Monday, November 24, 2008
Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes
I am so excited to finally have a copy of My Sweet Vegan! You can tell by all of the beautiful pictures that Hannah Kaminsky has put a lot of time into coming up with some great dairy free sweet recipes! My first glance at the book and I knew what recipe I had to start with...the Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes! Everyone in my family is a huge fan of the chocolate and peanut butter combo, so I knew this would be a winner! The first comment out of the illustrator's mouth was, "These are dairy free...you can eat them?". This is coming from someone who knows that dairy free sweets can taste good, but these were a little special. Everyone gave them great reviews and I am even more excited to try out more from this book! I will keep you updated on the rest, as they come out of the kitchen!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:11 PM   6 comments
Saturday, November 22, 2008
New Books!
I am so excited! I got some new books in the mail a few days ago and I have been reading like a mad woman. I got My Sweet Vegan just in time for some holiday baking! I can't believe it is an entire sweets cookbook and I can eat any recipe from it! If you know someone who can't have dairy and loves sweets...this is a great gift idea for the holidays! I can't wait! Alisa Flemming was kind enough to ask me to participate in her guide to living dairy free...Go Dairy Free! This book is a must have for anyone who can't live with dairy! I will elaborate on that one more later...because it has a lot of information and I am still going through all of the insightful material! I will start with My Sweet Vegan, so expect some yummy goodies coming from my kitchen soon!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:40 AM   4 comments
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Pumpkin Puree
To start off with, I will apologize for the awful picture. It really does not do this post justice. I did, however, want to do this post in enough time to keep you from throwing away those perfect pumpkins that you got for decoration this holiday season! I did quite a bit of research (I call it research, it makes me feel better about looking around on the internet!) on the subject of "edible" pumpkins. This all came about due to the two beautiful pumpkins the illustrator picked out for our jack-o-lanterns this year, that sadly were never carved. Never fear, we had a great Halloween and our little goblins got plenty of candy booty, but we went out of town to trick or treat with family (since it was on a Friday)! So, we are on this mode of not wasting and trying to use every bit of everything. We figured that with my love of pumpkin and the two we had sitting around...let's see what happens. Let me tell you there are many thoughts on this, so I will just share my experience with this pumpkin (still have another one that I plan to do the same with), but I encourage you to try it as well. This is definitely a nothing ventured, nothing gained experience! I can't tell you how much I gained from this! The puree was so silky and smooth. I was almost the consistency of pudding. To be honest, it took a little bit of time and from what I read, you have to make sure that it does not sit around at room temperature for too long and you need to use the puree or freeze it within 3 days. I roasted the pumpkin, cooled it, took all the meat out of the shell and refrigerated it to puree the next day. It worked like a charm! I am in heaven and I don't know if I will ever be able to go back to the can again!

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Take your pumpkin, cut in half or quarters (depending on the size), take out the seeds (please save the seeds) and as much goo as you can. Put the pumpkin pieces in roasting pans (I did flesh up, but I saw in places that some people did flesh down the first half and flesh up the second half) with 3 inches on the sides. Pour water in the pans to come up about 1 inch. Lightly spray the flesh with cooking spray. Place in a 400 degree oven and roast for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (again, depending on the size). Allow to cool enough to scoop out the meat. Then refrigerate it until completely cooled. Puree in small batches. Now, go make some pumpkin pancakes or muffins or pie! Now I want to get back in the kitchen!

By the way, I did make these pancakes and they were better than with the canned pumpkin. I am not just saying that...the illustrator thought so too. He asked me what else I did different and I said nothing, just the fresh pumpkin. I asked why and he said because they are better than before. I think that answers the question of which is better...canned or fresh?
(we have conversations like this often because I am always changing things on him)

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:14 PM   3 comments
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sweet Potato Bread
It is that time of year when you need options to use up leftovers. I don't know about you, but I am always trying to change things up with whatever did not get eaten during the holiday event! Otherwise, everyone here gets bored and I end up eating everything by myself (I can't throw food away)! I don't like it when that happens! So, here is a great one for those sweet potatoes that just did not get eaten on Thanksgiving day! I used the same recipe that I use for my pumpkin muffins and it worked like a charm! I hope this one helps!

Fat Free Sweet Potato Bread

1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
1 cup pureed sweet potato
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or pumpkin)
1/4 cup of milk of choice (I used light Silk Soy)
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 TBSP turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bread pan.

Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Then just add the wet ingredients. I just poured it all in, so I had less dishes! Mix well and then pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake 45 minutes . It is done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:24 PM   2 comments
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Using Them Up!
Here is another option for green tomatoes...if you have any left. Now, if you have ever had green tomatoes before, you know that they are very different from the ripened red ones. To me, it seems that they have a tang to them. I personally love them. My father-in-law did not want to let them freeze on the vine so he picked everything he could before the first freeze. They were on the smaller side, so I did not feel like they would be the best for my oven fried green tomatoes. I did not know of any other way to prepare them, so I decided...let's throw them in the oven and see what happens. To my surprise, they were incredible. The flavor definitely lends itself to many options. You could even give it a Mexican kick with peppers and cumin. It would be great pureed as a dip or a sauce for enchiladas. You get the idea...I thought they were great over an omelet!

Oven Roasted Green Tomatoes

1 cup diced green tomatoes
1cup large diced sweet onion
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Place everything in the prepared pan and toss around to coat with cooking spray, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve as you like!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:49 PM   2 comments
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Feeling Good!
(Sorry this took so long, but the illustrator hijacked my photos!)
As I mentioned before, we brought back tons (not really, but you get the idea) of fresh fruits and vegetables when we came back from visiting the illustrator's parents just recently! One of my favorites is the monster amount of tomatoes sitting on my counter! I have enjoyed every last bite of them too! Everyone who knows me, knows that I could eat fruits and vegetables all day every day for the rest of my life and be in heaven! (Wait, I need oatmeal too...but that is it!) So, for me, this has been heaven! I had so many that I had to think of ways to use them up even though it was painful not to eat them raw. So, I decided to try roasting the red ones and make soup! It worked like a charm! This soup tastes fresh and sweet...just like those little red jewels did before they were sacrificed for my soup! I think what makes me the happiest about this is that it was so easy to throw together (literally) and you can use it as a base for so many other recipes...oh and super low in calories and no fat! I am definitely looking forward to doing this more often when we get our garden going next summer!

Oven Roasted Tomato Soup

1 lb 13oz fresh tomatoes quartered and seeds removed
7 oz vidalia onion chopped
3 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
2 cups vegetable broth (I used water and bouillon cube)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray (I used glass). Throw the tomato, onion and garlic in the pan and roast for 45 minutes. Stir at about 30 minutes to check it. Everything should be nice and juicy with a little browning on the edges. In the last 10 minutes, heat up vegetable broth in a sauce pan. When the tomatoes are done, put half the mixture in a vented blender and pulse to desired consistency. Pour that mixture in the broth and then do the same with the rest of the tomatoes. Pour that into the broth and then boil for 5 minutes. It is ready!!!

4 cups total
68 calories/cup


***I love using the scale to measure now. It works so well for baking and cooking! I used it here because I really needed to use up the rest of the tomatoes and I had no idea how much that would be. I highly recommend getting one!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:39 PM   2 comments
Monday, November 3, 2008
Perfect Pear Spice Bar
We made a long overdue trip this past weekend to visit the illustrator's parents in Tennessee! It was such a nice time and the weather could not have been any better! The leaves were changing just the right amount and there was a crispness in the air that made it picturesque. I have to say that there is nothing better than having a freshly brewed cup of coffee (while covered up on a blanket) out on their deck at this time in the fall! It was a nice visit and we got lots of parting gifts! We brought back a load of fresh and canned produce that I am so excited to get in the kitchen and play with! I have already done a few things, but the first one I wanted to share was the Perfect Pear Spice Bar! This recipe was originally for a zucchini bar, but I decided to change it up and use what I have on hand...which is a lot of pears! I used my usual cream cheese icing on top, because you know cream cheese icing makes everything that much better! This one is pretty healthy too, so you can't help but give it a try!



Perfect Pear Spice Bar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
6 TBSP softened Smart Balance Light
3/4 cup + 2 TBSP White Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 TBSP flax meal mixed with 3 TBSP water)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded pears (drain on a paper towel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

Cream together the sugars and smart balance light. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients in the butter mixture along with the egg substitute and vanilla. Fold in the shredded pears. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before icing or cutting.

Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup (2 ounces) Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
2 TBSP cup light butter or stick margarine, softened (I use Light Smart Balance)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:46 PM   3 comments

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