The No-Wheat Cookbook: Tuna Noodle Casserole


With the family falling into a mostly-gluten-free way of life, so that Alistaire can eat with us, I picked a recipe we might all enjoy from The No-Wheat Cookbook: Easy, Delicious Recipes for a Wheat-Free Diet. I hate sounding like I am getting on the bandwagon for no-wheat…but honestly, I have to say my stomach has felt better as I move us off wheat pasta (and all other forms of it….). We are eating less pasta, be it GF or not, and my stomach doesn’t feel like a lead balloon and I might add, this week we got home late, and I made a fresh tomato sauce tossed with wheat spaghetti….it was delicious and my gut hurt after it. Lesson learned. Once you wean off, you notice things. Which is a huge bummer, because as Kirk can attest, I reeeaaalllllyyyyyy love pasta. Maybe Alistaire’s allergies are a blessing? Kirk would say yes ūüėČ It is the pasta that does me in, not bread. Sheesh!

I grew up on casseroles, as I have mentioned before. Many involved cans of cream of mushroom soup and a lot of pasta. Our casseroles were heavy on carbs, low on protein (pasta is cheap, tuna not so much). I reversed that formula and Kirk loved it. One of our realties with a plant-based diet and a child with allergies is fish/meat has had to come back into our diet, so that he can get what he needs. I am OK with using a little here and there, if it is ethically sourced. Between Wild Planet tuna and making it gluten/dairy free with Go Veggie cheeze, we had a great casserole. All it was missing was a bag of crushed potato chips on top ūüėČ

PS: Here is an option though – it would have been great with a can of drained garbanzo beans as well, instead of the tuna.


Tuna Noodle Casserole (as adapted from page 166)


  • 8 ounces brown rice noodles (used twists)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1¬Ĺ cups milk (used unsweetened So Delicious)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¬Ĺ tsp dried majoram
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¬Ĺ tsp fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans albacore tuna, drained and flaked (see above for a veg option)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (used Go Veggie, Dayia would work for a full veg option)


Preheat oven to 375¬į, lightly oil or spray a 9×13″ baking dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, cook pasta as directed, drain when just al dente (I took a minute off the cooking time).

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-low, add in oil, onion, carrots, red pepper and garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, and continue to cook for 5 minutes more. Take off heat, stir in tuna.

In a medium saucepan, whisk the milk, broth, marjoram, and cornstarch until smooth. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper/ Take off heat and stir in cheese.

Add cooked pasta to skillet, toss with vegetable mix, add in sauce and stir to coat. Transfer to baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. If desired, top with¬†¬ľ cup more cheese, and serve.

Serves 6.


FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy.


Artichoke and Tomato Spaghetti

This recipe was one I made quite awhile back (a year ago). I pulled it out of my files as my main computer’s hard drive took a dump yesterday morning, right after we had a power outage (it wasn’t related). Kirk is¬†rebuilding¬†it (thank you off-site backups!!) but for now I can’t upload new photos – and I get to use my teen’s computer or my iPad. First world problems and all, boy do I miss my computer though!

PS:Thank you all for SO many visits and comments yesterday during the Vegan Potluck. It was fun, I will do it agin if it is held! We have a great community out here, all of us crazy bloggers!

A quick and easy dinner, add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicier.¬†Originally¬†this recipe had cheese added. Now? I’d use finely ground almond meal mixed with Italian herb seasoning or Dry bread crumbs flavored with Italian herb seasoning. Both make great cheese substitutes for pasta!

Artichoke and Tomato Spaghetti


  • ¬ľ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 cup drained marinated artichokes, diced (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¬Ĺ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¬Ĺ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¬ľ cup reserved marinade
  • Parmesan cheese, if desired or¬†ground¬†almond meal + italian herb seasoning or Italian flavored dry bread crumbs
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti or 13.25 ounce multi-grain spaghetti


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, add the spaghetti and cook for time on package. Before draining reserve a cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add in the onion and cook covered for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add in the garlic, artichokes and spices, cover and let cook for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and marinade, turn to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add in reserved pasta water as needed for a smooth sauce. Top liberally as desired with cheese, ground almonds or bread crumbs.

Serves 4.


