Monday, April 30, 2012
Creamy Cauliflower Casserole and Kitchen Adventures!
To say this was a good weekend would be an understatement. Tony finished two projects this past week that he's been working on for awhile. It was a huge weight lifted off of him. He knew he had a new project waiting him for Monday (today), but he was off all weekend and this NEVER happens. So, there was lots of Words With Friends and Draw Something while having our morning cups of coffee and then we were off for a little Saturday hiking by the lake and some picnic lunching sitting on some rocks. It was so nice to get some vitamin D and fresh air. We decided that instead of doing a huge dinner we would have a little fun to round out the evening with pizza and a movie.

The crust was gluten free and heavenly! I used my new bread recipe with a few changes and added fresh rosemary...YUM!



Look, bubbles in my dough!!!




This was the perfect mix of crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.


I was so impressed that you could actually pick up the slices! This one is going in the book!

Sunday was a bowling day for us. We have really gotten into bowling as a family and we're cheap so we go the oddball times for $2 games. What can I say I like some good cheap fun!

The adventure on the food front continued...


I made mac and cheese for the guys, but I wanted to try something I have been thinking about for awhile. I happen to love cauliflower. Not everyone does here, but I do so this was all for me! I wanted to make a creamy dish with cauliflower and garbanzo bean flour. This was so creamy and rich with a crunch on top from the Corn Chex cereal.

Creamy Cauliflower Casserole
(serves 2 - 4)

1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard
salt**
pepper**
1 cup Corn Chex, crushed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Steam your cauliflower until just cooked, but still a little firm. In a heavy pot, combine the almond milk through dry mustard. Heat on medium heat whisking constantly until the mixture becomes thickened. Transfer your the cauliflower to a greased 9 inch square casserole dish. Salt and pepper to taste**. Next pour the cream sauce over the cauliflower to cover. Sprinkle the casserole with the crushed cereal. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes until browned and bubbly.

Serve as a side dish or a main ...


I know, I have a gift for eating everything over a salad covered in pasta sauce and nutritional yeast!


This was how I ate the leftovers! Still good the next day.

**I have been watching my salt lately. Not that I need to, but I noticed that I have been adding a ton of hot sauce and salt to things and I need to be aware/cut back.

Any new creations you want to share?

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 @ 8:11 PM   9 comments
Nourished Food Blogger Conference Review and Recap!
Good Morning!!!


I will be back later today, but for now, if you need some tips and tricks on blogging and recipe development, check out my review and recap of the Nourished Food Blogger Conference on the Bob's Red Mill site!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:39 AM   4 comments
Monday, April 23, 2012
Chicken Parmesan Promises...
Tonight I promised a feast...

I actually made this promise last night and the need for a speedy meal left our feast postponed...

The guys had...


Chicken Parmesan!

I haven't made this dish in so long and you would have thought they had hit gold they were so excited about this. I held up my end of the promise and they feasted!

Chicken Parmesan
(makes enough for 6 to 8)

2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I use Kinnikinnick)
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast or (fresh grated parmesan cheese)
garlic powder
onion powder
salt
pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
Daiya Mozzarella Cheese or (mozzarella)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil at a time in a heavy metal pan (you will need to add a couple every time you put chicken in the pan so how much you need depends on how big your pan is. Cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise to make them thinner. Season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs and the parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk the two eggs together. Next dip the chicken in the eggs and then in the bread crumb mixture to coat well. Place the coated chicken in the heated pan. Cook on both sides until browned on both sides. It will not be cooked through. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and continue to do this with all of the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and bake about 15 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Sprinkle the chicken with Daiya and then broil until browned on top. Serve over gluten free pasta and sauce.

For me, I wanted something that would compliment their meal...


I roasted eggplant and peppers to have in my (overfilled) chickpea wraps!

This completely hit the spot for me!

I would say we started Monday off with a bang!

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 @ 8:18 PM   13 comments
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Planks and Volume Eating!
Since returning home...

I have worked out! I wasn't so much worried that I wasn't working out with any sort of routine since I was walking so much. I love walking so I felt good doing this as my workout while we were away. Since we ended up walking so much on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, I didn't care about doing any sort of strength training either. It felt great to kind of give my muscles a rest and just move naturally while we were away. However, now that we are back, I'm back in action with my usual routine. A fun part of my routine has been adding planks. The twins have been posting their progress with a plank challenge they had to reach 5 minutes. I was so excited for them. They reached their goal! I love seeing people work towards something and achieve personal triumphs! Secretly I've been working at this too. I kind of love doing planks. I know, I'm a crazy lady. So, I did my planks yesterday and reached 4 minutes! That felt amazing! I was shaking afterwards and dang, that is some hard work! Have you ever held a plank for some time? I encourage you to try it. It's interesting to see how long you can go.

