Monday, March 30, 2009
Book Review: The Cancer Survivor's Guide
For Go Dairy Free

I, personally, have not ever had cancer. I did, however, have a tumor removed from my abdomen that is associated with colon cancer. I have a long line of family members that have had cancer and have survived. So, whenever I can gather more information on a healthy lifestyle that can help me live to my fullest, I am happy to read it! I came across The Cancer Survivor’s Guide and knew that this was a book I wanted to read. I can’t say enough good things about this book! It is what it says it is…a guide to healthy living. This book is a lifestyle guide on how to live the healthiest way you can. The Cancer Survivor’s Guide gives you tons of information on the foods you eat or should eat and why they benefit you. It gives you details on what specific vitamins and minerals do for your body and how they help fight off cancer. I like that it references different studies and tells you when things are proven or merely a suggestion from the results of the studies. It also gives you daily diet checklists so you can evaluate, from your current diet, if you are getting the proper nutrients in the food you eat and if you aren’t, how to get them. There are suggestions on meal planning and helpful lists on how to find things at the grocery store. This book promotes a vegan diet, so it gives you alternatives to dairy and meat in your meal planning. The end of the book has a variety of recipes that help you use the information you just learned. With the recipes, it gives you a little more information on what benefits you get from the foods in the recipes. The information is written well and is easy to understand. I tried a couple of the recipes so far. I decided to make a meal out of options in the book. I made the baked tofu with braised kale. Both were delicious! I am definitely going to keep this book close by for more great healthy recipe options!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 1:33 PM   3 comments
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Purple Pudding
I know, right...it's purple. I have been trying to step outside of my normal savory use of tofu and this was my first trial of a sweet pudding (no cooking). I am happy to say that I really liked it (the illustrator like it too)! I was a little afraid at first, but with an open mind...I dove in. This is definitely not going to be my last experience with tofu pudding. The tofu flavor definitely mellows out when you let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and let the other flavors infuse in the tofu. I like that you can make it as sweet as you want it to be depending on your mood. I realize this is not a new thing and that there are many versions of tofu pudding out there, but this was my first adventure into the world of tofu pudding. My version for this one is very lightly sweetened, so I let the berries do their thing to make it fresh and sweet tasting. Add more sugar if your berries aren't sweet enough.

Tofu Berry Pudding
1/2 block silken firm lite tofu
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
2 tsp powder sugar

Blend everything in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stop and scrape it down a couple of times while processing. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or more until ready to eat!

To be honest, I ate the whole thing, but it could serve two.
143 calories total

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:43 AM   11 comments
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Oatmeal Toasting Bread
As I said before, I am in search of the perfect sandwich bread for our family. So, I spent a large part of yesterday in search of some knowledge. I tried this recipe for Oatmeal Toasting Bread from Farm Girl Fare. If you have never checked out this site, you should go there and look around. Susan is living the life that I wish to one day have for myself! Her site is full of useful information and I am still trying to soak it all in! I loved this bread for many reasons...taste, texture, ease of preparation. My loaf, however, did not look remotely like hers. I think I am beginning to get the hang of the fact that I live in a drier area and I need to make up for that in the liquids when I bake yeast breads. I did not even use all of the flour that is called for in the recipe. I won't copy the recipe here because I followed it, for the most part, and her site is filled with so many details that you really should go from hers. I did not have oat bran, so I used wheat germ and I let mine rise for 2 hours on the first rise and 2 hours on the second rise. Our house is much cooler on a regular basis, so I was trying to give it time to rise. Mine, however (I think), needed to be a little more moist. I halved the recipe so it made 1 loaf and 4 nice sized rolls. It was still a nice bread for slicing and my oldest loved his peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich! My youngest son said it would make great cinnamon toast...we will try that next. I will definitely play with this one again!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 12:22 PM   2 comments
Friday, March 20, 2009
More Growing!
So, along with the garden, we have started growing sprouts! The illustrator came across some information about sprouts recently while we were doing some research at our local bookstore about gardening. So, when got home, we started to look around for more details on sprouts. There is quite a bit of information online. You can get some good details here and here. These sites give you some great information on how to grow sprouts and what you get from them. These babies are so packed with nutrients while being low calorie! That is definitely a food I am interested in learning more about! Now, when we started this process, we did not have a clue how quickly they would grow or how many there would be. So we started with a half cup of dried beans every day for the first 3 days. Well, our jars runeth over! The lentils grow like crazy! This was the first time I ever tried lentil sprouts before and I really liked them. Now I have to find some quick and easy ways to introduce them into the foods we are eating! I have to use them up because I can't bear to let them go bad! I started using them in bean burgers and my quick cabbage stew! Both were great! The lentil sprouts have a slightly peppery taste and are crispy so they worked well in both of those recipes! They go great in salads too, so get to making some sprouts!
These are the lentil sprouts full grown.

