Tag Archives: gluten free


If you haven’t yet heard of the blog Peas and Thank You, you will soon.  I am a big fan.  We are all in luck because Sarah Matheny, otherwise known as  Mama Pea, has just come out with her first cookbook.  Be prepared to be fed well and entertained along the way.  Her stories about life with her husband and two girls are hilarious and so relate-able!

The recipes I have tried from her blog and now her cookbook are really good.  I made Sarah’s Teriyaki Tofu for dinner tonight and it was so good.  In the recipe she suggests marinating the tofu for at least 30 minutes or overnight, but do to poor planning on my part I ended-up marinating it for 48 hours and the results were awesome!

I had never actually baked tofu before (how is that possible?) and I will definitely be doing it more often because we gobbled it all up…There wasn’t even one piece of tofu left-over.

My daughter actually threw a fit when she found out there wasn’t any tofu left!  The baked tofu tasted so much like fried tofu, so there really isn’t any excuse for ever frying tofu.

My son even made one of the recipes from the cookbook today completely by himself.  He chose to make the Lime Tahini Sauce and did a really good job…I plan on using it on my steamed kale tomorrow for lunch.

My daughter was dying to help him, but he insisted that he wanted to do it all alone.  Never fear…she has plenty of opportunities to help out in the kitchen and cook with mommy.  She is also a dish washing expert and begs me to let her wash dishes (I wonder how much longer that is going to last???).

I hope you all rush out to buy this book in support of Peas and Thank You…you will be glad that you did.

Click here to buy the book.


Filed under Books, Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian

FIG NEWTONS – Gluten Free

photo provided courtesy of elanaspantry.com

photo provided courtesy of elanaspantry.com

The other day when I was at the grocery store with my children, my son mentioned how much he liked fig newtons.  I happen to love fig newtons too.  I can remember being a kid and mowing through a whole sleeve of them myself.  Have I mentioned that I used to have a MAJOR sugar addiction that I still have to work to control?  That’s why it is so great to make sweets at home.  When you make homemade treats you know exactly what goes into them and can make healthy substitutions.  When I use stevia, coconut sugar, Somersweet, agave (which they now sell at our local Costco), or yacon syrup I do not get the crazy insulin swings that lead me to a sugar binge.

I knew I had some dried figs in the pantry at home and got to thinking that it would be a lot of fun to MAKE fig newtons with my kids.  This is the recipe we used (gluten and dairy free) from Elana’s Pantry.  Elana has been a Guest Blogger here on Veggie Grettie.

These cookies were yummy, but when I make them next time I plan on not using the lemon and will substitute with water or OJ instead.  These cookies are also very moist, which tastes great, but for fun I will be adding some gluten free flour or oat bran to the dough next time to firm it up (I will just add it until I feel it reaches the right consistency) as well as using only 2 Tbs of oil. 

INGREDIENTS – Makes 20 cookies

1 cup dried figs
½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (they are pretty lemony…next time I plan on using water or OJ instead)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ cup agave nectar
¼ cup yacon syrup
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Place figs in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds until they are well chopped
  2. Add lemon juice and vanilla; process until a smooth paste results
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine agave, yacon, grapeseed oil and vanilla
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry, then refrigerate dough for 1 hour
  6. Divide chilled dough into 4 parts
  7. Between 2 pieces of parchment paper , roll out 1 part of the dough into a 10 x 4 inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick
  8. Spread ¼ of the filling evenly down the right side (lengthwise) of the rectangle
  9. Fold the dough in half down the long side –resulting in a 10 x 2 inch bar
  10. “Mend” the seam so the bar is symmetrical
  11. Repeat with 3 remaining parts of dough and filling
  12. Transfer each bar to a parchment lined baking sheet; bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes (Mine took 25 minutes to cook)
  13. Allow to cool slightly; cut bar every 2 inches to form the fig newtons
  14. Serve

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

To learn more about Elana Amsterdam click here. 


Filed under Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian


When our bananas get very ripe I usually make banana bread.  While I absolutely love banana bread (click here for my vegan and gluten-free recipe), it has been way to hot to make it lately…who wants to turn the oven on when it is in the nineties and humid???

