Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (Paleo, Vegan)

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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (Paleo, Vegan)

This Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce is versatile and so easy to make. An added bonus is that heating is not necessary; simply serve and enjoy.  Not only is it paleo (Dairy-Free), but it is also vegan and can be nut-free too depending on the type of milk you use.

I have also steamed a bit of zucchini and cashews with the cauliflower to add depth to the flavor of this sauce. Another nice addition is to sauté crimini mushrooms and add them to the finished sauce.

If you are avoiding tomato sauce, this would be a wonderful pizza sauce with added Italian seasoning to taste. Try ou the recipe and have fun with how you serve it. Please leave a comment about your favorite experiments.

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Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce on Zucchini Ravioli & Cauli-rice & Beet Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

1 head cauliflower, chopped & steamed
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 Tbsp broth seasoning
3 Tbsp unfortified nutrional yeast
1/4 cup milk (almond, cashew or coconut)
sea salt & pepper to taste

Steam cauliflower until tender. Place cauliflower & remaining ingredients in Blendtec or other high-quality blender. Blend using “Whole Juice” setting or until smooth. Add more milk as needed. Serve over dishes such as my Cassava Flour Pasta, Stuffed (Portobello) Mushrooms, Paleo Ravioli, etc.

Cheese Sauce (Paleo, Vegan)

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This cheese sauce is versatile because it can be made with nuts or nut-free to accomodate nut allergies. If you are avoiding peppers, then a carrot is a wonderful addition. For a more sharp cheddar – like flavor, use the roasted sunflower seeds as a base.

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I have used this sauce in so many ways and it is a go-to when I need a boost of flavor or a sauce for my dishes. I also use it with cauli-rice and veggies for added protein. The possibilities are as limited as the imagination, so experiment and enjoy.

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1 cup cashews, soaked or roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 red bell pepper, deserved or carrot
5-6 Tbsp unfortified nutrional yeast
2 Tbsp hemp seeds or chia seeds
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice or  2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4-1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground mustard seed
1/2-1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4-1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in Blendtec or other high-speed blender. Using “Whole Juice” setting, blend until smooth. Taste & adjust seasonings if needed as well as water for desired consistency.

Enjoy as a dip, as cheese on pizza, on nachos or a burrito bowl.

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Cassava Flour Tortillas (Paleo, Vegan)

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Cassava Flour Tortillas (Paleo, Vegan)

I have tried several tortilla recipes from those calling for oat flour to those calling for coconut and / or almond flours and these are my all time favorite not only because they have a mild flavor reminiscent of wheat tortillas, but because they are the most flexible paleo tortilla I have made.

This recipe is versatile enough to be used as an empanada shell and even a pie crust.  I have tried several versions of the recipe and can offer the following conclusions:

(1) Arrowroot flour can be used in up to a 1 to 1 ratio in relationship to the cassava flour.

(2) Using 1/2 cup tapioca flour and 1 cup cassava flour works, but a rather sticky dough results and it is best to coat the ball in cassava flour in order to prevent the dough from sticking to the press.

(3) The fat used can be avocado or coconut oil or a combination with good results.

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Cassava Flour Tortillas, top view with both sides done

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cassava flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
1 cup warm water

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Cassava Flour Tortillas, with bubbles just before flipping

Method
Place all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until a large dough ball forms. Remove from bowl & form into balls of desired size. Press each ball using a tortilla press. Cook on a comal until bubbles begin to form & flip. Cook until desired texture is reached.

Super Simple Flax Crackers (Paleo, Vegan)

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Super Simple Flax Crackers (Paleo, Vegan)

Today I’ve got a simple snack recipe that is versatile; it can be crackers or as cereal (a.k.a. paleo granola).

A few months back, I had to take a trip into a small city that neighbors the town where I was an adolescent. Because I had not anticipated the length if my errand, I had packed a REALLY light snack bag for myself and my corn allergic Mini-Foodie. And anyone who knows this Corn-Free Hippie and my first Mini-Foodie, know that we are not so fun when hunger strikes. So what does a mama do? Go to the nearest health food store.

I don’t like to spread negative energy and so I will keep my comments about this small city’s health food store brief: it is not Paleo and corn-free friendly and the supplement section is WAY bigger than the “food” section. Despite this situation, I DID discover an overpriced new favorite snack: flackers.

What are these? They are a cracker made of flax seeds. They are simple, nutritious and delicious. Because I am not a fan of spending $6+ dollars on a small box of crackers, I decided that I would find a way to recreate them.

I am sharing a basic version, so feel free to accessorize with different dried fruit(s) and spices.

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Super Simple Flax Crackers (Paleo, Vegan)

1 cup golden flax seeds
1/4 dried currants
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Enough water to cover seeds & fruit

Place all ingredients in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Allow to rest as the oven heats & you prep the cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 225ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

When oven is heated & seeds have gelled, pour them onto cookie sheet. Spread making the crackers as thin as possible without leaving gaps. Bake until crispy & no longer wet. Times will vary depending upon oven, but between 1.5 – 2 hours is to be expected. Flip the cracker(s) after 1 hour.

