Friday, November 25, 2011

Dairy Free Turkey Broccoli Quiche

We had a ton of leftovers from our 23 lb. turkey this Thanksgiving, so I was coming up with ways to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A quiche is a great breakfast opportunity to use up leftover turkey, but lactose intolerant and quiche usually don't go together that well. I replaced the heavy cream and cheese with shredded soy mozzarella, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and, of all things, Silk Nog.

Now, before you go wondering how any of these ingredients can possibly go together, you should know that the result was absolutely divine. My husband and I devoured this entire 9inch quiche in less than two days. You don't have to use the Nog, which is an eggnog alternative, you can use Lactaid Milk or Lactaid Half and Half (if you can find it), or Almond Milk or Soymilk instead. But if you do see the Silk Nog, give it a try. It has a beautiful blend of spices in it already that tastes great with an egg dish! A perfect Thanksgiving leftovers treat for the person in your family that can't digest dairy.


1 refrigerated pie crust
1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli
1 tsp onion powder
Dash of black pepper
1 tablespoon Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
1 cup cooked turkey, chopped
3/4 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese (I use Trader Joe's)
1 tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese Alternative
4 eggs
1 cup Silk Nog (I also recommend Very Vanilla Soymilk)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt


1. Let the pie crust sit out to adjust to room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Mold it into a 9inch pie dish.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon of buttery spread in a large pan and add the broccoli, onion powder, and a dash of black pepper, cooking over medium heat until just tender and it becomes a bright green color.

3. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, then add 1 cup of Silk Nog, salt, pepper, and curry powder and whisk together until blended.

4. Add the ingredients to the pie in this order: cooked broccoli, chopped turkey, shredded soy mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese. Then, pour the egg mixture evenly over these ingredients. Spread the mixture so that all the ingredients are evenly covered.

5. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes, until the center of the quiche is completely cooked through. Goes well with a steaming cup of pumpkin spice coffee. Happy Black Friday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Missing Fall-Not Fat Pumpkin Bread

Here is a deliciously healthy pumpkin bread recipe that is more like a true bread rather than the cake-like version that is served in coffee shops. The 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour gives it some substance, while the 1/2 cup of Splenda replaces half of the sugar, and the extra pumpkin eliminates the need for lots of oil. Though I don't recommend using all whole wheat flour, go all out and use all Splenda, more pumpkin to replace the 1/8 cup of oil, and all egg whites if you want; but this combination is a good one. It remains moist and flavorful--try for yourself! After many attempts at creating the perfect healthy pumpkin bread, I have come up with a recipe I will use year after year.


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tsp baking soda
1 15ounce can of pumpkin puree
1/8 cup olive oil
1 egg, 2 egg whites, beaten
1/4 cup apple cider
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar, Splenda, baking soda, and spices until well blended.

2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, eggs, and apple cider. Add dry ingredients into this mixture, and stir until combined and completely moistened but do not over mix. It needs to stay spongy.
3. Carefully fold in raisins and nuts.

4. Pour into greased loaf pan--even if it is non-stick you need to oil it. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Once finished, let cool for up to an hour before removing from pan. Enjoy at your holiday event!

This bread is best stored in the refrigerator.

Dairy Free Whipped Potatoes

Usually the best ingredients in mashed potatoes are butter and cream, but for the lactose intolerant person in your family, those ingredients won't be helpful in your Thanksgiving spread. That doesn't mean your mashed taters have to be dry and bland! It's easy to use Lactaid milk instead of regular milk, but if you want to eliminate milk altogether, and there are no egg allergies in your family, try adding mayonnaise. Now before you say, "Eww, mayonnaise," really consider the creamy possibilities here. I'm not talking about Miracle Whip--that fake, salad dressing stuff. I mean real, made from eggs mayonnaise. For some reason people think mayonnaise is made from dairy products, just like some people think eggs are dairy products--but I have never seen any version of mayonnaise made with dairy. I have also never considered eggs a dairy product. Milk is produced by cows, eggs come from chickens. Eggs have never been milk.

