Monday, June 24, 2013
Garden Veggie Burgers!

MiMM MIMM #55 with Relaxing and More!

Thanks to the lovely Katie, I feel like I really do start the week off right! Definitely feeling Marvelous In My Monday! I'm kicking this Monday off on a serious high note! This weekend was nothing short of amazing. We did nothing in particular except enjoyed family time and some amazing fresh air! We did get some gardening done. Finally I have a few plants that will hopefully give us some good fresh vegetables to enjoy later this summer. Sure, it's a little late, but we live in Atlanta, we will have plenty of time to grow things. I'm hoping to get in a fall garden in the other bed too. Maybe plant some kabocha?

We love having fresh herbs and the nursery happened to have beautiful fresh mint. Tony immediately knew what to do with it...

He'd been eyeing the watermelon juice coming from the fresh watermelon all week for a cocktail creation he wanted to try. It was beautiful outside and we had just finished up what we had wanted to accomplish, so it was officially cocktail time! This was delicious and refreshing...perfection!

Along with it being perfect afternoon cocktail weather, it was also perfect burger weather! I had everything we needed to make our favorite homemade veggie burgers with a side of zucchini chips! Which also goes perfectly in the theme of Better With Veggies Meatless Monday From A-Z post for Flax!

I'm a HUGE fan of flax in baking and for adding a little extra boost of omegas and fiber to salads and well anything really. I often use it for an egg replacer, but since we've gone gluten free, I really love adding it to our baked goods in general for a little extra fiber boost. In this recipe, it's a great binder to hold everything together. Nobody likes a veggie burger that crumbles. This one is the perfect combination of veggies, grains and protein!

(Note - the burger pictures are recycled since I was enjoying family time. Also, they looked exactly the same as last time.)

Garden Veggie Burgers
(makes 9)

1/2 cup gluten free steel cut oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup lentils
1 Not Chik'n Bouillon Cube
3 cups water

Bring this mixture to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.

3 TBSP flax meal

Add flax to the hot oatmeal lentil mixture and remove from heat.

2 cups pepper and onion mix (frozen)
1 cup peas and carrots mix (frozen)
1 cup corn (frozen)
1/4 cup chickpea/fava flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Process peppers, onions, peas and carrots in the food processor just to chop up a little smaller.  Add this and the rest of the ingredients to the oatmeal lentil mixture. Stir to mix well. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

When completely cooled, form into patties (wet hands keep it from sticking to you) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes on each side (40 minutes total) at 375 degrees. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Did you get to enjoy some outdoor time this weekend? Hopefully you all have an incredible week!

I'm sharing this on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Allergy Friendly Wednesday this week.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 11:06 AM   14 comments
Friday, June 21, 2013
Old School Blogging!
Before we get too far into this, don't forget to enter my NuNaturals give away. You don't want to miss out on the sweet treats!

It's Friday people! Woohooo! We have no real plans this weekend and I'm so looking forward to that. Tony will have to work some, but mostly we will be hanging out as a family, doing some yard work (I HAVE to get some stuff planted in my garden bed) and some movie watching. I have a little recipe experimenting to do too for an article I'm writing, but that's all fun stuff for me!

So, my good friend Heather from Where's The Beach tagged me in an old school blogging post. I LOVE these types of posts. They're so much fun to read since they make you step outside of your regular blogging format and give you a closer look inside of people.

Here we go...

A. Attached or Single? Attached! I've been married for 18 amazing years! I thought I was so grown up when Tony and I got married, but now I realize I was so young. I don't regret one minute of it though. He is my best friend and partner in crime until the end!

B. Best Friend? I think you know by now that is Tony.

This was taken in the fall. I can't believe how much we've both changed since then!

C. Cake or pie? Cake, definitely cake. Angel food cake to be specific topped with 7 minute icing please! I love that stuff!

D. Day of choice? Saturday is the big winner here. I get to spend most days with Tony which is so nice, but Saturday I get to spend with Jay and Max too! I always look forward to our family time!

E. Essential item? I'm gonna go with what Heather said on this one and say food! Do NOT let me get hungry. It's not pretty at all. Tony used to make fun of my "hobo snacks", but now he fully appreciates my fuel on the go since he's now eating like I am. The two of us together when hungry is just a complete mess!

