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!

Oh My! Gingerbread Puffs

Nothing says the holiday season to me more than the smell of gingerbread cooking! Some people could say that I am just a little obsessed with gingerbread men. I wouldn’t go that far, but I do truly enjoy decorating with the little guys during the holidays. Gingerbread men provide such an air of whimsy and childhood innocence. Well, and then there is that fun element of creativity to create each and every one.

I knew that my mission was to create a recipe that my family and I could thoroughly enjoy my gingerbread this holiday season. After much researching and finagling, I was finally able to find a recipe that just was too good for words. So, let’s get this party started and gather up some ingredients.

Oh My! Gingerbread Puffs

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packaged brown sugar
  • 1 lg egg (room temp)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum (ONLY USE IF NOT IN YOUR GF FLOUR BLEND)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 6 tbsp sugar (FOR ROLLING)
  • Sprinkles
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2-4 tsp Almond Milk

Notes:

  • If you are using a Gluten-Free Flour blend that has Xanthum Gum in it, do not add the 1/2 tsp Xanthum Gum in the recipe
  • The almond milk can be replaced with another alternative milk if necessary.

Alright, now that we have our ingredients together. Let’s gather up the Gingerbread Man before he can run off and let’s get started!

1)Gather up the Vegan Butter, Sugar, and Brown Sugar. Place into mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy.

2) Add the Egg, Molasses, and Vanilla Extract into the mixing bowl. Mix until well blended.

3) Gather up the Gluten-Free Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, Ground Ginger, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, and Ground Allspice. Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together.

4) Little by little, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined.

5) Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

6) Preheat the oven to 350F.

7) Add 6 tbsp sugar into a small bowl.

8) Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough and roll into balls.

9) Roll the dough balls into sugar and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place the dough balls 2″ apart.

10) Dip the bottom of a glass into the sugar and use it flatten the dough balls.

11) Bake the cookies at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until set and browned.

12) Cool on a wire rack.

13) Gather together the Powdered Sugar, Vanilla extract, and Almond Milk for the icing. Add the Vanilla Extract to the Powdered Sugar. Add the Almond Milk in small amounts only adding enough to get to the consistency that you prefer for decorating.

14) Once cookies are completely cooled, drizzle icing on half of the cookie and add sprinkles.

15) Let icing set and dry.

16) Enjoy!


Mrs. Claus’s Sensible Rolled Sugar Cookies

Every Christmas Eve, my kids and I set out to make cookies for Santa. We have always waited for that day, so Santa could get extra fresh cookies and special hot chocolate to keep him warm on his journey. My children have always wanted to make sure that Santa kept warm so he would not get sick riding through the snow. Of course we can’t leave out the reindeer who are working so hard to help. So, we leave them a bowl of water and carrots to enjoy and boost their energy back up. Coming up to the holidays, I knew I just had to find a recipe and adapt it so we could keep our tradition alive and enjoy making cookies for us and Santa.

After several attempts with my willing family elves, I finally found got the recipe just how it needed to be. Never fear! These sugar cookies are just what Mrs. Claus asked for. So let’s start by gathering the ingredients.

Mrs. Claus’s Sensible Rolled Sugar Cookies

  • 3 cups Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Vegan Butter, unsalted

Notes:

  • You can substitute for the egg in order to make this recipe Vegan as well (I would lean towards using Banana as the substitute as it will add creaminess)
  • If you do want to eliminate the almond extract, you can just substitute with vanilla extract or another flavored extract that can add some extra flavor, for instance lemon extract
  • You can ice these cookies any way you desire, or just add sprinkles for a festive holiday look

Alright, so now that we have all our ingredients together, let’s get the hot chocolate warmed up and get started

1)Preheat the oven to 350F

2) Bring together the butter and sugar. Place into a mixing bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.

3) Add in the extracts and egg into the mixing bowl. Mix until combined.

4) Bring together the baking powder, salt, and gluten-free flour. Place into a bowl and mix together.

5) Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl a little at a time

6) Mix until thoroughly combined.

7) Place dough onto slightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and together.

8)Roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thickness onto a lightly floured surface.

9) Using a cookie cutter, cut out your favorite shapes.

10) Place onto cookies sheets, separated by about 2″.

11) Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden brown. (This time depends upon your individual oven settings)

12) Cool completely on a wire rack.

13) Once cooled completely, decorate your cookies with icing.

14) Let icing dry completely.

15) Enjoy!