Category Archives: Dairy-free

Buckwheat Pancakes



Alas, the long-awaited buckwheat pancake recipe!  I really wanted to post a gluten-free pancake recipe, but this is all I’ve got.  Maybe next time I’ll try coconut flour instead, since I’ve had good results with it so far.  Meanwhile, no pancakes for me. L


The flour is soaked overnight with milk, sweetener, and yeast to form a sponge.  We had this batch for dinner, though, so it only sat around for about six hours.  Strangely enough, we usually only have pancakes at dinner.  Do you love breakfast for dinner as much as I do?


Buckwheat Pancakes


Start with the sponge:


2 tsp active dry yeast

2 cups warm milk (I used almond milk)

1 tsp sucanat or honey

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups freshly ground wheat flour (I used hard white)

1 cup buckwheat flour


1.  Pour ½ cup of milk into a cup and stir in yeast and sweetener.  Let stand until it is foamy (about 15 minutes). 


2.  Combine the yeast mixture, the remaining 1 ½ cups of milk, salt, and flours in a large bowl until everything is well-mixed.  It should look like this:




Let sit on the counter overnight for breakfast, or start the sponge first thing in the morning to have for dinner.  You want it to look sort of like this:




3.  When it’s time to eat, add to the sponge:


2 tbsp sucanat or honey

3 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter

2 eggs

½ tsp baking soda


Here’s my little tip: melt the coconut oil in the skillet you plan on using, then pour it into the batter.  This way, you’ve already greased your pan!  Now you’re ready to make the pancakes.  You already know how to make pancakes, right?  Just in case you don’t…


4.  Pour a full ladle of batter in the center of a hot skillet.  (The heat, however, should be at medium.)  Turn when it’s nice and bubbly and cook until slightly crispy on the other side.  Enjoy with your favorite toppings!  We’re simple maple syrup or fruit kind of people.




And do you see those blueberries in the picture?  Those are the VERY LAST of my freezer stash.  I’m pretty sure I said I was using these up like a month ago, but I love my blueberries, so I held onto them as long as possible.  I guess I’ll have to wait 3-4 months to get some more!


Do you have a favorite pancake recipe?  If it’s gluten-free, please share!


Sausage, Potato and Apple Skillet Dinner

This is such an easy, flavorful meal, but it’s a bit of a splurge (on account of the sausage), so we only have it occasionally.  It’s also best eaten right away – not as leftovers – but you probably won’t have anything left anyway.


The original recipe came from one of my husband’s students.  Husband is a high school English teacher and apparently talks about food quite a bit in class.  A few years ago, one of his students brought in a recipe for Sausage Skillet Dinner – reportedly, her dinnertime favorite at home.  Beyond that, I’m not sure of the recipe’s origins, but we’ve doctored it a bit and made it even better.


This recipe makes four servings, but it’s easy to adjust – sometimes I just add more potatoes to stretch it.  It’s also not entirely a skillet meal, so I hope that part isn’t deceiving.  It looks like a lot of steps, but it comes together quickly, especially after you’ve made it a time or two.


Sausage, Potato, and Apple Skillet Dinner


2-3 russet potatoes (or more if using smaller potatoes)

Olive oil (enough to coat potatoes)

Seasoned salt (I will have a recipe for this next week)

1 kielbasa sausage

1 small onion

1-2 small red apples

2 tbsp butter

¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp sucanat

½ tsp caraway seed

Parsley to garnish


1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut two large potatoes into wedges and toss in enough olive oil to coat.  Whether you leave the skin on is your preference – I peeled mine because I wasn’t using organic potatoes.  Throw in enough seasoned salt to your taste, and toss to coat.  Bake on cookie sheets, evenly spread out and not overlapping, until desired crispiness is reached.  Don’t let them go too long, though, or they will be hard – remember that they will still continue to cook once you take them out of the oven.


2.  About 15 minutes into the potatoes’ baking, chop the kielbasa into diagonal, bite-sized pieces.  We use sausage with no nitrates, preservatives, etc. – Wellshire and Applegate Farms are the brands we usually go with. 




Brown the sausage in a cast-iron skillet for about ten minutes on medium heat; since this sausage is already cooked, we’re really just heating it through and giving it enough of a browning to make it look mouthwatering.  Yeah!?  Meanwhile, cut onion and apple into wedges.  I left the skin on the apples because these are organic.  Then combine vinegar, sucanat, and caraway seed in a measuring cup and set aside.


3.  When sausage is done, remove to a warm platter.  Melt butter in skillet, then sauté onion and apple until apples are just tender.   If potatoes aren’t done yet – which they might not be – just turn off the heat on the skillet until they are.


4.  When potatoes are done, add them, along with the sausage, into the skillet.  Give the vinegar mixture a stir and pour over the skillet mixture, tossing it to coat.  Garnish with some parsley (fresh or dried) and serve!




