Hot Chocolate! (Paleo, Vegan, Dairy Free & Refined Sugar Free)

Notice how everything is chocolate lately? I know. I’m obsessed. I went to my cousins house a couple of days ago & she is on the same diet I am on and asked me how to make really yummy hot chocolate. It was all rainy and glorious, and what is really better on a day like that than hot chocolate?! I have made vegan hot chocolate before, but I really hadn’t tweaked it or made anything I thought was out of this world. I decided I should delve in and figure out a really creamy yummy mix that is dairy & refined sugar free. So here it is. Frothy, yummy, chocolaty deliciousness. Thanks Mercedes for the prompting for this recipe. In the words of my four year old; “Mom! Amazingness! The best hot chocolate EVER!”

If you want to be ambitious and take the extra step, make sure you don’t shake your coconut milk & when you open it skim a few tablespoons of the fat off the top & whisk in your electric mixer with a tad bit of honey and a pinch of cinnamon for some whipped cream to top.



1 Can full fat coconut milk

1 1/4 cup almond milk (or non dairy milk of choice)

1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon depending on how much you like!)

3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 generous Tablespoons raw honey (or if you want to use less honey add stevia to taste)

1 heaping Tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 pinch sea salt or pink salt

In a medium saucepan add canned coconut milk, almond milk & cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. (If you don’t have a cinnamon stick, skip this step & add ground cinnamon with other ingredients if desired.) When 10 minutes is up, add cocoa powder, honey, coconut oil, vanilla & salt bringing back up to a boil, whisking rigorously to froth, or use a frother if you have one. Ikea has a tiny one for  I think $1 that is AWESOME!

Serve with coconut whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon if desired. Enjoy!


Gluten Free Vegan Cornbread

Who can eat Chili without cornbread? Definitely not me! I have long been searching for a gluten free and vegan version of cornbread, but they all fell flat. Some literally. Others just didn’t hold together well, and still other’s were lacking greatly in the flavor department. If you’re looking for a great gluten free mix you should make Sarah’s gluten free flour blend. I really think it’s what makes this cornbread so delicious! If you try another blend & it works well, I’d love to know about itcornbread2cornbread 1

Gluten Free Vegan Cornbread

1/2 cup Earth Balance soy free spread

Scant 1/2 cup white sugar

4 1/2 tsp ener-g egg replacer beaten with 6 Tablespoons water until frothy

3/4 cup non-dairy milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup organic cornmeal  (make sure to buy organic & avoid GMO’s! I buy all mine from Vitacost)

1 cup gluten free flour (Sarah’s gluten free flour blend)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan.

In a small bowl combine non-dairy milk with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and set aside.

Melt Earth Balance in a medium size saucepan on low heat. Once melted, remove pan from heat and stir in sugar. Add prepared egg replacer and mix until well blended.

Add the baking soda to the non-dairy milk/apple cider vinegar, then pour the milk mix into the pan with the Earth Balance, sugar & egg replacer and rigorously blend until incorporated.

Combine the gluten free flour, cornmeal, salt & add the dry ingredients to the wet until little or few lumps remain being careful not to over-mix. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven to 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Dairy Free Pesto (Vegan)

This recipe is very simple and extremely delicious. Pesto has always been a huge favorite at my house, but I stopped making it for a long time when we left dairy behind. Add it to your favorite vegan or gluten free pasta (mine is linguine!), throw in some veggies, chicken, toasted breadcrumbs or whatever else strikes your fancy, & you’ve got one tasty dinner.


Dairy Free Pesto (Makes enough to toss one 8 oz box of pasta. Double or triple easily))

1 cup fresh basil, packed

1/4 cup raw walnuts

1-2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt (add more if you like it saltier)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse garlic a few times to chop. Add basil, walnuts, salt and blend. While food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil and keep on until completely smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Pour pesto into a small saucepan and over medium low heat bring to a simmer stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes. As soon as it looks like it’s coagulating, remove from heat, toss with pasta & serve.

You can also eat it raw directly from the food processor, if you like.


Vegan Cinnamon Rolls (bread machine recipe)

There are two things in this life that I think about Every. Single.  Day. Carbs & Sugar. It may be safe to say I need a twelve step program. Something about bread meets sugar is even more tempting than each individual culprit.  That’s why cinnamon rolls are probably my favorite dessert. The marriage of warm pillowy bread-y goodness meets sugar overload. Throw in some walnuts & extra frosting & I’ve died and gone to heaven.


