Suppertime. Simple. Scrumptious.

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In a hurry?

Tired of Thanksgiving leftovers?

Not a problem.

Hamburger Mushroom Gravy Over Mashed Potatoes or Rice

  • Brown 2-3 lbs (I used 3 lbs for my family of seven) Lean Ground Beef (or ground turkey)
  • If desired, add some green onions while the beef browns
  • Please salt your ground beef
  • Once the beef is browned, drain
  • Next, add one container of Imagine Portobello Mushroom Soup
  • Bring to a simmer
  • Add a little more salt to taste, a dash of garlic powder, and whatever else you think might give it some pizzazz.
  • Whisk together 1/2 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch with water (should measure about 2/3 cup and not have any undissolved starch present.)
  • Pour cornstarch mixture through a handheld strainer to catch any lumps.
  • That’s right, pour it right into the simmering hamburger and soup.
  • Keep things simmering and stir constantly until the mixture thickens.
  • Once the mixture is thickened, serve by the ladle full over hot, cooked rice or mashed potatoes.
  • Serve with a salad or other vegetable and you have a quick, easy, comforting dinner.

Happy Simple Suppers!


There’s Still Time!


If you still need one more dessert for your Thanksgiving table, here are a few suggestions:

Berry Crisp

  • 10 cups mixed berries
  • 1 cup sugar or 3/4 cup agave or honey
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tb Earth Balance

In a bowl, mix together berries and sweetener. Transfer to a greased 9×13 dish. Preheat oven to 350.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and then cut in the Earth Balance. Spread evenly over the top of the berries.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes or until berries are bubbling and crust is golden.

Pumpkin Pudding

Beat pudding mix and coconut milk together in a large bowl; refrigerate for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; mix well. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until ready to serve.

And have a blessed, healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

To Top it Off….

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Since my last post was about pumpkin pie, I thought it would only be right that the next post be about what to top that delicious pie with!

Before I post my suggestions for delectable whipped topping alternatives, I want to caution you about ‘non dairy’ whipped toppings, such as Cool Whip or the store brand version of the same.


Why? Because the package lies. They are not ‘non dairy’.

They contain the evil casein, a protein derived from milk!

And that, my friends, will make you sick.

But don’t be discouraged! Because we have some great alternatives!

Rich’s Whipped Topping – So it’s filled with all kinds of things that must be chemicals and just a little bit of soy lecithin. But it doesn’t contain any dairy, so it’s all good! Hey, once a year (or twice…..or multiple times if you get into the habit of topping your morning coffee with it. But. that. is. all. I swear!) though, you can justify chemical fillers. Right? You will, because this stuff is amazing.

Canned Coconut Milk – I only recommend this is you are a fan of coconut. If you are, this is your baby. And it’s quite easy to prepare! Simply place a can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least one hour. DO NOT SHAKE THE CAN! Open can with a can opener (not a can punch, but take the entire lid off). Next, scoop out the solid coconut, discarding the liquid. In a bowl, blend together a small splash of vanilla extract, your choice of sweetener in whatever amount you normally use for whipping cream and the solid coconut. Blend with an electric mixer until thickened, much like heavy whipping cream. A Magic Bullet works real well with this recipe, whipping it up in seconds.

Rice Whip – This product is much like your traditional canned whipped cream. While it is very tasty, it can also be very expensive. But, hey! It’s the holidays! Splurge! And while no one is looking, you can be a little kid again and spray the stuff right into your mouth. Go on. You know you want to.

Goat Milk – For real. For those of you fortunate enough to tolerate goat milk, you can prepare whipping cream from evaporated goat milk.

Cashew Whipped Cream (I am not making this up. I’ve had a similar recipe and it’s darn good!)

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 1 hour, drained
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup water, as needed

Combine cashews, agave, vanilla and salt in a food processor; with blade running, puree and gradually add water to machine. Puree in spurts, stopping to scrape down sides with a spatula or long spoon. Add enough water to make a smooth cream consistency. If using as a piping cream, use only ¼ cup water, and chill before using.

So, there you have it! You can have your pie and your whipping cream too!

Ain’t life grand?

Happy Holidays!

Pumpkin Pie: No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy, Lotsa Flavor!