Lentil Sprouts
1/2 cup dried lentils (we used green from the store)

Soak lentils 8 hours in a jar. Place a mesh on top of the jar and drain the water off the beans. Store in a place outside of direct sun light. Rinse and drain 3 times a day for 3 days. Then refrigerate in a container lined with paper towels.

1 cup = 82 calories
This is my unrolled cabbage rolls with lentil sprouts instead of soy crumbles.Blackeyed pea burgers with sprouted lentils (these were amazing - we were tearing into these things while we cleaned the dishes)! Oh, and I had mine with braised kale while the others ate them on buns.


These were the garbanzo beans that we were too afraid to eat...they smelled funny, but we will try them again soon.

Oh, and these are mung beans getting ready. The jar on the right is soaking while the one on the left is just starting to sprout. These are what most people think of as bean sprouts and I can't wait to make some vegetable fired rice with these!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:58 PM   3 comments
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Back To Basics
The illustrator and I have gone back to basics! We have decided to find ways to be more economical and environmentally friendly. We have started composting - which for someone like me that eats a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables-that is not hard to do. Our trash is practically nothing! We use reusable bags when we go to any store (I have food bags and non food bags). Now we are growing our food! We have been talking about growing a garden for years and this year is going to be the one! We tried to grow some stuff last year, but the bunnies got to it before it got big enough to even produce anything! They are cute, but they sure did make me mad! We are going to do raised gardens this time to try to minimize invaders. Hopefully, this will work! We are also starting the plants from seeds this time. We wanted to be economical about it since we were going to have to take the extra step to build the gardens off the ground! This is what we have started with and it has been fun watching them emerge.

Everyday, all four of us, go into our bathroom to check out what has gotten bigger and what has decided to show its green little heads. So far, we have carrots, tomatoes, cumbers, zucchini, coriander, chives, watermelon and cantaloupe. We are still waiting on the sweet peppers, jalapenos, basil and oregano.

We are going to plant a few other things too, but that is all we had room for to start with in the bathroom! We are all so excited to be a little more self sufficient!

By the way, growing your own food and making more from scratch is a great way to avoid dairy
contamination! I can't wait to make my own pasta sauces and salsas from scratch! This is going to be a great summer!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:09 PM   4 comments
Sunday, March 15, 2009
No Knead Bread...Take 1
I have really been looking for some yeast bread education lately. I am very comfortable with quick breads and can adapt them pretty well to fit into my dairy free diet, so I really want to get more comfortable with making yeast breads. I am trying to learn to be more self sufficient in the kitchen and so my adventure into no knead bread has begun. I have read about this recipe for quite some time now (I am way behind the rest of the world on this one) and when I showed the illustrator the pictures of what people had been producing, he said we need to make that now! I am always hesitant with breads like this because I hate failure, but this time I was not going to let my fears keep me from trying this one out. Everybody in the blog world was raving about its flavor and easy of preparation. When I googled no knead bread, one of the first recipes I came up with was this one from Steamy Kitchen. This one is explained so well that I was off to the kitchen to make it. I let mine go for 19 hours for the first rise. I was amazed at how easy the dough really was to work with. Not only did it make the house smell like a bakery, but it felt like one too when we dug into this wonderful crusty loaf of bread. It was nice and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside! I even won Max over with it (who does not care for my homemade yeast breads)! Truth be told, he was the real test of this bread and I can say that it will be made again soon due to his opionion! I acutally felt guilty buying a loaf of bread the other day from the store after making this! I am ready to try it out with different flavors now! I am thinking cinnamon raisin is next...with a schmear of pineapple cream cheese! Ok, I have to make this again!
No Knead Bread
(adapted from Steamy Kitchen - check this one out for step-by-step photos)

Yield: one 1 lb loaf

3 cups bread flour (I used 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 white whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel…something that can go into a 450F oven.)

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl and mix until the dough just comes together. It won't look like your typical dough, but that is right. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop. It should be around 70 degrees in the room.

The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface (I sprinkled 2 TBSP white wheat flour on my counter and that was enough). Fold ends of dough over a few times and form it into a ball. (this was a great tip from Steamy Kitchen: just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick to them). Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you’ve got about a half hour left, put your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F. I used my big Cuisenart dutch oven, but next time I want you use a smaller one.

