Friday, February 26, 2010
Dairy Free/Gluten Free Peach Cobbler
Yesterday was the illustrator's birthday!  We always do whatever we want to for our birthday dinners.  The illustrator actually had a different plan for dinner, but since I was nice enough to give him my nasty cold for his birthday, by the end of the day all he wanted was a peach cobbler.  I was a little nervous, since we had not tried to make a cobbler gluten free yet and it was his birthday, so I wanted it to be good!  We had talked about it before and after I made the rice cupcakes, we both agreed that rice flour was the way to go.  It has such a neutral flavor and it bakes up cakey (which is important when we are talking about no gluten).  The cupcakes did not have much sugar in them and they were sweet enough, so I decided to not put as much sugar in this as I do my glutenous cobbler.  I used a little NuNaturals vanilla stevia to boost the sweetness a little and give it a nice vanilla flavor.  This was perfect!  The illustrator even said that he liked it better than the cobblers with regular flour.  Honestly, I did too!
(I wanted to show you the nice combination of cakey and gooey...perfect combination.)

There are so many ways to do cobbler, but this is the good old Southern base of a cup (flour), a cup (milk), a cup (sugar)...but obviously, I have changed it and dare I say it is actually a healthier version.  Ok, I just said it.  Dessert (or dinner) with no guilt!  Sold!
(In the corner, you can see the juices from the peaches made a pie filling kind of sauce.)

Dairy Free/Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

1 cup white rice flour
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sugar
15 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia (or an extra TBSP of sugar + some vanilla)
1 TBSP baking powder
pinch of salt
1 15 oz. can peaches halves with the light juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. for 40-45 minutes

Soak the white rice flour with the almond milk.  (I did 4 ½ hours but I would imagine you could do this as long or as you like).  Next add the sugar, stevia, baking powder and salt.  Pour the batter into an 8x8 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Slice peaches to the size you like.  Add the peaches and the juice to the top of the batter.  Swirl the juices in just a little bit.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite frozen vanilla treat.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:45 AM   14 comments
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I need help!

Seriously, I am trying to restrain myself from eating the rest of the pan of this gluten free/dairy free peach cobbler!  I am hanging out with the illustrator tonight for his birthday.  I figured it is the least I can do since I think he caught the funk I still have!  He wanted peach cobbler tonight for his birthday dinner.  This is low sugar too!  I will share details later because all southern celiacs will rejoice at this!!!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:05 PM   3 comments
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Pancakes and Almond Milk!
 I love breakfast for dinner, especially pancakes!  I came across this recipe on Averie's site a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to give them a try.  I am always on the lookout for gluten free ideas, as well as, recipes that incorporate healthier ingredients!  These pancakes taste like a bowl of banana oatmeal in a pancake form.  I added a little more oatmeal since I was afraid the batter was a little too thin and I only used banana (no apples).  I also used the new Silk Almond Milk I found at the store.  Served with a smear of EarthBalance and real maple syrup (and bacon for my men), this was a great breakfast for dinner!  Go check it out!
Now, for my thoughts on the Silk Almond start off with, I was really excited to see this product on the shelf since the store was out of my favorite Almond Breeze Almond Milk.  It is always nice to have an alternative. 
I like the stats on it. 
Most people don't understand that you can get calcium and vitamin D from other sources besides cows milk.  Oh and look, no saturated fat...and lower in sugar...and no cholesterol.  Seriously, why do more people not drink this stuff?
Ok, now for how it tastes compared to our favorite around here...well, this is the illustrator's bowl of apple cinnamon brown sugar oats.  I always give things to him without telling him they are different.  It is a game we/I play with him.  He asked me immediately if this was the usual almond milk.  I asked why and he informed me that it did not taste the same.  I asked if he liked it more or less?  He said he prefers the other one, but this one was not bad.  So, there you have it...the Almond Breeze is prefered, but it is comforting to know there is an alternative that is comperable in price and easy to find!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 12:14 PM   10 comments
Monday, February 22, 2010
Vegetable Soup Heals All...Hopefully!
So Friday afternoon hit me with some sort of illness.  My glands are swollen and sore and I have been exhausted.  I have had a hard time sleeping at night, which is made worse by the fact that I am a horrible napper (I have never been good at it) and can't seem to get enough rest.  It was beautiful this weekend and I was stuck inside feeling like crap!  Luckily, I have an amazing husband that has taken great care of me!  He came to my rescue yesterday with an amazing vegetable soup that pretty much cleaned out my freezer and pantry.  He is a huge fan of a stocked pantry and I have to say we had a pretty good amount of stuff for him to work with.  He is a put whatever you can find in there kind of guy.  He says you can use whatever mix of vegetables you want to or have on hand.  So, with open windows and a nice warm soup in my mug, I am on the mend!  I am glad there is some leftover today since it is so gloomy and I think my littlest one, Max is getting it, oh and the illustrator too...

