"come along with me on a journey to holistic nutrition and wellness"
Author: Be Well with Liza
Wife. Mom. Registered Nurse. PN1 Wellness Coach, AFPA Certified Holistic Nutrition and Wellness Coach. On a mission to learn how nutrition and wellness impacts our lives and to help others live well. Our bodies are amazing creations and can do amazing things when given the proper support and nutrition!
Who doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? A childhood favorite that seems to carry over into adulthood. It’s on practically every menu in every restaurant, it makes an appearance at many pot-luck dinners, and holiday get-togethers. My teenager absolutely loves macaroni and cheese and could seriously eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I created this recipe for him, it gives him the creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese that he wants in a gluten-free version that the entire family can enjoy.
Better Then Stouffer’s Gluten-free Mac and Cheese
Better Then Stouffer's Gluten-free Mac and Cheese is an amazingly cheesy, creamy, out of this world mac and cheese. Perfect for all the mac and cheese fans in your life.
18ozgluten-free elbow macaroni I used 1 ½ boxes of Jovial brand
½tspground black pepper
4ozcream cheesecut into cubes
16ozsharp cheddar, shreddeddivided into 12 oz. and 4 oz.
1/4lbamerican cheese Cooper Sharp works well here, too
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook gluten-free elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain macaroni in colander and run cool water over macaroni to remove excess starch. Let macaroni sit in colander and set aside.
In the same pot you just used to cook the macaroni, melt the butter over low heat. Sprinkle the melted butter with the gluten free flour and whisk in thoroughly to make a roux. Cook over low heat 2 minutes whisking occasionally. Slowly add the milk and whisk to make sure it is fully incorporated with the roux. Add dry mustard, salt and pepper, and cook over low heat 2-4 minutes until thickened.
Add the cubed cream cheese to thickened milk mixture and stir until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat and add 12 oz of shredded cheddar and the american cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted and is a smooth cheesy sauce. Add macaroni into cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is completely coated. *If your cheese sauce is too thick, add additional milk to thin it out a little bit. You want your cheese sauce to be really creamy without being too thick.
Pour macaroni and cheese mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2 casserole dish, making sure the macaroni and cheese is evenly distributed. Top macaroni and cheese with the remaining 4 oz of shredded cheddar. Bake for 25 minutes, until shredded cheddar is melted and begining to get a little crispy around the edges of the casserole dish. Serve and enjoy!
I used Jovial gluten-free elbow macaroni and my cooking time was just about 10 minutes, but check your macaroni for doneness periodically because you don’t want to overcook the macaroni. I rinse with cool water to stop the cooking and to remove the starch that occurs during cooking. This also prevents the macaroni from sticking while you are making the cheese sauce.This is amazing macaroni and cheese on it’s own, but you could add crumbled bacon, shredded chicken, and/or cooked broccoli to make this a phenomenal casserole. This is also delicious topped with sliced tomatoes and gluten-free bread crumbs. Toast the bread crumbs in a frying pan with a little butter and add tomatoes and bread crumbs before baking. So good with those garden fresh summer tomatoes!
Brownies. Probably the one dessert everyone likes. They are usually the first thing to disappear from the dessert table at parties or holidays, and who doesn’t like licking the batter off the spoon? Brownies were the first dessert I learned how to make on my own. The packaged mix in the red box, where all I had to add was eggs, water, and oil, pop them in the oven and just like that, I had homemade brownies. Who else remembers making these? While the boxed brownie mix has its place, somewhere along the way my culinary skills (and my palate) expanded and I learned how to make brownies from scratch.
This recipe is modified from the recipe I have been using for years, long before I was gluten-free and dairy free. Thankfully, there are many great gluten-free flour and dairy free butter options out there that make it easy to modify traditional recipes to make them gluten-free and dairy free. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 flour and Miyoko’s unsalted butter in this recipe and it turned out perfect! If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out!
Best Ever Brownies!
Best Ever Brownies are pure chocolate decadence. Definitely not cake like, these are chewy in the center and crispy around the edges. The best part is, you can't tell that they are gluten-free and dairy free!
