I am over the freaking moon. I cannot believe how good these little treats are!! First and foremost - there are no peanuts or tree nuts. I used my girl @AvoKween's vanilla granola butter which is honestly the best thing a person with a nut allergy could ever ask for. It can replace almost all nut butters in most recipes and it's freaking delicious. To firm up the consistency in order to make the 'caramel' part of the twix cup, I added pureed dates to the granola butter which helped hold the middle layer up a bit better than if I were to just use the melty granola butter.
So, these granola butter 'twix' cups are naturally sweetened with a lil maple syrup + they are gluten free, grain free, dairy free and peanut allergy friendly. Amazing.
Also, I almost ALWAYS forget to add flakey sea salt to any chocolate that I melt and put on things so if you're less forgetful than me I would def add some right before you stick them in the fridge to cool.
Peanut and tree nut free pesto!!
It's also packed with all the green things and that's always a plus! I used arugula, spinach, basil, garlic, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. The whole arugula leaves you see mixed in there are coated in a super simple vinaigrette recipe so there's an extra little vinegar kick in the dish from the white wine vinegar I used too!!
UGH. Vodka sauce. This is by far my most popular recipe and it's suuuuper easy to make and pretty much foolproof so that's why I think everyone loves it so much.
I started making this a few years ago and I think my favorite part about the recipe I originally developed is that there are several different ways to customize it depending on whatever I'm in the mood for. Sometimes I like it spicy, sometimes I like it to be less cream-heavy, sometimes I'm avoiding dairy in general so I eat it a vegan version of it!! So I'll list below the different ways that I love to make it and let you decide which version you're feeling.
This pasta is freaking amazing and one of my fave simple dairy-free "cheesy buttery" pasta sauces. It's made from just oat milk creamer, vegan butter, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. If you love cheese and dairy but can't eat either or are trying to cut back - this will be your new bestie.
First, if you don't salt the water you cook the pasta in, the finished product may need a little salt. Second, don't get oat milk and oat milk creamer confused. I'm not so sure if regular oat milk would work since the creamer is a little more thick. Here's the oat milk creamer I use. (I buy it online because I can only find their almond oat milk creamer at stores and I'm allergic to almonds.) And honestly, if you're in a pinch you could just add the vegan butter, garlic powder and nooch to the hot pasta in a bowl and eat it that way - no skillet or sauce prep required and suuuuper fast! Been there, done that.
I love pairing it with a fun pasta shape. If I'm using brown rice pasta I use these shells, if I'm using regular pasta, I use this cannolicchi.
Technically, you don't have to eat this pasta dish with linguine but the name 'linguine and clams' is so iconic to me that we're just gonna call it that. I personally loveeee clams with mafaldine too which is like a more wider long noodle with curly edges.
I love adding chopped clams to this dish in addition to the fresh clams in the shell. One of my favorite restaurants serves it that way and the texture + extra amount of clams is so gooood. Also, sometimes I add cherry tomatoes at the same time as the garlic cloves and it's so good that way too!
This dish is enough for two entrees, or three small plates and it takes about 30 minutes to whip up.
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I stumbled upon this recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen last week and changed it around a bit to fit the way I like to eat. I did use her vegan cream cheese recipe and it was FIREEEE, the best vegan cream cheese frosting I've tried hands down so I didn't change a thing about that part. (Tap here for her vegan cream cheese frosting recipe.)
When it comes to desserts, I'm obsessed with trying to find healthier ways to bake them! So instead of using 1 1/2 cups can sugar, I used 3/4 cup maple syrup. I also love subbing out wheat (flour) in baking recipes for a 1:1 oat flour and all purpose gluten free flour combo so I did that here too.
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Loooove me some carbonara. I love making this dish because it can be easily customized. Want it creamier? Add heavy whipping cream. Want to add in some fall flavors? Add some butternut squash or pumpkin puree. Want it to taste like cacio e pepe? Toast some peppercorns and toss em' in. Looking to add some greens? Arugula or spinach both work great mixed in. Want to give it an Asian flare? Miso paste is so amazing in it too! The options are endlessssss.
