Calming Lavender Tea Lemon Cookies

Call me old school, but I adore the flavors of Lavender Tea and Lemon. There is something very calming and refreshing about the combination that just takes me away from the stress of the day. Lavender is believed to have multiple health benefits including its natural stress relieving ability, antiseptic properties, anti-inflammatory properties, reducing hair loss, reducing anxiety and depression, aiding digestive problems, and even effects for treating premenstrual symptoms.

This recipe was created with a breezy afternoon in mind. Imagine sitting on a porch swing, sipping some tea, eating some lovely Calming Lavender Tea Lemon Cookies. (eyes closed, picturing swinging in a hammock in the breezebirds chirping in the distance… smells of jasmine permeate the air)

Alright… now that you have the setting… let’s gather some ingredients.

Calming Lavender Tea Lemon Cookies

  • 2 tsp Lavender (Food Grade, dried)
  • 1 Lemon, zested
  • 1 cup Vegan Butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cup Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Notes:

  • You can experiment with shapes and do whichever is easier for you.
  • If you want to, you can also add jam and make these cookies styled like a linzer cookie

Are you ready to get our de-stress on? Let’s get started!

1)Preheat the oven to 375F. Gather together the Vegan Butter and Powdered Sugar.

2) Place them into a mixer and blend until light and fluffy. This will take several minutes.

3) Gather together the Lemon Zest, Lavender, and Salt and place into the mixing bowl. Mix together until well combined.

4) Gather up the Gluten-Free Flour. Place into mixing bowl and mix only until combined. Make sure that you scrape the bowl sides down in order to get all the ingredients well incorporated.

5) SLICE & BAKE OPTION: Remove dough from bowl and form into a log. (This can be any shape you would like) Cut into 1/4″-1/2″ thick slices and place onto a cookie sheet.

6) ROLL & CUT OPTION: Remove dough from bowl and roll out into 1/4″ thick. Cut with a cookie cutter into desired shape and place onto cookie sheet.

7) FILLED OPTION: Cut a second cookie the same shape per cookie. Cut an inset out of middle that will make an opening in the cookie for the filling to go into. Place the top cookie carefully on top of the base cookie on the preset cookie sheet.

8) If desired, you can place preserves or filling on top of the log cookies or in the filling portion of the cookies. Make sure to leave a rim around the edge of the cookie so that way it does not spill over the edge of the cookie.

9) Bake in a preheated 375F for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are light and golden brown. Allow to cool completely!

10) Pour yourself a nice cup of tea, sit back on the porch, relax, and Enjoy!

Sensibly Decadent Macaroni & Cheese

Let’s be honest. When it comes to comfort foods, macaroni & cheese is at the top of a lot of people’s list. The cheesy, savory dish is a staple item for kids and adults alike. There is something super comforting about warm cheesy pasta goodness when you are really wanting to just feel at home. For the longest time, macaroni & cheese was one of the only items that my son would eat. As time went on, I tried to make versions of mac & cheese that was more nutritious than just your typical boxed variety. This would help me to know that he was getting some important nutrition and helping not cause a complete sensory overload.

When I had to make the move to gluten and dairy free, I was ultimately not prepared to give up my mac & cheese. Well after almost a year of sulking and wishing I could have macaroni & cheese that would not put me in the hospital, I finally decided to just suck it up and figure it out. So my mission was on to create a macaroni & cheese that not only I could eat, but my family would go gagga for. This recipe is not only designed for those people who must adhere to the Color Me Sensible Diet lifestyle, but will also be a great resource for sensory diets. Well, let’s get some ingredients…

Sensibly Decadent Macaroni & Cheese

  • 2 tbsp Gluten-Free Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups Almond Milk
  • 2 cups Shredded Non-Dairy Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 oz Gluten-Free Elbow Pasta (cooked and cooled)
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Butternut Squash

Notes:

  • You may Choose any shape pasta you want, or even a different type of gluten-free pasta like a lentil pasta to change it up
  • Almond Milk can be substituted with another dairy alternative as desired
  • While this recipe I used Cheddar style Cheese, there are so many possibilities!! Use Swiss-Style, Cheddar Jack-Style, or any variety you choose. Imagine the possibilities!
  • If you want to make this an even more amazing side dish you can add some mix-ins that will help create an amazing profile. Some ideas include: diced ham, broccoli, diced kielbasa, cubed chicken, and so much more!

Now that you have your creative juices going… Let’s get started!

