Dairy-Free Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

You won’t believe how easy this pie is to make!  No oven, mixer or prep required.  This no-bake dessert can be made the day before.  Simply keep it in your fridge or cooler until ready to serve.  This recipe is a great dairy-free alternative to an icebox cake that can be made in far less time.  Be sure to tell your guests and kids that there is hummus in this pie only after they’ve licked their plates clean.

Prep time:  10 minutes                                                  Serves: 8-10

1 Extra Large dairy-free graham cracker pie crust

1 cup dairy-free chocolate hummus

2 tubs non-dairy whipped topping (I like coco whip)

2 yellow bananas

1 square of dairy-free chocolate (optional)

Stir 1/2 container (4.5 oz) of whipped topping and 1 cup chocolate hummus dip until fully incorporated.  Place the mixture into the bottom of the pie shell in an even layer.  Slice 2 bananas and place them on top of the chocolate mixture.  Top the bananas with the remaining tub and a half of whipped topping.  Shave or grate a piece of dairy-free chocolate on top of the whipped cream as a garnish.  Refrigerate for up to a day before serving.

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Dairy-Free Luscious Lemon Squares

These lemon squares will melt in your mouth.  They are sweet, tart and buttery with absolutely no dairy.  The glaze reminds me of the homemade lemon slush that I ate as a child growing up in East Boston.  It’s a struggle for me not to eat the glaze by the spoon full – it’s that good!  With a few simple ingredients you can make these delicious and refreshing lemon squares.

Prep Time:  15 minutes           Bake Time:  25 minutes          Makes 9 large squares

Ingredients:

Lemons Squares:

1 1/2 cups of softened or melted coconut oil

2 cups all purpose flour

2 large eggs

3 tbs lemon zest

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×9″ baking pan with cooking spray.  Zest and juice 2 lemons and set aside.  Strain the seeds out of the lemon juice.  (Be sure to only take the yellow skin off when zesting the lemons and not the white pith, which is bitter.)  In a medium bowl beat the flour, sugar, salt and coconut oil with a hand mixer.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, 3 tbsp juice and 3 tbsp zest until combined.  Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and beat until smooth (2 mins).  Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes until edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before glazing.  Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp lemon zest and 2 tbsp lemon juice until smooth and creamy.  Spread the glaze over the top of the cooled squares with a spatula and allow the glaze to set before cutting into 9 equal squares.

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Dairy-Free Elvis Banana Bread

The King would have loved this banana bread recipe because it has all of his favorite things baked into one loaf.  I took one of the most commonly baked breads and added a couple of ingredients that will make it a stand-out for dessert or breakfast.  I prefer to use almond or cashew butter because both of those nuts have anti-inflammatory properties but you can certainly use peanut butter if you prefer.  The carbs have been cut in half with the use of the almond flour and the majority of the fat is healthy fat from the nut butter and almond flour.  Enjoy a slice with your coffee and it will be hard not to cut yourself another piece.

Prep Time:  10 minutes             Cook Time:  50-60 minutes              Makes:  1 loaf (12 servings)

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond flour or almond meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 medium bananas)

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup peanut, almond or cashew butter

3 tbsp vegetable or avocado oil

3 tbsp liquid egg whites

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the bottom of a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium mixing bowl combine, flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to combine.  In a separate mixing bowl add the mashed bananas, almond milk, nut butter, oil and egg.  Stir until combined then add it to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Loosen the sides and gently remove the bread from the pan.  Slice and serve.

Dairy-Free Glazed Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake

My girls think that this cake tastes like a chocolate donut.  Right out of the mouth of babes!  This cake is so moist and rich that you won’t believe that there are actually healthy ingredients in there.  The pumpkin puree adds a lot of fiber as well as vitamin A and iron which supports immune health.  Cinnamon is one of the healthiest spices to use in baking because it can lower blood sugar levels and reduce heart disease risk factors.  1 teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as a cup of blueberries.  I reduced the fat by using egg whites and the carbs are reduced with the use of almond flour.  The best part is that this cake can be made without touching your cake mixer.  It’s a total win, win!

Prep Time:  15 minutes        Cook Time:   1 hour and 15 minutes         Makes: 1 bundt cake

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 15 oz can unsweetened pumpkin puree

3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

5 tbsp liquid egg whites

1/4 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Glaze:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Get two medium sized mixing bowls.  In one bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In the second bowl whisk together the almond milk, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, egg, oil, syrup and extract.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the liquids until just combined.  Transfer the batter to the bundt pan and bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with only a few moist crumbs attached.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a plate or wire rack.

Combine confectioner’s sugar and almond milk in a small bowl and stir to combine.  Once the cake is completely cool pour the glaze evenly onto the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.

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The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

These bars are so yummy and very versatile.  They are easy to whip up and great for a dessert or snack and a healthy way to get in your cholesterol lowering rolled oats.  The nut butter , egg whites and coconut oil adds protein and healthy fats and the chocolate chunks are just plain delicious.  Feel free to use any nut butter you enjoy and if your children need a nut-free treat for school simply use sunflower seed butter instead.  These store well in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                   Cook Time:  20 minutes                 Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

3/4 cup almond butter / cashew butter / peanut butter / sunflower seed butter

1/3 cup honey

4 tbsp liquid egg whites

2 tbsp of melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil, brown sugar , extract and salt until creamy.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chunks until the oats are completely covered in the peanut butter mixture.  Coat a 13X9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Press the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan.  Place in oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes then transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes.  Loosen the edges with a spatula or knife and slice into bars.

