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Showing posts from March, 2010

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Gooey goodness.
Pumpkin Cookies

Preheat OVEN to 350 degrees.
Cream together: 1/2 cup margarine, softened 1 1/2 cups white sugar
Add and beat together: 1 cup canned pumpkin puree 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine with: 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (OR replace with pumpkin pie spice) 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (OR replace with pumpkin pie spice) 1/2 teaspoon salt
Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle icing with fork.
Icing Combine, add milk as needed to achieve drizzling consistency: 2 cups confectioners' sugar 3 tablespoons soy, rice or almond milk 1 tablespoon melted margarine  1 teaspoon vanilla extract


A definite favorite for all who have enjoyed them.

Preheat OVEN to 400 degrees.
1 ½ CUP sugar
½ CUP shortening
½ CUP margarine (softened)
2 eggs

2 ¾ CUPS flour
2 TEASPOONS cream of tarter
1 TEASPOON baking soda

Add more flour if needed to be able to make firm balls out of the dough. Shape dough into 1-1½ inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 1-2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe makes about 48 2-inch cookies.
Estimated prepare and bake time is 30-40 minutes.
NOTE: An additional 1/2 cup of flour may be added for more fluffy cookies (as shown in photo).

Wassail - Warm Drink

Wassail is a hot, nutritious drink with an aroma and flavor that fills the house and soul. This is my very favorite Christmas-time drink.

For a group of 15-20 people, slowly heat on stove top or crock pot: 64 ounces apple juice 64 ounces orange juice (fresh squeezed is amazing) 3-4 cinnamon sticks (to taste) 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Heat over the stove until perfectly steamy. Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
This drink makes a great pair with Snickerdoodle cookies.

Converting Your Recipes

I have found that baking and cooking recipes work using non-dairy substitutes most often. The major differences will be texture and lack of creaminess. Using soy, rice and almond milk instead of milk in recipes is often an unnoticable difference. The major difference in taste and texture has occured for me when replacing butter with margarine. I believe the main reason for this is that margarine often has water in it. This means that cookies spread thinner when cooking, so I have learned to add a little extra flour to the dough. Also, when I make rolls, I choose not to brush them with melted margarine before or after cooking because it has resulted in soggy rolls.
When using a substitute, use the same amount as directed in the original recipe or use your best judgement.
Experiment with new recipes and find the substitutes that you prefer.

Pasta Salad

Our addiction to this pasta salad began when a friend made it for us for dinner after our baby was born. What a wonderful union of flavors and a quick meal.

Mix together:
- Cooked and strained Tri-color rotini pasta
- Italian sausage sliced thin, cut pepperoni or cut ham/canadian bacon
- 1 small can sliced olives
- Grape tomatoes (or diced roma tomatoes)
- Small pieces of brocolli (fresh or frozen)
- Italian seasoning blend
- Italian salad dressing

Optional: I often sautee the chosen meat alone or with onions before combining.

Mashed Potatoes

I convinced my husband that mashed potatoes are an amazing food. Here is what I do:

Wash, peel and cut and boil russet potatoes (smaller pieces cook faster) until they are soft enough to break when poked with a fork. Drain and pour into a mixing bowl. Add about 1/2 cup almond, soy or rice milk, 3-4 tablespoons of margarine, garlic salt, season blend and parsley flakes. (I sometimes add Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb blend for more bold flavor.) Blend with mixer until desired texture, adding milk as needed. Serve hot.

Shrimp Buritos

These burritos are one of my husbands favorites. Of course, if you don't like shrimp, you can use chicken or beef and still have simply satisfied taste buds.

-Large flour tortillas (warmed on the stove top)
-Prepared RiceARoni (or similar product) Spanish or Mexican Rice
-Black or pinto beans
-Cooked shrimp (We use frozen) cooked in a pan with garlic salt and seasoning blend
-Avocado chopped or mashed into guacamole
-Chopped tomatoes
-Chopped Cilantro
-Chopped Onion

Load it all on the tortilla, wrap it and devour.

No Bake Cookies

Substitutes work great in this recipe for delicious cookies without using the oven.

In a medium saucepan, combine:
- 1 3/4 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup milk (soy, rice or almond)
- 1/2 cup non-dairy margarine
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in:
- 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

No-bakes without cocoa:
One time, I made these cookies without the cocoa and it turned out much different, but still very good. I cooked the peanut butter in with the sugar, margarine and soy milk and then added an additional 1/4 cup peanut butter right before I mixed in the oats. The consistency ended up more gooey and didn't thicken as well, but still great tasting and less expensive.

Asian Chicken Salad

So satisfying and simple.

- Lettuce (I like a mix of Romain, green leaf and spinach leaves)
- Diced cooked chicken (grilled is best, but crock pot, stove top or oven cooked are all good)
- Asian salad dressing/marinade (my favorite is from Fresh and Easy, Kraft makes a good one too)
- Mandarin oranges
- Chowmein noodles
- Sliced almonds or cashew pieces
- Choice of cucumber, carrots, chopped or grape tomatoes, olives and/or bell pepper.

Toss all ingredients together for a light, even coat of dressing and serve fresh.

Gluten free without chowmein noodles.

