Thursday, December 31, 2009
Parties With Friends!
So, with chickpeas soaking and a sick illustrator in the house, I am unsure of what our plans are this New Year's Eve. Do you have big plans?

I received a question the other day about how to let your friends in on your food allergies when you are going to their houses or going out. I thought I would share some ideas and some of the recipes that I find easy to throw together to carry with me!

We do a lot of research before we go anywhere to eat. Most restaurants have websites so you can look up the menus. If you have detailed questions, you can call before hand to make sure you are making a wise decision. Then, when you order, confirm that you are getting the meal that suites your needs. Trust me, it will come up in conversation with your friends then.

When you go over to a friend's houses, offer to bring something and in the same part of the conversation, ask what they are preparing so you can bring something that goes along with the menu. Most people will gladly have you contribute. At this point, if they tell you no, then just mention your food restriction and let them know you want to contribute something to make things easier on them. Trust me, if people are inviting you over, they want you to be able to enjoy the party in every way! I have great friends that are very understanding and always want to make sure that they have things for us and are always nice about having us contribute. Here are a few things that you may have the ingredients for hanging around the house or are easy to throw together for this evening or any evening with friends.
Hummus is my favorite thing to bring to parties!
Roasted stuffed peppers are great for a meal!
Chili is a great contribution! You can use this one as a dip or a main dish. I love this is so quick to come together and it is delicious!
Gooey bars are requested everywhere I go.
Crustless sweet potato pie went over so well this year! You can make it pumpkin too!
Fruit cobblers are always a hit! You can bring the cobbler and ice cream for all!
Gluten free coconut cupcakes! Need I say more?
Cake mix cookies are so easy and everybody loves them!

I hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve, enjoy the friends and the food...and be safe!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:50 AM   3 comments
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Chicken and Rice Soup

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays! We had a great Christmas here! It's funny because even though we stayed home this year for Christmas, it still felt like we ran around (in a good way). We spent the day with the illustrator's side of the family. It was great getting together and sharing the holiday with such a festive group! There was tons of food, family and fun to be had. This year was a little different for me. I did not make a bunch of different things to give away as gifts. I stuck to the standby cinnamon bread. On Christmas morning, I baked another 10 loaves of cinnamon bread, gluten free sausage balls and hummus for the Christmas gathering while my three boys played with their Christmas loot. I have to say, I am now officially over making cinnamon bread for at least the next couple of weeks! I am moving on to different things now. I loaded up on gluten free flours last week, so I am ready to experiment with more!
For today though, I made a huge batch of chicken and rice soup for my sick illustrator. This is completely from my original recipe, only I made it with rice instead since the egg noodles are a no go here. I have made the soup before without noodles and then cooked gluten free/gluten filled noodles separately to add to the individual bowls, but this time we went for rice to simplify! Hopefully this will get the funk out of his system and boost the immune system for the rest of the family!
Chicken and Rice Soup
4 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (about 3 medium bone-in chicken breast)
4 cups sliced carrots
2 cups frozen corn
1 14.75oz can cream style corn
5 14 1/2oz cans light chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked rice
onion powder
garlic powder
poultry seasoning

If you are cooking the chicken, place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Sprinkle with a generous amount of onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Boil chicken for about an hour until it pulls away from the bone easily. When done cooking, remove from the pot. Pour water out of the pot and pour the chicken broth into the pot. Add carrots, corn and cream style corn to the pot and bring to a boil. Next add the rice. Shred chicken while that cooks. After the pot boils for about 15 minutes (carrots should be tender, but not fully cooked), add the chicken. Season with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
As for gifts I made this year...I made some scarves. I decided to pick up the crochet needle and play around with my other creative outlet. I enjoy homemade gifts and I really like making things for others. This one is so soft and I love the colors!
My cousin, Lauren Bishop, did these beautiful photographs. She completely captured the best parts of this scarf! She is an extremely talented photographer and she sells her pictures on etsy! Definitely worth checking her stuff out! Thanks Lauren!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 1:22 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Gluten Free Dairy Free Cornbread Dressing Muffins
I mentioned a while back that I came up with a gluten free cornbread dressing that rivals my original recipe this last Thanksgiving. I also mentioned that I would share the recipe (OOPS!). Well, I pulled these little suckers out of the freezer the other day for the illustrator to go with his grilled chicken for lunch and remembered that I needed to share! Throughout the years, we established that there is no need to wait for the holidays to enjoy cornbread dressing. We like the convenience of having these muffins in the freezer to enjoy all of the time! There are many different opinions on favorite parts of dressing, but we happen to like the crunchy outside and the moist inside. This version definitely gives you the best of those two worlds in a single serving. You can easily bake this in a 8x8 dish, but I like the little muffins the best!
Gluten Free Dairy Free Cornbread

1 cup sweet white rice flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.

