Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mexican Chicken Corn Casserole

Here is another super simple recipe that is a crowd pleaser.

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 box Spanish rice
  • 1/2 cup Tofutti Better Then Sour Cream
  • 1 can sliced Black Olives
  • 1 cup Salsa
  • Half a small bag of frozen corn

1. Cook chicken and cube. Set aside.
2. While Chicken is cooking, make rice according to the box, omitting butter.
3. In a bowl (or the pot you cooked the rice in to save washing a dish) mix rice, chicken, Tofutti, olives, salsa, and corn.
4. Transfer to a casserole dish.
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Almost makes you not miss cheese. Almost.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lower Fat Skillet Hash

I make this once or twice a month and it is one of my daughter's favorites. It is very simple and easy.

  • 1 pound of 93% lean ground beef
  • small bag or half a large bag of pre-diced hash browns (you are certainly welcome to dice your own :P)
  • small bag of frozen peas (heck, go ahead and shell your own after you are done dicing your potatoes.)
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • Seasoning salt to taste

  1. Either take hash browns out to thaw the morning before cooking or defrost them in the microwave.
  2. Brown ground beef and separate with a spatula.
  3. Drain most water or fat. I leave a little in so the potatoes don't stick.
  4. Add potatoes.
  5. Sprinkle the whole pan with seasoning salt.
  6. Cook til potatoes are soft, but still hold their shape.
  7. Add peas.
  8. Pour Worcestershire over the pan to taste, I think I used about a tablespoon, but we like Worcestershire sauce. This sort of deglazes the pan and gets all the brown bits mixed into your meat and potatoes.
  9. Serve immediately.

Side note, if you have a picky foods-can't-touch toddler in the house (like me) you can withhold some of the meat before adding all the extras. Then nuke a small dish of peas and a small dish of potatoes. Voila. No whining. At least not about the food.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let Them Eat Egg Free Cake

I promise to start posting some everyday type recipes soon, but since baking is such a pain in the egg and dairy free world, I thought I would impart some thoughts on cake. :P

Before I found out that many Duncan Hines cake mixes were egg and dairy free, I experimented a bit trying a Crazy Cake recipe. Crazy cake was supposedly invented during the Great Depression Era when milk and eggs were hard to come by.

The recipe (from recipeezaar) is as follows:
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water


In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened. Pour into 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake at 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.

Verdict: Meh. I am probably not one to ask because I don't love chocolate cake. Blasphemy, I am aware. However, it got a passing grade from my husband. I looks like cake. It tastes like a bland cake. It has a slight texture issue. My parents didn't care for it, I don't think, because when I mentioned using it for my daughter's 1st birthday party I was met with some resistance. From what I have read of other reviews, some people enjoy it so maybe it suffered from chef's error. Maybe I am not perfect after all? That would suck.

So crazy cake is not a great substitute for our family. Maybe cake is one of those foods, like pizza, that you just have to give up on or eat a really poor alternative for. Nope! Duncan Hines has saved the day. Please note that not all variety of Duncan Hines are dairy free. Also note that most other brands DO contain dairy. Also, like any processed food, ingredients can change at any given time. Please remember to read labels!

Of course you cannot just make a cake from a mix according to the directions on the box. Let me help you out:

Egg/Dairy Free Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake

1 Box Moist Deluxe Classic Yellow Cake
1 1/3 Cups of Water
1/3 Cup Veg oil
4 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 7 tbsp warm water (mix together in a separate cup)

1. Preheat Oven to 350
2. Spray your cake pan with veg oil (I use one with flour mixed in.)
3. Mix all ingredients for 2 minutes.
4. Pour into pan
5. If using a standard 13x9 bake for 30-35 minutes. Cupcakes take 18-22.
6. Cool and frost.

Verdict: It tastes like cake. It looks like cake. It has almost the same texture as cake. Let's call it cake.

Happily, Pillsbury makes a couple dairy free frostings. If you are feeling ambitious, however, you are certainly able to make a butter cream using soy milk, powdered sugar, and a non dairy margarine such as Fleischmann's unsalted.

This cake was just frosted with canned frosting while I was experimenting for my daughter's birthday. (My son begged me to put candles on it, so we had an impromptu very merry unbirthday party one afternoon.)


Monday, December 22, 2008


My daughter is a different sort of eater then my son was. My son willingly opened his mouth and smiled happily as I fed him. I think he figured I could feed him faster then if he was feeding himself. My daughter? She wants nothing to do with any spoon not held in her own hot little hand. She grunts and pushes away my hand if I try to feed her. She learned to say spoon (boon) and will ask for one if we are late putting one on her high chair tray. So what do I feed Ms. Self Sufficient for snacks?

