’s All Natural Tomato Soup

What you need:

  • Olive Oil (I use about a teaspoon)
  • 3-4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • 2 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
  • 3 14 1/4 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 ounces (or a half a 6 oz can) of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cooked basmati rice
  • Food Processor or Blender

*optional – light dairy sour cream, reduced fat pesto, fresh thyme sprig, basmati rice

What to do:

Separately prepare rice per instructions, typically 2 parts water to one part rice, bring to a boil then lower to simmer, covered, until water has evaporated and rice can be fluffed with a fork (do not overcook).

Grab a large pot and heat the olive oil in it.  Adding the ginger, celery,onion, garlic for 1-2 minutes or until the fragrance opens (NOT BROWNS).


Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, and sugar.

Cook uncovered for 20 minutes.

Next take 4 cups of the soup and place in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Return the remaining puree to the pot and heat until completely hot but not boiling.

When it is time to serve stir in lemon juice and balsamic vinegar to bring all the flavors together. Add a cup of cooked rice to the cooling soup for extra texture (a trick I learned from my grandmother).

For an added bonus, garnish with a dollop of pesto and float a thyme sprig on top.

Pour into bowls and enjoy!

It should make about 9 servings and in my opinon even tastes delicious cold.

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