Shrimp Tacos

These shrimp tacos are dairy-free, filled with summer veggies, and a perfect meal at the end of a hot day.It’s takes a village to feed a high maintenance eater like me. So I’m thankful my village is populated with people like my big sister who keep their eyes open for delicious dairy-free recipes. She’s the villager who sent an email with this recipe for shrimp tacos. The dish is packed with vegetables that are plentiful during the summer months. Plus, it uses olive oil rather than butter to cook the shrimp and doesn’t suggest using cheese or sour cream as a garnish.

Because this recipe is truly dairy-free, there was no need to substitute ingredients or to omit others. Everyone at our house agreed it was delicious and a perfect meal to enjoy at the end of a lovely summer day. The tweaks I made are designed to keep the heat out of the kitchen in case a lovely summer day is also a hot one.

Shrimp Tacos

ingredients

1 pound raw shrimp. peeled and devaeined
1 lime, juiced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
12-6 inch tortillas

Directions

  1. Turn slow cooker on high. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in the slow cooker to warm for 30 minutes.
  2. Gently mix tomatoes, onion, avocados, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Saute for about 3 minutes, turning often until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  4. Put shrimp, tortillas, and vegetable mixture in separate serving dishes for diners to assemble at the table.

 

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Cucumber-Onion Salad Encore

This recipe for cucumber-onion salad was passed down from Grandma to Mom to me and my siblings. It's easy, inexpensive, non-dairy, healthy, and keeps well.Thanks to our weekly CSA share, the vegetable bin is overflowing with cucumbers. So cucumber-onion salad is gracing our table almost daily.  Because today is my birthday and I’m celebrating by not experimenting with a new recipe, I’m rerunning this one that was first featured on Down the Gravel Road in July of 2012. It’s easy, it’s tasty, it’s non-dairy, it’s low-cal, and the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it tastes. No wonder this recipe has been consistently discovered and repinned on Pinterest since the day it first appeared there.

Cucumber-Onion Salad

1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced into thin rings*
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Place vegetables in a small serving bowl. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well and pour over vegetables so they are completely covered with liquid. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad can be stored for several days or a week in the fridge.

I try to make it at least 8 hours before serving so the flavors can meld and the vinegar has time to pickle the vegetables a little. Also, more cukes and onions into the brine after the original veggies are gone. I usually do that once before discarding the brine and making a completely new batch.

*I used red onions, which is why the salad looks so pretty in the picture, but any type of onion is fine.

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Non-Dairy Strawberry Crisp

Today's recipe for strawberry crisp is the latest in a long series of fruit crisp recipes at Gravel Road.Just a few weeks ago, I posted my recipe for low sugar rhubarb crisp. Until today, it was the most recent installment in a Gravel Road unintentional series of crisp recipes such as blueberry crisp, apple crisp, and strawberry-rhubarb crisp.

But not anymore. Because strawberries were on sale at the grocery store last week, so I bought several boxes to make strawberry-rhubarb crisp. The son-in-law is not a big rhubarb fan, though he said he thought a strawberry crisp would be just fine. Here’s the recipe I fabricated, and which he said was mighty fine.

Strawberry Crisp

6 cups washed strawberries, hulled & sliced
1/3 cup softened, non-dairy, softened non-dairy shortening substitute like Earth Balance
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375°. Place strawberries in 2 quart baking dish. In medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on top of fruit. Bake for 30-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb season means rhubarb crisp. Man of Steel means making a low sugar version of this delicious dessert.Rhubarb season is here and the crop is bountiful. After picking and freezing three bags full, just enough remained to make a small rhubarb crisp. With the Man of Steel watching his sugar intake, I decided to see how much sugar could be cut from the recipe in my 1977 Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Below is the adjusted recipe, which the Man of Steel and I agreed was still a bit on the too sweet side. However, when I took a small helping down to Mom, she made a face and said it was too sour. So adjust the sugar to your taste buds and enjoy rhubarb season.

Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup unbleached flour1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°. Place rhubarb in an ungreased baking dish (10x6x1 1/2″ baking dish). Measure brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over rhubarb. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until topping golden brown and rhubarb is bubbly. Serve warm.

 

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Protein Bars

These protein bars are low in sugar, high in flavor, and a perfect meal on the go.My daughter and I went to a coffee shop in Madison during my last visit. We spied homemade peanut butter protein bars in the cooler. My daughter picked one up. “These look good,” she said.

“Too bad they probably have whey in them to jack up the protein,” I said.

“No dairy,” the woman behind the counter said. “But they do have flax seed.”

The daughter and I were ravenous as we’d eaten only salad for lunch, so we laid two bars on the counter, ordered our coffee, and sat down to enjoy our treats and watch my adorable grandson be adorable.

The protein bars were delicious. So good we spent every minute we weren’t laughing at the grandson’s high jinks deciding what ingredients were in the bars so we could make them at home.

Here’s the recipe I created after arriving home. That means the daughter hasn’t taste tested them. But the Man of Steel and I both think their pretty good. The recipe’s pretty forgiving, so you can add your favorite ingredients to the mix so they tickle your taste buds, too.

