Sweet Treats

4th of July Trifle (gluten and dairy free) + Bonus Virtual BBQ



1 Gluten Free Cake Mix (follow the instructions)

2 cans Coconut Milk

1 pint Blueberries (I picked mine at a local blueberry farm)

1 pint Strawberries

1 Lemon, for zesting

My office is having a 4th of July themed food week. I wanted to make something fun but didn’t have a lot of time to prepare. To speed up the process I used a gluten free cake mix. If you add a dash of vanilla and some lemon zest it brightens up the entire cake and pairs really well with the fresh fruit. Once the cake has cooled cut it into small pieces so it is easy to layer.

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I made the cake gluten free for a coworker and dairy free since I am lactose intolerant. I used my coconut whipped cream recipe and added some lemon zest to match the flavor in the cake. Once the cake and whipped cream are ready you can start layering. Starting at the bottom alternating layers of blueberries, cake, whipped cream and then strawberries. I started off with a layer of cake and whipped cream to help hold everything up.

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Don’t forget to check out these amazing recipes!

Coleslaw, minus the mayo – Isobreathing

Avocado Egg Salad – Nest Fresh Eggs

DIY BBQ Potato Chips – Grilling with Rich

Gluten Free Strawberry Pop Tarts– Whisking through Life

Fruit Enhanced Water – Taking Bites


Carrot Apple Slaw


This is a fun and simple creation that will gear your tastebuds up for a tropical vacation. There are many different variations you can make to fit the flavors you like.

I make mine using a food processor shredding disk to get the ingredients in a nice matchstick form.


Granny Smith Apples



Unsweetened Coconut

White Balsamic Vinegar (whatever flavor you like)

When I am prepping this slaw for the week I use 3 apples, 4-5 large carrots, 1-2 handfuls of nuts and a handful of coconut. I pass all of the ingredients through my food processor and then add the balsamic to taste. My favorite white balsamics to use are ginger and coconut lime.

I eat this on fish tacos, quesadillas, grilled chicken, in salads, as a side dish.. the possibilities are endless!

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (Vegan)

Ice Cream 2

Crust layer

1 cup graham cracker crumbles (I put graham crackers in a food processor)

¼ cup Earth Balance vegan butter

Dash of cinnamon

1 Tablespoon sugar

Blueberry layer

1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Cheesecake layer

8 ounce container Tofutti cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup sugar

2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled (only use the coconut cream, not the liquid)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all of the ingredients for the crust and bake in a cake pan or on a baking sheet (pat out in a thin layer so it cooks like the crust for a pie) at 350 for 8-10 minutes then set aside to cool. *crumble into pieces before layering in ice cream.

Place the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until the berries burst and release their juices, about 5-10 minutes. Add the cornstarch and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof bowl, and place in the fridge to cool.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of coconut cream and beat until well incorporated. Add the remaining cream and vanilla and whip 2-3 minutes.

spread half of the cheesecake layer mixture in a plastic container. Top with half of the blueberry layer and crust layer then the other half of the cheesecake layer, then the remaining blueberries and crust. Swirl with a knife. Cover and freeze until firm or at least 6 hours.

Ice Cream 1

Strawberry Shortcake (Dairy Free)


Strawberry Layer

7 cups Strawberries

4 tbsp Sugar


2 cups All Purpose flour

4 Tbsp Sugar

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

8 Tbsp cold Vegan Butter

1 Egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp Coconut Cream

*1 Egg white, lightly beaten (to brush over shortcakes before baking)

*2 Tbsp Sugar (to dust the top of the shortcakes before baking)

Heat the oven to 425 F.

Place 3 cups of sliced strawberries in a bowl and crush with a potato masher until it resembles a thick puree. Slice the remaining berries and add into the crushed berries along with the sugar. Let the strawberries sit for 30 minutes or more.

In a food processor, combine the flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar, the baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into cubes, add to the flour mixture and process until it resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, mix the beaten egg with the coconut cream then add mixture into the food processor. Mix all ingredients until a slightly sticky dough forms.

