Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Wishes

Wishing all of my readers and friends who celebrate Christmas a very Merry Christmas! 
Blessing and Peace to the World!

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Brussels Sprouts and Caramelized Red Onions

Looking for a delicious side for your holiday dinner? Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. Roasted Brussels sprouts and caramelized sweet red onions are a one step sensational recipe that is very easy to make. 

Each Christmas, I try to come up with a red and green side! Last year, I made the beautiful Christmas Slaw Salad that was colorful, crunchy, and festive. This year's recipe has red and green colors that are more subtle, but the vegetables melt in your mouth.

During November and December, it's usually easy to find fresh Brussels sprouts on the stalk ( I found them at Trader Joe's) It doesn't get much fresher than that. However, you could use fresh Brussels sprouts from a bag as well . Unfortunately, frozen won't work.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Caramelized Onion

You can prepare the ingredients up to a day in advance and then store in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast them. Plan on roasting for 25 minutes in a preheated oven. They taste AMAZING coming right out of the oven, but they are still really good at room temperature. 

My friend Laura, who is a master entertainer, always looks for recipes that can be enjoyed a room temperature to free up her time and oven space when company has arrived. This is a winner Laura!

To make this recipe even more enticing, I recently read that Brussels sprouts, and all cabbage family vegetables, provide much needed healthy Omega 3 oils. Who knew? Here is a complete list of vegan sources that offer Omega 3 ( I found this site on the Internet and have no affiliation and take no responsibility for the info in the article- just sharing a link I found)  

So there we have it ! Brussels Sprouts are vegan, naturally gluten free, delicious and healthy. This recipe is an all around winner.

3 ways to help others enjoy Brussels Sprouts

1. Never boil them- they will taste mushy and smelly

2. Roast them to bring out their best flavor- simply toss in oil, season, and place on a rimmed cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes ( depends on size of the sprouts) 

3. Saute in a skillet- Slice in half and saute raw sprouts in a skillet with other veggies, but do not overcook!

Author: Judee Algazi 
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

30 Brussel Sprouts  (a little more or less will work) 
1 medium red onion, sliced in half moons
1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil ( or oil of your choice) 
2 teaspoons of Trader Joe's 21 Salute ( a salt free seasoning )or try Mrs. Dash or similar

Preheat oven to 400 
Wash and cut off the coarse end of the Brussels sprouts
In a rectangular 10 x14 Pyrex baking dish toss the sprouts, sliced red onions, oil and seasoning. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes until the sprouts are cooked. Remove and serve. 

My Notes
1. Don't skimp on the oil- it is needed for the onions to caramelize

Healthy food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms make a sensational, yet easy, appetizer for any holiday party. These tasty little gems are stuffed with fresh spinach and artichoke ( I used frozen artichoke), a combo that is both vegetarian and naturally gluten free. They are easy to make and take about 15 minutes prep time for about 20 mushrooms. You can make them without cooking the night before and then just saute them in a large skillet for about 5 minutes before serving.

I found bags of frozen artichokes at Trader Joe's. I simply thawed part of the bag and then chopped them up without cooking. I added some Gruyere and Swiss shredded cheese ( again a mixture in a bag from Trader Joe); Vegans could leave out the cheese. I've made these appetizers with and without cheese, and they were delicious both ways. If you want yours to be vegan, add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth for some extra flacor when sauteing.

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Makes : 20 mushrooms

1 pound of regular size white whole mushrooms ( around 20 ) 
1 cup of chopped artichoke ( Trader Joe's comes frozen in a bag) 
2 cups of fresh baby spinach, chopped 
2 Tablespoons olive oil ( or oil of your choice)
3 cloves of garlic , chopped 
optional: 1/4 cup of shredded cheese ( I used Swiss and Gruyere mixture from Trader Joe's) 

To clean your mushrooms,  wipe the mushrooms well with a damp paper towel. Rinse the mushrooms very quickly under cold water if they don't come clean enough from wiping them. 

