Vegan Hot Dogs

Yes! You can enjoy hot dogs and still be vegan!

Some of the brands on the market have gluten in them, so if you are strictly gluten-free, look for brands without.

Just like hamburgers, usually what we love about hotdogs are all the accoutrements: mustard, ketchup, relish, etc.

This recipe uses a wrap, instead of a bun but there are several gluten-free buns out there. I just personally prefer a wrap.

Whether you use a grill or pan, splitting the veggie dog down the middle, For more surface area, makes a big difference. I like to char both sides And then place on top of a gluten free wrap that I have lightly toasted, On both sides.

The accompaniments make all the difference…You need to find what you love.

I love chopped dill pickle (Bubbies are great…), chopped red onion and a little Bit of minced jalapeno. I also like to use yellow and Dijon mustard along with Ketchup…and then I wrap it all up like a burrito.

I’d love to hear about your favorite version!

Beet Margaritas

Beet Syrup Servings: Makes 2 Cups

Beet Margarita Servings: Serves 1 (generous)

Okay! I have a few things to say about this recipe!

First: Isn’t my husband adorable? Good job, honey!

2nd: I’m not advocating drinking alcohol as a health habit but if you do imbibe, this is a way to get some anti-oxidants from the beets, which are really a super-food and the lime juice. You could also add fresh basil or arugula to the syrup or the finished product to increase the nutritional content. 3rd: I don’t normally like margaritas much but these are AMAZING!

Read about the benefits of beets here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

 

 

Gluten Free Vegan “Crab” Dip

I’ve never really had real crab dip so I had no idea what to expect with this dish but it sounded interesting because I love hearts of palm.

It was a super easy dish to make and between the beans, nutritional yeast, kelp, lemon, onions and hearts of palm, it’s a dish that’s super good for us. You can never find enough reasons to get beans into your diet every day. Read more about that here: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20886500,00.html#pass-the-beans-0

I found it pretty salty so cut down on the Old Bay Seasoning on the second batch. I think it’s a cool sounding dish but I wasn’t crazy about it, however, everyone else loved it…go figure! I have to wrap my brain around whether or not I want to make dishes that I don’t personally love…what do you think?

Update: I’ve now made this dish several more times and the verdict is IN: it’s a crowd pleaser!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Source for recipe:  https://simplygluten-free.com

Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I really didn’t know what stroganoff was. It sounded fancy and exotic but I never had a chance to have it and then I started learning more about nutrition and realized that traditional stroganoff dishes are full of fat and gluten. I really didn’t give it another thought until I came across this recipe on this website. I’d like to give it a few more tweaks and serve it over some fresh gluten free pasta but overall, it IS a fancy and exotic dish! I’m not crazy about the baby onions left whole…I think I would try them cut into quarters next time.

Nutrition “factoids”:

One major difference between these two mushroom types is nutritional value. While Portobello mushrooms are high in iron, potassium and vitamin D, no one ranks them as highly as the Shiitake variety for health.

Cultures around the world prize Shiitake mushrooms for their health benefit. Advocates of Shiitake mushrooms say ingesting these mushrooms prevents heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels. Further, animal tests have shown that a compound in the Shiitake called lentinin has anti-tumor and immune system-boosting benefits. In human studies, lentinin was beneficial in prolonging life of patients with stomach and colon cancers. Wow! Who knew? Here’s a link to other health benefits of mushrooms: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-mushroom.html

Enjoy!

Mango Sorbet and Berries

All I can say is YUM! Choices for vegan, gluten-free desserts are usually quite slim…often just fruit. This simple-to-assemble dessert is a staple at our house. I always make sure to have Trader Joe’s Mango Sorbet, Limoncello and fresh berries on hand. (frozen will work, in a pinch) This dessert makes any dinner end on a special note. (you could leave out the limoncello, if you don’t care for adding alcohol)

Now, some of my viewers may think this isn’t really a recipe…and you’re right! It’s more of an idea but I just had to share it with you.

The dish you use can make all the difference; I love fancy!

I just start with a generous scoop of the sorbet, a handful of the berries (I prefer raspberries and blueberries) and a splash of the limoncello over the top…it kind of makes little crystals…really cool texture! You can play around with toppings but in the years that I’ve been making this little gem, I have to say this combination is my favorite!

Apart from the small amount of alcohol in the limoncello and sugar in the sorbet, this dessert carries many health benefits! Berries, mangos and lemons are such power-houses.

I’ve written about mango and lemons in past seaons so let’s focus on berries. They are one of the most nutrient foods on the planet.

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanins, that may help keep memory sharp as you age, and raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound with anti-cancer properties. All berries are great sources of fiber, a nutrient important for a healthy digestive system. But if you need more reasons to dig into summer’s sun-kissed little fruits, look no further than two new studies, which suggest that berries may be good for your heart and your bones as well.

