Healthy 5-Minute Cannellini Bean Salad

white kidney bean italian bean salad dairy free vegetarian allergy free allergy friendly

Healthy 5-Minute Cannellini Bean Salad (vegan)

Inspiration

This Healthy 5-minute Cannellini Bean Salad is the perfect nutrient packed meal to throw together when your time is more limited than usual. Light on your waist line but heavy on taste and substance! If you precut your vegetables, you can prepare this scrumptious salad quicker than toasting bread! And this allergy friendly recipe is exactly what the doctor ordered, as it’s been a hectic few weeks since my last post – with multiple visits to children’s hospital emergency rooms, pediatricians, and specialists. Thank you for your patience as mommy-life has taken priority.

First, during (what was supposed to be) our relaxing family trip to Florida, we ended up spending our last day in Children’s Hospital due to Baby Girl’s excessive coughing and wheezing. As soon as our (most amazing) home pediatrician heard her through the phone, he told us she needed to be seen. Not until after three breathing treatments, steroids, antibiotics, Tylenol, and several hours in the emergency room was Baby Girl discharged and given the okay to fly home the next day. It was dark by the time we got back to our hotel, but in reward for their patience, we let the kids play by the shore and took them in the pool for an after-hours swim.

Last Day of Family Vacation (right before emergency room)

Last Day of Family Vacation (right before emergency room)

Then, less than a week later, Little Man and I were at another Children’s Hospital back home in D.C. after a traumatic accident, which he understandably punts to me to talk about when asked. He also limits me to the short version of the story, which goes something like this: when trying to catch up to her riding partner, a grown woman on her bike ran down and over Little Man, breaking both bones in his right forearm. The attorney in me knows I should have asked for her contact information, but, at the moment, my mommy instincts were all that were in play. I was focused on calming down my screaming 4-year old, evaluating his condition, and then seeking medical attention. Thankfully, due to his age, he should be healed in six weeks.

After a Cast Signing Party at Little Man's School

After a Cast Signing Party at Little Man’s School

Add even more stress from busier than usual weeks at my government job-that-pays-the-bills (and, hopefully, will still pay the bills in October – Congress budget?), and cooking and food blogging unfortunately have been sitting on the back burner. [Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.] Sadly, I even missed being an official blogger at the Secaucus, New Jersey Gluten & Allergen Free Expo the weekend of Little Man’s injury. Knowing how awesome my first GFAF Expo experience was – great allergy friendly vendors, cooking demos, and more – I am sure I missed a great event. :(

FREE Ingredients

white kidney bean italian bean salad vegan allergy free friendly

  • 1 cup (canned) cannellini beans [aka “white kidney beans”]
  • 1/3 large sweet red bell pepper
  •  2 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 3 generous tbsp. fresh basil
  • 2 ½ tbsp. onion
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup dairy-free, soy-free shredded Mozzarella cheese (like Daiya)**

** If you don’t have dairy restrictions, this salad also works well with shredded fat free Mozzarella.

Method (or Mistakes)

  1. Drain and rinse cannellini beans.
  2. Chop sweet red bell pepper and onion.
  3. Combine ingredients.
  4. Enjoy with gluten free crackers or toasted pita bread pieces.

NOM YUM

Quick and easy dishes, like this Healthy 5-Minute Cannellini Bean Salad, have been on the top of my menu as I balance my crazy mommy schedule and the scale (one positive since my last post – I’ve made it back to my pre-pregnancy weight! :) ).

Packed with protein and fiber, this is an amazingly filling salad. Over the last couple months (as I continue to train for my first 10K), this has been one of my favorite go-to-dinners when I’m especially hungry. And for the same high nutrient reasons that this Healthy 5-Minute Cannellini Bean Salad is so satisfying, it is a perfect meal if you are trying to lose (or maintain) weight!

Again, thank you for your patience during my blogging hiatus. Over the next couple months, I’ll be trying to get back on track – with the help of a few great upcoming blogging conferences [see my sidebar]. Realizing that my schedule over the next several weeks is packed with travel, hosting birthday parties for Little Man and Baby Girl, walking to support Food Allergy Research and Education, running my first 10K race, (and hopefully not visiting anymore emergency rooms), I apologize if it is a while before I create a new food allergy friendly recipe. But things should settle down just in time for holiday treats . . . so please keep posted!

Featured on Full Plate Thursday

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Healthy Vegan Friday


Our Cheapest Vacation 2013

With the first day of school right around the corner, my family and I are taking a long overdue mini vacation. Thanks to my new favorite travel website – GetGoing.com – and banked credit card points, our 1-week family trip for 4 to Florida is cheaper than two plane tickets to my parents’ home down in the Delta! (Sorry mom and dad) ;)

I’ll be back with a new recipe in a couple weeks. Thanks for your patience, and I hope you and your loved ones also are enjoying the last days of summer!!


Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups

Vegan Raw Nut Free Dairy Free Lime Avocado Pie Bar Cheesecake Custard Allergy Friendly

Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups

Inspiration

When my Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars were such a hit, I knew I wanted to use the bottom layer in another healthy, allergy friendly, summer dessert – introducing Raw (Nut Free) Lime Tart Cups! Like the dye-free, natural yellow color of my Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars, these tart cups are a lime dessert naturally colored green by avocados so I’ll call them Avocado Lime Tart Cups. You might be thinking avocados and lime make a fine guacamole, but in a dessert? I can’t be serious, right? Amazingly, the avocado in these Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tarts is masked pleasantly by the soft tartness of the lime and the gentle sweetness of the dates and fresh blueberries.

Vegan Raw Nut Free Dairy Free Lime Avocado Pie Bar Cheesecake Custard Allergy Friendly

 I am only 7 weeks away from my first 10K race – yikes! {Correction: miscalculation; I’m 9 weeks away – whew!} My more health conscious eating has rubbed off on my husband, who has cut back on juice and sugary late night treats. He even bought new running shoes and started training with me (sadly, I am the one struggling to keep up with him). These Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups are the perfect single-serving-sized desserts to satisfy our sweet tooth, without negating training (or my effort to slim down to my pre-pregnancy dress size). But not to worry; even though these vegan, refined sugar free, Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups are guilt-free, they will have your taste buds running wild with delight!