Corn Chex
Life Cereal
Sunflower seeds (this is great for fine motor too, although gross to see again 12 hours later)
Freeze dried fruit and veggies
Finely chopped raw fruit (the girl can seriously throw down a small tub of blue berries all on her own)
Marie's Tea Biscuits
Saltines (Check your ingredients list!!! Not all are dairy free! We buy Premium Brand.)
Hormel Natural Brand Ham chopped fine. (Does not contain lactic acid from a dairy source!)
Breast Milk :P

As a side note, I don't let my son eat any snacks in the house that my daughter might react too. The last thing I need is not to be watching for one minute while he shares. The only dairy we have in the house is actual milk that my husband uses on his cereal.

Our Thanksgiving Menu

I have been meaning to start this blog for a while, so this is sort of a make up post. Much like the this was the first year I have done much Holiday baking, this was also the first year I had Thanksgiving at my house. I made a full Thanksgiving dinner for 7 that was totally egg and dairy free. Need ideas on what to serve your egg and dairy free family at a gathering? Read on...

Here is what we had:

Turkey basted in bacon.
Verdict- Anything wrapped in bacon is tasty.

Mashed Potatoes- A bag of red potatoes smashed with a stick of dairy free margarine and plain soy milk.
Verdict- Delicious!

(from allcooks.com)-
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 2 tablespoons Smart Balance
• 2 cups water or vegetable broth
• 1 vegetable bouillon cube (Omit this if you use broth.)
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 pinch thyme
• fresh ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons cold water
1. Whisk the margarine and flour together over low heat in a small saucepan for a few minutes until the flour is cooked and golden.
2. Add the water and bouillon or broth, soy sauce, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil while whisking often to keep it smooth.
3. Lower heat and simmer a minute or so.
4. Combine cornstarch and water and stir well to get rid of lumps. Whisking gravy briskly, pour into saucepan. Continue whisking until gravy returns to a boil and has thickened.
Verdict- Very good and pretty fool proof. I added about a cup of turkey drippings also. Not lumpy at all.

Kroger brand Brown and Bake Rolls- Egg and dairy free! Who knew?
Verdict- Flaky and tasty.

Sweet Potato Apple Casserole- I am not going to give the recipe for this. It was a pretty ugly failure. If you like your sweet potatoes sitting in a pile of greasy orange juice email me and I will send you the recipe. :P

Easy Pumpkin Muffins (from a Lutheran church cookbook)-
1 (18 1/4 ounce) package Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Cake Mix (Dairy and egg free, not all cake mixes are so be sure to read the ingredients list!!!)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl for 2 minutes. Contents will be thick.
3. Line muffin tin with paper cups.
4. Fill 2/3 full with batter.
5. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar.
5. Bake 20 to 23 minutes.
Verdict- These taste like a muffin you would get at Starbucks. They are dense and spicy, and just plain delicious. Both my kids love them. Even my picky guy who shuns cake.

Green bean Casserole (adapted from recipeczar.com)-
• 2 1/2 cups soymilk, plain
• 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
• 3 (14 ounce) cans cut green beans
• 1 cup shelled edamame
• 1 can sliced water chestnuts
• 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 15 ounces French-fried onions
• 1-2 teaspoon garlic powder
• fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2 In a pot over medium-high heat, add 2c of the soy milk, the sliced mushrooms, garlic, and black pepper. Slowly bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Dissolve the corn starch into the remaining ½c of soy milk and add to the pot. Stir well for 5 minutes and remove from the heat.
3 Drain the beans and pour them into a casserole dish. Add about 1c of the onions to the beans, as well as the soy milk mixture, water chestnuts, and edamame. Toss. Place in the oven for 35-45 minutes, top with the rest of the onions, and cook for a few more minutes until the onions are brown. Let the casserole sit for 10-15 minutes to set and cool.
Verdict- This is not your average gb casserole. It is not sticky or gloppy. The edamame and water chestnuts give it texture beyond the usual mush of canned green beans. My husband is a traditionalist and likes the canned version better, but I think this version wins.

Egg/dairy free Pumpkin Pie- from the Ener-G website

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (Store bought Pillsbury brand!)
(1-15 oz.) Can of pumpkin
(1 cup) milk or soy milk
(3/4 cup) sugar
(1/4 cup) corn starch
(1/4 tsp.) salt ( opt. )
(1 tsp.) vanilla
(2 tsp.) pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla together. Mix other dry ingredients well in a separate bowl. Add this mixture to the pumpkin mix, then mix slowly for 1 minute. Scrape bottom & sides. Mix on med speed or slow-med speed for 2 min. Pour into pie shell & bake for 5-6 min. Turn oven to 350 degrees & bake for approx. 45 min. Let cool enough to chill in Fridge, then chill for approx. 30 min. before cutting
Verdict- I will be honest, I didn't have high hopes for this pie. Traditional pumpkin pie is a sort of custard that relies heavily on eggs. Usually the more adjustments that have to be made to a recipe, the less likely it will turn out to be palatable facsimile of the original. However, despite essentially replacing eggs with corn starch, this was pretty good. Instead of a custard consistency, this ha more of a thick pudding consistency, but the flavors were nice and it held its shape well.

