Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cherry Cashew Loaf

After a fabulous weekend at the beach with my family, I returned back to Manhattan last night with the yearning to bake…don’t ask me why because it was about 100 degrees outside and my tiny apartment was a hot box even with the air conditioner blastingBut that didn’t stop me from baking an incredibly moist and flavorful loaf…I picked up a dozen of eggs from the market and got to work in my kitchen…a little bit of this (cherries) and a little bit of that (cashew butter) and a little imagination (sunflower seeds and pine nuts) created a divine loaf, which I enjoyed for my Sunday evening dessert…toasted and topped with fresh marmalade.

This loaf is delicious as a breakfast nibble spread with nut butter, an afternoon snack crumbled atop of Greek yogurt or enjoyed simply sliced (and eaten while slicing, hehe)…

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Eggland’s Best eggs (my favorite)
  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dates, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, for topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare a loaf pan; coat with non-stick baking spray.
  • Combine cashew butter, oil and eggs in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed; blend until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine arrowroot powder, sea salt, pepper and baking soda.
  • Combine arrowroot blend with cashew butter blend; mix well.
  • Slowly add in cherries, dates, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and orange zest; gently fold to combine.
  • Transfer batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center is cooked when tootpick is inserted.
  • Set aside to cool before slicing.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy with a dollop of Greek yogurt and  a spread of jam.

In The News…

Consumers Enjoying Sit-Down Dinners at Home More Often

School Cafeterias Aim For Nutrition Balance

Contaminated Gluten-Free Foods

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Sweet Pea n’ Asparagus Guacamole

Last night, I got to thinking…its been quite some time since I’ve whipped up a guacamole, so I picked up an avocado at my corner farmer’s market and decided to get creative…how creative? Well, while at the farmer’s market I stumbled upon a fresh batch of sweet snow peas and a beautiful bundle of asparagus…I simply couldn’t resist and I purchased these incredibly fresh veggies to bring home and have a bit of fun creating a new guacamole recipe…after a bit of altering and tasting, I had perfected my new ‘guac’ and this may be the best one yet.  I present to you…my newest guacamole creation…

Ingredients

  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh snow peas
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. flax seeds
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Heat vegetable broth in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped onion and garlic; saute until onions are translucent.  Add snow peas, asparagus, sunflower seeds, sea salt and pepper; heat for approximately 4 minutes.
  • Transfer snow pea mixture into a blender or food processor.  Add avocado, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lemon rind, chopped parsley, sea salt and chili powder; puree until desired consistency.
  • Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  • Enjoy!

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Sunflower Seed Oat Balls

MMMM

Plant some new seeds into your diet and reap the health benefits.  If you are looking for an alternative to your ordinary bean and nut balls or perhaps looking for a way to get more nutrients in your diet, take a glance down the ‘seed’ aisle of your local market.  Unlike nuts, seeds are not common allergens- which is great news for those of you who suffer from food sensitivities.   Furthermore, seeds are packed with nutrients such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Last week, I was venturing through the aisles of Whole Foods Market when I stumbled upon the ‘seed’ section…suddenly, a tiny light bulb went off in my head and I began brainstorming seed recipe ideas…(yes, these are the crazy things that I do in the food store..and the reason that it takes me hours to get through one trip).  I whipped out my handy-dandy tiny note pad and started jotting down seed recipe ideas…Let’s just say you’ve gotta lotta seed recipes coming your way because I literally bought five different types of seeds because I simply couldn’t decide on one.  Plus, it’s more fun when you have five fun seeds to choose from in the pantry instead of one lousy option, right? Well, that was my thought…I had created eleven recipes right there in the seed aisle of Whole Foods Market…I finally had to move out of the way since I was ‘hogging’ the aisle amongst many rushed Manhattan folks.  Eleven recipes was enough, I thought, so I tossed the five different seeds into my cart and went on my way…Can you take a guess as to what the other four seeds are?  Well, you’ll see them soon enough…they’ll be popping up in my recipes within the next few weeks because I have ten more exciting seed recipes to share with you.  I hope you enjoy baking these delicious balls; let your imagination run wild and toss in a new grain or seed of your choice…let me know how your balls turn out!

This recipe can easily be made with sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds.  I enjoy using sunflower seeds with these balls, however, your seed opportunities are endless- get creative and have fun. Many of us are familiar with the mild nutty taste of sunflower seeds, which make a great snack and can easily be tossed into salads, stir fries and baking recipes.  A handful of sunflower seeds will curb your hunger while supplying you with a healthy dose of vitamin E, selenium and magnesium. So, go ahead…have a ball in your kitchen and create these tasty balls for your dinner tonight!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cup rolled dry oats
  • 2 cups water (to cook oats)
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup crispy whole grain cereal
  • 1 cup bran crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 cups finely ground sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Dash of cumin
  • Dash of pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well until texture resembles cookie dough.
  • Roll mixture into golf-ball sized balls and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese topping.
  • Enjoy!