Vegan Raw Nut Free Dairy Free Lime Avocado Pie Bar Cheesecake Custard Allergy Friendly Free

And the simple elegance of these Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups make them the perfect dessert for any celebration – why my husband and I will be enjoying them tonight in celebration of our 7th wedding anniversary! The traditional theme for the 7th anniversary is wool (to which I’m allergic) or copper (my gift choice as pictured below), but I think I can make a persuasive argument (it’s the lawyer in me) that a green dessert is keeping with the anniversary theme (think old copper pennies). ;)

Vegan Raw Nut Free Dairy Free Lime Avocado Pie Bar Cheesecake Custard Allergy Friendly

7th Wedding Anniversary gifts to my DH – time flies!

I  made these Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups just in time to share with my sister – she loves lemon and lime bars – who visited this past weekend with her (new) fiancé to meet our (new) niece. Congratulations again to my brother and sister-in-law on the birth of their beautiful daughter Olivia! And many congratulations to my sister and (soon-to-be) brother-in-law on their recent engagement!

My adorable niece Olivia.

My adorable newborn niece Olivia.

FREE Ingredients

(Makes 8 servings – mini 2.7 oz. glass dishes)

Raw Nut Free Lime Tart Crust

  • ¾ cup raw sunflower and pumpkin seed mix (like Go Raw Simple Seed Mix)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut**
  • 6 Medjool dates, pits removed
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 ½ tsp. sunflower butter (like SunButter)
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries

Raw Avocado Lime Tart Cups Filling

  • 1 medium-large avocado
  • ¼ plus 2 tbsp. coconut oil**
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut**
  • 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 ½ limes)
  • ½ tsp. ground chia seeds

(Optional décor) Candied Lime Peels

  • 1 lime peel
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp. evaporated cane juice, coconut sugar, or other sugar
  • Water

**Note: These raw nut free avocado lime tart cups contain coconut, which the FDA does not classify as a nut. Although coconut allergies are rare, if you have a known coconut allergy do not try this recipe.

Method (or Mistakes)

Raw Nut Free Lime Tart Crust

  1. Follow the recipe from the bottom layer of these Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars, substituting 1 tsp. lime zest for the lemon zest and increasing the amount of sunflower butter to 1 ½ tsp.  (Wait until after blending other ingredients a bit before blending in sunflower butter.)
  2. Firmly press 1 tbsp. of raw nut free lime tart crust mixture into the bottom of each dessert glass (I used 8 mini 2.7 oz. dishes).
  3. Evenly distribute ½ cup fresh blueberries on top of the 8 nut free lime tart crusts.
  4. (Store remaining tart crust mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a later batch of Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups).

Vegan Raw Nut Free Dairy Free Lime Avocado Pie Bar Cheesecake Custard Allergy Friendly FreeWhile you likely could halve the crust recipe and still have enough for 8 servings, I was happy to have leftover raw nut free lime tart crust to store  – will shorten preparation time when I make my next batch.

Raw Avocado Lime Tart Cups Filling

  1. Combine all ingredients, except chia seeds, in a blender and mix until smooth. (I used a regular speed blender but a high speed one would work – I’m still dreaming for one).
  2. Add chia seeds and blend until combined.
  3. Spoon 2 tbsp. of avocado lime tart cups filling over nut free lime tart crusts and blueberries.
  4. Cover the Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups and let firm in a freezer for 30 minutes. (I stored my tart cups in a large plastic container with a lid.)
  5. (Optional décor) Top with additional fresh blueberries and Candied Lime Peels (recipe below).
  6. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

You can keep these Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups even longer (a couple weeks) by storing in a freezer. Simply thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.

Vegan Raw Nut Free Dairy Free Lime Avocado Pie Bar Cheesecake Custard Allergy Friendly Free

Enjoying my Raw Nut Free Avocado Lime Tart Cup on the softer side

I enjoyed my tart cups firm or softened a bit by letting them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before enjoying. Most others seemed to prefer them firm. Serve how you enjoy best! (Just do not let them sit too long or they will get way too soft and start to separate – not so elegant).

(Optional décor) Candied Lime Peels

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off one lime.
  2. Thinly slice lime peel into pieces approximately 1/8 inch wide.
  3. Fill a small pot half full of water and boil.
  4. Place lime peels in a mesh sieve and place sieve into boiling water for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove sieve and run cold water over lime peels.
  6. Repeat boiling and cooling process with fresh water.
  7. Refill pot with 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of evaporated cane juice, coconut sugar, or other sugar.
  8. Bring to a boil, and then add lime peels (without sieve).
  9. Reduce heat to medium and let peels simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Pour peels into sieve to drain, and then pat lightly with a paper towel.
  11. Place peels in a small bowl with the remaining 2 tbsp. of evaporated cane juice, coconut nectar, or sugar, and stir to coat.

NOM YUM

This is the perfect dessert for all! For lemon bar or lime bar lovers, this treat instantly will have you reminiscing. My sister’s first comment was that these yummy Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups reminded her of lime bars.

But if you generally are not a lemon or lime dessert fan – nor have much of a sweet tooth for that matter – this dessert still is for you! After having eaten three Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups himself (nom yum – at least not in one sitting), my husband shared that he most enjoyed their gentle sweetness and light tart flavor. Of course, seven years of marriage helped me decode the “compliment” hidden in his actual statement: “I like that these aren’t too sweet” and “not so tart” (as compared to the stronger tart flavor of my Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars).

My sister was surprised to enjoy these beautiful Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups despite her aversion to coconut.  Although she claims to hate coconut (unbelievingly, I know there are others like her), she loved these elegant treats! Of course when she said she couldn’t taste the coconut flavor, my husband just teased her for a poor palate. However, I just think my sister’s taste buds were more focused on her favorite flavors – tart and sweet. In fact, she enjoyed these Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups so much that she seriously suggested that I cater her bridal shower with these and other healthy, allergy friendly dishes. (Could be a fun dream challenge?!)