Pop out the inner stems, chop and set aside in a bowl. Using a very small spoon, scoop out the inside of each mushroom, adding the inside scooping to the mushroom stems in the bowl. 

On a low heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil for about 1 minute in a large skillet. Add the chopped inside scooped out mushrooms and chopped up mushroom stems, chopped artichoke, chopped fresh spinach, and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. ( optional: Add a pat of butter for extra flavor) . Turn off the heat and add the optional shredded cheese and mix it in.

Use the spinach and artichoke stuffing to stuff the raw scooped out mushrooms.
When the mushrooms are stuffed,  place the mushrooms in a skillet , spray the skillet with olive oil spray or add a few pats of butter. Saute the whole stuffed mushrooms for about 5 minutes ( do not overcook)

Make immediately by sauteing the whole stuffed mushrooms in some oil or butter in a skillet for 5 minutes. Or place the mushrooms in a Pyrex container, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours and then saute just before serving.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Easy Hanukkah Latke Recipe

If you are reading this on your phone, you will need to click the gray title to go to my blog to watch the video.

Tradition is eating potato latkes on Hanukkah. 

Here is an easy, tasty traditional latke recipe just in time for the holiday. 

I added a little grated carrot to the potatoes to give it a more golden color. 

Why we eat Latkes on Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights.

The holiday is in remembrance of the victory of the ancient Israelites against the oppression of the Syrians and the restoration of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The miracle of Hanukkah is that although the Israelites had only enough oil to light the Menorah (candelabra)  in the Temple for to last for one day,  the little vial of oil burned bright in the Holy Temple and lasted for eight full days.

Thus on Hanukkah, we light the Hanukkah Menorah ( also called a Hanukiya)) every night for eight nights and eat foods that are made with oil to commemorate the miracle of the oil in the Temple. We start with one candle and the shamash ( the candle to light with) and add a candle each night until we reach 8 candles plus the shamash which is always a taller candle holder,

Eastern European Jews traditionally eat potato latkes fried in oil for the holiday. 
Sephardic Jews from Middle Eastern countries and Spain eat a type fried dough or doughnuts.

Today in America, Hanukkah is often celebrated by the eating  latkes and doughnuts, singing of songs, playing "driedel", and lighting the Menorah each night. 

Since the oil in the Holy Temple in ancient Jerusalem lasted for 8 nights, we light candles ( and give gifts after we light the candles)  for 8 nights!

Children also get "gelt" ( money ) or chocolate (gelt) coins to eat.

Hanukkah falls each year according to the Jewish Calendar ( which is different on the American Calendar each year. 

Hanukkah Song
Here is a traditional Hanukkah song that I found on You Tube. It's fun and whimsical. Press the arrow to listen to the festive traditional song. You cannot open it from your phone- must click over to my actual url blog page at 

Hanukkah Recipe: Latkes
There are as many Hanukkah recipes for latkes as there are cooks. Their is no steadfast recipe.
My favorite recipe is baked not fried but I am sharing my cousin Harriet's latkes are fried, traditional and easy! I'm sharing her recipe plus some links for my other " less traditional" variety of latkes.

My Cousin Harriet's Traditional Hanukkah Latkes 
My cousin Harriet is an amazing cook who makes all of the traditional Jewish holiday foods. 

This is her blender latke recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time : 5 minutes for each batch of 4
Materials Needed: Blender and skillet

6-7 white all purpose potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 large egg
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (gluten free)
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 cup of oil

Using a blender, add the egg, onion, and a half of the potatoes. Begin blending and add remainder of potato, breadcrumbs, and seasoning to form the batter. Heat oil in a large skillet. Drop tablespoon mounds of batter into the skillet and fry until crispy. Serve topped with applesauce or sour cream!

