Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Work
So, I am sad to say that work is taking me away for a few days...five to be exact. I will be back on Tuesday ready to cook. I am always ready to cook when I get back from eating out for long periods of time. So, I promise lots of new and exciting things...and lots of color...I need more color! Talk to you again soon!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:16 PM   1 comments
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Beer + Muffin = Good!
I always think to make beer bread when it is too late. It is great to go with dinner and it is so quick and easy to make, but I never remember until it is too late! So, most of the time I end up making it into muffins. Which, I might add, makes it even quicker and easier! The only thing that I would have added to these would have been to brush a little melted light Smart Balance on top of them. Even without that addition they were great!

Bee Bread Muffins
1 1/2 cup self rising flour
1 TBSP Splenda Blend for Baking (you can use 2 TBSP sugar if you would like)
6 oz light beer (use what ever you like - that is what I had on hand)
melted light Smart Balance

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 8 muffin cups with cooking spray.

Combine flour and Splenda. Pour in beer and mix just until blended. Scoop dough into prepared muffin cups (I use a large ice cream scoop for this). Brush with melted Smart Balance. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Brush again with Smart Balance and serve!

One muffin (minus Smart Balance) = 97 calories

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:41 AM   2 comments
Friday, July 20, 2007
True Love!

So I teased you with the mention of my favorite breakfast...PUMPKIN OATMEAL! I can't express how much I miss and love thee! I used to eat this for breakfast every morning. I know, I know the question is always why, but honestly the answer is that when you've found something so good...why change it? So, I had to give it up for a while due to the amount of beta carotene that is in that good stuff. I did not eat much, but it turns out that 1/4 cup everyday for a couple of years...makes you look a little jaundice. Then when you do get sick, the first thing the doctor says is that your coloring looks a little bad. So, after being sick last Christmas, I decided to take a little break. And what do ya know...I am no longer jaundice. It is really not that bad, but the bottoms of your feet and the palms of your hands do get a little yellow. Anyway, I love it and it is a nice treat now. The truth of it is, I probably appreciate it more now than before. I really savored those bites the past couple of mornings!! So, here is my all time favorite food!!!

Pumpkin Oatmeal
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup water (Lactaid, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Almond Milk)
(if you like even creamier oatmeal use milk - that is what I do when I eat this for a treat!)
a few dashes of pumpkin pie spice
1 TBSP vanilla sugar free creamer
brown sugar (optional) - I use this when I make it for a treat

Combine the oats through the pumpkin pie spice in a large mug or bowl (I prefer a mug because I love to hold it in my hand while I eat it). Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and then pour the creamer on top. I do not stir the creamer in. It is a personal preference. I hope you enjoy!

By the way, I use unsweetened applesauce now and that works very well! (with out the change in skin color)

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:38 PM   0 comments
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Confessions...Pumpkin Addict!
Ok, those of you who know me...know that I have a serious addiction to pumpkin. I did join a program for it finally and have been doing well for 6 months now. Well, I am back on the wagon (for this can anyway). I thought it would be safe for one can. I seriously have not even bought a can of pumpkin for 6 months. I broke down the other day...and finally opened it this morning. Yes, I love pumpkin in my oatmeal! It is so good...all the warm, creamy orange goodness swirled in a perfect cup of lightly sweetened oatmeal. Sorry, I started day dreaming! I will give you a peak at it next time! But for now, I will share one of mine and the illustrator's favorite treats with a cup of chai tea or coffee. We love pumpkin muffins. Well, he prefers bread and I like muffins, but that is another story all together. The original recipe is from CookingLight, but I have changed it quite a bit so I will type my version and link to the original. I have to warn you though...if you fall for pumpkin like I did, be careful...you will turn yellow! I speak from experience!

Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 Splenda Blend for Baking
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup Light Smart Balance, melted
1/4 cup sugar free vanilla coffee creamer
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

1 muffin = 135 calories

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:50 PM   2 comments
I love Lentils!












