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Entries in Vegan (70)


Jane's Garden Minestrone

Jane is my mother-in-law. Wonderful, intelligent, active and a bit cooking challenged. I truly loved her but, cooking was not one of her strong points.

To be fair, there were a few dishes she made that I absolutely loved. This soup is one of them. She probably clipped it from a magazine or the food section of the paper. She always cut the recipes out, carefully taped them onto a 3x5 index card and stowed them in the requisite recipe box. All very 1950s. I still have that recipe box. When she passed I kept, as remembrances, the recipe box and a very small figure of an ibis that she loved.

I remember the day she told me about this soup. She raved about it. Together we marveled that you don’t stir it for the first 10 minutes and that it makes its own broth from the moisture in the vegetables. I was soon hooked and made it several times over the summer & fall seasons. I gave the recipe to my sister and now she’s hooked.

It’s all vegetables, a few herbs and spices, a little olive oil—that’s it. Easy. Healthy. Flavorful. The latest batch I made is even more healthy and flavorful because it’s made from organic produce from The Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm in Blairstown, NJ.

If you want to bump it up a bit try adding beans for protein or gluten free pasta. And, experiment with the veggies—that’s half the fun!

By the way, this recipe freezes very nicely. I often defrost and eat it for lunch. Such a treat.

Jane’s Garden Minestrone

2 or 3 large tomatoes        

2 medium onions

2 zucchini

1 clove garlic                     

Head romaine lettuce/escarole        

1 ½ cups green beans or 10 ounce package frozen lima beans        

10 ounce package frozen peas

2 tablespoons minced basil        

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste           


You’re going to layer the vegetables in a heavy bottomed soup pot (at least 3 quarts) in this order: tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, lettuce, peas, & beans.

Peel the tomatoes. The method I use: make an X in the tomato in a few places with a sharp knife, dip each in boiling water for about 45 seconds, cool. The skins should easily peel right off. Slice them and layer them in the pot.

Peel and thinly slice the onions and layer over the tomatoes. Do the same with the zucchini. Mince the garlic and sprinkle over top.

Coarse chop the lettuce or escarole (spinach or cabbage would work, too) and into the pot.

Cover all with the green or lima beans and peas.

Chop the parsley and basil and sprinkle over the top. Pour in the olive oil.

Put the pot on a medium to medium high burner for about 10 minutes – do not stir. You’ll hear the juices begin to bubble – you can turn the heat down a notch or two – just make sure the soup is still simmering away.

After 10 minutes stir the soup and mix it well. Cook covered for about 30 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now would also be the time to add cooked beans or cooked pasta to the soup to make it a heartier meal.

I like to serve it topped with a little grated pecorino romano cheese made from sheep’s milk.



Very Chocolate Gelato

Ah, Gelato! And, Chocolate! Two of my very favorite things. So, how could Chocolate Gelato be anything short of delightful?

There’s so much to know about iced confections. The variety—ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, Italian ice, gelato, frozen custard. Or, the history which dates back to the early part of the first millennium when Emperor Nero feasted on iced cream treats. Let’s not forget the flavors that are too many to mention and getting more sophisticated each day. So much to chew on.

We could just not talk about it at all. We could just eat and enjoy it. That’s really what ice cream is all about. The only decision to make is the flavor and whether to enjoy it in a cup or cone. So, pick any flavor, because tomorrow (or sooner) you can choose another. Carefree. Simple. Wonderful.

Oh, one more thing. Yes, this is a blog geared to a certain foodie niche—sensitivities to gluten, dairy, and eggs and vegan cooking. But, hold on. Don’t run away yet. This isn’t a recipe with ingredients you’ve never heard of before. You’re going to want to stay and read it. And, then you’re going to want to try it. Because, it’s as good as or better than any chocolate ice cream, gelato, whatever, you’ve ever tried. Rich, creamy and chocolaty. And, delicious. So, go on, check it out.

For more coconut milk recipes visit The W.H.O.L.E. Gang Friday Foodie Fix: Coconut Milk

This recipe appears as part of Chocolate round-up on Savoring The Thyme to celebrate Interantional Chocolate Day. (What a wonderful holiday!) You’ll want to visit to see lots of wonderful chocolate desserts (some of which are gluten-free).


Very Chocolate Gelato

1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk*

2.5 ounces prepared coffee or water

1/3 cup dutch processed unsweetened cocoa

3 ounces dark chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon arrowroot

½ cup sugar

pinch of salt




Reserve one cup of the coconut milk. Whisk together the remaining coconut milk, vanilla, coffee (or water, if you prefer), salt and arrowroot. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan whisk together the cup of reserved coconut milk, sugar and cocoa. Bring to a simmer over medium heat whisking frequently. Take care not to burn the mixture.

Stir in the coconut milk/coffee mixture and dark chocolate (chop the chocolate or use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips). Bring the whole thing back up to a simmer, stirring as you would a pudding. Turn down the heat and stir for a few minutes to let the liquid thicken slightly.

Take the pan off the burner and let it cool. Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl and refrigerate for a few hours until the mixture is cold.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Mine took about 20 minutes to freeze. The gelato will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream (or just a little harder).

Place any leftover gelato in a container in the refrigerator (whoops) freezer. It will get quite hard so let it defrost about 5-10 minutes on the counter before you serve it.

This recipe made about 2 cups of gelato. I made it in my very old Krups La Glaciere ice cream freezer, which is about 1½ quarts and has the kind of bowl you chill in your freezer. If you have a bigger ice cream maker adjust the recipe (double or 1.5 times) to meet your needs.


Aword about coconut milk—they are not all created equal. First, use coconut milk—not coconut cream or light coconut milk. Go for one of the better brands. I’ve used Thai Kitchen but would like to try Chaokoh or Roland Organic. Look for one that doesn’t separate when standing. You may have your own favorite so go ahead and use that one.

And, about cocoa powders—the cocoa powders I’ve mentioned in comments below do not have a GF claim on their labels so, please use your own judgment when using them. I found one  dutch processed cocoa powder  you might consider: Nature’s Flavors. If I am able to find others I will post them.