Milkshake (Bonus Recipe)

Each quarter there is one extra weekend that I have to plan for.  Last year I posted about a dairy free pantry (here) & other recipes that were not in the categories I had chosen.  This year I’m going to share two beverages & two soups.  Up first is a non-dairy milkshake – so easy to do & so many options to add in.  This is for one serving; for more than one, just duplicate by how many servings you are wanting.

 

1 cup non-dairy ice cream (I used vanilla, but there are so many choices)

1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut since my ice cream was coconut milk based)

 

Put in blender & blend until smooth.

For a thicker shake, use less milk.

 

I recommend using whichever milk the ice cream is based.

 

Flavors:

chocolate chip – Add in 1-2 tablespoons of Enjoy Life mini chips

mint chip – add in 1-2 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chips & 1/4 tsp peppermint extract

orange creamsicle – use vanilla ice cream & replace milk with orange juice

strawberry – slice 2-3 fresh strawberries & place in bowl with 1 tsp sugar; mash lightly & stir; allow to sit 5-6 minutes until juices form; mash a bit & stir again; using vanilla ice cream, pour in strawberries & blend, adding milk only if needed to thin out

chocolate – using Hershey’s* chocolate syrup – 1-3 teaspoons

coffee – brew coffee & cool; substitute milk with coffee

mocha – prepare coffee shake as above & add in 1-2 teaspoons Hershey’s* chocolate syrup

 

 

*Hershey’s syrup is dairy free; I don’t know about any other brands – just check before purchasing

Enjoy!

 

What flavors would you try?  Comment & let me know.

Demetrius’s Greek Chicken & Potatoes

My post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.  Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about living dairy free.   For the full disclosure see Ingredients List page.

 

This recipe is one that a friend of my father’s gave to my mother.  Demetrius was born & raised in Greece & immigrated, when he was a young man, to the U.S.  He worked with my father at the local cannery and he would occasionally come over & cook Greek food for us; this is one of our family’s favorite meals.

 

 

One whole chicken

6-8 potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt 

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1-2 tablespoons dried oregano, crushed

1 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Optional:  Fresh Lemon Slices & Fresh Oregano sprigs

 

(Demetrius’s directions:  well, you know how to cook, so just do it)

 

Preheat to 425°

Combine oil, garlic, dried oregano & lemon juice; divide in half.

Rinse chicken & pat dry (remove gizzard/liver packet & set aside).  Drizzle about 1/3 of the marinade on the chicken and rub it all over & under the skin. Season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the lemon and herbs inside the cavity, if using. Place the chicken breast-side up in a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet, roast the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes.

Cut potatoes in half, so they look like mounds; place in separate baking pan; drizzle a portion of the marinade over the potatoes; toss to coat.

Add potatoes to oven & reduce the temperature to 325°F and continue roasting – 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F .

Baste the chicken and potatoes with remaining marinade throughout the cooking time – every 30 minutes or so & turning potatoes as they cook.

Cook potatoes until golden.

Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a cutting board. Let it rest about 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

 

Serve hot.

 

Enjoy!

 

Do you have a favorite Greek dish?  Comment & let me know.

 

Comfort Food: Meatloaf

My post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.  Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about living dairy free.   For the full disclosure see Ingredients List page.

 

Comfort food is the food that makes us feel good – satisfied, calm, cared for and carefree. It’s food that fills us up emotionally and physically. … Finding comfort in food is a basic human experience.  – – Ellie Krieger

Each person had what they consider comfort food – good food that brings comfort when eaten; food which may remind of a good time in our life or a special person, such as a grandmother or mother, who cooked the food.  For our family, the grandchildren remember breakfast comfort food at my grandmother’s house – white toast with butter & her homemade strawberry jelly and bacon.  It may not be the best food for you.  🙂

I’m starting this feature with a simple recipe that I turn to often – Meatloaf.   It can be put together the night before a dinner party & cooked just before serving or it can be a great weeknight dinner for the family.  Below is the base recipe I use & I follow-up with substitutions and some delicious additions.  This is a great versatile recipe with unlimited options.

