Thursday, April 29, 2010
Quinoa Burgers, Chicken Fingers and Roasted Corn on the Cob!
Last night, the boys wanted chicken fingers.  I little while back, I got some Kinnikinnick Panko Style bread crumbs.  I knew right away what I would be making with them.  The illustrator is a good 'ol Southern boy and he has dearly missed his fried chicken since being diagnosed with celiac disease. Well, I don't typically fry things.  Call me a health nut...I don't care, but I will come up with another alternative to frying any day!  So, breaded baked chicken fingers it is!  Trust me, one bite of these bread crumbs and there was no complaining!  Honestly, I have never heard all three of my boys speak so highly of breaded chicken like this!  They absolutely love it.  In fact, the illustrator has already asked me when we are getting more of "those" bread crumbs.  The boys had the chicken fingers for leftovers today and even after being microwaved, the bread crumbs were still crispy!    I used the directions on the box and it works perfectly.  I will definitely be buying these again!
    
Since I don't eat meat, I decided to use them in some bean burgers for myself.  I don't know if you know this about me, but I love making bean burgers!  I never buy them, and with my handy pressure cooker, I always have beans on hand.  I cooked up a mess of quinoa the other night and was trying to think of something to do with the rest of it.  I had made burgers with it before, but they just did not hold up to my standards for a good burger. I hate when they crumble and fall apart.  It totally ruins the experience for me.  I like a crispy outside and I want the inside to have some texture (not be mush).  So, last night I took out my original recipe, changed it up a bit and added Kinnikinnick Panko Style bread crumbs.  I used chickpeas in the mix and while rummaging through the herbs and spices...I picked turmeric.  I love that stuff, especially with chickpeas!  The bread crumbs were the perfect addition!  I made little patties and they were perfect for my little sliders!  The illustrator loved them too!  I loved the crisp texture the bread crumbs gave them...perfect!
For the side dish, since it was on sale at the store, I oven roasted corn on the cob!  I discovered my love of raw corn last summer.  I love crisp sweet corn!  I hate when corn is cooked to death...it is just gross!  I am also a purist with my corn.  I cleaned the corn, roasted it and put a little salt and pepper on it when it was done...I am so ready for summer food!
Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Clean your corn and put it on a broiling pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, turn and bake for 10 more minutes.  Now turn your broiler on and broil the corn for 5-10 minutes or until it is done to your liking.  Make sure you watch it so it does not burn...unless you like it that way!
Don't forget I used Kinnikinni graham cracker crumbs in the smore's brownies!  You have to check these out!

Review written for Go Dairy Free

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:10 PM   14 comments
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Strawberry Bread Recipe!

Today has been so much better!  Despite the fact that I woke up late and did not get my full workout in...my head space has been so much better! I will just get some extra in this weekend!  Besides, sometimes...you just need the sleep!   The illustrator had a meeting today and he asked if I wanted to go with him.  The people are clients of his that own some restaurants and since the meetings are always laid back and the people are so easy to chat with, I took him up on the trip!  It was so nice to talk to the outside world about things I love...food and beverage!  Anyway, it was a beautiful afternoon and we took in some vitamin D along with some fun conversation...just what I needed!  


Even though the illustrator showed me a good day, I have decided to disown my family.  My favorite child (the little boy from next door) took some of the strawberry bread to his family and they liked it...so there!  I kept eating it yesterday...everytime I walked by, I cut another piece off.  So, I am sharing it.  Not to say that I won't play around with it some, but that is just what I do.  So...
Strawberry Bread

1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
20 drops vanilla NuNaturals stevia (or 2 TBSP pure cane sugar)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cup almond milk
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
5 oz pureed strawberries + 10 drops vanilla NuNaturals stevia (or 1 TBSP pure cane sugar)
1 TBSP pure cane sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 inch bread pan with cooking spray...you may want to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and then spray that.

Combine the almond milk and the vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Next add the stevia thru the milk mixture.  Mix just until combined.  Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Drop half of the strawberry mixture on top of the batter using a tablespoon to get it evenly distributed.  Take a knife and swirl the strawberry mixture through out the batter.  Pour the remaining batter on top and do the same with the rest of the strawberries.  Sprinkle the top with the tablespoon of pure cane sugar.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool and ENJOY!  

