Dad’s Sensible Apple Pie

Every family has traditions that they follow during the holidays. These traditions are what keep the family a strong unit and make memories. As far back as I can remember, my dad would spend hours making these Dutch Apple Pies. He always had to make at least 2, because they would be devoured. Just a bite of this pie every holiday brings back such fond memories of my childhood and family.

I knew that this holiday season, I could not live without his amazing pie, but I was going to have to make it Color Me Sensible friendly. After searching and looking for ways to make this pie so that I can enjoy it for years to come, I finally found a recipe and ingredients to work. Serving it up at Thanksgiving, not a single family member could tell that it wasn’t Dad’s Dutch Apple Pie. The pie came out so good, that noone knew it was Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and even Vegan. I am so excited to share this recipe with you all. So let’s get the ingredients together.

Dad’s Sensible Apple Pie

  • 6 large Apples (MacIntosh is what we use)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk Plain Yogurt
  • Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Streusal Topping

  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Flour (sifted)
  • 1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Butter

Notes:

  • I prefer to use MacIntosh apples, but you can substitute out for any other type apple you like. Just remember the softer and sweeter the apple, the sweeter the pie will turn out and it will also become softer.
  • If you would like a slightly deeper flavor profile, you can use Dark Brown Sugar instead of Light Brown Sugar
  • You can also add Vegan Caramel or even Dairy-Free Cheddar Cheese to this recipe, if those are flavor profiles you enjoy

Now that we have everything together. Let’s Get Started!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Gather up the Sugar, Light Brown Sugar, Gluten-Free Flour, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, Lemon Juice, and Yogurt for the Filling.

3. Place ingredients into a metal mixing bowl.

4. Mix ingredients until completely incorporated.

5. Gather up your apples. Wash them, peel them, slice into small slices, and place into mixing bowl with filling ingredients.

6. Place mixture into Gluten-Free Pie Crust. I found this brand of Gluten-Free Pie Crust that is also free of Soy, Dairy, and several of the other top allergens. Great find.

7. Get together the Gluten-Free Flour, Light Brown Sugar, and Vegan Butter for the Streusal Topping.

8. Place the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using your fingers, crumple up the butter into the dry ingredients. The streusal topping is ready when it is in small pea sized and smaller granules.

9. Gently place the streusal topping onto the prepared pie.

10. Bake in the oven at 400F for about 50 minutes or until the streusal is golden and the apples are tender.

11. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing or topping. I found this non-dairy cool whip topping from SoDelicious to use as a topping.

12. Enjoy!


Savory Lasagna

I don’t know about you, but when I think about lasagna, I think about my mom spending hours in front of the stove to create this amazing masterpiece that would make Garfield drool. Growing up, lasagna was a treat meal. With a large family, it was hard to afford to make lasagna too often due to the cost of the ingredients. If there was one dish that I was upset about not being to have after my surgery, it was lasagna. The creaminess, the savoriness, all the yumminess. I knew this had to be remedied. So I sought out to create a lasagna that not only tasted great, but was a meal that I could eat without worry. With some creative ingenuity, I managed to do just that.

Savory Lasagna

3 Vegan Burger Patties

9 Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles

1 jar Spaghetti Sauce

1 package Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Shredded

1 container Non-Dairy Cottage Cheese

1 medium Green Bell Pepper

1 medium Carrot

1 medium Yellow Squash

1/2 a medium Onion

 

Important Notes:

  •  You can change around the veggies if you like, You can even add more as well. Make it your own.
  • While I used cottage cheese for mine, You can also use ricotta cheese. There is a whole line of products available made from almond milk that is vegan and delicious.

 

Alright now, tie up your apron, straighten your cap, and let’s get started!

1.Gather up your veggies, making sure to wash them off.

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2. Dice up the Yellow Squash, Green Bell Pepper, and Onion. Grate the carrot.

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3. Place the Vegan Burger Patties in a prepared saucepot on medium heat.

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4. Cook the vegan patties making sure to chop up the patties into small pieces.

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5. Add the veggies to the burger mix and continue to cook over medium heat.

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6. Cook the veggies and patty mix together until the veggies are tender. Add small amounts of water if needed in order to prevent the mix from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

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7. Using a small amount of olive oil, grease a casserole dish that will fit the lasagna noodles.

