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Christmas Cookies

A couple years ago, I posted a gluten free vegan recipe for Christmas cookies nearly every day in December.  That was quite a collection of yummy cookie recipes!

So, to make it easy for you, I have compiled the list here:

No-Bake Candy Cane Balls


Christmas Mexican Wedding Cake CookiesChristmas Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Special Holiday Peanut Butter Cookies

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Holiday Anise Cookies

Holiday Florentine Cookies

Coconut No-Bake Snowballs

Holiday Chocolate Mint Cookies

Molasses Cookies

Gluten Free Vegan Fudge

I hope you find some good one listed here!


Gluten Free Ketchup, Mustard and Vinegar

Last post we talked about Gluten Free Vegan salad dressings.  Today, I would like to share on Gluten Free Ketchup and Mustard.   Probably the most beloved condiments for meat eaters, ketchup and mustard can be a challenge for Gluten Free Vegans!

Ketchup made with certain vinegars ARE NOT Gluten Free.  If you are very sensitive, you may react to distilled vinegar that’s made from gluten grains. The following vinegars may cause a problem:Ketchup 1

  • Malt vinegar — which is made from barley — should always be avoided
  • Distilled white vinegar — CAN be made using gluten grains, so be cautious
  • Flavored vinegars — can also be made using gluten grains

(NOTE:  More info on vinegars here:  Is Vinegar Gluten-Free?

Jane Anderson, from About.com has done a thorough listing of major ketchups, listing the possibility of offending vinegars and cross contamination issues in her article:  Gluten-Free Ketchup.  Using her research, sensitive Gluten Free Vegans should probably avoid the following ketchups:

  • Hunt’s Ketchup
  • Muir Glen Ketchup

If you would like to make your own ketchup, here is a good and easy recipe from Food.com

Homemade Gluten-Free and Corn-Free Ketchup


  • 2 (8 ounce) cans of organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup honey or 1/4 cup maple syrup


  1. Bring ingredients to boil on the stove. Simmer 15 minutes, then take ketchup off heat for 10 minutes. Pour into a condiment jar and refrigerate. Makes a little over 4 cups of ketchup.
  2. Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-gluten-free-and-corn-free-ketchup-257108?oc=linkback

Mustards can contain the same offending vinegars as ketchup.  Unfortunately, companies who make mustards (and ketchups) are not required to list the source of vinegar in condiments, even if that source is wheat!

Once again, Jane Anderson from About.com has written an article summarizing her research on the Mustard 1major mustard brands available in the marketplace.  Based on her research listed in her article, Gluten-Free Mustards, sensitive Gluten Free Vegans should avoid he following mustards:

  • French’s
  • Grey Poupon
  • Gulden’s

If you would like to make your own Gluten Free Mustard, following is a recipe from My Healthy Green Family

Homemade Gluten-Free Yellow Mustard Recipe


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons dry ground mustard
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. arrowroot powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of paprika


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Heat until boiling. Simmer on low for 10 minutes or until sauce has reduced to the thickness you would like it. Stir frequently.
  3. Store in jar in fridge for up to a month. For a more mellow mustard, allow to sit for a few days to become less hot.
  4. Mustard is hot when first made. Let is sit for a few days and it will lose much of its heat.
  5. Makes about 1 cup.


Raw Chocolate Caramel Bars

I really enjoy finding raw food recipes, so when I found this Raw Chocolate Caramel Bars — I got really excited.  RAW and CHOCOLATE!!  What more could I ask for ….

The Rawsome Vegan Life shares lots of great recipes, so make sure to check out her website …. and I understand she is soon coming out with a cookbook!  Can’t wait!!

Raw Chocolate Caramel Bars

Raw Chocolate Caramel Bars


  • Crust:
  • 1 cup almonds or other nuts
  • 1 cup dates
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • Caramel:
  • ½ cup cashew butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup dates
  • Chocolate cream:
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ cup preferred liquid sweetener


  1. To make the crust: process the almonds into flour in your food processor, then add the dates and process until it all begins to stick together. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan (I used a small bread pan) and refrigerate.
  2. To make both the caramel and mocha layers: just blend the ingredients in each list until smooth. Feel free to add other flavours like vanilla, chili , ginger, etc. Spread the caramel onto your crust, followed by the chocolate cream. Refrigerate until completely set; this will take a couple hours.