Comfort Food Done Lighter: Green Mac n’ Cheese

Last week I had my blood draws done and while most of my numbers were looking great, because of being 8 months out from having Alistaire, I wasn’t so happy with some of my¬†cholesterol¬†numbers. I know why they had slid back up. Frankly it was due to me eating meat¬†while¬†pregnant (duh) and¬†indulging¬†in heavy cheese and eggs periodically. Yeah, beat me with that plant-based diet stick. I fell off¬†the¬†wagon. So for the past week I have made a push to use up the last of the dairy products in the house. Then back to being a good ol’ PBD follower once again. I want to pull my numbers in 4 months and see how it goes. Until then, I still have 3 freaking pounds of cheese to use up – being frugal I refuse to waste good cheese (My Mom¬†would¬†scream from the spirit world if I were to dump it!) But, I have at least been using it slowly and in small amounts. No more liberal touches…lol! I hope to be back on PBD fully on¬†November¬†1st. A good way to celebrate Virtual Vegan Potluck Day, eh?

What I liked about this dinner was how fast it¬†comes¬†together, it isn’t full of butter/oil but still feels rich. Personally, I have never been a huge fan of mac n’ cheese that only tastes of salty/heavy cheese.

Green Mac n’ Cheese


  • 1¬ĺ cups milk (used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 3 Tbsp¬†whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¬Ĺ tsp paprika
  • ¬Ĺ tsp kosher salt
  • ¬ľ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4¬†ounces¬†grated¬†medium white cheddar cheese
  • 10 to 12 ounce package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 13.25 ounce package multi-grain or whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 9 ounce bag¬†spinach¬†leaves, chopped finely


Bring a large pot of lightly slated water to boil. Add pasta and cook for time on package. In the last 5 minutes add broccoli, in last 30 seconds add the spinach in, drain gently.

Meanwhile,¬†whisk¬†the flour, mustard, paprika, salt and nutmeg into¬†¬ĺ cup of the milk.

Add the remaining cup of milk to a large saucepan, bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk in flour mixture, whisking constantly until it has thickened.

Remove from heat, whisk in cheese till melted. Add sauce to drained pasta, tossing gently to coat.

Serves 4.


Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

Say hello to October! It is the start of October Unprocessed 2012 – the 31 day long pledge I am taking to asses how my goals are doing. The challenge can be what you want – there is no hard-line here, simply do the best you can. And while we eat this way most of the time I know we have huge areas that need improvement. Some things will slide I am sure, but I will also learn even more skills in our kitchen. If the guys want to join me, they can. But I won’t criticize them if the don’t.

Some of my goals?


No sugar, processed sugar (brown sugar, molasses, etc) or all-purpose flour. We already avoid it most of the time, so not a huge issue….

No going to Starbucks or similar, unless I am traveling and then no sweeteners unless it is honey. I am sure my wallet will appreciate it.

No eating out. Lets face it – the majority of meals eaten out are made of highly processed foods.¬†Again, our wallet will appreciate it. A family of 5 isn’t cheap when eating out!

An unrelated goal is to dial in my grocery shopping even tighter. Not giving into weak moments. If I want something sweet, I make it. It is¬†interesting¬†though that much of¬†the¬†crap food I used to eat, even a year or two ago, doesn’t appeal to me anymore, nor does it smell good. But…I still have moments where a frappe or a store-bought organic cookie sound awesome. That has to stop!

This recipe was inspired by my weekly farmers market trip. Saturday dinners are usually inspired by what I find there. This weekend was a good one, I came home with a huge amount of vegetables and many ideas. The vegetable I found that inspired me most? These:

I found them on¬†the¬†table, 3 for $1. The farmer is Hispanic and doesn’t speak the best of English, but I was able to at least figure out they were sweet and not hot. I have come to¬†realize¬†just how little I looked at vegetables before this year. I rarely strayed out of what I knew – yes, we ate a wide variety compare to most but before? I’d never have looked at purple Tomatillos. Or at the red peppers, ugly and squat. I had no idea what they were so I googled and¬†realized¬†I had Round of Hungary peppers. I decided to roast them, something I had not done before. It is too easy for me to drive to Trader Joe’s and buy a jar. But what do I know of the plants used? Where they were raised? What they are packed in? Yes, it takes time. The farther I go down the unprocessed road, the more time I spend in the kitchen. I know where and how our food gets to us. And in the end? The peppers tasted like none I had before. They were candy-sweet and so tender they melted into¬†the¬†alfredo sauce

Roasted Red Peppers


  • red pepper(s)


Heat oven to 450¬į, line a baking sheet with foil. Rinse the peppers and dry off, placing on the baking sheet.

Place on the top rack, flipping gently every 15 minutes, until the skins are charred and the peppers are looking done. It will take 30 to 45 minutes, depending on what peppers are used.

Take out, cover with a second sheet of foil, crimp the edges to seal the steam in. Let sit until cool, the peel off the skins with fingers, discarding. Gently pop pepper open and remove seeds, discarding.