I have feasted!


I needed protein so badly...


This loaded egg white omelet was covered with sauteed peppers and mushrooms that were then topped with fresh tomatoes and nutritional yeast. I was in heaven! VOLUME and protein! Two things I never get on a trip!


Then came socca crackers with a HUGE salad topped with peppers, fresh celery (can't stand it cooked and I love the crunch of raw), sauteed mushrooms, nutritional yeast and apple cider vinegar. 


That mix of nutritional yeast and apple cider vinegar is so good! Salty and tangy...YUM!


These crackers are loaded with protein and carbs...perfectly nutritious, delicious and filling!

I wish that I could say I enjoy the food of the land when I travel, but truthfully, when you are based close to a convention center, have to take a cab anywhere to eat (we walk as much as possible, but for some reason most cities don't have much for dinner around convention centers) and you have multiple food allergies and intolerances, there isn't much to enjoy with your $15 plate of lettuce (maybe 2 cups worth), three cherry tomatoes and three slices of cucumber. Seriously, it is so frustrating.

Luckily, I always find a grocery store to stock up on snacks and apples. Trader Joe's did not disappoint as my grocery store this time! Thanks TJs for keeping me fueled on the trip!

I've definitely a VOLUME eater. I can't help it. I love my fresh foods so I get to eat a lot more. I also know that I HAVE to HAVE protein or I just do not function at my fullest potential. So, now I'm kind of protein loading, but I will level off in a couple of days.

What's your favorite city to eat in? Paris was by far mine. I ate so many digestive enzymes that trip, but they don't help with the allergy part and only postpone the tummy troubles for a few hours for me. So worth the pain though...


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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:00 AM   14 comments
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Chicago!
Chicago, I don't even know where to start...

I had the most amazing trip this past weekend. I absolutely fell in love with Chicago! I'm going to spare you a huge drawn out post about the whole weekend, but I did want to share a few things.

When we got there on Thursday, Tony and I immediately got settled into our hotel so we could head out to see the area.


We started out with a walk...




to see a great lake! Dang this thing blew me away! It's HUGE!


We walked for hours. We had only eaten breakfast that day and were starving by 3pm!


After walking through a few areas, we decided to ask the concierge for a suggestion on something reasonably priced and filling. She suggested a Thai Sushi place not too far away. We were sold and headed over. I was lucky that they had an incredible build your own stir fry! That way, no sauce (can't have soy). Tony was impressed with my vegetable stacking skills on that little plate (the plate you see is  a quarter of the size of the one I stacked my veggies on). If there's one thing I'm good at, it's stacking vegetables so I can eat more! This meal was amazingly delicious and filling! The vegetables were crisp and I loaded this thing with rooster sauce. YUM!


The next day was all business for Tony and I. We both went out separate ways. I got in my rental car and headed to the other side of town for Nourished! This was such an incredible event ( I plan to write more on this later). I was extremely impressed with everyone there too! I made some great connections and spread the word about how great Bob's Red Mill is! Most of them already knew though, of course!


The next day, Tony and I were on a mission! First came fuel! I know, no one wants to see oatmeal and this is not the sexiest bowl you will ever see, but let me tell you. When all you get to eat on a trip is lettuce and apples (expensive at that), a $3.75 bowl of organic old fashioned oats with raisins and cinnamon is like a gift sent down from heaven. This was exactly what I needed since we were heading out for some amazing home tours...


Tony and I are HUGE fans of Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Walking through a 100 + year old house that had so much history and so much artistry was inspiring and humbling. There were many homes he designed throughout the neighborhood, so we spent the entire day walking in the most amazing neighborhood with the most breathtaking gardens. It was such an incredible day. One I will remember forever!


The next day, I got the opportunity to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers! Amy from Second City Randomness was nice enough to hop on a train and come visit me at a little place (the oatmeal place) to have some girly gossip time. I was so excited to get to meet her face to face. I already felt like I knew her, but the nerves definitely set in when I knew I was meeting her for real. The nerves turned out to be for nothing. We talked like we were a bunch of old friends catching up...because really we are. She is such a sweetheart and I had such a great time chatting it up with her. Thanks for braving the wind and sleep deprivation to come hang out with me lady! It was much appreciated and I can't wait until next time!

The time went way too fast too! Tony and I were heading out of Chicago that day and had one more home we wanted to see...


