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The True Food, Roasted Cauliflower Dish

My Love Affair with True Food Kitchen 

A few years back, my brother was living in the windy city of Chicago. Easter weekend was coming up, which meant our traditional Good Friday cooking of Abietz (a family recipe we've been making for years started by our Grandfather - you can read about that story here). We've always been together on this day for as long as I can remember, aside from our college years when sports got in the way. So when he asked me to come visit, I couldn't wait to spend this special weekend together. 

My brother showed me all the cool places in Chicago including Eataly (where we purchased all of our ingredients for the Italian bread we were going to make), the Chicago Riverwalk, Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, and a whole lot of awesome places to eat.

And being the super cool brother that he is, he scoped out places that he knew would align with the way I eat. One of those places was True Food Kitchen by Dr. Andrew Weil. He knew this place...

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Jessica's Special Sauce (aka Harissa Tahini Sauce)

The Sauce Really Does Make the Dish 

This special sauce was made for the True Food, Roasted Cauliflower dish and truly makes the dish. BUT it can also be used with other dishes just as well.

Mix it up and pour it over a loaded sweet potato, over some steamed broccoli for added flavor or drizzle over any animal protein.

You must tell me what you think! 

Two tips for you when making the sauce:

  1. Use the Soom brand for the Tahini. It is superior quality to any other I have ever used. Plus it is women owned and Philadelphia based. Love that!
  2. Use the Entube brand for the Harissa paste. OMG it is divine. 

Jessica's Special Sauce, aka Harissa Tahini Sauce

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free
Author: Jessica Yeager
Inspired by: True Food Kitchen
 
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Tahini 
2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1/2 tbsp Harissa paste 

Get the Goods

  1. Combine all...
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Penne alla Vodka [GF, DF, SF]

A Nod to My Sister's Penne alla Vodka Recipe

My sister has one of THE BEST Penne alla Vodka recipes around. It's a 'lick the bowl clean' kind of awesome. And a dish so good, I never dared to order it at a restaurant because it always paled in comparison. That creamy pink sauce of hers is...was....divine!

These days, however, I'm kickin it dairy free. But that doesn't mean I still can't enjoy Penne alla Vodka. I love taking old recipes and recreating them with a new twist. 

And to be honest, this recipe wasn't that hard to recreate. The sauce contains minimal ingredients - it's a mixture of tomatoes, heavy cream, red pepper flakes and of course, vodka. 

So the only thing I needed to make a swap for was the dairy. Seems easy enough!

And since I've cut dairy out of my kitchen for quite some time now, I've learned a thing or two about the awesome alternatives. There's plenty of options! You've got cashews - which work like a charm but don't always...

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Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites [GF, DF, SF]

Santa Baby, Hurry Down the Chimney Tonight 

With a gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free chocolate and vanilla, cheesecake for me.

Sung to the tune of Santa Baby, in my best Eartha Kitt voice. 

Okay, these were an absolute hit at Christmas Eve dessert table! Kids and adults alike loved them and no one seemed to care that they were missing the gluten, dairy and refined sugar typically found in regular cheesecake. Not to mention, they're vegan.

Yes it is possible to make a dessert that ALL your guests will enjoy no matter their dietary preferences!  

Note: Map out your circles across the top of your chocolate layer. Save the scraps. 

To make these Santa hat cheesecake bites you will need a chocolate cheesecake with a coconut pecan base (I made it in a springform pan but you might consider using parchment paper cupcake liners), vanilla creme cooled in plastic baggies for easy squeezing and strawberries. That's it!

A few notes to keep in...

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The Spicy Sister, Corn Chowder with Heat [GF, DF, SF]

The Spicy Sister, Corn Chowder with Heat

Okay, so I was in the kitchen the other day making one of my favorite soup recipes - my Spicy, Summer Corn Chowder. It's a little taste of summer, with a touch of fall and soooooo good. As I was gathering the ingredients, I realized I was a little short on celery. So I decided to see what else I could add in place. I looked around and found two poblano peppers and a bunch of yellow potatoes. Perfect! 

I didn't think it would change the recipe that much, but it kind of did! It was still similar to the original corn chowder recipe but, now it was even spicier - and I loved it! Plus I added potatoes this time, which I purposely left out of the original because white potatoes can be inflammatory to some people, myself included. 

However, they are traditionally part of corn chowder, so in they went. This added more density to the soup. And the next thing I knew, a spicier, heartier version of my original corn chowder was born. The...