Most surprising to everyone was that sweet deliciousness could be healthy and allergy friendly – i.e., refined sugar free (gently sweetened naturally with dates and fresh blueberries), free of bad fats (only good-for-you oils from the avocados and coconut), and free of the most common food allergens (including no gluten, nuts, dairy, or eggs). My mother also was shocked that these Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups were completely raw – she swore the blueberries that “just popped in [her] mouth” were cooked. Perhaps this was the result of having stored several tart cups in the freezer for a week (until her visit) to maintain freshness?

Vegan Raw Gluten Free Nut Free Lemon Bar Cookies

Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars

If you try these Raw (Nut Free) Avocado Lime Tart Cups and also tried my Raw Nut Free Lime Bars, I would be curious to know which healthy, raw, nut free dessert you preferred? Please leave me a comment below. After several discussions on the topic, I am hoping to answer whether more people favor the strong tart flavor of lemon or the seemingly mild tart flavor of lime. Thanks!

Featured on Allergy Friendly Wednesday and Raw Foods Thursday

AllergyFreeWednesdays

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat TuesdayGluten Free Friday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Raw Foods Thursday, Wellness Weekend, Whole Food Fridays, Full Plate Thursday, Healthy Vegan Friday


Allergy Friendly Summer Salad Collage

Hot Weather Summer Picnic Salad Dairy Free Egg Free Vegan

Allergy Friendly Summer Salads

As I mentioned when I shared my Cooling Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad, all I’ve been eating lately are foods that are healthy, light, and (most importantly) quick and easy to prepare. Not only am I determined to lose the belly, but I officially signed up for my first 10K — so I’m in training! I also have been too hot and too busy with family gatherings, road trips, and a busier work schedule to spend much time in the kitchen this summer.

Most of all, I admit sacrificing the time I usually dedicate to testing new recipes to enjoying the extra-long days of sunshine outside with my family. I promise I have not forgotten about you; it is just that I know in several weeks enjoying packed lunches outdoors with Little Man and Baby Girl sadly will come to an end. :(

In place of a new recipe today, I am sharing a few tried and true allergy friendly summer salads perfect for the 100 degree (hotter with the heat index) weather we have had here. From comments on my last post, I know I’m not the only one who has been craving lighter, quick-to-prepare foods this season. For those of you who also have not been interested in spending much time in the kitchen, I hope you enjoy this mini compilation of favorite quick and easy allergy friendly summer salad recipes.

(Ingredients are listed below to help save you even more time by choosing a summer salad recipe based on what is already in your refrigerator.)

Taco-less Layered Salad with “Yogurt” Dressing and Quinoa

Allergy Friendly Corn Free Gluten Free Dairy Free Wheat Free Allergy Allergen Free Friendly Mexican Taco Salad

Healthy Vegan Taco Less Salad with Quinoa

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 packet organic taco seasoning (e.g.Simply Organic)
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (red quinoa recommended)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 (6 oz.) container dairy free, soy free plain Greek style yogurt (e.g.So Delicious)
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Roma tomato per salad – sliced
  • Romaine lettuce – chopped
  • Green onions (about 3 per salad) – chopped
  • Red pepper – cut in small cubes
  • Avocado, halved, pit removed, and sliced (half per salad)
  • Fresh cilantro –  removed from stem

Refreshing Cucumber and Basil Salad

Refreshing Cucumber Salad Fourth of July 2012 Summer Salad Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Refreshing Cucumber & Basil Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized cucumbers
  • 1 small to medium-sized onion
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped (or 1 tbsp. dried basil)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1½ – 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, 1½ tbsp. light Blue agave, or other “sweetener”
  • fresh ground pepper to taste (I use about ½ tsp.)

Creamy Red Potato Salad with Quinoa

Spicy Vegan Potato Salad

Creamy Red Potato Salad with Quinoa

Ingredients

  •  7 – 8 red potatoes with skin
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil for sauteing
  • 1 tsp bouillon (like Better than Bouillon)
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 large orange or yellow pepper
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free mayo (like Earth Balance)
  • 3 tbsp spicy Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp sweet relish
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • ground pepper to taste
  • ground sea salt to taste

Cooling Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad

Refreshing Cooling Allergy Free Vegan Paleo Gluten Free Dairy Free Greek Mediterranean Salad Cucumber Pepper Tomato

Ingredients

  • generous ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 chopped Roma tomato (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped sweet red bell pepper
  • 2 packed tbsp. fresh chopped parsley (stems removed)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek-style dairy free yogurt (e.g.So Delicious) or low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • couple splashes of lime juice

I hope one of these favorite salads (requested time and time again by friends and family) will help you keep your cool this summer!!

Despite lack of time, I have a few fun recipe ideas that I have brainstormed and am excited to try out! Hopefully, in the next few weeks (despite more upcoming family gatherings and travel) I will be able to share some of them with you. So be sure to come back!

 

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday,


Cooling Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad

Allergy Free Vegan Paleo Gluten Free Dairy Free Greek Mediterranean Salad Cucumber Pepper Tomato

Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad (vegan & allergy friendly)

Inspiration

This quick and easy to prepare allergy friendly Cooling Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad is perfect for this time of year, when you’re too hot to crave anything other than salads and lighter fare! With a heat index of over 100 degrees this past weekend, the last thing I have been thinking about is standing in a kitchen with a hot oven. That’s one reason why I shared with you yummy Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars in my last post. Thanks again to all the other allergy friendly foodie bloggers that I follow who featured these bars as a favorite on their recipe carnivals last week!!

