Cinnamon Chickpea Bites (AKA The Babe’s new favorite snack)

Cinnamon Chickpea Bites (AKA The Babe’s new favorite snack)

Spice things up this fall with these sinfully good cinnamon chickpea bites. Toddlers love them. Adults love them. And no one is the wiser that these bad boys are actually good for you.

Cinnamon Chickpea Bites | gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free

The Babe is still obsessed with chickpea bites. And I’m still looking for ways to switch them up so she’s not eating the same thing every single day for the rest of her life. So far, we’ve done chocolate chip chickpea bites and peanut butter chocolate chickpea bites.

And while would have been satisfied having either of those two options for the rest of my life, I felt like I owe it to The Babe to try something new.

Which is how we happened upon these cinnamon chickpea bites.

Cinnamon Chickpea Bites | gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free

Back in the day, the mere thought of cinnamon would have sent me into panic mode. I loved it. But, sadly, it did not love me. And was the source of many-a-migraines.

Which is a damn shame because I used to pound Cinnamon Toast Crunch, sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over my french toast, and eat copious amounts of my mom’s cinnamon applesauce. So believe me when I say having to cut it out of my diet was a hard thing to do.

Thankfully, cinnamon and I are back on speaking terms. Which is great, because I’m pretty sure I’ve put cinnamon into every single thing I’ve made for the last month. I’ve gone through two jars of ground cinnamon and have liberally added it to breads, baked goods, and … bites.

Cinnamon Chickpea Bites | gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free

Word to the wise: if you’re not feeding these in mass quantities to little people, feel free to roll them in a little cinnamon sugar for some next level snacking. It takes these cinnamon chickpea bites from regular old snack to dessert-like truffle in seconds flat.

It also makes them even more addictive than they already are.

So use caution.

And the cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon Chickpea Bites | gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free

Yields 36

Cinnamon Chickpea Bites

Spice things up this fall with these sinfully good cinnamon chickpea bites. Toddlers love them. Adults love them. And no one is the wiser that these bad boys are actually good for you.

10 minPrep Time

10 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • Optional:
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 2 tbs coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside.
  2. Place ingredients into a blender and pulse until dough forms. Should be firm but not overly dry.
  3. Scoop up 1 tbs of mixture and roll into a ball. (You can always take more or less depending on how big or small you want your bites to be.)
  4. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and repeat the process until the mixture is gone. (If mixture is a bit sticky, place a drop or two or water on your hands and get them damp. Too wet, and the mixture will turn to slime.)
  5. If using, combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Take balls one at a time and roll around in sugar until coated. Return to the baking sheet.
  6. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before transferring to a tupperware or large container for storage.
  7. Will keep for 1-2 weeks (IF they last that long).

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free, soy free.

7.6.4
272
http://emilylevenson.com/cinnamon-chickpea-bites-recipe/

Cinnamon Chickpea Bites | gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free

Beef and Broccoli

Beef and Broccoli

Never miss out on eating out again with this quick and easy recipe for beef and broccoli. It’s gluten free and nightshade free, and a heck of a lot better than take-out. 

Beef and Broccoli | gluten free, nightshade free, dairy free

There are very few dishes that The Husband and I agree on when it comes to Chinese food. I love anything chicken, he doesn’t. He loves the tofu dishes, I don’t. I’ll do soups, he prefers egg rolls. He’ll do seafood, I won’t.

You get where I’m going with this, right?

The two categories that we will unequivocally agree upon? Veggie-packed noodle dishes or beef and broccoli. We’ve been known to occasionally switch things up and go for beef with scallions, but we have to be feeling really crazy to do that.

There are two morals to this story. One, don’t come to a Chinese restaurant with us if you don’t like noodles or beef. And two, it’s a really good thing I started liking broccoli, or we wouldn’t be able to share anything. 😂

Beef and Broccoli | gluten free, nightshade free, dairy free

But, sadly, our eating out days have been put on hold because eating out with food sensitivities is H A R D.

I’ve had to refine my stir frying skills and get better at making sauces that keep us all going back for more, all while avoiding the ingredients that make me feel like poop. Thankfully, I’ve found a few go-to recipes that make missing out on eating out minimal.

Oh, and P.S., I knew I found a winner with this beef with broccoli when The Babe shouted, I LOVE BEEF after her first bite.

Beef and Broccoli | gluten free, nightshade free, dairy free

But don’t take my word for it.

