MASALA SPICE COOKIES – Gluten Free & Paleo & Recipe Contest FOR YOU!

Masala Spice Cookies Paleo Gluten Free (12)

My life has taken some crazy turns in the last month.  My family and I are currently preparing for a move out of state.  Having spent my entire life as a Californian, I am excited for the adventure that awaits while also nervous, giddy, and BUSY!  Needless to say, I haven’t been giving Veggie Grettie much attention lately.  Did I mention that my son also broke his wrist…craziness I tell ya!!!

In the midst of the broken wrist debacle,  the folks over at Grandma’s Molasses called and provided me with some much needed cooking inspiration and a wonderful distraction to the endless lists of tasks still to be done.  I needed some time in the kitchen (my therapy) and here was my excuse.  The task I was given was to come-up with a cookie recipe using molasses that wasn’t your standard ginger snap (Put your thinking caps on because YOU will have an opportunity to enter their recipe contest!!!…see below for details).

When it comes to sugar, molasses is one of the all-stars.  I am not saying it is OK to go out and over-consume any sugar, but when it comes to molasses it actually does have some redeeming qualities.  One hundred grams of molasses contains 50% of the RDA for calcium, 95% of the RDA for iron, and 38% of the RDA for magnesium.  I dare you to find another sugar with the same nutrition profile.

When I think of molasses I think of spice and as I pondered spice my mind wandered to Indian flavors which led me to the flavor profile of this cookie.  Garam Masala and curry came to mind.  Mix that with molasses, honey, and ginger and you have one heck of a cookie on your hands; crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle, not too sweet, and packed with flavor.

I wanted to have the cookies be very thin, use a cookie cutter, and have the cookies keep their shape… a difficult feat when baking gluten-free and paleo.  I came upon this method on Primal Palate and had a good hunch it would work…it is brilliant.  Basically you spread the dough on parchment cookie that is on a cookie sheet, bake it for 5-7 minutes, allow it to cool quickly, and then roll it out, use cookies cutters, and repeat until you have used up all of the dough.  This method worked so well and for the first time I was able to use cookie cutters for gluten-free cookies and have them keep their shape.  Again, revolutionary!

Masala Spice Cookies Method

INGREDIENTS - Makes 2 dozen 2 1/4″ square cookies

1 cup blanched almond flour, packed
1 Tbs Garam Masala
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp finely shredded fresh ginger
2 Tbs. ghee ( I make my own), room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs Grandma’s Molasses
2 1/2 Tbs. orange honey
1 egg, room temperature

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (I used convection bake).

Pack the almond flour when measuring it and then place it in a bowl.  Use a fork remove the lumps from the almond flour.  Add in the Garam Masala, curry powder, and fresh ginger making sure to distribute the spices well.

Add the ghee and mix well with the fork until small lumps are throughout the crumbly dough.

Add the vanilla, molasses, and honey and stir well.

Lastly, add the egg and stir well until a batter forms.

Pour the batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet carefully spreading it into a thin rectangle.  Bake for 8 minutes rotating the cookie sheet half-way through.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow it to cool to the point where you can safely touch the batter.  Make a ball with the batter and roll it out between two sheets on parchment paper until it is 1/8″ thick.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookie shapes of your choosing (I used a 2 1/4″ square cookie cutter).  Roll the excess dough into a ball and repeat the process until you have used-up all the cookie dough.

Place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes (rotate 1/2 way through).  Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Allow the cookies to cool and enjoy!

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For a printable version of this recipe CLICK HERE.

….Masala Spice Cookies Paleo Gluten Free (14)

1.    On Dec. 3rd, Grandma’s Molasses will launch a Facebook recipe submission contest and will showcase 12 featured blogger recipes over 12 days and celebrate recipe sharing in general, so check out their Facebook Page for details.

2.    The Cookie Exchange Recipe Submission Contest will begin on Dec. 3rd and is open to the public

3.    Entrants are required to submit an original cookie recipe that includes the use of Grandma’s Molasses

4.    One lucky winner will receive a $500 Visa gift card and the original recipe will be featured alongside the 12 featured recipes created by our esteemed bloggers

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*** I was compensated for this post, however the opinions and content of the post belong solely to me…It is so fun when a company gives you creative control and lets you run with it!

To learn more about molasses click HERE.

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Filed under Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Holidays, Paleo, Recipes

SLOW COOKER SQUASH

Kabocha Squash1

I absolutely love kabocha squash, but hate how it can feel like a lot of work to prepare.  It is such a hard squash and so difficult to cut through.

There is a better way!!!  I did a Pinterest search and discovered that you can cook squash in the slow cooker WHOLE!  How fantastic is that?

