about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!)

We have entered dealing with a picky eater territory.  I knew it was only a matter of time.  So many beautiful, carefully cooked vegetables tossed to the ground or spit off the high chair.  Lovely.

So I’m getting a little more creative, and trying to come up with some fun toddler meals that Cullen will gobble down with his old vigor.  My goal is always to feed Cullen the same types of things that we are eating, sometimes with some spice or seasoning modifications.

This recipe needed no modifications though – delicious for both mama and toddler. 

Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!) by Daily Garnish

There is a vegetarian restaurant here in Seattle that has a vegan mac and cheese on the menu for kids.  I’ve been talking about recreating something similar at home, and this weekend seemed like the perfect occasion.  We aren’t eating much dairy these days, so this is a dairy-free version of a kids’ classic.  I doubt your little one will know the difference!

Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!)

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (3-4 servings)

    For the Pasta
    • 1 package pasta, cooked and drained (I used quinoa pasta!)
    • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

    For the "Cheese" Sauce

    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1/4 cup flour (I have used both garbanzo and millet flour)
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance spread, melted
    • 1 cup water


    Start by cooking pasta according to package directions. I chose quinoa pasta because it’s high in protein and gluten-free. We don’t eat a gluten-free diet in our house, but I do like to make sure we eat all things in moderation, and pay attention to nutritional balance. I also chose elbow pasta because it’s a fun shape and easy for tiny fingers to grab!

    IMG_1550 (427x640)

    While the pasta is cooking, set the frozen peas out to thaw, or heat gradually in a saucepan or microwave to bring to room temp.

    As far as the sauce goes, I actually made a very similar version of this sauce years ago, back when I had about three readers.  So I’m bringing it back to life now because it’s too yummy to sit and get dusty in the archives.

    In a small saucepan, combine the dry ingredients for the sauce. In a separate dish, carefully melt the butter (without burning!) and then add the water to the same dish. Add the wet ingredients to the dry saucepan and whisk constantly to avoid creating lumps. Heat the sauce on medium-low heat, and whisk often.

    Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!) by Daily Garnish

    You can let the sauce sit for a minute or two while it thickens, but no longer – keep whisking! After about 10-15 minutes, the sauce should have thickened into a tasty, cheese-like consistency.  I may have left my junk food days (mostly) behind me, but I will always always love nacho cheese.  Mmmmmm.

    Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!) by Daily Garnish

    Add pasta to individual serving bowls, and mix with peas. Top with sauce and mix together to create a creamy macaroni and "cheese" meal for the whole family!

    Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!) by Daily Garnish

    Since we’ve been cheese-less for a while now, I haven’t had anything like this in a long time.  It is good, classic comfort food at it’s finest.  And since we had plenty of pasta leftover, I could quickly whip up another batch of sauce for lunch leftovers this afternoon. 

    Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!) by Daily Garnish

    Toddler tested…

    Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!) by Daily Garnish

    And approved!

    Macaroni & Peas (Kid-Friendly & Dairy-Free!) by Daily Garnish

    Mama approves as well.  Enjoy!

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    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread.

    On December 31st, I made a resolution that I’d go sugar-free for the month of January.  I am 24 days in, and I am very aware of all 24 of those.  I’ll probably write a whole post about this at the end of the month, but here’s the short version.  I love sugar, and I miss sugar.  But sugar and I had an unhealthy relationship, and we needed some time apart.

    One of the good things that has come from this sugarless month is that I’m finding new, creative ways to satisfy what used to be a very sweet tooth.  Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, and even without added sugar, this loaf did not disappoint.

    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

    For my own purposes, I’m defining sugar-free as eliminating cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, and other added sweeteners.  So I’m still eating fruit (and occasional dried fruit), which do contain natural sugars, but I’ve drastically reduced my overall sugar intake.  This bread is ever so lightly sweetened with fresh orange juice, and the orange zest and fennel seeds really take it up a notch.  It’s not your typical sweet breakfast bread, but it’s a savory treat you won’t be able to stop eating.

    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread

    by Emily Malone

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 50-55 minutes

    Ingredients (1 loaf)

    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (whole)
    • 3 large ripe bananas
    • 1/3 cup orange juice
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • zest of one large orange


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – from flour through the spices.

    In a separate, smaller dish, mash the bananas until they mostly liquid and there are minimal lumps. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange juice, and whisk until all the wet ingredients are combined.

    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir with a spatula. Once the mixture is combined, use a microplane to zest one large orange over the batter. Mix the zest into the bread batter, and then pour into a greased loaf pan.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. The outside should have a nice golden brown crunchy crust, while the inside will be fluffy and moist. Allow bread to cool on a wire cooling rack for a few minutes before slicing.

    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

    Slice and serve! This bread pairs well with many things – butter, jelly, cream cheese – but I personally recommend coconut oil or coconut spread. Yum!

    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

    I think my favorite thing about this bread is the orange zest.  Seriously – don’t skimp on the zest.  I made this recipe twice, and I really bulked up the zest on the second version.  It was not a mistake – there is no such thing as too much!

    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

    I made this for my mom’s group on Wednesday (along with this veggie salad), and there was just a small stump left after everyone went home.  I warned them ahead of time that I was going to try some sugar-free baking, but no one seemed to mind judging by what was left over. 

    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

    Another bonus?  I can feed this to Cullen with zero guilt or worry.  At this stage in his life, he’s not really getting any sugar other than fruit, and a little bit of dried fruit.  I know there will come a time where he’ll know all about cupcakes and ice cream, but I figure there’s no real need for that right.  He’s been gobbling this bread down by the slice, and can’t get enough!  He doesn’t seem to know that it’s missing anything…

    (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

    Looking forward to my next batch of ripe bananas!

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