Do you have a recipe that you really want to work on?  Do you eat your failures or do you throw them away?  I eat them...I can't waste food.  Besides, even if you start eating with your eyes, sometimes ugly food tastes good!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:51 PM   14 comments
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Strawberry Bread and a Mess...
Have you ever woken up and heard a simple word and it just set you off in the wrong direction?  Well, that happened to me today.  I knew from the second I heard it that I would be battling my brain all day.  I try not to let things get to me, but sometimes it is really hard to just move past things.  I decided to shift my brain in a different direction.
My mom asked me if I could come up with a gluten free strawberry bread recipe for her.  Since I am always the one thinking of recipes to try, it was nice to have someone ask me for something specific.  Well, this is where things continue down hill.  I had all of my notes together and I had a plan.  I pureed my strawberries and I was on my way.  I was excited!  Well, apparently I was also clumsy!  In the middle of layering my batter and strawberries, my arm knocked the strawberry puree  all over the kitchen floor and my shoes.  I don't know if you know this, but strawberry puree does not clean up easily.  I would go into more detail, but I think your imagination can figure this out.  It was all over the cabinets too!  FUN!  So, I finished cleaning up and assembling the bread, working with what I had and trying to move on.  It looked pretty and I was excited to see how it turned out.  I put it in an 8 inch bread pan because I wanted it to bake up.  Got it all in the oven with the timer set...about 15 minutes later...the most amazing summery smell was coming upstairs.  Sweet strawberry was wafting through the house.  Oh get this...now, there is a burning smell coming through the house.  CRAP!  That crazy thing is burning!!!
Oh, no, not the whole thing...just the part that is coming over the side!!!  UGH!  Ok, I got that cleaned up.  Now, I just get to smell what I can't get off the oven for the next few hours because the air conditioner is still broken and there is no air circulating through the upstairs.  So, with the windows now open and the bread out.  It looks good.
Ok, I have saved it.  I hope.  The illustrator tastes it...he spits it in the sink.  Now, don't place judgement on him for this, there have been many gluten free breads that I have spit out.  So, I taste it...cause I am a stupid and if you spit it out...I need to try it.  Well, I think it's good.  Come to find out...the illustrator is not a fan of cooked strawberries.  After 16 years, you would think I would know this.  So, I have a loaf of strawberry bread all for me.
The bread reminds me of the cobbler.  The bottom is a little stickier than I would like.  But I think I am on to something.  I just pawned a piece off on my third child (the neighbor that practically lives with us) and he loves it.  (I now like the neighbor more than my kids...sorry boys)  Ok, so I am not crazy.  Well, not for liking the bread anyway.  This stuff is good.  It has a crispy crust and a soft inside with a little bit of gooeyness (kind of like preserves built in) on the bottom.  It would be really nice with a scoop of dairy free vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of peanut butter sauce.
I think I will work on this one just a little bit.  It is not quite where I want it to be, but it is heading in the right direction.  Honestly, for being gluten free, dairy free, egg free and fat free...this stuff is amazing!  You will see it again...even better!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:44 PM   20 comments
Monday, April 26, 2010
Doughnuts and Coffee
For those of you that don't know, we are an everything in moderation kind of family.  I cook everything healthy at home, so there are certain "treats" that we go out for.  We do (did) a lot of this kind of thing before the illustrator was diagnosed with celiac disease. Yes, I am the freak that takes treats with me to eat when we go on our treat adventures, but I figure if 3 out of the 4 are indulging off of your menu (that I can't eat anything off of) then some contraband is acceptable.  Besides I do buy a beverage, so that should count.  I never have any problems with this, but now that the illustrator can't participate in this tradition, it feels a little weird to have the two of us not eat anything from said establishment.  So, I have found a compromise...
With these little dairy free, gluten free, low fat, seem like they are fried but not doughnuts (I was told were better) are enjoyed with our afternoon perfect every time cup of coffee!
All naked...
Tasty inside...
(the lighting is horrible, but I wanted to show you the inside of the first doughnut the illustrator has enjoyed in quite a while)
Now, let's talk coffee!  We are a coffee/hot tea/hot chocolate lovin' family.  The illustrator is VERY particular about coffee.  I am too, but he is the one that started it!  Anyway, after my bowl 'o coffee in the morning, oh and the other cup after that...I typically move over to tea.  The illustrator, on the other hand, he needs coffee on demand.  When he is pulling all nighters and working towards a deadline, he is constantly with a hot steamy cup in his hand.  We used to throw tons of coffee away because we do not reheat coffee.  So, after quite a bit of research, we bit the bullet and got a Keurig.  Now, this one here is not our first.  We actually have two more.  One of which did not make it, may she rest in peace.  I was smart enough to register our little coffee mate on the website when we got it.  I called them and we went through the problems I was having and did all the troubleshooting...as luck would have it...our warranty was up by a week.  Well, they decided to replace it anyway!  Seriously, I know in the greater scheme of things, this is small potatoes, but for us...we hit the jackpot!  Not only that, when you register the new one...you get free coffee pods.  I don't use the pods often because I am cheap and try to keep my trash to a minimum, but they are nice to keep around.  They have refillable pods too so you can use your own favorite coffee!  We have told everyone we know about these machines.  My entire side of the family are proud owners due to trying ours out.  Honestly, if you are a family that likes different strengths of coffee or you prefer different hot beverages from other people in the house, this is a great product!  I was not paid to make this review, I just wanted to share a product with you that we love and that has great customer service.  Within minutes of it being in the house, someone put there fingerprints on it...

