Tag Archives: dairy-free

Three Marinades to Get You Grilling

Labor Day weekend hails the end of summer and is considered by many Americans to be the last grilling weekend of the season. This coming weekend, we recommend you polish off the summer in style with one of the tasty marinades  below. These have been adapted from the June 2008 issue of Real Simple Magazine.

All recipes below will marinade 2 pounds of meat, seafood or veggies. To prepare, mix all ingredients in a baking dish or sealable glassware and marinate for 20 minutes to overnight, turning a few times to ensure proper soaking of all surfaces. The exception to this is all forms of seafood – it should not be marinated more than 15 minutes as the acid in marinades break down the delicate tissue quickly and you will be left with mushy fish.

Photo by JaBB|Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by JaBB|Flickr Creative Commons


Southwest Marinade

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup avocado or grapeseed oil (these withstand the high heat of the grill better than EVOO)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (VIBRANCE is a fan of Celtic Sea Salt)

Best as a marinade for chicken, flank steak, pork chops, bell peppers, corn on the cob and summer squashes.

Ginger Sesame Marinade

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or tamari if you can tolerate soy)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar free fish sauce  (Omit if using tamari)
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 scallions,thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Delicious with scallops, shrimp, salmon, pork tenderloin, London Broil, mushrooms, and eggplant.

Lemon Rosemary Marinade

  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary stolen from your neighbor’s yard (it taste’s better that way!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Delightful with chicken (one-in), boneless leg of lamb, shrimp, bass, lamb chops, zucchini, summer squashes, asparagus, shallots and leeks.


Creamy Winter Chicken Soup (dairy-free, gluten-free)

Creamy Chicken Soup

1 pound chicken thighs, chopped into chunks
4 cups water or chicken stock
1- 2 tbsp. Better than Bouillon Chicken Flavor (omit if using stock)
1 tsp poultry seasoning
3 small waxy potatoes (I used yukon gold)
2 carrots, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup peas
1/2 can light coconut milk
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat water or stock over medium high heat. Once warm, add “Better than Chicken Broth, stirring it in to dissolve. Add poultry seasoning, chopped chicken, and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, or until chicken becomes opaque and potatoes half-cooked.

Add remaining veggies, coconut milk, and pepper. Stir until well blended and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender – about 5-10 more minutes.


Mix coconut milk with Better than Bouillon until well combined. Add chicken, carrots, celery, red pepper, peas, black pepper, poultry seasoning and coconut milk to a gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.

Day Of: Make sure you have 3 small waxy potatoes available. Remove ingredients from bag, add potatoes, and simmer on med-low until chicken and potatoes are cooked through, about 30 minutes.


Ultra Tasty Coconut Ginger Rice Pudding

This rice pudding recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, AND vegan, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who won’t enjoy it! Made from coconut milk, this warming winter treat provides ample medium-chain triglycerides which are believed to provide energy for athletes and be a fat source that is less likely to be stashed away by the body for future use. Coconut is popular in Ayurvedic medicine and cooking, and is well known for its antimicrobial properties and its ability to balance fats in the bloodstream. I created this recipe in response to having a delicious coconut-ginger tapioca pudding at my local health food store earlier this week.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • water
  • 2 cups coconut milk (or 1 can + 2 oz. water or non-dairy milk alternative)
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup date sugar (or sucanat)
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger bits

Place rice in a small saucepan with the cinnamon stick and add water until just covered. Bring rice to a boil and turn heat down to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick.

Add coconut milk, vanilla, and date sugar and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add candied ginger and simmer 15-20 minutes longer, until most of liquid is absorbed. Be sure to turn heat off when some liquid remains, as it will thicken upon cooling.

Serve warm or cold, and garnish with shredded coconut if desired.

Gluten-Free Granola

I use this recipe on hikes, as sustaining fuel before long runs, or as a portable snack when traveling. The cherries help sore muscles heal and provide a nice tart bite to counter some of the sweetness. Enjoy!

Tropical Cherry Buckwheat Granola

â…“ cup maple syrup
¼ cup agave nectar
2½ cups toasted buckwheat groats (kasha)
½ cup finely shredded coconut
½ cup slivered almonds
â…“ cup raw pumpkin seeds
â…“ cup raisins or date pieces
â…“ cup dried tart cherries
¼ cup dried mango, diced

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Whisk together maple syrup and agave. Add kasha, finely shredded coconut, and almonds. Toss to coat. Spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Toast mixture for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and cool. Toss with remaining ingredients. Store in an airtight container.

Study: A cup of tea can reduce stress up to 25%

A study by Dr Malcolm Cross confirms what tea-lovers have long espoused: if you are upset or anxious, it’s a good idea to brew a cup of tea.

The study, as reported by the British Telegraph, said that a stress-inducing test caused a reported 25% increase in stress levels by those who did not receiving tea following their stress test. Those who did receive tea reported a 4%  decrease in stress. (click here to read more about this study).