 

1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I use beef mostly, sometimes turkey)

2 eggs

1 onion, diced small

1 cup oatmeal

1/3 cup tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.  Using hands seems to mix the best – wear gloves – it is pretty messy.

Shape into a mound and place in your pan.  I use a 9 inch x 13 inch Pyrex baking dish.  You could also use a loaf pan.

Bake 30-45 minutes or until cooked through.

 

Substitutions for oatmeal:

  • Crushed up Crackers (we’ve used saltines, but butter flavored crackers would also be great)
  • Potato chips (note:  Flavored or unflavored – I’ve not been able to tell the difference once cooked in)
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Instant Potato Flakes

Substitutions for tomato sauce:

  • Ketchup

Additions – vegetables:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Shredded squash (zucchini, yellow crook neck)
  • Finely diced sweet peppers

Other spice options to add:

  • Thyme
  • Poultry seasoning (if using turkey)
  • Sage
  • Chili powder (for a spicy twist)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Liquid Smoke

 

Meatloaf is great served with potatoes, salad, rolls and whatever other vegetable side dish you cook (green beans are delicious).

 

Enjoy!

 

Do you have any unique ingredients you use in your meatloaf?  Comment & let me know.

 

 

End of 2016/Looking Ahead with Changes

This year has passed very quickly and so much has happened in the past 12 months that my head sometimes feels like it is swimming.  I am looking forward to 2017 in the hopes that I will be able to move past the recurrent injury & illness that has plagued me all year.  Our family went through a major transition this year as we lost my grandmother (my “grandlady” as I called her – pictured in post image with me).  She passed away just a few short weeks shy of her 88th birthday & she was one of my best friends.  She had been failing for some time, physically, and spent the last 2 months or so of her life in the hospital.  All except the last week, the family was able to be with her around the clock; once she was moved to a rest home we were only able to be there during the day.  She peacefully passed with a life fully lived.  Some days, the loss still feels like it was just yesterday.  She was my number one cheerleader and she was always willing to try my recipes as I transitioned to non-dairy.  Many of the heirloom recipes I shared this past year were hers.  Even though she is gone, her legacy lives on in her many family members & their love of family, cooking and food!

One positive – I started & completed a virtual marathon (definitely not the same as running a marathon).  This is one just to get a body moving & can be done in bits and pieces.  I started off really great but then the injury & illness set in and it was a struggle to keep the momentum up; I didn’t give up, but I did put it on hold a couple of times.  I had just returned to getting in a daily walk when I had the most recent injury over Thanksgiving.  A friend gave me a fitbit as a gift knowing I wouldn’t have purchased one for myself (and I am so excited to have it & absolutely love it!), and, since it tracked my daily movement I was able to use those (very, very) small “walks” to finish the race before the end of this year (2016).  I chose “The Race to Oz” on Yes Fit as my first virtual race.  I will be signing up with Yes Fit again shortly for the 2017 race; I will use this race to track my healing as my physical therapist gets me up and going over the next few weeks.  I am hoping & planning on doing at least on additional virtual “race” prior to the end of 2017 & if all goes well, I might even try for an actual 5K by the end of the year too.  I do have a dream of someday running a full marathon; this is one of the goals for working towards & making living healthier not just a resolution, but a life change.

 

My plans for this blog for 2017 will have to be adjusted for a few months.  My categories for 2017 are continuing the National Day of category & new categories of appetizers/beverages, comfort food and Mediterranean/Healthy cooking.  Unfortunately, due to injury I won’t actually be able to begin those specific categories until March or April.  I’m not able to be up on my feet for the next few months and thus, I’m not able to cook at this time.  Until then, I’m spending my blog time reading recipes and creating recipes that I can get started with as soon as I’m able to be up and cooking.

One of the other things that I am currently doing is receiving a “Farm Fresh to You” box every other week and I hope to create recipes with the items received in each box.  There are multiple box sizes & you custom when you receive them.  The few days prior to your delivery you can custom your box to fruits and vegetables that your family will eat and remove those that they won’t eat (there is a cut off – for example: changes must be made by 10 am Monday for a Wednesday delivery) .  If Farm Fresh isn’t available in your area check out your local CSA for opportunity to get fresh fruits and vegetables.  Kale anyone?