8ozdairy free butter, unsaltedI used Miyokos brand
⅔cupcocoa powder, unsweetened
1 cupmini chocolate chipsdivided (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°
In heavy saucepan, melt dairy free butter. Turn off heat.
Add the sugar to the melted butter in saucepan and mix until well combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, whisking quickly after each addition. It is important to whisk quickly as soon as each egg is added to prevent the egg from cooking. Add vanilla and whisk to combine.
Add unsweeted cocoa powder, gluten-free flour, salt, and baking powder, whisking well after each ingredient.
Continue whisking well for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 of the mini chocolate chips and the walnuts if using, and stir to combine.
Grease 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan and pour brownie batter into pan, spreading the batter evenly in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips over the batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 28 – 30 minutes. Do not overbake! The brownies should be look crispy on the edges and look just barely done in the center. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack until cool. When completely cool, cut into squares and serve. This makes 18 large sized brownies or 24 smaller sized brownies.
For this recipe, I used Miyoko’s unsalted cultured vegan butter, which is made for baking. I also use Bob’s Redmill gluten-free 1:1 flour. It is important to use a gluten free flour that already includes xanthan gum, or you will need to add it to make sure you get the same results I did when making this recipe. If you are not gluten-free or dairy free, this recipe can be made with regular unsalted butter and regular all purpose flour. Be sure not to over bake the brownies. They will get hard and will lose their chewy texture.These make an excellent base for a brownie sundae! Just sayin’!
I don’t know about you, but I love a really good fruit crisp for dessert. Apple or pear crisp in the fall, peach crisp towards the end of summer, and berry crisp all summer long. The best part of a crisp is the crispy crumby topping. And what makes the topping so crispy and delicious is usually softened butter combined with flour and sugar. But if you can’t eat gluten or dairy, it can be hard to find a really good crisp. Until now.
I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients for the best crumb topping and this is it. By using tapioca flour with a non-dairy butter made mostly with cashews, I have found the perfect crumb topping that would be perfect on any of your favorite crisps. I usually stick with just blueberries when making a berry crisp but I had some strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries that were starting to get soft, and I decided to use them all together in this crisp. The results are heavenly! You could even try topping this with a non-dairy whipped topping. I hope you like it!
Berry Crisp – Gluten-free and Dairy-free
This is a delicious berry crisp that uses blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries for the berry base with an oatmeal and almond flour topping that uses dairy free butter to make an amazingly crisp streusel. You will never miss the gluten or the dairy!
¾cupold-fashioned oatsprocessed in food processor or high-powered blender for 20 seconds to partially grind them up
⅓cupmaple sugar can also use coconut sugar
2TBSpure maple syrup
Pre-heat oven to 350°.
Berry Mixture: Slice berries and place in mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and lemon rind, mix to evenly coat berries with lemon juice. Sprinkle berries with gluten-free flour and toss to coat. Pour berry mixture into baking dish and spread out evenly.
Crumb Topping: In medium sized mixing bowl, combine oats, almond flour, and maple sugar. Add softened butter and maple syrup, and mix until large crumbs form. Drop large pieces of crumb topping onto berry mix randomly, leaving some areas open where berries peek through.
Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until berry mixture is bubbling and crumb topping is golden brown. Cool on baking rack until cool enough to eat. This is really good served with non-dairy whipped topping or non-dairy ice cream.
Since my husband and I have gone gluten-free and dairy-free, I have been trying to re-create my old family recipes that were made with regular flour and butter. It has been a true labor of love combined with some trial and error. I used tapioca flour in this recipe and I really like how it turned out. The non-dairy butter I used for this recipe is Miyoko’s European Style Cultured Vegan butter. They have unsalted baking sticks made especially for baking. I use this brand for all my non-dairy baking and it is the closest thing to real butter that I have found so far. You need to use fresh berries for this recipe, frozen berries will have too much water content and the crisp may turn out too watery. If you make this recipe, please make sure to let me know how it turned out!
