Posts Tagged ‘Gluten Free’

Raspberry-Vanilla Gluten Free/Vegan Scones


Raspberry-Vanilla Vegan Scones

These are way too easy to make friends. One mixing bowl and a baking sheet later and you have Vegan scones (mine were Gluten Free as well.) I even used frozen raspberries because I didn’t have fresh berries on hand and they worked just fine. Fill your house with the scent of vanilla and then attack these scones over a cup of tea. You won’t regret it.

Raspberry-Vanilla Vegan Scones


Raspberry-Vanilla Gluten Free/Vegan Scones (adapted from the BabyCakes Cookbook)

makes 8 scones


2 cups spelt flour OR Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coconut oil, plus extra for brushing the tops (make sure it is high heat sustainable)

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, scraped of seeds

1/3 cup hot water

1 cup fresh raspberries (frozen work too)


Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. Stir in the oil, agave nectar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. Stir in the hot water, then lightly fold in the raspberries until well incorporated but not smooshed to bits. Scoop 8 even mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush the tops with more coconut oil. Bake the scones for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let the baking sheet cool completely on top of a rack. Remember Gluten Free baked goods taste better when cooled for some reason so try to resist.




Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread


Happy New Year friends! If you follow me on Instagram (@lydiahowerton) you’re probably curious about the recipe for this bread. Developed from a Paleo Bread recipe that I adapted many times until this creation was born, this bread is Gluten free, low carb, has no refined sugar, no dairy and it’s Paleo and Yeast-free diet friendly (if you use only almond butter and no banana). This is the IDEAL breakfast bread, all the fat and protein from the nuts and eggs keeps you full and satisfied much longer than regular toast.

Peanut Butter Bread Batter with Fresh Berries

I stud the nut butter batter with jewels: ruby raspberries and sapphire blueberries. Be sure to gently press them into the batter until they’re covered, so they don’t get crushed or all float to the top.

PB&J bread

Who knew that eggs and nut butter can bake up into a fluffy, spongy bread?


Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread

Whole berries baked inside. This bread is really best toasted and if your diet/lifestyle choice allows you than spread some Sqirl Blackberry+Meyer Lemon Jam on top.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread Recipe
makes one large loaf pan or 3 mini loafs

Grapeseed or Coconut Oil for greasing the pan
1/2 cup organic creamy almond butter
1 cup organic creamy peanut butter
1 ripe banana, well mashed (optional)
5 organic free range eggs
3 tablespoons agave syrup or honey (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 cup organic blueberries, washed
1/2 cup organic raspberries, washed

Lightly grease a loaf pan with oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except for berries until well combined and pour into baking pan or pans. Evenly distribute the berries over the top of the loaf and gently press them into the batter until covered. Bake at 350 for 30 mins and check it with a knife or toothpick to make sure the center is cooked (knife should come out pretty clean). Some ovens will require the bread to bake longer. Just don’t overcook or it will be dry. Allow to cool 10 mins in the pan and then run a knife around the loaf to release it from the pan. Allow to cool and then enjoy (best when toasted!) Wrap the loaf well in plastic  and it will keep for 5 days on the counter or in the fridge.



Hard Cider


Have you tried hard cider recently? This is not an overly sweet pink version available on tap at a mega chain restaurant or something a college girl adds to a pint of beer to make it pear sweet. This is the hard cider of kings and queens.

Fizzy and dry with the crisp notes of apples, hard cider is the official drink of pre-fall. Drew had become a connoisseur of cider since it’s Gluten Free, light in alcohol and slightly more manly to drink while watching football than say… white wine.

So when Farnum Hill sent me some other their orchard ciders to try, Drew and I danced a little jig of happiness. While Farnum Hill is available all over in New England, us west coasters can dream they will make it to our stores soon. Not sweet at all but elegantly fruity like champagne, we found it to be the best of the best.

Our other favorite dry ciders which are available in most areas (try larger wine stores, Whole Foods and well curated liquor stores).

Julian (regular and cherry bomb flavor)


Angry Orchard (the ginger flavor is kickin)

Original Sin




Meatless Monday: Toast with Almond Butter and Fresh Fruit


Sarah and I have many things in common but our love of toasted bread spread with nut butter and topped with thin slices of fresh fruit is one worth sharing with y’all. Sarah has a cute story that she would pack such a sandwich as her lunch in Grad school and her fellow students would marvel at the concept of the fresh fruit version of PB&J. When we first met we admitted to eating close to a jar of peanut butter a week in this fashion but in an effort to be healthier I have switched to almond butter (most of the time.)