A couple weeks ago, I started a real diet, after realizing that the closer I get to 40, the harder it is to lose weight. I no longer can rely on simply exercising a bit more to shed the unwanted pounds I never lost after giving birth. So, in addition to running, I have been eating even healthier than before (and resisting those tempting unhealthy midday snacks). I’ve been feeling so good that I am considering registering for my first 10K to keep up my motivation – and maybe planning a beach vacation?! ;)

Allergy Free Vegan Paleo Gluten Free Dairy Free Greek Mediterranean Salad Cucumber Pepper Tomato

A Quick and Easy Recipe with Basic Ingredients – Fresh Veggies!

As I try to keep cool in the summer heat and shed pounds, crisp cucumbers have become a staple in my diet. This Cooling Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad is a dish that I have enjoyed multiple times over the last couple weeks.  It is so quick and easy to make with very few basic ingredients – fresh summer vegetables. And flavored by nothing more than some dairy-free (or regular low-fat) Greek style yogurt and a couple splashes of lime juice, it’s also zero guilt – swimsuit here I come!

Refreshing Cooling Allergy Free Vegan Paleo Gluten Free Dairy Free Greek Mediterranean Salad Cucumber Pepper Tomato

Served with a bit of all-natural hummus and some gluten free tortilla chips or whole grain pita bread, and this deliciously light salad is perfect for a quick snack, lunch, or as compliment to a light Mediterranean style dinner!

FREE Ingredients

(Makes one serving)

  • generous ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 chopped Roma tomato (about ⅓ cup)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped sweet red bell pepper
  • 2 packed tbsp. fresh chopped parsley (stems removed)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek-style dairy free yogurt (e.g.So Delicious) or low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • couple splashes of lime juice

Method (or Mistakes)

Refreshing Allergy Free Vegan Paleo Gluten Free Dairy Free Greek Mediterranean Salad Cucumber Pepper Tomato

Simply stir and enjoy!!

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium glass bowl, and stir until vegetables are well-covered in yogurt.
  2. Serve with a bit of all-natural hummus and some whole grain pita bread or gluten free tortilla chips.
  3. Enjoy!

NOM YUM

My husband and I have enjoyed this deliciously light and Cooling Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad several times in the last couple weeks. He’s enjoyed this salad because it’s been too hot for him to eat anything heavy, and I’ve loved that it is so quick and easy to make (again, I am not a fan of cooking in the summertime). Plus, despite how filling this crisp cucumber salad is served alongside a bit of hummus or some vegetarian falafel-like patties, with each bite I know I am one step closer to dropping dress sizes! ;)

Refreshing Cucumber Salad Fourth of July 2012 Summer Salad Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Refreshing Cucumber & Basil Salad

Looking for other refreshing summertime salads? Another one of my favorite summer dishes is the above pictured Refreshing Cucumber and Basil Salad. This quick and easy to prepare salad calls for even fewer common ingredients than my Cooling Cucumber and Sweet Red Pepper Salad. I was surprised by how popular this Refreshing Cucumber and Basil Salad was when I shared it on my blog last summer. Perhaps I am not the only one who enjoys the cooling combination of crisp cucumbers and fresh basil?!

Do you have a favorite summertime salad? Please share – I am sure I’m not the only one looking for some refreshing, lighter dishes this time of year!

Featured on Healthy Vegan Friday, Allergy Free Wednesday

the veggie nook
realfoodallergyfree

Shared on Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent TuesdayFull Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Healthy Vegan Friday, Motivation Monday, {Gluten Free} Weekly Meal Plan, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Friday


New Jersey Gluten & Allergen Free Expo (Sept. 2013)

Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo Secaucus New Jersey 2013 Food Allergy Allergen Allergy Friendly

Join me @ NJ Gluten & Allergen Free Expo!

Counting down the weeks until the first Gluten & Allergen Free Expo on the East Coast, taking place in Secaucus, New Jersey from September 7-8, 2013. I am so excited that the GFAF Expo will be making it to my side of the country this year.

I am even more excited to have been selected as an Official GFAF Expo Blogger for the event! With the new iPad that my loving husband gifted me for my birthday a few weeks ago, I hope to share some of my favorite finds at the Secaucus Gluten & Allergen Free Expo LIVE via Twitter and Facebook! So be sure to Follow or LIKE Nom Yum & Free so you don’t miss out!!

And I hope all of you on the East Coast will be able to join me in New Jersey at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo! If you’re debating whether it’s too far of a trip, know that I enjoyed the 2012 GFAF Expo in Chicago so much that I am set to drive four plus hours to make it to the 2013 GFAF Expo in New Jersey this year!

Last Year’s Gluten & Allergy Free Expo (Chicago 2012)

I went to my first Gluten & Allergen Free Expo last year in Chicago, a few months after being placed on a nursing mom’s elimination diet due to Baby Girl’s, then, multiple food allergy restrictions. Towing Baby Girl in a baby carrier, I got there expecting a couple dozen booths and a hundred or so attendees. I was not at all prepared for what I was about to walk into – a full hotel hall jam packed with vendors and attendees. I had no idea that there were so many others like me who love someone with food allergies, and I had been even less aware of the number of food allergy friendly options out there – ranging from everything from snacks to beer to even lipstick!

I also had a chance to attend one of the many gluten free, allergy friendly live cooking demonstrations during the Chicago 2012 event. I think that was where I first learned about quinoa (and now I can’t stop using this amazing allergy friendly, protein-packed grain in everything – I mean breakfasts, lunches, cookoutsdinners and desserts)! :) And everyone was so accommodating of my food allergy restrictions. When I shared that I couldn’t eat the pine nuts featured in the main course, the kitchen made me a special nut free plate!

Allergy Friendly Corn Free Gluten Free Dairy Free Wheat Free Allergy Allergen Free Friendly Mexican Taco Salad

Quinoa (discovered at GFAF Expo) in a Healthy Vegan Taco Less Salad

I think the most rewarding part of the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo was realizing that I was not alone in my journey as a mom new to the world of food allergies.  Even though (I am an introvert by nature) I only may have talked to a handful of other parents at the expo, the feeling of camaraderie was there. I remember a mother with her 8-year old daughter standing in line like Baby Girl and me, waiting to taste some allergy friendly baked goods. When the vendor shared her daughter’s long list of multiple food allergies that inspired her creations, the mother next to me (whose daughter made me think of mine in a handful of years) started listing off her daughter’s equally impressive list of food allergies. Overhearing them trade allergies like Kindergartners compare scars was a relief – my daughter and I were surrounded by others who had been there and understood.