If using immediately chop as desired. If storing in the refrigerator for later use place in a glass container, cover with olive oil and seal tightly.

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo


  • 12 to 13.25 ounce package whole grain or whole wheat pasta (used shells)
  • 1 pound string beans,¬†trimmed¬†and chopped (used yellow/green/purple)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion,¬†peeled¬†and chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 ounces lower-fat cream cheese (¬ĺ of package)
  • 1 cup milk (unsweetened almond used)
  • ¬Ĺ tsp granulated garlic
  • ¬Ĺ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¬Ĺ cup roasted red peppers
  • ¬ĺ cup grated¬†Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ¬Ĺ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, add pasta. In the last 3 minutes add the beans. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a large/deep skillet over medium. Add the oil, onion and mushrooms, saut√© for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese until melted and smooth, stir in the milk, garlic, pepper, red peppers and¬†¬Ĺ cup of cheese, Turn to medium-low,¬†gently¬†simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in most of the basil, toss with pasta.

Top each serving with a bit of remaining cheese and basil.

Serves 4.

Side note:

While this recipe mostly comes under the¬†unprocessed¬†heading, the cream cheese is an issue. I am hoping to explore making my cream cheese, it is¬†achievable¬†at home. Till then, shop carefully and read brands. Some are better than others and even organic versions often have gums, both low-fat¬†and regular do, so there isn’t a huge difference on what you buy. Vegan cream cheese would be a no-go, it is usually a¬†medley¬†of odd ingredients. Ad for the grating cheese? ¬†Make sure it has a simple ingredient list, Italian imports are best. Whatever you buy, make sure it has no cellulose added.


Sweet Potato and White Bean Rigatoni

Note: This was a recipe I wrote up last winter and came across it recently in my drafts. You can also use pumpkin as well. I was out and about today so I figured I’d slip in this recipe!

To make my life simple and to ensure a smooth sauce I used canned sweet potato pur√©e but you can also bake or steam up some and mash them, you will need about 1¬ĺ cups.

Sweet Potato and White Bean Rigatoni


  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp garlic,minced (4 cloves)
  • 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 15 ounce can Farmer’s Market Organic Sweet Potato Puree
  • 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup grated¬†Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano¬†cheese
  • 1 Tbsp dried or fresh parsley
  • ¬Ĺ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta, whole wheat preferably


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, cook the rigatoni as directed, drain.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium, add the oil and onion, sauté until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Sprinkle the flour on and whisk for a minute or two, add the milk and sweet potato, whisking smooth. Let heat through till thick, whisking often. Turn to medium-low and add the beans, cheese, parsley and pepper. let heat through and melt. Toss with the cooked pasta and serve.

Serves 4.


Pumpkin and Sage Pasta

Note from me – I wrote this recipe last fall, in late October. It was saved as a draft and I forgot about it. Fall is nearly here again, seems like a perfect time to post this recipe!

I made this awhile back before my sage plants started turning yellow for fall (they tend to that as the nights get colder!). It was good but it needed something more, still not sure but I can work on it. Kirk’s reply was “sausage”. Gee, thanks!

In the recipe I use some not as common measurements. If you haven’t seen these Pinch Dash Smidgen Measuring Spoons before you need to! When Kirk got them for me as a present I wasn’t sure how often I would use them, I use them at least a couple of times a week now. It makes for much more accurate measuring over using ones fingers.

Pumpkin and Sage Pasta


  • 1 lb small pasta shapes (used bow ties)
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, trimmed of stem and dry, cut into slivers
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and diced (or 1 onion)
  • 4 tsp granulated garlic (or 4 fresh cloves, diced)
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin pur√©e
  • 2 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • ¬Ĺ cup milk – dairy or unsweetened almond
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (used Tabasco)
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon (1/8 tsp)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (1/16 tsp)
  • Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano¬†cheese


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, cook pasta for time on package and drain.

Meanwhile in a large non-stick skillet heat half the oil over medium heat. Add in sage leaves and cook until crispy (the pan will quit sizzling). Take out the leaves and let drain on clean paper towels.

Add in the remaining oil and the shallots and let cook until tender. Sprinkle the garlic on and let cook a minute, then add the broth, pumpkin and milk and the remaining seasoning.

Turn to medium-low and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Toss with the hot pasta and add cheese as desired.

Top with the crispy sage leaves on each serving.

Serves 4.


A Vegan Dinner: Lemony Basil Pasta, Tofu-catta & Boozy Rum Cake

A recent dinner was vegan, not on purpose, but what I call accidentally vegan. And I can’t say dairy was missed. Although I am sure Kirk would have been happy with a lot fewer tomatoes….raw tomatoes are something he has¬†never¬†been fond of. Oh well, more fer me!