Several years ago when I was expecting my first child, I came across an amazing coffee cake recipe. It had cinnamon and nutmeg which gave it a warm spice flavor. It had sour cream which gave it an incredible moist crumb. It had streusel which gave it crunch and texture that you expect from a coffee cake. It was divine. It also had a lot of calories. And gluten. And dairy. Now that my family is gluten-free and dairy-free, I had to come up with a version of this recipe that has less calories and that my family can eat.
Using very ripe bananas, I was able to cut the sugar in half. Soured almond milk is used in place of sour cream and reduces the amount of fat and calories. Gluten-free flour is used in place of regular flour. I have been making the original version of this coffee cake for over 20 years and I cannot tell the difference between the old version and this new, healthier version. It is just as divine. I hope you like it!
This Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake is perfect on a weekend morning with a cup of coffee. It is moist and delicious with a hint of banana and of course – chocolate chips! The streusal filling and topping make this a classic coffee cake and you won't even miss the gluten or dairy. Make this for your next brunch or breakfast!
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. Add the vinegar to the almond milk, mix and set aside and allow to sour.
For Batter: In mixing bowl with mixer, beat softened butter until creamy. Add sugar and mix, scraping down sides of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add ripe bananas and soured almond milk and mix until bananas are broken up, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
To mixing bowl with wet ingredients, add the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix for 1-2 minutes until well incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add chocolate chips and mix in by hand using the rubber scraper.
For Streusel: Stir together softened butter and brown sugar until well mixed. Add in cinnamon and chopped nuts. Set aside.
Add half the cake batter to the bottom of the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture over the batter. Top with the remaining cake batter and then sprinkle with the remaining half of the streusel. Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 55 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted comes out clean and cake springs back when touched. Cool on rack 15 minutes, then turn out to finish cooling. Decorate with sifted powdered sugar if desired. This can be served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free flour. It already has xanthan gum added in. If you are using a gluten free flour that does not have xanthan gum added you will need to add it according to the directions on your flour package. The soured milk is an important step because it contributes to the rise of the cake so don’t skip it even if it looks weird. It will look like curdled milk and that is exactly what you want. You want to use VERY ripe bananas – you know, the ones where the skins are getting almost black. The more ripe they are the sweeter they get and the sweetness from the bananas allows the sugar to be reduced to 1/2 a cup. I used 3 small bananas but 2 medium ones would work. The cake is done when it springs back after pressing with your finger. If using the toothpick test, it’s ok for a few crumbs to be on the toothpick when you pull it out, but it should be mostly clean. This is really good eaten while still warm from the oven, but will last 3-4 days at room temperature. You want to keep it refrigerated if you will have it longer then that because the bananas can spoil.
Last weekend my kids wanted me to make pancakes. It was a cold, snowy day, and the kind of morning perfect for pancakes. I have a recipe for gluten-free and dairy-free pancakes that I have been using for years, but I wanted to change it up a little and do something different. I had a bunch of bananas that I needed to use up, and that’s when the idea for these pancakes was born. I used my usual pancake recipe as the base for these pancakes, added cinnamon to the batter, and then added sliced bananas and toasted pecans while the pancakes were cooking on the griddle. The bananas become caramelized and yummy and add an incredible sweetness that goes perfectly with the toasted pecans. If you don’t like pecans, or can’t eat nuts, you can leave out the pecans. Or sub mini chocolate chips instead. (My kids loved the chocolate chip version!)
Because these are dairy-free, I use soured almond milk in place of buttermilk. This is simple to make, just add vinegar to the almond milk and let it sit for a few minutes. It will start to look curdled, and you know it’s ready. No vinegar? Use lemon juice instead. The soured milk makes the pancakes fluffy, so you don’t want to skip this step. To make these even more special, slice an extra banana and sauté the banana slices in a small skillet in either butter or olive oil. Cook these until they are browned and start to caramelize. Add caramelized bananas to the finished pancakes and serve with warm maple syrup. Delicious!