It has been very gloomy around here lately, so I am kind of in the mood for some feel good comfort food! Besides, when the sun does not shine, I get really cold and this was just the thing to warm me up! It is weird to say that I have never cooked lentils before and even stranger to say that I have only had them once before. We eat a lot of beans around here because let's face it, they are so good and really good for you (and very cheap)! Well, let me tell you, they are so easy to cook and we love this recipe for Oven-Braised Lentils with Sausage from CookingLight. I made a few changes due to what I had on hand and it still came out really really good! I left out the oil and used cooking spray instead. Also, we don't care for cooked celery so I used 1 1/4 cup chopped carrots and upped the chopped onion to 2 1/2 cups. I also did not feel like opening an entire bottle of wine for just a cup so I used more chicken broth. It was just what we needed! It would have been really good with a nice crusty roll. I will definitely do that next time.

Oven-Braised Lentils with Sausage

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 thyme sprigs
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) bag dried lentils
1 (14-ounce) package turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 1 minute. Add water and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover and place in oven. Bake at 375° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lentils are tender; discard bay leaf.

10 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

CALORIES 234(14% from fat); FAT 3.6g (sat 1.3g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 20g; CHOLESTEROL 10mg; CALCIUM 109mg; SODIUM 450mg; FIBER 15.4g; IRON 5.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33g

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:47 AM   6 comments
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Cinnamon
Hands down, without a doubt, cinnamon is my favorite spice! The illustrator has been very subtly asking when I plan to make cinnamon bread again. I finally took the hint today! The time had come to introduce you to a near and dear family favorite. The recipe for cinnamon bread that I use is one that my mother-in-law gave to me 13 years ago. It is a family favorite and I am always asked for the recipe. It has been adapted from it's original version by my mother-in-law and we have no idea where it came from. I do know that she told me that the original recipe was actually a cinnamon swirl bread and it calls for buttermilk (because of the baking soda). I have always used regular milk. It makes it gooier and that is how we prefer it. I have made many adaptations of it myself from time to time. Sometimes I use vanilla yogurt, some whole wheat flour and sometimes I add a little apple butter. The one I have posted is the tried and true. It is now my family's favorite! I hope it becomes yours too!

Cinnamon Bread
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon1 cup Lactaid milk (buttermilk, yogurt, or other milk substitute)
additional cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine oil, sugar,egg and vanilla in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, flour, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet alternating between the flour mixture and the milk. End with the flour. Mix just until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar. Cook for 50 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the loaf pan. You can remove it from the pan after it has cooled for a while. The amount of sugar in it makes it a littler harder to come out when it is still hot.

Note: The cinnamon and sugar mixture makes a nice little crust on top and under that will be a bit gooey. Also, due to the change of buttermilk to regular milk, it will be a little more dense. Feel free to use whatever kind of milk or milk substitute you like. Let me know how it works for you!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:30 PM   8 comments
Monday, July 16, 2007
Missing Fall and Loving Summer

I can make anything a salad. I will literally put almost anything on lettuce. Sometimes, when it gets really hot outside, I start to miss fall. Well, today was one of those days! We had some chili in the freezer that I had made when it was much chillier outside and some lettuce in the fridge! Dinner was the perfect mix of fall and summer! Our favorite recipe for chili is one that I changed around a bit from CookingLight. It would be easy to make it vegetarian, but I use the turkey Italian sausage that it calls for. The only thing that I change is that I substitute soy crumbles for the ground beef (because why not make it healthier if you can). I also leave out the oil. I just don't feel like you need it. It definitely freezes well, so make plenty for leftovers!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:01 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Blueberry Parfait
This is such a good snack! Just a warning, I am not a super sweet fan. My snacks are mostly fruit sweetened. This one can definitely be made sweeter by adding a little sugar to the mixture or maybe some preserves that match the fruit of your choice. Strawberries, pineapple, oranges, raspberries...or all of the above! It was perfect for me though! Cool Whip is a tricky thing. It is lactose free, but not dairy free. Luckily, I am not allergic to milk protein, so I use it in a lot of things to add creaminess to treats!