Fairly simple recipe to enjoy such a decadent dessert!

Emily from The Rawsome Vegan Life has a cookbook in the works, due to be release in March of next year:

Rawsome Vegan Baking: An Un-cookbook for Raw, Vegan, Beautiful and Sinfully Sweet Cookies, Cakes, Bars & Cupcakes Paperback – March 4, 2014

I’ll keep in touch and let you know when her cookbook is published!  It should be a winner!!



Great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes from Around the Web

I have found so many great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes around the Web that I couldn’t possibly post them all here.  But because I am a big promoter of Squidoo, I found some new lens that I want to share with you:

As you know I LOVE brownies …. so of course, I am going to share this wonderful Gluten Free Vegan brownie recipe:

Great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes from Around the Web

Great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes from Around the Web


  • 15 ounces black beans; drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (Optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 whole vanilla bean; slit and scrape seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar or NuNaturals Stevia (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup oats (* See Notes)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans if desired
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Can also sprinkle for topping if desired)
  • non-stick cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease or spray a 8x8x2 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender.
  4. Blend until mixture is smooth, scrapping the sides as needed.
  5. Stir in the rolled oats and nuts until well blended.
  6. Pour brownie batter into the baking pan and spread batter out evenly.
  7. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow brownies to cool before cutting into equal squares for serving.


READ THE FULL RECIPE AND NOTES HERE: http://www.squidoo.com/vegan-brownies-to-die-for


More great Gluten Free Vegan Recipes posted by Squidoo writers:

Check out the lens and let me know what you think!


Vegan Butter

We use Earth Balance ‘butter’, but we often make our special vegan butter using our own recipe.  Having a Vitamix is the key to making this special ‘butter’, but you might be able to use any blender, if you are careful.

My husband, Malcolm, developed this recipe from an friend’s recipe.  As always, he added his special extras to it to make it extra good!

Vegan “Butter”

Vegan “Butter”


  • 1 ¼ cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (use a high quality oil)
  • ¾ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil ("First" Cold Pressed is best nutritionally; just "Cold Pressed" is next best)
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Flax Oil (may substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 cup COLD water
  • 1 to 4 T (up to ¼ cup) lecithin (nutritional yeast) flakes or granules
  • 1 - 2 tsp. Celtic (sea) or Himalayan Salt (or other salt)


  1. To keep butter from separating as it cools, very important to keep EVERYTHING very cold, especially as the blender tends to warm the mixture.
  2. Recommend PRE-MEASURING the coconut oil when warm enough to pour, then freezing it, or at least refrigerating overnight.
  3. Also, pre-measure the olive and flax oils (may combine) and leave overnight in refrigerator.
  4. Water should be ICE COLD ... recommend making ice water, and scooping or pouring out a cup of the water to use when blending.
  5. To start:
  6. Scoop pre-measured cold coconut oil into Vitamix and add the one cup of ice cold water.
  7. Blend to just barely even consistency.
  8. Add the other ingredients, and blend thoroughly -- flax and olive oils will give it a yellow-ish color.
  9. Pour into small tub-like containers. Refrigerate or freeze (freezes very well!)
  10. If the butter blend separates, you can add a bit of coconut oil and re-blend. Usually this is a sign the blend was warm when you tucked it away. Sometimes leaving off the lid for while when you first put it in the freezer is good.
  11. This blend is fantastic in place of regular butter on breads, biscuits, pancakes, etc. However, if you use it for cooking/baking best to replace the flax oil with grapeseed oil, which takes high heat better.

For more Vegan Butter recipes and more variation of this recipe, check out my Squidoo Lens:

Healthy Vegan “Butter” Recipe.


Fruit Pizza!!

Doesn’t Gluten Free Fruit Pizza sound wonderful?  Thank goodness, it finally does to me ….