F. Favorite color? Green always and forever. The walls in our house are even different shades of green. I've always loved it!

G. Gummy bears or worms? If I have to choose, then bears, but I'm not a fan of either. Now, sour patch kids…those I love.

H. Home town? Roswell, GA

I. Favorite indulgence? Angel food cake with 7 minute icing and fresh strawberries! YUM!

J. January or July? July even though my birthday is in January. I dread it now since life seems so stressful around the holidays and then right after with car taxes (on my birthday) and other adult crap. Definitely July!

K. Kids? 2 amazing boys! Love every minute of life with them!

L. Life isn't complete without? Life isn't complete without Tony and the boys of course.

Another old picture, I can't believe how big the boys have gotten!

M. Marriage date? June 10, 1995. I'm getting that tattooed on my wrist soon too!

N. Number of brothers/sisters? 3 sisters. I'm the oldest.

O. Orange or apples? Apples everyday! Always apples! Love them and need to have one everyday!

P. Phobias? Claustrophobia after having an MRI. Never experienced that feeling before until that darn MRI. Also Ophidiophobia. Apparently that is the fear of snakes. Seriously, I am deathly afraid of snakes!

Q. Quotes? Words to live by my friends...

R. Reasons to smile? My 3 guys, my cats, my friends, sunshine on my face and kabocha!

S. Season of choice? Fall, I love the fall. The cool breeze, the smell of the air with a slight chill. I love wearing jeans and a sweater…love it!

T. Tag 5 people (I will tag people, but I wish everyone would do it!)

1. Heather at Kiss My Broccoli
2. Heather at Better With Veggies
3. Kristina at Spabettie
4. Gina at Health Love and Chocolate
5. Anna at On Anna's Plate

U. Unknown fact about me? I have a culinary degree. I loved culinary school (not just because I met Tony there - he was in the art school). I'm so glad I had that experience so I can put that knowledge towards my true love of healthy cooking (with food restrictions) and fitness. It's been a long road, but I'm finally in a career that I love!

V. Vegetable? Love them! Except okra and avocado (which I think is technically a fruit, but whatever I don't like it).

W. Worst habit? Stacks. I make stacks instead of dealing with paperwork. I'm the worst. The sad part is that most of it's trash, but I always think I may want to read through it. I never learn.

X. Xray or ultrasound? X-rays are never good, but I guess if I had to say one or the other, ultrasound would win out since those mostly happened for good reasons when I was pregnant. No thanks to either now though.

Y. Your favorite food? It's a tie between oatmeal and apples. I could live off of those two foods.

Z. Zodiac sign? Capricorn. I'm definitely ambitious, but responsible and fair. I call myself a realist/dreamer.


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:00 AM   15 comments
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Low Sugar Cheesecake and NuNaturals Give Away!
Posting two days in a row kind of makes me feel like a blogging rock star right about now! Don't worry, that feeling will be fading very soon since that's not likely to happen again any time soon. I spent yesterday getting myself back on track with a lot of things. It feels so good to feel even a little caught up. Trust me, I'm nowhere near organized, but hey, I'm counting the little victories these days! I was actually more exhausted than normal and took the advice of my good friend Lindsay and just let it be a rest day. I figure the running from the day before and all the cleaning and furniture moving along with the 5am wake up call to train clients kind of caught up with me. Mentally, I wanted the workout, physically, I needed the break. So, I got other things writing this post and planning client workouts!

So, I have a fun post for you today! It's time to give away some of the sweet stuff! You know, my favorite NuNaturals sweet stuff! If you've been reading for awhile now, you know that I always lower my sugar in recipes by using NuNaturals to sweeten my treats. Some things I make are completely sweetened with NuNaturals and some have a little sugar along with NuNaturals products. It kind of depends on wether or not the flavor of the recipe depends on the sugar. I'm actually cutting back more and more on sugar in the recipes that I use both as to slowly get us completely away from sugar.

I thought I would share some of my latest favorites using NuNaturals...

 Smores Cupcakes

 Roasted kabocha with peanut flour and chocolate sauce!