Today I used my cleaver and cut the kabocha squash I had in half because it was too tall for my slow cooker.  I then scraped out the seeds since I already had access to them, placed them on a metal grate open-side down, poured 1 cup of broth into the slow cooker and set it on high for 1-2 hours or low for 3-4.  Done!

I have also cooked a smaller kabocha squash whole and it worked great as well.

I am excited to try spaghetti squash next.

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* Make sure you test your squash along the way to make sure it is done to your liking.  Each slow cooker operates differently (some run hot), so this way you can avoid a soggy mess. 

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Filed under Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

SLOW COOKER COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN

With chicken thighs in the fridge and a hankering for coconut curry, I set off on a web search for a recipe that I could put together before lunch and have ready for us to eat when we cruise on in after saxophone lessons around 6:30pm.  I came across this recipe on the blog, Sweet Treats and More.

Mondays are our CRAZY BUSY days and the slow cooker is my saving grace.

This recipe was an absolute winner! I served the curry with jasmine rice for those who wanted it and poured my portion of the curry over steamed veggies.  At the end of the meal all the slow cooker was left with was sauce.

The next time I make this recipe I will be doubling the amount of chicken which will leave us with enough food for two meals.  I love making a big pot of something and freezing half for dinner on another day.

I also used 1/2 tsp. chili flakes vs. the 1 tsp the recipe called for since my youngest is not a fan of spice.  I then put more chili flakes on the table for those who wanted more heat.

It would be great to add some sweet potato or Yukon golds to the recipe as well.

Click HERE for the recipe.

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Filed under Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Recipes

Elana’s Pantry Banana Bread – Gluten-Free & Paleo

Image Courstey of Elana’s Pantry

This morning my son looked across the counter and saw our overripe bananas which prompted, “Mom I REALLY have a craving for banana bread!  I LOVE your banana bread recipe!!!”  Do you think he was not so subtly hinting???

I decided to go another route today and try Elana Amsterdam’s (of Elana’s Pantry) Paleo Banana Bread Recipe.  The only alteration I made to the recipe was to use coconut oil in lieu of vegetable shortening.  I also tented the bread with foil for the last 15-20 minutes or so since it was already a nice golden brown and I didn’t want it to burn.

My kids went gaga for this and both had three slices after school.  I had to stop them so that there would be at least a slice each for my husband and I to try.

Click HERE for the recipe and while you are at it surf around Elana’s site…it is chalk-full of wonderful recipes.

On another note…There was definitely lively debate and commenting after my last post.  I approved ALL of the comments and allowed the conversation to continue right up until today.  The discussion has been had, viewpoints have been shared, and it is now time for all of us to move on.  I choose to focus on the positive in life and as of now I will no longer be approving any negative comments…let’s keep it happy.  

Veggie Grettie is my little corner of the world where I share recipes I have created, those of others I admire, health information, and a smidgen of my personal life from time to time.  I would like to continue doing so and want to thank those of you who sent your good vibes my way.  Much love!!!

Peace and health,

Gretchen

7 Comments

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

Listening To Your Body

Heart Shaped Vegetable Potato 014-1

For the past three years the thought of eating meat has repulsed me.  Prior to turning to a plant-based diet I was suffering from digestive issues which seemed to be worse when I would consume meat.  Following a dinner containing meat I would wake-up in the morning and feel as though it was still in my stomach completely undigested.

I learned long ago to truly listen to my body.  Three years ago my body was telling me to forgo meat and shortly after that to forgo gluten (which will always be absent from my diet).  I know that is what my body needed because it told me so.  So often people choose to ignore what there body is telling them…symptoms are there for a reason.

This summer my children and I went to visit my sister and her family near Tahoe and then my parents in Santa Cruz.  While in Santa Cruz we went on a berry picking trip about and hour away and ended-up at an old family favorite for lunch, Barbara’s Fish Trap.  When it came time to order I WANTED the clam chowder, so I had it and I enjoyed it.

I slowly began eating eggs more often than usual (I have always kept them in my diet) because I craved them.

Meat followed a few weeks later.  Yep.  Meat.

Please keep in mind that I am not talking about just any meat or eggs, I am consuming pastured meat and eggs.  Meat from animals raised as nature intended.  I do not think we are meant to eat meat from factory farmed animals because THEY are eating diets they are not meant to eat and by virtue of that WE are not able to process their meat well, nor are they as nutritious as they should be.

My foray into a plant-based lifestyle was made because my body requested it of me at the time.  Will I always eat meat from this point forward?  I am not sure.  For now it feels nourishing.  My body will tell me what it needs as I move forward and I will listen.

Is this admission going to upset some Veggie Grettie followers?  I am sure it will.

That being said, I am still Veggie Grettie.  Vegetables are still the absolute basis of ALL of my meals.  Am I eating a huge slab of steak at each meal?  NO, never in fact.  When I eat meat the portions are small and appropriate.