The hot weather has also been making our bananas ripen much faster than usual.  It all works out though because we have been making a TON of smoothies lately to help cool us off.  One of my favorite ways to make a smoothie creamy and help  sweeten it naturally is to add frozen bananas to the blender.  When I notice the bananas getting too brown and soft to eat on their own, I peel them and put them in a bag in the freezer.  I ALWAYS have frozen bananas in the freezer for my smoothies.

One last tip…break the frozen banana into 3-4 pieces right before you put it in the blender (it will be too difficult for the blender to break-up the banana if it isn’t broken down a bit beforehand).


Filed under Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Smoothie, Vegan, Vegetarian

GARLIC GINGER BOK CHOY – ala Elana’s Pantry

photo provided courtesy of elanaspantry.com

I made this recipe (from Elena’s Pantry…an awesome gluten free site) to accompany one of our dinners last week and we plowed through it…yum!  I didn’t have any fresh ginger on hand, so I used powdered ginger and it still turned out great.  Believe it or not, we ate 2 pounds worth of bok choy in one sitting, so I just doubled the sauce and saved some of it for later.

Garlic Ginger Bok Choyprinter friendly

  1. Slice bottoms off baby bok choy
  2. Slice bok choy into lengthwise strips ½-inch wide (like long noodles)
  3. In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, agave, sesame oil and arrowroot
  4. Make a paste-like slurry dissolving the arrowroot
  5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  6. When oil is hot, add bok choy and salt
  7. Cook, tossing frequently with metal tongs until slightly wilted
  8. Add scallions, ginger and garlic and stir constantly until fragrant
  9. Stir in sauce and quickly mix with vegetables, until thickened
  10. Serve right away, while hot
For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Gluten Free, Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

PATRIOTIC CHEESECAKE – Vegan and Gluten Free

This recipe is my entry for the Spunky Holiday roundup.  I recently came across the blog, The Spunky Coconut, and am so glad I did.  I have already made several of the recipes from the site and my family has loved them.  I really like the idea of a recipe round-up and the sense of community participating in one creates.  I had a lot of fun creating this cheesecake for the round-up and my family and I have had even more fun eating it!



1 ½ cup Gluten Free graham style crumbs (I used kinnikinnick foods)
1-2 packets stevia
6 Tbs. Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread
2 cups raw cashews (soaked 6-8 hours)
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts (soaked 6-8 hours)
2 tsp probiotic powder (I used New Chapter All Flora)
½ cup filtered water
1 Tbs. meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup So Delicious Vanilla coconut creamer
1 Tbs. vanilla flavor (mine is by Frontier)*
4 Tbs. agave or maple syrup
4 stevia packets
Pinch of salt
*Do not use vanilla extract.  Since this is raw the alcohol will not cook out and will taste bad.
½ cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup Basic Filling
All natural blue food coloring (optional)
White – Basic Filling (as is) OR
1/2 cup sliced bananas
1 cup Basic Filling
½ cup sliced organic strawberries
1 cup Basic Filling
All natural red food coloring (optional)


Upon first glance this cheesecake recipe seems much more time consuming than it really is.  This is how I easily tackle this recipe…

In the morning put 2 cups of raw cashews and 1 cup of macadamias in a container and cover the nuts with filtered water.  Place the container in the fridge to soak (click here to see how I did just this for raw vegan goat cheese).

In the afternoon or evening take the container of cashews and macadamias out of the fridge and drain and rinse the nuts.  Place the drained and rinsed nuts in your Vitamix along with ½ cup filtered water and blend VERY well.  This process will take quite a few minutes and your Vitamix will be working very hard!  Make sure you use the center agitator to help it along.  You want to mixture to be very, very, very smooth…it will be warm from all of the blending.

Once the mixture is smooth, place it in a bowl and combine with the probiotic powder.  Mix well.

Place the mixture in a cheesecloth lined colander and cover it.  Place the colander in a bowl (in case any liquid leaks out) and leave it out at room temperature for 12 hours to cure (overnight).  You can also place a plate and pie weights on top of the cheesecloth to encourage the release of moisture.

Meanwhile make the crust by combining the graham style crumbs with the melted Earth Balance and Somersweet.  Once combined, press the graham crust into the bottom of a springform pan or create individual cheesecakes by using a mini crumb cake pan and filling each with 1 Tbs. of the graham crust mixture and pushing it down (in a crumb cake pan the bottom of each cake lifts-up to help unmold the cakes).  Place in the fridge to set-up.