From the illustrator...

The Illustrator's Vegetable Soup

It was pretty basic, but well thought out thank you very much! Here's the gist of it...

5 medium potatoes squared
1 - 2lb bag of mixed veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans)
Two cans of garbanzo beans/chick peas
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic, diced
6 inch sprig of rosemary, pulled off the stem and diced
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Two tablespoons of dehydrated onion (only because we're out of onion. I'd usually use a whole diced onion. )
1 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes. 

Afterwards I added some chili paste to mine per the illustrator's suggestion.  Holy cow that cleared things out!  I know, hot! It cleared the head though!
 I had a lot of people ask me about the oatmeal ice cream recipe.  You can find it here.   

Some of you have also asked me about what the illustrator does...he is currently illustrating Stephen King and Peter Straub's graphic novel The Talisman for  Del Ray.  It is the first single comic that Del Ray has put out and is then being collected into trades.  I am so proud of him...can you tell?

Also, Go Dairy Free has updated it's 2010 products list.  These lists are helpful when you are looking to find out about foods that are safe for dairy contamination.  Here is where you can find them.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 1:55 PM   7 comments
Friday, February 19, 2010
Not Boring...Take 2
(pumpkin oatmeal with brown sugar and almond milk)
(oatmeal ice creamy!)
Back on the boring conversation.  Another food that I eat a lot of is oatmeal.
(oatgurt banana split with no sugar added strawberry preserves and cashew butter-thanks HEAB!)

I put oatmeal in so many things.  If there was one food that I could not live would be my oats.  I was asked by a friend of mine one time about how many servings of oats I have in a day.  I would say probably 3 on a normal day...don't judge me! 
(black eyed pea burgers...I love bean burgers)

I have oatmeal for breakfast everyday.  It makes me feel good and it starts my day off feeling very nourished and satisfied!
(egg white oats with cinnamon and almond milk)

The combinations for your morning oats are endless.
(sweet potato oats with brown sugar and almond milk)
(blueberry oats with flax meal)
(oatmeal pancakes with apple puree)
(homemade low fat, low sugar ginger granola)

I love seeing what other people do with theirs.  I could never get bored with this stuff!  I eat it for breakfast, I bake with it (pizza dough) and I have it for dessert!
(baked oatmeal with fresh chopped apples, no sugar added strawberry preserves and sunflower seed silk-based on SmoothieGirlEatsToo)

Baked Oatmeal
(serves 1)

1/2c oats
1 TBSP NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend  or sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c water or milk of your choice
1/2 cup egg sub (or 1 TBSP flax meal mixed with 3 TBSP hot water)
6 drops Vanilla NuNaturals Stevia

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine everything and pour into a oven safe bowl or baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Serve with whatever topping you like! 

Sunflower Seed Silk
(makes about 1 cup)

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 TBSP NuNaturals Baking Blend
1 TBSP Coconut Flour
20 drops Vanilla NuNaturals Stevia
1 TBSP flax meal
1-2 TBSP real maple syrup

about 53 calories/TBSP

(favorite oatmeal cookies)

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:19 AM   15 comments
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Not Boring...Take 1

(romaine, tomatoes-I miss summer tomatoes-served with rosemary focaccia)

