• Now that I’ve graduated from my walker (I fractured my pelvis several weeks ago) to two crutches (and sometimes I can get around using only one crutch – woo hoo!), I’ve been back in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Making a mess too, which I mostly feel obligated to clean up, but with my injury, I leave the clean up to Peter which he has been only too willing to do. He’s been terrific throughout my recovery!

    I have two recipes to tell you about. The first one is this recipe for vegan mac & cheese from Karina’s fabulous gluten free goddess blog. I’ve made it twice in the last week and loved it both times. It is an excellent recipe, a keeper for sure. In fact, I made it for some friends who were highly skeptical. They heard “vegan mac & cheese” and wanted to run, really far, really fast. But they gave it a try and loved it! And even admitted that it would go into their regular rotation of meals.

    I would definitely recommend visiting Karina’s site for her volumes of wonderful recipes, especially this one for great vegan mac & cheese. But certainly feel free to improvise, as I know Karina would suggest. Here are some of my edits:

    • I used Tinkyada baby shells for the pasta. I used a pound of pasta instead of her recommended smaller amount.
    • I increased the milk from 2 ½ cups to 4 cups. Though I didn’t increase any of the other sauce ingredients, the next time I make it, I will.
    • The first time I made it, I omitted the wine, the second time I used some white wine I happened to have in the house. It was good both ways.
    • For the bread crumbs, per advice from another one of Karina’s posts, I toasted two Van’s gluten free waffles and then did some magic in my food processor. I whirred the toasted waffles with a little bit of olive oil, some dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.
    • I didn’t top the casserole with tomatoes, only because I didn’t have any.
    • I used sesame tahini and not nut butter

    The second recipe I want to share with you is from a book called Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. I made some changes when I made it and thus my listed recipe reflects my edits. My husband loved it, but as he was eating it he said “I better savor this while I’m eating it because I know you’ll never make it the same way again!”. He’s mostly right. If you have a slow cooker, this is a great cookbook. If you don’t have a slow cooker, get one!

    BTW, we all know how important it is to eat our greens. I’ve stayed far, far away from collards, but after tonight, they will definitely be a regular on our table. I decided to make them in my pressure cooker and it couldn’t have been easier. I’ll explain below.

    Spicy White Bean and Sweet Potato Stew with Collards

    1 tbsp olive oil

    1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped

    1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced

    1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

    One 14.5 ounce can Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their juices

    One 15.5 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

    One 15.5 ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

    1 teaspoon light brown sugar

    ½ teaspoon ground allspice

    ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

    2 bay leaves

    3 cups vegetable stock


    2 cups chopped collard greens, either cooked in simmering water until tender and drained OR made in a pressure cooker (see below)

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

    Transfer the mixture to a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add the sweet potatoes, jalapeno pepper, ginger, tomatoes, beans, brown sugar, allspice, cumin, bay leaves, and stock; season with salt and pepper, cover and cook on low for 4 – 6 hours.

    Close to serving time, stir in the cooked collard greens. Taste to adjust the seasonings, remove the bay leaves, and serve.

    To cook the collard greens, go to this recipe at Susan V.’s fatfree vegan’s blog. Thank you Susan! It was so, so easy to make these collards and they added an extra nice touch to the Spicy White Bean and Sweet Potato Stew.

    Both of these recipes were fairly easy to make. Certainly not as easy as opening up as box of Kraft mac & cheese or a can of chili, but way better, no comparison for sure. If you’re looking for some down home goodness, give these recipes a try.

    • Karina Allrich

      Hi Ellen! I’m *so* glad you have graduated from the walker to crutches. Big moment.

      And I’m especially happy to learn you are up and about and making a mess in the kitchen- a sure sign of healing.

      Thank you for your kind words about my recipe (and blog). You are such a sweetheart! I am sending more healing vibes your way- get stronger every day, Ellen. I’m thinking about you- with love and affection.

      xox Karina

    • Karina Allrich

      PS:: My surgeon told me to eat meat post hip fracture/surgery. He told me bones need lots of protein to heal.

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Thanks Karina, for the sweet words and the meat suggestion. Though mostly vegan/vegetarian, I will admit to having thoughts about meat lately. Though the transition to mostly no flesh hasn’t been difficult, sometimes old habits creep in (or try to). Perhaps it’s leftover cravings? A physical desire to have bone-healing flesh? Hmmmmm. Not sure. In any case, I will give thought to your doctor’s suggestion:).

    • jenn

      I found this place that sells all kind of Gluten Free food and snacks. http://www.WholeAndNatural.com. I had a great experience with them the last few times. Thanks to them I can have lots of yummy treats.

    • Free Music

      thanks for the heads up

    • http://www.pastificiolarosa.it/ Engi

      I highly recommed the italian gluten-free pasta of Pastificio La Rosa.

      It is a homemade product, made in full compliance with the rules of classical Italian tradition: after cooking it remains consistent, firm and elastic to satisfy even the most demanding consumers!

      Very very good!!!

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