Tag Archive

About.com Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Art of Gluten Free Baking breakfast celiac disease Chef Amber Shea chia seeds chocolate Christmas Cookies coconut Coconut Aminos coconut milk cookies Dairy Free Diet, Health and Gluten Dr. Mark Hyman Dr. Vikki Petersen entree flexitarian gluten free gluten free grains Gluten Free Pasta Salad Gluten Free Vegan gluten free vegan recipe Gluten free vegan recipes Happy Herbivore Holiday Cookies Jane Anderson Jules Gluten Free Jules Shepard Jules Shephard Lindsay Nixon Living Without meat substitutes new products pumpkin quinoa raw food Salad Sandy's recipe Sandy's recipes snacks vegan vegenaise where to eat gluten free

What is a Flexitarian?

Last week, I posted an article on What is a Vegan?  Because I admitted that I was really not a vegan any longer, this was a difficult post to write.

So today, I am going to explain that I am a Flexitarian and why ….What is a Flexitarian?

First, what is a flexitarian?  According to Wikipedia:

A semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet is one that is plant-based with the occasional inclusion of meat products. In 2003, the American Dialect Society voted flexitarian as the year’s most useful word and defined it as “a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat”.  In 2012, the term was listed for the first time in the mainstream Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat. Common reasons for adopting a flexitarian diet may be health, environment or reduction of resource consumption, which are also arguments in favor of adopting a fully vegetarian diet. While flexitarians may view the flexitarian diet as occasional indulgences, vegetarians may strongly resent the term and view it as cheating or as a moral lapse. Other than flexitarian diets that may include any type of meat, semi-vegetarianism includes:

  • Pollotarians: They eat chicken or other poultry, but not meat from mammals, often for environmental, health or food justice reasons.
  • Pescetarians: They eat fish or other seafood, but not poultry or meat from mammals. The macrobiotic diet is plant-based, and may or may not include the occasional addition of fish or other seafood.
  • Pollo-pescetarians: They eat fish and poultry, but not meat from mammals.

So yes, I eat meat occasionally.

My story is rather interesting as I grew up in a ‘meat and potatoes’ family (or a meat and macaroni family!) and never really enjoyed eating much.  Once I got out on my own in college, I ate lots of vegetable dishes — often without meat at all!

Salad or soups/stews have always been one of my favorite meals.  But it never occurred to me that my body needed more veggies!  When I got sick from the overload of gluten, my naturopathic, who diagnosed me, was a vegan.  He and his wife spent time helping me adapted a vegan — or nearly vegan diet!  I felt like I had found home!!

So why did I switch to a Flexitarian diet?  After being vegan for a few years, I went back to be retested.  My naturopathic doctor discovered my high uric acid level and asked me again if I really had given up red meat!!  After some research, I discovered that the extra uric acid was, mostly likely, coming from the extra beans I was eating.

So once again, for health reasons, I changed my diet again.  I now eat poultry a few times a week, have an occasional fish or pork dish — and almost never eat beef.

There you have it!



Are You Getting Enough Protein?

I don’t know about you, but I have heard this question numerous times when I tell people I am vegan.  The meat industry has inundated the public with so much false information about the need for meat for protein, that the average person has no idea what or where to find plant based protein.  Unfortunately, most don’t even know that you can get protein outside of meat or dairy products!

Are you getting enough protein. Happily for us gluten free vegans, there are numerous sources to find good protein — but one needs to be careful as many of the typical vegan protein sources contain gluten … and often, LOTS of gluten!

My go-to expert on the subject is Jane Anderson of About.com:  Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity expert.

Here is her list of good, safe vegan protein sources:

So What Protein Sources Fit My Gluten-Free Vegetarian or Vegan Diet?

• Whole grains. You obviously can’t eat wheat, barley or rye if you’re gluten-free, but there are tons of alternative grains out there. Amaranth and quinoa — at about 8 to 9 grams of protein per cup of cooked grain — are among your best bets for packing in the protein.

• Legumes. Beans are another obvious source of protein on your diet, and there are literally hundreds of great recipes for bean-based gluten-free vegetarian dishes out there.  … a cup of boiled lentils gives you 18 grams of protein, while kidney beans come in just below that, at 16 grams per cup.

• Nuts and seeds. Half a cup of pecans can provide you with 5 grams of protein, while 1 ounce of chunky peanut butter nets you 7 grams. You might also consider using almond flour to replace some of your regular gluten-free flour in baked goods to boost your protein consumption — half a cup contains about 12 grams.

• Tofu and soy products. Soy (a common component of vegetarian and vegan dishes) can provide you with plenty of protein. For example, you can add tofu to your dishes (one-fourth of a typical box nets you about 6 grams of protein) and snack on edamame (a cup of edamame in a Japanese restaurant — or at home in your own kitchen — will provide a whopping 22 grams).

• Meat substitute products. There’s a multitude of meat substitute products on the market these days, both in the produce department of the supermarket and in the freezer section — it seems like you can choose anything from a plain burger to exotic meat-free “sausages.”

