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Autumn Kale Salad with Apples and Candied Pecans

kale salad thanksgiving

If your Thanksgiving menu is anything like mine, it’s filled with the traditional fare: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, rolls, casseroles, pies, and more. All of these dishes are iconic, and I wouldn’t leave any of them out for anything. But honestly, it’s all so heavy. So when I’m brainstorming for vegetable or additional side dish ideas, I want something a little lighter to balance it all out. Something fresh. Something green.

Now I know kale has been the latest darling in the “healthy eating” industry. I’ve posted recipes with kale before. I love it, personally, and eat it because it tastes good to me. But lately kale is everyone’s favorite “detox” vegetable. I’m not a believer in detoxing – I have juiced and such in the past, and I enjoy the flavor. I sometimes even feel the green juices give me a boost of energy. I will admit, in the past I did have a touch of obsession with ensuring I got what was in reality a crazy amount of greens into my body on a daily basis, thinking I was healthier for doing so. (I wasn’t healthier…) I’ve since backed off and have listened to my body and just focus on whatever vegetables are fresh and sound good to me at the time. (And sometimes, that’s kale!) But I’ve never believed that squeezing juice out of fruits or vegetables somehow “detox” your body – that’s what your liver does, all on its own. It doesn’t mean that the vegetables, including kale, don’t have great vitamins and such – they do. They’re just not magical.

Anyway. I digress.

Thanksgiving. And this salad. It’s fresh. It’s easy. It can be made in advance. unlike lettuce-based salads, and can still hold its crunch. In fact, I find it’s tastier made a bit in advance of eating. It allows the lemon juice to really meld and mingle. With the sweetness of the apples and cranberries, and the candied pecans, it’s a lovely autumn salad. Most of all, it’s a great, refreshing addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

Print Recipe

Autumn Kale Salad with Apples and Candied Pecans (gluten-free, vegan, grain-free)

1 bunch kale, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces

1 T olive oil

A couple pinches of kosher salt

1 carrot, julienned

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/4 c dried cranberries

1 crisp apple (such as Honeycrisp), cut into 1/2 inch dice

1/4 c flat-leaf parsley, leaves coarsely chopped

1-2 T lemon juice

Candied Pecans (recipe follows)

Drizzle the olive oil over the kale, and sprinkle with salt. Massage the oil evenly over all of the kale leaves. Add the carrot, celery, cranberries, apple, and parsley, and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice. Toss well and taste. Adjust salt and lemon juice as desired. Top with candied pecans and serve.

Serves 4-6.

Candied Pecans (gluten-free, vegan)

1 t coconut oil

1/2 c raw, shelled pecans

3 T brown rice syrup

A couple pinches of kosher salt

Dash of cinnamon

In a small skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the pecans, brown rice syrup, salt and cinnamon. Stir to coat completely. Keep stirring over heat until sugar bubbles and clings to pecans, pulling away from the pan and becoming “drier”. Once everything really seems to stick together in a “glob”, remove from heat and turn out to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading out the pecans as much as you can with the back of a spoon. Allow to cool completely and break into small pieces.

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Those of you that are avid gluten-free bakers: have you ever noticed how much a brand change in a gluten-free flour affects your end result? I’ve heard this, but didn’t really experience it to a point where I thought “ugh, I really need to stick with this other brand” until I was making pie crust. You see, I’ve had this amazing pie crust under wraps for a while. I love it. It’s reasonably easy to roll out, and it’s light and crisp once baked. And until I switched flour brands, it wasn’t gritty or grainy in the least.

But the last time I was out of my Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour and Mochiko sweet white rice flour, I opted instead to buy a different brand, just because it was more convenient. Big mistake on my part – at least for this recipe. This time around, I purchased Bob’s Red Mill flours. They’re fine in most baked goods – especially the ones with plenty of moisture to “soften” the coarser grind of the flour. Pie crust is not one of those things. The crust with my usual flours is really great. It works with the Bob’s Red Mill flours as well, but it’s less pliable, and after baking, the mouthfeel is a bit grittier. I definitely could notice the difference, and while I like and use Bob’s Red Mill flours for a ton of things (in fact, they are the majority brand in my pantry), for this recipe in particular, I’m sticking to more finely ground flours.