In a seperate bowl, combine the egg substitute, water, and applesauce. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cornbread Dressing Muffins

2/3 pan of gluten free cornbread
1/2 onion sauteed (I do this in a little water)
20 Food Should Taste Good Multi Grain Crackers (technically these are dairy free, but they are processed in the same plant as dairy ingredients, so I stay away from them, but if that is ok with your diet then use these) or any gluten free cracker or corn tortilla chip that you like
2 1/2 cups chicken/vegetable broth
1/2 cup egg substitute
poultry seasoning to taste (I bought one that was strong so I only used a couple of shakes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a jumbo muffin pan with cooking spray.

Cube cornbread and place in a large bowl. Crush crackers and put in the bowl with the cornbread. Mix in the broth, egg substitute, onions and poultry seasoning. Scoop evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until browned nicely on the top.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:59 AM   1 comments
Friday, December 18, 2009
Gluten Free Cinnamon Bread
Well, I made 9 loaves of cinnamon bread last night for my boys' teachers. This is my favorite gift to give during the holidays. In fact, the illustrator went to a meeting last week and was asked where the cinnamon bread was since it is the holidays. I honestly did not have any sugar at the time, but I will definitely be making this for his meeting next week! This is the one recipe that was a "must make" gluten free. Cinnamon bread is a staple in this house and it never sticks around for long. I know, it is a weird looking bread since it sinks in the center, but that is the best part. I used to hate making it for other people because of the way it looks. It is not your usual pretty dome shaped bread. The recipe calls for baking soda, so it should have an acid based liquid to help it rise. I have made it both with and without the acid based liquid (buttermilk or yogurt) and the preference is without the acid. If forms this super moist gooey center, which is the best part!
The photo above is not gluten free. I wanted to give you a frame of reference on how the appearance changed with the gluten free flours. Really not that much, so it passed that test!
This loaf is gluten free. The gluten free bread actually got higher marks than the gluten loaf! The addition of my favorite gluten free flour, buckwheat, helped give this bread a better consistency! Is slices extremely well and has the perfect cinnamon bread chewy texture! So, if you are looking for a nice festive loaf of bread to serve your holiday guests or to give as a gift, this is a beautiful dairy free, gluten free and egg free gift!
Gluten Free Cinnamon Bread

1/4 cup oil
1 1/3 cup sugar (white or turbinado)
1 flax egg (1 TBSP flax meal + 3 TBSP hot water allowed to sit while you mix everything else)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (1/2)
1 /2 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup brown rice flour
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cup dairy free milk alternative (soy, almond or hemp - soy nog is great too)
additional cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchement paper and spray with cooking spray.

Combine oil, sugar, flax egg, vanilla and dairy free milk in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt and cinnamon. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix just until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar. Cook for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a little bit of gooeyness on it. You can remove it from the pan after it has cooled for about 10 minutes.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:34 AM   10 comments
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Getting Into the Christmas Spirit
I am not sure why, but I have had a hard time lately getting into the Christmas spirit. I guess for some people, baking will do it, but since I bake all of the time...that really does not help. I have been listening to Christmas music, but that did not seem to help either. So, yesterday, I decided to go a different route. I put on a CD of George Winston's December in the car while making my daily pick up rounds and then made some Muddy Buddies. All of this definitely helped me move more into the holiday spirit! If you have never heard this CD, I highly recommend it. It is very relaxing and feels like all of the things I love about winter. The Muddy Buddies, well they just remind me of great holiday party snacks. These little morsels are full of peanut butter, dairy free chocolate, gluten free Chex and powdered sugar. Not rocket science, but not everything has to be! Just simple goodness we can all enjoy! I hope you are having a great holiday season!

Muddy Buddies

9 cups rice or corn Chex
1 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup dairy free butter (I use Earth Balance soy free)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate, peanut butter and butter until melted. While this is melting, measure out the cereal in a large bowl. When chocolate is melted, pour the mixture over the cereal and stir to coat everything well. Then in a large tupperware or zip top bag, pour the powdered sugar in and then the cereal mixture in. Shake it up to coat the cereal. Allow to cool and then refrigerate. (or eat warm because you can't wait!)

I have never tried it, but I bet it would be good with other nut butters or sunflower seed butter to make it peanut free.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:39 AM   5 comments
Friday, December 11, 2009
Cinnamon Rolls On The Fly!
Since it is Friday and we have a busy weekend ahead of us, I decided to start this morning off with a bang! I threw these little babies together in about 5 minutes! We had pizza night the other night and I decided to use half of the dough for pizza and save the other half for some quick cinnamon rolls. This makes it way too easy. Pizza dough can stay in the fridge for a couple of days and the flavor only gets better.
I promptly woke up, worked out and threw these in the oven. I had some happy campers around here this morning! I also felt really accomplished for really doing nothing. Seriously, anybody could do this and feel like a champion. I highly recommend this little cheat when you have guests arriving this holiday season!

Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls
(a method, not really a recipe)
makes 6

pizza dough (enough for a 12 to 16 inch pizza)
about 1/4 cup dairy free butter (softened)
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar

Roll out pizza dough to make a rectangle. Smear the butter over the dough and then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon making sure to leave about an inch of dough on one of the long sides. Starting the the long side that has sugar on it, roll the dough up. Slice the dough to make your rolls and place them cut side up in a 8 x 8 dish sprayed with cooking spray. Place in a cold oven and then turn the oven on 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven. Next mix a tablespoon of water at a time into the powdered sugar to make a glaze. Pour the glaze over the rolls while they are still warm.

*Putting these in a cold oven gives them a little proofing time while the oven preheats. It cuts down on time and they puff up very nicely!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 3:55 PM   3 comments
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunflower Seed Butter
I have really been getting into making my own nut/seed butters lately. Since I can't have soy now (and I am a vegetarian that can't have dairy), coming up with different foods to get more protein into my diet has been a little tricky. I have really been doing some research on the specific nutrients different foods have. The illustrator is a huge fan of sunflower seeds. They are the perfect road food for him. So when we were at Trader Joe's one day and they had a really good price on raw sunflower seeds, we grabbed a bag to play around with. After loving the way the pecan butter turned out, I thought it would be fun to try out some sunflower seed butter. I have seen jars of this at the store, but it's really way out of my budget. So, I set out to make my own! I have said this before, but I eat with a purpose. I want to know what this is going to do for me before I eat it! These little babies are loaded with magnesium (bones and energy), vitamin E (cardiovascular system) and vitamin B1. If you want to check out more about this little powerhouse...check out this link.

Now, for some sunflower seed butter...
Sunflower Seed Butter
makes 3/4 cup

1 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
2 TBSP agave nectar
4 TBSP almond milk

In a nonstick frying pan, toast the sunflower seeds. Do not leave them - you don't want them to burn you just want to toast them up a little. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Next, place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

75 calories/TBSP
I used the rest to make some sunflower seed butter granola!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:44 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Fudgy Cookies and Sugar Free Soda
It's that time of year...cookie time.
I have been snooping around, looking for some good gluten/dairy free recipes. I came across this recipe on the King Arthur website for flourless fudge cookies. I liked it for a few of reasons...gluten free, dairy free and fat free (well, except for the chocolate chips I added)! These are very fudgy!
I am always making batch after batch of fudge during the holiday season. Fudge takes a little more time, so the fact that these come together so quickly and give my family the taste of fudge makes them even better in my book! I am a huge fan of finding a recipe for something that tastes naughty without being naughty! I added dairy free chocolate chips to make them a little more special, but they don't need them. They are very rich, so a little goes a long way! Go here for step by step directions.
Now for some sugar free all natural soda. I am always looking for a healthy alternative for everything. I am the kind of girl that eats or drinks everything for a reason. I do like the occasional sugar free soda when I am eating things with a lot of flavor (or hot sauce). So, the nice folks at Zevia sent me a sampling of all 6 flavors. They come in orange, black cherry, natural twist, ginger ale, cola and root beer. I have to say, my youngest son thought this was an awesome experiment. Seriously, a soda that I say "ok" to...he was on it. So, now for my thoughts...these remind me a lot of the flavored soda water my mom used to drink. They do taste like a healthy soda, which I really enjoy (I like healthy stuff). I liked that they are not super sweet. I mostly drink water, so the slightly sweet flavor of Zevia is perfect for me when I am looking for something with a little extra flavor without all of the calories and chemicals.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:48 AM   2 comments
Friday, December 4, 2009
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Still on the pumpkin kick! Well, it has been years since I have enjoyed the sweet flavor of the pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. I remember, fondly, when it first came out. It was like heaven in a mug for me. The pumpkin, the spices, the coffee...nothing could be better. As things have changed for me throughout the years, I was deeply saddened to not be able to partake in this holiday treasure. I have resigned to sniffing the illustrators warm cup of holiday cheer. I know you start eating/drinking with your eyes, but the nose is definitely next in line! Every time he orders this, I take a huge sniff of it. He has to ask me quite a few times to return the cup to him!
Well, yesterday was a little different for me. The illustrator and I decided to give it a go at home. We decided to make some strong French press coffee instead of making espresso. Mostly for ease, but next time I think we will go the espresso route. Technically, not a latte, but pretty darn close!
I made a mixture of almond milk, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. I then microwaved it into it was nice and hot. I would like to see what steaming it with the espresso machine would do. This gives me a great excuse to have another one...soon!
After pouring the almond milk mixture into each mug, we then added the coffee.
We then enjoyed our pumpkin spice latte (coffee) together, the first one in years!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
serves 2

1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 TBSP pumpkin puree
4 scoops strong dark roast coffee
2 1/2 cups boiling water

Bring water to a boil. Add coffee grounds to French press and then add the boiling water. Let sit while making the pumpkin mixture.

