Flourless Elvis Muffins. Vegan and Gluten Free.

Flourless Elvis Muffins. Vegan and Gluten Free.

Flourless Elvis Muffins. Vegan and Gluten Free.

I have plenty of versions of gf and vegan muffins. I tweak and morph the recipes and I just love these.  All made in the food processor, which is super awesome during the craziness of the holiday.  These are totally Elvis-inspired.  Banana as the base.  Peanut butter creaminess and if you wish, chocolate for the trifecta!  I made half a batch with and half without for my family.  They are insanely moist and impossible to eat just one.  Be warned.  These also make the best holiday gift for friends or anyone you need a special little treat for. I hope you enjoy!  Now to get back to my pot of African peanut soup that I’m making for dinner.

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— Knead to Cook

Vegan Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.

Vegan Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.

Vegan Gingerbread Protein Smoothie.

I’ve been so inspired by the flavors of the season this year.  I came up with this recipe on a long run I did last weekend.  I gave it a few attempts and settled in on this recipe to share – heavenly.  It is so reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie that it will have children and adults clambering.  Not all smoothies require kale or spinach, although it kills me not to add it.  I tested out VegaOne’s new protein powder that will be released in January and it was heavenly in this beverage.  This is perfect to curb a sweet attack.  Post workout refueling.  Dessert.  Breakfast… whatever you have in mind.  Plus it’s vegan and adds a nice dose of iron through the black strap molasses, which is a great benefit for a vegan diet.  If you aren’t vegan – use whatever dairy you wish.  Almond or cashew milk work great for vegans.  I hope you give this recipe a try… I also topped it with some crushed gingersnaps which made it even more fun for kids (or adults that are kids at heart).

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— Knead to Cook

Peppermint Black Bean Brownies. Vegan and Gluten Free.

Peppermint Black Bean Protein Brownies.  Vegan and Gluten Free.

Peppermint Black Bean Protein Brownies. Vegan and Gluten Free.

I feel like my kitchen switches from pumpkin over to peppermint in a matter of days.  The tree is up.  Cards are mailed.  Presents purchased and now it’s time to start baking pepperminty good treats. Actually, healthy vegan and gluten free treats that are protein-packed for recovering muscles.  Swimming is underway and my voracious daughter craves protein-packed snacks before and after practices plus after running and cycling we all need protein.  These are great for on-the-go eating.  Plus, they are healthy and no one will know the better.

Now I know there are like a million and one black bean brownie recipes out there but these are just a decadent little bites packed with mint flavor.  Go big or go home and I went big with the flavor.  Plus I just received some new VegaOne protein powder that I wanted to give a whirl in a not-so-traditional smoothie recipe and it worked perfectly!!!  Ohhhh I may need to step away from the brownies or go for another run.  Ha!

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— Knead to Cook

Vegan Garlic Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes.

Garlic Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Vegan Garlic Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes | Knead to Cook.

Happy December!!!  As much as I don’t love snow, I do love this month.  It’s my birth month, Christmas, downtime with family, laughing with friends, sharing gifts and most of all, spending time with the most special people in my world.  Today is Cyber Monday and I will, I’m sure, get roped up into that and buy a few more gifts.  My Christmas cards get mailed today as it is officially December and I’ll finish up my gift list as soon as possible.

Today, however, began with a run in shorts but more about that later in the blog post below.  For now, I discovered this recipe from The Blender Girl and knew I had to try it for Thanksgiving but my version.  It was a huge success without anyone realizing it was vegan (gasp!).  My immediate family embraces vegan dishes I make but my in-laws shy away quite a bit.  I made these right after my run on Thanksgiving and no one was really around to see what I put in or didn’t into this dish.  Everyone loved them.  Success!

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— Knead to Cook

Our version of black Friday…

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with tons of laughter, joy and great food.  We enjoyed our family, celebrated my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday and had a ton of wonderful vegan food (and some non-vegan food for the carnivores).  Lots of leftovers we’ll be snacking on for many days to come.  I will be sharing a wonderful new recipe I tried that totally fooled all my carnivores at our Thanksgiving table.  That will be posted shortly.

But for now… this is how we do Black Friday.  We go tree hunting.  It’s the one day I truly look forward to  all year long. I don’t rush any holidays. But admittedly, Christmas is a fave. It’s changed quite a bit since my kids are older but there are some traditions I’m clinging on to. This is one!

Horse-drawn carriage rides are the best.
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— Knead to Cook

Cranberry Orange Relish. Vegan.

Cranberry Orange Relish.

Cranberry Orange Relish | Knead to Cook.