Place the dough onto a floured work surface and lightly knead (do not overwork the dough) until it comes together. Pat the dough out with your fingertips until it is about 3/4 inch thick. Flour a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter and cut the dough into rounds. Place the rounds 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush the tops with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, about 10-14 minutes.

coconut whipped cream – 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled. Scoop out the cream (save the liquid for smoothies!), add a dash of sugar and a splash of vanilla extract then whip with a hand mixer. If you store the whipped cream in the fridge you will need to rewhip before serving.


Black Bean Brownies

When sweet cravings get the best of you it is always nice to have  something to fall back on that won’t knock you off the wagon. This recipe packs in over 60 grams of protein and melts in your mouth like  the ultimate cheat meal, without the guilt!

Fudgy black bean brownie goodness. That really is the only way to describe this decadent, gluten free dessert.
Brownie Ingredients:
1 can black beans
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 egg
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon baking powder
dash salt
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Topping:
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Place all of the ingredients for the brownie in a blender or food  processor (I use a bullet) and blend until smooth. Pour blended mixture  into a greased 8×8 baking dish.
Place all of the ingredients  for the peanut butter topping in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Spoon the topping in three rows over the  brownie batter and then swirl with a knife or the base of your spoon to  create a swirl pattern across the top.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Let the brownies cool then place them in the fridge for an hour or more before serving.

Baked Brie

Here is a quick and easy  appetizer (or dessert) that will have your friends and family calling on you to attend every get together.

What you will need:
1 package frozen puff pastry sheets
1 8oz Brie round
Apricot filling
Sliced almonds
Rolling pin


Thaw 1 puff pastry sheet, I thaw mine on parchment paper so I can roll  it out on the paper afterwards. When the puff pastry sheet is thawed  out, but still cold, lightly flour the dough and your rolling pin. Roll  out the dough a little in each direction, it does not need to be thin  you are just making it slightly larger so it can wrap around the Brie.  Place the Brie round in the center of the pastry sheet and top with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the apricot filling then sprinkle sliced almonds over the  top of the filling. Bundle the puff pastry up around the Brie and  slightly pinch the dough to help it stay in place. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.


Looking for variations? Try using a raspberry filling or switching up  the nuts with some sliced pecans. You can serve this dish with sliced  pears and apples, crackers, or even crostinis (small slices of toasted  bread).

DIY – Tuxedo Strawberries

Dear Diary,

Valentine’s day is right around the corner so today I created something extra special. Getting your friends or loved ones presents can get expensive so I wanted to be able to share the love without breaking the bank.


Grocery list: strawberries, white chocolate, dark chocolate, wax paper and Crisco.

Make sure to rinse and dry your strawberries before starting. In a microwave safe bowl melt the white chocolate and a small amount of Crisco. I heat the chocolate in 30 second increments so it doesn’t burn. Once the chocolate is melted dip your strawberries in to create your first coat of chocolate, the tuxedo shirt. Place them on the wax paper to set.

While the white chocolate is drying on the strawberries melt the dark (or milk) chocolate with a small amount of Crisco. To create the tuxedo jacket dip the strawberry on its sides, one at a time, leaving a “v” of visible white chocolate in the middle of the flat side. Return the strawberry to the wax paper, white chocolate side up.

For the buttons and bowtie I like to use a piping bag, or plastic bag with a piping tip. You can also use a toothpick.

Until next time,


Hazelnut Pie

I was shopping at Whole Foods and picked up this delicious, luxurious container of hazelnut milk. I have never baked with hazelnut milk before so the first thing that popped into my head was CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

4 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1/4 C. sugar, 2 Tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa powder, 1/3 C. dark chocolate chips, 2 C. hazelnut milk, 3/4 tsp. Nucello


In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly whisk in hazelnut milk and heat the pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then turn heat down to medium low and whisk until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips and Nucello until smooth. Pour into a precooked pie crust of your choice and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.