Sourdough Loaf (Gluten-Free)

I am completely obsessed with this bread. 

But before I wax poetic about the utter loveliness of this loaf, I have to warn you that this is not a typical San Francisco sourdough. First of all, it’s gluten-free. Second of all, it’s incredibly dense — more like the malty bricks of rye that you’ll find in Scandinavian countries. Lastly, it’s flecked with seeds for color and crunch.

But if you are down for a naturally fermented, whole grain, earthy and deliciously dense (and moist) loaf of bread, this is a winner. The key to this bread is whole buckwheat groats, which bind into a beautiful batter when soaked and blended, allowing the bread to be naturally gluten-free. This is the exact same technique I like to use for pancakes and waffles. But I can’t take credit for  transferring the concept to bread; it came straight out of The Gefilte Manifesto. 

This recipe is quite flexible. You can swap out half of the buckwheat for another grain; use agave or barley malt in place of the maple syrup; omit the seeds or swap in another goodie. The only essential components are buckwheat, water and time.

I love this bread best sliced as thick as pound cake, toasted, with a heavy handed smear or nut butter or jam. This is my holiday present to you. Enjoy!

Love and Happy Holidays,



Sourdough Loaf (Gluten-Free)
  • 2 1/2 cups raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons golden flax seeds, raw(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, raw (optional)
  1. Pour your raw buckwheat groats into a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak 8-12 hours, or overnight.
  2. After you buckwheat has soaked, drain it and rinse with fresh water. Transfer the buckwheat to the blender and add 1 cup of water. Blend until totally smooth.
  3. Transfer the batter to a sterile bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to ferment for 24 hours. This will allow the dough to rise. It also has the added health benefit of introducing beneficial bacteria to the mix and pre-digesting your food!
  4. After 24 hours, the batter should be bubbling, having increased in volume and smell pleasantly sour. Stir in the salt, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon each of the flax and pumpkin seeds.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and heavily grease a large loaf pan.
  6. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan. Sprinkle over the remaining seeds. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing (this is by far the hardest part of making the bread, but makes all the difference).


For a seed allergy, omit the seeds.

For a whole-foods, plant-based approach, omit the maple syrup and blend in 2 pitted dates.

Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yogurt was one of my go-to foods before I became vegan. I can remember swirling brown rice syrup into cream-top yogurt for a snack when I was little; when I was in college, I always had a tub of yogurt in the fridge to top with berries and nuts for breakfast or a substantial snack.

Finding non-dairy yogurts that do not have creepy additives, gums and stabilizers can be a challenge. Those that I have found tend to be coconut based (and thus taste of coconut) and cost a fortune.

So I decided to make my own out of soaked cashews and it’s totally amazing! Rich and creamy and tangy, it would be perfect with a swirl of sweetness from jam or maple. It does take 24 hours to culture, but takes only minutes of effort.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when making this yogurt. First, you absolutely must soak raw cashews. Soaking softens the cashews and allows them to blend up into a seamless cream. Soaking also gets rid of phytic acid and makes the nuts easier to digest, so that’s a bonus! Second, you must use non-chlorinated water, since chlorine can kill the probiotics that will culture your yogurt. Third, if you want a thicker, Greek style yogurt, you should reduce the water, add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil, or add a thickener like agar agar. Lastly, if you want to use your yogurt for savory applications, leave out the date and swap in a teaspoon of agave nectar (the sugar will help it culture, but should have a minimal impact on flavor).

This recipe will be a hit with your friends who are gluten-free or following a raw foods OR whole food plant-based OR paleo diet!

Love and yogurt,



Homemade Cashew Yogurt

Yield: 1 cup yogurt

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 date, pitted
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 probiotic capsules, OR 100 Billion Probiotic Cultures OR 1 tablespoon live, active non-dairy yogurt
  1. In a blender, combine cashews, lemon, date, salt and water until totally smooth.
  2. Transfer the blend to a clean, glass jar. Using a non-metal spoon, stir in your probiotics or live, active yogurt.
  3. Cover the jar with cheesecloth, a clean towel, or a paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Allow to culture in a warm spot for 24 hours.
  4. After the yogurt has cultured, transfer to the refrigerator. Keeps for 3 days.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

When I’m the only vegan at a potluck (which is nearly always), I feel a responsibility to represent my cuisine well. It’s certainly not a burden; I take enormous pleasure in cooking for those I love. But for as long as I’ve been vegetarian of vegan (almost 18 years), I’ve heard things like:

You must only eat rabbit food. 

Isn’t is bland?

Don’t you get bored? 

I really believe with all my heart that choosing plant-based food over animal products has the ability to mitigate problems like climate change, soil degradation and animal suffering. And it’s good for our bodies, too. But I’ve never found it a successful strategy to talk about these things. The most persuasive way I’ve found to represent the joy and abundance of a vegan way of life is through sharing amazing food that is as far away from boring and bland as possible. That’s how you can open minds and start dialogues.