This Year’s Gluten & Allergy Free Expo (Secaucus, New Jersey 2013)

I am looking forward to all that the Secaucus Gluten & Allergen Free Expo has to offer this year! Just looking at the list of sponsors, alone, makes my mouth water. Many of my favorites from last year’s Chicago GFAF Expo will be in New Jersey, including sponsors Udi’s, Enjoy Life, and So Delicious. And I cannot wait to also try out new allergy friendly products from the dozens of other companies signed up as sponsors or vendors for this year’s New Jersey Gluten & Allergen Free Expo.

From the class list, it looks like two days’ worth of yummy-sounding gluten free demonstrations also have been scheduled for the Secaucus Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. Fingers crossed that some of the dishes to be prepared might be dairy free and otherwise friendly to those with food allergy restrictions beyond gluten – selfishly, so I have good cause to take a break from my new (trying to cut inches) limited calorie diet! ;)

If you already have registered to attend the 2013 Secaucus, New Jersey Gluten & Allergen Free Expo or plan on doing so soon, please leave a comment below letting me know. I would love to say hi at the GFAF Expo. Or if you live on the East Coast and are still debating whether it’s worth traveling to New Jersey, how about still letting me know so I can try to talk you into it! ;)

And don’t forget to find Nom Yum & Free on Twitter and Facebook for LIVE updates straight from the 2013 Secaucus, New Jersey Gluten & Allergen Free Expo! Hope to see you in September!!


Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars

Vegan Raw Gluten Free Nut Free Lemon Bar Cookies

Allergy Friendly Raw Nut Free Lemon Bars

Inspiration

Happy SUMMER 2013! I’m so happy the season is finally here. Summer always has been my favorite time of year – warm weather, beaches, the coconut smell of suntan lotion, outdoor festivals, and refreshing summery flavors like fresh squeezed lemonade.  Combining two of my favorite summer scents and/or flavors (coconut and lemon), these vegan, raw nut free lemon bars are a perfect way to launch summer!

As soon as I saw Oatmeal With a Fork’s recipe for thick raw lemon bars featured on a couple of my favorite allergy friendly recipe websites, I knew I had to try converting the recipe to one for allergy friendly, raw nut free lemon bars. A common ingredient in so many raw vegan recipes seems to be nuts. I remember how let down I was when visiting a well-rated local raw vegan restaurant. Limited in diet as I was nursing Baby Girl, I sadly only could try a couple drinks. The restaurant owner nicely warned me against eating anything since their kitchen was packed with nuts.

So, for those of you who cannot tolerate nuts but would love to try a delicious raw vegan dessert, this recipe is for you! {Update: Looking for another citrusy raw vegan nut free dessert? Check out these easy-to-prep raw nut free lime tarts!}

Vegan Raw Gluten Free Nut Free Lemon Bar Cookies

I have come to prefer using sunflower and pumpkin seeds over nuts in many recipes,  even though my diet is not restricted. In fact, I am not the only one, as my family now prefers my Southern peanut-less brittle over peanut brittle! I thought seeds might also make a good replacement for the almonds in the original raw lemon bar recipe. The result: yummy raw nut free lemon bars that further prove that allergy friendly can taste deliciously irresistible!

FREE Ingredients

(Makes about 10 gluten free, Paleo, vegan, nut free raw lemon bars)

Vegan Raw Gluten Free Nut Free Lemon Bar Cookies

I admit eating several raw nut free lemon bars before getting this shot.

Bottom Layer

  • ¾ cup raw sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds (I used Go Raw Simple Mix)
  • ¼ cup organic unsweetened coconut
  • 6 Medjool dates, seeds removed
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. sunflower seed butter (I used SunButter Natural Spread)

Top Layer

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. organic coconut oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • Large pinch of turmeric (optional – for yellow coloring)

Method (or Mistakes)

  1. Blend together (by pulsing) the ingredients for the bottom layer, minus the sunflower seed butter, until crumbled and combined. (A food processor would also work well, I just don’t own one.)
  2. Add sunflower seed butter and blend until combined.
  3. Push bottom layer ingredients into a small dish. (Original recipe recommends a 7 x 5 inch glass dish, but all my small glass dishes are oval or circular in shape. So, I opted for an 8 x 4 ½ inch rectangular plastic container.)
  4. With a hand (or electric) mixer on medium-high speed (with a few seconds on high), beat coconut oil until creamy (1 – 2 minutes).
  5. Add lemon juice, zest, syrup, and turmeric, and then continue to beat on medium-high speed (with a few seconds on high) until combined and fluffy (about 1 minute). Make sure to scrape sides of the bowl to combine well.
  6. Use a small spatula to spread top layer on bottom layer.
  7. Cover and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  8. Cut and enjoy. (If not enjoying immediately, keep refrigerated until serving.)
  9. Can be stored in fridge in airtight container for up to a week (or even longer in freezer).

Serving time is key with these bars – if you serve them straight from the fridge, they are a bit too crunchy; but, if you leave them out too long, the topping starts to melt back to the consistency of soft coconut oil. If you make these raw nut free lemon bars on a warm summer day, I recommend leaving them in the refrigerator until serving. Simply let them soften at room temperature for a few minutes before enjoying.

NOM YUM

For someone who loves lemon bars (as much as me), these are absolutely delicious! I enjoyed these so much that I easily could have eaten the entire batch alone in one sitting – if I hadn’t purposely paced myself (better than I paced myself yesterday in my first timed 5K run since before Baby Girl was born).