Take yours.

Whip up a batch of beef and broccoli tonight and get ready to win at dinner. Your mouth, your belly, and everyone at your dinner table with thank you. They may even shout I LOVE BEEF, too.

Beef and Broccoli | gluten free, nightshade free, dairy free

Yields 4

Beef and Broccoli

Never miss out on eating out again with this quick and easy recipe for beef and broccoli. It's gluten free and nightshade free, and a heck of a lot better than take-out.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 lbs flank steak
  • 1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce if not avoiding gluten)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp mirin or rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tbs corn starch (or arrowroot powder) + 1 tsp water

Directions

  1. Slice flank steak with the grain into long thin strips and then slice as thinly as possible against the grain.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine tamari, garlic, ginger, and mirin. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. Heat a large wok with 1 tbs oil over high heat.
  4. Add in 1/3 of the beef and brown, approximately 30 seconds per side, and transfer to a bowl. Continue browning beef (adding additional oil if necessary) until all beef has been cooked and set aside.
  5. Add remaining 1 tbs into wok and let heat again.
  6. Add in broccoli and cook, stirring, until broccoli is bright green and crisp tender. Should take about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Return beef to wok and add in sauce. Pour in corn starch and stir until sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice (or cauliflower rice, quinoa, or as is)!

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, and egg free. It can also be made corn free by using arrowroot powder.

7.6.4
72
http://emilylevenson.com/beef-with-broccoli/

 

Honey Lime Vinaigrette

Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This honey lime vinaigrette is the perfect combination of tart and sweet for your salad devouring pleasure. Whip up a batch today and enjoy it all week long.

Honey Lime Vinaigrette | nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free

One of the more frustrating things to find when avoiding nightshades is finding pre-made salad dressings that don’t contain paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, or bell peppers. Throw in avoiding gluten and dairy, and it wipes out almost every single option out there.

And for a girl who loves her salads, it becomes a bit of a let down.

Instead, I have to make my own dressings and cross my fingers (and toes) that it will be better than throwing a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar on my salad. Most of the time, the dressings are merely okayyyyy.

Honey Lime Vinaigrette | nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free

The mustard is a little too pronounced.

The vinegar is a wee bit too powerful.

Or it’s only kind of meh for the amount of work it takes.

So when I began to really look for more dressings to bring into my salad-eating rotation, I was intrigued by the idea of pairing honey and lime. The acid of the lime mixed with the sweetness of the honey was super appealing. As were the lack of nightshade spices. This was definitely something I could get behind.

Honey Lime Vinaigrette | nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free

So I tried a reallllly small batch first in case I didn’t like it.

But I did.

So I made another (much larger) batch and have been enjoying it ever since.

Honey Lime Vinaigrette | nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free

Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This honey lime vinaigrette is the perfect combination of tart and sweet for your salad devouring pleasure.

5 minPrep Time

5 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup canola (or other mild) oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake to combine.
  2. Pour over your favorite salad and eat that shit up.
  3. Lick your lips and do it all over again.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, soy free, corn free, and egg free.

7.6.4
247
http://emilylevenson.com/honey-lime-vinaigrette/

Honey Lime Vinaigrette | nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Bites (Yes, I know how that sounds.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Bites (Yes, I know how that sounds.)

Chocolate, peanut butter, and chickpeas (what?!?!) come together in this deliciously healthy toddler-friendly treat. Even the pickiest of eaters will agree, these chocolate peanut butter chickpea bites are the bomb diggity.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Bites | emilylevenson.com

We are BIG fans of chickpea bites in this house. It’s something The Babe asks for on an hourly basis. And if we don’t have any, she immediately wants to grab the step ladder and an apron so that she can help me make them.

There’s only one problem.

The Babe thinks it’s totally acceptable to eat all of the chocolate chips out of the chocolate chip chickpea bites without actually eating the chickpea bite.

Being the smart mama that I am, I decided to give her what she wants (chocolate) while still getting her to eat the whole thing (which I know she likes). So I made the whole thing chocolate by adding in cocoa powder, giving her a very good reason to eat the whole damn thing.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Bites | emilylevenson.com

I’m happy to report that The Babe eats 5 or 6 at a time without flinching or taking half bites and dropping them back into the container. Which is a freakin’ miracle when it comes to eating with a toddler.

Here’s the thing. Even grown-up’s like these.