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:11 AM   14 comments
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Potato Pancakes...for Pancake Sunday!
A different take on HEAB's Pancake Sunday!  These are the perfect side to our omelets!  Besides, it gives you a good reason to eat ketchup!  These are light and fluffy and a great way to use up leftover potatoes!


Potato Pancake
1 1/3 cups mashed up cooked potato (this is what I had, but you can give or take a little)
2 TBSP all purpose flour (or rice flour)
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix it together until all starts to stick together. Form into the patty size you would like. I used an ice cream scoop that is about a quarter cup. Wet your hands a little bit with water to keep the pancakes from sticking to your hands. Fry in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray until golden brown on each side. I used an electric skillet set on 350 degrees.

8 small pancakes = 47 calories each

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:00 AM   4 comments
Friday, April 23, 2010
Almond Buckwheat Pancakes with Coconut Cream and Strawberries
The upstairs air conditioner is still broken!  Downstairs is cool since we have a unit down there, but when I bake, all the heat comes upstairs and melts the illustrator's brain while he is trying to work.  So, I was asked ever so nicely not to bake today.  Well, I really wanted something fluffy and tasty!  So, I said pancakes it is.  The illustrator said that he would do his eggs, potato and ham, so I should not bother with making some kind of gluten free pancake for him.  He was just not in the mood.  What?  Not in the mood for fluffy goodness?  I could not imagine.  Oh well, his loss...
So, I have some almond flour from JK Gourmet that I got a while back and I made pancakes with it in the past, but I wanted to see if I could make them even better.
When I am looking at gluten free flours, I always start reading the nutritional information.  Since JK Gourmet's almond flour is just blanched ground almonds it is loaded with vitamins and minerals!  I was really excited to get in the kitchen and play with some pancakes knowing I was about to make some super high protein vitamin packed goodness.  I know, I am weird like that...I have to make something healthy even if I think I am splurging on something as simple as a pancake.  This time I was focusing on making them fluffier, so I added some beaten egg whites along with buckwheat flour to give it some chew.
I happened to pick up some amazing strawberries on sale at the store today too.  Totally NOT a coincidence.    As soon as I saw these, I knew I wanted a strawberry shortcake of some sort.  I did not have any dairy free ice cream (my favorite way to eat strawberry shortcake), so I started looking around at my options.  I saw the coconut flour in the pantry and thought the flavor would be a great addition to this concoction I was making, so I started mixing...um, YUM!  Perfect!
(Check out the fluff)
These were so moist and chewy.  The illustrator was making his savory mess, when he looked over and asked if these were gluten free.  Ha, I knew he would want them if he saw them!  I take it as a compliment too when he can't tell if they look gluten free or not!
This was the illustrator's dessert.  We both had to stop ourselves from eating them!  Can you believe these are gluten free and they bend like that?  Not crumbly at all!
I would say this is a going in the keeper jar!

Almond Buckwheat Pancakes with Coconut Cream and Strawberries

3/4 cup (3oz) JK Gourmet almond flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup egg whites
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup almond milk
20 drops Vanilla NuNaturals Stevia (or 1 TBSP sweetener of choice)

1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter

Put almond flour thru stevia in a food processor and mix thoroughly.  Let this sit while you whip up the 1/2 cup egg whites and cream of tartar to soft peaks.  Pour the almond flour mixture into the whipped egg whites and fold the mixture together.  You don't have to be too careful with it.  Cook on a preheated electric skillet coated with cooking spray.  I used a quarter cup scoop and flipped them when they formed bubbles.  Make sure you keep the pancakes smaller so they can cook thru without burning.