Keep in mind this is a British study, and the Brits have had a longstanding cultural relationship with tea. Even though Americans do not engage in teas to the extent of our British cousins, the image and experience of making a cup of tea can induce similar ideas of unwinding; this idea permeates our culture mostly in advertising and movies instead of occurring in the home.

Give it a try and see what happens! Below is my favorite way to prepare tea:

Aimee’s Cuppa

I never liked tea, nor drank it in the British style, until I met my friend Nefratiri. I would go over to Nef’s house when I was about 18 to talk about religion and government and all sorts of juicy topics.  She would make me tea using soymilk and maple syrup and I became HOOKED on the stuff.  It has since become a very soothing staple on cold days or whenever I need a little extra love.

  • 1 teabag or loose-leaf tea in a teaball (some of my faves: Celestial Seasoning’s Tension Tamer or Gingerbread tea; Republic of Tea Blackberry Sage, Morning Glory Chai or a redbush chai)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy milk, almond milk, or hemp milk (rice milk is too watery)
  • boiling water

Bring water to a boil in a kettle or pot. Remove from heat. Add the teabag to your favorite mug and top with water, leaving room for “milk”. Add milk and maple syrup and stir.

Sit back, inhale deeply, and enjoy.

Aztec Brownies – Gluten and Dairy Free!

These brownies were a huge hit at a potluck I attended last night! No one could believe the secret ingredient was….BEANS!


  • 1 ½ c. Trader Joe’s Semi-sweet or Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips (for Gluten-free)
  • 2 c. garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 can)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. organic Sucanat or turbinado sugar
  • 2 tsp. true cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon, or canela in the Mexican tiendas) Specialty spice stores will carry this.
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free baking powder)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl melt chocolate chips in microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir until smooth.
  3. In blender or food processor, combine beans and eggs and blend until smooth.
  4. Add sweetener, spices, baking powder, and melted chocolate, process until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into a 9″ or 8X8″ well-greased pan.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until edges pull away from baking pan. I like my edges a little crispy. 😉
  7. Let cook completely before slicing (as chocolate cools, it keeps the bars from being too crumbly).


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl melt chocolate chips in microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir until smooth.
  3. In blender or food processor, combine beans and eggs and blend until smooth.
  4. Add sweetener, spices, baking powder, and melted chocolate, process until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into a large ziploc baggie and freeze.
  6. Let thaw the evening before baking.
  7. Pour thawed batter into a well-oiled 9″ or 8X8″ well-greased pan.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until edges pull away from baking pan.
  9. Let cool completely before slicing to prevent crumbling.

RECIPE: Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake (Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free)

I originally made this cake in 2005 and have recently been craving it. Here is the adapted recipe for food intolerances. It’s going to be the showpiece for Sunday Night Dinner. I also added crystallized ginger to the batter for an extra bit o’ spiciness. HEAVEN.

3 tablespoon palm oil (coconut may be flavorful)
1/2 cup sucanat mixed with 1 tbsp. molasses
1 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
4 large Bosc Pears
4 ounces palm oil or grapeseed oil
4 ounce Applesauce
3/4 cup sucanat
2 tablespoon Ginger grated
3 Eggs (or Ener-G Egg Replacer as directed)
2/3 cups Molasses
3 cups gluten free baking mix
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/3 cup crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rice milk
1 1/2 tablespoon Vinegar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with a 10-inch circle of parchment paper.

To make the topping, combine 3 Tbs palm oil, ½ cup sucanat, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Melt the oil over medium heat for about 1 minute; then pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan, completely coating the parchment paper. Place the quartered pears on top of the oil-sugar mixture, lining the pieces up tightly in a decorative circle so that none of the bottom shows through.

To make the batter, cut palm oil into 1-inch pieces, and put them in a large mixing bowl. Add ¾ cup sucanat, and cream the mixture on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until it is smooth and a pale tan color. Add the grated ginger, and beat 1 minute more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed and making sure that each egg is fully incorporated before adding another. When all the eggs have been added, slowly pour in the molasses and beat to fully mix. The mixture will look as though it is breaking or curdling, but don’t worry – it will come together when the dry ingredients are added.

In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to fully combine.

Alternately add small amounts of flour and rice milk to the batter, stirring and folding with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are just absorbed. Do not overmix the batter. Pour and scrape the batter into the pear-lined pan, smoothing the top with a rubber surface. The pan will be nearly full.

Carefully transfer the pan to the center rack of the oven, and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the cake’s center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cover the pan with an upside-down serving plate; then carefully invert them together. Release the sides of the pan, and lift it away. Gently lift the pan’s base off the cake, and peel away the parchment paper. Allow the cake to cool for a half hour or so, and serve warm.