I will try to get my seasoned salt recipe up sometime this week, but as usual, I make no promises.  So often, life gets in the way — but thankfully so.  After all, I would have no reason to write if it weren’t for the sweet, quotidienne toils of earthly existence.  Every day is a blessing, and I’m blessed with the everyday.

Pasta e Fagioli

We’re eating from the cupboards this week, and pasta e fagioli is right in line with that! 


Traditionally a peasant food, this soup is always made with pasta and beans (hence the literal translation of the name).  I’m not a huge pasta fan – mainly a textural issue, and it’s also pretty nutritionally devoid – but I had some leftover macaroni from my Christmas mac and cheese side dish contribution, and this is the only thing I could stomach it in.  The combination of ingredients here is very flexible and reflects what I had in the house today.


The pasta overtook the dish, but I promise there are lots of little white beans in there!

The pasta overtook the dish, but I promise there are lots of little white beans in there!



Pasta e Fagioli


2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tsp of your favorite Italian seasonings (I used a combination of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, and basil)

2 bay leaves

2 quarts (8 cups) beef bone broth

1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and soaked overnight

1 cup macaroni (or other small pasta)

1 can diced tomatoes

½ cup green beans (from freezer)

Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste


1. Heat oil in a large pot until it is very hot but not smoking.  Add onions and carrots (you should hear a loud sizzle!), sautéing until soft.  Then add garlic and all the aromatics, sautéing for just a couple more minutes.  I don’t add salt and pepper until later since it interferes with cooking the beans.


2.  Add broth and bring to a boil, then add beans and cook until soft.  This step will take the longest – an hour or two, depending on the age and quality of the beans.  This step can be shortened by using pre-cooked beans, but I didn’t have any on hand.


3.  When beans are almost soft enough to eat, add pasta to the pot.  You can also add salt and pepper at this step.  If everything is timed well, the pasta and beans should be done about the same time.  Then add tomatoes and green beans to heat through (I don’t like them to be overcooked).


4.  Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, a dollop of crème fraîche, or eat it simply by itself.


Enjoy this inexpensive yet filling dinner!


Part of the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Mardi Gras

Hopefully that title didn’t make you think I was posting about king cakes – if so, sorry.  Today is Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras), and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent.  I’ve decided to give up chocolate this year, which means I won’t be able to indulge in my beloved chocolate milk, so why not go out with a bang and post my chocolate syrup recipe?


This chocolate syrup is no different than any other one you’ll find out there, except that I’ve made substitutions on the sugar.  Most recipes call for white sugar, but I used half sucanat and half dark muscovado sugar.  The muscovado is new to me, so by all means substitute brown sugar instead or use mostly sucanat and add a small amount of maple syrup or molasses.  I’ve heard that sucanat can be used in place of both brown sugar and white sugar, but I find that it needs a tiny bit more molasses to be substituted with conventional brown.  You’ll have to play with it anyway to get it just to your taste, but it’s nearly impossible to make a bad batch – you just add more of whatever is lacking.  And do not omit the salt – it just won’t taste right.


Why the unrefined sugars?  Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one out there with blood sugar issues.  Sucanat and muscovado sugar won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar like the refined ones do, plus they’re loaded with vitamins.  Who knew sugar could kind of, sort of be good for you?


One last note – this is not supposed to be a thick sauce.  This is best in milk or coffee, and maybe on ice cream, but don’t expect a fudgy sauce.


Chocolate Syrup


¼ cup cocoa

¼ cup sucanat

¼ cup dark muscovado sugar, tightly packed

A couple pinches of finely ground sea salt

½ cup water

Dash of pure vanilla extract


1. Measure out the first four ingredients and mix together well.  These are things that like to get clumped together, so break up the clumps as well as you can.




2. Add the water and put on the stove at medium heat.  I like to work out any remaining clumpiness at this step, too.




3. Bring to a boil, and let it stay there for a minute.  Then turn off the heat and pour the syrup into a liquid measuring cup.  After it’s cooled a bit – like when it’s not too hot to touch – add the vanilla and stir.  It is now ready to serve, or you can wait until it cools to room temperature.  Enjoy it with a glass of raw milk or some almond milk.




If you’re in possession of self-control, you can make a larger batch and keep it in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator.  I, however, am a profligate chocoholic and can’t handle having too much of this around at one time.

Chicken Couscous Salad



This recipe, from my friend Jen, was inspired by a recipe she found in an old Cooking Light magazine.  It makes an excellent quick lunch or accompaniment to a Mediterranean feast of hummus, pita, and raw veggies.  Make a double or triple batch, because it goes quickly!