That being said, I want to share this recipe with you all. It’s quite good – the best I’ve made or eaten so far. Like I mentioned above, it’s pliable, easy to roll out (as long as you roll between sheets of parchment), it tastes delicious, and it holds up to fruit fillings quite well. I won’t say that it behaves just like a gluten dough – I have yet to experience that in any gluten-free baking, really – but it’s easier to handle than most. It was excellent with this blueberry pie.

Blueberry season is coming to a close around here. I’m kind of mourning that fact. I love blueberries, and the local ones have so much more flavor than any I’ve found at the grocery. It’s a complex flavor, more than just sweet or tart. Almost perfumed, floral…it’s hard to describe, but I adore them. I’ve purchased a dozen pints from a nearby farm and have frozen them for yearlong use (which sadly, will in reality only last me until December or January). But I did have to sacrifice a good amount of the fresh berries for this pie. Although I wouldn’t really call it a sacrifice – because after all, who doesn’t like pie?

This pie isn’t overly sweet, but I found it the perfect way to end the day. A happy helping of this, and a scoop of vanilla (dairy-free) ice cream, and I’m definitely in heaven. But I won’t judge if you decide that you need a slice for breakfast too – it would be a perfect compliment to a cup of coffee.

Print Recipe

Blueberry Pie (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Pie Crust – this recipe makes enough for a double crust. Halve the recipe to make this blueberry pie, or save the remainder of the crust for another purpose:

1 ½ c sweet white rice flour (I prefer Mochiko)

¾ c superfine brown rice flour (I prefer Authentic Foods)

1/3 c tapioca starch

1 t kosher salt

¼ t guar gum 

12 T (1 1/2 stick) vegan buttery sticks (I like Earth Balance) or butter, if you can handle dairy

2 eggs, cold

1/4 c cold water 

Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut the vegan butter into smaller pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse until everything looks like a somewhat fine meal. Add the eggs and water. Process until it becomes thick dough. It should be pliable and hold together, but not overly sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a tablespoon of starch. Too dry and crumbly, add a tablespoon of water.

Place half of the dough (unless you’ve halved the recipe; in that case, use the entire amount) onto a large sheet of parchment paper and pat together into a circle. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top, and roll out dough using a rolling pin with the dough in between the two sheets. You can stop and pull up the top sheet and lay back down to reposition if you get wrinkles in the sheet. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. Place a pie pan upside-down over the dough, and slide your hand underneath the dough and bottom sheet of parchment paper. With one hand on the bottom of the pie pan, and the other on the dough, flip everything at once, so that the pie pan is right-side-up with the dough laying over the top. Peel back the parchment and press the dough in. If it cracks, simply press back together.

Bake crust according to your pie recipe (or as I am doing below).

For the blueberry pie filling:

7 c blueberries

1/2 c maple sugar (can also use regular white sugar or coconut palm sugar)

1/4 c tapioca starch

1 T lemon juice

1 T vegan butter, cut into small pieces

In a large bowl, place the blueberries, sugar, starch, and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Using a potato masher, mash some of the berries. You don’t want them to look totally mashed – you just want to release some of the juices.

Transfer the blueberries to your pie pan with the crust, mounding towards the middle. Scatter the butter on top of the berries.

For the Crumble Topping:

1/4 c sweet white rice flour

1/4 c superfine brown rice flour

1/4 c tapioca starch

1/4 t guar gum

3 T maple sugar (can also use brown sugar or coconut palm sugar)

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t kosher salt

1/3 c melted vegan butter, cooled slightly

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, guar gum, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and mix with fingertips to blend and crumble.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Crumble the crumble topping over the top of the blueberries. Place the pie in the oven on the center rack and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, covering with foil after 45 minutes if it starts to brown too much.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serves 8-10.

Do you have experiences with varied results when it comes to using different brands of gluten-free flours? Share at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

Fire-Roasted Tomato Almond Dip

Sometimes, you just need a dip. Something to bring the crowd together. Something to munch on. Something to make your lunch a little more delightful. Whatever the reason, this dip might just be the answer. It’s smoky and creamy. It’s unique. It’s great with raw veggies, such as celery sticks or cucumber slices, but also delicious with tortilla chips or crackers.

What I also can appreciate about a recipe like this is that there is no cooking. Zero. Zilch. And when it’s hot outside, especially 100+ degrees hot, anything I can prepare without having to cook is a definite bonus. One could definitely make this part of a meal, along with some crackers, assorted pickles, and maybe something special like a terrine, and a glass of wine or a gluten-free beer. It also only takes a few minutes to whip up, so I would encourage you to do so at your first chance. It’s that good.