When ready, break into smaller pieces. Enjoy as a snack or as paleo granola.

Raw Cashew Ginger Pie Crust (Paleo, Vegan)

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Raw Cashew Ginger Pie Crust (Paleo, Vegan)

This recipe is versatile as are many I offer here. It can be used as a raw pie crust as well as energy balls or truffles, please read the notes below.

Lately I have been on a finger kick in cooking, baking and even in my beverages. I have also been experimenting with panna cotta variations. This crust wad created for my mango panna cotta and they are a delightful combination.

If your pie filling is subtle or gentle in flavor, I advise using 4 or 5 dates so they do not overpower the filling. If your pie filling is robust and / or needs a bit more sweetness, use 6 dates. The amount of ginger should reflect how much you enjoy as well as compliment your pie filling. Mini-Foodie 2 generally votes for more ginger, for example.

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Raw Cashew Ginger Pie Crust (Paleo, Vegan)

Ingredients
1 cup cashews (preferably soaked & dehydrated)
5-6 Medjool dates, pitted & soaked to soften
6-10 pieces crystallized ginger (depending on desired flavor strength)
2 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

Method
Place all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until a dough ball forms. Place in pie plate. Smooth out with fingers. Add filling.

Notes on variations: -This recipe is also a tasty snack ad an energy ball. You may wish to add chia seeds & then remove dough & roll portions of 3/4 -1 inch balls.

-If you are looking for a whole food truffle, then make 1/2 inch balls & dip them in safe for you melted chocolate, homemade white chocolate, shredded coconut, or cacao powder.

Sweentened Condensed Cashew Milk (Paleo, Vegan)

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Sweentened Condensed Cashew Milk (Paleo, Vegan)

For the first time this week I made herbal coffee from scratch and wanted a non-dairy, non-dairy creamer solution. I didn’t think my sweetened condensed hemp milk would do the trick because the herbal coffee needed an extra creamy option. Because I use cashews in my most creamy non-recipes, u thought they would do the trick and my sweetened condensed cashew milk came to be.

My Foodie-in-Crime came upon it in the fridge and asked what it was. His eyes lit up and he used it to pour over blueberries and his berries and cream was delicious. He also added a bit of oatmeal and an instant, delicious breakfast / snack was born. I used some in my Portuguese Sweet Bread recipe because I was out of my other homemade milks and it was a nice add.

As you can see, my slightly sweet alternative to half-and-half is as versatile as your imagination, so give it a try and see what you come up with and please leave comments on Hou use it or plan to use it.
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Sweentened Condensed Cashew Milk

2 cups filtered water
1 cup cashews, soaked & drained
4-6 Medjool dates, pitted

Soak cashews either overnight with a pinch of sea salt or place then in a saucepan pot with enough water to cover them & boil for about 8 minutes.

Drain cashews. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth & creamy. I use a Blendtec & the “Whole Juice” setting. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to leave a comment about how you use this versatile recipe.

Corn-Free Paleo Granola

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Corn-Free Paleo Granola with Dried Cranberries

My Foodie-in-Crime paid me a high compliment with this granola when he referred to it as my “Cracker Jacks”. Of course we corn allergics don’t eat them, but caramel corn used to be one of my favorite snacks prior to identifying my allergy. His comment makes it clear that this is a crunchy, nutty and caramel flavored granola, so if that is what you like in your granola, this is the one for you.

This granola is grain free and it allows for flexibility with the types of nuts and seeds used, so if the ones I have listed are not safe for you, switch them out for those which are. For example, if you prefer walnuts to pecans, use them. Sunflower seeds are a nice choice if you prefer to avoid coconut or another nut or seed.  Play around with flavors and enjoy a good for you cereal option.

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Corn-Free Paleo Granola

Ingredient
1/2 cup cashews or pecans
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds  (pepitas)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil or shortening
1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
-dried fruit such as cranberries, dates, raisins, berries or cherries (optional)
-spice such as cinnamon or pumpkin pie blend as desired (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 275°F . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse cashews, almonds & pumpkin seeds in food processor until a rather  course meal is reached.  Place in a bowl. Add remaining seeds & coconut. Mix well.

Place sweetener, oil or shortening, sea salt &, if using, vanilla &/or spices to a small saucepan. Heat until bubbles form.  Remove from heat. Pour over seeds & nuts. Mix well to coat.

Place on cookie sheet as thinly as possible. Bake about 15 minutes. Stir granola. Return to oven to bake at 225°F an additional 15 minutes or until golden. The granola may still be soft, but it will become crispy as it cools.

Enjoy in milk as a cereal, in a smoothie bowl, on a frozen treat or as a snack.

