Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thank You!

To all my readers and followers:

I have a brand new blog! It's called don't miss dairy.

In the next day or so, I'll be redirecting all of my blog posts from Busy Girl Recipes to my new blog. I'm so excited for this big change! All of my past recipes will still be available, but now they will be easier to find. Any links to my Busy Girl Recipes posts will be automatically redirected for convenience.

Thanks so much for following Busy Girl Recipes over the past few years!

To see my awesome new blog, go to dontmissdairy.com. I'll be posting all future recipes there. You can also now follow my recipes on Pinterest and Google+.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crispy Tomato and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

This is the best bruschetta for toast and goat cheese loving husbands. I've made it many ways with varied toppings, but this one has been declared greatest of all time. I usually prefer regular French or Sourdough bread for the best tasting bruschetta, but this recipe goes very well with whole wheat French bread. Pour on the olive oil and you can't go wrong.

This would not have been possible without Laura's tomatoes from The Urban Homestead. I didn't grow tomatoes this year so I've been enjoying hers! She is such a wonderful friend to have traded veggies with me, even though I only had one cucumber to give out at the time. I did use fresh basil from my garden, which is doing very well and inspiring many pesto recipes.

If you are looking for a great place to get goat cheese, Harley Farms in Pescadero has some amazing cheeses. I love goat cheese, especially since it has much less lactose than cows milk cheese. If you ever get out to the West Coast or are a Californian looking for a fun day trip, go to Pescadero. It's a tiny town right on the coast, about 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay--pumpkin growing country! There's an awesome restaurant called Duarte's, where they make the most delicious olallieberry pie. You won't miss it, as there are only two restaurants in the whole town, which is on one street. There's also a general store, a post office, a fire station, and a single stop light. Behind all of this is Harley Farms, where you can spend a good hour watching the baby goats play and tasting the amazing selection of goat cheese and olive oils. They also make ceramics and goat milk lotions, and they sell fresh eggs.


6 slices whole wheat French bread loaf
extra virgin olive oil
minced garlic
3-4 roma tomatoes, sliced
3 sprigs fresh basil
goat cheese


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay slices of bread on nonstick baking sheet. Using an olive oil pourer or a spoon, pour olive oil over each slice of bread. No drizzling here, just pour it on carefully so that it drenches the bread, but doesn't spill over the slice. The bread will soak it all up during cooking.

2. Spread minced garlic on each slice--as much as desired. I put about a 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic on each bread slice. Lay down tomato slices to cover bread, and then coat tomatoes with olive oil either by drizzling with a spoon or spraying.

3. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until tomato slices are roasted. Timing will depend on how thick your slices are. Remove from oven.

4. Add teaspoon size dollops of goat cheese onto the bruschetta or slices if you have a log. Bake for five more minutes in the oven. Cheese will be gooey and creamy. Remove from oven and add torn basil. Serve with your favorite wine.

I have a problem with not properly photographing food when it's finished--I have a tendency to eat it right away.
I know a certain Chihuahua who loves goat cheese.
Pescadero Beach

Harley Farms

Mama goats at the farm.

Baby goats playing.

Eric petting the baby goat.

That's my hand petting the cute baby goat.
Beautiful little goat cheeses with edible flowers and herbs, also apricot and pistachio and sun dried tomato.

Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

I have the best dog of all time. After spending hours yesterday creating this amazing soup, I went to store it in the refrigerator and missed the shelf completely, letting go of the container so that it hit the floor and exploded everywhere. An entire quart of chicken stock and turkey meatballs spilled in growing puddles all over the kitchen floor and all I could do was watch. My neighborhood was stunned into silence at the expletives issuing from my apartment. Even Eric and Mia, who witnessed the whole disaster, had no words.

My chicken loving Chihuahua stood there in shock, as the scent of warm chicken stock filled the air. Even minutes later, once all the shock was past, I was in tears, and Eric began consoling, Mia continued to stand there, just watching, being the best dog that there ever was. It's possible she could sense how sad her mommy was (though I doubt it). The more likely reason was the training we've just started helped her "stay" for the treat until she was given the command. Though, there was definitely some confusion and intuition there. I imagine what was going on in her little brain was something like: "Mom just went crazy over this chicken stuff, she's really stressed out and I want to please her by being a good girl. I'm going to stay and then she'll give me chicken." She was so good that after I cleaned up the bulk of the mess, she got to clean up the rest.