My husband made an interesting statement to me the other day. He said, "I don't know how you don't get bored with food, you eat the same thing all the time".   I thought it was interesting that he would say that because I don't feel like I do. I feel like I am constantly changing flavors and discovering new things. Then I started to really think about what I eat. I realized that, for the most part, the base of what I eat is the same while the add-ins change. I don't get bored because the flavors are always changing. I do eat a lot of oatmeal, lettuce and chickpeas but I am constantly changing up what goes on or in the mixture.
(romaine lettuce with chickpeas, hummus, carrots and peppers)

I have been interested in food since I was a kid. I was baking and cooking when I was younger than 10. I even remember the first time I got burned while pulling a batch of muffins from the oven. My adventures in food have definitely evolved throughout the years.  Growing up, we always ate a wide variety of foods.  My family was always in the kitchen!  We cooked anything from down home southern foods to making sushi.  My parents also had the food philosophy of us trying everything (even a small bite of things you don't like) and we were members of the happy plate club. 

(romaine lettuce with chickpeas, hummus, carrots, peppers and my favorite hot sauce...I don't eat meat, but most of what I eat looks like it is bleeding...weird)

My husband grew up with a different background in food.  His family mostly cooked kid friendly comfort food.  Their approach was more in line with them cooking and eating what they knew their kids would eat.  They were members of the pinch your cheeks if you don't finish the food on your plate club.
(more romaine lettuce with chickpeas, hummus, carrots, peppers and my favorite hot sauce that goes on just about everything)

Now,  after going to culinary school, discovering food allergies and intolerances in our family and my becoming thoughts on food are very different.
(romaine lettuce with salt and pepper pan roasted chickpeas - the chickpeas get nice and crispy like croutons)

So, my husband got me thinking.  Why do I eat the same base food so often.  For me, it has become a comfort thing.  I have been through so many rounds of stomach problems, then deprivation from the foods I love (frozen yogurt and tofu), that I just want good food and I want to feel good after I eat it.  When you go for such long bouts of time feeling sick after you eat anything, you just stick with things you know make you feel good after you eat them!  
(roasted carrot hummus with homemade flatbread)

I have also discovered that I don't crave the foods I have been away from for so long now.  A lot of people think I am crazy for the combinations I put together with foods.  The thing is, when you can't have some things, you start to mix other things together to satisfy the taste and texture cravings you are missing.  I have found some things that don't work, but then...then, you find things that are just amazing together!
(rosemary, roasted garlic, potato, green bean pizza)

Trust me, with this combination, cheese was definitely not needed!  Definitely not boring!!!

Flax Chickpea Oat Flatbread
(2 large servings)

1 cup oats (blend in the food processor for a second if using whole oats)
6 TBSP chickpea flour or garfava flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water (about 100-110 degrees)
2 TBSP flax meal

Mix flax meal and warm water.  Combine the oats, chickpea flour, yeast and salt in a bowl.  Then add the flax mixture to the dry mixture.  Mix it together really well for a minute to get everything mixed well and to agitate the yeast. Cover with a towel and put in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour while you work on the other ingredients and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Then pour the dough onto the lined baking sheet. Wet your hands and flatten the dough to make a round. It will be thinner in texture than regular pizza dough, but it will flatten out into a nice circle just make sure you keep your hands wet. Make it as thin as you like. Bake 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Then top it with your favorite toppings and bake for 10 more or until the dough is nice and crispy on the bottom.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:29 PM   8 comments
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Rosemary, Roasted Garlic, Potato, Green Bean Pizza
There are no words...really! 

Everything on this flatbread from heaven was leftovers!  Did I mention how much I love the illustrator?  Ok, so, I cooked grilled chicken, green beans and baked potatoes last night for dinner.  Since we have been on a pizza kick lately, the illustrator thought it would be really good to do a pizza with those components along with some rosemary from the yard, oven roasted garlic and the hummus that is always in the fridge.  I said ok, why not!?  These were seriously some of the best pizza toppings I have ever had!  I made my crust a little differently this time in order to incorporate flax and no egg.  It made a beautiful thin crispy crust that perfectly complimented the toppings.  There was a lot of moaning going on during this meal.  The house smells incredible too!  We need a candle that smells like this!  I wish I could take claim on the idea, but it was my brilliant husband that had the idea.  I loved cooking with him and delicious...the meal, silly, get your mind out of the gutter!  This is definitely going to make it's way back into my kitchen more often!
That layer of good! (mine was a gluten free crust with hummus, roasted garlic, green beans, potato and rosemary)