A few carbonara tips I've learned over the years:
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I baked with applesauce for the first time!! The texture it brings to this cinnamon apple bread is insaneeeee. Don't expect some giant apple flavor to take over your tastebuds, it's pretty subtle but still so sosossoso good. I really love this one because even though one of the main components is apple, there aren't any apple chunks involved in the recipe. I hate apple chunks in any baked good, the texture of this bread is the same as like banana bread/pound cake! Aka, amazingly moist.
If you don't know by now, I have a weird obsession with baking healthy treats. It's usually at the start of a new season when I bake the most. Sooooo, this recipe is actually *vegan* because the applesauce replaces the eggs and I use oat milk instead of cow's milk. It's also gluten free because I used oat flour/gf all purpose flour and then it's nut free too, obviously, no almond flour used in any of my recipes due to my nut allergy! Oh and I used maple syrup instead of sugar so it's naturally sweetened. AHH, SO FUN TO BAKE HEALTHY THINGS THAT STILL TASTE THIS GOOD!
**Everyone's oven works differently and reaches different temperatures at different times so be patient with it and keep checking it throughout the suggested cooking time! It's a little harder for gluten free flour to rise, so if you have options, use a more narrow than wide bread pan.
Also, one more thing. It looks sort of ombre colored and I believe that is because I overdid it with the olive oil I used to brush the sides of the loaf pan. I am always scared that the loaf is gonna stick to the pan so I tend to over do it and that can sometimes lead to the edges of the loaf browning due to the heat and amount of oil seeping into the bread. Just an FYI.
I am having such a hard time writing this blog post because I'm actually eating this right now as I type and I don't want to stop taking bites but I also need to remember the amount of the ingredients I used before they disappear from my brain so here we goooo!
The pasta is gone so now I can actually think. A few notes:
Some people get excited about the cooler weather aspect of fall but for me it's all about the food. I'm a huge fan of all things butternut squash and I especially love pairing it with pasta.
All of the ingredients I used were purchased from my local ALDI grocery store! I was super impressed with not only the value but also the variety and selection of groceries that they offer! I also love that in addition to visiting the store or doing curbside pick up, you can shop with ALDI on Instacart too - perfect for those super busy days. One of my favorite products I found and used in this recipe would be the Priano Three Cheese Tortellini because of how quick and easy it was to make - it only takes a minute or two after being tossed into boiling water and then it's ready to go.
There are a few factors that take this particular butternut squash pasta sauce to a whole new level of cozy. It's obvious that the butternut squash is roasted and pureed but I also roasted a handful of garlic cloves with the squash and coated the entire roasting party in extra virgin olive oil and Stonemill Ground Nutmeg.
This recipe makes enough for two large entrees or 3-4 small sides. Prep time is 10 minutes and cooking time is 45 minutes, so it takes about an hour total to complete!
Last week, I made Monique from @AmbitiousKitchen's Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake recipe and it was soooo good - like I freaked out when I ate it. Almond flour is one of the key ingredients but I found a way around that since I can't eat nuts. I was actually super skeptical about using an almond flour alternative since it distinctly says in her recipe a few times that she doesn't recommend a sub. I ended up used Pamela's Products GF/V Flour instead of the almond flour! Upon completing the batter, I realized it was super dry, almost like cookie dough instead of cake batter - so I added in a few splashes of oat milk and prayed that would do the trick. It did!
What I'm sharing below is a recipe totally adapted from Monique - I don't claim it as my own. I just changed a few things around and adjusted it to accommodate my nut allergy. Sooo many of you were excited about it that I decided to share for my fellow nut allergy fam.
So basically, this is the best healthy-ish cake I've ever eaten. There's 1/2 cup honey instead of sugar, no dairy and no gluten. Say whhaaaatttt. The frosting is optional but I think the sweetness from it is what makes it taste more like a cake than a sweet bread.
Pad Thai, but make it allergy friendly. It's actually vegan and gluten free if you don't use eggs or meat as the protein because I took the fish sauce out of it!!
While pad see ew is my favorite Thai dish, Pad Thai is more common I feel like and a close second. I mean, of course I love it- it's noodles!! It's always been harder for me to eat at restaurants though since there's usually fish sauce and peanuts all up in it and I have so many unfortunate food allergies!! I started making my own version of the dish at home a while ago and it's def not authentic but it's as close as I can get - still v good in my opinion. :)
It was my friend's birthday last month and she LOVES ice cream so I wanted to make her an ice cream cake without actually having to bake cakes. That's where I came up with the idea to use Pancakes! So this recipe is shamelessly inspired by a lazy feeling but I'm not mad about it at all because it's a game changer.