Blueberry Parfait
1/2 cup Lactaid Cottage Cheese
1/3 cup Fat Free Cool Whip
1/4 cup fresh blueberries (I added more later)

1 parfait = 139 calories

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:19 PM   0 comments
Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
We used to go to IHOP all the time. Nothing beats those pancakes!!! Well, through some experimenting I have come up with a recipe that is lactose free and better for you. I have been trying to incorporate more whole grains in to everyone's diet around here. So, I found this recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes on CookingLight.com. I played around with it and added some blueberries and it is a definite keeper! I made my own buttermilk by measuring a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into a measuring cup and then adding enough milk to make a cup. I let that sit for 5 minutes (while I measured the rest of my ingredients). Pancakes are great because you can add what ever you like or nothing at all! The kids had chocolate chip and I enjoyed the fresh blueberries I got on sale! Another great thing about these is that they are better if they sit for a little while. This allows the whole grains to absorb more moisture to make them light and fluffy! So, make them the night before and they are ready to go in the morning! Here is my recipe with the changes.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
(orginal from Cooking Light)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (skim Lactaid milk and lemon juice)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup egg substitute (1 large egg, lightly beaten)
blueberries
Cooking Spray

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour through salt in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Place in the refrigerator for and hour or overnight.

Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with berries. Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.

1 pancake without blueberries = 88 calories
1 pancake w/1TBSP fresh blueberries = 94 calories
posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 1:59 PM   2 comments
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Chocolate Chips From Heaven
Well, I was talking with my sister-in-law the other day about the oh so good low-fat double chocolate muffins I made from Have Cake Will Travel. We both bake all the time and ever since I discovered my fortunate situation with being lactose challenged I have beaked more for others than myself. Her exact words were, "what kind of chocolate doesn't have dairy". Well, let me tell you some mighty fine chocolate chips! It dawned on me that I never told you about the chocolate chips I used in this recipe. I found them at Whole Foods and they are so good that my kids want to eat them instead of the dairy filled chocolate chips that I buy for their goodies! The brand is Enjoy Life and they totally have the taste and texture of regular chocolate chips. I highly recommend them!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:20 PM   2 comments
Trying Something New
Well, we recently discovered that J loves fish. We have made a conscience effort to eat more fish since it is lighter and better for you than other meat. So, we started with the seafood tacos(which were very well received). Then we tried flounder. Well, all I can say is that J loved it! He asked for it in a taco and he absolutely loved it. Honestly, anything in this house gets eaten taco style! I will give more info on that at a later time. The illustrator and I were not as thrilled with the flounder. It tasted like the typical fishy fish to me. Now, if I am wrong and it was that fish, please let me know. Otherwise, I am going to have to say that I am not a fan of flounder. I grilled it with a little lemon, salt and pepper. So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Now for the best part of the meal...I have discovered that with a lack of cheeses and dairy products, herbs add a great deal of flavor to foods! Rosemary is by far my favorite! So, with the flounder, I cooked some beautiful baby portabello mushrooms in a little cooking spray, a few rosemary sprigs (keeping them whole gives you the flavor without the texture) and a little chopped fresh garlic. I ate the whole pan (due to the fish incident!).

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 1:06 PM   0 comments
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Good Friends, Good Food and Good Times!
Well, I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! I know we did. It is always a good time when you can hang out with your best friends and enjoy an afternoon of (dairy free)food and fun! It was not my kitchen this time, so I will not take credit for this one, but it was our great friends in Macon, GA who showed us such a great time! The men wanted steaks! I guess since the two of them put up with the ladies "girlie" food all the time, they got what they wanted and we had what we wanted! Cat had it all planned out. She made great Turkey burgers loaded with lots of veggies and a side of wild rice salad with garbanzo beans and peppers! It was so good. Now I am the queen of measuring when I cook. It is a bit OCD of me (I like to think it is the baker in me-since that it what I like to do the most), but Cat is the polar opposite of me in that department (I think that is the only part we differ in)! She likes to throw things in here and there. So, I will put down what I remember, but in her way of cooking it is all about how you feel at the time. I did not end up taking a picture of the food in the end, because you know when there is a hungry mob...you have to step back. However it was beautiful and delicious! Thank you to Jim and Cat for the good times!