 Sweet potato oatmeal with peanut flour fudge!

 Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

So, the cheesecake I mentioned from yesterday!

Yeah, this was a perfect treat for Tony for Father's Day. It was a special request, but since he's really working hard at his fitness and healthy eating, I had to go with a healthier preparation of the sweet treat! I based this on my original recipe, but made an almond meal crust and baked it off in a larger pan instead of single servings.

Gluten and Dairy Free Low Sugar Cheesecake
(makes 1 8x8 pan)

1 1/2 cups almond meal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 TBSP butter substitute, melted (I used EarthBalance)
1 TBSP NuNaturals Tagatose
pinch of salt

3 8oz packages dairy free cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup NuNaturals Tagatose
23 drops vanilla Nunaturals stevia
9 TBSP egg whites

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with no stick spray.  

In a bowl, combine the almond meal, butter substitute, tagatose and salt until well blended. Layer on the bottom of your prepared pan. Bake 5 minutes. 

In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese through egg whites and mix until smooth.  Stop a couple of times and scrape down the bowl.  Evenly distribute the cream cheese mixture on top of the almond crust and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set in the middle.  Allow to cool completely and then refrigerate. Works perfectly if made the day before you plan to serve it. 

The best part...I get the opportunity to award 4 (four) of my readers a one pound bag of PreSweet Tagatose, and one bottle of NuStevia Vanilla Stevia Liquid, 2 oz. bottle, PLUS one bottle of their newest sweetener : Lo Han Supreme, 2 oz. bottle (also known as Monk Fruit)!

I haven't tried the Lo Han yet, but I just got a bottle and can't wait to try it out!

So, here's the deal...
Mandatory entry - everyone has to visit our NuNaturals Facebook page and "Like Us " and leave a comment here telling me you did so
2nd entry - tell me what products you've tried of NuNaturals or what you're looking forward to trying
3rd entry - follow me on Facebook, twitter or instagram

I will run the contest until Sunday, June 30th. I will announce the winner on July 1st.

Also, my readers receive a -15 %  DISCOUNT on your entire order when ordering from their website at At the checkout page you should enter the DISCOUNT CODE  of  BLG1213.  This remains effective until December 31, 2013.

I'm sharing this on this week's Allergy Free Wednesday and next week's Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:00 AM   49 comments
Monday, June 17, 2013
Marvelous Monday and Weekend Festivities!
It's Monday again...this seems to happen every week. I'm not normally so bad with Mondays, but this one, well, I'm a little on the tired side. I've already trained my clients for the day so now the rest of the day is all mine! I'm going to focus on the good and make it MARVELOUS! Thanks to Katie since she makes it so easy to do just that with her Marvelous In My Monday posts!

MiMM MIMM with Date Night, Bump Update, Baby Shower, and Fathers Day!

I had a great weekend with Tony and the boys. We spent Saturday morning super cleaning the house. It's funny how we always dread that, but when we start, it feels so good to get things that cleaned up. We rearranged some furniture too which I'm really liking. Just using our furniture in different ways or in different spaces really does make things feel like you've made a good change. Then we headed to a going away party for a close friend of ours. I won't ever say goodbye though. I hate feeling like you'll never see someone again. I leave it as "until next time". Just makes me feel better. Anyway, it was so nice hanging out with friends enjoying some relaxation on a Saturday afternoon into the evening. With our jobs, we are the worst with actually taking time away from work to hang out with friends. Since we both work for ourselves from home (Tony does completely while I go between home, the gym and the park) we feel like we should always be working. This is not a good place to be in mentally. Good times have to be had too!

Sunday started out super slow for us. It was exactly what we needed. Relaxing with coffee and not just jumping into work (which we both had to do even if it was Father's Day). Tony actually keeps getting a crazy pinched never in his neck and I woke up with a monkey knot in my upper back. I love being close to him, but dang I don't want to have sympathy pains for him. ;) Anyway, we both really wanted to workout, but neither of us knew how much our bodies could take. We took it to the gym for a little run and maybe some lifting. Well, we both ended up loving the run and just kept going. The pain in our backs disappeared so we finished off our workout with a little 10k! Tony hit a PR so that was a great Father's Day treat for him! I didn't PR (I wasn't looking for it anyway), but it was a great run. Funny how much better I am at accepting not hitting a PR every time. The great part for me now is that I don't hurt after my runs anymore. It was just an incredible workout!