• Green vegetables (and those in other colors). Don’t forget that basic vegetables — the foundation of your vegetarian or vegan diet — also can contribute some protein. Asparagus, for example, contains 3 grams per cup … and when it’s in season each spring.  Cauliflower also offers some protein: about 2 grams per cup, chopped. And cauliflower’s cruciferous relatives, broccoli and brussel sprouts, can kick in about 3 grams per cup. Even fruit contains a bit of protein — usually about 1 gram per piece, give or take.


Personally, I don’t eat soy products, mostly because I have thyroid issues.  I also don’t eat meat substitute products for the same reason.  Also, many meat substitutes contain gluten, so be diligent about reading labels before you buy any meat substitutes!

I am happiest with a taco salad or any Mexican style dish that includes beans!

How about you?  What do you eat to make sure you get enough protein?


Make Your Own Fruit Bars

I use to love granola type bars, but have had a hard time finding any great tasting and nutritious bars that are both Gluten Free or Vegan.

…. Then I found this video.

Let me share how to make:

Vegan, Gluten-Free Fruit and Nut Bite Recipe From Pure Bar’s Founder

I bet this would taste great with coconut like she suggested.

What would you use in these bars?


Gluten Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Good Gluten Free Vegan sauces are hard to find and somewhat difficult to replicate from traditional recipes.  I really miss my “mushroom soup” sauce, but I think this Gluten Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce will work well by just adding mushrooms — or at least work well enough!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Navy Bean “Alfredo Sauce”

  • 2 T Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free AP Flour (this flour is mostly made from protein rich garbanzo bean flour…very good for you!)
  • 2 T alternative to butter.  I used soy free Earth Balance.  (I plan to try it with coconut oil as well at some point)
  • 1 cup Rice Milk, unsweetened (or Oat or Soy milk)
  • 1 can organic Navy Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 container veggie broth
  • Nutritional Yeast to taste
  • Organic Worcestershire
  • Salt n black pepper to taste


Personally, I am allergic to navy beans, but I would think any while bean would work.  And of course, I would also add mushrooms!

How would you use this recipe?


Summer Berry Treats

Berries and summer go together!  I see berries everywhere I go:  the grocery store, farmer’s markets, …. even in my own yard the blackberries are everywhere (looks like a bummer crop this year).  And of course, with the ripe berries is an array of Summer Berry Treats.

Today, I am featuring two Summer Berry Treats:

  • Vegan, Gluten-Free Mixed Berry Crumble Recipe
  • Vegan, Gluten-Free Strawberry Tart Recipe

Both recipes are from Briana Rognlin, BlissTree blog post, but the original recipes are featured in Colette Martin’s Learning to Bake Allergent Free cookbook.

Mixed Berry Crumble

{Makes 8 to 12 servings}

5 cups mixed berries (see tip)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup corn starch
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup gluten-free quick-cooking oats
4 tablespoons (½ stick) Earth Balance Natural
Shortening, cold


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the fruit and lime juice, by hand.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and corn starch. Sprinkle it over the fruit mixture and toss to coat the fruit. Set it aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and oats. Break up any lumps of brown sugar.
  5. Cut the shortening into tablespoon-sized pieces. Use a pastry cutter or pastry fork to cut the shortening into the oat mixture.
  6. Spread the fruit mixture evenly in the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the oat mixture on top of the fruit. Use the flat side of a spoon to lightly pack the topping.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling around the edges.
If that recipe does not sound yummy enough to make you go out and pick/buy some berries today, maybe this next recipe from Colette Martin’s book will …..

Strawberry Tartlets

1 cup gluten-free flour blend
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (leave out if your flour blend contains xanthan gum)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) Earth Balance Natural
Shortening, cold
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 to 3 tablespoons cold water (as needed)
1 cup sliced strawberries (see tip)
1½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
1½ teaspoons tapioca starch
1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons raw sugar (optional)


  • Combine the flour, xanthan gum (if needed), salt, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • Cut the shortening into tablespoon-sized pieces and place them on top of the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or pastry fork to cut the shortening into the flour mixture.
  • When the flour and shortening are crumbly, add the apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Continue cutting the ingredients together.
  • Add up to 2 tablespoons additional water, ½ tablespoon at a time, as needed. Continue cutting until the dough forms.
  • Separate the dough and use your hands to create four equal-sized balls. Flatten the balls. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • When you are ready to roll out the dough, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking oil.
  • Coat the strawberries with lime juice.
  • Combine the tapioca starch and the granulated sugar. Mix this together with the strawberries, by hand, and then set it aside.
  • Place the dough on a smooth prep surface.
  • Using a rolling pin, gently roll each disk into a thin crust, about 6-7 inches round.
  • Use a spatula to gently lift the crusts and place them on the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Scoop the strawberry mixture into the centers of the crusts. Discard any remaining liquid.
  • Form the tartlets with your hands by folding the edges of the crusts over the berry filling, leaving the center open. Repair any broken pieces of crust with your fingers and a dab of water, if needed.
  • If a sugar crust is desired, use your fingers to sprinkle raw sugar over the folded crusts.
  • Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crusts are lightly browned and the strawberry filling is bubbling.
If you are interested in more recipes by Colette Martin, click the link below to order a copy of her book:


Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean and rice make healthy great tasting burgers.  If you are a Gluten Free Vegan looking for a hearty protein, this recipe for Black Bean Burger should work for you!