Coconut Cream

3 TBSP coconut flour
6 TBSP almond milk
15 drops Vanilla NuNaturals Stevia

Mix together adding more liquid if needed to reach your desired consistency.

Review written for Go Dairy Free

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:36 PM   21 comments
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Quick Dinner...
Tonight is a busy night.  Max (the 9 year old) had drama practice after school and he has his final skate night for school and he wants to "show off his moves" is what he told me.  I am certainly not looking forward to a skating ring full of elementary school kids and I am not allowed to skate tonight since it is a school function.  Can you believe that?  He likes it when I skate when we go other nights, but not on the school night.  So, quick dinner and out for the evening.  Do you have a favorite meal?  I remember as a kid I would always say pizza.  Now, I LOVE salads with beans on them.  Really just about any bean will do along with any mix of veggies.  I could probably eat that for lunch and dinner for the rest of my life since the combinations are endless!  
I pressure cook my beans and keep them on hand in the freezer or the fridge.  Dried beans are so cheap and easy!  I made 4 1/4 cups of hummus yesterday for less than $2!  That is a super bargain!!!  

Dessert is on the fly too!  Gluten free/dairy free KinniToos!  Tasty treat rivaling the gluten laden/dairy infested chocolate sandwich cookie!




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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:27 PM   7 comments
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Polenta Breakfast Pizza
I have been eyeing this polenta pizza over at Nutritious Foodie and wanted to play around with it a little.  I love baked polenta.  I am a texture person in a good way!  I love the sound of crunch when I eat.  I know that seems weird to some people, but I prefer a good crunchy granola or cereal on top of my oats!  My kids on the other hand...not so much.  While I know they liked the pizza, I don't think they loved it.  Unfortunately...I think it was a texture issue.  The illustrator really liked it, but let's be honest, if I put bacon on anything...he would eat it!
I loved that I did not have to put cheese on it either!  Mine was salsa and egg.  I loved the combination.  The only part that was disappointing was that the yolk got cooked too my.  I wanted a runny egg for this.  I wanted the yolk to be more of a sauce.  Oh well, it was really good regardless!
The boys pizza was eggs and bacon (and cheese).  They loved that combination!  I had not doubt in that though!
I added rice flour and baking powder to the mix so it would be a little more sturdy and give it some lift.  You could actually pick it up!  It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside...YUM!
Polenta Pizza Crust
(adapted from Nutritious Foodie)

1 cup gluten free polenta
3 cups water
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the water to a boil.  When water comes to a boil, slowly wisk in the polenta lower the water to simmer.  Continue to wisk for 4 minutes until the polenta is thick and comes together.  Remove the polenta from the heat.  In a separate bowl combine the white rice flour, baking powder and salt.  Next add the rice flour mixture to the polenta and stir to combine everything.  Let it sit for a minute while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.  Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread the polenta out after it has rested for a few minutes.  Wet your hands with some water and you can then press the polenta out to the shape you want.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Now, bump the temperature up to 425 degrees.  Next, top it however you like.  I then baked it for another 20 to 25 minutes.  Like I said, my egg yolk cooked too much, but I have some ideas for the next time!  

Nice thick crust!  
Ok, now here is another weird thing I do.  My favorite go to thing for eggs is cabbage slaw.  There I go with the crunch again...
My vision was for the egg yolk to be a sauce on my cabbage and pizza...hmmm oh well...still quite tasty!

