Mealtime Mama: Family-friendly (gluten-free) recipes

Lots of moms are using gluten-free recipes now because they found out that they — or their child — are allergic. Our friend Cara Cleek Ogden recently switched over to vegan (her daughter’s choice) and gluten-free (which her allergies mandated). Cara sent over some of her favorite recipes that are vegan AND gluten free.

*Note from Cara:  Use organic ingredients for these recipes whenever possible, especially with the carrots, potatoes, tomato products (salsa), berries, and corn products (tortilla chips).

Black Beans and Rice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Serves 4.

  • 2 standard-sized cans of black beans, slightly drained  (I use Eden Organic brand, which uses no BPA in their canning process)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup whole grain brown rice

Toppings (as desired):

  • 1 avocado
  • vegan cheese (I like Daiya brand)
  • vegan sour cream
  • salsa
  • tortilla chips

Directions: Heat black beans in a pot over medium-high heat. Chop onion and cilantro, mince garlic, and sauté in 2 teaspoons olive oil. After beans have heated for 20 minutes, stir the sautéed ingredients into the black beans. Add cumin, salt and pepper.

In a separate pot, begin preparing brown rice (following the instructions on the bag).

Pour black beans mixture into a 8×8 baking pan. Top with a small amount of vegan cheese, if desired. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.  Serve over brown rice, with toppings. (Note from Shannon: I’ve had this recipe at Cara’s house and it is GOOD, especially with all the toppings.)

Bright Complexion Smoothie

(This is a great way to get some veggies into your children’s diets… they won’t even know they’re there!)

Serves 2

  • 1 cup frozen berries (black or blue)
  • 1 large banana
  • 3/4 cup carrot juice
  • 3/4 cup water (or ice, if you prefer)
  • A handful of fresh spinach

Blend all together in a blender or smoothie-maker.

Cold Sesame Noodles

(Great for lunchboxes!)

Serves 2

1/3 lb. spaghetti pasta, cooked according to directions (I use quinoa pasta)

While pasta is cooking, whisk together:

  • 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce, if you’re not sensitive to gluten)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Cook pasta, drain and rinse with cool water. Pour peanut sauce over the pasta and toss.

Top with:

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 scallion, chopped (green and white parts)

Serve immediately, or chill for one hour.

Savory Roasted Carrots and Potatoes

(Much tastier than french-fries could ever dream of being!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Serves 3-4 people as a side dish.

  • 6 to 7 carrots, sliced about 1/4” thick, diagonally
  • 6 to 7 potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Toss all ingredients together and bake on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

About Cara: “I’m a single, working mom of a busy 11-year-old girl named Ibby. We’re both vegan, so we try to find healthy recipes that we can both enjoy. Luckily, it’s much easier than you’d think!  I’m in the process of getting certified as a Holistic Health Counselor and am seeing amazing results from the healing power of nutrition.”