Vegetarian Gluten Free Holiday Feast: Sweet Potato Biscuits

gluten free sweet potato biscuit

Photo By: Cody Rundall

Gluten Free baking and I haven’t quite become best friends yet. It seems that I win some and I lose some. These were right in between. I KNOW they can be delicious, I just feel like I’ve messed something up with the recipe. That being the buttermilk, I’m sure of it. I got the orginal recipe off Bon Appetit  I can’t have diary so I tried to make buttermilk by using soy, vinegar and lemon juice. It didn’t really turn out exactly as it was supposed to. I think the really important thing to remember also is the ORDER that is listed on the recipe. I am trying these again and I will post my finding. right out of the oven and warm these were great, they become more of a crispy biscuit once they have cooled and that was my only complaint. I feel like its important to show that everyone messes up recipes and we are all constantly learning new things and its ok to talk about our mistakes, because who knows? Maybe someone will want to make this recipe and remember that I had some trouble with it and be extra careful.

I am also really excited because a food stylist is currently perfecting a gluten free pie crust recipe and yesterday she said she would share it with me! This means I can hopefully make my own pie crusts for future pies. WOOT!

I’m really excited for Thanksgiving! I am starting to really think about what I am thankful for and appreciate all the amazing life that is around me. I really love this time of year because it always give me the time to focus on what amazing people are in my life and live my life fully and happily.

Stay Tuned for more Recipes(and mistakes!).


Vegetarian Gluten Free Holiday Feast: Stuffing

Stuffing is a staple for holiday meals but growing up I never really liked it. I don’t know why, I feel like it didn’t quite make sense to me, why was there soggy bread cubes with spices on them? Really all I EVER looked forward to was the snacks leading up to the feast and then dessert (who DOESN’T like dessert?!?). I like stuffing now and this stuffing is great because it’s gluten free and it tastes good. It is things like stuffing that makes me feel like I’m not missing out on anything this Thanksgiving.

gluten free vegetarin stuffing

Photo By: Cody Rundall

Like I said in my Sheprad’s Pie post, I wanted to make things that were simple. So this is a boxed stuffing; Olivia’s Stuffing is from Vermont, its vegetarian, but not vegan. (there are eggs in the bread). The directions on the box ask for chicken broth, I just subbed in Vegetable broth and it turned out great. I cooked it in the oven in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

I had fun pretending to be a stylist with this shot. I took little pieces of celery and placed it on the stuffing in different spots and I still look at it and can see ‘holes’ in the food. Dang, I tip my hats off to you food stylists, your job isn’t easy.

Doesn’t really matter how it looks in the shot because It was super tasty. Olivia’s get’s an A+ with me! I’m SO excited for Thanksgiving to get here already!


Vegetarian Gluten Free Holiday Feast: Shepard’s Pie

gluten free shepards pie

Image by: Cody Rundall

In preparation for the holiday’s I have been testing out several different recipes at home. I’ve been trying to find a perfect meal for us to take to my family’s Thanksgiving meal. One that is not only vegetarian but gluten free and dairy free. It has been ALOT of trial and error! Let me tell you, when you are substituting meat options, dairy options and flour; things can get a little MESSED UP. I found out that baking and cooking gluten free takes a lot of recipe substitutions that can be catastrophic in some cases.

I think by far the best thing I’ve been toying around with is Shepard’s Pie. Its SO easy and everytime I’ve made it, it’s turned out delicious!

I did cheat. I haven’t figured out gluten free pie crust yet, so I’ve been using purchased GF pie crusts until I can get it perfect. Hoping to get it right for Thanksgiving when we have this meal. Here’s how I put this together.

Pie Filling:
1 bag frozen vegetables (carrots, peas, corn)
1 cup your favorite meat substitute or firm tofu
crushed or minced garlic
chopped onion

1 TB corn starch
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 TB gluten free flour
1 cup vegetable broth
Mashed Potatoes:
5 white potatoes
dairy free butter
dairy free milk
garlic powder

Crush or chop the garlic and onion to small pieces and brown in a pan with oil. Once the onion is translucent add broth. Once broth is warm stir in flour and corn starch. Make sure to stir while adding flour and corn starch or it will get lumpy. You can add more flour or broth depending on how thick you want the gravy. Then add the bouillon cube. I added just a half cube, but add as much to your tastes.