Toast with Almond Butter and Fruit

 This is my go to healthy breakfast or afternoon snack, in fact  I’m getting almond butter on my computer as I write this post before I rush off to work.

Toast with Almond Butter and Fruit

When fresh fruit can not be procured in the wee hours of the morning, SQIRL Jam is an excellent substitution (Kumquat Marmalade pictured above.) Below is all my favorite brands if you want to try this “recipe”. I use Gluten Free bread because that is the bread we keep in our house and I just don’t miss the gluten in this instance.

Toast with Almond Butter and Fresh Fruit

2 slices whole wheat bread (I like Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread)

2 tablespoons Almond Butter (I like raw, creamy, unsalted almond butters)

Fresh fruit thinly sliced (strawberries, banana, nectarine, peach, plum, apple, pear or just a pile of berries)


Hope you love it too!




Oat Bran Cereal


Oat bran for breakfast

It’s pouring in Los Angeles.  I love soaking wet days and I love them here more than anywhere else.  Not just because they are rare but because in Los Angeles the rain washes the sky.  Literally.  That says something terrible about the state of smog, I know,  but I can’t help but marvel when the sky here is bluer than ever after a day or two of rain and wind.

On a cold, rainy morning I’m not as embarrassed to admit I eat a hot breakfast.  Oat bran, in particular.  If you love oatmeal, give this dish a try.  It boasts a better nutritional profile than regular oatmeal (more fiber, protein and twice as much iron per serving), and takes even less time to make.  Plus, the tiny oat granules make it seem more like an old-fashioned porridge.  Just the thing for eating by the window on a rainy day.

Like all brans, oat bran is the husk of the grain, the part that is normally discarded during the milling process to create a smoother product. It’s the throw-away layer that houses most of the grain’s nutrients.  Healthy brown rice, for example, is white rice with the bran intact.

Here’s how I make it:

Combine 1/4 cup oat bran with 1/2 cup water or milk (always a 1:2 proportion)

Add dried fruit

Microwave for 45 seconds +, depending on your microwave.

You’ll know it’s ready to eat when the bran and fruit are both plump with absorbed liquid.  Add nuts if desired and a squirt of agave nectar or whatever else you like on your oatmeal.

Did I mention oat bran is gluten-free?  Just check the label to make sure it isn’t processed by the same machine that process wheat and you’re golden.

Happy rain day!


Meatless Monday: Slow Roasted Tomatoes


This is a NON recipe for one of the most delicious foods on earth! I first discovered slow roasted tomatoes from Orangette and then Gwyneth put a recipe for them in her book which I also made (they were excellent as is her book, don’t hate.)  Basically you take any small sized tomatoes, cut them and half, add salt and EVOO and let them sizzle and shrivel in a low oven for 2-5 hours. Even the crappiest tomatoes condense as they roast into the richest, tangiest, sweetest flavor on earth. Make these and eat like an Etruscan King. Drew calls them “Umami discs.”


Farmer's Market Roma Tomatoes

Farmer's Market Tomatoes in Baggu Bag

I’ll walk you through the process. Buy some tomatoes, I got these at the Farmer’s Market but I’ve also done this recipe with (gasp) grocery store, out of season, non-organic cherry tomatoes and it was just as yummy. Wash them and take the tops off. Cut them in half.


Roma Tomatoes for Roasting


Toss the tomato halves with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay cut side up on a baking sheet (I line mine with these parchment paper sheets, best product ever.)


Tomato Halves with Grey Salt

See how much salt I use, this gives the tomatoes lots of flavor. Now put them in a 250 degree oven for 2-5 hours depending on the size. These Roma halves took 3.5 hours.


Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Roast them til they look like this picture. Shriveled but not burnt or crisp.


Slow Roasted Tomatoes- close up

Aren’t they pretty! Let them cool and store them in your fridge in an airtight container drizzled with olive oil for up to a week. Toss them with pasta, puree them into soups or hummus, add them to sauteed lentils, each them on steak sandwiches or with fresh mozzarella. Eat them off the baking sheet for all I care, just make these.