Hawaiian Haystacks

Have available the following ingredients to freely stack the Hawaiian way.

- Lots of Rice
- Terriaki Chicken
- Cubed Ham
- Fresh pineapple
- Diced avocado
- Mandarin oranges
- Peas
- Chowmein noodles
- Chopped bell pepper
- Sauteed onion

Can be gluten free if you omit the chowmein noodles.

Enchilada Pile-up

This is worth the time it takes to round up these terrific flavors into one oven-safe dish.

Advanced preparations: crock pot cook either skinless/boneless chicken, beef or pork roast and shred once completed.
I use a 9X13 glass dish and layer the following ingredients:
-small corn tortillas
-green enchilada sauce
-shredded meat (plenty)
-chopped cilantro
-black beans
-fresh uncooked corn
-Seasoning Blend
-chopped olives
-garlic and onion to taste

Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, checking often for it to be bubbling throughout and browning on top. Serve hot with chips and salsa/guacamole.

Taco Salad

I love Taco Salad when it includes the following ingredients:

-Variety of lettuce
-Fritos (or tortilla chips)
-Quality beef and bean chili
-Black Beans
-Chopped bell pepper

Who needs cheese once all these flavors get involved???

Meal Idea List

Sometimes dinner time rolls around and I can't think of anything to make. Here is a list of meals compiled (and extended regularly) to assentuate the endless possibilities.

Terriaki chicken with rice and stirfry veggies
Hamburgers (check the buns for milk ingredients)
Arborio Rice Dish
Bowtie pasta with olive oil, bacon and broccoli
Soup in bread-bowls with salad
Pasta with sliced Italian sausage and asparagus
Crockpot Pork loin with carrots and potatoes
Barbecued Steak with RiceARoni and squash
Sub sandwiches
Potato Perfection
Baked Potato with bacon, peas, margarine and seasonings
Spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread
Shrimp Burritos
BBQ pork/beef/chicken sandwiches
Egg and sausage/ham burritos
Taco Salad
Tacos and Mexican/Spanish Rice
Stir fry
Pork chops with rice and veggies
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Turkey with mashed potatoes and broccoli
Chicken and glazed yams
Swiss Chard and Bacon with mashed potatoes
Steaks with pasta
Pasta Salad
Crab Pasta
Tostadas with refried beans, meat and …

Satisfaction is Found

Great Dairy Subsitute Options:

Cheese - Rice cheese is the best for taste and texture. Soy cheese is also available.
Milk - Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk. All work great in baking.
Butter -  A margarine that has very little or no dairy (usually says "less than 2% whey). We have used Smart Balance original blend (minimal dairy), but I learned that Smart Balance Light with Flax has ZERO dairy. This is a great substitute. Butter flavored or plain shortning are also great options in baking.
Icecream - Fruit Sorbet, rice or soy icecreams
Cream Cheese - Trader Joe's sells a plain dairy-free cream cheese that tastes pretty good.
Pizza - Cheese-less pizza or special order from a pizza place (be sure to ask about their pizza dough).
Frostings - Homemade using margarine or shortning, some storebought frostings have no dairy (example: Pillsbury Cream Cheese Flavor... slightly ironic.)

Fruit Smoooothy

Fruit smoothies can be just as refreshing with substitutes. Since you must omit the normal creamy ingredients (milk, sherbet, yogurt), blend your choice of fresh and/or frozen fruits with a small amount of milk substitute (my favorites are soy or almond milks), ice, fruit sorbet and/or fruit juice (V8 fusion juices add a lot of great flavor and nutrition).

Hawaiian Meatballs

I make my own meatballs by thoroughly mixing together lean ground beef, 1 egg, bread crumbs, garlic salt, parsley flakes and Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning blend. Then shape into balls and cook in a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, turning every 5 minutes or so. Once meatballs are mostly cooked, add carrots, decrease heat to low and put the lid on.
You can either buy sweet and sour sauce or make your own... it's easy to make.
Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
Mix all ingredients together to make sauce, add cornstarch/water mixture to thicken.
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
juice from 1 can of pineapple chunks Pour sauce over meatballs and carrots in the skillet. Add your choice of pineapple chunks/tidbits, sliced onions and/or bell peppers.
Raise heat to medium/low and put lid back on to heat through sauce and all ingredients. Sauce should be bubbling to thicken. Serve with prepared rice and enjoy!

This meal can b…

What is Dairy?

So, when we are avoiding dairy products, it means anything that is made using any product of milk is off the list. The initial realization of what this includes may seem overwhelming, but do not dismay, your life is not over! There are so many substitutes that make life ok again.

Dairy products include:
milk (including powdered milk)
cheese (including cottage cheese and cream cheese)
sour cream
whipped cream
butter (including many margarines)

Dairy products do NOT include:
marshmallows or marshmallow cream
peanut butter
cream corn

If you haven't already, become very aware and accustomed to looking at ingredients in all foods before assuming they are dairy-free. Especially check crackers, croutons, chips, cereals, soups (dry and prepared), breads, pancake mixes, frozen meals, sauces, pre-seasoned meats, dressing, cake/brownie mixes, etc.
Look for words like "whey" or "casein" in the ingredients along with those more obvious. Once you get used to the idea …