1)Gather together the Ground Mustard, Ground Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, and Cornstarch.

2) In a medium saucepan, combine the Ground Mustard, Ground Black Pepper, Garlic Salt, and Cornstarch. Mix together well.

3) Slowly stir in the Almond Milk and whisk until smooth.

4) Turn the heat onto medium and heat mixture until boiling. Make sure you whisk the mixture to prevent scorching on the bottom. Keep on heat and mix until thickened.

5) Gather up the Butternut Squash and whisk into the milk mixture. Make sure to stir completely.

6) Remove the mixture from the heat. Gather up the shredded cheese and mix into the milk mixture. Whisk together until the cheese is melted completely.

7) Prepare the Gluten-Free Pasta per package directions.

8) In a large saucepan, place the cooked Gluten-Free Pasta into it. Pour the cheese mixture into the pot with the pasta in it. Stir completely in order to make sure the mixture is evenly mixed.

9) Enjoy!

Friendly Meat Hand Pies

Alright, so I admit it. Not everyone has heard of a meat hand pie. However, maybe they have heard of an empanada, beef pattie, meat pastelito, or something similar to that. Meat hand pies are in a sense a small pie that is handheld and full of meat goodness. Seems easy, right?

If there is one thing that I love about a good hand pie, it is the amazing versatility. You can put almost anything as a flavor profile for a hand pie that you would like. Truly the possibilities are endless. I have put together a simple recipe that is allergen-friendly for you to try. I encourage you to take your favorite flavor profiles and really mix it up. Let’s gather up some ingredients.

Friendly Meat Hand Pies

  • 3 cups Gluten-Free Flour (you may not need all 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp Vegan Butter, melted
  • 2 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water
  • 1/2 almond milk, warmed
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1 pound Ground Lean Beef
  • 1 small Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • 5 small Portabello Mushrooms
  • 1 medium Carrot
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic

Notes:

  • These ingredients are just a suggestion for flavor. Here are some alternative flavor profile suggestions to try: BBQ Pork, Spicy Sausage, Italian Hero, Reuben, Shepherd’s Pie, Supreme Taco
  • Depending on what your filling is, you can use a variety of sauces or gravies to add an even more intense flavor profile.
  • Made ahead, these hand pies can freeze well so you can have an easy snack or reheat meal
  • The filling makes more than needed for the dough recipe, take the extra filling and freeze for next time you make some hand pies. 🙂

So, now that you have your creative juices flowing, Let’s get started!

  1. Gather up the Warm Water and Rolled Oats. Place into a bowl and mix together to coat the oats. Let soak for 5 minutes.

2) Gather up the Honey, Almond Milk, Salt, Instant Yeast, and Vegan Butter. Melt the Vegan Butter.

3) Add the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the rolled oats. Mix well.

4) Add the Egg into the bowl mixture. Make sure to mix completely.

5) Add the Gluten-Free Flour 1 cup at a time. Be sure to only add enough Flour until the mixture forms a soft dough. (It may not take all 3 cups. I use King Arthur Measure for Measure and normally only need 2 to 2 1/2 cups)

6) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead together and roll into a ball.

7) Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a warm area to rise. The dough needs to rise to almost double its size. (Tip:If your house is cold, you can turn on the oven to the lowest temp possible and place inside for a little bit) This process can take up to 1 hour.

8) Gather up the Green Bell Pepper, Carrot, Mushrooms, Celery, and Onion. Grate the carrot up and finely dice the rest of the veggies.

9) Heat up some olive oil in a saute pan.

10) Place the Ground Turkey and Ground Beef into the sauce pan. Cook completely.

11) Once the meat mixture is completely cooked, add the Diced Veggies and Minced Garlic. Saute until the veggies begin to soften.

12) Add the Coconut Curry Seasoning to the pan and mix completely. Cook until the veggies are to the desired tenderness. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

13) Lightly dust a surface with Gluten-Free Flour.

14) Roll out the dough to about a 1/4″ thickness. Cut the dough up into squares that are the desired portion size.

15) Place the portion pieces on a greased cookie sheet.

16) To one corner of the piece, add a small amount of filling on top.

17) Gently fold over the dough to form a pocket.

18) Using a fork, gently press down the edges to crimp and seal the edges shut. Make sure to poke holes in the top as well to allow for proper venting. Place the pockets on a sheet pan about an 1″ apart. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and fully cooked.

19) Once they are finished cooking, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

20) Serve up a side dish and Enjoy!