It’s safe to say, it’s my new favorite thing.

Well, as far as dips go, anyway. I’m sure I’ll have a new favorite next week. Until then, enjoy.

Print Recipe

Fire-Roasted Tomato Almond Dip (gluten-free, vegan)

1 c roasted, salted almonds

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes

Salt to taste (1/4-1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 t smoked paprika

3-4 T extra virgin olive oil

Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground and starting to clump a bit. Add the garlic, tomatoes, salt and paprika and continue to process until everything is smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Turn the processor back on and drizzle in the olive oil, continuing to process until creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with crackers, raw vegetables, chips, or even gluten-free bread. Makes 6-8 servings.

Join us tonight, July 1, at 8PM Eastern Time for a free LIVE CHAT where we will be discussing how to travel on a gluten-free diet. There will be prizes, courtesy of Udi’s!

Swiss Chard with Orange and Pepitas

Earlier this month, we did some renovations to our kitchen. For about a week, I was kitchenless. As in, I couldn’t cook. There were even two days where we could barely get water from the fridge. (Seriously. We had to tear away some plastic sheeting to get to the water and ice, and if I wanted into our pantry, I had to suck it in and squeeze between the fridge and the wall in what amounted to less than 10 inches of space.)  When we finally scheduled for the work to start, we only had about a day’s notice before I had to clean out the cabinets. I went into a state of half-panic. I would starve! I thought. After all, I pretty much prepare all of my meals myself. I didn’t have time to make much of anything in advance. How would I survive? Well, needless to say, I managed. I’m grateful for some trustworthy gluten-free restaurants and my arsenal of snacks that I stashed in my desk drawer at work. And now we are back in the new kitchen. Let me tell you, it’s awesome. I am so excited.

In fact, I’m so excited that I definitely need to take some photos for you and share. I have a few, and I’ve shared a bit on Instagram, but I really need to get some decent (read: non-iphone) photos for you! Stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile, my garden didn’t stop growing just because we weren’t cooking. In fact, the lettuces, radishes, Swiss chard, collard greens, arugula and even some mizuna were all in need of harvesting. But I left them there, as I didn’t really have a way to wash or prepare them. Once we were back in business, I pulled radishes (some of which had grown to the size of golf balls!), cut what was left of the good lettuce (much of it has bolted), attempted to take control of the cucumber beetles, and harvested some of the Swiss chard for this easy little side dish.

Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens. It’s so pretty – especially the rainbow chard, with the colorful red, pink, yellow and white stems. It’s also milder in flavor than some other greens, and it cooks quickly – nearly as quickly as spinach. And the stems are tender, which is a bonus. I love munching on them raw. They have a texture somewhat similar to celery; crunchy and crisp.

This dish highlights that freshness that chard offers by throwing in a hit of citrus. It’s bright and light. I served it alongside some roasted chicken, but I imagine it would go extremely well with grilled pork, shrimp or any poultry. The pepitas (a.k.a. pumpkin seeds) add a nice crunch and nuttiness.

This recipe should serve 3-4; unless you’re me and love greens. In that case, I’d say it’s enough for 2.

Print Recipe

Swiss Chard with Orange and Pepitas (gluten-free, vegan, paleo, sugar-free)

1 T coconut oil

1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of 1 orange

Salt and pepper to taste

About 3 T raw pepitas, toasted in a dry skillet

Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems of the Swiss chard and sauté for a minute. Add the garlic and orange zest and sauté for another minute. Then add the leaves of the chard and stir, and add the orange juice. Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow to wilt for about a minute, then remove the lid and stir again. Allow the juice to reduce a little, season with salt and pepper to taste, and then remove the pan from the heat.

Serve with toasted pepitas sprinkled over.

Serves 3-4.

A Gluten-Free Mother’s Day Ebook

 

A Gluten-Free Mother's Day: Recipes for Moms by Moms from Attune Foods

Mother’s Day is on the horizon. Attune Foods wanted to help you make this year’s celebration extra special with a FREE ebook filled with recipes any mom would love.

They gathered eight incredible gluten-free, allergy-friendly mom food bloggers (including yours truly – and yes, I lumped myself into that “incredible” category – let’s just go with it…) and asked them each to develop a recipe to make the occasion deliciously memorable.