Are you a texture person with your food?  Do you like the crunch?  My father-in-law thinks I sound like a cow when I eat my evening snack.  That one is all about the crunch!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:03 PM   16 comments
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Homemade Tagalongs...
Kelly posed a question this morning about kids, textbooks and technology.  Well, this is what happens when your kids have technology knowledge...
Let's start off with saying that I was a girl scout.  So, when they come to my door, I feel like I have to buy something.  However, two of  us here can't eat them.  I don't want to keep my kids from enjoying things just because we can't have them, but sometimes it is just a tease!  So, when the kids finished the  box of Tagalongs I started to get the gripes of...you have got to figure out how to make these.  I knew I had seen them around a while back, but I did not know the demand was going to be for now.  I left Max (9 years old) downstairs with his last cookie...I then came back downstairs and this was up on the computer!  The little stinker had googled (we have protection on our google) "chocolate peanut butter girl scout cookie".  Then he said, "ok, here is the recipe".  Seriously, he was not messing around!  After reading the recipe, I knew it was going to take some time, but I had everything on hand so I agreed to make them...this weekend.  After delivering the illustrator to the airport at 4am on Saturday, I came home on a coffee high and got to work!  These are time consuming due to all of the steps, but they are really easy to make and the boys have been in heaven!  I actually really enjoyed the process and I was really happy with the outcome!  Not that these are "healthy", but they are so much better for you than the original cookies and that makes me happier to make them!

First up...making cookie balls.
Then you have perfectly baked round cookies!  Well, sort of...
Next up, peanut butter goodness!
Smear it all around.
Test this flavor out.
Melted chocolate...you could bathe in this!
Now, the cookies bathe in it.
Next, enjoy with a few shot glasses of your favorite dairy free milk!
I was told by the little men that these needed to be coated in chocolate...to be right.  That means top and bottom.  So, I ran out of chocolate.  Never fear, they work with a schmear of your favorite chocolate nut butter spread too!

I followed Love and Olive Oils directions.  The changes I made to the ingredients are...I used soy free earth balance, natural peanut butter and Enjoy Life dairy free chocolate chips.

Notes...
1. Make sure you put these on parchment after dipping them in chocolate so they don't stick.
2. Refrigerate them after the dip!
3. Next time, I am going to use coconut oil.
4. You bet I am making these babies gluten free soon!

Extra note...
Be Careful When You Google Food!  Have you ever been grossed out by google a recipe idea?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:17 PM   17 comments
Monday, April 19, 2010
Keeping Busy
This weekend was all about keeping busy and for me that means hanging out in the kitchen.  I spent Saturday hanging out with my little guys making cookies!  This was a perfect project since it took some time and they were very well received!  The boys loved them!!!  I will share more on all of my kitchen adventures from this weekend, but for now...I am getting ready to get the illustrator from the airport and I can't wait!
(Chocolate, peanut butter, shortbread cookie...what's not to like?)

It is getting warm outside so it is bean burger season for me!  I keep a stash of these in the freezer for a go to protein!  So easy and quite tasty...if you ask me!
They made a great salad after a beautiful morning walk at the park with my best friend from high school!  Thanks Claire for the great time!  I am looking forward to the next time!
Then I played around with a bread idea I have had in my head for the longest time.  Do you do that?  Think about recipe ideas until it kinda makes you crazy?  Well, this one has been stewing in  my brain for some time now and I finally got it down.  I am so happy with this!  It tastes really good and has a nice crusty outside and chewy inside.  Oh and it is gluten free!  I have to get some other opinions before I share the recipe.  I thought it was kind of a cross between an English muffin and a sandwich thin.  We will see what the illustrator thinks when he tries it out.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Now...off to the airport!!!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:07 AM   12 comments
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Solo...
Last minute, we decided the illustrator should go to a convention in Chicago.  I hope it is a good trip for him!!!  Work it honey!  I swear nobody works harder than that man!  So, this leaves me solo...well, I am with the boys.  We got up at 4am and got him to the airport on time!  When I finally got home, I started baking.  I know, sounds crazy, but I needed to do something with myself and I promised I would bake the boys something today.  I know I will start to drag later, so, since I had the energy then (totally coffee induced), I got busy.  Like Jessica said...when I bake, I forget to eat.  I guess I was focused on baking since I was so tired.  I finally got around to eating around 9am.  I normally make oatmeal for the illustrator and myself, but today...it was just me.  I went super simple with apple, cinnamon, flax and almond milk.  I love this combination.  The flax and cinnamon work really well together.  They seem to enhance the flavor of each other and the oatmeal too!  It also gives the oatmeal a thick creamy consistency.  LOVE it!  I enjoyed my mug-o-oatmeal sitting next to the sunshiny window and a hot cup of joe.  I am off to finish the cookies...the boys are anxiously awaiting...shortbread, peanut butter and chocolate...I can't blame them!
Have a great weekend!

Edited to add...Oh, quick question...who does twitter and do you like it?  If so, why?  Just curious...

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 12:25 PM   12 comments

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