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Layered Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

dessert recipes Oct 25, 2018

The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe You Need to Make

This pumpkin pie cheesecake checks ALL the boxes!

Raw. Vegan. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Refined Sugar Free. And totally easy to make. 

Not to mention it's the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table. And it gives you something to do with all those extra Halloween pumpkins. However, from scratch pumpkin puree is not necessary. You can definitely use boxed or BPA free canned pumpkin to save time!

Just Be Prepared for What Your Guests Will Say. . . 

I LOVE the texture of the crust! 

Wow, the sweetness is JUST RIGHT!

It really tastes like cheesecake - how did you make it?!

And. . .I want that recipe!!!

Yup, these are real reactions from my lucky taste testers. 

I'm telling you, your guests will be saying the same things. And since this cheesecake is refined sugar free, using only a few dates and some maple syrup, you won't have anybody crashing after dessert. The balance of healthy fats with natural...

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Spicy, Summer Corn Chowder

dinner recipes soup Sep 22, 2018

Corn Chowder, Without the Dairy

Don't say goodbye to summer without making this spicy corn chowder! There's something about freshly husked corn that takes the flavor of this soup to a whole new level. Don't get me wrong, you can totally make this with frozen corn from the grocery store (just make sure it's organic - because who wants to eat GMOs), but if you can sneak in one last trip to your local farm for some fresh corn, I totally would.

And can we just talk about the fact that this is also dairy free. There is no heavy cream in this soup. Instead, I was able to get the beautiful consistency and taste with cashews and steamed cauliflower. 

I know cauliflower can sometimes be a little messy to make - but the good news is, you don't have to cut into the cauliflower at all. Just unwrap it from the packaging, remove the green leaves (honestly probably not even necessary) and place the whole head in a steamer basket. That's it. No mess at all. You'll then allow that to cool...

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Cacio e Pepe, My Way

dinner recipes Aug 09, 2018

Home, Away From Home

It’s no secret that I love Italy. I’m pretty sure in another life I lived under the Tuscan sun. And I’m almost certain that I will live there again at some stage in this life. Until then I will cook up my favorite Italian recipes for a bit of nostalgia. During my many travels back to my soul land, I used to love getting a dish called, Cacio e Pepe. It’s a creamy pasta that I absolutely adore and it translates to “cheese and pepper.” What could be better in Italy, right?

However, as someone with a gluten sensitivity, I no longer eat pasta, unless of course it is gluten free. And I'm pretty particular, I love my gluten free pasta to be by Jovial Foods. If you haven’t started using their products, go check them out. They use the finest ingredients and even have a farm in Tuscany where they grow some of their products. All around perfect!

Recipe Revising

So back to the dish. I decided to recreate this recipe by putting...

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Blender Friendly Granola

recipes Jul 28, 2018

Have you ever made homemade granola?

I've tried quite a few recipes over the years. Unfortunately, I was always left disappointed at the lack of chunky granola goodness. But I knew chunky was possible because many of the store bought brands had the texture I loved. However, they were also filled with sugar and gluten. So I decided I was going to figure out the secret to creating a chunky granola - one I could make at home, without the added sugar and without the gluten.

Well I'm here to tell you I found the secret ingredient. And now I'm sharing it with you - so you can always get that chunky texture everyone loves, and never be disappointed.

What's the secret you might be asking? Just add nut or seed butter. It's that simple.

Adding almond butter or tahini (my favorite way) will enable the nuts and seeds to stick together and stay together as they bake. Once the mixture cools, you will have the chunkiest, tastiest granola ever. And the best part - it was made by you, with love and...

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Homemade, Healing Veggie Broth

recipes Jun 15, 2018

Do you know the difference between veggie stock and veggie broth?

For as long as I can remember, I've used these terms interchangeably. But let me fill you in on a little secret. They are different! And it's kind of cool to learn what sets them apart. Any guesses?!!

It's all about the flavor. Think about a time when you made your own homemade stock or broth, whether it was animal based or plant based.  You probably put in all your vegetables (bones, etc) and then added some spices.  In that case, you were making broth. You see, stock isn't typically seasoned with spices, it either retains a neutral flavor or if bones are used, takes on those flavors.  

On the other hand, a broth does get seasoned.  Think bay leaves, peppercorns,  fresh herb sprigs and such. Think about when you've been sick.  Many of us have enjoyed a cup of chicken broth or two growing up.   Thanks to the herbs, spices and vegetables it tasted good and we drank it to...

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