Combine the almond milk, pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin puree in a microwave safe measuring cup. Microwave 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for another minute until mixture is hot and well blended.

Press coffee. Pour half the pumpkin mixture into each mug and then pour the coffee on top.

I added 4 drops of Nu Naturals Stevia Extract into mine. (a review coming soon)

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:32 AM   3 comments
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Crustless Sweet Potato Pie
Since we all know how much I love pumpkin...the crustless pumpkin pie was a definite on the Thanksgiving table this year but, the illustrator had another idea. He is a fan of the sweet potato pie and had not had one for quite a while. I went with my standby crustless pumpkin pie recipe and made a couple of changes to make it gluten free. This pie was such a winner that I had to make another one a couple of days after Thanksgiving! So, I would have to say that this version is a new addition to the Thanksgiving list of favorites! (Just so you know, I made a pumpkin and 2 sweet potato pies this year...I am still shocked at how much these were loved!)
Crustless Sweet Potato Pie
serves 8

1 1/2 cups plain almond milk
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups mashed baked sweet potatoes (I baked my own)
2 TBSP sweet rice flour
2 TBSP brown rice flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. (I do not have this, so I used a 10 inch tart pan) A deep dish is recommended because this pie will rise a lot during cooking but will fall back down as it cools.

Put everything in a blender on high for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides a couple of times to make sure everything is thoroughly blended. Pour into a pie pan and bake for about 60 minutes (mine was done at 45 minutes) . The top and edges should be brown, but the edges should not be over-done. (Since this is a custardy pie, using the standard toothpick or knife test does not work; it will remain somewhat moist in the center, but it shouldn't be uncooked.)

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the counter. For best results, refrigerate until chilled before eating.

160 calories per slice
I wanted to show you the backside of this pie so you can see how the edge of the pie bakes up. Most people question how the heck do you make a crustless pumpkin/sweet potato pie. While the pie does not have a traditional crust, the edge forms a very sturdy base for this creamy pie.

Make sure you check out One Frugal Foodie for The 30 Minute Vegan give away!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 4:52 PM   9 comments
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Gluten Free Apple Spice Cupcakes
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! This year, my side of the family came here to enjoy the holiday and we enjoyed a nice dinner together! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I was happy to be able to cook a feast for a crowd. We had about 20 people here, so it was serously quite the crowd for my house! This year marked my first year into gluten free foods, so I was a little nervous about that, but I am happy to say that everything I made gluten free came out perfect! Oddly enough, I seem to take no pictures of food when I make holiday meals. So, I will try to get some photos and recipes down when I get a chance! I had been working on a gluten free cornbread dressing recipe for months and could not seem to come up with a good one that was like my original recipe that the illustrator loves. He told me not to worry about it this year...that he would be ok without it. I could not do that (it is one of his favorite parts of the meal), so I did a major no no and made a recipe that I have never done before for a holiday meal. I am happy to say that my recipe was not only good, but he said it is even better than the original. So, I will share that one soon!
I am not really sure where the time has gone? It is now December and I am having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. I will give it some time, but I think the biggest part for me is getting in the kitchen and preparing things that make me feel more Christmasy! This recipe comes as a counter part to the recipe for the dessert hummus I made a while back. I like making things and then coming up with recipes that use them in different ways. This was my first adventure into baking with coconut flour. I am starting to see the benefits of using gluten free flours! Coconut flour is low carb and high protein. It also has healthy fats too! You really can't beat being about to make low fat, high fiber and high protein goodies! These cupcakes are a little different. They are very moist on the inside and a little more on the eggy side. Don't let that scare you though. They are very similar to a miniature bread pudding with a luscious marshmallowy icing on top! The smell and flavor definitely remind me of the Christmas holiday, so I will be making these again really soon! They also flew out of the kitchen, so I take that as a sign that more will be needed!

Gluten Free Apple Spice Cupcakes
Makes 12

1 cup cashew ginger cinnamon fruit dip
1 1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup agave nectar
6 packed tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Mix the dry ingredients well and set aside. Next, combine the wet ingredients in a mixer. Then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Bake for 25 min or until set. (They puff up and then settle in the center a bit)

Seven Minute Icing
2 large egg whites or 6 TBSP
1 cups sugar
2 TBSP water
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine the egg whites with the sugar, water and salt. Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Beat the egg whites at high speed until stiff and glossy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the vanilla and continue to beat at high speed until the frosting is cool to the touch, about 8 minutes longer. Use the frosting immediately.

2 cups

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:31 AM   0 comments

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