This salmon colored spread has never failed to blow people away. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up and is great for paleo, gluten-free and whole foods plant based friends. It has become my go-to potluck dish and I hope you’ll bring it to your next party.

Love and Potluck Revolutions,



Roasted Red Pepper Dip
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until totally smooth.


For a nut-free version, replace the walnuts and cashews with sunflower seeds.

Peach and Tomato Tartines


In my constant quest to invent recipes that do not require heat, I seem to have forgotten tartines.  A tartine is basically just a fancy name for an open faced sandwich.  Unlike a typical sandwich, where all you see is the beige of the bread, open faced sandwiches act like a blank canvas onto which you can tumble any number of colorful fruits, veggies, and herbs.

When I lived in Norway, open faced sandwiches were a way of life.   Typical Norwegian breakfast and lunch are open faced sandwiches spread with butter or mustard and topped with cheese or meat.  Hearty, but not exactly plant based.

This recipe is heart healthy and plant based.  The base is a rich, creamy, tangy cashew cheese, and it’s topped with ripe peaches and tomatoes.   I know it’s a little fussy, but I love taking the extra 30 seconds to make my food look pretty.  It adds such ceremony to a meal, and takes you out of the ordinary moment of your life into the realm of creativity and play.

Love and tartines,

Amanda Signature



Peach and Tomato Tartine

Yield: 1 serving

  • Cashew Cheese:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Tartines:
  • 2 slices toasting bread
  • 1/2 cup cashew cheese
  • 1 ripe tomato, sliced
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced
  • chives, to garnish
  1. To make the cashew cheese: Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until totally smooth. Set aside.
  2. Toast your bread until golden and brown.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup of cheese on each of the toasts.
  4. Layer with sliced tomatoes and peaches.
  5. Top with chives, to garnish.
  6. Enjoy!


For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free bread.


Spiced Carrot Juice

After every orthodontist appointment I had growing up, I would get a gift certificate to the McDonalds two doors down for a McFlurry. But what was my preferred post-dental treat of choice?  Carrot juice.  Yep, carrot juice from the crunchy, kitschy vegetarian restaurant next door.

I absolutely love carrot juice and it still feels like a special treat to me.  But juice can be expensive to buy, and I don’t really want to invest in a DIY juicer (I have neither the patience to clean it, nor the space to store it).

Then the other day, when my carrot juice craving struck, Eric suggested I just make it in the blender.   Brilliant!  This juice uses a nut-milk style method and is totally genius. Not only does it allow me to have fresh juice whenever I want, but I can customize the flavors.  To this batch I added a hunk of ginger and a dash of cardamom.  Holy of holies was this delicious.  Smooth and creamy and sweet and spicy.  And it only cost $0.89 to make.

Carrot juice for the win!

Love and Weird Hippy Treats,



P.S. Wondering what to do with the leftover pulp?  Stay tuned!

Cardamom Carrot Juice
  • 1 lb. carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 cups water
  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients on high until smooth (about 90 seconds in a high speed blender).
  2. Using a nut milk bag (or similar device), pour the juice through the bag over a large bowl to catch the pulp. Squeeze the bag to extract every last bit of juice.
  3. Transfer the juice to a bottle. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freezer Waffles

There is something about waffles that just says Sunday.   I can remember being young and going to the waffle station at Bravo’s Sunday Brunch.   Big, fluffy Belgian Waffles would be made fresh before your eyes, and you could crown them with whipped cream and drown them with juicy strawberries.

Waffles are weekend food, because when else do you have the time to make them?  Let’s be honest, they’re pretty fussy and time consuming.  But if you make a giant batch on a Sunday, you can freeze your treats and simply defrost to celebrate that lazy, luxuriating weekend feeling any weekday morning.

I’m not gluten free but it’s a diet many of my loved ones are trying.  I’m doing a bit of personal cheffing for one such a friend this summer (under the false pretense of helping her out- really, I’m just entertaining myself).  I developed this recipe for her.   It’s flour free, sugar free, gluten free, nut free, whole food, and high in omega 3 fatty acids which is perfect for her needs.  They’re so simple- you just blend everything up and pour the batter directly into the waffle iron.   They’re also delicious, versatile, and can be stored for weeks in the freezer.

A quick note on waffle irons:  if possible, use cast iron.  Most waffle makers are made with Teflon, which can release neurotoxic chemicals when heated.  This is absolutely  not what I want to feed my friend!  I bought this waffle iron for less than $20.  You do have to spritz it with oil, but I’ve had no issues with sticking and I know there is no risk of scary chemical residue.

Waffle win. 

