Dairy-free Nutella!!

Calling all chocolate lovers!  Every once in a while I want CHOCOLATE!  Actually, I want it all the time, but I have exercised some restraint.  Here is a great new take on Nutella.  My kids and I love this recipe, but if you are looking for it to taste exactly the same as nutella you will be disappointed.  Give it a try though, because it is really good!

Chloe’s Vegan “Nutella”  (recipe is from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups     Can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Soften at room-temperature before using.

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)                                                                                   1 cup almonds, with or without skins                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract                                                                                                      1/4 cup soy, almond, or rice milk (I used unsweetend almond milk)

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave until smooth.  In a food processor, pulse almonds until very find and powdery.  Add melted chocolate, almond extract, and nondairy milk.  Process until very smooth.  There will still be tiny bits of almonds in the mixture, but try to get it as smooth as possible.

The Best Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Healthy eating is difficult for me.  For one, I have eaten the same foods and cooked the same way since I was a little girl.  With education and training, I have slowly incorporated healthier meals into my house, but it doesn’t come natural to me to eat lots of fruits and veggies with a little or no meat on the side.  Staying away from dairy and corn products due to allergies has taken away A LOT of foods I enjoy.  I know that I am eating a healthier diet because of it, but I don’t always appreciate the changes I’ve made.

Over the past couple of years I have read many books and researched online for great Vegan/Vegetarian recipes to incorporate into our meal plan.

If you are a lover of mashed potatoes and gravy, but you would like to try a healthier version then I have a great recipe to share with you.  I haven’t found a better dairy-free version.

This recipe is from, “The Forks over Knives Plan” by Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD:

Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 c. cashews
  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes (about 4 medium-large) scrubbed and chopped (I peeled the skin too)                     
  • 2 c. cooked brown rice                                                                              
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)  (I have never liked mushrooms and I LOVE this recipe)
  • 4 c. low sodium vegetable broth                                                                                 
  • 1/2 t. dried sage                                                                                                                 
  • 1/2 t. dried marjoram                                                                                                      
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme                                                                                                                 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced                                                                                                         
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice (1 or 2 limes)                                                                                      
  • 1/8 t. freshly ground white or black pepper, plus 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper (I only used the black pepper)                                                                                     
  • sea salt
  • Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup of water.  Set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 20 minutes.  Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the rice, mushrooms, and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Another option is to leave the mixture in the pan and use a immersion blender to blend until smooth.  (I put mine in a food processor, but had to do two batches because it wouldn’t all fit at once.)
  • Once the mixture is blended put it back in the pan.  Add sage, marjoram, thyme, garlic, lime juice, 1/8 t. of pepper, and salt to taste.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.  Cover to keep gravy warm and set aside.
  • Transfer the cashews and their soaking water to a clean blender.  Add a pinch of salt and remaining 1/4 t. pepper and blend until smooth.  Pour the cashew cream over the potatoes and use a potato masher or mixer to mash well.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Serve the mashed potatoes topped with the gravy.  
  • Makes about 5 cups each of potatoes and gravy.  (I froze some of the gravy to use at a later date.)