Anyway, mayo is a great replacement for cream in mashed potatoes. Mayonnaise and potatoes always go together--think potato salad. But you aren't adding a cupful, you don't want your potatoes to taste like mayonnaise. You shouldn't taste it at all. By adding a couple tablespoons to your dish you are merely making them creamy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. My recipe uses Earth Balance Buttery Spread--a blend of healthy oils that serves as a butter and margarine replacement, and it also uses a mixer, to get that creamy, whipped consistency you can't get by simply mashing.  This time around I used red potatoes; leaving most of the skins on adds more nutrition to your potato dish. But, they aren't really the best potatoes to use for mashing. It's best to use Yukon Gold if you have them.


5 or 6 medium to large potatoes, preferably gold potatoes
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance or Smart Balance Buttery Spread
2 tablespoons of Real Mayonnaise--I used Best Foods.
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried parsley


1. If leaving the skins on, scrub the potatoes under warm water with a vegetable brush. I cut off the unsightly spots. Or, just skin the potatoes completely and rinse.

2. Cube the potatoes and put them in a large pot. Fill with water until just covered.

3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Be careful not to over cook! You could get a gluey consistency when you whip.

4. In a large bowl, add the Earth Balance, mayo, and potatoes. With your mixer, whip on medium speed until combined, adding salt, pepper, and parsley as you whip. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and make sure everything is mixed well, but no need to over mix. Serve smothered in turkey gravy. Never doubt mayo again.
My Thanksgiving Spread: Reynolds Oven Bag Turkey, Cranberry Stuffing, Charred Citrus Broccoli, Mayonnaise Whipped Potatoes, and a huge helping of homemade gravy.

Thanksgiving Turkey Tips

How do you make the tastiest, tenderest turkey with the least amount of work involved? Forget brining and basting, just cook it in a Reynolds Oven Bag. This is the not-so-secret method of my grandma's turkey cooking, passed down to me on my first Thanksgiving as a married woman. I love simple turkeys best--they don't taste like salt and flavorings, they taste like real, tender, moist, delicious turkey. Then you make a thick gravy from the drippings and pour it over everything. There is nothing quite like it. Here are a mix of tips my grandmother gave me, and also some from Reynolds, when making a turkey in the oven bag.

Tools you will need:

Reynold's Oven Bag, Turkey Size
Large baking pan--we get the disposable pans.
A turkey thermometer if your turkey doesn't come with one
If you are stuffing it, get some some string to tie the legs together, and a wire skewer for the neck


Frozen turkey, any size
Olive oil or canola oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1 yellow onion
3 celery stalks
1 tablespoon of flour
Your favorite stuffing
*Optional: Paprika


1. Thaw your turkey according to directions on packaging. Ours was 23 lbs. and needed three days to thaw in the refrigerator. It was still frozen in the inside when we opened it, so we rinsed this part under warm water. I should have thawed it for four days, not three.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then clean out the turkey. Take out the parts inside the neck and chest cavity--reach in and pull out everything that shouldn't be there. Rinse it well, like
giving it a bath. Take off the oil gland if it's still on the tail--ours was. Place your cleaned turkey on a cutting board or clean surface and pat your turkey dry with paper towels.

3. You can take this time to prepare your favorite stuffing if you haven't already. Follow the poultry preparations on the bag. My favorite is a
whole grain cranberry stuffing in a bag. We made two batches, including fresh diced onions and celery as it called for in the poultry directions.

4. Now you can prepare the oven bag. Open it up and add a tablespoon of flour. Close the opening and shake it around. This will coat the bag and prevent it from sticking to the turkey and bursting. Slice a yellow onion and your celery stalks and add them to the bag--your turkey will sit on top of them.

5. Rub the turkey in your choice of oil. We once used a mixture of butter and olive oil, but we don't use butter around here anymore. It turned out great, though. This year we used canola oil and it still turned out fantastic. After the turkey is covered, lightly sprinkle sea salt and black pepper over every inch of it. If you want a browner turkey, sprinkle paprika over it. We haven't tried this yet but I'm sure it works.