Thanksgiving is this week!  I still can’t believe it.  The east coast had record heat yesterday – we were in NYC for the day for some meetings and some meet-ups with good friends.  And tomorrow we are expecting 5-8 inches of snow.  Ha!  Then back up to the 60’s – talk about crazy weather.  But snow the day before Thanksgiving means that my company arrives tonight instead of tomorrow and we rush like crazy people to clean up the house, prep food, grocery shop etc. etc. etc.  I’m so excited to see everyone and hang out and just relax, laugh and eat!

I made my traditional cranberry orange relish today but made it a bit healthier without refined sugar.  It’s cooling now but I already snuck a taste and it’s so good.  In the oven I’m roasting brussels sprouts.  I also made a cranberry jalapeño salsa to snack on plus got the kitchen cleaned.  Doing well or at least I keep telling myself that.
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— Knead to Cook

Balsamic Dijon Tempeh. Vegan.

Balsamic Dijon Tempeh.

Balsamic Dijon Tempeh || Knead to Cook.

Tempeh is one of my favorite vegan proteins.  I know, originally, I was terrified of it but once I learned that it is similar to cooking traditional chicken or pork – I switched my mindset and went with that for seasonings etc.  The first thing that’s a must is steaming it to take away the bitter flavor.  This recipe I marinated for 2 days, actually forgot about it until last night.  It was perfect atop our arugula greens and is such an easy and tasty protein.  Super easy dinner and great for leftovers.  Plus crumbling it works great too!
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— Knead to Cook

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Madagascar Vanilla Frosting. Vegan and Gluten Free.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Madagascar Vanilla Frosting.  Vegan and Gluten Free | Knead to Cook.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Madagascar Vanilla Frosting. Vegan and Gluten Free | Knead to Cook.

Yesterday was pretty close to perfection in my food world.  I was at my favorite health food store and stumbled upon Bob’s Redmill’s gluten & dairy free 1 to 1 baking flour that they just released.  This is like winning the lottery for me as I’ve been dying to try it but have been too busy to order it online. Then once I got home, I received two containers of a vegan/gluten free icing that I was asked to sample.  Dollop Gourmet and I met up on Instagram and it was instantly love.

Today I had NO appointments. A rare day.  I’ve been planning and plotting my Thanksgiving menu (well the vegan/gf options) and these will undoubtedly be on the dessert menu. The flour is heavenly!  I’m not exaggerating.  It doesn’t have the weird gluten free aftertaste. It tastes like regular all-purpose, NORMAL flour!  You have no idea how happy this makes me.  Plus its a one-to-one conversion so I can take my normal recipes and go for it.  I’m smitten.

Now to pair that awesome flour up – these pumpkin cupcakes HAD to have some icing.  I topped them off with the Madagascar Vanilla icing.  Unbelievable!  It is so good that I had to walk away!  I think I could sincerely eat all 10 cupcakes I made if I didn’t have some will power.  If I ran 10+ miles I may have given myself a pass but I didn’t today so it wasn’t happening.  And I did make these for my oldest and I know she is going to love them.  Both reviews are NOT being sponsored.  These are both products that I will stock my pantry with and use daily!

Now onto this yummy recipe…
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— Knead to Cook

Vegan and Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole.

Vegan and Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole.

Vegan and Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole | Knead to Cook.

This Thanksgiving my husband is vegetarian.  I’m vegan.  My oldest is dairy and gluten free.  I started to think about our Thanksgiving menu, because we host, and I knew I had to revamp my sweet potato casserole recipe because its the one dish my kids clammer over.  Today I opted to do a test run of subbing out the dairy and flour to make sure they love it and that everyone else will too.  I take some heat about my vegan diet and I don’t want anyone to feel like my dishes are boring and flavorless because they are vegan.  Vegan food is so flavorful!  No one will miss the decadence with this dish… it is so good.  #thankful

I served this for dinner last night and my family loved it.  So thankful for no complaints (especially from my youngest).  The revamp was a success!

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— Knead to Cook

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce. Vegan.

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce. Vegan.

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce. Vegan. Knead to Cook.

You don’t have to give up rich, creamy sauces when opting to eat a vegan diet.  This sauce would rival any dairy cream sauce but is a healthier, protein-packed version.  I made this sauce to top pasta but it could easily be used for a dip for veggies, crackers or chips.  My husband also used this as a spread on his sandwiches.  You an even top your salad greens with it.  The uses are endless.  You adjust the spices so it is totally customizable.  Meatless Monday just got a whole lot easier. Prep this sauce (soaking your cashews) and store in the fridge all week and use in various ways throughout the week.
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— Knead to Cook