Love and Waffles,




Buckwheat Freezer Waffles

Yield: 12 waffles

  • 2 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • oil, for greasing
  1. Soak the buckwheat groats in 5 cups of water overnight.
  2. The next morning, drain your groats and rinse until the water runs clear.
  3. Add soaked buckwheat and all remaining ingredients to the blender.
  4. Blend until totally smooth.
  5. Cook the waffles according to your waffle maker's instructions. For my cast iron pan, I heat the pan over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. I generously oil both sides of the pan by brushing a neutral oil over the surface with a pastry brush. I cook the waffle on the first side for 2 1/2 minutes, flip it, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings. I like chocolate chips, fresh berries, and pumpkin seeds.


Nutella Truffles

I have a confession:  I don’t really like Nutella.  I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, but Nutella itself is just too sugary.   Plus it’s not vegan (it contains milk powder). Luckily, these truffles make a perfect dessert to unite the 98% of the world who does cartwheels over Nutella with weirdos like me who can’t stomach it’s saccharine sweetness.

They require just a few simple whole food ingredients:  toasted hazelnuts, dates, cocoa powder and sea salt.  If you’re feeling fancy, you could throw in a little vanilla extract and a handful of cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips for good measure.  The nuts, dates, and cocoa are high in antioxidants and fiber, making them a healthy treat to share at any time of day.  These are so healthy you could eat them for breakfast.

And these are perfect to share with friends of every dietary persuasion.   If you or a loved one has a nut allergy, feel free to use shredded coconut (unsweetened).  It will taste more tropical, and less like a French crepe, but it will still be delicious.

Love and Treats,



Nutella Truffles
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips, optional
  1. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts until a coarse flour is formed.
  2. Add in cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add dates, vanilla, and cacao nibs or chocolate chips, if using. Pulse until a stick dough is formed. It should hold together when pressed.
  4. Form the dough into 1 inch balls by taking approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and rolling it between your palms. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  5. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one month.


For a nut-free truffle, replace the hazelnuts with unsweetened, toasted coconut.


Whole Grain Pancakes

Whole grain is a phrase you’ll find on many packaged items.  But no matter how bold and colorful the front of the label might be, you won’t know how truly whole your food is without reading the back of the label.  And your best bet for truly buying whole foods is to buy items that don’t have any labels at all.

These pancakes truly use the whole grain.  I like to use two grains per pancake recipe.  The first is buckwheat, because it has a thick, gelatinous quality that helps the pancakes hold together beautifully.  For the second grain, I use whatever is in my cupboard: brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, spelt.  Cover all the grains in water and a dash of apple cider vinegar before bed (this removes the phytic acid and increases the bioavailability of nutrients for you), blend up with a little water the next morning, and you have a truly delicious and nutritious pancake batter.

Like many recipes, this one is a canvas.  The most basic recipe is just grains and water- and it’s delicious.  I like to throw in flaxseeds which help the batter to bind and add a ton of nutrition in the form of omega-3 fatty acids and estrogen balancing lignans.  If you want a caramelized, golden color, you need to add a little sugar.  You can achieve this by blending them up with a banana (and you’ll have banana pancakes!) or a healthy drizzle of maple syrup.  To balance out the sugar, it’s lovely to add a little spice.  I like cinnamon, but you could just as easily throw in a pinch of cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg or clove.  A heaping teaspoon of baking powder makes the batter light and fluffy.

And then there’s maca powder.  You’ll notice that in the recipe I include it as an optional ingredient.  I hesitated with whether to include it here, as vegan food is often criticized for being elitist and unattainably exotic.  Maca is not an everyday ingredient, but I do use it in my kitchen and it gave these pancakes a delicious, malty flavor and fantastic fluffy texture.  I’ll leave it up to you decide if you’d like to invest in a bag.

Maca powder is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it helps your body adapt to stress by balancing your hormones. This study found that not only did taking maca appear to support with balancing hormones in early post-menopausal women, but it may help to increase bone density.  Maca is also a particularly great addition if you or your loved ones have adrenal fatigue, issues with your thyroid, or hormonal imbalances.  How’s that for breakfast?

Love and Pancakes,



Whole Grain Pancakes

Adapted from Sarah Britton's Revolutionary Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup whole grain (buckwheat, brown rice, oat groats, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar OR lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 banana OR 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maca powder (optional)
  • water or non-dairy milk, to blend
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • refined coconut oil, for frying
  • For serving: maple syrup, fresh berries, toasted coconut, roasted pumpkin seeds, etc.
  1. The night before you want your pancakes, soak your whole grains by covering them in fresh water and adding 1 teaspoon of an acidic medium (vinegar or lemon juice).
  2. The morning you want to make your pancakes, drain and rinse your soaked grains. You may notice a bit of gelatinous coating from the buckwheat. That's totally normal and safe. Just rinse it away.
  3. Transfer your grains to a blender. Add flaxseed, salt, cinnamon, sweetener, maca powder (if using) and 1/2 cup of water. Blend on high until totally smooth.
  4. Look at your batter. Is it too thick? If so, add a little more water about 1 tablespoon at a time until a thick, but pourable consistency is achieved.
  5. Add baking powder and stir briefly, just to incorporate.
  6. In a frying pan, heat a knob of coconut oil over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of batter into the pan to create a pancake. Cook until the edges look dry and brown and many bubbles have formed (about 3-4 minutes). Flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan. Continue until all the batter has been used.
  7. Serve with your desired toppings.