Within the pages A Gluten-Free Mother’s Day: Recipes for Moms by Moms, you’ll find gluten-free dishes with simple ingredients for breakfast in bed, brunch, recipes designed specifically for cooking with kids, and those you can make ahead of time. We’ve included something for every type of dietary restriction, too. Mom can choose her favorite and hand the recipe off to Dad, or she can bring her kids into the kitchen and let them help prepare a meal to celebrate her.

A Gluten Free Mother's Day from AttuneFoods.com

The recipes include:

  • Blueberry Breakfast Pudding with Granola Topping from Kim Lutz (vegan, tree nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free)
  • Turkey Strata Muffins with Orange Slices and Balsamic Glaze from Beth Hillson (tree nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free)
  • Corn Flake Quiche Lorraine from Karen Morgan (tree nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free)
  • Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Tart from Kelli Bronski (vegetarian, tree nut-free, peanut-free)
  • Blueberry Scones with Vanilla Lemon Sweet Cashew Cream and Homemade Blueberry Chia Seed Jam from Maggie Savage (vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, peanut-free)
  • Peanut Butter Crunch French Toast with Maple-Peanut Butter Syrup from Alta Mantsch (vegetarian, dairy-free, tree nut-free)
  • Chocolate or Carob Tart with Dairy-Free Whipped Topping from Adrienne Urban (vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free)
  • Strawberry Streusel Oatmeal Breakfast Cake from Kim Maes (vegetarian, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free)

I’m delighted to be a part of the creation of this ebook. Download your FREE copy of A Gluten-Free Mother’s Day: Recipes for Moms by Moms, and Happy Mother’s Day!

 

5 Ingredient Mondays: Creamy Meyer Lemon Dill Sauce over at The Daily Dietribe

Have you checked out 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe yet? Every Monday, Iris at The Daily Dietribe hosts a blog carnival, encouraging everyone to share a simple recipe with five ingredients or less. I love it – simple recipes are usually the ones that we come back to time and time again, especially when we are short on time or just too tired to put together complicated things. I often rely on simple recipes like this during busy weeknights, so I’m all about finding new things that I can wrap my mind around!

Today I’m sharing a super-simple meyer lemon dill sauce over at The Daily Dietribe for this week’s 5-Ingredient Mondays. Head on over there to check it out, and while you’re there, link up your favorite 5-Ingredient recipe!

Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free and Vegan) for So Delicious Recipe Contest

Who doesn’t love scalloped potatoes? While I’m not the biggest potato fan out there, (I could take or leave a regular baked potato, and mashed potatoes aren’t really a big deal to me. I know. What kind of crazy person am I?) I do love creamy, cheesy scalloped potatoes with their rich flavor and that lovely, browned top. But I can’t handle dairy anymore, so for the longest time, my life has been devoid of all scalloped potatoes.

That is, it was. This vegan scalloped potato recipe, now in my repertoire, is ready to go for all of those important meals (such as Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) or even for a nice Sunday dinner.

I’m sharing this recipe (and entering it into the So Delicious Recipe Contest) so that perhaps you, too, can enjoy scalloped potatoes once again, sans dairy. These potatoes are what you crave in scalloped potatoes – creamy, rich, golden brown on top. Full of flavor without being full of cheese. In fact, I think it’s time I find a reason to whip up another batch. If I’m nice, I might decide to share. The jury’s still out.

Print Recipe

Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

About 3 lbs gold potatoes (Yukon Gold works well) peeled and sliced thin ( I used a mandoline)

3/4 c So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage

1 c vegetable broth (chicken broth can be used)

2 T vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

2 T arrowroot starch

2 T sweet white rice flour

2 T nutritional yeast flakes

½ t onion powder

¼ t garlic powder

½ t dry mustard powder

¼ t white pepper

¼ t nutmeg

3 T mayonnaise (vegan mayonnaise to keep it vegan; regular can be substituted)

¼ c white wine

1 T lemon juice

Salt to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish and set aside. (I used a dish that was 7X11 inches.)

Combine potatoes, coconut milk beverage and broth in a saucepan. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving milk mixture. (Use a sieve and a bowl underneath to catch the milk.)

Clean out saucepan and add vegan butter. Melt over medium heat and add in arrowroot starch and sweet white rice flour, whisking for 30 seconds or so, to cook the flour. Add back the milk mixture, the nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, pepper, nutmeg, mayonnaise, and white wine. Continue to whisk until smooth. Continue heating and whisking until thickened. Remove from heat.

Layer about half of the potatoes in the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Pour half of the sauce over this layer. Press down the potatoes to make sure the sauce covers them all around. Add the remaining potatoes and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Press again to ensure the sauce covers the potatoes.

