Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie/Milkshake

Strawberry Kiwi SmoothieEven though I can have dairy again I still don’t like milk.

Unless I’m baking with it or making hot chocolate with it.

Call me crazy, but I don’t ever remember being forced to drink milk as a child except for one time when I was being babysat with a friend by her grandparents. They were also forcing me to eat a sandwich heavy dressed with mayo. That was not a good day.

With my continued dislike of milk in mind, I am still making smoothies and milkshakes with dairy-free milk.

I started making this Strawberry Kiwi smoothie last summer when I had a lot of strawberries and kiwis in my grocery delivery. It was easy to prep both for freezing to use later. Two weeks ago, I used up the last of my frozen kiwis and strawberries then wondered, why haven’t I shared this with you?

Oh, right. I’ve been writing.

Well now you get this just in time for the strawberries and kiwis showing up in the market. You can use frozen strawberries from the frozen food section, but if you have the time to do it, I recommend buying fresh and freezing them yourself. When they are in season the prices go down, which makes it cheaper than buying a package of frozen berries. I normally buy my berries when they are on sale, making them even cheaper.

If this is your first experience with one of my smoothie recipes, I do not make them for meal replacements. I do not use protein powders or other things you might find in a meal replacement smoothie/shake. I try to keep them limited to just what you will find in your pantry and refrigerator because I see them as a quick snack rather than a meal. I prefer to chew my food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If you don’t like hemp seeds or are allergic, just use your favorite dairy-free milk. Or regular milk if you swing that way. The maca root powder can be omitted, but I find that it gives the hemp milk a milky-er feel.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie/Milkshake – serves 1

1 cup filtered water

1 tablespoon hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)

2 teaspoons maca root powder

4-5 frozen strawberries

5-6 slices frozen kiwi

1 tablespoon nut butter of choice (optional, or use a tiny amount of Sunbutter or tahini if allergic to peanuts or nuts)

1 tablespoon raw local honey (or other sweetener of choice)

Add water, hemp hearts, and maca root powder and blend until milky. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Chicken & Gluten-Free Dumplings

Chicken & DumplingsI never gave too much thought to chicken and dumplings until I moved to Kentucky. My mother rarely made it when I was growing up and it is not something you find in Hawai`i.

My MIL seemed to make it often though. She did the rolled dumplings. I was used to drop dumplings. I made them a few times, but drop dumplings are easier. Less to clean up!

I have worked on this recipe for the last two years trying different all-purpose gluten-free flour mixes and different measurements for the ingredients. The flour mix you use does matter. I am giving you two options: an all-purpose mix and measure your own flours. The all-purpose mix will give you a lighter, fluffier dumpling, especially if you use bacon fat. The measure your own flours will be a bit denser.

You can make this over the stove or in a slow cooker.

Chicken (or turkey) & Gluten-Free Dumplings – serves 4-6

1 pound cooked chicken or turkey, chopped

1 onion, diced

2 or 3 large carrots, quartered & sliced, OR 1 bunch small carrots, sliced

3 celery stalks, halved lengthwise & sliced

9 – 12 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme OR 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

1 cup frozen peas (or fresh)

2 cups Hodgson Mills All-Purpose Gluten-Free flour OR 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 2/3 cup sorghum flour, and 2/3 cup tapioca flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 – 3/4 cup dairy-free milk or cream

2 tablespoons bacon fat (melted), olive oil, or soy-free Earth Balance (melted)

Add chicken, onion, carrots, celery, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, and salt to a large pot or slow cooker. Simmer for an hour over the stove or on low in a slow cooker for 4 – 5 hours. The larger your carrot pieces, the longer you want it in the slow cooker.  Before the end of the cooking time, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the fat/oil and dairy-free milk. Start with 2/3 cup of the dairy-free milk and slowly mix in more if needed. You want the dough to be thick. If it is thin, you will end up with pot pie instead. At the end of the cooking time, remove the bay leaf and add the peas. Drop the dough in by tablespoon. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more on the stove or 30 minutes more in the slow cooker. If you want to thicken your soup, add a little milk to the remaining dough mix in the mixing bowl to create a slurry and add it to the pot.

Dairy-Free Corn Chowder

Corn ChowderComfort food is different for everyone. A couple of months ago, my cousin posted a picture on Instagram of her Corn Chowder. Then it hit me, I had not made it in a long time. Probably because it is a cream based soup and I avoid cannot have dairy. I decided I wanted corn chowder and the lack of dairy was not going to stop me.

If you have not had corn chowder before, think New England clam chowder. Sometimes I think, where’s the clams, when I eat it. It is always a great thing to make a big pot of to have leftovers for later, which is how I cooked when I was in college and living on my own. I would not have to cook for days.

As this publishes, I am on my way to a small family reunion with my dad’s side of the family. While my cousin will not be there, her mom will be and I love her to death. She’s like a big sister, auntie, and mother all rolled into one.

I made this soup with several different coconut milk/creamer combinations. I am confident that it will also work with MimicCreme. I also added Butternut or Delicata squash in several of the experiments to up the vegetable factor. This is purely optional. I also went back and forth between fresh corn off the cob and canned corn. It tasted better with the fresh corn, but most people use canned corn which works just as well.

Corn Chowder – serves 4-6

2 ears corn, kernels removed, cob reserved OR 2 cans sweet corn OR 1 can sweet corn and 1 can creamed corn (do not drain the canned corn)

1 large leek OR 2 medium leeks OR 3 small leeks, quartered and sliced

12 ounces bacon chopped

2 Russet potatoes OR 1 pound gold/red/blue potatoes, diced

2 cups diced Butternut or Delicata squash (optional)

1 teaspoon dried thyme OR 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Salt to taste

2 teaspoons ground white pepper

1 pint So Delicious coconut creamer and 11 oz. So Delicious Culinary coconut milk OR 2 pints So Delicious coconut creamer OR 1 pint So Delicious coconut creamer and 1 can light coconut milk

Heat a large pot over medium and add bacon. Stir until the bacon sweats. Stir in leeks and let cook for about five minutes. Add corn, potatoes, and squash (if using). If using canned corn, include the liquid. Add salt and white pepper and stir well. Cook for one minute. Add coconut creamer and milk. Lower heat and simmer for an hour until potatoes are cooked through.