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8. Spread a small amount of the pasta sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish.

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9. Place 3 of the lasagna noodles side-by-side in the bottom of the casserole dish. Make sure that the noodles do not overlap, in order to ensure that they cook properly.

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10. Spread half of the patty/veggie mix over the noodles in the pan.

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11. Spread half the container of non-dairy cottage cheese over the patty/veggie mix.

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12. Spread pasta sauce over the other layers in the pan, making sure that all parts have sauce on them.

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13. Sprinkle cheese over the layers to cover the sauce.

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14. Repeat steps 9-13.

 

15. Place last 3 noodles on top of casserole. Add sauce to cover and sprinkle with cheese to top.

16. Bake in oven at 350F for approximately 20-25 minutes. You want to cook lasagna until the cheese on top begins to melt, the sauce is bubbling, and the lasagna has cooked to at least 165F.

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16. Once the lasagna is done, you want to remove from oven and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes so that way the juices can settle before you cut it open.

17. Enjoy!

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Stir Fry for All

If you had to ask me what I thought was the most versatile food on the planet, my answer would have to be stir fry. The whole concept is just amazing. You take some meat, veggies, seasonings, and mix them together and serve them on whatever vessel you desire. The versatility and flexibility that stir fry provides is pretty much unmatched. No matter what portion of the Color me Sensible diet you fall on, you can create the perfect stir fry for your liking. This is definitely a dish that you can customize to your favorite flavors and have so much fun doing it. I  have included a recipe here that is a general guideline for how to make a stir fry. Feel free to get your imagination going.

Stir Fry for All

1 pound Top Round Steak

1/2 medium onion

1/2 medium green bell pepper

1 celery stalk

1 medium carrot

1/2 yellow squash

1/2 zucchini

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

 

Important Notes

  • You can substitute out any veggies or meat for the ingredients I have listed. Remember my recipe is a guideline only. Get creative and make it your own.
  • Stir fry can be served over rice, noodles, lettuce, or whatever else you would like
  • You can buy precut  stir fry veggie mixes in the frozen food sections if you have a hard time getting fresh produce. Those mixes work really well for a quick stir fry if you need to throw something together real quick.
  • You can also precut your meat and veggies, portion them in bags, and freeze them for quick dinner throw togethers. You can plan out several different types and have them ready for when you need to throw dinner together real quick.

 

Now that you have gotten your imagination flowing. Let’s get started!

  1. Gather your vegetables and make sure that they are washed off.

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2. Cut vegetables into thin strips. Try to make sure that they are around the same thickness and size in order to ensure that they cook through properly.

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3. Place olive oil into saute pan and heat over medium heat.

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4. Take out meat and trim any fat necessary from meat.

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5. Cut meat into thin strips.

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6. Sprinkle seasoning on meat.

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7. Add prepped meat into the prepared saute pan.

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8. Saute the meat until halfway cooked through.

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9. Add minced garlic and continue to saute until meat is almost cooked through.

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10. Add your veggies to the mix and stir often to saute.

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11. Cook together until the vegetables are tender and the meat is completely cooked through.

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12. Serve your stir fry over your choice of base. Whether it is rice, noodles, lettuce, etc.

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13.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Decadent Disco Ball Cookies

Truth be told, I am not a huge sprinkle cookie fan, but when my son came to me and asked if we could adapt a recipe he had seen so I could eat them, I could not resist. The end result was one of the fluffiest, moist, and amazing cookies I have ever eaten. I am so proud of my son for really considering joining me in the treats. I am blessed to see that my little sensory kid, is starting to blossom and open up his eyes and doors to new possibilities. This is a recipe to get down and dirty with your kids with.

Decadent Disco Ball Cookies

1 cup softened vegan butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg (or egg substitute, For this recipe I would recommend banana for an added flavor element.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup real maple syrup

4 cups gluten-free flour blend

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Sprinkles or other toppings to roll around in

 

Important notes:

  • If you don’t like sprinkles, you could also roll the cookies in granulated sugar, chopped nuts, coconut, or other toppings. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.
  • You don’t have to use incredibly expensive maple syrup, most grocery stores have their own variety that is quite inexpensive.
  • For colorful variations, you can add a drop of food coloring in to really make a special cookie.
  • For a cool treat, you can place some ice cream between two of the cookies for an ice cream sandwich that is delicious & nutritious!