Then, it was time to shower, work and cook! I had a meal plan for the day that needed some prepping. Tony requested lentil burgers with homemade gluten free buns and home fries.

Nothing is more relaxing for me then baking. Also, the smell of freshly baked bread is so incredibly heavenly!

Max made the guacamole for the burgers and we all feasted! It's been so long since I've been in the kitchen and it felt so good actually making a meal from scratch instead of just throwing things together for a quickie meal. I'm definitely going to make this happen more often!

I also made cheesecake, but that recipe is coming tomorrow with a give away! 

Here's to making it a great week friends! 

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 8:48 AM   9 comments
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Travel Superlatives!
Well, hello my friends! Wow have I missed this little place. The last 4 weeks are really kind of a blur. I have traveled every weekend since Blend (May 17th). I don't think I've ever traveled that much in one stretch in my entire life. That means I was home for 3 or 4 days before I was back out the door again. In between, I was trying my best to keep the house from being a total wreck (I failed miserably at that), clean clothes (notice I did not mention folding any), train clients, work at the gym, design menu plans for my nutrition clients, repack and get our fuel in order for the trip...felt like a marathon! Anyway, I'm back at home with all three of my men and I'm one happy girl to have this family back together after being apart for almost 3 weeks.

I want to say it was a choice to be quiet here, but really I've had no choice. Instagram definitely saved me when it came to social media time during all this travel! I LOVE it! Any time I got a few minutes of downtime, I was checking out my peeps! I LOVE all the positive vibes that come from Instagram! I never used to use my phone to capture moments and I'm so thankful that I do now. Memories are priceless and I need to focus more on capturing more of these keepsake moments.

So, I thought it would be interesting for me to focus on the high points of the weeks rather than the fact that we drove mostly in the rain for a total of about 30 hours in 3 weeks and are just plain exhausted. Excuse the horrible phone pictures, but these are some of my Superlatives Of Our Travel!

Best Breakfast
Bob's Red Mill Muesli this was the perfect fuel for Tony on this trip. I'm kind of religious about my oats, but he put together single servings of his muesli for every morning and it worked like a charm for him!

Proudest Lunch 
Tony and I packed bags of salad for traveling. We take a plug in cooler with us to every convention we go to. These salads are perfect for when you can't go out to grab a bite to eat. He topped his with gluten free sausage balls! (FYI I now use chickpea flour in this recipe)

Best Salad At a Restaurant
Anyone who does not eat meat, that ever orders a salad at a restaurant where meat eaters eat, knows that good salads are hard to come by. The Tomato Head in Knoxville wins hands down for best restaurant salad! You can't see them, but there are a ton of black beans under those sprouts! Made me such a happy girl!

Weirdest Moment For Snacking On Cereal
I was surrounded by people drinking heavily while I munched on a cup of Attune Foods Buckwheat Hemp Cereal. Designated driver here! We were at a pop culture convention so there were even celebrities from my youth hanging out...while I munched on cereal. Yep, I'm that girl...

Best Meal Upon Arriving Home!
Sauteed turnip greens and mushrooms with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and nutritional yeast topped with pasta sauce all served with protein flatbread (original recipe here, I will share this variation soon)! The mixture of hot and cold, light and hearty totally hit the spot! Welcome home to me!

Most Shocking 
I hit a little over 5 minutes on my planks! Sadly, I have not planked since...

Best Workout
I got in an unintentional 9 mile run last Thursday. I was meeting a client at the park for some training, so I ran to the park. It was drizzling and there was a lot of activity going on, so I was highly entertained. I got in 4 miles, then another 4 with her and then finished off my run home to end at 9. The funny thing about that run is that it did not kill me. It was slow, but it felt really good! 

So, any Superlatives for you the past couple of weeks? Help me catch up! I'm still trying to get through my reader. Oh, that reminds me, I need to figure out what I'm going to do about my reader!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 5:00 AM   11 comments

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