Honestly this was one of my worst food fails ever. I could care less about spilt milk--I made each and every single one of those tiny turkey meatballs by hand. I drove to the store for the sole purpose of buying little star shaped noodles. And it was about 80 degrees in my kitchen. It was such a stupid clumsy accident that I can really only blame it on the fact I had changed into my glasses very early this particular evening, as I was having irritation in one of my eyes. My glasses are a whole prescription higher than my contacts and I can't see out of them nearly as well. I've been putting off buying new lenses for two years and I really need to get new ones. This was the last straw.

Poor mom. Poor meatball soup. It really was delicious! At least I was able to take a few pictures before it went on the floor. I even enjoyed a couple small bowls. I will definitely make it again, and I hope someone else will, too!


1/4 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese (or nondairy alternative)
1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fresh baby spinach, packed
1/4 cup tiny uncooked noodles
fresh parsley, coarsely chopped


1. To make the meatballs, combine turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are well blended.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a medium size casserole dish with cooking oil. Using a tablespoon to scoop, shape mixture into bite size mini meatballs and place in casserole dish. They can be close together but not touching. Cook for 15 minutes.

3. While meatballs are cooking, prepare your broth in the crock pot. Add chicken stock, onion, carrot, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Save the greens and noodles for later.

4. When the meatballs are done, add them to the chicken broth in the crock pot. Cook on high for two-three hours. During the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, add noodles and stir. Set a kitchen timer to help. When there are three minutes left, add the spinach and stir. Once the timer goes off, remove from heat. Serve topped with parmesan cheese and parsley. Don't spill.

Dairy Free Nacho Cheese

A snack I am always missing at baseball games is nachos and cheese, piled high with jalapeños. It's a serious craving. I've been wanting to create this recipe for a while now, and it's become one of my new favorite things. I thought it would be a long shot to recreate the taste of nacho cheese using non-dairy products, but I totally surprised myself. It was very simple. The key is to use sweetened almond milk (without flavoring) and a soy cheese.

If you are looking for a good cheese to use, I really enjoy the soy cheddar from Milk Pail market in Los Altos, CA. This is what I can get locally. I love the taste, the only problem is that it doesn't stretch or melt as well as other brands. Check out your local whole foods market or specialty food store to see if they make their own and give it a try! I also recommend Trader Joe's three cheese soy blend, and Daiya Cheddar Shreds, which are soy free and probably the best for you.

Remember, don't base your opinion on soy cheese by what it tastes like out of the wrapping. Cheese alternatives always taste better cooked and with other ingredients added--like hot sauce! I think this would be perfect with chopped peppers added in, but I chose to eat mine like stadium nachos: tortilla chips covered in cheese then piled with jalapeños. There is no good picture of this because I was busy eating it and watching football.

I especially created this to accompany the first Pittsburgh Steelers preseason game. It was almost perfect, but only because the Stillers lost. They proceeded to lose each following preseason game as well, which is not a good sign for the upcoming season. So sad. At times like those, the only comforting part of the game is the food.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were still going strong for a while, but who knows? My husband and I were at AT&T Park to see the Pirates play the Giants last weekend and the Pirates also lost. That was a bummer. The comforting thing there was not just the awesome stadium food, but that we were not the only Pirates fans! We met up with a few members of Eric's family who were also at the game, and we saw some people with Pirates gear on. There were probably more in secret. I don't blame them--it was Giants territory. Anyway, I hope to be making this nacho cheese for the Pirates World Series games. Let's go bucs!


1 cup sweetened almond milk
1 cup shredded soy cheese product
1 tsp hot sauce
1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, finely chopped *optional
salt and pepper to taste (depends on salt content of soy cheese)


1. In a saucepan over medium low heat, bring the almond milk to a simmer.

2. Add in shredded soy cheese, stirring frequently until melted. The last unmelted bits may require vigorous stirring for up to 10 minutes, but they will melt and the sauce will thicken considerably. At this time add hot sauce, salt, and pepper if desired and to your taste. Remove nacho "cheese" from heat and add jalapeños the way you like them.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dairy Free French Onion Dip

French onion dip was my favorite snack back in my dairy days. It was so creamy and delicious with potato chips and pretzels! Nowadays, sour cream is unacceptable, and the Lip
ton Onion Soup Mix is so high in sodium it's not appropriate for a girl in her late 20's.

Here is a French Onion Dip I can live with. Using a mixture of Toffuti Better Than Sour Cream and mayonnaise, I can replicate the creaminess of the chip dip. Remember, real egg mayonnaise has no dairy in it. Eggs come from chickens, milk comes from cows. So many people forget!

