Archive | May 2012

Two Weeks of Dairy-Free Eating

The first time I decided to go dairy-free when I was nursing, I literally felt like I would have to eat white rice and plain chicken all day long. It seemed so overwhelming. I made up this list to give to any other poor mother who felt that way. 🙂 There are so so many options!

Two Weeks of Dairy-Free Eating








CARB: ½ c Instant Oatmeal, 1T Smart Balance Vegan Butter or coconut oil, 2T frozen berriesPROTEIN: 3 frozen sausage links (Jones Dairy Farm suggested)DRINK: coffee with Vanilla “So Delicious” Coconut Milk and ½ t sugar Granola, nuts, blueberries, and sliced banana Nature’s Own Bread, sliced deli meat, honey, mustard, tomato sandwich, plain potato chips, fruit, oreos Pittsburgh Salad Oreos


CARB: 2 whole-grain waffles (Harris Teeter Naturals Brand or Van’s)PROTEIN: 4 slices pork or turkey bacon Nuts or Sunflower Seeds Coleman’s Own Organic chicken nuggets (or Tyson), corn chips, pita chips, or plain potato chips, fresh fruit Chicken, Rice and Bean Mexican Stew So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream or desserts


CARB: Kashi GoLean Crunch CerealPROTEIN: ½ c soy milk Corn chips, pita chips, carrot sticks, or potato chips and hummus Sliced cooked chicken breast, avocado, two slices of bacon, red wine vinegar and olive oil on lettuce or Nature’s Own Bread Oven-Barbeque Chicken, served with Diced Sweet Potato Fries Cherrybrook Kitchen baking mixes


CARB: two slices Nature’s Own wheat bread or Thomas Bagel, Smart Balance Vegan Spread, fresh banana, berries, or melonPROTEIN: one egg, cooked with vegetable spray Saltine crackers, rice cakes, or celery and peanut butter/almond butter Romaine lettuce, sliced hard-boiled egg, bacon, avocado, deli turkey or cooked chicken breast, tomato, red wine vinegar and olive oil or Brianna’s brand dressing (the Poppyseed and Honey Mustard) Spaghetti and Meatballs Ghiradelli Chocolate chips: mixed with cheerios and raisins, or melted with fruit



 Blueberry Pancakes (Bisquick recipe made with Rice Milk, add blueberries)

PROTEIN: scrambled eggs or Jones Dairy Farm sausage links

Hard-boiled egg – mixDijonmustard, salt and pepper with the yoke for taste, plain potato chips Bagel with peanut butter, apple or orange Easy Roast Chicken served with wild rice and salad with Brianna’s Poppyseed dressing Jello (or Trader Joe’s) pudding mixes made with soy or rice milk


smoothie with frozen strawberries, blueberries, bananas, water/soymilk and honey “Nachos”: corn chips, taco-seasoned ground beef or turkey, avocado, tomato, jalepeno pepper, shredded lettuce, black beans Slow-Cooker Pot Roast, Alexia Foods brand frozen Julianne potatoes or Rosemary Garlic Oven-Fries “Oh’s” cereal


Cous cous prepared with lemon juice, olive oil, and grilled chicken (make ahead and eat for the week) Harris Teeter Fresh Foods Market Black Bean Soup, saltines, apple Three-Bean Chili, Jiffy-brand cornbread muffin mix made with rice/soy milk Rice crispy treats, regular recipe made with Smart Balance Vegan Butter


Pasta Salad: whole wheat spirals, chopped pepper, broccoli, deli salomi or ham, white beans, white wine vinegar, olive oil Chicken and Dumplings (or Chicken Noodle Soup) Ciao Bella brand sorbet


Grilled Chicken Salad Super-Easy Apricot Chicken Baked Apples


Tuna Salad Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Blueberry Crisp


Cuban Black Beans and Rice


Brasato (Brased Short Ribs)


Shredded Crock Pot Chicken


Italian Balsamic Chicken, Baked Potatoes with Smart Balance Vegan Spread

Recipe review: The Pioneer Woman’s Tortilla Soup

 My family had this dish when we were all together in the mountains to get our Christmas trees. Everyone absolutely loved it, even the little kids! It is very filling for a soup! Make sure you have plenty of avocado if you are omitting dairy toppings. You won’t even miss them! Delicious! Way to go, Ree!

  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 1/4 cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
  • 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Hot Water
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
  • 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches
  • _____
  • Diced Avocado
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
  • Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.

Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

dairy-free baked pasta

Every once in a while, I get a hunger that only baked pasta can satisfy. I wanted to make something really flavorful and hearty, obviously without dairy. This dish was delicious! I did add a four-cheese blend on top for Todd and me before baking. Sam liked his right off the stove! If I were eating the dairy-free, I think I would have blended bread crumbs with melted butter and salt and pepper to sprinkle on the top before baking.


Box of rigatoni – rice pasta if you wish

1 1/2 sausages in casings

olive oil

colored peppers (I used half of a red and half of an orange), large dices

one onion, cut into small dices

1/2 c PLAIN (not vanilla) coconut milk

crushed red pepper, dried basil, and dried oregano

3-4 cloves of garlic

jar spaghetti sauce

1/3 c plain tomato sauce


Cook pasta according to box directions. In non-stick skillet heat 1 T olive oil. Add peppers and onions. Cook for a minute or two. Remove sausage from casings and add to pan, using wooden spoon to form crumbles as you cook. When the sausage is almost done, add the garlic, minced, and salt, pepper, dried basil and dried oregano. I was very generous in the amounts…it had a lot of spice! Let the spices cook for one minute. Then stir in the jarred sauce and tomato sauce, when that is heated through, stir in the coconut milk. Pour this into a baking dish. Add bread crumbs if you wish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. It was so rich and delicious!

Trader Joe’s White Lightning Chili

One of the (many) perks to our new house is that it’s 10 minutes from Trader Joe’s. I found this recipe on this blog which features Trader Joe’s foods in their recipes. We all loved it. Todd asked me to make it again soon. As she references, it is a tad on the spicy side for kids. Sam never mentioned it though. Before I served his, I added 1T of PLAIN coconut milk, avocado slices, and a handful of ritz-type crackers to cut the spice a bit. He literally ate the entire bowl! Be sure to have plenty of avocado on hand for toppings if you are omitting dairy. Oh, another note…I know this is health-food heresy, but I am not the biggest quinoa fan. I substituted 2/3 c of brown rice and added another cup of broth, but followed her recipe. I would definitely do that again.

White Lightning Chili

1 1-lb container of Just Chicken (or 4 cups of cooked and shredded chicken) cut into bite size chunks
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 15-oz can White Kidney Beans (Cannellini Beans), drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
1 13.75-oz jar Corn and Chile Salsa
Optional: Shredded cheese for garnish

1.) Pour the broth into a medium or large pot.  Add the quinoa (make sure quinoa is rinsed and drained).  Bring to a boil.
2.) Add the remaining ingredients (making sure beans are rinsed and drained) and return to a boil.  Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

ya gotta laugh

I’ve been reading about the importance of humor in life. We had a truly hilarious night last night. Thinking about it in blog-form actually brought a smile to my face in the wee hours of the morning. Here is how it enfolded for Todd and me. 10:30 – lights out. 10:31 – Todd falls asleep. 11:00 – Snuggled up cozily, I realize it’s probably getting too cold for Ty, who’s in a short sleeve shirt. I rouse myself and go upstairs to turn the air down. 1:30 – The doorbell rings three times. Todd and I sprint from our beds in Santa-sighting fashion. Of course, there’s no one there. Todd eventually sights a few envigorated pre-teens hiding behind some trees. 1:45 – back in bed. Todd mumbles something about how much fun those kids think they are having, which makes me wonder if we are getting some sort of divine retribution for some similar acts several decades ago. 2:00 – In one final hurrah of eighth grade deliquency, the doorbell rings again. Nice touch. (We ignore it.) 3:00 – Sam awakes, crying loudly. I race upstairs before he wakes up Ty to realize we are missing some particular stuffed animal. Whispering, I pacify him and go downstairs. 3:30 – Ty awakes for a bottle. Yes, a bottle. Yes, he is 14 months old. (I comply.) 5:30 – Sam awakes again, crying loudly. I rush upstairs to discover he has somehow stubbed his toe. We get settled down. Downstairs I inform Todd that when the boys wake up, it is his turn to get up in the morning. He responds, “I’d be happy to.” “That’s great,” I say. “Because I hear him now practicing his consonants.” Silence from Todd. Guess I must have still been whispering. 6:30 – Ty is still talking/crying. Todd and I have a brief but spirited discussion on what classifies crying. Todd leaves. *post-script. I did get to go back to sleep for a little bit. (Thank you Todd.) And when I got up, breakfast was being served, and unlike a prior snack of Dad’s, it wasn’t even applesauce with skittles. So all’s well that ends well. And that’s what coffee’s for, right!