The lemony, coconut-ty chewy bottom of these raw nut free lemon bars is amazing! The natural sweetness from the dates combined with the nutty-like flavor of the sunflower and pumpkin seeds seemed too delicious to be healthy. And the granola-like texture was reminiscent of cheesecake crust. Although I’m not a huge cheesecake fan, I love the graham cracker crust. I may have to try using these raw nut free lemon bar bottoms in a raw nut free cheesecake before summer ends.

The soft lemony tops of these raw nut free lemon bars are sweet and tart like my favorite citrus desserts. For those who do not love tart flavors as much I do (a friend I shared these bars with reminded me how often he caught me sucking lemon slices when pregnant with Baby Girl), then you may want to slightly decrease the amount of lemon juice in the topping. Although I loved it, my husband found the topping of these bars a bit too tart and lemony for his preference.

The recipe for these no bake raw nut free lemon bars is so quick and easy, requiring so few ingredients and no cooking time, that it only makes sense that I make these over typical lemon bars in the future.  Most importantly, I feel less guilty eating a couple of these  tart treats – packed with little more than some good-for-you seeds, coconut, and dates. And knowing that the recipe satisfies both the Paleo and raw food diet crazes, I am comfortable that these must be a smart dessert choice! Next time, I may double the recipe and use a glass 8 x 8 inch baking dish, so I have more to freeze for moments when I want to indulge in a tasty sweet treat but do not want to regret doing so.

 

Featured on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday via Tessa the Domestic Diva, Allergy Free Wednesday via Laura’s Gluten Free Pantry, Raw Foods Thursday, Healthy Vegan Friday, Sunday Snippets from Fat Tuesday, Wellness Weekend

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the veggie nook

Wellness WeekendShared on Motivation Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Well Fed Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Raw Foods Thursday, Wellness Weekend, Gluten Free Friday, Healthy Vegan Friday, Whole Food Fridays, Allergy Friendly Friday, Fat Tuesday,


Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix and Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix

Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Desserts_NomYumFree.com

Inspiration

It’s my birthday this week, and one of my coworkers has talked me into celebrating myself. So, this week I am taking off from (1) creating a new recipe and (2) a day of work to go pamper myself with overdue girly things, like a manicure and pedicure. But don’t be disappointed – thanks to Stonewall Kitchen, I still have yummy allergy friendly treats to share with you (and to indulge in on my birthday)! ;)

Last month, when I hosted my Allergy Friendly Jam Bar Cookie Giveaway, the kind folks at Stonewall Kitchen generously offered to provide a jar of their yummy Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam for the swag box.  As another generous surprise, they sent along a couple boxes of some of their gluten free mixes – Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix and Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix. Since having spied Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Mixes on my mini staycation with my husband, I have been wanting to try some. Our cashier at Stonewall Kitchen’s National Harbor store had raved about the gluten free cupcake mixes, so I was thrilled to find these extra goodies on my doorstep!

OMGoodness – I have fallen madly in love with this specialty foods store! Perhaps, I should share my secret love with my husband (and that I just bought three more boxes of Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix)?  Maybe I will – right after I share with him that I’m taking off on my birthday to go pamper myself. ;) (He seldom reads my blog, so likely will have no idea about my (now public) splurges.)

Best Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Brownie Mix Stonewall Kitchen

Moist, Rich, Chewy Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies

I was surprised by how yummy (and easy) Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix and Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix are. Not being a huge chocolate fan, I figured I would prefer the vanilla cupcakes – which, as evidenced by the icing on my children’s lips (scroll down), were delightful – but the gluten free brownies were utterly AMAZING!! Topped with a packet of fudge swirl, Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies are so rich, moist, chewy, and decadent that I admit having double-checked the box to make sure I hadn’t accidentally been given a non-gluten-free brownie mix!

Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free (and Vegan) Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix does not include dairy or eggs, but the instructions call for the addition of both. I was curious to see whether this gluten free mix could also make yummy vegan cupcakes, so instead of adding an egg, milk, and butter, I substituted in egg replacer, soy milk, and dairy free buttery spread. (Because the mix is also soy free, you probably could try coconut milk or almond milk for a soy free version.)

Method

Allergy Friendly Gluten Free Vegan Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix Stonewall KitchenTo make my vegan, gluten free vanilla cupcakes, I followed the easy instructions on the side of the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix box with a few minor modifications.

For the cupcakes: Replace the regular milk with soy milk, the butter with 3 Tbsp. dairy free buttery spread (I used dairy free, soy free Earth Balance), and the egg with 2 tsp. of Ener-G Egg Replacer “packed” mixed with 2 Tbsp. of warm soy milk. (For best results, wait until right before adding to mix the Egg Replacer in the soy milk, warmed in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Measure Egg Replacer by firmly packing into measuring spoon, and stir until thickens.)

For the frosting: Replace the butter with 3 Tbsp. of dairy free buttery spread (again, I used dairy free, soy free Earth Balance) plus 2 Tbsp. of dairy free, soy free shortening (like Spectrum Naturals Organic).

Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

Since the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Mix contains milk, you should avoid if you have a dairy allergy.

The mix only calls for the addition of butter and eggs. Since we don’t usually have butter in our home, I substituted an equal amount of a vegetable oil spread stick. (I did not test whether this mix works well with egg substitute.)

Method

Best Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Brownie Mix Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate BrowniesI followed the quick and easy instructions on the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Mix box, substituting my melted vegetable oil spread for the melted butter. The mix comes with a fudge packet that you swirl on top of the uncooked brownie batter to make the brownies super fudgy and moist. The instructions say to swirl with a knife, but I wasn’t able to create much “on top” swirling action. Instead, most of my fudge packet mixed deeper into my brownie batter – but, this didn’t seem to be a problem at all in the end.

The only thing I do recommend doing is baking the batter quite a bit longer than the recommended time (or at least I had to). The instructions say to bake for 30 to 33 minutes at 350°F, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but still fudgy on the bottom. But, at 33 minutes my toothpick came out covered in gooey brown undercooked fudge. I do not know if it was due to using a vegetable oil stick instead of butter, poor fudge swirling, or some other reason, but I had to bake my brownies an extra 15 minutes before my toothpick came out clean.