Turkey Burgers
1 lb ground white turkey meat
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrots
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
herbs of your choice

Combine everything. Separate into even patties and grill. Serve on whole wheat buns or by themselves.





















Wild Rice Salad "Cat Style"
Wild and Brown Long Grain Rice Cooked
Chopped Red and Yellow Peppers
Chopped Red Onions
1 Can Garbanzo Beans
Chopped Fresh Parsley
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Chopped Fresh Garlic
Salt and Pepper

Mix, chill and serve!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:36 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Because He Said So!
Ok, we eat a lot of omelets and frittatas in this household. I personally prefer egg substitute and liquid egg whites over whole eggs. I have IBS(irritable bowel syndrome) and the lower amount of fat I eat, the easier life is on my stomach. Not to mention the fact that I have discovered that I actually like the taste of the egg substitute more than whole eggs. Ever since the illustrator started watching what he eats, we have started to eat a lot more omelets and frittatas around here. It just makes sense...high protein and low fat. Oh and really good! I know that you know that just about any combination of vegetables and meats will work in eggs. However, I have discovered that a quick and easy way to make them with a nice fresh flavor is to make them with salsa. I have mentioned in previous posts that we love the corn salsa from Trader Joe's. It is very different (no tomatoes) and oh so good! Now, this combination sounded a little strange to me, but the illustrator suggested putting shredded cabbage in it. This all came about from seafood taco night! We had leftovers and just went crazy with them! So, I decided to give it a chance. I have to give the illustrator credit on this one...it was mighty tasty!!! I added a little cilantro to it and some Lactaid cottage cheese. If you have a favorite combination, let me know...I am always willing to try something new with my eggs!

Corn Salsa Frittata
3/4 cup egg substitute (or 3 eggs)
2 TBSP corn salsa
2 TBSP Lactaid cottage cheese
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat non-stick frying pan on medium low heat with cooking spray. Combine egg substitute, corn salsa, cottage cheese, salt and pepper. Pour mixture in frying pan. Sprinkle cilantro and cabbage on top and cover with a lid. Cook a few minutes until firm enough to flip. (Do that oh so carefully!) Cook a few more minutes on the other side until slightly browned. Serve up!

One corn salsa frittata = 161 calories

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:20 PM   3 comments
Monday, July 2, 2007
Chocolate Yumminess!
So I was looking around the other day on my favorite blogs and I came across a recipe that I had to make! Being lactose "challenged" and trying to find substitutes for some oldies, but goodies has been a bit difficult. Like I said before, I don't really live close to many places that dairy free alternatives. So, getting to these places takes quite a bit of effort! I came across some dairy free chocolate chips about a month ago. I am not a huge chocolate fan. I know, the nerve of me to even say that, but I am not. I am so much more a vanilla and fruit girl. Lately, I have started to miss things that I just haven't had in a long time. I have to admit that looking at so many great blogs doesn't help with that. Other than the fact that some of them have given me some great alternatives to foods that have dairy! So, today I made a batch of Low-Fat Double Chocolate Muffins that I found on Have Cake Will Travel! They were amazing!! The whole family loved them. I made a half batch and baked them in mini muffin cups. The only changes I made was using Almond Milk and regular balsamic vinegar. I loved them and J could not believe they were dairy free! So, if you are in need of some chocolate yumminess, I would highly recommend these little treats!

A half batch gave me 17 mini muffins that were 52 calories a piece!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:19 PM   3 comments

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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