Simple Pleasures Recipes offer GFCF Convenience


Simple Pleasures Cookbook from Namaste FoodsOne of my favorite brands of baking mixes, gluten-free or not, is Namaste Foods. Their desserts and breads produce flawless results that easily fool my wheat-loving husband … and their pasta mixes are devoured in minutes, literally.

Luckily, it seems as though the Namaste staff is in love with their products as much as I am. They have produced Simple Pleasures, a cookbook with over 60 recipes utilizing Namaste mixes.  The cookbook is entirely gluten-free, but some dairy does sneak on occasion.

Nonetheless, they were kind enough to give us a glimpse of the contents by sharing the following gluten-free, dairy-free recipes a blackberry streusel crisp and hearty minestrone soup

Blackberry Crisp with Streusel Topping (recipe from Simple Pleasures Cookbook)

4 cups frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour, cornstarch or other thickener
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Streusel Topping
1 ½ cups Namaste Foods Cookie Mix (Dry)
2 oz (1/4 cup) [dairy-free] margarine, cut into small cubes*
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 400° F. Lightly spray 1 ½ quart casserole with non stick spray.
2. Combine blackberries ( no need to thaw) with arrowroot, sugar and lemon juice. Place in the bottom of casserole pan, set aside
3. Combine dry cookie mix, margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix just until it comes together but is still crumbly. Sprinkle streusel over blackberries evenly.
4. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until top is brown and fruit is bubbling.  Serve warm.

My Commentary:

  • I love that this recipe only uses part of the cookie mix, so that a double batch can easily be had, or some cookies for two desserts from one mix!
  • While the cookbook isn’t entirely dairy-free, making the right ingredient choices can up the value.  Choose a gluten-free, dairy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance, and this recipe is easily GFCF and vegan.

Hearty Minestrone Soup (recipe from Simple Pleasures Cookbook)

1 package Namaste Pasta Pisavera Noodles
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
8 cups water
½ onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
5-6 mushrooms, sliced
½ cup red wine (optional)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 Pasta Pisavera seasoning packet
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15 oz) can kidney or white beans (drained)
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon dry red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a 4-6 quart soup pot. Sauté garlic, onions, celery and carrot over medium heat  until vegetables are soft, about 10-12 minutes. Do not brown. Add wine and Pasta Pisavera seasoning packet. Cook for 7-8 minutes until wine has nearly evaporated.
2. Add zucchini, mushrooms, pepper flakes, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans and water. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Boil for 7-10 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to low stir in vinegar and seasonings. Serve immediately.

My Commentary:

  • Pasta Pisavera is a super flavorful pasta mix.  This recipe is a sure fire way to get your family to enjoy more vegetables, and it just so happens to be vegan too!
  • All of the Namaste products are dairy-free and vegan by nature, and though many of the baking mixes call for eggs, I continuously come across people who have successfully used egg replacers such as applesauce or Ener-G with great success.

All Namaste Foods products can be purchased directly from their website, though you may find many of their mixes in your local store.

For a chance to win an online shopping spree from Namaste Foods, see the Go Dairy Free March 208 Giveaway.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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