We took a self guided tour to Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. This house is what I've always wanted. To say it's amazing would be a HUGE understatement! This was the first time I've ever done a self guided tour like this with head phones. It was definitely a fun adventure!


We finally arrived home on Monday late in the day. While I already miss Chicago, I am really glad to be home. Now I'm inspired to do things around the house, as well as around my site, work and well, life. I have a few changes I need to make, but nothing big. I feel like work and studying has changed things so much for me. I need to find my groove again and start moving. I feel renewed and inspired! That's how you get back from a trip!

Thank you for all of the support you all have given me. Those that emailed me, texted me, commented and called me to wish me luck, that meant the world to me! Thank you all for thinking of me!

Now, it's Wednesday and I need to get a move on! Have you ever been to a city that you fell in love with? Where would you live if you could live anywhere? I'm definitely thinking Chicago now in a Frank Lloyd Wright home. A girl can dream right?

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:00 AM   17 comments
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Things I've discovered about myself lately...
I can make a masterpiece dinner out of odds and ends of leftovers in the fridge (we are on operation clean out the fridge mode). I was pretty proud of coming up with this little concoction with what no one else wanted to eat from the fridge. Kind of a vegetarian salad nicoise salad...kind of...

(potatoes, eggs, green beans, lettuce, nutritional yeast and apple cider vinegar)

I can't get enough of words with friends. People, Tony and I have always played scrabble together (we are talking way back 17 years ago until now), but now we can play each other, our kids, our friends...this stuff is addictive. Oh and for the record, my kids totally kick my butt in the game. Shameful. I may need a program for getting over all of this...

I am infatuated with my little garden.


I can see this as being extremely time consuming for me.


I saw these little strawberries and almost shed a tear of joy. I can't wait for more! I still need to plant more stuff and don't mine the egg shells in the beds. We used them in our compost.

Jelly Bellies...need I say more? You can have your chocolate if I can have all the jelly bellies.


Oh, have you seen the documentary on the creator of jelly bellies? It was on Netflix and wow! That's all I will say, you should watch it for a little bit. Trust me, that's all you'll be able to watch...

When put to the challenge, I can eat a massive about of vegetables.

I have eaten 1 1/2 bags of these peppers in 3 days.


I've also eaten two tomatoes everyday in the past 3 days and 4 heads of lettuce.


I told you I have to clean out the fridge!

Banana soft serve time is on! Now I have Max hooked on this too! He was incredible impressed that it was just frozen bananas.


Also, I am the queen of procrastination. People, I can put anything off until the last minute. That means today is a crazy one, but I will get it done! I have worked out, I've got to get the kids to school, shower and then I have a client meeting, bank runs to make, finish packing and sausage balls to make (for my main man). All this before 4pm! 

Wednesday, it's on! Thursday, I will be Chicago bound and off to Nourished on Friday spreading the good word and treats from Bob's Red Mill!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:22 AM   14 comments
Monday, April 9, 2012
Monday Mumbling...
I hope everyone enjoyed some great weather and fun family time this weekend. Tony and I agreed that we would take it easy while still getting some work done. This was the last little bit before Spring Break was over for the boys. We ended up going bowling a couple of times since there was a Spring Break special and we had a great lunch with friends on Friday. We topped off last night with a few rounds of pool (which we don't play nearly enough even with having a pool table). It was definitely not a Spring Break filled with good times, but the boys got to do a few fun things and they got a lot of down time.

I have a crazy week ahead of me, but I'm really excited to get to the end of the week! I'm heading to Chicago for a business trip. A bit of exciting news for me is that I will be representing Bob's Red Mill at the Nourished Food Blogger Conference! You all know I love Bob's Red Mill, so I will be spreading the word on how great this company is!

I have been doing a little experimenting in the kitchen lately with a roll recipe I recently developed.


 I've been working with a grouping of flours and techniques recently to achieve a better gluten and dairy free roll.


These are crunchy on the outside while being soft and doughy on the inside.


These worked perfectly to accompany our ham, cheese potato (not for me) and fresh green beans feast on Sunday!


My meal was an egg white omelet smothered in nutritional yeast, fresh green beans and a couple of rolls!


Snackage later for Tony was ham and rolls!


The rolls turned out so well that Tony and I wanted to try it out as a loaf of bread.


My tester loaf was small, but it turned out perfectly! A little dairy free butter smeared on warm bread is seriously heavenly! I need to try it as a real loaf now. 

I took advantage of not having clients this morning and slept in a little. I'm trying to make sure I get a good amount of sleep these days. Knowing that the weekend is going to be a little on the crazier side, I'm trying to be smart and rest up throughout the week. So, coffee time, get the kids to school, eat some oatmeal, workout, shower, laundry, studying, pick kids up, cook, client meeting...time to get Monday going. 

