Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Cornbread Pudding
I hope everyone had an incredible weekend! Tony's uncle, whom Max is partially named after, gave his life for our country. For that, I am eternally grateful. My thoughts were definitely with all that have given the same. 

We, luckily, spent some time with friends on Sunday. The illustrator is still too busy to step away for long, but the few hours he did take were extremely nice and delicious...

This is not what I made for the BBQ, but I will share this first and the salad I took tomorrow...

I love being a part of the Foodzie Blogger Tasting Panel. I feel like I shy away from things that aren't in our normal repertoire of foods we like to eat. I know I'm guilty of not stepping outside of the norm when I walk through the grocery store. I have my normal list and I stick to it. Foodzie's tasting panel has definitely challenged me to think about different ways to use products to to add flavor and ease preparation.

When I received this jar of Wayne's Green Tomato Relish from Foodzie, I assumed it would be sour due to the green tomatoes, which I was looking forward to. The illustrator and I were throwing around ideas of things to do with it. Then I tasted it...um, this stuff is sweet, like sweet pickle sweet! I was a little worried because I don't really care for sweet pickles and I really did not know where to go with it.

When I first tried it, I ate it with corn cut from the cob, an over easy egg, grilled zucchini and corn griddle cakes. I actually really liked it with the corn. This lead to me thinking about how the relish could actually make a great casserole easy since you wouldn't have to sautee any onions or peppers.

So, Cornbread Pudding with Wayne's Green Tomato Relish was born! The boys absolutely loved it. In fact, I made more last night! I only have a couple of tablespoons left of the relish!

Now, this is a two step process, but please don't be afraid of that. The dish really does come together quickly.

I asked the illustrator if he thought I should try it with regular cornbread and he said no and that he loved the doughy consistency of the corn griddle cakes. The griddle cakes are a great quick side to a meal that cornbread would go well with.

Corn Griddle Cakes
(makes 22 small cakes)

3 cups corn flour (masa harina)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups water
20 drops vanilla stevia (or 2 tsp sugar)

Combine the corn flour, baking powder and salt. Next add the egg, water and stevia drops. Mix until well combined. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, cook the corn cakes on a heated electric skillet flipping once browned on one side. Allow to cook until browned on each side.

Cornbread Pudding
(makes 3 side dishes, but easily doubled)

6 corn cakes, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup Wayne's Green Tomato Relish
1 cup corn
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup almond milk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 ramekins with oil (or 1 1/2 quart casserole dish).

In a large bowl, combine the diced corn cakes, green tomato relish, corn and salt. Next mix together the almond milk and the beaten egg. Combine the corn cake mixture with the milk and egg; stir until well combined. Distribute the mixture evenly between the ramekins. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes for the ramekins and 55 minutes to an hour for the casserole dish) until browned on top and firm to the touch.

Since the illustrator is so swamped with work, I try to make easy to eat meals for him, so I plated his up and the kids had them in the "fancy" dishes. They think it's so exciting when they get the pretty food. I thought it plated up pretty too!

What's the last product you bought that was out of the norm for you to force yourself to use something different? What did you do with it and did you like it?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:14 AM   24 comments
Friday, May 27, 2011
Caramel Gooey Bars and The Last Day Of School...
Officially, today is the last day of school for the boys! Thank goodness, because it was crazy town here this week and today was the icing on the cake for me. I packed up the caramel gooey bars (game change from the marble pound cake request from Max), got everyone to school and then went back to Max's school for the 4th grade pancake breakfast! It was so much fun serving up pancakes to the kids. The teachers actually make them pancakes while the kids watch a movie. We never did anything like that, but it's a tradition at that school. I gotta say, I got sad knowing that I will now have a 5th grader and an 8th grader. I get teary eyed just thinking about it. My boys are getting so big! I love this age though. They are such great boys and they are tons of fun to be around. I can't wait to do things with them this summer! Ok, sorry for the mom talk...