 

Alright, now that we have everyone ready. Let’s get started!

1.In a bowl, place the vegan butter and brown sugar.

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2.Mix together until creamy and smooth.

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3.Add the egg (or egg replacement), vanilla, and maple syrup to the mix and stir thoroughly.

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4.Add the baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar and mix well.

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5. Add the gluten-free flour blend and mix well.

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6.Form balls with the dough that are about 1″ wide and then roll into desired topping. Place on a greased cookie sheet about 2″ apart.

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7. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

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8. Remove from oven and let cool.

 

9. Enjoy!

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Yummy Cauliflower Crust Pizza

There is something so delicious and nostalgic about fresh pizza. When you have to change your diet to be gluten-free, dairy-free, or just healthier in general, it can mean giving up on pizza. However, this recipe is a great way to have delicious pizza that won’t upset your diet. With a little prep and planning, this cauliflower crust can become a family favorite. I encourage you to try my recipe and adapt to your desire. Here’s to creating new memories within a Color Me Sensible Diet World.

Yummy Cauliflower Crust Pizza

4 cups uncooked riced Cauliflower

1/3 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 egg (or replacement for egg)

1/3 cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese

1 tsp Italian Seasoning Blend

1 tsp Minced Garlic

Pizza Toppings as Desired

 

Important Notes:

  • You can find riced cauliflower in the grocery store freezer vegetable section for easier prep.
  • You can change the flavoring of the crust just by changing the seasoning of the crust.

So now get your creative juices flowing and Let’s Get Started!

1.Take a head of cauliflower and cut up into florets.

2. Using a food processor, chop up the cauliflower until it is like tiny rice grains.

3.Cook the cauliflower in a pot of boiling water until it appears translucent. This will take about 7 minutes or so.

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4.Once completed, lay onto paper towels to cool down.

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5.Once the cauliflower is completely cooled down. Squeeze the cauliflower in the paper towel in order to get all the excess water out of it.

 

6.In a bowl, place the cauliflower, flour, egg, cheese, and seasonings. Mix together until completely combined.

7.Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or greasing it. Place the mixture onto the pan, flattening to around 1/3″ thick form a pizza crust to desired size. We go with around a 9″ size circle.

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8.Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes at 425 F or until the edges of the crust start to get golden brown.

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9.Place the desired toppings on pizza.

9b. For sauteed vegetables to top pizza, take your desired vegetables and slice them into small bite sizes. Saute the vegetables into a slightly oiled pan and season as desired. Once the vegetables are to desired softness, remove from heat and set aside.

10. Bake for another 15 minutes or until desired color and doneness.

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11. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes to allow the crust to set up.

 

12. Slice and Enjoy!!

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Savory Homemade Marinara Sauce

So many good pasta dishes call for a great marinara sauce and let’s face it, there are a lot on the market that are not necessarily allergy friendly. So i worked on creating a marinara sauce that I knew I would be able to eat and not regret later. This pretty simple marinara sauce can be made quickly or even done in the slow cooker. Feel free to add it to your favorite pasta dishes and create delicious & nutritious recipes.

Savory Homemade Marinara Sauce

3 cups tomato puree

1 medium green bell pepper

1 medium carrot

1/2 a medium onion

2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 cup water

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp parsley

1 tbsp olive oil

Now that you have all the ingredients… Let’s get started!

1.Gather up your veggies and make sure to wash them!

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2. Finely dice the green pepper, celery, and onion.

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3. Using a grater, finely grate the carrot. (I use a microplane personally. It is quite possibly my most favorite tool in the kitchen)

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4. Place olive oil in a medium sauce pot and turn it on medium heat.

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5. Add to the heated sauce pot your green peppers, carrots, onions, and celery. Cook them until they are slightly tender. This will take approximately 5 minutes.

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6. Once the veggies are ready, add the tomato sauce, basil, oregano, parsley, balsamic vinegar, and water to the sauce pot and stir together.

7. Simmer on low for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry in the sauce. Keep warm for service.

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8. Add this marinara sauce to your favorite dish. Enjoy!!