Well, it’s that time of year again!

Where those of us with food allergies wonder what in the world we’ll eat if we’re invited to someone’s house and the urge to cheat and be sick for a week actually sounds pretty tempting.

Or, we make our own food and haul it wherever we go.

That’s what I always do. (Said like Napoleon Dynamite.)

Take pumpkin pie, for instance. Even if it’s ‘gluten free’, it’s probably not ‘dairy free’ or ‘egg free’. This year, I am going to attempt to make mine all of the above, only I’m going to use duck eggs.

I’m so excited!

But if you are allergic to eggs of any kind, fear not! I bring good tidings and great pumpkin pie recipes!

Just keep in mind, this pie will not taste exactly like the pumpkin pie you know and love. Because that kind of pumpkin pie really is just a glorified custard pie made with eggs and large, round squash.

But this is about as close as I have come, being a pumpkin pie lover, to the real deal.

Let’s get started:

Pumpkin Pie: No Dairy, Gluten, Eggs or Soy

For the Crust (makes one):

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dairy free milk

In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Then add oil and milk, mixing well with an electric mixer.

Press dough into a 9″ pie dish.

If you need a baked crust for another kind of pie, poke holes in the bottom of the crust. Then bake in a 425 degree oven for 12 minutes or until golden.

For the pumpkin pie:

  • 2 c. solid-pack canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. non-dairy milk (I used Silk almond original vanilla)
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar (or 2/3 cup agave)
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1 T. molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. EACH ground ginger, nutmeg and salt
  • (Instead of the above spices, you may use 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, if preferred.)

Blend all ingredients together with an electric mixer until smooth. Or, for better blending, put it all in your blender and blend it up until it’s combined well and smooth.

Pour filling into prepared, raw crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Place foil over crust edges if it begins to brown too quickly.

Let cool entirely before serving.

For best results, refrigerate the baked pie for at least 12 hours before serving.

::More pie, dessert and holiday recipes to come!::

Happy Thanksgiving!

Flu Season. Yuck.

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I have been kidnapped by the flu. Really.

It all began three weeks ago, when I took my 90 pound dog, who should be 80 pounds (we’re working on it), to the vet. You see, he had torn his ACL (well, the dog version of his ACL) and he was not cooperating for the vet. So I had to hold him down. And promptly threw out my back.

THEN, just as my back was getting better, I came down with a stomach virus. Nice. Bad back plus stomach virus equals not very comfortable at all.

I had a few days of feeling pretty good after that and then about a week ago, I got slammed again! This time, the dreaded influenza.

It was seriously just like Grover’s Bad Awful Day. Only it was Jaime’s Bad Awful Three Weeks.

So that’s where I’ve been: Sick and huddled under my covers with Good Earth tea and library books.

But it did yield a nice surprise in the process! Allow me to explain. Because I’m explaining whether you allow me to or not.

My dear, sweet oldest daughter went to the store for me and came home with a package of this:


This Amy’s Rice Macaroni and ‘Cheeze’  was shamelessly displaying itself in the freezer section at our local health food store! So what could my daughter do but buy a few boxes?

And not only is it gluten free, it’s dairy and soy free, prepared with Daiya cheese! It does have a small amount of nutritional yeast, so do not partake if you cannot have yeast.

I usually prepare my own mac and cheese using Daiya, but isn’t it nice to sometimes have something quick on hand? Especially when you’ve been sick?

And, thankfully, this mac and cheese passed the critical taste tests of both my daughter and myself.

In fact, it kind of reminded me of the old fashioned (listen to me…’old fashioned’, sheesh!) mac and cheese that came in those foil tray T.V. dinners back in the seventies and early eighties. You know, the kind you actually baked in your oven and it usually came with that awesome apple dessert? And then you ate it along with a cup of nice, cold Kool-Aid? Remember?

Yeah…and I wonder why I have so many food allergies now. Hmmmm. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact I loved Tab and Doritios. And TV dinner macaroni and cheese.

But now, thanks to Amy’s, I don’t have to feel guilty about eating their version of a true American delicacy.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some pretty intense housework to catch up on. And a kazillion doses of vitamin C to take, just in case.


Happy T.V. Tray Night!