I have been out of the loop for several days.  My lovely step-daughter’s beautiful wedding was last weekend, and barely before I could recover from it, I came down with one of the worst stomach/intestine flu I have ever had.  Went over 40 hours with no food — couldn’t even keep a small amount of green tea down.  And not only did the smell of food make me sick, I couldn’t even look at pictures!!

But, thankfully, I am feeling much better today — about 85% of normally and back to eating my salads, fruit — and even tried a bit of peanut butter (not my favorite) on gluten free toast hoping to get some extra protein in my body.

In the meantime, I found a wonderful sounding recipe (that even agreed with my volatile stomach) — and sounded like an excellent dessert for this beautiful Memorial Day weekend!!

NOTE:  From Jules Gluten Free

Fruit Pizza!!

Fruit Pizza!!


    Sugar Cookie Crust
  • 1/2 cup shortening (Earth Balance® Shortening Sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1 egg or egg substitute (e.g. prepared Ener-G Egg® Replacer)
  • 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Topping
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (Go Veggie™ Cream Cheese Alternative)
  • 1 cup homemade coconut whipped cream*
  • Fresh fruit (berries, bananas, oranges, peaches, apples, plums, pears, etc.)
  • 1/8 cup yellow or orange colored preserves like orange, peach, or apricot (Bonne Maman® Golden Plum Mirabelle)
  • 1 tsp. water


    Crust Instructions
  1. Cream shortening and sugar until very fluffy. Add egg (or egg replacer), vanilla extract and milk, beating until integrated. Add the dry ingredients last, mixing until evenly blended. Gather dough and form a flat disc.
  2. Preheat oven to 375ºF (static) or 350ºF (convection).
  3. Dust a silicone baking mat or parchment paper taped to your counter with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Dust a rolling pin and cookie cutters with Jules Flour as well. Roll the dough from the center in each direction to form a circle at least 12 inches across and 1/4-inch thick (see photo of cut cookie for appropriate thickness). Using a butter knife or pastry cutter, cut the uneven edges of the rolled dough off so that you are left with a large, clean circle of dough. Gather the cut off edges of the dough together and re-roll on a separate piece of parchment, then use cookie cutters to make cookies with remaining dough.
  4. Slide the parchment or silicone baking mat onto a flat cookie sheet. Arrange any cut cookies on a separate baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies for 8–10 minutes, but remove before they begin to brown at the edges. Bake the large cookie for 13-15 minutes – the dough should still be soft, not browned or crispy.
  5. Remove to fully cool on a wire rack.
  6. Topping Instructions
  7. Prepare homemade coconut whipped cream, then beat together with the softened cream cheese using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer. Whip until light and the cream cheese is integrated without any lumps.
  8. Spread generously on top of cooled cookie, leaving a slight crust edge of the cookie exposed.
  9. Wash and cut fresh fruit and arrange on top of the pizza however you like.
  10. Warm the preserves and water in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until it is the consistency of a glaze. Brush on top of fruits that tend to brown, like bananas, peaches, pears and apples.
  11. Cover and refrigerate topped pizza until ready to serve.

Be healthy and have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!!


Black Bean Humus

We are big black bean fans (I suppose that is partly because we are allergic to some of the other beans).  I use black beans in lots of my recipes, but none of my recipes are as famous as my husband’s black bean humus.

When Malcolm makes this recipe for potlucks, it is usually a huge success.  We have learned to print off copies of the recipe before we head out the door — because we get so many requests.

Malcolm’s Famous Black Bean Humus Recipe!

Black Beans

In Vitamix, add:
2/3 cup sesame seeds
½ cup first cold pressed olive oil
2/3 cup lemon (or lime) juice

Start SLOW to prevent splashing, build VERY slowly, up to full speed. (Makes a tahini-like mush, or may substitute ½ cup tahini instead of seeds)

Add Spices:
1 slightly rounded tsp Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 T Oregon Spice salsa seasoning (available from OregonSpice.com or use any taco or salsa seasoning available)

2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can, undrained or may drain and rinse to reduce sodium
2 cups cooked garbanzos (chickpeas) or 1 can, DRAIN and RINSE

3-6 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 large handful (1/3 cup) pitted black olives
½ large or 1 medium onion, peeled (may also use or substitute 6 green onions and/or 4″ of large leek)

Add up to 1 cup water, just enough to turn the Vitamix (only need ½ cup water, if used un-drained black beans)

1 or 2 jalapenos, or ¼ cup canned jalapeno slices, or cayenne to taste

Optional variations, add to taste:
Cilantro, Basil, Green Olives, etc.