Here is my recipe for baked latkes

Recipe for Hanukkah Recipe: Easy Doughnuts ( Baked and gluten free) 

I know it's the tradition to fry, but these are so much healthier and they do contain oil!

Author: Judee Algazi of Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 5-8 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 doughnuts

2 cups of almond flour ( Trader Joe's or health food store)
1/4 cup of coconut flour ( Trader Joe's or health food store)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder ( aluminum free)
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of milk ( coconut milk, almond milk, or regular milk)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten
optional: chocolate chips or chocolate frosting ( Quick recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Mix the eggs, milk, banana together and then add to the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon until blended. Pour batter into a 12 doughnut pan ( or 2 six doughnut pans)  and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, remove from pan and drip chocolate icing on top. Sprinkle with coconut if desired for a festive look.

Quick Chocolate frosting
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips ( I used dairy free)

Heat the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a saucepan on a low flame. Stir frequently until they melt together ( 1- 2 minutes) . Remove from heat and frost the donuts if desired. It takes about 4 hours for this icing to really dry. Eat immediately or wait 4 hours and then store.

Tips and Notes: Where to buy a doughnut pan
I bought my donut pan in AC Moore or you can easily purchase online:
Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan 

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Eggnog Baked Doughnuts ( Gluten Free )

chocolate glazed gluten free doughnuts

Doughnuts made with eggnog?  Perfect for Christmas morning AND Yes, they are fabulous and very easy to make.

Do you like eggnog? You will LOVE these healthy baked doughnuts ( I used So Delicious brand non dairy eggnog that is on the shelves for the holiday season ) but use any eggnog you like.

baked gluten free doughnuts

If you want to use the vegan Nog, it comes in a carton and is located on the shelf, not the refrigerator case.

Delicious brand vegan eggnog

eggnog doughnuts and a glass of eggnog ( DF and GF)
Eggnog doughnuts with chocolate chips added and a glass of eggnog 

a stack of gluten free eggnog doughnuts

I recently bought a doughnut baking pan which makes baking doughnuts so easy. All I did is fill the batter in the pan, popped it in the oven, and they came out as beautiful doughnuts. My grandkids went gaga over them so I know they are good!
baking pan for doughnuts
I bought my doughnut pan at AC Moore  or you can purchase online at
Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan 
The batter in the doughnut baking pan

Let's get one thing straight- These are not that sweet donuts!!
And they taste best once they are completely cooled. 
You will probably want an icing.

1-2-3 and you have doughnuts!!!! Personally it was my first attempt at baking doughnuts using a  pan, and I couldn't believe how easy it was!

Author: Judee Algazi
Inspired by a recipe on: Grass Fed Girl
Prep Time: 5-8 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 doughnuts

1 cup of almond flour ( ground almonds) Trader Joe's sells bags of it
1/4 cup of coconut flour
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of eggnog ( I used a vegan eggnog by Delicious Coconut Brand )
1/4 cup of olive oil or coconut oil
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup maple syrup
optional: chocolate chips if you are not going to ice the donuts ( ok , add chocolate chips even it you are going to ice the doughnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients ( almond flour, baking powder, and sea salt) and set aside
In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together and add to the dry. Mix well with a spoon.
Spoon into the doughnut pan. Bake for 20 minutes

Very Easy 5 minute Chocolate Icing

Chocolate Icing #1:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips ( I used dairy free)

Using a saucepan and a low flame, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together stirring frequently ( about 3  minutes) Remove from heat.  Spoon over donuts. This makes a smooth shiny icing. Set aside to dry for about 1 hour ( or icing will be sticky)

Chocolate Icing # 2:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar crystals
1/4 cup cocoa

Directions Icing #2:
Using a saucepan and a low flame melt coconut oil, coconut sugar crystals ( Trader Joe or Health food store) in a pan stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Stir in cocoa and shut off heat. Use immediately. This makes a grittier consistency but very tasty.

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photo of woman
  Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan
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