They will scrunch their noses at the mere mention of chickpeas in a dessert. They will even give you a stink face for even suggesting that they are good. And then? They will take a bite to appease you because they don’t want to appear … rude.

And that’s when the magic happens.

They smile.

And admit that they are “actually really good.”

Because, seriously, anything that has chocolate and peanut butter as the main ingredients is going to be good. Period. (Unless it has cheese in it, and then we can simply agree to disagree.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Bites | Gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free

Yields 24-36

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Bites

Chocolate, peanut butter, and chickpeas (!!) come together in this deliciously healthy toddler-friendly treat.

15 minPrep Time

15 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups rolled oats, ground into flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbs water, if needed

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside.
  2. Place chickpeas, peanut butter, and maple syrup into a blender and pulse until smooth.
  3. Add in oat flour, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and blend until the mixture forms a ball. If the mixture is a bit thick, add in water 1tbs at a time until dough is firm but not overly dry.
  4. Scoop up 1 tbs of mixture and roll into a ball. (You can always take more or less depending on how big or small you want your bites to be.)
  5. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and repeat the process until the mixture is gone. (If mixture is a bit sticky, place a drop or two or water on your hands and get them damp. Too wet, and the mixture will turn to slime.)
  6. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before transferring to a tupperware or large container for storage.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, corn free, soy free, and egg free.

7.6.4
248
http://emilylevenson.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-chickpea-bites/

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Bites | emilylevenson.com

Rice Pilaf With Almonds (Gluten Free)

Rice Pilaf With Almonds (Gluten Free)

Did you know that rice is more than just a way to get more soy sauce (or tamari) into your face? Yep. It can be made into things like mujadara, spanish rice and rice pilaf. I especially love rice pilaf with almonds, and I love it even more when it’s gluten free, dairy free, and nightshade free. 

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

Pinterest is good for a lot of things; finding recipes, getting inspiration for what to cook, and finding a whole lotta craft ideas for toddlers. It’s also been good for showing me a glaring gaping hole in my menu planning prowess.

Seriously hard to believe, I know.

I realized a few weeks ago that I have very few side dishes that I like and want to eat on a regular basis. More often than not, the side dish is a total after thought with something like “salad” or “veggies” added in for posterity.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

I’ve even tried to remedy this situation by searching Pinterest for interesting side dishes. Which, on the surface would seem like a really good idea. But if you dig deeper, and actually do the searching, you’ll find that 99% of the side dishes people pin are filled to the brim with cheese, white potatoes, and bread of some kind.

No bueno for someone who is avoiding gluten, dairy, and the nightshades.

So I tried to look through my own archives to see what the hell I used to cook, and discovered that there was a little treasure trove of ideas. I also discovered that rice is more than just a way to get more soy sauce (or tamari) into my face.

It can be made into things like mujadara, spanish rice and rice pilaf.

I especially love rice pilaf.

Way back when I first started cooking for myself, I thought buying the boxes of Near East Brown Rice Pilaf* was the most gourmet thing I made.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

But my visions of rice pilaf grandeur came crashing down when I realized that it was off limits.

Hello, you glutenous and delicious orzo, you.

So last weekend I spent a good 20 minutes on Pinterest looking up recipes for gluten-free rice pilafs only to find that there was at least one ingredient in each recipe that was off limits to me. So, I took the best parts of each one and came up with my own.

I’m happy to report this version is delicious, and happily ate it every meal for 4 days straight.

Oh. Yeah.

Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Gluten Free) | emilylevenson.com

Yields 4-6

Rice Pilaf With Almonds (Gluten Free)

Did you know that rice is more than just a way to get more soy sauce (or tamari) into your face? Yep. It can be made into things like mujadara, spanish rice and rice pilaf. I especially love rice pilaf. Particularly when it's gluten free, dairy free, and nightshade free.

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice, uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup almonds, loosely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine rice and vegetable broth in a rice cooker or medium saucepan with a lid. If using a rice cooker, simply turn on, set to cook, and let the rice cooker do it's job. If cooking rice on the stove top, bring vegetable broth to a boil, add in rice and stir once, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for about 18 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. While rice is cooking, add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add in onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add in garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Once rice is done (either in the rice cooker or on the stove), stir in cooked onions and almonds and allow to rest for another 5 minutes, covered.
  4. Serve hot!

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, egg free, soy free, and corn free.

7.6.4
249
http://emilylevenson.com/rice-pilaf-with-almonds-gluten-free/