Blend well in Vitamix, transfer to container(s), refrigerate – keeps up to 2 weeks.

Great as appetizer! Serve with chips, pita bread, tortillas, bread or crackers!!

Black beans are really good for you!  They are our ‘go to’ bean for most Mexican dishes as well as this humus recipe.

For more black bean humus recipes, check out my mini website:

Easy Nutritious Vegan Black Bean Humus Recipes


Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Saturdays are my days to be different and creative (it is also my day for laundry and house cleaning, but I won’t be talking about that!!).  With the cares of business gone for the day, it gives me time to focus on other things — like new recipes to create!

As most of you already know, I am the ‘Salad Queen’.  For me, salads mix up the best of all worlds:  raw veggies.  My new Gluten Free Pasta Salad is full of some of my favorite veggies!

Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Gluten Free Pasta Salad


  • 2 cups cooked Gluten Free pasta, any small pasta will work
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1-2 grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup small sprouts, like broccoli, clover or alfalfa
  • Dressing
  • 1 cup Vegenaize
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tbps olive oil
  • Herbal seasonings
  • All season salt
  • Celery seeds
  • Dill


  1. Mixed cooked and cooled pasta with veggies and set aside.
  2. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a pint jar and shake well.
  3. Pour dressing over veggies -- just enough to coat all the ingredients.
  4. Serve!

Once again, there are lots of variations available for this recipe.  For example, my husband added jalapenos and cheese (he is not vegan!) to his portion.

Some other veggies you could use in this recipe could be:

  • Bell pepper
  • Green onions
  • Olives
  • Caulflower
  • Raisins

What other ingredients would you try in this salad?


No-Bake ‘Cheesecake’ Bars

If you are like me, there are some things, like No-Bake Cheesecake Bars, that I really miss since going Gluten Free and Vegan.  So I notice when I find a Cheesecake recipe will fit into my special diet.  After all, why should be go without all the good tasting stuff just because we chose to eat healthier?

Chef Amber Shea has developed the perfect solution in our featured recipe …..  (Check out her link to see the full recipe.)

Cheesecake bars

Photo courtesy of Chef Amber Shea

Does this look absolutely delicious??

I would think  coconut nectar could replace the maple syrup, if you wanted.  And any nut — pecan or walnuts especially — could be substituted for the almonds.

Make sure to access the original recipe as Chef Amber shares lots of photos to help make this wonderful dessert a success!


Marti’s Squash Soup

My friend, Marti, is gluten intolerant just like us!  One of the classes I attended with her, she brought her homemade Squash Soup.  Of course, my first thought was …. well, not favorable!  I had tastes Squash Soup before, and hated it — terrible mouth feel and lacked good flavor.Soup Tureen 1

“But this soup has a secret ingredient,” she assured me with a slight twinkle in her eye.  Okay, I told her, I would try it, and boy, am I glad I did.  It was wonderful!!  Soon after, I made a batch at home and my husband, Malcolm, loved it as well.

Here is Marti’s Famous Squash Soup:

Marti’s Squash Soup

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Marti Wilkison
  • 4 cups baked squash
  • 1 box of veggie broth (I just used what I had – about 2-3 cups
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed
  • 1 Granny Smith or other apple, chopped (SECRET INGREDIENT!)
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  1. Saute onion, garlic and apple in oil. Add veggie broth.
  2. After they are cooked, run the ingredients through the Vitamix.
  3. Add squash and more broth or cream (I used coconut milk) until smooth.
  4. Heat until warm and serve.

Simple, good and nutritious.  Tastes great on a cold snowy day — or anytime you might want to try some wonderful Squash Soup!