Gluten-free Banana Pecan Pancakes
Be Well with Liza
These gluten-free banana pecan pancakes have sliced bananas and toasted pecans added to the pancakes as they cook. The bananas carmelize as they cook on the griddle taking the flavor profile over the top. If you don't like pecans, feel free to use mini chocolate chips instead. These are a fantastic addition to a weekend brunch! Your family will love these!
Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, and cinnamon into mixing bowl. Mix together using whisk. Set aside.
Melt butter in small saucepan and set aside to cool. Using fork, beat egg in small bowl, set aside. Measure out almond milk into 2 cup measuring cup. Add vinegar and stir. Almond milk should begin to sour. Add beaten egg and stir.
Add almond milk mixture and melted butter to flour mixture and mix with whisk until flour mixture is just incorporated. Do not overmix or your pancakes will be flat.
Slice banana into thin slices. Chop pecans. Measure out chocolate chips and have ready.
Lightly grease griddle. Toast chopped pecans on griddle for about 2 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Remove and set aside.
Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, measure out pancake batter and pour onto hot griddle. Top pancakes with banana slices and toasted pecans. Or top with banana slices and chocolate chips. Or top with all three! Cook pancake until edges appear dry and small bubbles form. Carefully flip pancakes using a pancake turner and cook an additional 2-3 minutes to carmelize the bananas.
Serve while hot, with warm maple syrup or other desired topping. Enjoy!
If you have extra time, slice one additional banana and in a separate small frying pan, sauté banana in 1 tablespoon of butter and use as a topping over the cooked pancakes. When you add the vinegar to the milk, it will curdle or sour the milk and makes a great non-dairy substitute for buttermilk. If you don’t have a dairy allergy, go ahead and use real buttermilk! It is thicker than almond milk, so you may need to add additional buttermilk to achieve the right consistency. When adding wet ingredients into the dry ingredients do not over mix! This will make the pancakes “flat”. Still tasty, but flat. Be creative with other topping ingredients! Try shredded coconut, walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pecans, or hemp seed. Let me know what you add in the comments below!
A common misperception that I often hear as a health care professional is about white potatoes. Potatoes are viewed as “unhealthy”, “too high in carbohydrates”, “too starchy”, “too high calorie”, and “void of nutritional value” because they are white. A reason why potatoes have a bad reputation is because they are often served in unhealthy ways: think potato chips, french fries, baked potato filled with butter, sour cream or cheese and bacon, or scalloped potatoes covered in a heavy cream sauce. These types of potatoes we would do well to stay away from! But a potato on its own, baked in the skin, or cut into pieces and roasted with some olive oil, is packed with many nutrients. A single baked potato with skin, weighing approximately 15g, has 94 kcal, 21.08 g CHO, with 2.1 g dietary fiber, 544 mg potassium, 27mg of magnesium, and 12.6 mg of vitamin C. A potato is a healthy carb that your body can use for fuel. Not bad for a potato!
Crispy Smashed Potatoes
Be Well with Liza
Baby potatoes, parboiled, then smashed with a fork, drizzled with olive oil, and roasted until crispy. Delicious!
Fill pot almost to top with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes or until easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain potatoes.
Line sheet pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Spread potatoes in an even layer on the pan. Using a fork, flatten potatoes so that skin breaks. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Make sure potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices.
Place sheet pan in the oven, roast at 425° for 20 minutes or until potatoes are crispy.
Any type of baby potato will work in this recipe, but it is especially good with fingerling potatoes. I try to find the bags that have red, white, and purple potatoes together – they look gorgeous when plated. Be sure not to overcook the potatoes, they don’t crisp up if they are overcooked. You want them to be just fork or knife tender.You could use avocado oil instead of olive oil in this recipe.Try experimenting with other spices instead of paprika and cumin. These are also good with seasoned salt, or dill and onion powder, or chili powder. These crispy potatoes are great as a side for pot roast, or roasted chicken. My kids also love them with chicken tenders. Another great idea is to have them with soft-cooked eggs. I put the potatoes on the plate first and put the eggs on top. The yolk gets all over the potatoes and it is heavenly! Enjoy!