Paleo, Vegan Stock Powder / All-Purpose Seasoning

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This Corn-Free Stock Powder is inspired by Vedgedout and adapted to my family’s dietary needs. Before our garlic and onion intolerance became very real, I used both and this was fantastic. Even without the garlic and onion, this is a wonderful seasoning mix that I use for just about everything. See notes below for some examples.

Ingredients
2 oz dried shitake mushrooms
3 Tbsp  sea salt
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp ground black pepper
dash cayenne
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp celery seeds

1-2 cup nutritional yeast (optional, but a great addition)

Optional add-ins:
6 Tbsp organic onion powder
2 Tbsp organic garlic granules (or 6 Tbsp w/o onion)

Method:
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until a fine powder results. Store in a glass jar in pantry.

Notes: ● Rather than waste the powder in the Blendtec Jar, I add water & run the “Clean” setting and use the liquid as a sauce base. Another option is to run the “Hot Soup” setting & make stock. I tend to use this seasoning powder in much of my cooking. Some examples: soup, sauces like my Paleo Coconut Butter Alfredo, flavoring for my Cashew cheez crumbles/spread, ground beef, meetballs, burgers, sautéed or roasted veggies,  Kale Chops, etc.  The possibilities are endless & because this is made at home with safe for you ingredients, you can rest assured that an all-purpose seasoning on hand.

For soup: try 1 Tbsp per 1 cup of water & adjust according to your palate.

Corn-Free Nutritional Yeast

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Nutritional yeast is an awesome addition to a corn allergic’s pantry.  More about that below. First let’s address why it may be problematic for us, then discuss solutions and end with recipes / ideas for use.

Why nutritional yeast is a problem
Most nutritional yeast on the market is fortified which means vitamins are added. Those of us in the corn free community know, or are learning, that most vitamins on the market are derived from corn and therefore a no-go.

Before I found a solution, which was no easy task, I used to use the fortified version and did not understand why a superfood was causing me such problems.

But one day I found 2 SOLUTIONS: Sari Foods and Foods Alive are unfortified nutritional yeast brands. Both can be found on amazon.com. Like many safe foods, these are pricey, but they are both tasty and add so many possibilities to our food options.

Ideas for use
“What are my options?”– you ask.

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As seen in the picture above, KALE CHIPS! These are such a nutritious snack and so tasty that even choosy kiddos will enjoy them.  The best part is that you can customize your desired seasonings.

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FAUX CHEESES Nutritional yeast is used in vegan cooking to replace cheese and since much of the cheese on the market in the US include corn or corn derivatives, this is great news for those of use who miss cheese sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella. Cheeck out my recipes for Cashew cheez crumbles/spread and Cashew cheese dip ( vegan paleo).

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(My versions of these recipes coming soon).

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Make your own Paleo, Vegan Stock Powder / All-Purpose Seasoning. Nutritional yeast adds a depth of flavor to homemade stock powder. (Recipe to my version coming soon).

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Great addition to LACTATION COOKIES / VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE OATMEAL COOKIES for those who are gluten-free and need the extra boost. My version is enjoyed by the Mini-Foodies as well as my Foodie-in-Crime. (Recipe coming soon).

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A Quick & Easy Snack (Paleo, Vegan)

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One question Corn Allergics often have is: “What is a quick snack I can have?”  This is a great question which poses difficulty because of course we cannot usually just pick up a packaged snack at a local grocery store like most people can. We also almost always need to make our snacks from scratch.

Okay, we’ve identified the difficulty, now for an easy and relatively quick solution that even the kiddos will enjoy.  My trick is to leave the plate out at the little ones’ level and they serve themselves as they become hungry and we avoid the scramble of finding a snack. This is also a good on the go snack, simply allow to cool and place in a container.

While this snack does include nuts, seeds can be used too.  In the photo above, I used pecans, almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds. Pepitas and sesame seeds would also work as would other nuts. I have to confess that the smell of the cashews as they roast trigger a memory of stovetop popped popcorn…I know, I know popcorn is a no-go, but with this trick I am safely able to enjoy a childhood comfort food vicariously AND not only is it more nutritious, I don’t get the dreaded “corned rash”.

I have tried adding spices to the recipe, but I advise against it as they turn brown/black and aren’t so tasty. I would avoid added sweeteners as the cashew’s sweetness is enriched and stands when roasted.

This recipe does not include amounts as it comes down to preference of ingredients as well as desired quantity, so play around with what works for you, enjoy, and let me know your favorite combination(s) in a comment below.

Ingredients
nuts & / or seeds (safe for you)
Avocado oil (or coconut oil)
Sea salt

Method
Select nuts & / or seeds you will use. Warm oil in a saucepan (about 10 inch). Place nuts (seeds) in saucepan. Season with sea salt if using. Stir somewhat frequently so as to not burn. When you begin to smell the nuts, be more vigilant & know they are almost ready. Remove from heat when desired “roast” is reached. Allow to cool & enjoy.