Lemony Basil Pasta


  • 13.25 ounce package whole-grain or whole wheat angel hair or spaghetti
  • 1 pint fresh grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Juice and zest from 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¬Ĺ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ¬ľ tsp ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, cook pasta for time on package. In the last-minute add the tomatoes. Drain, add back to the pot and toss with everything.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

I was wondering if the guys would like this and went over well. I don’t use tofu very often, this was a treat for us. After it had time to “marinate” I found¬†the¬†flavor very appealing with our pasta. I suspect it would delicious in veggie lasagna as well.



  • 14 ounce package extra-firm organic tofu
  • ¬ľ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp¬†Italian¬†seasoning
  • ¬ľ tsp¬†onion¬†powder
  • ¬ľ tsp¬†granulated¬†garlic
  • ¬ľ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice


Drain the tofu in a mesh strainer. Crumble it in the strainer, leave over a bowl to drain.

Toss the tofu with the seasonings and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate, let the flavors develop for at least a couple of hours before serving.

Add on top of pasta, or as desired.

Makes enough for two meals, serving 8 total.

I surprised the guys with a quick rum cake, I baked it while we ate dinner and had it before bed, It was a perfect way to use up a big portion of a bottle of Myer’s Dark Rum I had in the pantry (we don’t drink, but I use it in baking). The scent of rum is VERY strong but yum, it was fantastic! Very moist.¬†According¬†to a USDA chart I read up on, only about 30% of the¬†alcohol¬†is left after baking. So it did possibly have some remaining, hence the kids only got a small bite. How sad ūüėČ I on the other hand ate way too much. Oh well. I did garden a bunch before, so that works it off, no?

Boozy Rum Cake


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¬Ĺ tsp baking soda
  • ¬Ĺ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (see below)
  • ¬Ĺ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • ¬Ĺ cup dark rum
  • ¬ľ cup molasses
  • ¬ľ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350¬į, lightly oil a round cake pan with a¬†neutral¬†oil, such as sunflower.

Grind the oats into a fine flour, add it to a large mixing bowl with the other dry ingredients, whisk to combine.

Whisk the brown sugar through vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth, add to the dry and stir till mixed.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, til a toothpick comes out clean (check at 35). Be careful of over baking though!

Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, gently turn out on to a plate, flip back over onto a second plate.

Can also be baked in a 8×8″ square glass baking pan as well.

Handmade Dark Brown Sugar


  • 1 cup organic¬†granulated¬†sugar
  • ¬ľ cup molasses, preferably organic


Mix the sugar and molasses together with a fork until combined. Store in an airtight container.


Avocado Sauced Pasta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes & Dessert Too!

The only long part about this dinner was waiting for the lousy avocados to ripen. Sheesh…I get sooo impatient waiting! My fault for buying the bright green hard as a rock ones from Trader Joe’s that take days to get anywhere. Oh well, my “patience” was rewarded eventually and we had a lovely dinner on Friday night. Followed by my favorite hot weather dessert – frozen banana “ice cream” made in yet another version.

Avocado Sauced Pasta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes


  • 1 lb Campari¬ģ tomatoes, quartered
  • ¬ľ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, cut in half with flesh removed from shells
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • ¬ľ cup raw walnuts
  • ¬ľ tsp each fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
  • 13.25 ounce package multi-grain or whole wheat spaghetti


Preheat oven 300¬į and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes on paper and gently roll in 2 Tablespoons of the oil. Roast for 1 hour.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook for time on package.

Meanwhile add the remaining oil, avocados, garlic, lemon juice, walnuts, salt and pepper to a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix), process on high until smooth. Grate a nice smattering of cheese and stir in the sauce.

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, adding more cheese as desired. Fold in the roasted tomatoes and serve.

This pasta does not reheat well, plan for no leftovers or eat cold, heating will wreck the sauce.

Serves 4.

Frozen Banana & PB “Ice Cream”


  • 3 ripe bananas
  • Half a batch of PB Dip


Peel the bananas and slice then into coins. Freeze them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet till firm, at least an hour, preferably a couple.

Add the frozen bananas to a food processor bowl. Process on high. The bananas will chop up and whirl around, scrape down, turn back up to high. It will suddenly turn into a smooth frozen mix. Stop and add the PB dip, turn on high to quickly blend in.

Serve immediately or freeze for later serving (I actually liked it being frozen for a couple of hours better than serving right away in this version).

Serves 3 to 4.


Proudly made with our Vitamix Blender:

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