Do I love animals?  Yes and I always will.  I respect and thank the animals that have provided nourishment for my family.

Peace and health,

Gretchen

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Filed under Education

TROP POPS

tropical popscicle 2 compress

A while back I saw a Pin on Pinterest that looked really good.  That pin served as the inspiration for this wonderful Tropical Popsicle….they are so simple and taste REALLY good!

Warning: If you don’t like coconut, these aren’t for you!

tropical popscicle 1 compress

INGREDIENTS – Makes 6-8 Popsicles

1 can full fat organic coconut milk
1 bag frozen pineapple (10 oz.)
2 Sweetleaf stevia packets
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Blend the above ingredients in your high speed blender until fully incorporated.

Pour into Popsicle molds.

Freeze.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Dessert, Frozen Treats, Sorbet, Vegan, Vegetarian

FOOD FOR LIFE – Black Rice Tortilla – Gluten-Free

ezekiel black rice tortillaFood For Life recently sent me some of their new Black Rice Tortillas to sample.  It is nice to have another gluten-free tortilla in the market and fun to have it made from such exotic ingredients.

The tortillas arrived just before my family and I went to visit my sister and her family near Tahoe.  I brought the tortillas along because two of her four children and gluten-free as well and I wanted to get their opinion of the product.

We used the tortillas to make quesadillas and my nephew liked them.  When I asked him how he thought the compared to other gluten-free tortillas he has tried, he said he thought they were about the same.

I find that they are a little more pliable and not as brittle as some of the other brands I have tried.  They also have a slightly chewy texture which I am fine with.

Have any of you tried these yet?  What are your favorite gluten-free tortillas?

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CHRISTMAS IN JULY – SO DELICIOUS STYLE

So Delicious Cashew Milk COMPRESS

It is always fun to receive packages in the mail, especially the ones that are gifted to you.  So delicious has done it again and upped the ante by sending their newest milk…Cashew Milk!  This shelf-stable milk will be available nationwide in stores beginning this month and the suggested retail is $2.49.

We love cashews around here.  The love runs so deep that I have to restrain myself from eating them by the handful(s) since we all know nuts are not a treat we can eat in unlimited quantities (though I wished they were).

The new cashew milk is creamy and flavorful, which will make it a perfect addition to my morning smoothies (especially the unsweetened vanilla flavor).  Since it is made from cashews, the fat content is high (30 of the 35 calories are from fat), but since I wont be drinking it by the glassful, I am not worried about it.  I can’t wait to make my Mac and Cheez with the unsweetened original flavor.

So Delicious Frozen treats compress

So Delicious has made good use of monkfruit from which the fruit extract is 300 times sweeter than sugar.  Thanks to this wonderful fruit, the “no sugar added” frozen treats they sent us have only 1 gram of sugar per serving.

My daughter is over the moon about the Fudge Bar Minis.  The timing of this treat couldn’t be more perfect since she has been feeling left out this summer as she watches the local kids nosh on Fudgsicles.

I know BOTH of my kiddos are going to go nuts for the “world’s ONLY gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free cookie dough ice cream“…it is going to be a serious spoon war between the two of them.

Now we just need So Delicious to come-up with a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan ice cream sandwich!  I am officially putting in my request :-)

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Filed under Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian

Happy Fourth!!!

This is an oldie, but a goodie…I thought I would share this recipe with all of you again.  Have a wonderful Fourth of July!

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INGREDIENTS

CRUST
1 ½ cup Gluten Free graham style crumbs (I used kinnikinnick foods)
1-2 packets stevia
6 Tbs. Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread
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BASIC FILLING
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.
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Blue
½ cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup Basic Filling
All natural blue food coloring (optional)
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White – Basic Filling (as is) OR
1/2 cup sliced bananas
1 cup Basic Filling
 
Red
½ cup sliced organic strawberries
1 cup Basic Filling
All natural red food coloring (optional)

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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!

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Filed under Cheesecake, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Holidays, Recipes

EGG-FREE PALEO MACAROONS

Elana's Pantry Egg-Free Paleo Macaroonsphoto provided courtesy of elanaspantry.com

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Summer is here for my kids…yay!!!  School just got out and I couldn’t be happier.  I just made these Egg-Free Paleo Macaroons and they are in the oven as I type.  The macaroons came together insanely fast and I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry.  If the batter is any indication, these are going to be amazing.

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Egg-Free Paleo Macaroons

Recipe provided courtesy of Elana’s Pantry

  1. In a food processor, combine shredded coconut and coconut flour
  2. Pulse in salt, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla
  3. Dough will form a ball
  4. Scoop batter 1 level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes
  6. Cool and serve

Makes 12 macaroons

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For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

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