Weeknight Taco Party


A few weeks ago Drew and I hosted a taco party as we had two dear friends visiting town! We made some yummy Margaritas, bought our favorite salsas from Hugo’s Tacos and slow braised a nice quality pork shoulder from McCall’s Butcher. Our friends brought the sides like rice, beans, dessert and beer.


beers in a tubbeer and wine chilling in a galvanized steel tub


Margarita Pitchera pitcher of classic Margaritas made with fresh limeade


Grapefruit Margarita at Sunset

a grapefruit margarita with a pink salt rim enjoying the Sunset


chips and salsachips and salsa from Hugo’s Tacos


Braised Pork Taco Fillingbraised pork shoulder from this recipe using responsibly raised pork


taco buffetpork, rice and beans, condiments, cabbage salad and tortillas


taco condimentscondiments for tacos: cilantro, scallions, honey-chipotle salsa, spicy crema, cheese and Anjali’s spicy pickled carrots as well as red cabbage salad


Elan's Horchata CupcakesElan’s horchata cupcakes (vegan and gluten free too!)


Everything was delicious and we had a blast with our pals. I hope this meal magically reappears on my table when I get home from work on Cinco de Mayo.




Meatless Monday: Spicy Carrot Soup


Spicy Carrot Soup

This soup is perfect for an April showers afternoon or an “it’s still so light outside” evening. Velvety smooth texture, sweet carrot base pumped up by warm Moroccan spices like cumin and allspice and lots of garlicy heat from the sriracha. Very little fat, vegan (swap out the honey for maple or agave syrup) and naturally gluten free this soup is delightfully sin free.

Spicy Carrot Soup

Spicy Carrot Soup

serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped white onion

1 pound large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 2/3 cups)

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 teaspoons sriracha (plus more for garnish)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


Warm olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in carrots. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Carefully puree in batches in blender until smooth. Return to same pan. Whisk in honey, lemon juice, sriracha, cumin allspice. Season with salt and pepper and add more lemon juice if needed. Serve warm with a garnish of sriracha or freshly chopped cilantro.






Sesame Brown Rice Salad


Sesame Brown Rice Salad

My darling friend Alissa gave me this recipe from her sister Risa and it a zesty delight. A perfect lunch salad, light dinner or try it spooned it into lettuce cups for a healthy appetizer. It’s naturally gluten free and you can easily make it vegetarian/vegan by omitting the shredded chicken.

You’re welcome.

Sesame Brown Rice Salad- close


serves 4

1 cup of dry long grain brown rice

2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 cup shredded broccoli stems

1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup of roasted and salted peanuts, crushed and divided

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced (plus more for garnish)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice (plus more wedges for serving)

1 clove of garlic, minced

4 teaspoons canola/avocado/grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil


Cook the brown rice according to the package instructions. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and fluff with a fork, allow to cool. Add the shredded chicken, vegetables, scallions, 2 tablespoons peanuts and cilantro and toss to combine. Make a dressing from the fresh lime juice, salt, minced garlic and then whisk in both oils. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and garnish with extra cilantro and remaining chopped peanuts. Serve with a wedge of lime.


Meatless Monday: Tofu Chopped Salad


This is my version of the M chopped salad at M Cafe in Los Angeles. So stinking healthy, you feel light and airy after eating it.

Tofu Chopped Salad

Angelinos loved chopped salads, each bite is a colorful bust of textures and flavors. In this case it’s smoky chewy tofu, creamy avocado, crisp celery, earthy sweet beets and salty tamari almonds all tossed with creamy vegan ranch dressing.

Tofu chopped salad with vegan ranch

Tofu Chopped Salad

Serves 4

Dice all the vegetables the same size so your salad looks pretty and is easier to eat! You can buy roasted beets on the salad bar of any supermarket if you don’t have time to roast and peel them yourself.

4 handfuls of mixed greens

1/2 cup diced cooked beets

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced avocado

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

1/2 cup diced seasoned cooked tofu (I used Thai flavored cooked tofu)

a large handful of Tamari or Bragg’s seasoned Almonds (available at health food stores)

1/2 cup of sprouts

Store bought vegan ranch dressing (I often thin this out with a little red wine vinegar or lemon juice)

Place a large handful of mixed greens into 4 bowls or plates. Toss all the chopped vegetables and garbanzo beans together then divide the mixture evenly over the salads. Top each salad with a haystack of sprouts and a sprinkling of almonds. Serve with store bought vegan ranch, on the side like we do in LA.



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