NOM YUM-INATION!

My Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free desserts were so amazing that I did not share them as much as planned. My desire was to take some treats into work to see what my colleagues thought, but I found them too delicious to share. Plus, I discovered that these easy-to-make gluten free goodies keep longer if stored in an airtight container in the freezer. After thawing at room temperature, they practically are as moist and delicious as they are straight from the oven. (And thanks to this secret, over two weeks after baking, I will enjoy my last Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free brownie and cupcake on my birthday!) :)

Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies are seriously the best brownies that I can remember enjoying (perhaps ever) – homemade or from a box, and gluten free or not! I was worried that the texture might be too gooey, or maybe over-dry from leaving them in the oven longer than instructed – but patience pays off with this mix. These gluten free brownies are amazingly moist and chewy, melting in your mouth! Enhanced by the fudge packet and bits of chocolate chips, their decadent, rich, chocolaty flavor pops even more. And the brownie tops (mmm . . . I’m getting excited just reminiscing) have that perfect cookie-like crispness and flakiness that is characteristic of only the most heavenly brownies. I am not exaggerating when I say that these brownies are irresistible! Along with my easy-to-make Gluten Free Jam Bar Cookie Mix (of which my mom just enjoyed her layered version this weekend), Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Mix will be my quick and easy go to dessert – regardless of whether my audience is gluten free or not!

Allergy Friendly Gluten Free Vegan Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix Stonewall Kitchen

Little Man & Baby Girl Enjoying Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free (Vegan) Vanilla Cupcakes

And even with my vegan twist on Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcake Mix, these cupcakes were deliciously moist, with a sweet buttery cookie-like flavor. The cupcakes’ firmer texture made me think that the mix might also work well for a bundt cake. And the frosting was so light and sweet that others were fooled into thinking that I had made it from scratch.  Little Man’s and Baby Girl’s favorite part of Stonewall Kitchen’s gluten free goodies was licking the delightful vanilla frosting from the beaters, bowl, and cupcake tops!

Despite my stinginess, I did share some of my Stonewall Kitchen gluten free treats with my hairdresser Tenika who has come to love my made-from-scratch allergy friendly treats. Neither my hairdresser nor anyone else at her shop guessed that these brownies and cupcakes were gluten free or came from a box! Eventually, I admitted having had “help” (from Stonewall Kitchen). And just as the boyfriend of one patron was wooing the first bite of his cupcake, I also revealed that they had no flour, dairy, or eggs. He jokingly shared his disappointment in hearing that all of his favorite ingredients were missing, and then proceeded to finish his cupcake in so few bites that he couldn’t have inhaled it faster.

My hairdresser’s unwillingness to share her Stonewall Kitchen Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies (not even with her beloved daughters) was a clear showing of their irresistibility! After Tenika took a bite out of one of the four gluten free brownies I brought her, she immediately decided not to mention their existence to anyone else! Like me, she was moved by the brownies’ moist and chewy texture, cookie-like tops, and chocolate chip and fudge enhanced rich, decadent flavor. She agreed that these were: “By far the best brownies ever – in my life! Hands down!!” Tenika was shocked that something gluten free could be so amazing. I have had to promise to return with more batches of Stonewall Kitchen’s Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies if I want to return as a customer – mind you I’ve been going to Tenika for over seven years. Good thing (for both of us), I just ordered more brownie mixes! :)

 

{Gluten Free} Weekly Meal Plan, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday,


Mint Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes with Mint Infused Frosting

Mint Green Tea Cake Cupcake Baked Goods Vegan Gluten Free

Mint Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes (vegan & gluten free)

Inspiration

A few weeks ago, I shared how I found this cute little tea set for my daughter. In addition to motivating me to make Hot Pepper Peach Cucumber Sandwiches, my find inspired me to try making some tea flavored cupcakes – these allergy friendly Mint Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes. I came across a blog post recommending that the best way to flavor cupcakes with tea is to use tea infused butter. Since we don’t use regular butter in my house, I baked these vegan, gluten free cupcakes using canola oil infused with matcha green tea and fresh mint.

Having enjoyed so much (like everyone else) the rich flavor from the spice infused rice milk that I used in my allergy friendly Irish Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Spice Infused Buttercream Frosting, I also decided to use some fresh mint leaves to infuse some rice milk to give these vegan, gluten free Mint Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes a boost of refreshing natural mint flavor.

With summer and warmer weather right around the corner, you can’t beat the refreshing flavor of fresh mint leaves. The mint infused rice milk was so delicious that I enjoyed the leftover milk as was on the rocks!! It also tastes yummy in mixed drinks on the rocks! ;)
Allergy Friendly Allergen Free Mint Green Tea Cake Cupcake Baked Goods Vegan Gluten Free

FREE Ingredients

(Makes 1 to 1 ½ dozen cupcakes)

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes

    • ⅓ cup mint matcha green tea infused oil (see below)
    • 2 cups gluten free flour mix (like King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour)**
    • 1 ⅛ tsp. xanthan gum
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • ¾ tsp. baking soda
    • ½ tsp. sea salt
    • 1 cup fresh mint infused rice milk (see below)
    • 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 cup natural evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
    • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

** If you do not have a problem with gluten, you can try substituting regular all-purpose flour and eliminate the addition of xanthan gum. (Perhaps the flavor of green tea also will be more prevalent.)