Ever been to Chicago? Suggestions on things to do or places to go?








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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:34 AM   15 comments
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Gardening, Baking and Scary Movies...
I am so excited! I got my garden in! I hope the critters in my back yard understand that these are for me, not them. I think we may put some fencing around them for a little insurance. I don't mind sharing some, but the critters tend not to share.

So, Tony and I spent some time the kitchen together the other day! He asked me if I had what it took to make my gluten free pie dough. I did and so the adventure began...


I'm an apple a day girl (or maybe 4 - don't judge), so all of my favorite treats start with apples. Cinnamon and sugar just make them that much sweeter!


We made mini apple pies/apple dumplings. These are not perfect yet, but I will post it as soon as they are. This with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (dairy free for me) is perfection even if it's not so pretty. I hate when a recipe isn't complete, but if it tastes like this, I'm happy anyway. Ugly or not, completely delicious!


So far this Spring Break we have watched In Time, Austin Powers, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Poltergeist. Max has been busting at the seems to watch Poltergeist. So, last night was the night. He likes to think he's tougher than he is. I have discovered Max's way of getting through a movie that scares the crap out of him...he talks the whole time! He normally falls asleep at the end of movies. It's a long running joke around here...the fact that he NEVER sees the end of a movie. Well, not only did he see the end, but he ended up sleeping with Jay last night. Now that is an awesome big brother! It's such a strange feeling knowing the boys are getting older because I still see my babies. Seeing Jay offer to have Max sleep with him was just heart melting. 

I remember watching Poltergeist when I was a kid. Scared the poo out of me. I still get weirded out by that movie.  I'm normally doing something with my hands like crocheting when we watch scary stuff so I can focus on something other than the movie. 

Do you like scary movies? What was your first scary movie when you were a kid? 


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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:31 AM   14 comments
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Savory Waffle Sandwich and Gardening...
I have two client meetings this morning and then I'm working on my garden! I'm so excited this year. Tony and I have finally gotten our garden set up here. We've only lived at this house for 6 1/2 years. It's about time. We built the raised beds in late December and have been composting in them ever since. We were composting in a huge trash can, but lately we've just been throwing our compost in the beds. I have cantaloupes growing in there already. Oops, I probably should have kept the seeds out. Oh well, I've read that they probably won't grow any fruit, but I'm going to transplant them and see. I also bought some seedling tomatoes, squash, zucchini, eggplant, basil, strawberries and lots of peppers! I still want to get cilantro and cucumbers. I want to get a few other things, but I need to see if I have enough space for everything. I LOVE fresh garden vegetables!

So, with a full day ahead of me, I had to fuel up! 


This morning's breakfast was a savory waffle sandwich filled with egg whites, nutritional yeast, mustard and tomato! Yeah, I was super excited about this feast! I can't wait for the tomatoes from my garden. Really, they are my all time favorite vegetable fresh from the garden.


Do you grow any vegetables during the summer? I want to do some containers around too on the patio, but I need to get the garden beds going first. 

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 7:30 AM   10 comments
Monday, April 2, 2012
Socca Cracker Pizzas!
It's Spring Break for the boys this week. While Tony and I are still working, we are going to try to get them out as much as possible. Sadly, when your parents are freelancers, vacation time is few and far between. If we don't work, we don't get paid. So, we are trying to make things as fun as possible...

We've been watching movies together every night and keeping things fun with our food!

Pizza is always on the list of fun foods around here. We love making up our own pies. In fact, we have now had pizza twice in the past 4 days. I feel like such a kid because I actually get excited about pizza night!


I did things a little differently this last time. I actually mentioned my socca crackers a few weeks ago (I've been horrible at blogging lately-I blame work and studying) and then never shared them with you all.


I used them to make hors d'oeuvre pizzas!


These are so much fun to eat!


I loaded mine with red peppers, green peppers, fresh tomatoes and nutritional yeast.


These are sturdy enough to pick up and make great finger food. Now I want pizza again!


Socca Crackers
(makes 6)

1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a whoopie pie pan or muffin pan with olive oil.

Combine everything together. Mix well with a whisk. Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from pan when slightly cooled (mine release after a few minutes). Top with your favorite pizza toppings and put back in the oven to cook until your toppings are cooked through.

What are your favorite pizza toppings? Jay always goes for cheese, Max and Tony like meat and veggies and well, you all know I'm going for the loaded veggie pizza.

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

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 1:08 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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