1 Cup warm non-dairy Milk (110 degrees F)

2 Ener-G egg replacer eggs (prepared)

1/3 cup Earth Balance soy free spread, melted

3 1/2 cups bread flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup white sugar

2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast


1 cup packed brown sugar

2 TBS cinnamon

1/3 cup Earth Balance soy free spread

3/4-1 cup walnut pieces (optional)


1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (more if needed)

1 TBS Earth Balance soy free spread, melted

2-3 TBS non-dairy milk

1 tsp vanilla

Stir warmed non dairy milk, yeast & 1 Tablespoon of your sugar in the pan of the bread machine and let proof for 10 minutes until foamy.  Add the rest of ingredients into the pan of the bread machine , select dough cycle; press start.

After the dough is finished, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup earth balance soy free spread and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture and walnuts, if desired. Roll up dough from the narrowest point, cut into 12 rolls & place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through baking. While rolls are baking, beat together powdered sugar, vanilla, melted earth balance spread, and milk alternative.

Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving. When rolls come out of the oven you can also turn them out onto another pan or a piece of foil. This will allow all of the sugary, buttery goodness that winds up on the bottom of the pan to stay on the rolls.


Simple Chili (gluten free + vegan option)

You know those day’s when you literally don’t have ten minutes to yourself and you’ve been running around like a crazy person & all of the sudden it’s 4pm and you realize you forgot about dinner? This recipe is for those days. I always keep the ingredients in the pantry just in case. It’s gluten free, can be made vegan & the easiest meal you will ever make.

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1 pound hamburger meat (omit meat for vegan version) 

1 15 ounce can pinto beans, juice and all

1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (optional)

1 packet Simply Organic Vegetarian chili mix or your other favorite chili seasoning (If you are very strict about gluten please check the packages to make sure they fit your dietary restrictions.) 

Brown hamburger in a large pot. Add chili seasoning and stir into meat. (If you’re not using meat skip this step and add seasoning to pot with all other ingredients.) Add undrained pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce & diced tomatoes. Simmer for as little as 15 minutes before serving. I keep mine in the pot simmering on low for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. If you want to prepare the chili early and keep it on the stovetop for a few hours, put a lid on it and keep it on very low stirring periodically.


Vegan Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Bread is my guilty pleasure. I love the fresh aromatic smell of rosemary, so the pairing of the two is a match made in heaven. These rolls are fluffy, light and tender. A big dollop of vegan butter or even honey tastes divine.
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Vegan Rosemary Dinner Rolls

I cup warm water (110 degrees)

2 Tablespoons white sugar

1 (.25 ounce) package rapid rise or bread machine yeast

1/4 cup canola oil

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1- 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (I’ve used dried rosemary before as well)

Place the warm water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes.

Add the oil, flour, rosemary and salt to the yeast. Select dough setting & press start.

When dough cycle has completed, remove dough from bread machine and divide into 12 evenly sized pieces. Place individual pieces into lightly greased muffin tin, cover with towel and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown and baked all the way through.

Recipe Adapted from Here

Grain Free Vegan “Healthy” Brownies

There are day’s when I want something sweet and chocolaty, but I don’t want to eat something heavy & incredibly bad for me. That’s when I turn to my “healthy” brownies. Maybe it makes me feel better to call them healthy than it really should. Either way, these brownies are moist and chewy & give you the perfect amount of guilt without actually being too guilty.

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Grain Free Vegan “Healthy” Brownies

1 1/2 Cups Almond Meal
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon non-alluminum baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 pitted Medjool dates
1/2 Cup Spectrum Organic Shortening (I buy it & most of my pantry goods from
4 one ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 Cup coconut sugar
1 2.5 oz jar baby prunes
1 small zucchini peeled & grated
1 ener-g egg (prepared according to box)
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Walnuts to top (if desired)

In the bowl of a food processor (this is the model I have and I highly recommend it!)  blend almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda. Add dates and process until completely blended into almond mixture.

On a double broiler, melt shortening and unsweetened baking chocolate. Once melted, remove bowl from heat and add coconut sugar, stirring well with rubber spatula. Add baby prunes and mix completely. Add vanilla, egg replacer and combine. Fold in grated zucchini.

Pour the wet mixture into the food processor with the almond flour mix. Blend until completely smooth.
Pour into a greased and floured 8×8 dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  You’ll know they’re done when they sink in the middle a bit and the outsides get a little crisp/cracked looking. Let cool completely before cutting.