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:44 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Allery Guard App for the iPhone
As anyone who has food allergies or intolerances knows, going to the grocery store and looking at the ingredient list of products can be overwhelming and confusing. Seriously, I don't know what some of that stuff means. My new rule of thumb is...if we don't know what it is or how to pronounce it, it goes back on the shelf. You should have seen us shopping when we first found out the illustrator has celiac disease. We would stand in the middle of the isles reading and googling things on our phones to see what those crazy words were. I even called the companies a couple of times when we had no idea if the product was safe or not. You know when you are told you can't have something the craving gets pretty bad. By the end of some of those shopping trips we had no idea who was allergic or intolerant to what! The trips took hours to get a little bit of shopping done too! So, when I was asked to review the Allergy Guard App, I immediately said yes! Food allergen information at our fingertips...heck yeah! Not that it will change my views on eating things that are closer to their original form, but everyone craves something that may not be so natural and it is nice to know that you can find out what is in all those crazy words! I have to say, this app is very useful! When you click on the allergen button, you get a list of the allergens in alphabetical order. You scroll down to get to the word you are looking for and then click on that. It tells you what it is made from and all of the possible allergens that are associated with it. This definitely helps identify sneaky ingredients that you might not know in your favorite foods! You can also store allergen information that is specific to certain people. Now I can shop a little safer!

Written for Go Dairy Free
posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:00 AM   5 comments
Monday, February 15, 2010
Max Turns 9!
I really don't even know where to begin. While I know I could have bought everything from the store, I am still paying for my culinary degree and I should be able to do this. So, here is where the mess began...
My youngest son turned 9 (I can't believe he is 9 already...where did the time go) on Friday. I promised him I would make cupcakes for his class. The scary part of that is that he is in a team teach class, so there are about 50 kids in his class.
I opted for smaller cupcakes because not many kids can down an entire cupcake after snacks, lunch and treats for Valentines Day. I thought I was going to make things a little easier by making the cupcakes in those little party my complete disappointment, this did not work. I made one recipe for chocolate cupcakes that rose over the cups, then made a different recipe that did the same thing! I was completely frustrated.
Then I found some mini cupcake liners in the pantry and decided to bake the vanilla flavor in those. That worked perfectly. I left the chocolate cupcakes alone and when I got to bed, my brain was spinning trying to figure out how to fix the problem without having to bake completely new batches of chocolate cupcakes. I had promised 4 flavors and then slimmed it down to 2. I had bought enough of the party cups to have plenty of extra, so I decided to cut the chocolate ones out of the destroyed liners and put the cupcakes in the leftover cups I had. This worked perfectly! So, with fixed chocolate and vanilla cupcake bases, I had a place to start.
The next morning I set out to make a Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. My intentions were to make chocolate cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting, graham crackers and chocolate, vanilla cupcakes with cookies and cream frosting, vanilla cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting and chocolate cupcakes with fudge icing. Ambitious...I know. This was too much! I re-evaluated the situation and just make a huge batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream and fudge icing.
I don't know what I would have done without the illustrator! He really helped me pull all of this off. He helped me focus on getting the task done and gave me some helping hands!
Together we ended up with a version of a smore's cupcake and a cookies and cream cupcake.
Although they did not look like what I wanted them to look like and they weren't really the ingredients I was looking for, the kids and teachers raved about the "fancy" cupcakes and my son was happy with what he got.
So, I had tons of chocolate cupcakes leftover, remember I made another batch to fix the problem. Well, the illustrator decided to make a "fancy" smore's treats in a shot glass.
The birthday boy thought it was great! I will definitely be making this one again when I have people over. I froze the leftover chocolate cake so we can make these anytime for treats.
I also baked a cookie cake for the festivities of the evening! This was decorated with another batch of fudge icing! We had a couple of Max's (the birthday boy) friends over to celebrate more and he is more of a cookie person, so this was his request for the evening!
He also requested pizza, but he wanted his favorite national chain pizza since we don't order it so much anymore (with all the food issues, it is easier to make it from scratch). So, I made homemade pizza for myself and the illustrator. Let's just say, I did not make anything else this weekend. We did a lot of left overs or easy meals!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 9:53 AM   5 comments
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Playing With Fresh Flavors
Those of you who know me, know that I eat a lot of raw foods. I am a huge believer in everything in moderation...except with my fruits and veggies! Those...have not limit...sort of. So, I thought I would share a couple of things I have found just recently while playing in the kitchen. Remember the miniature orange pound cakes I made last week? Well, after zesting and juicing the oranges, I cut up my cantaloupe on the same cutting board. I thought nothing of it, I just figured I would use the same cutting board since I already used it for fruit. As I was eating it, I thought...this cantaloupe tastes amazing. The flavor was so bright and slightly sweeter than others I had before. Then I noticed there was orange zest on it. Oh My Gosh...the orange completely brightened up the flavor of the cantaloupe! So, the next time I cut up my cantaloupe...let's just say it was not an accident that orange zest and juice got on it!
Then I thought about orange zest and what kinds of good stuff it might have in it. Turns out the zest is really good for you. It has components that are said to lower cholesterol, reduce bone loss, act as an anti-inflammatory, the oils are good for your skin...all this and tastes good too. So, I am definitely adding this to more fresh and baked goods!
Now, I know this is not the most attractive when it comes to photos. I really was just playing around, but I made hummus the other day and decided to throw in a few extra things. The illustrator and I have been talking about our favorite flavors on pizza lately (since we are on a pizza craze). Our favorites seem to be fresh green pepper, red pepper and onion. So, we thought we would do a play on that in some of our hummus. Well, it is not as much of a hummus (due to the water content in the additions) as it is an amazing dressing for my salad! Wow, the flavors really pop and the use of the chickpeas as a base helps it coat the lettuce! Not to mention, it is dressing that has protein in it and is only 55 calories for 1/3 of a cup. I am really happy about those numbers! I have a little of the hummus dressing left over and Friday night is pizza night, so I am going to save a little for my pizza topping...can't wait for pizza night!