Fresh Mint Buttercream Frosting

    • ¼ cup dairy free, soy free shortening
    • ¼ cup dairy free, soy free buttery spread
    • ¼ cup fresh mint infused rice milk (see below)
    • 3 ½ cups powdered evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
    • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Mint Matcha Green Tea Infused Oil

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. loose matcha green tea
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint leaves

Fresh Mint Infused Rice Milk

  • 2 cups rice milk
  • 2 tsp. fresh mint leaves

Method (or Mistakes)

Allergy Friendly Allergen Free Mint Green Tea Cake Cupcake Baked Goods Vegan Gluten Free

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes

  1. Prepare tea infused oil and infused rice milk as directed below.
  2. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners (or grease well).
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  4. Stir together 1 cup of mint infused rice milk and vinegar, then let sit while prepping other ingredients.
  5. Whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.
  6. In small saucepan, mix flax seeds and water, and then heat on high until boiling.
  7. Lower heat to medium high and cook 2 minutes longer, until mixture resembles egg whites.
  8. In a large bowl, on medium high speed, use an electric mixer to beat together ⅓ cup tea infused oil and evaporated cane juice (or sugar) for 30-60 seconds.
  9. Beat in vanilla, and then beat in flax mixture in 2 parts.
  10. On low speed, add milk mixture.
  11. Then add flour mixture in 3 parts, beating on low speed until combined.
  12. Use a large cookie scoop to fill cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full.
  13. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  14. Let cupcakes cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes before removing and cooling directly on rack until cooled completely.

Fresh Mint Buttercream Frosting

  1. Use an electric mixer on medium-low speed to cream together buttery spread and shortening.
  2. Continuing to beat, add in vanilla extract.
  3. Then sift in ½ powdered cane juice (or sugar) and beat until combined.
  4. Add milk, beat, and then sift in remaining powdered cane juice (or sugar).
  5. Turn to high speed and beat for 5 minutes.
  6. Frost completely cooled cupcakes.

Mint Matcha Green Tea Infused Oil

Process is modified from steps in a post by Stefani Pollack of the Cupcake Project, who found them in a post by Robert Wemischner (author of Cooking with Tea) on his blog T Ching.

  1. Put canola oil in small saucepan, and heat on medium heat until warm to the touch (a few minutes).
  2. Add loose tea and 1 tbsp. “pressed” fresh mint leaves (mint may sizzle and cook).
  3. Lower heat to low, and then heat for 5 more minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let tea and mint steep in oil 5 minutes longer.
  5. Pour mixture into fine sieve to drain, reserving oil in a small bowl or measuring cup. Press hard on leaves with a spoon to squeeze out as much of the oil as possible (don’t worry if can’t get it all – recipe only calls for ⅓ cup infused oil).
  6. Discard tea and mint leaves.

Fresh Mint Infused Rice Milk

  1. Combine rice milk and ¼ cup fresh mint leaves in small saucepan, and heat on medium-high heat.
  2. Warm milk until a bit of foam forms on top, and milk steams very slightly (it should be hot to the touch but do not boil).
  3. Remove from heat and let cool with mint still steeping for an hour.
  4. Remove mint leaves, squeezing extra milk out of leaves, and then discard.
  5. Refrigerate milk until use.

NOM YUM

While everyone enjoyed these cupcakes, I don’t think they were as much matcha green tea cupcakes as they were fresh mint cupcakes. Although I could taste the tea in the raw batter (which I do not recommend tasting, and I know I shouldn’t have tasted despite it being egg free), the flavor of the tea did not come through as much as I had hoped in the baked cupcakes. I wonder if this was due to the flavor of the quinoa flour in the gluten free flour mix I used or the flax seeds flavor overpowering that of the matcha green tea infused oil? Perhaps tea infused oil would have worked better with regular flour or egg replacer.

The flavor of the mint, however, was very evident – especially in the frosting, which everyone gave high compliments. Many of my “testers” loved the frosting because of its light texture, or said they enjoyed it due to its fresh mint flavor and not too sweet taste. This, sadly, was one cupcake where the icing outdid the cake – the cake part was a bit denser than other cupcakes I’ve made.

Vegan Gluten Free Dairy Free Soy Free Hot Chocolate Cupcake with Cinnamon Nutmeg Spice Buttercream Frosting IcingI think the number one thing that I learned from these Mint Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes and my tastier Irish Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Spice Infused Buttercream Frosting (pictured above) is the wonders of infused milk – especially in buttercream frosting! The infused flavor of the milk really comes through in both the baked goods and frosting. On the other hand, green tea seems to be a bit too weak to flavor cupcakes through tea infused oil. Perhaps that is why Stef from the Cupcake Project recommends using a strong flavored tea for tea flavored cupcakes. I am not sure whether I’ll try tea infused oil in baked goods again anytime soon, but I know I will definitely be making more infused dairy free milks!

Featured on Gluten-Free Wednesday

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Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday, Teach Me Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday


Jam Bar Cookie Giveaway Winner!!

Congratulations Pictures, Images and Photos

CONGRATULATIONS TO PEGGY DAMON OF LANDISVILLE, NEW JERSEY!!!

Allergy Free Gluten Free Vegan Dairy Free Jelly Jam Filled Bar Cookie Stonewall Kitchen

Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam Bar Cookies

Peggy Damon is the winner of the Nom Yum & Free Jam Bar Cookie Giveaway!

To all my readers:  I appreciate all of you and your support of Nom Yum & Free. Thank you so much for your repeated visits and continuing to share this blog with friends and family. I know your time is invaluable, so I appreciate that you spend some reading, commenting on, and sharing my posts.

I hope every one of you continue to find something useful on your visits here, be it new allergy friendly recipes or products to try, or simply the camaraderie of others who care deeply about food allergy awareness. I wish I could have shared prizes with all of you!

Allergy Free Gluten Free Vegan Dairy Free Jelly Jam Filled Bar Cookie Stonewall KitchenAnd a sincere thanks to Stonewall Kitchen for generously offering a jar of their yummy allergy friendly All Natural Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam for Peggy’s swag package!! If you were not the giveaway winner this time but still want to try some of this delicious jam, I highly recommend this Stonewall Kitchen All Natural Jam Collection that I bought on Amazon (and plan to buy again this weekend). ;)

Peggy, I hope that you will come back and share how you and your family enjoyed your gluten free, allergy friendly Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam Bar Cookies and other prizes – even it was spooning leftover jam straight into your mouth (yes, I admit doing it)! :)

Thank you again to all who entered! Hugs, Devin