 

With the changes and the inability to cook, over the next few months I am going to blog a few recipes that I have completed but that I didn’t use over the past year as well as the healthier changes I am implementing in my life as I heal and tips and hits that are working (or not working) for me.

I’m also using the time away from the stove to create my first cookbook.  I have a couple of ideas and I’m not sure yet if I’m going to start with one or split it in two.  I’ll make that decision & announce my plans in the next week or so. I’m really excited about this & am looking forward to get started on working the recipes that I’ve been creating.

 

 

Do you have any big plans for 2017?  Any reflections on 2016?  Comment and let me know.

Do you have a “comfort food” that you love?  Comment & let me know & it might end up being featured in that category.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Nutrition: Re-Cap

It’s hard to believe we are already coming to the end of 2016.  Are you ready for 2017?  In some ways I’m not, but in others, I’m more than ready (2016 seemed to be the year of illness & injury for me).  There is only one weekend left 2016 & one more post after today.

When I was planning 2016 I knew that one of the topics I wanted to cover was making sure I was replacing the nutrition that I was getting when consuming dairy with other sources.  Today I’m going to re-cap those posts in one post so they are easily accessible.  Just click on each nutrient & it will take you to that post.

 

Disclaimer:

I’m not a professional/nutritionist or a doctor; this is just the result of research that I’ve done for myself that I am sharing.  Please research for yourself and don’t forget to consult/discuss with your healthcare provider!

 

Calcium

Vitamin D

Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese & Phosphorus

Potassium, Selenium, Sodium, Zinc

Minor Proteins & Enzymes in Milk; Butter Nutrients

Protein

Amino Acids

Vitamin A, B’s (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 & B12) & Fatty Acids

Vitamins C, E, K

 

National Day of Cocoa – Dec. 11

National Day of Cocoa.  So many options are available with cocoa – cakes, cookies, candy, mole, etc.  I’ve decided to keep it simple & short.  Prep/cooking is about 5-7 minutes & cooling is about 30.  I’m sharing one of my brothers’ favorite cookie recipe – Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies.  This is not really a cookie but a soft fudge candy.

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2 cups sugar

1/2 c non-dairy milk

1 stick Earth Balance or 8 tablespoons of your non-dairy “butter” of choice

1/4 cup cocoa

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup creamy peanut butter (some recipes call for crunchy – it would be a personal preference)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla flavoring

large pinch of kosher salt

 

 

Cover baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, milk & “butter” in a saucepan & bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling (a full rolling boil), boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat & add remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.

Drop by tablespoons full (or small cookie scoop) onto prepared pans until cool & hard – about 30 minutes.

Store in tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Prep:

img_4787 img_4788 img_4789 img_4790 img_4795

Cooking & Cooling:

img_4792 img_4794 img_4796 img_4797 img_4798 img_4800

img_4801

If you run out of cookie sheets – put parchment on the counter, like above.

Note:  If precipitation in the air (humidity, rain, snow, etc) I recommend allowing to boil 1 minute longer or your cookies will potentially be super soft.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

What is your favorite cookie?  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Mom’s Breakfast Sausage

This week I was going to share my grandmother’s Teriyaki Wings recipe, but I haven’t found where I put the recipe – I’ll share it a bit later once I find it.  Instead, I’m going to share my mother’s Breakfast Sausage recipe.

This stuff is mandatory for our camping trips – it’s just not the same without it.

I’m having a no shopping Dec/Jan.  I’ll be making a big batch of this in the coming weeks to have in the freezer for breakfasts.  I hope you enjoy!

 

2 lbs ground beef (not lean!)
2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons water
Liquid Smoke, to taste (Optional)

Mix spices & liquids; add meat & mix well. Form patties. Freeze or cook.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Have you ever had homemade sausage?  Comment & let me know.