If you're looking for a treat to take to BBQs this weekend, the caramel gooey bars are really simple (better if made the day before) and easy to carry with you! This is my most requested recipe from friends.  Seriously though, oats, chocolate, caramel...can you really go wrong with that combination?

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable long weekend!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:45 AM   22 comments
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Eggland's Best Winner!

And the winner of the Eggland's Best prize pack is...

Congratulations Holly from The Runny Egg! I laughed when I saw from random.org that she was the winner. That is just too fitting! Holly, I think you may be the one person that loves eggs as much as I do! I'm super jealous of your win too!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:52 PM   5 comments
Who Doesn't Like Guacamole?
Two more days left of school for the boys. We can do this! Max just asked me to make a marble pound cake for his teacher. Ya gotta love the last minute requests. I guess I know what I'm doing today! It's a good think I love being in the kitchen. I have a feeling though that this is a slight ploy for me to make one for the house too. I can never send things out without having a tester too. So, today is a cake day. 

Sorry about the food photography right now. It's not good at all. I'm trying to figure out this point and shoot camera. I like some of the shots is takes, but I can't figure the light out. It seems to pull light in, which you would think would be good, but it's not working for food. These tomatoes are incredible in person, but the camera really grabs the red. 

This meal totally brightened my morning though! 
Two over easy eggs (I put a lid on the skillet so I don't have to turn them over), 

with fresh spinach

diced tomatoes

fresh cilantro  

over toasted socca...oh and hot sauce (I almost forgot)!

 You know what would make this that much better...


Well, for everyone except me...I wish I liked the stuff (bet you didn't see that one coming), but I just don't. It looks and smells so good, but the texture and flavor just gross me out. The boys love it though! 

Nobody understands why I don't like avocados. I get that question all the time (Alisa and Tony I'm pointing at you two). With this combination, how can you not like it? Right? What is wrong with me?

(makes about 3 cups)

2 avocados, peeled and mashed
1 cup diced tomato
2 TBSP scallions, sliced
1 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Mix everything together until combined. 

Is there a food that you should like, but just don't? Please tell me I'm not alone in this!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:37 AM   24 comments
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
BBQ Pizza!
Sometimes, for me, it's not the process of creating a new recipe, but it's about enjoying the ingredients...

Last night was a "clean out the fridge" night. We had tons of fresh vegetables, roasted chicken and cooked bacon. What to do?

When I thought about what I had, I remembered I saw Katie had posted BBQ socca pizza the other day. I had a plan!

I used my socca recipe for the rectangle pizzas and Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Crust with the flax alternative for the round pizza. The boys had bbq roasted chicken, bacon, scallions, cilantro and mexican blend cheese (go for cheddar Daiya for dairy free).

I went with bbq sauce, fresh thinly sliced zucchini, fresh diced tomatoes, cilantro and scallions.

I finished mine off with a little extra bbq sauce on top thinned with a little water and some nutritional yeast. I loved the cilantro with the bbq sauce. The illustrator said it was better than California Pizza Kitchen. I will take that as a compliment! Since we can't eat there anymore, it's nice to know we have an alternative.

We have entered a new season in food! I can tell you that doing the seasonal food challenge is really making me appreciate foods more when they come into season. Come on summer time!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:02 AM   22 comments
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Baked Artichoke Falafel
I think the going to sleep at 3:00am and getting up at 6:30am has finally caught up to me (Alisa)! Alisa and I have been friends since 2007 and finally met this past weekend at BlogHer Food. It's so strange that we know each other so well yet we had never actually met...not even talked on the phone. She is just as sweet and adorable in person as she is by email. She lives on the West Coast though, so she was wide awake at night and my adrenaline kept me going. Now that the adrenaline is gone...I'm suffering. With a busy week around here, eating my regular diet full of nutrients (and lots of coffee) will definitely fuel me! I also feel better getting up and working out too. So, with a big bowl of oatmeal in me, my workout done and some coffee...I'm ready to go!