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This might be the most versatile recipe that I make in my kitchen. It's honestly not even a recipe it's just a cooking method of combining equal parts white wine and butter and then adding whatever you're in the mood for. It's def a chameleon pasta, blends into whatever and there's so many things that it pairs perfectly with!! I love how well the butter and white wine end up coming together to make the most silky buttery sauce. Sometimes I brown the butter a bit too before I add in the wine if I'm wanting an even deeper butter flavor.
I usually eat it plain with just pasta, but if I'm adding veggies to it I'll go with garlicky broccoli or charred corn in the summer. When I brown the butter, I like to use mushrooms and onion. For protein, sooo good with little neck clams or scallops! The pasta also pairs really well with with lemon chicken and capers too.
This dish can also be turned spicy or cajun with a teaspoon of either red pepper flakes or cajun flavors like Old Bay Seasoning or Tony's Creole Seasoning! (So good this way if you're pairing the pasta with seafood and/or corn.)
ALSO, you could add a few splashes (around 1/2 cup) of heavy whipping cream to this sauce to turn it into a more rich and creamy sauce, kind of like alfredo but with a slightly heavier booze factor.
This is the summer of corn. I've been eating so much of it lately and putting it into everything!
I couldn't decide if I wanted this to be a creamy pasta salad or not so I used burrata cheese so that some bites would be creamy and some wouldn't! You could totally add mayo though and make it a creamy pasta salad if you want!
If you don't have access to a Trader Joes, you could make your own elote seasoning at home! I would use 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp cotija cheese and then 1/4 tsp cumin powder. The lime juice and cilantro that are added to the pasta salad will add a more "street corn" flavor to the overall dish as well.
I've discovered the most perfect pepperoni in the world. Introducing, Hormel Cup n' Crisps. Out of all the different kind of pepperoni meats I've tried with making pizza, this one is by far my favorite. They curl up so nicely into the perfect little cup to hold one of my other favorite pizza toppings of all time - spicy hot honey.
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Here's the deal. The cookie dough recipe below is heavily influenced by what's on the back of the Toll House Chocolate Chip bag - that's what I grew up eating!! You could definitely use your fave cookie dough recipe or a healthier/gluten free blah blah cookie dough recipe - just make sure you replace the raw eggs with a liquid like an oil or milk and then bake the flour for 5-7 minutes at 350 F so that there's no raw ingredients that could contain bacteria. You also won't need any baking agents like baking soda because the dough won't be baked in an oven at all.
This recipe makes about 8 bars, or 16 small square bite-sized pieces.
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I don't always put veggies into my pasta, but when I do...it's usually fresh summer veggies like corn! I used to make this recipe with rigatoni noodles but I think the sauce pairs better with a semi-wide longer shape like fettuccini, tagliatelle or mafaldine so I adjusted things according to that lil fun fact.
Also, this is optional but I really like when the corn is charred. (I didn't have enough time to char it the day I shot these photos!)
This is hands down my favorite of all time way to grill chicken. You're probably thinking someone who makes pasta as often as I do doesn't know sh*t about how to cook meat on a grill. This is true, except for chicken. I can freaking make some damn good chicken on the grill.
I start off with a salt water brine (at least two hours or overnight) and then I use garlic powder and cayenne pepper and I brush layers of BBQ sauce onto the wings as they cook. If you don't have BBQ sauce they are just as good with the cayenne and garlic powder. You can use any part of the chicken for this recipe. I've done it with breasts, drums, thighs and wings. (Wings and drums are my fave!!)
As far as amount goes: make sure to have enough chicken for the number of people you plan to feed, which is obvious but there's always one person that will ask if I am not SUPER clear, lol. The salt water brine ratio is 1 cup water : 1 tsp salt, so however many cups of water it takes to cover the chicken in an airtight container or ziplock bag + the appropriate amount of salt.