 

 

Gluten-Free Homemade Gnocchi

If you ever wondered what it was like to eat delicious soft pillows of yumminess for dinner, then this recipe is for you. Gnocchi is an amazingly soft pillowy pasta that can be served in a variety of sauces. It takes a bit of patience to pull off this recipe, but trust me… IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Gluten-Free Homemade Gnocchi

1 large Russet Potato (needs to be at least 8 oz)

1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour blend

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce

Parmesan cheese, for serving (I prefer shaved, but any type will work)

 

Important Notes

  • You can substitute any sauce for the marinara sauce that you would like
  • Here are some suggestions:
    • Basil Pesto
    • Alfredo
    • Carbonara Style

I don’t know about you but I am excited. So let’s get started.

1.Bring a pot of water to a boil and then add potato, prick a few holes in it,  and boil until tender and a fork can go through it easily. This may take anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Once the potato is done, transfer it into a bowl that is filled with ice water.

3. Once completely cooled down, carefully peel off the potato skin.

 

4. Use a grater to grate the potato into fine pieces. You will need 1 cup of potato that is tightly packed for the recipe. (You can also use a ricer for the potato if you happen to have one)

5. In a large bowl add your 1 cup potato, gluten-free flour, salt, and olive oil. Mix together well.

6. Take your dough and place it on a light floured surface. Knead the dough together for 2 minutes. (Be mindful that because there is no gluten in the flour this may take longer and you will also need to be a little tender to the dough)

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7. Separate the dough into 4 pieces.

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8. Roll the dough out into long rope pieces as best as you can. (Because this is Gluten-Free Flour it does not bind as well together.. I try to get it as best as i can into a rope and then cut it into pieces)

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9. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. You want to make sure that the pieces stay separate on the cutting board so that they don’t get stuck. Take the cut pieces and kinda smush them together with your fingers to create a more solid form.

10. Bring a medium pot of water to a slow boil, add salt to the water. In another medium pot, heat up your sauce.

11. Once water has come to a boil, add gnocchi into the water using a slotted spoon and lowering it into the water.

12. Once gnocchi begin to float, they are ready to be removed. This takes about  to 3 minutes.

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13. Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi into sauce. Repeat steps 11 to 13 until all gnocchi are cooked.

14. Serve gnocchi with Parmesan and Gluten-Free Garlic Toast.  Enjoy!

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Sensible Decadent Fudge Brownies

So, have you ever wanted to be able to eat more than one brownie and not really feel guilty about it? Do you have a a loved one who loves sweets but needs more nutrition in their diet? Do you miss brownies or wish you could have them, but are restricted due to special diets? Then listen up, cause these are definitely the brownies for you.

Sensible Decadent Fudge Brownies

14 oz canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

2 large eggs

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup raw sugar

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon almond milk

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

1 cup allergen free chocolate chips

1/2 cup kale, chopped

  • Special note: This recipe can be made vegan as well by substituting the eggs with an alternative , my preference for this recipe is with mashed avocado. For this recipe, you would use 1/2 cup mashed avocado.
  • You can also substitute spinach for the kale, it adds a great flavor profile.

Now, let’s get started.

1. Place chopped kale in boiling water and cook until tender(wilted). Drain when finished cooking.

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2. Rinse and drain black beans to remove the excess sediment off of them.

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3. Add the black beans, kale, sugar, oil, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, cocoa powder, almond milk, coffee into a blender.

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4. Blend until smooth. Make sure that you mix it several times to ensure that the whole mixture is smooth.

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5. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.

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6. Now transfer batter into prepared pans. (you can use square pans, round pans, muffin tin, or even loaf pans. The possibilities are endless! If you are using muffin pans, make sure to grease them really good so that way they don’t stick and break in half. These are very tender brownies..)

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7. Top the batter with the remaining chips evenly amongst the batter.

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8. Bake at 350F until a toothpick comes out clean. The baking times will vary anywhere from 13 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on what the size of the pan is.

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9. Enjoy!

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* For extra flavorful fun, place brownie in a bowl and warm for 30 seconds, then top with your favorite ice cream and toppings for an ice cream sundae that is not only Delicious, it’s Nutritious too!!

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