On a sad note from yesterday, my camera is still broken. I took it to Wolf, but they don't have Canons there anymore and since it will cost me about $250 just to send it off even if it's a bad battery (which I think it is), I had to make a little purchase yesterday. The guy at Wolf Camera was nice enough to give me the name of a place to take it to, but that's not happening today. We needed a point and shoot anyway, but I hate being forced to do things. So, I got a Canon A2200 Power Shot on super sale. Score! Yesterday brought me to a strange realization...my life is not dictated by my eating schedule any more. When you work from home, it's easy to have a schedule and get really used to it. It works for me, but when your running around and not within the reach of food...you loose the schedule. That's ok on my normal days, but on my super hungry days, I turn in to a bit of a teething two year old (monster). At any rate, I got a little camera and hopefully that will help out while the old girl is in the shop. Raise your hand if you hate spending money...yeah, my hand was raised high on that one!

So, with no camera, I started looking through my photos to see what got left behind. I realized last week when Christin was posting her hummus balls (by the way, she has some incredible looking dessert hummus balls too that I'm dying to make now) that I hadn't shared my Baked Artichoke Falafel from almost a month ago. !

Why? I don't know. I've loved taking these out of the freezer for quick snacks or toppers on my salads. Who needs croutons when you can have these? They are crunchy on the outside with a nice firm texture on the inside. The artichoke flavor really comes through and I love the texture they add to each bite. 

These little baked falafel bites came from me having a ton of leftover hummus in the fridge from our party night with friends a while back. I love hummus, but I also get burned out sometimes. I make huge batches at a time and this time, I just wanted something different. So, with extra artichoke hearts in the fridge from pizza night and a burning desire for falafel, Baked Artichoke Falafel was born. I am not a fried foods gal, so I was so happy that even with baking these, they turned out really crispy. 

Baked Artichoke Falafel
(makes 20)

1 1/3 cup hummus
1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
3 whole canned artichoke hearts, chopped
2 TBSP lemon juice or brine from the artichokes
2 tsp cumin

1 tsp corriander
1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degress. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients together until mixed well. Scoop about 2 TBSP worth for each ball and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until slightly browned on the top and bottom.

**When reheating these, I toasted them in the broiler.

This was over turmeric seasoned vegetables.

I loved this flavor and texture combination!

This was a cleaning out the fridge kind of night. I LOVE leftovers. Artichoke pizza with Artichoke Falafel over a bed of spinach and turmeric vegetables. This was a bowl of heaven for me!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:03 AM   23 comments
Monday, May 23, 2011
BlogHer Food Conference
Thank you all so much for your kind words, encouragement and well wishes for my panel discussion at BlogHer Food this past weekend. It means so much to me that I have so many people that care about me and it truly helped me knowing you were all there with me (in my mind).

I believe the panel I was on went really well. We had so many people come up and thank us for sharing what we know about adapting recipes for special diets. It felt great knowing that we could help others learn more so they can cook for their loved ones. The discussion between the audience and the panelists went back and forth, so there was a lot of interaction. I loved talking with people about my favorite subject...recipe development and adaptation for special dietary needs. The hour and fifteen minute discussion went by so quickly. I wanted more!

Speaking of the panels, all of the discussions I attended were great. I really enjoyed hearing about Branding, Social Networking (speaking of which, I'm now on Twitter and have no clue what is going on -anyone with words of wisdom please feel free to help - oh and I have a button to the side here for you to follow me...let's just say I'm fashionably late to the party), Cooking Without Recipes, Working With Brands And Media and Professional Recipe Writing. I got a lot of information on all of these and I would love to share every bit, but that would take forever. If anyone has any questions, feel free to leave a comment with your email address or email me at sarena (at) thenondairyqueen (dot) com. I would be happy to share anything I learned.