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Honey Lime Dressing

This dressing is delicious on a salad or used as a marinade for seafood.  Just remember that the acidity of the lime will cook the seafood, so marinate the fish for no longer than 15 minutes in the fridge.  You won’t find a bottled dressing that tastes quite as good as this vinaigrette and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can whip it up.  On top of that, limes have important vitamins and antioxidants, which among other things, can maintain heart health and improve the condition of your skin.  This dressing will keep well in the fridge for a up to 4 days.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                          Serves: 4

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tsp grated lime peel

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a small food processor.  As the food processor is blending, gradually add in the olive oil until combined.  The dressing will be white in color and the oil will be incorporated into the other ingredients.

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Dairy-Free Mango Oatmeal

This oatmeal is a great way to start your day on a healthy note.  If you don’t have time to make it in the morning simply cook and assemble bowls in advance and place the dishes in your fridge so that you can warm them up before you head out the door.

Mangos have so many health benefits.  There are antioxidants in this fruit that have cancer preventing properties and it helps lower cholesterol and unclog pores for clearer skin.  The vitamin A improves eye health and mangos help to alkalize the body as well.  Using almond milk increases the protein and amount of healthy fats.  The maple syrup is a natural sweetener packed with minerals and vitamins and the cinnamon adds depth of flavor.  Every component of this oatmeal is good for your body in a different way so try it – even if it’s for dinner!

Prep Time:  5 minutes                  Cook Time:  5-10 minutes                   Serves:  2-4

Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup whole grain stove top cooking oats

1/8 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

16 raw almonds chopped

1 fresh mango chopped into cubes

Pinch of salt

Add the oats, almond milk, salt, cinnamon and maple syrup to a small pan.  Bring to a slow boil and stir intermittently to prevent sticking.  Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the oats (5 – 8 minutes) and the oatmeal is thick.  Stir in the chopped mango and top with the almonds.  Serve warm.  Oatmeal will keep in the fridge for up to a week.  When you are reheating this dish you can add a splash of almond milk if you prefer a creamier consistency.

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken lettuce wraps are low calorie, low carb, low fat and low cholesterol but I promise you won’t mind that it’s missing all that bad stuff.  The bean sprouts and water chestnuts add a great crunch to the meat mixture and the sauce gives it a great Asian flavor.  (I bet it will be dripping down your arm by the end of the meal.)  These lettuce wraps make for a quick dinner or a healthy appetizer.  It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals and I am sure it will become a repeat on your dinner menu as well!

Prep Time:  15 Minutes                     Cook Time:  15 minutes                     Serves 4

Ingredients

2 lbs ground chicken

1 red bell pepper diced

5 oz can of peeled and sliced water chestnuts (chopped)

2 heads of Boston Lettuce

12 ounces of fresh bean sprouts

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet and add the chopped bell peppers.  Cook for 3 minutes until softened.  Add the ground chicken and stir for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.  While the chicken is cooking cut the stems off of the heads of lettuce and peel away each whole leaf and pile onto a plate.  Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce and corn starch and add to the chicken along with the bean sprouts and water chestnuts.  Stir to combine.  Add the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil while stirring.  Serve in a bowl so that each person can make their own wraps with hot sauce, siracha or chili sauce if desired.

 

 

Heavenly Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies

Peanut Butter and Oreos are my favorite flavor combination.  Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together?  When you put this dynamic duo into a cookie it’s pure heaven!  These cookies are dairy free and you can substitute almond or cashew butter in for the peanut butter if you prefer that flavor.  Feel free to use any chocolate sandwich cookie that you enjoy whether it be organic or low fat.  (In general, most chocolate sandwich cookies are dairy free, but check the ingredients to be sure.)

Prep Time:  15 minutes                   Bake Time:  13 minutes                 Makes 25-30 cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all purpose white flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup softened coconut oil

3 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups smooth or crunchy peanut butter (May also use almond or cashew butter)

20 chocolate sandwich cookies crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the cookies in a large resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin or sealed bottle of wine until they are in bite sized pieces.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt then set aside.  In another large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, coconut oil, sugar and oil until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Then add the peanut butter and beat until combined.  Stir in the flour mixture and crushed cookies to the wet ingredients.  Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes or until firm.

Shape and roll the dough into golf ball-sized balls.  Place the dough on a cookie sheet rather close together because the cookies will not spread while baking.  Bake for 13 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.

Rosemary Pork Loin Dinner

What could be better than only one dirty pan in the sink after dinner?  You can make this meal quickly and easily with just a little chopping and everything cooks at the same time in one pan.  The sweet and tangy Roasted Applesauce recipe on this blog compliments this pork nicely.  If zucchini, carrots and potatoes aren’t your thing swap them out for mushrooms, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or peppers.  The best way to eat pork is slightly pink in the middle so that it remains juicy and tender.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                     Cook Time:  30 – 60 minutes               Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1.5 – 3 lb pork tenderloin (excess fat trimmed)

5 carrots peeled and cut on the bias into 2 inch pieces

2 large zucchini cut into 1 inch rounds

2-3 large potatoes cut into cubes (skin on or removed depending on preference)

2 shallots peeled and cut into thick round slices

2 tbsp avocado oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground pepper

1 tbsp fresh rosemary (strip the green leaves from the stem and chop coarsely)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the chopped vegetables in an even layer on the bottom of a large casserole dish or baking pan.  Sprinkle with 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper.  Toss to coat the vegetables.  Place the trimmed pork loin on top of all of the vegetables and rub with the remaining 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and 1 tbsp oil and rosemary.  Place into the oven for 30 – 60 minutes depending on the thickness and weight of the tenderloin.  When a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees remove it from the oven and place the loin on a cutting board and cover it with foil for 5-10 minutes to allow the meat to rest and the juices to redistribute.  Cut the tenderloin into thick slices and serve with the vegetables and optional applesauce.