6. Put the stuffing in the chest cavity and neck and close so that the stuffing doesn't fall out when you move the bird.

7. Place the turkey in the Reynold's bag on top of the vegetables. The tricky part is which side do you place it on? Traditionally, you would put it on it's back, for a pretty, brown turkey. But for flavor, my grandma recommends putting it breast side down. She says this makes the moistest turkey. So that's what we did. Make sure you tie it securely with the provided nylon tie.

8. Cut six half inch slits on top of the bag, and insert your turkey thermometer through one of these slits, into the thickest part of the inner thigh, not touching the bone. Tuck in the ends of your bag so they don't burn in the oven.

9. Now comes one of the best parts about the oven bag--the baking time. Using this method reduces the baking time, so it's really convenient, especially if you have a very large turkey like we did. Bake 2 to 2 1/2 hours for a 12 to 16 lb. turkey, 2 1/2 to 3 hours for a 16 to 20 lb. turkey, and 3 to 3 1/2 hours for a 20 to 24 lb. turkey. Add 1/2 hour for a stuffed turkey. When it's done the red thermometer will pop up. We cooked ours for a little over four hours, but without the bag it could have taken six hours.

10. Take your turkey out and let it sit for 15 minutes before loosening the bag. If you are making gravy--this method produces an insane amount of tasty turkey drippings. It will be flavored by the onion and celery, salt and pepper. We cut a corner of the bag and drain it into a pot, straining any stray onion slices and stuffing. Read on to make your gravy. Happy Turkey Day!

Making the Gravy


Turkey drippings

1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
2. Stir into turkey broth with a wire whisk, and heat on medium high. Bring to a boil and stir constantly. If the gravy is not thick enough, or if you have tons of gravy like we did, add another tablespoon of cornstarch and water mixture until desired thickness. Pour over turkey and mashed potatoes. Mmmm.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Soy and Goat Cheese

Here is one of my and my husband's favorite things to make for dinner. It's perfect for the person in your family who is lactose intolerant. You can make one side of the pizza with soy cheese, and one side with regular cheese. It works perfectly for us, and I get my pizza fix without worry. I even get to satisfy my cheese cravings by adding a small amount of goat cheese crumbles. Goat cheese has less lactose than regular cheese. It bothers me in larger amounts, but just adding a tiny sprinkle enhances the buffalo chicken and cheese flavor. If you can't do any goat cheese, then eliminate it altogether, or just add it to your husband's side of the pizza. But it is a good alternative for people who only have mild lactose intolerance. You can also try adding Parmesan cheese to the soy cheese to give it a more authentic cheese flavor. Hard, aged cheeses lose most of their lactose in the aging process so small amounts shouldn't bother you.

There are lots of cheese alternatives out there. My favorites are Trader Joe's Soy Mozzarella, and Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds. I have only been able to find Daiya items at Whole Foods. Daiya cheese alternative is also gluten and soy free, so it's perfect for people with other allergies. I would never eat any cheese alternative by itself, but when combined with other ingredients soy cheese blends in just like the real thing.

1 bag of premixed pizza dough (We like Trader Joe's Garlic and Herb dough)
Trader Joe's Soy Mozarella Cheese, shredded to desired amount
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
1 12 ounce can white chicken, drained of liquid
1/4 cup Franks Buffalo Sauce (you can also make your own buffalo sauce)
2 tablespoons of Franks Buffalo Sauce
1/2 cup tomato basil marinara sauce
Course grind cornmeal (if using a pizza stone)


1. If the pizza dough is refrigerated, let sit for 20 minutes before rolling.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. For the crispy on the outside, soft on the inside pizza, use a pizza stone. Heat in the oven for ten minutes before placing the pizza on it. You can also use a regular non-stick pan, just make a square shaped pizza. If you have a large flat cookie sheet, you can make a circular pizza on this. Or, if you have it, use a circular pizza pan.

3. In a small pan, combine the chicken and 1/4 cup of Buffalo Sauce. Cook until heated and the sauce is absorbed into the chicken.