Yield: One big cake, likely serving 10-12 people

VIBRANCE Recommends: Gluten/Soy/Dairy Free Shopping Guide

I just received a piece of bliss in my mailbox.
It looks like this:

This guide is a must-have for anyone with multiple food sensitivities. It takes the guesswork out of the initial search that must go into creating a new lifestyle. I wish I had it last year, but I am so grateful to have it now — it will be a great asset in maintaining an optimal eating structure.

Small enough to fit into your purse, this indispensible guide contains over 10,000 sources of GF/SF/DF items in grocery stores. Is ice cream on your list (or wish it was)? You have no less than 17 brands to choose from, including easily accessible sources like Coldstone Creamery, Dreyers/Edy’s and Safeway Select.

I am so excited to have this guide, and am looking forward to having it as a guide for some of my food-intolerant clientele!
For those of you with food intolerances, what other sources have you utilized to help you navigate the grocery store?

RECIPE: Peter's Apricot Pineapple Pico de Gallo

I met Peter the day after Christmas at The Market in Anacortes, WA. He was passing out samples of this salsa with a cashew-crusted chicken breast seasoned with his personal spice blend. Chef Peter had a bad experience with a computer once — so bad that he no longer has one, nor a website. So I cannot properly direct you to Chef Peter, his spices, or other recipes of his, but I can share with you a smashing spicy, fruity pico de gallo recipe that would pair well not only with cashew-crusted chicken but grilled whitefish (halibut! mahi-mahi!) or tossed in grilled or steamed shrimp. You may also wish to fold it into a quesadilla or place a spoon of it atop brie and crackers for New Year’s hor d’oeuvres.

  • 1 cup dried, unsulfured apricots
  • 1 fresh pineapple – slightly unripe (rock hard – no soft spots)
  • 2 Braeburn apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 red pepper, cored and seeded
  • 4 jalapenos, stems, seed, and veins removed (keep veins for a little more heat, seeds for extra heat)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt

Peel and core pineapple. Dice all produce into tiny pieces. Mix with lime, honey and salt. Refrigerate until chilled and stir in cilantro just before serving.

Recipe: Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Classic Lasagna (with soy-free option)

This recipe is courtesy of Whole Foods. Several months ago they asked for recipe makeover requests for those with food intolerances. I emailed asking for a soy, dairy, gluten-free lasagna. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one! Below is the original makeover with the soy-free option (which I used). The eggs in the recipe cleverly serve to hold all ingredients together in absence of the cheese. While it lacks the gooey, chewy texture that only loads of mozzarella can provide, the flavors come close enough to satisfy this girl’s cravings. Happy with the results, I am sharing them with all of you.

Two readers requested a gluten-free, dairy-free lasagna recipe. Surprising as it may seem, not all tomato, marinara or pasta sauces are gluten-free and some even contain dairy, so be sure to read the label carefully before making your selection. For those who cannot tolerate soy, this recipe can be made soy free by eliminating the tofu. Simply increase the number of eggs to four. Distribute the egg mixture in equal parts over each layer of noodle and top with sauce as per recipe instructions.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 (14-ounce) package soft tofu (not silken), drained (omit for soy-free)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken (I used grass-fed ground beef)
  • 3/4 pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch spinach, stemmed, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups gluten-free tomato or marinara sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (increase to 4 eggs if omitting tofu)
  • 2 tablespoons garbanzo or fava bean flour (any gluten-free flour will be fine)
  • 1 (16-ounce) package gluten-free lasagna noodles
  • (always an improviser, I added carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and red peppers to my lasagna mix in place of the tofu.)

To prepare the filling, coarsely crumble tofu onto two layers of a lint-free dish towel. Wrap tofu in the towel and lightly press out excess moisture; set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté onion until tender, about 4 minutes. Add turkey and cook, stirring frequently, until just brown, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. In two batches, add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes each. Stir in basil and tomato sauce. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Whisk eggs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Add flour and whisk until well blended and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Unwrap tofu, crumble it into small pieces and add it to egg mixture. Stir to fully coat. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions in salted boiling water, but reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes. The noodles should be slightly firm, as they will continue cooking in the oven. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

To assemble the lasagna, preheat oven to 350° F. Ladle 1/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and spread it out evenly. Place 3 lasagna sheets on top of the sauce. Place 1/3 of the tofu mixture on the lasagna sheets along with about a 1/4 of the sauce, distributing it evenly. Repeat layering two more times with 3 lasagna sheets, 1/3 of the tofu mixture and 1/4 of the sauce. (If going soy-free, pour a little of the beaten eggs over each layer as well) Finish with a final layer of noodles and remaining sauce, taking care to spread the sauce evenly all the way to the corners. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Info

Per serving (About 16.5oz/472g-wt.): 570 calories (170 from fat), 18g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 30g protein, 69g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 115mg cholesterol, 880mg sodium