Bake for an hour or until potatoes are browned on top and tender throughout. Serves 8.

Lamb Liver and Wild Game Terrine with Pistachios and Cranberries

Okay, okay, one more little offal recipe before we move on. This one’s a special treat, perfect for company, a date, a picnic (you know, for whenever spring might decide to show up) or even just a night when you want to stay at home and enjoy a simple but special meal, because all of the work is prepared in advance. The beauty of a terrine like this is that it looks impressive, but truly, is simple to put together.

What’s a terrine? Simply, it’s similar to a pâté, but the meat is more coarsely chopped. Pâtés often have finely ground meats and some variety of liver (like my chicken liver pâté) and are often spreadable. This terrine, in contrast, has some texture to it, and is best served sliced alongside a crusty bread, crackers, pickles, Dijon mustard, or other small, tasty little morsels. It’s traditionally a French dish, originally created not to impress guests at holiday parties so much as to act as a method to preserve meats prior to those days where refrigeration was common. Now, we can take advantage of the creativity of long ago and just use it for the “guest-impressing” factor.

What I love most about a terrine such as this is not only is it tasty, but it’s completely make-ahead. A couple of mostly unattended hours in the oven, and a stay in the refrigerator, and all you have to do prior to serving is slice it and set it on a plate alongside the condiments of your choice. This makes it perfect for entertaining, when you don’t wish to spend all of your time in the kitchen. I loved that I could bring some of it to work for lunch. It definitely made lunchtime something to look forward to!

You can certainly substitute to your heart’s content with this terrine. I used ground venison, boar sausage and lamb liver, as that was what I had on hand, but just about any ground meat and regular pork sausage will do, and beef or even chicken liver would work just fine here. You do want some source of fat, so don’t go too lean on your sausage or bacon. And a little tip – to be sure you have your spices balanced and that you have an adequate amount of salt prior to cooking, make a tiny little patty (about an inch in diameter) from the meat mixture and sear it in a skillet for a few minutes and taste it. If your meat is bland, bump up the spices a bit. This is my trick when making meatballs and meatloaf (which is actually a form of terrine!), and it works well in this instance too.

I opted to serve this terrine with cornichons, gluten-free crackers and a touch of coarse mustard.

Print Recipe

Lamb Liver and Wild Game Terrine with Pistachios and Cranberries (gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, paleo)

1 lb ground venison

8 oz lamb liver, finely chopped

4 oz bacon, finely chopped

6 oz wild boar sausage (fresh, not smoked)

Zest of 1 lemon

20 juniper berries, crushed and chopped

3/4 c dried cranberries, chopped (I used fruit-juice sweetened)

1/2 t ground black pepper

1/4 c cognac or brandy

2 T ghee or olive oil

1/2 c finely chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 T chopped fresh sage leaves

2 T chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 t ground cloves

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

3 T coconut milk

1/2 cup (about 4 oz) chopped shelled pistachios

10 oz sliced bacon

In a large bowl, combine the venison, liver, bacon, sausage, lemon zest, juniper berries, cranberries, salt, pepper, and cognac. Stir together well and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the ghee/olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the herbs and spices and stir in, cooking for another minute. Turn off heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Remove the meat mixture from the refrigerator and stir in the onion mix, the egg, the coconut milk, and the pistachios.

Line a loaf tin with the bacon.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and press down. Fold over the bacon slices over the top, and add an additional slice or two if not completely covered.

Cover the terrine tightly with a double layer of foil. Poke a few holes in the top to vent.

Fill a 9″X13″ glass baking dish halfway with hot water and place the terrine in the center, making sure the water comes up about halfway along the sides of the loaf tin. Bake for about 1 1/2-2 hours or until a thermometer inserted diagonally into the center reads 155-160 degrees.

Remove foil and allow terrine to stand on a rack for 30 minutes to cool.

Place terrine still in its mold in a cleaned baking dish. Place a piece of parchment paper cut to fit over the top of the terrine, and place another same size loaf tin (or piece of wood or heavy cardboard cut to fit, wrapped in foil) on top of paper. Put 2-3 unopened cans (I used some cans of coconut milk – always on hand at my house!) on top to weight the cooked terrine. Chill with weights for at least 4 hours. Continue to chill terrine, with or without weights, for at least 24 hours to allow flavors to meld.