In the morning place the cured cheese mixture in a bowl and use a hand mixer to blend in 1 Tbs. lemon, 1/3 cup So delicious, 1 Tbs. vanilla, ¼ cup agave, 4 stevia packets, and a pinch of salt.  The Basic Filling recipe is now complete.

Create the blue layer by blending 1 cup of the Basic Filling with ½ cup of frozen blueberries (optional blue food coloring).

For the white layer, either use the Basic Filling as is or blend 1 cup of the Basic Filling with ½ cup of sliced bananas.

Create the red layer by blending 1 cup of the Basic Filling with ½ cup of sliced strawberries (optional red food coloring).

Pipe a small layer of the blueberry mixture onto each crust.  Smooth the layer to make it level and follow with a layer of white, and then a layer of red.  Place in the freezer to set-up for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the cheesecake to thaw slightly.

Top with your favorite non-dairy whipped cream and fresh berries.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

Note – I am a Vitamix affiliate and whole-heartedly endorse the use of this wonderful machine!


Filed under Cheesecake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Nuts, Raw, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian


Salsa Fresca is so basic and something I always have on hand.  I make large batches of it and keep it in the freezer in 1 cup portions.  The Salsa Fresca recipe below is the secret ingredient in my famous guacamole (friends and family always ask for it when we have get togethers).


4 lbs. tomatoes on the vine

1 large onion (red or yellow)

1 large bunch of cilantro

1 jalapeno

juice of 1 lime

Himalayan salt to taste

pepper to taste


Wash all ingredients.

Cut the tomatoes in half and seed them.  Once seeded, chop the tomatoes into large even chunks (8-12 pieces) and put them into the food processor (you may need to do this in 2-3 batches).  Pulse until the tomatoes are the size you desire.  Place the finely chopped tomatoes into a large bowl.

Place the cilantro into the food processor and pulse it until it is finely chopped.  Place the chopped cilantro in the bowl with the chopped tomatoes.

Cut the onion into 8-12 pieces and place it in the food processor.  Cut the jalapeno in half and finely chop it (I wear non latex gloves while chopping jalapenos).  If you do not want your salsa fresca to be spicy, remove and disgard the jalapeno seeds.  Pulse the onion and jalapeno until it is finely chopped.  Place the chopped onion and jalapeno mixture into the bowl with the tomatoes and cilantro.

Place the chopped onion and jalapeno mixture into the bowl with the tomatoes and cilantro.  Gently mix the chopped tomatoes, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, and juice of one lime until well combined.  Salt and pepper to taste.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


I saw the most beautiful eggplants at the market a while back and they inspired me to create a vegan gluten-free Eggplant Parmesan.  When I was younger I was not a big fan of eggplant, but my love for them has developed full force.  I really like the substantial nature (dare I say “meatiness”) of eggplants and their chameleon ability to take on the flavor of whatever you cook them with.

Eggplants are also nutrition powerhouses.  Just one look at their deep purple color and you know that you are dealing with some major phytonutrients.   Eggplant is loaded with fiber and is a good source of Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, and Manganese.  For more nutrition information about eggplants click here.


½ recipe of gluten-free ITALIAN breadcrumbs
1 large eggplant
¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
½ cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
olive oil
salt for sweating the eggplant
1 jar Gia Russa Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
¾ cup Daiya Mozzarella
1/3-1/2 cup So Delicious UNSWEETENED Coconut Milk
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast

Turn the oven on to 400°

Slice the eggplant into ½” slices.  Sweat the eggplant by salting them and placing them on a cooling rack (with a towel on the counter under the rack in order to soak-up liquid).  Allow the eggplant to sweat for 10-15 minutes.

Rinse the eggplant and pat off the excess water.  It is alright if the remain slightly damp.

Put the flour in a gallon bag.  Drop the slices of eggplant into the bag one at a time and coat them with the flour.

Pour the milk into a small shallow bowl.  Place another bowl next to the milk bowl and fill it with all but 1/3 cup of the breadcrumbs (which you will reserve to use as a topping).  Dip the floured eggplant into the milk one at a time and then cover the dipped eggplant in breadcrumbs.

Coat a pan in olive oil and bring the heat to medium / medium- high.  Gently place the prepared eggplant into the pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through and browned.