1 ¼ cups chicken bone broth

6 ounces couscous (I’m substituting quinoa when I make it later this week)

1 ½ cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed

½ cup sliced scallions

½ cup diced radishes

½ cup chopped, seeded cucumber

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts




¼ cup rice vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

3 minced garlic cloves


1. To prepare salad, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with fork.  Spoon couscous into a large bowl; cool slightly.  Add chicken, onions, radishes, cucumber, parsley, and pine nuts to couscous; toss gently to combine.


2. To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients, stirring with a wisk.  Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to combine. 


Additional notes:


Sometimes I add dried cranberries if I’m eating the salad by itself.  To stretch it, you can add more couscous.  I hope you enjoy it!



For more recipes and tips on bone broth, visit Cheeseslave for Real Food Wednesday.  Or for more recipes in general, visit the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Just so you know, this is one of my all-time favorite soups.  It can be modified to be completely vegan (although I prefer it with cheese on top) or loaded with lots of chicken.  I will start with a recipe for how I made mine last night, detailing other substitutions I’ve made below.


Chicken Tortilla Soup


1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced (seeds = heat, so remove seeds if you don’t like it hot)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp chili powder

2 quarts vegetable broth

2 cups crushed tomatoes

3 cups black beans, cooked

1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded

2 cups corn, frozen (use fresh when in season)

¼ cup fresh cilantro


Suggested toppings:


Tortilla chips

Grated cheese (I like pepper jack – adds even more spice!) or crème fraîche

Sliced avocado

Chopped scallions


1.  In a dutch oven/stock pot/whatever you make soup in, heat the olive oil on medium.  When hot, add onion and jalapeno, sautéing until onion changes color.  Add garlic and sauté a little longer, being sure not to burn garlic.  Then add broth and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.


2.  Once it comes to a boil, add beans, chicken, corn and cilantro and heat through.  Since I used precooked ingredients (all leftovers!), this was all quick and easy.


3.  Top with your choice of toppings and serve!




This batch is on the brothier side because I don’t measure.


Now here are my copious notes – I have been making this for a long time, so I kind of have a lot to say. J


         I make at least one large batch of beans every week for various meals.  Often I have a little more than I need, so I freeze the cooked beans in three cup portions so I can just thaw them in the refrigerator as needed.  You could also use canned beans or turn this into a slow cooker meal to cook it from dried beans and uncooked chicken.  Just don’t add the corn until close to the end or it will get mushy.


         I’ve made this using boneless, skinless breasts before, but it’s more expensive that way – which is why I just cook a whole chicken now and portion out the meat.  Just sauté the chicken with the onion and jalapeno if using uncooked chicken.


         Fire-roasted corn is great in here, too.  Many months from now, when fresh corn is easy to come by locally, just roast some on your grill and cut it off the cob to add in.


         For a milder flavor, use a milder pepper than the jalapeno.  Or use a 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles.


         For a beanier soup, omit the chicken and substitute the chicken for some pinto beans.  I would switch to bone broth for more nutrition, too.


         In the summer, roasted red bell peppers are a great addition, too.


I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll have to add to it later.  Let me know if you make any fun substitutions!


This recipe was submitted to the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Black Bean Soup with Chard and Sweet Potatoes



We postponed date night until Friday, so my menu will be a bit off this week.  But it always is. J


I went ahead and made the black bean soup, since I knew the chard and sweet potatoes would get eaten for lunch if I waited too long.  I love the combination of the black beans, chard, and sweet potatoes – something I discovered by accident while combining leftovers – so I continue to plan my menus with this in mind.


These instructions are for a slow cooker, but this could be done on the stove with a dutch oven, as well.


Black Bean Soup with Chard and Sweet Potatoes


1 pound of dried black beans, rinsed and soaked 24 hours

2 quarts chicken bone broth (or enough to come 2 inches above beans)

3 pinches of asafoetida (scroll down through this post to see why)

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 cups sautéed chard (leftovers – I made extra last night just for this)

1-2 cups roasted sweet potatoes (also leftover from last night)


1.     Place beans, broth, and asafoetida in slow cooker, cooking on high for three hours – or low for 7-8 hours – or until tender. 

2.     When beans are done, add salt and pepper to taste and the leftover chard and sweet potatoes.  Don’t worry about preheating the vegetables before adding to the pot – just stir them in and let them sit with the beans for a few minutes (with slow cooker still on) and they will warm up.


We ate the soup with gluten-free banana muffins. The muffins are based on this recipe, since it was the best one I could find using the Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose Baking Mix and not calling for xanthan gum.  They were light and banana-y.  Much better than I expected, since I’m very new to baking — especially gluten-free baking!  I really wanted to make them with coconut flour, but I only had about a teaspoon of coconut oil and no other suitable substitute (we can’t use butter because of dairy allergies).  Maybe next week!


For more nourishing soups and stews, visit the Nourishing Gourmet.  For more gluten-free ideas, visit the Gluten-Free Real Food carnival at Cheeseslave.