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Protein Bars

1 cup natural peanut butter (the gooey kind)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Kirkland chocolate chips
1 cup puffed rice
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until well mixed. Press into a greased, square 9 x 9 pan. Put in refrigerator until firm. Cut into 12 bars. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Carrot Bread with Dairy-Free Cream “Cheese” Drizzle

The non-dairy carrot cake was such a hit with the Man of Steel, I'm working on an even healthier quick bread, low sugar version.About a month ago, I posted a recipe for the Dairy Free Carrot Cake with Cream “Cheese” Frosting our family enjoyed at the Man of Steel’s 60th birthday party. The Man of Steel, who usually avoids sugar, asked if there was any way to adapt the recipe even more. So he can have it more than once a year on his birthday.

After thinking on his request, I decreased the amount of the sugar in the batter and baked it in bread pans. Next, I halved the shortening and cream “cheese” in the frosting, added a little almond milk and cut the powdered sugar even more to create more of a drizzle than frosting. The resulting carrot bread was delicious, and the recipe is below. However, the Man of Steel says it’s still too sweet, so I’ll be making it again with even less drizzle and decadence. Stay tuned for the next update.

Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients

6 cups grated carrots
1/3 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 Instructions

  1. Combine the grated carrots and brown sugar in a medium bowl and set aside for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF, and grease and flour three bread pans.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and briefly set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, and gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Stir the flour mix into the wet mixture, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the carrot mixture and nuts.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into your prepared pans. Bake for 40–45 minutes until the loaves are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10-20 minutes before removing them from the pan.
  6. Once the bread is completely cool, drizzle with icing.The non-dairy carrot cake was such a hit with the Man of Steel, I'm working on an even healthier quick bread, low sugar version.

Dairy-Free Cream “Cheese” Frosting

Ingredients

4 ounces vegan “cream cheese”
2 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the “cream cheese” and melted butter vegan stick. Cream them together. Add almond milk and beat until smooth
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and continue to beat the mixture until smooth. Drizzle over cooled loaves.

Downton Abbey Scones on This Fantastic Friday

Downton Abbey fans can whip up a batch of vintage scones and make the DA magic last a little longer.This Fantastic Friday post is an homage to last Sunday’s Downton Abbey finale. The recipe’s posting today so fans can whip up a batch of scones, make a pot of tea, put on their best English accents, and be jolly good sports all weekend long.

Downton Abbey Dairy-Free Scones

Between yesterday’s top ten list and today’s recipe, it feels like Downton Abbey Week along our gravel road. Today’s recipe comes compliments of Downton Abbey Cooks, the brainchild of food historian Pamela Foster. You can find Foster’s original recipe, along with many other Edwardian England dishes, in her post about guilt-free scones.

I spotted the recipe while sitting under the dryer and reading the paper at the hair dresser’s. It sounded so good, I came home and created my own dairy-free version. The scones were an immediate winner, receiving the coveted Hiram seal of approval. They were light, crispy, and flavorful. They will be a staple at our house, even though we don’t have a kitchen maid to sift the flour 3 times!

1 cup unnbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons frozen lard
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)

Heat oven to 450°. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Sift three times. (Or have Daisy the kitchen maid do that part.) Add sugar and mix in well. Grate frozen lard (another job for Daisy) and add to dry ingredients. Lightly cut in by hand until mixture has the consistency of sand. Stir in dried fruit. Add almond milk, a tablespoon at a time, mixing dough with a fork after each addition. Stop when dough holds together, but before it gets sticky.

Kneed dough gently a few times. Do not overwork! Form dough into a circle and place on a cookie sheet or heated baking stone. Press dough until it’s a circle 1/3 inch thick. With a knife, cut into 8 wedges.* Separate them slightly. Bake for 5–7 minutes.

Dairy-Free Carrot Cake with Cream “Cheese” Frosting

The Man of Steel wants carrot cake for his birthday. This non-dairy version tastes unbelievably good.All the kids, their spouses and the grandkids, along with my sister and her husband, are gathering this weekend to celebrate the Man of Steel’s 60th birthday. That means he gets to choose his own birthday meal (chicken tetrazzini) and birthday dessert. He chose one of his favorites: carrot cake.

The only problem with that choice was that at least 3 people attending the celebration can’t have dairy. But, as a quick internet search revealed, someone invented dairy-free carrot cake. And as a trial baking adventure proved, dairy-free carrot cake is really good. So is the dairy-free cream “cheese” frosting.

I found the recipe for the cake and the frosting at the Go Dairy Free Website. The only alterations I made in the cake batter were to leave out the raisins…not my favorite and reduce the sugar. For the trial run, I made 1 small rectangular cake for a taste test and 2 round cakes, which went to a dessert auction at church. The birthday cake will be 3 layers of round pans. Warning: this recipe makes a very big cake.

Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients

6 cups grated carrots
2/3 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 Instructions

  1. Combine the grated carrots and brown sugar in a medium bowl and set aside for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF, and grease and flour two 10-inch cake pans, three 8-inch cake pans, or two 8-inch cake pans +8 cupcake tins.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and briefly set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, and gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Stir the flour mix into the wet mixture, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the carrot mixture and nuts.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into your prepared pans. Bake as follows: 10-inch pans – 40-50 minutes, 8-inch pans – 30-35 minutes, Cupcakes – 20-22 minutes, or for all, until the cakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10-20 minutes before removing them from the pan.
  6. Once the cake is completely cool, then you can frost it or drizzle with icing.

The Man of Steel wants carrot cake for his birthday. This non-dairy version tastes unbelievably good.Dairy-Free Cream “Cheese” Frosting

Ingredients

8 ounces vegan “cream cheese”
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the “cream cheese” and margarine, and cream them together.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy.

The Man of Steel wants carrot cake for his birthday. This non-dairy version tastes unbelievably good.

Chicken Tetrazinni, With Dairy and Without

This delicious casserole can be prepared ahead of time and, with a few substitutions and omissions can be made dairy-free.For supper last week, I made chicken tetrazinni, a family favorite that can also be made with turkey, for the first time in a long time. After his first bite, the Man of Steel decided he wanted it made again for his birthday meal extravaganza to be held in a few weeks. Because the dish can 1) be prepared ahead of time, and 2) be made in dairy and non-dairy versions (at least 3 of those attending steer clear of dairy), I was thrilled. In honor of the upcoming celebratory event, here’s the recipe for chicken tetrazinni, with notes about how to make the non-dairy version, too.

Chicken Tetrazzini

2 – 3 cups cooked, deboned, cubed chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (omit this ingredient in the dairy-free version)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter (dairy-free version uses Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green or sweet red pepper, chopped
12 ounces spaghetti
6 slices of bread, toasted and cubed
1/4 cup melted butter (dairy-free version uses Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put cubed chicken and cheese (omit for dairy-free version) in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain. Rinse with cold water and place in pan with turkey and cheese. Stir well.

While spaghetti is cooking, melt 3 tablespoons of butter or Earth Balance in a sauce pan. Add onions and pepper. Saute until onions are transparent. Add flour and mix well. Slowly add broth, whisking and stirring constantly until it boils. Let it boil gently for one minute. Pour sauce over noodle/meat/cheese mixture and stir well.

Toast the bread and cut into cubes. Drizzle with 1/4 cup melted butter or Earth Balance and stir well. Sprinkle croutons over the noodle mixture. Bake for 1/2 hour.

Dairy Free Coconut Chocolate Bars

These bars are a low carb, dairy free way to satisfy your chocolate cravings and your sweet tooth. Satisfying chocolate cravings is often a challenge for people with dairy allergies. So I was really excited to find a recipe for low-carb coconut chocolate bars that are dairy-free at The Nourished Caveman website. I didn’t alter the recipe at all for my first try, though I did discover some tricks to make the process easier which are included in the instructions below.

My daughter, son-in-law, and I were the taste testers as the Man of Steel does not like coconut. The three of us devoured them while the Man of Steel wrinkled his nose. We coconut lovers decided that when I make them again, I should substitute cocoa butter for coconut oil so the coating holds up better. I’m also going to add some chopped almonds to the mix and use a little sugar instead of only stevia.

Dairy-Free Coconut Chocolate Bars

ingredients

1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 packet or 1 teaspoon stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut cream
4 tablespoons coconut oil or 2 ounces cocoa butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

Mix shredded coconut with coconut cream,1/2 of the vanilla extract and 1/2 packet or 1/2 teaspoon of stevia. Blend well with a spatula or a spoon.

Place the shredded coconut mixture on a small cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (I used a bread loaf pan.) Shape it into a flat rectangle about 4 inches by 6 inches and 1 inch thick.

These bars are a low carb, dairy free way to satisfy your chocolate cravings and your sweet tooth. Place in the freezer for 2 hours, until frozen solid. Remove from the freezer and cut into 5-6 bars.

These bars are a low carb, dairy free way to satisfy your chocolate cravings and your sweet tooth. While coconut is in the freezer, prepare the chocolate coating:

Melt coconut oil or cocoa butter in a small sauce pan. Add cocoa powder remaining stevia and vanilla extract to the coconut oil or cocoa butter. Mix well on low heat for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are well blended.

Let cool to room temperature, but still liquid. (I put the pan in the fridge for about 10 minutes to speed the process.)

Now dip the bars in the cocoa mixture, and turn to all sides to coat evenly. It helps if the bars are frozen solid so they won’t break. (The frozen bars may cause the chocolate coating in the pan to solidify. If that happens, put the pan on a low burner for about a minute until the coating melts again.) Place bars back on the parchment paper.

These bars are a low carb, dairy free way to satisfy your chocolate cravings and your sweet tooth. When all bars are all coated put in the refrigerator to harden. The bars can be kept in the fridge for harder consistency or at room temperature for softer bars.