Laurie Chamberlain, author of this recipe, worked on this recipe for quite some time before coming up with the finished product.  And I love her disclaimer:  “These are delicious black bean and rice burgers. They are not intended to taste like a beef burgers nor do they. If you make these burger and they come out tasting like spiced black beans and rice….you have succeeded!! Enjoy.”

Black Bean Veggie Burger (gluten free, vegan, no oil)

Black Bean Burger
2 c. cooked black beans
2 c. packed, cooked short grained brown rice (long grain brown rice is okay and day old is best)
1/2 -1 c. uncooked pureed kale (optional)
1 large onion roughly chopped
3-5 garlic cloves roughly chopped (depends how much you like garlic)
2 TBS nut butter of choice (I used sunflower butter)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
3 TBS ground flaxseed meal
1 1/2 c chili powder
1/4 c. arrowroot or potato starch (tweak: use flour or starch of choice)
1/4 c. brown rice flour (tweak: use flour of choice)


If you like this recipe, you may also like the recipes featured on my Meatless Recipes Squidoo Lens


White Potato Borscht Soup

Love soup, but hate beets?  Stealthy Mom developed this version of Borscht Soup using potatoes rather than beets … so I have called it White Potato Borscht Soup!

Most of the cooking is done in a crock pot, so it is a perfect dish to make in the morning before work or church and have it ready by supper time.  I often am too tired at the end of the day to make a nice meal and love crock pot dinners!!

White Borscht (gluten free, vegan)

White Potato Borscht Soup

1/4 cup diced onion
3 stalks celery, sliced
olive oil

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into one-inch cubes
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cups dry Great Northern/ white kidney beans
8 cups water
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp chili powder


If you make this soup, I would recommend using a different type of oil to cook the veggies.  Check out the link below:


Meat Substitute

If you are new to Vegan eating and cooking, Meat Substitutes may be a challenge for you.  I know it was for my husband (by the way, he went back to eating meat …. but that is a different story).  Meat just has the density that most vegan food does not.  Now days, there are lots of option for finding Vegan Meat Substitutes … and they can tastes really good!

Just as a side note, watch carefully when you purchase Meat Substitutes as many contain Gluten!

Meat  Substitute

Meat Substitute Market Beefs Up

… a U.S. product database found that 110 new meat substitute products were introduced in 2010 and 2011. And according to SymphonyIRI Group, a market research firm, frozen meat substitute sales reached $267 million in 2011.

All those new products are giving people who are looking for tasty alternatives to meat a lot more choice. And they’re making it easier for Weber and his organization, Farm Animal Rights Movement, or FARM, to persuade people to limit the meat in their diets.


Check out these resources for making your own Meat Substitute (which is what I ended up doing for my husband and myself!)


Plant Based Diet Myths

Made Just Right blog by Earth Balance is featuring a series of post of Shattering Myths About Plant Based Diets.  The series is based on the research done by Janice Stanger 2011 survey, VEGAN FROM THE INSIDE.

Posted here is Myth #5.  Links to Myth 1, 2, 3 and 4 are posted on the site.

MYTH #5: A vegan diet requires a high level of discipline and is difficult to stick to in the long-run.

According to 64.5% of respondents, transitioning to a plant-based diet required some effort. 10.3% said it took a lot of effort, while 24.9% noted the transition was effortless for them.

Over time, not much discipline is required to remain vegan; 61.2% observe staying on a vegan diet on an ongoing basis is effortless. Only 3.2% say it takes a lot of effort.

The percentage who find staying vegan effortless rises the longer people stay on a plant- based diet. If a vegan diet were really so much work, then would 94.4% intend to stay on it for the rest of their life?

If you are interested in reading results of the survey, Vegan from the Inside, click here for the PDF file.

Order Janice Stangers book, The Perfect Formula Diet:



Pistachio Pudding: Gluten-free, Vegan

Who says pudding needs to be made with dairy milk?  Unless you are familiar with the numerous dairy substitutes, you will not believe what is in this Gluten Free Pistachio Pudding.

Pistachio Avocado Pudding
(gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, no-cook, vegan*)


  • 3 large ripe avocados
  • 1 cup shelled dry roasted pistachios
  • 1/3 cup sugar or agave nectar or raw honey or sweetener of choice that equivalent
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plus + 1 TBSP cold water + water for soaking pistachios
  • Extra chopped pistachios for sprinkling on top

Pistachio Pudding:  Gluten Free, Vegan


Just amazing what you can do with avocados!!  Most gluten free vegan desserts using avocados and other interesting substitute ingredients:

Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate

Click here to visit the original source of this post