I'm sure most of you have at some point seen the seasonal Shamrock Shake offered by McDonald's, and that many of you have had them before going dairy-free. They're not traditional to St. Patrick's Day, but they're traditional to American St. Patrick's Day celebrations of the last decade or so. They're green, creamy, mint-flavored and generally only available for a 2-3 months out of the year. And they used to only be available at some locations, but as of 2012, they've gone national. So, I decided to write my personal dairy-free, vegan recipe version of the classic, and this Dairy-Free Shamrock Shakes Recipe is what I came up with. I top mine with dairy-free chocolate chips or chocolate chunks and sometimes I blend some shredded dark chocolate into the shake, but feel free to stick with just the basic, classic, green shake (just leave out the dairy!)!
Photo © 2012 Ashley Adams, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Happy March! With St. Patrick's Day and spring up ahead, I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes to celebrate both: Lemon Soda Bread. Over the years, I've spent quite a bit of time developing the perfect dairy-free soda bread, and this one, if not perfect, certainly comes close. With bright flavors and wholesome ingredients like millet, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, lemon, cashews, olive oil and tahini, this soda bread breaks all sorts of conventions except one: it's really, really easy to make.
Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday is often also called Pancake Tuesday, and although the tradition of making pancakes tomorrow comes from the need to use up eggs and dairy before Ash Wednesday, I'm a firm believer that we dairy-freers and vegans should still embrace our egg-free dairy-free pancakes tomorrow. Fat Tuesday is a day for good things, and dairy-free egg-free pancakes like these listed below are a great way to celebrate!
We are almost to Mardi Gras--arguably the biggest party in the U.S. Inspired by the New Orleans classic bananas foster, these Dairy-Free Banana Coconut Pudding Parfaits are fun, sweet ways to let the good times roll next week. Healthier than traditional Fat Tuesday fare, they're also egg-free and vegan, so you can feel a bit better about indulging in them (before, of course, downing a few traditional hurricane cocktails).
Photo © 2012 Ashley Adams, licensed to About.com, Inc.
If you've never celebrated Mardi Gras before, this Vegan King Cake is a good reason to start! My favorite of the holiday's fare, it will definitely be making an appearance at my annual Fat Tuesday celebration next week.
This Vegan King Cake Recipe is a really impressive dessert, but not as difficult to prepare as you might think. Similar to cinnamon rolls, babkas, and other yeast-based cakes, it's prepared with a sweet yeast dough, rolled with a brown-sugar pecan filling and baked until golden brown, and then, like other yeast-based cakes, it's finished with a simple powdered sugar glaze and decorations. While you can buy colored sprinkles (without any dairy-based preservatives), I prefer to make my own with unrefined cane sugar and colored dyes--purple, yellow and green for Mardi Gras. If you don't have a porcelain baby, any heatproof trinket will do; be creative!
Photo © 2009 Ashley Adams
It isn't every morning that I make time to make pancakes. Whipping together batter, cooking each one on the skillet, then cleaning the skillet, etc.--it isn't easy to fit into a morning when you have a toddler running around and wanting to cook and wash everything with you. And when you work, too--well, you get the picture.
A few weeks ago, I decided to make some dairy-free gluten-free buckwheat pancakes on the fly--no recipe, no forethought, just whipped it together and scribbled down things while the cakes cooked. They were gross--too buckwheaty, not fluffy enough, not pancake-y enough. (My son liked them just fine, however. Which suprised me.) They just weren't right. It was a disappointing morning cleaning that skillet!
So this week, I gave myself a bit more time--by making the pancakes for dinner instead. I made another batch, altering what I believe went wrong the first time. I threw out that batch. But third time's the charm, right? These tasty tasty Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes were the result, and I share them with you now! Prepared with mostly buckwheat flour with a bit of all-purposed gluten-free flour cut in, coconut milk, eggs, a touch of cinnamon, maple syrup, and olive oil, they're healthy and tasty. Win-win. You'll still have to whip up the batter, allow the batter to rest, cook each one on the skillet, and then clean the skillet when you're done. But isn't a good pancake worth all that?
Photo © 2014 Ashley Adams
These cupcakes are FUN. And evidence that I was feeling uber-indulgent last week. And so I share them with you now, on this beautiful Monday morning: Dairy-Free S'mores Cupcakes. They are actually quite a bit more chocolate than graham, with three layers of chocolate, a dollop of toasted marshmallow fluff and just a sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs. But: dairy-free and vegan with a gluen-free option. And so good. Happy Monday, everyone!
© 2014 Ashley Adams, licensed to About.com, Inc.
In the winter time, I crave root vegetable soups, radishes with sea salt, Alaskan-grown potatoes, and rich chocolate desserts with pears. I crave legumes stewed with vegetables and garlic. Curries are so versatile; you can select pretty much any vegetables that are in season and find a place for them in a curry. So, I thought I'd share this little ditty that is one of my favorite weeknight meals during the colder months: Red Lentil Curry. Curry dishes are warming during the winter, and this healthy, inexpensive dish feels substantial and comforting. Make is as spicy or as mild as you like--this one is for everyday meals for people who love good food. (And for people who are dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan!) Use whatever fresh, local, seasonal foods you can for this one; I like adding in dark wintry greens, broccoli, carrots, and potatos.
On a cold winter's day, there are few dishes or soups as soothing as a hot bowl of homemade Vegetarian Tom Yum Soup. This brothy soup is prepared with healthy ingredients like tofu, mushrooms, and tomatoes (which, although a summer harvest, can still taste good in a soup), and it has a lot of kick from Thai chilies and hot chili paste, so it's one of those dishes I especially crave during February. And the best part? Dairy has no place in this recipe, even if you really wanted it there. And it's good. REALLY good. Ladle the soup over a scoop of cooked white rice or serve with your favorite noodles, and you have a healthy and relatively simple dinner that even kids will like.
Chocolate desserts are wonderful pretty much any time of the year, but V-day is the day for chocolate, whether you're partnered or alone on the sofa.This Vegan Chocolate Truffle Cake satisfies chocolate cravings big and small while simultaneously allowing you to not have to bake a thing. A tiny cake (the size of a mini-loaf pan), when sliced to reveal the outer coating of cocoa powder and the inner truffle and then served with a ginger-fig caramel sauce, it is a gourmet treat. No oven required.