The sponsors were great and shared tons of great products! Some of my favorites were National Peanut Board (I got white chocolate peanut butter!), Quaker (you know this girl loves her oats), Starkist (I got a Charlie the Tuna Shirt from them), Sharffen Berger  loaded me up with cocoa powder and chocolate bars, Bob's Red Mill gave out sample packs of quinoa and whole wheat couscous, Wasa gave out tons of crackers (I love the new rosemary flavor), Barilla had pasta tastings with some of their great sauces, POM Wonderful had their juices there (which we love) and Starbucks gave out to go mugs with Via and Iced Via (you all know I love Starbucks, so that was a score)! There were more than that and also tons of prizes that are still to be awarded, so that led to lots of excitement!

The event was really nice and it was so inspiring to meet people that care about the same things I do. I'm extremely motivated now, so my book is in full motion. My brain is in overdrive too. I have so many ideas and I'm excited to put it all in motion. This weekend was just the kick in the butt I needed!

On a crazy note for today, our camera is having an issue. So, my beautiful, light, fresh dinner from last night of warm bean dip with roasted chicken and fresh guacamole did not get pictured. Bummer situation after coming out of a food blogging conference. Oh well, I'm taking the girl in to see why she's not happy. This is the last week of school for the boys and parties are all week!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:27 AM   19 comments
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Baked Eggs Your Way...
So today is yet another crazy one for me. I've worked out, now I've gotta pack and get some groceries for the boys while I'm gone along with the usual events of the day. Since the illustrator is still under a crazy deadline, I just need to make sure food is simple for the boys while I'm gone. My brain is on overdrive right now since I'm so excited to not only attend BlogHer Food, but to be speaking! This weekend is going to be so much fun. I won't have a camera with me since I need to be focused and well, I don't have a point and shoot. I DO NOT carry around my beast of a camera. It's too much. Besides, I think it's distracting. So, this weekend will be all about just socializing, learning and eating!

Speaking of eating...I'm pretty sure you all know how much I love eggs by now! Here's a really easy dinner I put together for us the other night featuring my favorite Eggland's Best.

I have to admit, I love meals like this. I can easily make two of the same thing with variations...

The boys had ham, rosemary roasted potatoes and mozzarella cheese...

and theirs' was the skillet version (see below)...

Mine was sauteed zucchini, peppers, onions, rosemary roasted potatoes and Daiya baked in a pan (see below)...

Both turned out exactly the same, so this is a choose your method and ingredient kind of meal. The skillet version bakes for less time, but you have to watch it closer in the beginning. I don't normally do cheese substitutes, but I had some Daiya in the freezer and well, it definitely added a creaminess to the finished product that I liked.

I LOVE the crispy bottom and edges. The texture of the eggs is creamy yet firm and the topping options are really endless so the flavor is however you want it. This would be a perfect brunch, breakfast or summer dinner with the amazing produce that's about to come into season (or leftover veggies/meats which is what I did). 

The baked eggs slice extremely easily too, so it's easy to serve. The leftovers heat up really well. This made for a quick lunch for me yesterday!

Baked Eggs
(Makes enough for 4 main dishes - also, you can easily half or quarter the recipe)

4 eggs (I used Eggland's Best)
4 egg whites  (I used Eggland's Best) (use these yolks for making custard!)
1/4 cup water or dairy free milk
1/4 tsp salt

Filling (optional or mix and match)
daiya (or cheese)
cooked potatoes (mine were oven roasted rosemary)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Whisk the eggs, whites, water, salt and pepper together until well combined.

Option 1
Pour into an 8x8 pan sprayed with olive oil sprinkle filling options and bake for 30 minutes. Then add the Daiya and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until eggs are set and slightly browned on top.

Option 2
Spray an oven safe skillet with olive oil. Heat pan on medium high. Pour the egg mixture in, add the filling options and cover with cheese option. Cook the eggs until slightly browned on the bottom and then place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until eggs are set and slightly browned on top.

Don't forget to enter the Eggland's Best Give Away!

Have you ever been to or wanted to attend a blogging conference? If so, which one and did you like it? I'm still up in the air on what to wear, so I have a feeling I will be over packing.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:38 AM   28 comments
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Eggs and a Give Away!