When your dough has doubled in size. Remove your pot from the oven. Holding the towel, dump wobbly dough into pot. Shake to even dough out (I actually cut out a piece of parchment paper before I heated up the pan so I would be sure it would not stick, so when I shook it, the parchment moved...not good.). Cover the pot and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the middle of loaf the is 210F (I did not take the temp, I did it from look and sound). Dump the loaf out of the pot and let cool on wired rack.

This bread makes great toast the next day...we liked it with some homemade hummus!

This is me in the kitchen cleaning up a huge mess I had made...I love making messes in the kitchen!!!


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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:28 AM   4 comments
Friday, March 13, 2009
More Hummus
The illustrator and I have been on a huge hummus kick lately. I guess since the weather was so warm, we were looking for lite fresh meals. I was making dinner the other night when the illustrator asked if I thought it would be good to add sauteed onions to hummus. I happened to still have some chickpeas in the fridge, so I went to work on it. It was a success! The onions add a slight sweet flavor to it. We would say that sauteed onions was a great addition to hummus!

Sauteed Onion Hummus

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic (keep whole to cook)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
fresh ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
vegetable broth

Cook onions and garlic in a sautee pan. I do this with a little water or broth and just keep an eye on it until they are golden brown (add more liquid as needed). Put all the ingredients in the food processor. Blend to desired consistency. Add some vegetable broth if needed to get it to the consistency you like. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight to let the flavors come together.

makes 2 cups
63 calories per 1/4 cup

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 3:55 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Ironically, I have been trying to get the chance to make these I-Don't-Have-Time-For-Yeast-Dough Whole Wheat English Muffin-ish Stove Top Buns from Wing-It Veganfor quite some time now. Even though they are quick and easy, I always like to give recipes my full attention when I try something new. I was flying solo that evening for dinner, so I figured this was my chance. I am really trying to start making more homemade bread for all occasions. I want to be more self sufficient in all food areas and yeast breads are a little trickier than most things for me. I have seen these circulating around and was convinced that I would be the only one here that would ultimately like them since the ingredients are so hardy and good for you. Mostly because they were not your average grocery store type bread. Well, I was wrong! I was so happy! Not only did I love them, but so did the illustrator and my oldest son (the little one is hard to convince to eat homemade yeast bread)! I was so happy! Of course, I made a couple of changes, but I always seem to do that. Because of that, mine did not come out quite as fluffy looking as River's did, but that was fine with all of us. So much so, that the illustrator asked if we could try them as a flat bread with hummus! That works too! This is a great whole grain yeast bread recipe that takes as little or as much time as you want it to!
I-Don't-Have-Time-For-Yeast-Dough Whole Wheat English Muffin-ish Stove Top Buns
(adapted from Wing-It Vegan)

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 tsp salt
1 packet rapid rise dry yeast
1/2 cup light soy milk (I actually used vanilla because that is what I had)
1/2 cup water
2TBSP unsweetened applesauce

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine the light soy milk and water and heat them up to 120-130 degrees (I did this in the microwave). Add the applesauce to the soy milk and water. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry. Knead the dough - I did this in my stand mixer and let it go for 5 minutes - while I cleaned up. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Spray electric skillet with cooking spray and turn to medium-low. Separate into 6 to 8 balls of dough and flatten them to desired thickness (I did 6 for the thicker and 8 for the flat bread). Then place them in prepared pan. Cook covered for 15 minutes or until bottoms look brown. Flip each bun cook on low-medium uncovered for 5 or until browned. I also baked some of the flat bread at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipped it and baked for another 10 minutes. This way is more toasted for dipping!

833 calories for the whole thing


(Jay's egg and cheese sandwich the next morning!)

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:53 PM   6 comments
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Kitchen Stuff
I seriously believe that I am an old soul. I love looking at and getting old kitchen equipment. The illustrator and I love to go to antique shops and walk around for hours. I am not really a collector, but if they are giving to me, I will gladly take them and cherish them! Besides, when you get them from someone you know, there is a little more meaning to them. When I go to my mother-in-law's house, I always use her old bowls. They are the first thing I go to for my salads and oatmeal! She recently got a set of bowls and a couple of sets of measuring cups from her sister. She knew how much I loved her stuff, so she gave these to me! I love them! The blue bowls are from her and I also got a big yellow bowl from my grandmother over Thanksgiving. I use them all often and I think of who I got them from every time I do. It is funny how you feel when you use passed down recipes and kitchen utensils...it just makes cooking for your family that much more meaningful!

Oh, by the way, if you are interested, One Frugal Foodie is doing a give away for dairy free goodies! Go check it out!
posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:34 AM   5 comments

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