I always hesitate to put the word healthy in my recipe captions because I feel like there will be at least one health nut that will try to call me out saying "that's actually not healthy" but for me, this is a lot cleaner version of any dessert I would normally eat...and it's really freaking good!! Also, I've always been in love with the color of fresh raspberries! It's so perfect.
Let me know if you have questions in the comment section - it makes different amounts depending on if you slice it into squares or rectangles but this recipe is definitely enough to feed a crowd of around 8-10 people.
Why is alcohol so good? I mean of course having a glass is amazing but I'm also talking about in food...because , some of my most favorite pasta sauces have either wine or vodka in them.
I was making my vodka sauce the other day with white wine (since I was out of vodka) and I was tempted to skip the last step of adding heavy cream to it and eat it how it was in the skillet because it just looked so pretty and smelled so good. So the next day, I did just that and here we are! SO this is basically my vodka sauce minus the cream and butter with wine + fresh garlic and shallots living in the sauce. You could leave the diced garlic and shallot as is in the sauce for texture or puree them like I did for a smoother sauce.
Korean glass noodles were my first Asian-noodle obsession aside from the more common stuff like lo mein or rice noodles. There used to be a restaurant in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland called BAC and I would go at least once a month to order their spicy kimchi dish. I remember it being so spicy that I could only take a few bites at a time and would have to wait a little before having more lol. So the good thing about making it at home is that you can control the level of heat you put into it.
Anyways, I found glass noodles at a nearby Asian supermarket and they ended up becoming the main ingredient of my Spicy Noodle Soup recipe that won Zoup Soup's National Recipe Contest in 2015! #funfacts
The noodles are made from sweet potato starch so they are naturally gluten free and vegan!! You could add protein to the dish but my favorite way to eat the dish is with veggies, kimchi and spicy sambal oelek. If you've never had sambal oelek, it's a chili paste that gives a pretty hard kick to any dish - I have it listed on my favorite products page on Amazon so tap here if you want to order some! The glass noodle brand I use is also available on Amazon and on my favorite products page, click here to order them!
So here's what you can do with all of that quarantine banana bread you've been busy baking. You're welcome. They're also completely gluten-free and nearly vegan besides the egg I used in the banana bread which you could easily sub out for a flax egg. Feel free to change it around to whatever way you prefer to eat!
Layer one: Gluten free graham cracker crust with honey and butter.
Layer two: Mashed gf banana bread + raw banana + coconut butter, maple syrup and collagen power.
Layer three: Melted dark chocolate and flakey sea salt.
If you're looking for a stronger banana flavor to be present amongst all the other flavors and also want the banana bread portion of the bar to more like batter than bread, you can add one mashed banana to the banana bread crumbles.
I used a ton of different products that are my favorite so I'll list them here incase you want to use the same thangs! Pamela's gluten free honey grahams, Melt Organic vegan butter, Vital Proteins unflavored collagen powder, Bob's Red Mill old fashioned rolled oats and then Eating Evolved's coconut butter. (Since I can't eat nuts I love using coconut butter or @avokween's granola butter in place of almond or cashew butter.)
If you told my former self that I would one day be eating a pasta sauce made out of beans I would probably run away. Lol. Jk. BUT, I grew up absolutely hating any and every sort of bean!
Turns out, I love them now. Also turns out, they can add a super creamy texture to sauces once they are pureed. The end result for this dish sort of tastes like alfredo but it's waaaay better for you because even though there's still a decent amount of parmesan cheese in there, there's no heavy cream or dairy besides that. Cannellini beans are full of fiber, folate, iron and magnesium so it's a great way to sneak some good stuff into your diet.
As far as subs, you could replace the parmesan cheese wit nutritional yeast to make it vegan or sub out the wheat pasta for brown rice pasta to make it gluten free!
This is hands down my favorite dish to order from any Thai restaurant I visit. Everyone else seems to go straight for the pad thai but not me! It's traditionally made with fresh, flat wide rice noodles but if you're in a pinch and don't feel like heading to a Thai supermarket to find them you can use dried rice noodles too. (That's what I did, click here to see the brand I use on my Amazon shopping page!)
If you're not an Asian food freak like me you probably don't have oyster sauce or dark soy sauce at home. Those can be ordered on Amazon as well, I have the brands I prefer on my Amazon shopping page too!
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