4. On a clean surface, sprinkle a thin layer of flour. Roll out the pizza dough with a nonstick rolling pin, adding more flour as needed. You can also use your hands to
roll the dough, which is what I used to do,
but I have simplified my life by buying a
non-stick rolling pin.

5. Remove the pizza stone from the oven and sprinkle with course grind cornmeal. Don't use flour--it will only burn and your pizza will stick. Place the rolled dough on the pizza stone, rolling up the edges to make a crust if you desire, and cook in the oven for three to four minutes.

6. Remove the cooked pizza crust from the oven and get ready to put on your toppings.

7. Spread the tomato basil marinara sauce on the pizza evenly. Using too much sauce will make the pizza soggy and hard to cut, but some people like their sauce, like me.

8. Sprinkle on your desired amount of soy mozzarella cheese.

9. Next, add the Buffalo Chicken in an even layer, topping with a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese.

10. For the last topping, drizzle the 2 tablespoons of Buffalo Sauce all over the pizza.

11. Place in the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until desired crispiness. Thoroughly enjoy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Low Sodium Chili

You don't need to add more salt to a dish to add flavor, just add  flavor. To make chili less complicated, canned tomatoes, sauce, and beans are a great option. However, this usually packs your chili with sodium. It's unnecessary. Opt for "no salt added" canned goods instead and you will create a much healthier meal. Here is a great chili recipe that replaces all added sodium with a couple teaspoons of sea salt, and adds a pinch of sugar and spices to bring out a flavorful meal for cold nights.

You can make this quickly in a large pot on the stove top--it will take about 30 minutes to be ready. Or, you could simmer it for four to six hours in the Crockpot, whatever method suits your time and energy level. The taste is great either way. Use lean ground beef to make this recipe even healthier. It's more expensive, but worth it when it comes to eliminating excess fat from your diet.


1 pound 93% or higher lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes
1 can unsalted tomato paste
2 cans no salt added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup water or low sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
*add a diced serrano chili or two to make it hot! (optional)


1. In a large pan, sprinkle the black pepper onto the ground beef and cook until browned.

2. While the beef is cooking, combine the tomatoes, drained and rinsed kidney beans, tomato paste, wine, water, sugar, and spices, into a large pot. Set on medium high heat to start the boiling process.

3. Drain the beef of the excess fat and add your cooked ground beef to the pot.

4. While the mixture is heating, dice the yellow onion and add it to the large pan (lightly coat with olive oil spray to prevent sticking), cooking on medium high heat. Let the onion cook for two minutes, while dicing the peppers.  *(If making in the crock pot, skip pre-cooking the onions, peppers, and garlic. Just dice them and throw them in the crock pot!)

5. Add the peppers to the pan and cook for one minute, then add minced garlic. I used a garlic press. Cook for no more than 30 seconds, then add cooked vegetables to the big pot. 

6. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to medium to medium low heat and cover. Cook for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. If you make it in the crock pot, cook on low for six hours or high for four hours. Cuddle up with your loved one in a warm blanket and enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dairy Free Buffalo Chicken Dip

I never thought I would be able to eat this stuff again! I mean, the main ingredients are three types of cheese. I used a combination of cream cheese alternative and non dairy cheese to make this highly addictive dip much healthier than it's original version. It's completely free of lactose, trans fat, and the only cholesterol in it is added by the lean chicken! It tastes so amazing and so close to the original version you won't even notice the difference! Even if you can eat dairy, don't eat the regular version of this dip again--this recipe eliminates so much of the fat and cholesterol that you should not be putting into your body. Trust me, this is good.

  • 8oz This Is Not a Tub of Cream Cheese This Is a Tub of Non Dairy Spread from Trader Joes
  • 2-3 tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 5oz canned chicken
  • 1/3 cup Daiya Chedder Style Shreds

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Soften the cream cheese alternative in the microwave for 30 seconds, then mix all ingredients together until well blended. It's easier to blend if you mix the cream cheese and Franks first.

3. Bake for 20 minutes to melt it all together and OMG the result is divine. Enjoy with some lime tortilla chips and tell me how much you love it.