To serve, place loaf tin in a baking dish with an inch or so of hot water for about 2 minutes. Run a knife or offset spatula around the inside edge of the mold. Tip the mold to drain any excess liquid, and then invert over a cutting board. Let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, and then slice and serve.

Gluten-Free (and More-Free) Easter Recipe Roundup

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Easter Eggs photo credit: Diet, Dessert and Dogs

Still stumped on what to make for your Easter meal? (Don’t be afraid to admit it – my menu is just now mostly finalized!) Well, look no further! Here are some delicious gluten-free (and many dairy-free, soy-free, and sugar-free besides!) recipes to help you in planning your menu.

I hope that you and your family enjoy your holiday!

Brunch

Lemon Rosemary Teacakes (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Build Your Own Crepe Bar (grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Simple Berry Salad (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Cinnamon Swirl Scones (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten-free, soy-free)

Appetizers, Salads, and Sides

Mom’s Deviled Eggs (grain-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

“Wine” and “Cheese” Charlotte (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Mom’s Mashed Potatoes (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Shaved Asparagus Salad (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Lavender Roasted Potatoes (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Green Pea and Radish Salad (grain-free, dairy-free, vegan option, refined sugar-free)

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Garlic Pesto (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Main Dishes

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Rosemary Roast Chicken (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Easter Lamb and Mint Meatballs (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Maple Ham (grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Perfect Lamb Chops (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Desserts

Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Easter Eggs (grain-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Lemon Earl Grey Cookies (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Carrot Cake (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Maple Carrot Custard (grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Cheesecake-Filled Cupcakes (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, soy-free)

Easter Angel Food Cake (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Lemon Blueberry Bars with Coconut Crust (gluten-free, soy-free)

Jelly Bean Macaroon Nests (grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

 

 

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake Balls

Well, just in case you didn’t manage to finish all of that spicy gingerbread cake that I shared the other day, I have a solution. In fact, this might be such a tasty solution, you might hide away half of that cake just for this purpose. Or heck, even make a whole cake. I won’t judge.

Not when there are cake balls at hand.

These may look fancy and complicated, but I assure you, they’re not. And of course, while in this instance, I used gingerbread cake, you could simply apply this process using any cake you choose. Same goes with the frosting used in the cake balls – I used some of The Spunky Coconut’s chocolate date frosting I had left over (Did you know it freezes well? I often freeze leftover frosting, for you never know when you need just a little!) from another cake I made a few weeks ago, but you could use any frosting you desire. These cake balls are all about taking advantage of what you’ve got, and making the most of it.

In this instance, I think the combination of gingerbread and chocolate definitely added up to more than the sum of its parts (which were darn tasty to begin with!). Before these cake balls came to be, I’d never combined chocolate and gingerbread. Now, I think I’m going to forever combine the two. What a dream combination. These cake balls aren’t overly sweet, and not too rich, but they’re decadent enough to satisfy. Of course, after taking these to my office to share around, I’ve had some confess to me they’ve had several. Hearing this from regular gluten and dairy-eaters, this is music to my ears.

Print Recipe

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake Balls (gluten-free, dairy-free)

½ of a baked gingerbread cake

½ t ground cinnamon (optional, but helps to boost that “gingerbread” flavor once the chocolate mixes in)

½ t ground ginger (optional, but helps to boost that “gingerbread” flavor once the chocolate mixes in)

¾ c your favorite gluten-free chocolate frosting (I used The Spunky Coconut’s Chocolate Date Frosting)

About 5 oz dairy-free bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Sprinkles or candied ginger for decorating (optional)

 

In a large bowl, crumble the cake with your fingers. Add the cinnamon and ginger and mix in. Add the frosting and stir into the cake crumbles until everything is smooth and comes together well.

With your hands, roll the cake balls into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. You can do so by placing a double boiler (or as I do, place a metal bowl over a small saucepan with about 2 inches of water) to simmer over medium-low heat, and place all but about an ounce of the chopped chocolate into the bowl. Melt the chocolate, stirring. Finally, add the remaining chopped chocolate and stir until melted completely. Reduce heat to the lowest setting.

Remove the cake balls from the freezer, and one by one, dip into the chocolate, rolling to coat completely. Place back on the baking sheet, and top with candied ginger or sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. Repeat with the rest of the cake balls.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. They should stay firm out of the fridge, but the chocolate may go a touch soft if you have the heater cranked in your house.

Makes about 2 ½ dozen.