Thursday, June 25, 2009
Back Again
Ugh, I am so tired of traveling! I feel like I have been on the road forever! The illustrator and I were at a convention this past weekend promoting his work. We are now recovering from a stomach bug that I shared with him! Fun! We have been eating a very bland diet to get our systems out of the funk. To tell you the truth, we always go back to a bland diet after traveling. It seems like we crave "temple" food when all we have eaten has been crap. I survived this past weekend on many "hobo" snacks. They included cereal, oatmeal (brewed water in the coffee pot and steeped my oats for about 10 minutes), bread, apples, peaches (from a stand in South Carolina) and many salads! By the end of it, I was so over all of that! I think, for me, I also just miss being in the kitchen. So, for dinner last night, I went with plane Jane salt and pepper tofu and a beautiful baked sweet potato. That meal was heaven!

So, I have finally gotten with the times and am now on Facebook! So, if you are on it too, head over and become a fan so you will get info, reviews and recipes from me there!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:35 AM   1 comments
Monday, June 15, 2009
Alive in 5 Review
Yeah, summer is here! Is there any better time than this to eat raw food? I have to admit that when I first considered reading this book, I thought I was a raw food enthusiast. I eat a lot of raw food on a regular basis! When I started reading Alive in 5 Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes by Angela Elliott, I realized that this was going to be a little harder than I thought. The book is set up very well. There is a lot of helpful information on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The book has a pantry guide and helpful tips for working with raw foods. It also has a menu plan for a week to get you started. The recipes are easy to follow and written well. There are a few photos to show you what some of the end results will look like. Everything looks fresh and bright!
I felt adventuresome and started with Pecan Milk. I was extremely happy with the results. Not only was it pleasant to drink, everybody used it in their oatmeal for breakfast!
Next I made Raita. This was perfect for my lunch! I will definitely be making this one again throughout the summer!
The last thing I made was the Zucchini Spaghetti with Rawsome Italiano. I have used zucchini in the past for my pasta, but not quite this way. I think this is another great recipe for using up some of the summer bounty of tomatoes and zucchini! I will tell you that I eat raw food on a regular basis. So, for times that you are looking for something different and fresh, Alive in 5 Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes is a good choice. The recipes come together very quickly and that is always a plus in my house!

Written for Go Dairy Free

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:16 PM   0 comments
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Brown Sugar Banana Bread
I love banana bread! There is nothing like the smell of a fresh loaf of banana bread in the oven. Sometimes I buy bananas, just to let them turn brown to sacrifice them for my banana bread needs! I have been known to attack people that are throwing away bananas that think have gone bad! The craving hit the family so, I looked around at some ideas (as I normally do when I am in the mood to make something different). We all have a file of the same types of recipes, but I wanted to do something different. I came across a recipe that used only brown sugar. Seriously, could you go wrong with bananas and brown sugar??? I changed it up quite a bit, so I am posting my version here. I lowered the fat and took out the egg. This bread was eaten in a day here. YUM!

Brown Sugar Banana Bread
(adapted from Eating Well)

1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 TBSP flax meal + 6 TBSP hot water
1 cup soured soy milk (1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice then fill the rest of the cup with soy milk)
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup Smart Balance Light, melted
1 3/4 cups mashed bananas
Extra Brown Sugar for the top (about 1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Mix the flax mixture, soured soy milk, brown sugar, butter and mashed bananas in another bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Pour the batter into the bread pan. Sprinkle extra brown sugar on top.
Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes until browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.
The brown sugar on top was so good! We love the crispy tops on moist breads!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 3:00 PM   6 comments
Friday, June 12, 2009
Surviving Wedding Food
(pictured: me, Whitney (the Princess), Tara and Mackenzie)

So, I have been missing lately because we have been gone and before that because we were getting ready to go to Virginia for my little sister's wedding. It was a beautiful service and she was definitely the most beautiful Princess!

In the process of this wedding and others that I have gone to recently, I have discovered how accommodating people can be for guests with food restrictions. I am one of those people that gets freaked out by the prospect of others picking out my food because you never know if the person that is picking out the menu for you, gets it. Well, I went to a wedding in February for a couple that I have had the discussion with in passing about my issues with dairy. They had a slot on the card for a vegetarian meal, but normally that means cheese! So, as usual, I packed what my husband calls "hobo snacks" in the car and off we went. Little did I know, the bride was more than prepared for my meal restrictions and made a point to let the caterer know what my restrictions were. They made a salad for me that did not have cheese and my meal was a wonderful vegetable medley over angel hair pasta. I was so thankful! Now for my sister's wedding, I had to go to two functions (the rehearsal dinner and the reception) that required some planning for me. Both were handled so well and I was extremely happy with both meals! The rehearsal dinner was a delicious plate of sauteed peppers and onions with a grilled portabello mushroom and oven roasted fingerling potatoes. The reception was a salad without the cheese and an Asian stir fry with black sesame seeds over rice noodles. I was not the only one at the reception that required a special meal either. My grandmother, who has celiac, had the Asian meal. We also have a friend of the family that is allergic to egg whites, nuts, dairy and I think something else, so he had a special meal as well. I have discovered through all of this that if you are going to a special event, you should let the person coordinating it know your dietary restrictions. They have invited you there because they want to share the event with you and they will help you out when it comes to the menu!

A note on the "hobo snacks"...I always pack an emergency snack bag of dry cereal, apples and yes, bread. These are things that I keep on hand when I travel or go to events that I am never sure if I will be able to eat what is there. I know this seems weird to some people, but I am a grouchy hungry person and it is better for me to duck out for a few minutes and get my snack on than to be so hungry that I can't enjoy the place I am at! I know I am like a child, but I have learned to come prepared!
This is a shot of the illustrator and myself at the reception. He happened to get a tie that matched the sash I wore with my bridesmaid's dress. That was completely luck of the draw, since we all had different colors of green that were given to us the day of the wedding! Our 14 year wedding anniversary was this past Wednesday and it has, by far, been the best 14 years of my life...I can't wait to see what the next 14 years brings us!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:23 AM   4 comments

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