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.

Eggless Egg Salad

Eggless Egg SaladOn our last day in Cleveland a few weeks ago, we had lunch at our hotel before walking down to the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. My steak salad included hearts of palm which struck me as texture-wise as similar to hard-boiled eggs.

BINGO!

I really do miss eggs. Runny eggs for breakfast, over leftovers, or in soup/stews. Hard boiled eggs for salads, sandwiches, and snacks. Raw eggs to add to batter for baking. I’m making it through, but I think anyone who had to give up eggs will agree with me about missing them.

The hearts of palm went quickly from idea to plate. That’s how much I miss eggs.

My first round topped a salad. The second round was wrapped up in lettuce after my tester said one of her people was curious about it as a lettuce cup. My grocer didn’t have endive to do a nice little cup, so I used Boston lettuce instead and made a wrap. Just as good.

My recommendation to you, if you make this, make sure you have diced avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds to go with it. The diced avocado gives it the creaminess that hard-boiled egg yolks would. The toasted pumpkin seeds give it the meatiness. I use ground mustard because I cannot have prepared mustard. If you use prepared mustard in its place, it will have a much different taste. Eggless Egg Salad 2

Eggless Egg Salad – serves 2-4

2 14 ounce cans hearts of palm, diced (it’s easier to get the long stalks to dice rather than the chunks)

1 avocado, halved

2 teaspoons ground mustard

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

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

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

salt to taste

squeeze of lemon juice

pinch of ground coriander and ground cardamom

olive oil

Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast until fragrant. Set aside. Place diced hearts of palm in a small mixing bowl. In a blender or food processor add half the avocado in large pieces, ground mustard, hemp seeds, 2 tablespoons of the toasted pumpkin seeds, raw honey, turmeric, salt, lemon juice, ground coriander, ground cardamom, and a little olive oil. Start your blender or food processor and remove the center piece of the lid or push through. Drizzle olive oil in until you have your desired consistency.  Pour over the hearts of palm and mix well. Refrigerate if you want to serve it cold. Serve over lettuce leaves, on a salad, or between two slices of allergy-free bread. Garnish with the remaining half of avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds.

If you want to serve it on the same salad I did in the first picture you’ll need: 2 romaine hearts, chopped; 1 cucumber, de-seeded, quartered, sliced; 5 radishes, halved, sliced, and one cup shredded carrot.

Port Wine “Cheese”

Port Wine "Cheese" ~ gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free

Port Wine “Cheese” ~ gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free

I know I was quiet on here for over a week.  A little unusual since I was posting regularly.  Rest assured I’m not super sick or life is spiraling out of control as it seems to do when I disappear.  I really didn’t mean to.  Every time I sat down at the laptop to write this post dialogue, scenes, and ideas swirled through my brain and I had to write them down.  I’m not even sure what happened this week other than I spent a lot of time typing on the keyboard.  So much so that Chaz was wondering what happened to his wife.  He’s never seen me in full-blown creative writing mode.  I’m not sure he likes this mode of mine, but he didn’t complain.

Finally, I can give you this recipe I keep making this week because I can’t seem to stop eating it.  Chaz and I used to eat a lot of port wine cheese years ago.  I can’t remember when we stopped buying it, but I started missing it recently and decided I needed to play with a dairy-free version.

You can eat this with your favorite gluten-free crackers or with veggie sticks.  I ran out of celery pairing it with this.  If you are vegan, make sure your port wine is vegan like Crusted Port, Single Quinta Port, Traditional LBV, or Vintage Port.

Port Wine “Cheese”

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours

3 tablespoons port wine

1 tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil (I like it better with the olive oil)

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon filtered water

salt, to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process for a few minutes.  Scrape down the sides and bottom as best you can and process for a few minutes.  Test it and adjust salt as needed. Repeat scraping down the sides and bottom.  Process until it is as smooth as you want and then chill in the refrigerator.  You can eat it when it is done processing.  Chilling it makes it firmer like a regular dairy port wine cheese would be.

This recipe is linked to Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs; 5-Ingredient Mondays at The Daily Dietribe; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free; and Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.