If you are living dairy-free, it can be hard to find a good, satisfying cream cheese, so I was thrilled to discover Miyoko’s Plainly Classic Vegan Cream Cheese. A little tangy, smooth and spreadable, it’s seriously yummy.
Enjoy it anywhere you’d enjoy regular cream cheese: on wheat products like bagels, crackers, or toast; or, if you’re trying to avoid wheat and gluten, try it with gluten-free bagels, rice crackers, or even gluten-free matzohs (made from potatoes).
You can even bake with this vegan cream cheese: hello cheese cake! I’ll let you know if I make the attempt to make a dairy-free, wheat-free cheese cake with this. If you make one, please share the recipe in the comments below!
If you want to know more about the anti-inflammatory benefits of a customized LEAP diet, contact me to schedule a free initial phone consultation to learn more about it.
A food-sensitivity client asked me to help her create a quinoa muffin recipe that uses ingredients that are all safe for her. I decided to take it a step further and make the recipe more universally-accessible for a variety of sensitivities by writing it to be adaptable to any needs. Use your preferred oil, milk or milk-substitute, eggs or egg-substitute, berries or fruits, etc. and make the recipe your own.
I tested it out this weekend and my kids gobbled up the results. I hope you like them, too.
2 eggs, or 2 Tbs tapioca flour or ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbs warm water, or 2 mashed ripe bananas, or other safe egg substitute
½ cup pure maple syrup or safe sweetener
2 cups dried cranberries or other dried or frozen fruit or berry, or nuts
Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the milk or water, oil or fruit puree, eggs or egg substitute, maple syrup in a smaller bowl and add to the dry mixture. Stir well. The batter will be very thick.
Add the berries and/or nuts and fold into the batter.
Ladle the batter evenly between 12 cups. Bake for 22-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Move to a wire rack to cool completely before storing or freezing.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins for regular muffins, 12 mins for mini-muffins
Total time: 35 mins
A few years ago, a friend passed along a recipe for a dairy-free cream pie that was so scrumptious that I’ve since taken the concept and adapted it to make other variations. It’s a delicious dessert that will wow a crowd of regular eaters as much as those vegans, gluten-free’rs, and raw foodies at your table. I wish I knew from where it originated, but I’ll just have to settle for telling you that I was not the original creator.
You can make the tart in advance all the way through step 2 and complete step 3 just before serving.
Banana and Coconut Cashew-Cream Tart
Makes 1 nine-inch tart
For Tart Shell:
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
Pinch of coarse sea salt
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and thoroughly drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, and more to taste
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3 or 4 ripe but firm bananas
1. Make tart shell: Coarsely chop pecans and salt in a food processor. Add dates; pulse until thoroughly combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Add syrup; pulse just until combined and mixture sticks together. Press nut mixture firmly and evenly into a 9-inch pie plate, wetting your fingers as needed. Set tart shell aside.
2. Make filling: Grind nuts to a coarse paste in a blender. Add water, syrup, and vanilla scrapings; blend until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping sides as needed. Mixture should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Set aside 2 tablespoons coconut; add remainder to blender, and process to combine. Pour into prepared shell, spreading evenly.
3. Thinly slice bananas on the bias; arrange in slightly overlapping rows, beginning at edge of tart. Sprinkle with reserved coconut; serve immediately.
We turned a corner into autumn this week with a cold, rainy day that seemed perfect for a creamy, hearty potato soup.
Lower in fat that the typical potato soup because coconut milk is substituted for cream, this recipe could be made more savory by using chicken stock instead of simply water, though it would add sodium and fat to this soup that is delicious as is. I used Let’s Do… Organic! Creamed coconut milk instead of canned because I appreciate the purity of it, and I can hydrate as much or as little at a time as I need.
Leaving the skins on the potatoes ensured this was a whole foods meal, offering more nutrients and more easily digestable than if I had ditched the peel. Blending shreds the peel, too, and the more you blend it, the smaller and less potentially offensive the bits of potato skin will become.
It was a big hit in the family, with a rich, satisfying creaminess, even without milk or butter. And it couldn’t have been easier to make.
Vegan Potato Soup
8 potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into 1″ slices
1 4 oz can coconut milk (or any other type of non-dairy milk)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1″ sticks
8-10 button mushrooms, trimmed, sliced thickly
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
2 chopped scallions
Place potatoes in a stock pot and cover with cold water a few inches above the potatoes. Boil gently until the potatoes are very soft.
Using an immersion blender, or very carefully transferring to a regular blender in batches, blend until the potatoes and skins are completely liquified. Add coconut milk and blend well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add asparagus and mushrooms and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add water or coconut milk to thin the broth as needed.
Add 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Garnish with rest of parsley and scallions. Serve hot.