For a gluten-free diet, use gluten-free grains.

For a whole foods, plant based diet, use the banana instead of the maple syrup.

Elvis Brownies

Do you know your neighbors?  I have to admit that I don’t know all my neighbors.  But I will find any excuse to hang out with my upstairs neighbor, Ann.

Ann is one of the most special and unique women I’ve ever met.  She is an Italian woman who grew up in Brooklyn.  She has lived in my building for 43 years and has a one eyed black cat named Buddy that she walks in the hallway on a bright blue leash (“because it looks so striking with his fur”).  She is effervescent, unpretentious and an absolute delight to share time and treats with.

A few months ago, we had a snow storm that just happened to land on Ann’s birthday.  I was stuck home and happily enjoying my cozy hermit day off.  I wanted to whip up a special treat for Ann, but I didn’t want to leave my house.  That’s when I remembered a recipe I’d seen for banana brownies.  I had bananas, peanut butter, cocoa powder and chocolate- I was set.

These brownies are ridiculously easy to make, use whole food ingredients, and are gluten-free.  You basically just throw everything together in a food processor, blend and bake.  25 minutes later you have warm, gooey, chocolatey joy.

I had Ann over for an afternoon birthday brownie celebration.  She loved them and I have no doubt that you will, too.   Remember, food is more than food- it’s about community and connection.  Make a batch and share them with your neighbors.

Love and Brownies,



Elvis Brownies

Yield: 6-9 Brownies

Adapted from Sarah Britton's Protein Rich Cacao Brownies

  • For the brownies:
  • 4 large, ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup natural nut butter (peanut for an Elvis theme)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 100g chocolate bar, chopped
  • sea salt (optional)
  • For the icing:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel bananas and process in a food processor until totally smooth.
  3. Add peanut butter, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula a few times to make sure everything is well incorporated.
  4. Add 1/2 the chopped chocolate bar and pulse a few times to incorporate.
  5. Pour the batter into an 8x8 greased baking tin. Sprinkle remaining chocolate and sea salt on top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Allow the brownies to cool completely before icing. While you're waiting for the brownies to cool, mix together coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup and cocoa powder until totally smooth.
  8. Once the brownies have cooled, pour over the icing and smooth to the edge. Allow the icing to set before slicing.
  9. Share with a neighbor and enjoy!


For a peanut allergy, use almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini.

For a whole-foods plant based option, omit the chocolate bar and add cacao nibs.


Power Latte

PubMed is my new favorite website.  Since my lovely friend Kaitlin was diagnosed with ALS, I have been spending a lot of time browsing through the National Library of Medicine, reading every peer-reviewed article I can find about non-drug based interventions to autoimmune disorders.

What I see echoed again and again through the pages of these articles is this: food is medicine.  Whole plant foods have an incredible power to heal the body.   Of course, there is no known cure for ALS.  But there is a wealth of information available about cellular similarities among people with autoimmune diseases and food-based therapies that may offer meaningful interventions.

Turmeric is one of these seemingly magical, medicinal foods.  It has a wonderful ability to help neutralize free radicals- those pesky extra electrons floating around which create a cascade of volatility in your body.  Antioxidants, like those found in turmeric, stop oxidative stress in it’s tracks by grabbing those extra electrons.  And if you eat turmeric with a dash of black pepper, it increases the bioavailability of the available nutrients, magnifying it’s impact.

As enlightening as these research articles may be, they don’t come with recipes.  In reading about the health benefits of turmeric for all people, and especially those with autoimmune disorders, I wanted to come up with a delicious antioxidant power latte.  This latte not only uses turmeric in it’s most bioavailable form, but it also takes advantage of the antioxidant powerhouse, the goji berry, which contains high concentrations of melatonin– a powerful antioxidant for the brain (especially wonderful for those with ALS).

This latte is medicinal and delicious.  It uses a combination of medicinal herbs and whole plant foods to offer a yummy, antioxidant boost to your daily diet.

Love and Healing,



Power Latte
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric, sliced OR 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1-2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup goji berries, soaked (to soften)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • cinnamon, for serving
  1. In a blender, combine milk, turmeric, ginger, dates, goji berries, cardamom, vanilla, sea salt and black pepper until totally smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and warm through.
  3. Pour your latte into a mug and dust with cinnamon.


For a nut-free latte, use soy, rice, or seed milk.