This recipe uses a spice blend and real caramelized onions that taste better than the Lipton's Onion Soup mix, and utilizes the combination of olive oil and Smart Balance to give the dip a buttery taste.

Top it with some fresh chives for added flavor and you have a pretty and delectable onion chip dip that's perfect for parties or for enjoyment at home as a late night snack.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
2 onions, chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup Toffuti Better Than Sour Cream
1/2 cup egg mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chives, diced


1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil, onions, Smart Balance, and salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until onions are tender and start to become translucent.

2. Add pepper, white sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Turn the heat to low and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized. Turn off heat and allow to cool before adding to remaining ingredients.

3. In a medium size bowl, mix Toffuti Better Than Sour Cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and Worcestershire Sauce.

4. Stir caramelized onions into sour cream and mayonnaise mixture, then chill for at least two hours. If you prefer a smoother texture, refine dip in food processor first. Chilling overnight will give the best flavor. Before serving, top with fresh chives.


Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon

This summer, I planted my garden very late because I was traveling for most of June. I had to choose some late summer vegetables like cucumbers and peppers. I did some research and read that chard is a great vegetable to grow in July in California, so I grew some beautiful Rainbow Swiss Chard in an earth box right on my patio.

It's really been flourishing, so I needed to cook some before the leaves got too big. I didn't have much to cut--about 12 stems--but it seemed like enough for a side dish for two. I cut the larger leaves from the outside of the plants and put them in a bowl of water. I let them soak for 15 minutes, so they got nice and clean and plump. The portion was almost perfect, but it turned out so amazing that I really wanted another helping! So if you are cooking for one, follow this recipe, but double it for two or three people.

The chard cooks quickly, so I cut off the stems and cooked them in olive oil before adding anything else to the pan. While the colorful stems were sautéing, I chopped up the leaves and some precooked, cooled bacon strips (uncured is the healthiest). The bacon could also be crumbled up into bacon bits.

This has been deemed the best Swiss chard recipe of all time by my husband. He joked that he married me because he knew in three years, I was going to make the best chard he's ever had, so it would all be worth it. I think it was really just the bacon. Maybe I need to start using more bacon.


12 leaves rainbow Swiss chard with stems
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (a dash or two)
dash sea salt
dash black pepper
splash red wine vinegar
2 pieces uncured bacon, cooked to desired crispiness


1. Soak your chard in water for a few minutes, then rinse well and shake dry or use a salad spinner. Cut off the stems to cook first.

Isn't it pretty?

2. Over medium heat, add olive oil to a nonstick pan. Once the oil gets hot, add the chard stems and cook for 3-5 minutes until they become translucent but not too soft. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the chard leaves and bacon.

Which would you snack on?

3. Add red pepper flakes (according to your heat tolerance) and minced garlic to the pan, cooking for no more than 1 minute.
Spicy and garlicky.

4. Add chard leaves, sea salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar, tossing quickly to coat and allow to cook for one minute. Add bacon. Cook chard for a few minutes until liquid absorbs and leaves wilt.

Serve hot and fresh, and leave me a comment if you like it!


Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

Here's a delicious summer fruit smoothie to enjoy for breakfast or as a midday snack. Smoothies are great ways to use up all that fruit in your fridge! I'm still too afraid to progress to the vegetable smoothie. Don't get me wrong, I love my vegetables, I'd just rather eat them sautéed, steamed, baked, or raw. I don't really want to drink them.

I made this fruit smoothie twice, using two different milk ingredients. I'm very sensitive to lactose and can handle digesting good greek yogurt, like FAGE brand. I first made this using strawberry FAGE yogurt and it was perfect. Very thick, very creamy, 0 grams of fat, plus added protein. I made it again using Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk, and it was still delicious, obviously just not as creamy. The soy milk also added 2 grams of fat and not as much protein. You could try making this with strawberry soy yogurt or vanilla almond milk as well, according to your preference.

I also wanted less added sugar, but I didn't want it to be too tart. So I added a little honey plus some stevia. You could skip the honey altogether or add more. Overall, a very balanced smoothie.


6-8 strawberries, stems removed
1 small apple, peeled and sliced
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
3 ice cubes
1/2 cup Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk, or yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Stevia or white sugar


Add ice cubes, strawberries, apple slices, kiwis, milk or yogurt, honey, and stevia to the blender. Crush ice first then blend for about 1 minute. Add more or less sweetener to taste. Serve with a slice of kiwi.