While the eggplant is browning, place the Daiya, So Delicious UNSWEETENED Coconut Milk, and nutritional yeast into a small sauce pan and whisk over low heat.  The sauce should melt down and become spreadable.  Keep the sauce on warm until you are ready to use it, but stir it periodically to make sure it does not burn.

Pour 1/3 of the pasta sauce into a small casserole dish.  Place a layer of the eggplant on top of the sauce and cover it with half of the cheese sauce.  Pour another third of the pasta sauce on top and layer with the remaining eggplant.  Pour the remaining cheese sauce on top and cover with the reserved breadcrumbs.  The remaining pasta sauce will be used for serving.

Place the casserole into the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes covered.  Uncover the casserole and cook for another 15 minutes.

Warm the remaining pasta sauce and drizzle it over each individual serving.

I loved this so much that I ate it over raw zucchini noodles (click here to see how to make them) for lunch for the next three days!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


Homemade is almost always better and in the case of gluten-free breadcrumbs, homemade is LIGHT YEARS above any store-bought breadcrumbs I have ever tried.  Breadcrumbs are a cinch to make too.  My go-to gluten-free bread is Udi’s Whole Grain Bread Loaf (for a $1 coupon click here).  I use this bread for my daughter’s lunches and it make great breadcrumbs. 

To make the breadcrumbs, toast 9 slices of bread until they are very crunchy, but not burnt.

Once cooled, crumble the toast into your food processor (I use my Cuisinart 11-cup processor).  Process until the consistency below.

If you plan on flavoring your breadcrumbs, add the flavoring now.  Oftentimes I will make Italian Breadcrumbs.  To do so, add 2 tsp Italian Seasoning (I used Morton & Bassett) and 1 tsp Himalayan or Celtic Salt.

Process until well incorporated and the appropriate texture.  If you are NOT flavoring the breadcrumbs, simply process until the appropriate texture.

Pour the breadcrumbs onto a tray and bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees to crisp.  Watch them VERY carefully so they do not burn.

Allow the breadcrumbs to cool and store them in an airtight container.  I usually make them right before using them, so I have yet to discover how long they will last in the pantry!


Filed under Breads / Crackers / Muffins, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

VEGGIE GRETTIE – Cooking Demo Reminder

As a Brand Ambassador for NEXT by Athena I will be participating in NEXT Week by holding a cooking demonstration and I’d love to see you there!  We will be making three varieties of cookie dough bites…yum!

Vegan Gluten-Free Cooking Demonstration

Thursday May 19th, 7:00pm

Swimspot Pop-Up Shop @ Irvine Spectrum Center (Across from Barnes and Noble) 

I am really looking forward to the demo and hope to see you there.  If you plan on attending, you must RSVP to clohman@rajman.com

See the flyer below for more information.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking Demonstration, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


Seeing as my kids and I are absolutely obsessed with farms, we love Tanaka Farms.  Tanaka Farms is Orange County’s largest organic farm consisting of 30-acres of beautiful farmland.  Farmer Tanaka is a 3rd generation farmer and we feel so lucky that he is farming near us right in the middle of Orange County.  Tanaka Farms produces fruits and vegetables for their produce stand (amazing) and their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program which is now delivering! 

Tanaka Farms is most famous around here for the wonderful educational tours they provide throughout the year.  They have Cookout Tours, Strawberry Tours, Watermelon Tours, Pumpkin Patch Tours, and during the holidays they sell Christmas Trees (not a tour).

Every year I make sure I take the kids on the Tanaka Farms Strawberry tour.  We get to go out on the farm in a tractor pulled wagon and sample produce along the way (carrots, sugar snap peas, baby Maui onions, cilantro). 

The tour guide teaches the kids (and adults) so many interesting facts about farming, i.e. they plant onions between the strawberries as a natural pest deterrent.

At the end of the tour we are set free in the strawberry fields to pick our own strawberries.  While we can only bring home what fits in our strawberry basket, we are allowed to eat to our hearts content while out in the fields (two years ago I ate so many strawberries I gave myself hives…it was still worth it!). 

All three of us have some not so flattering pictures of us gorging on berries…

For more information about Tanaka Farms Tours click here.

For more information about Tanaka Farms CSA program click here.

For more information about Tanaka Farms produce stand click here.


Filed under Education, Farming, Vegan, Vegetarian