In a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health.

Polyphenols like ellagic acid and anthocyanins may increase levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that produces a number of heart-healthy effects. One is helping to relax blood vessels, which subsequently results in lowered blood pressure. Polyphenols may also help preserve bone density after menopause, according to new research in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. More research is needed but the data suggest that eating even a small amount of blueberries each day—perhaps as little as 1/4 cup—could be good for anyone’s bones. (source: www.eatingwell.com)

The Best Darn Lasagna Ever (Vegan & Gluten Free)

This has become one of our family’s favorite dishes! Someone gave me a stained, torn copy of the recipe. I later discovered it on www.geniuskitchen.com I love making it before the holidays because it feeds a hungry house with something very different than we will be having for the holiday! It stores well and provides a hearty lunch, dinner or snack for the whole brood. I’ve also used the filling in my Eggplant “Cannelloni. The filling itself also freezes well.

I can’t say that EVERY ingredient is a health food but most of them are and using gluten free noodles and faux cheese and meat make it a much healthier option that traditional meat and cheese lasagna. There are many faux cheeses and meats on the market that are actually quite nutritious: made from nuts and plants. These are the brands that I choose.

Spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, garlic and tofu are superfoods that I love getting into my diet as often as possible and putting them into a dish as delicious as this lasagna makes it a no brainer! I won’t lie, this is a time-consuming dish to make, but so worth it. The biggest tip I can give is to make the filling one day and assemble it the next. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Deviled Tomatoes

Vegan
Prep time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 8 to 10

If you no longer eat eggs but have a craving for the retro classic, deviled eggs, you’ll really enjoy these deviled tomatoes — a completely vegan rendition 

I love bringing delicious, surprising dishes to get-togethers: holidays, parties, networking events, etc. I grew up in a small Midwest town where deviled eggs were the height of “fancy”!

My friend, Suzanne, brought this dish to a little get together and I was smitten…I think you will be, too!

In addition to being beautiful and delicious, every ingredient in this dish is SO GOOD for us. My favorite is the tomato! I LOVE tomatoes and use them every chance I get; I hope you will, too!

The health benefits of tomatoes include eye care, stomach health and reduced blood pressure. They can provide relief from diabetes, skin problems and urinary tract infections. Furthermore, they can improve digestion, stimulate blood circulation, reduce cholesterol levels, improve fluid balance, protect the kidneys, detoxify the body, prevent premature aging and reduce inflammation. Tomatoes consist of a large number of antioxidants that have been proven to fight different forms of cancer. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and exert a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.

The health benefits of tomatoes can be attributed to an impressive amount of vitamin A, C, and vitamin K, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate and thiamin. They are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper. They have dietary fiber and protein, as well as a number of organic compounds like lycopene that contribute to their health benefits. (source: https://www.organicfacts.net)

I tried making them with both cherry and small roma tomatoes. I liked the texture and size of the romas best. To get them to sit upright, I cut the tips off the pointy ends being careful to not cut through. I saved the insides and used them in a tomato sauce. This is a new favorite of mine! Let me know what you think!

Joy Makes a Mocktail

Whether you are someone who enjoys a cocktail or glass of wine, it’s nice to have this “mock tail” in your arsenal when entertaining or just desiring to feel festive without the alcohol.

The soda gives it fizz; the muddled fruits/veggies give it some nice flavors (AND antioxidants) and the apple cider vinegar gives it a little “WOW” factor while adding tremendous health benefits.

Vinegar has been shown to have numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels:

For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons.

If you’re currently taking blood sugar lowering medications, then check with your doctor before increasing your intake of apple cider vinegar.

Studies suggest that vinegar can increase feelings of fullness and help people eat fewer calories, which can lead to weight loss.

Several animal studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure, but this needs to be confirmed in human studies.

Some studies in test tubes and rats have shown that rice vinegar can slow the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors.

All this said, this is a delicious alternative to wine or cocktails! Enjoy!

Joy Makes Lemon Drops

Ok, not much is healthy about this recipe except the lemons (benefits of these below)! This IS a holiday recipe collection, however and this has become a Christmas staple for us. We like to use festive little glasses so this recipe can actually serve a few people from this recipe.

benefits-of-lemon

Joy and Janis Make Holiday Gluten Free Pankcakes

Notes:

My sister, Janis, has perfected this recipe. It’ a perfect combination of healthful ingredient and deliciousness! It wouldn’t be a holiday morning without her making batches and batches of these for everyone! Getting all of these grains, nuts and seeds in your diet is so helpful for brain & heart health as well as managing weight. Thanks, Janis!