Those of you who have been reading about me for a while, know that I don't eat meat. My boys do, but I choose not to. I have complete respect for those that choose to eat meat, but for personal reasons, I choose not to. Some of you may also know that when I decided not to eat meat and being that I can't have dairy, I chose to up my soy intake and then discovered that I am allergic to soy. So, where do I get my protein from? My protein intake is a huge focus for me. For a while, I was eating a large amount of beans along with egg whites (my favorite part of the eggs) for my main source of protein. Then I got a stomach bug and things turned really bad by depleating my system of important vitamins...B12 to be specific. So, I started researching. I'm a pretty thrifty person (some would say cheap), however, my need for vital nutrients through my food is important and I need to give my body the best. So, through my research of eggs, I came across Eggland's Best.

I've been using Eggland's Best for a while now. They offer a variety of products ranging from size to how they are raised (all humanely). I like that due to their vegetarian feed, there nutritional breakdown is really high.

Eggland's Best has 25% less saturated fat, 10 times more Vitamin E, 3 times more Vitamin B12 (my favorite!), 2 times more Vitamin D, double the Omega-3, and 35% more lutein than ordinary eggs.  Eggland's Best eggs are also a good source of Vitamin B2 and contain just 175mg of cholesterol.

 If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought there would be a difference in the quality or taste of eggs due to their feed and how they are taken care of I would have said no way. After cracking open my first Eggland's Best egg, I could immediately tell a difference. The yolks are darker in color and the shells are thicker. The eggs are much heavier too. I can honestly say, I can never go back to a lesser quality of egg again. 

Favorites that highlight eggs...

Not to mention my love of over easy eggs on top of salads!

I will save the recipe for these last two dishes for tomorrow...

But for today, the nice folks at Eggland's Best are offering one of my readers (only in the US since Eggland's Best is not in Canada) a prize package of 3 months of free eggs (equal to 4 free coupons), an Eggland's Best eco bag, an Eggland's Best spatula and a plush egg.

All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me your favorite way to eat eggs. The contest will close on Tuesday, May 24th midnight EST. I will pick one winner and announce it on Wednesday. 

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:02 AM   64 comments
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Microwave Cakes and Variation On A Theme...
Since the theme of this week is quick and easy, that's what I'm doing. Thanks to Ashley, Jessica, Heather, Brandi and Katie, I've started "baking" individual treats in the microwave. Yes, the microwave. Each one of these ladies has made a variation on a theme of quick, easy baked goods and well, I had to jump on the bandwagon, especially with the craziness of these past few weeks. I occasionally bake my oats in the oven, but other than the cake in a cup, I hadn't tried variations...until now. Since last friday, I've made a pumpkin cake (unpictured due to lack of time - devoured while getting Max ready for his play), peanut butter...

gluten free peanut butter...

(you can't even tell this was gluten free)

 and chocolate!

(this was accidentally gluten free and again, you can't tell)

All of which have now started a trend in the house for new flavors of microwave cakes! My vote is for coconut!

Microwave Mini Peanut Butter Cake

1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup flour of choice (I used buckwheat, peanut, white wheat, cocoa powder (for the chocolate one) and brown rice - all worked)
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg (or 1 TBSP flax meal mixed with 3 TBSP hot water)
1/4 cup almond milk
1-2 TBSP brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 TBSP NuNaturals baking blend or 20 drops vanilla NuNaturals Stevia (again, if you're looking for a muffin go with less, if you're looking for a treat, go with more)

2 TBSP peanut butter (for the peanut butter version)
1/4 cup pumpkin (for the pumpkin version)

Mix your version in a bowl, then put the batter in an oil sprayed microwave cup or bowl (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups). Microwave 2 to 3 minutes. Check it at 2 and then cook it 30 seconds at a time until its done.

What's your favorite flavor in cake? I'm definitely a vanilla girl, but peanut butter is a close runner up!

I'm sharing this on Simply Sugar and Gluten Free's Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:22 AM   33 comments

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