Pizza Hummus Dressing
makes 3 1/3 cups...a lot!

3 cups cooked chickpeas
4 TBSP lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2 oz or 1/2 cup fresh green pepper
2 oz or 1/2 cup fresh red pepper
2 1/2 oz or 1/2 cup fresh onion (go less if you want because onion is a strong flavor in this)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Puree in a food processor.

Don't judge me...I eat a lot of hummus!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 2:34 PM   5 comments
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Spaghetti Squash Pudding...
This was a first attempt at a dairy free/gluten free/sugar free noodle pudding of sorts. I can't say that I was totally thrilled with it, but I loved the way it looked these little pots that I baked it in and I think it is a step in the right direction. The pots were a birthday gift (thanks peeree3) and I love them! I can't wait to bake more stuff in them.
Now for the pudding. Well, I love spaghetti squash. It is really one of my favorites. I love pasta, but for some reason, I really don't eat it any more. Maybe it's because pasta seems to always leave a heavy feeling in me at the time that I eat it and then I feel like I am hungry an hour afterwards. I used to eat it all the time and now, I just prefer spaghetti squash in its place. Also, since celiac is in the house, pasta is not my go to meal. Anyway, not the point. The point is, I was eating the squash and started to think about all the great things you could do with it since it has such a nice slightly sweet flavor and a sturdy texture. I used to work at a catering company years ago that was owned by a sweet Jewish lady. She would cook things for me all the time since she and I shared a lot of the same taste in food. This was the first time I had noodles in a sweet dish. She made a noodle kugel and I fell in love with it. I can honestly say that I have not had anything like it since then. So, I was thinking, while I was eating, this spaghetti squash would make a great substitute in a noodle pudding. I would not dare call this a kugel since it is missing many key ingrediants, but I would definitely say it goes in the same line with a rice pudding...which I have make two batches of in the past two days.
I don't think this recipe is complete, but I think it is going somewhere. I am going to work on it because I think the texture could be improved and I want to see more depth of flavor to it. This is when food starts to play with my mind. They can't always be "winners", but a good starting point. Now, I am back to the kitchen to play...hopefully I will have a recipe for this to share soon!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 12:51 PM   5 comments

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