Apple Pie- an adaptation from a Lutheran church cookbook

* 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (Store bought Pillsbury brand!)
* 1/2 cup dairy free margarine
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup water
* 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced


1. Melt margarine in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
3. Bake 15 minutes at 425. Reduce the temperature to 350, and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.
Verdict- Just like grandma used to make! It was a hit with all the apple pie lovers at our dinner.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Baking

Perhaps one of the hardest areas to adapt to a dairy and egg free diet is baking. Eggs are pretty important and most butter and margarine is, obviously, dairy. Luckily I was able to find one kind of margarine that was dairy free and available year round. Fleischmanns unsalted margarine. You have to make sure you are getting the unsalted variety. It isn't widely available, but I have found it at a local grocery store. It is not a store I regularly shop at because of location, but when I am in need I pop in and stock up. It freezes well. I have heard rumors that there is another brand called Mother's Margarine that is available around passover, but I have never seen it.

Eggs. I have found the best replacement for eggs to be Ener-G egg replacer. I will also occasionally use flax seed, but I don't care for the texture it adds some baked goods. Applesauce and mashed banana are okay replacements in muffins or pancakes, but not so much in cookies or cake unless you want an apple or banana flavored cookie or cake.

I normally don't do a whole lot of holiday baking. My grandmother bakes oodles of tasty cookies and my mother in law has a delicious pressed butter cookie family recipe and usually gives us 3 or 4 dozen. This year, neither my daughter or I will be able to sample those goodies so I thought I would test out some new cookies to take with us to our various Christmas parties. Some turned out better then others. All 3 of these recipes are adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookie Book.

The Cookies!


The first and best recipe I tried was for Maple Sandies. Because the recipe does not call for egg there was little adaption to be made.

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup dairy free margarine -- softened
1/2 teaspoon maple extract or 1 teaspoon Maple flavoring
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Beat brown sugar, butter and maple extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in pecans. Shape into roll, 12 inches long. Wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 375º. Cut roll into 1/4-inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Verdict: These turned out really well. Take them out when they are still puffy to the touch. They will harden upon cooling. No one will know they are for a specialty diet. I promise.

Next up we have Sunflower Cookies. I know. Not very Christmasy. But my kids love them some sunflower seeds so I thought these might be interesting.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dairy free margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 1/2 tbsp warm water
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower nuts
1/4 teaspoon yellow food color

Mix egg replacer and water in a cup and froth with a fork.

Beat sugar, butter, vanilla and Ener-G mixture in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Divide dough into one-third and two-thirds portions. Stir sunflower nuts into one-third dough. Stir food color into two-thirds dough.

Shape sunflower dough into two 3/4-inch rolls, 8 inches long. Divide yellow dough in half. Pat each half into rectangle, 8 × 4 inches, on lightly floured surface. Top each rectangle with roll of sunflower dough. Wrap yellow dough around roll of sunflower dough. Press edges together.
Wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 350º. Grease cookie sheet. Cut rolls into 1/4-inch slices. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Cut slits in outer yellow edge about every 1/2 inch to shape tips of petals. Bake 8 to 10 minutes

Verdict: Not bad. As my husband put it, they are different. The flavor is not bad, but you could almost cut the sunflower seed addition in half and have it turn out with a nicer texture. My kids liked them.

Lastly we have Cinnamon Twists.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dairy free margarine -- softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 1/2 tbsp warm water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375º.

Mix egg replacer and water in a cup and froth with a fork.

Beat sugar, butter, vanilla and egg replacer in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Divide dough in half. Stir cinnamon into one half.

Shape 1 level teaspoonful each, plain and cinnamon dough, into 3-inch rope. Place ropes side by side; twist gently. Repeat with remaining dough. Place twists about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until very light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. While still warm, dredge in powered sugar.

Verdict: Very good when fresh out of the oven. After about a half hour, however they took on the texture of biscotti. Nothing wrong with biscotti, but that just wasn't what I thought these were suppose to feel like. We are not taking these to any parties. We are, however, not throwing them away either. Anything dredged in powdered sugar is bound to be edible. I wouldn't go through the trouble of making twists should I ever make these again. I would just make little balls and be done with it.

Why we are vegans who eat meat...

Last May we discovered that our daughter has an IgE allergy to eggs and dairy. She was still exclusively breast fed at the time and was reacting through proteins that transferred into her milk from food I ate. We met with an allergist an she prescribed totally eliminating all trace of egg and dairy from her diet, which meant as long as I was still nursing her I would need to eliminate as well to provide her a safe food source. A true dairy/cheese addict, this was a major challenge for me. Not to mention near all my standby cheap, quick, and easy meals involved eggs, dairy, or both (think fritta, breakfast for dinner, grilled cheese, ect.)

I began testing new recipes and products. I bought a few vegan cookbook. I taste tested soy alternatives to dairy products. We don't have a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes around so our specialty products are more limited then some who live in urban areas. Our Krogers has a nice "health" food section, though.

This blog is to help me keep track of my successes (and failures) and help other allergy moms out with tested recipes. Possibly in the future I will have dairy and egg free meal plans.

Thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to Vegans Who Eat Meat!

Recipe tests coming soon!