Then once the gravy is well mixed add the frozen vegetables and stir until defrosted and warm. Brown the tofu and add them to the mix.

To make mashed potato topping poke holes in potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave at about 4 min on each side. Then peel and mash in a large bowl. Add butter and non dairy milk to taste. Add garlic powder and black pepper and mix well. Add a little more milk then you would for regular mashed potatoes so when the cook they don’t completely dry out.

Pour vegetable/gravy mixture into pie crust. Smooth potatoes over top. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes. Watch for the mashed potatoes on the top to get brown and crusty.

gluten free shepards pie

Image By Cody Rundall

Let it set for 20 minutes before slicing it open and enjoy!

Vegetarian Gluten Free Holiday Feast

gluten free vegetarin stuffing  gluten free holiday gluten free holiday gluten free shepards pie
This weekend I got to have a ton of fun in the studio cooking and photographing a trial run of things I wanted to cook for Thanksgiving this year. I pretended to be an art director, prop stylist, and food stylist and my boyfriend shot the photography. It was a collaboration that turned out to be a really fun Saturday. I’m only 5 months into my new eating adventure and have come to the point where I need to learn how to cook and bake again. The last month has been filled with me testing out a lot of different recipes on my boyfriend who had become very blunt about my cooking after a week of failed attempts. I finally got some good recipes perfected for our holiday meal that I am stoked about!

The first lesson I learned is trying to substitute too many things can really really complicate things when you are baking. There is a certain chemistry that happens with baking and things can turn out badly, especially with gluten free baking. One of those things is pie crust, if done improperly it can become a broken mess and not bond together well at all. I actually haven’t quite got it down so I am giving myself until Christmas to try that one. The recipes I did come up with for Thanksgiving this year are good and savory and it feels like you aren’t missing out on anything from the main feast. For the next week I’ll share what I made and the pretty photos that we took while making all these recipes.

Stay Tuned!


Snack Attack!

If I really want a milkshake I go to Saturn  Cafe. The great thing about this restaurant is its all vegetarian but it doesn’t make you feel like you are at a vegetarian restaurant. It leaves all the chia seeds, cacao nibs and other gourmet ingredients out. Its like eating at an old 1950’s style diner, and there are no assumptions that it is a meat free place until you look at the menu. I’ve been to both locations in Santa Cruz and Berkeley and the staff is friendly, they have a gluten free menu, AND I can order a huge filling salad, fries AND A MILKSHAKE. Milkshakes are my kryptonite and I never get to have them so going here makes me feel like I can have what I really want off the menu.

saturn cafe vegetarian

They have fun tables with themes there too, so depending on which table you’re at you can look at all kinds of cool stuff under the glass.


plutos-cafe-santa-cruz-5 plutos-cafe-berkeley

This GIANT salad, is what I usually order when I go. Its the BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. I love the heavy amount of avocado! YUM! There is “chick’n” on it that is Gluten Free and I always get BBQ sauce on the side(also gluten free) instead of the ranch. (the GF onion strings on top are soo good too!)

I will advise that whenever you order the waitress has always told me to make sure to mention you are gluten free and dairy free so that can make sure to get your order right.


Last time I was in they told me they have two separate fryers for two different types of french fries. One for gluten free fries and the other for their shoestring fries that do have gluten, which is pretty amazing considering most places don’t accommodate for this. My boyfriend always orders the nachos but with french fries instead of chips, which he says are really good.

I also almost always get a milkshake. Make sure to tell them vegan or not because they do have two types.


My amazing milkshake always makes me very happy.


If you decide to visit make sure to always check with your server to make sure nothing on the menu has changed and let them know of your allergies. They have always been very helpful and know their menu very well.