Tag Archives: living dairy free

Pasta Primavera – Gluten Free, Dairy Free

4 Jan

When I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to adapt it for my family.  We love pasta in this house and are always looking for new ways to get this.  This is rich and creamy and full of veggies too, but was chalked full of dairy and gluten, so with some tweaking and adjusting we had a creamy, hearty dinner.  How can a girl go wrong?

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What I like about this recipe is it is easy to adapt from whatever veggies you have on hand.  And easily make it vegan by omitting the ham and using veggie broth!
Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pasta Primavera – adapted from Ree Drummond’s recipe

What You Need

butter substitute – I personally like Earth Balance
1 cup chopped carrots (I used heirloom)
1 cup fresh green beans, ends trimmed
4 ounces white mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced cooked ham (I used turkey ham)
1 TBSP dried basil
1 pound gluten free spaghetti, broken in to 3rds and cooked according to package directions
Sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk (or milk substitute of your choice, plain, unsweetened)
Salt & Black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella rice cheese
What you do ::

Melt 1 – 2 tablespoons butter substitute in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook for 5 minute, then add the green beans and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add 1 additional tablespoon of butter substitute to the skillet and allow it to melt. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are starting to soften. Remove from the skillet and add to the other vegetables. Set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet and allow it to warm. Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. Pour in the wine and the chicken broth and stir.  Return to a gentle boil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing it to reduce by about half. Stir in the milk, bring to a very gentle boil and then add cheese to melt. Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Let the sauce thicken for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add all the vegetables to the sauce, then add the frozen peas, diced ham, and basil. Stir to combine and allow the veggies to warm again.

Toss with pasta and serve!

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Dairy Free Chicken and Dumplings

30 Jul

I love comfort food.  I love working over a stove, stirring, adding, making it taste just right.  I love how it fills you, leaves you feeling satisfied, full.  It usually simple yet full of flavor.  I think that good comfort food can calm worries, ease anxieties, and give strength.

We have a lot going on right now – as summer comes to a close and school looms around the corner, I wanted to fill the bellies of those I love with something simple yet fulfilling.

What you need ::

1lb chicken – really any will do, I opted for boneless/skinless chicken thighs (I like how dark meat retains moisture)

1 – 2 carrots, diced

3 stalks of celery, diced

1 small white yellow onion, diced

5 cups chicken stock

2 cups flour, plus additional for dusting

2 tablespoons shortening, I prefer all vegetable

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk substitute + a dash

salt, pepper, oil

What you do ::

In your cast iron dutch oven, pour in enough oil to lightly cover and heat to a medium heat.  Cook the chicken until no pink remains, set chicken aside.

Using the pan drippings, cook vegetables until soft, about ten minutes or so.

While your vegetables are softening, chop your chicken.  Once veggies are good to go pour in stock and add chopped chicken.  Generously season with pepper.  (I think the stock makes it salty enough but hey, if you like uber salty then by all means…)  Bring stock to a boil.

While you are waiting for the stock to come to a boil combine flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.   Cut the shortening in to your flour mixture using a fork or one of the pastry cutters.  Mix in milk and stir until a dough forms, I used vanilla almond milk.  Mine was a little dry and I needed to add an extra splash.


Generously flour a working surface and a rolling pin.  Roll out your dough nice and thin.  Cut in to one inch squares, you can use a knife or a pizza cutter.

Gently drop the dumplings, 2 or 3 at a time, in to the your boiling stock, stirring as your work.  Cook for 20 minutes.

To finish this off I dunked a coffee cup in to the boiling stock and stirred in a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch and then mixed it back into the pot.  This helped to thicken it up .

That’s it!  It truly is easy and real comfort food.  My family of five finished off this entire pot, next time I will make a double serving!

Dairy Free Greek Meatballs and Tzatziki Sauce – Simply U Simply Me

23 Jul

Dairy Free Greek Meatballs and Tzatkiki Sauce is something kids will like?  You betcha!

It has been a long weekend, the Soldier had his drill this weekend, Sis has been sick, we are gearing up for VBS at church, it is hot out, and I am beat!  I was looking for something simple, refreshing, easy, but good too.  The Soldier will have had MREs all weekend, so he needs something to refuel him too.  And let me tell you, I love Greek food.  Tzatziki, Dolmas, olives, pitas, I love them all!  If I had to eat one style of food to eat for the rest of my life, and only one, it would be mediterranean  for sure!

So I opted to make this simple dinner for tonight.

What you need ::

for the sauce ::

8 or so ounces of dairy free, plain yogurt (I used coconut yogurt)

1 Tbsp dried dill

1/2 cucumber, processed in the food processor

dash of sea salt

4 – 5 fresh mint leaves – optional (I found the coconut yogurt still so sweet that it didn’t need this step, but you may want it)

For the sauce :: Combine all ingredients and let sit in your refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to over night.

for the meatballs ::

1 lb ground turkey meat

1 cup bread crumbs (read your labels or make your own!)

1 egg

1 teaspoon of the following :: sesame seeds, dried oregano, powdered garlic, dried red pepper flakes

For the Meatballs :: combine all the ingredients, roll or use a cookie scoop and make 1 inch balls, place in a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cooked all the way through and no pink remains

To Serve ::

Find flat bread, naan, or rolls, slice if necessary and bake in your hot oven until lightly toasted – 5 – 10 minutes.  I spread mine with a little olive oil.

Spread with tzatziki sauce, using the remaining 1/2 of the cucumber, slice thinly and layer on bread, optionally top with thinly sliced red onions.

Serve with cooked meatballs and remaining tzatziki sauce.  Yummmmm…….

Now if I could just master the art of grape leaf rolling…

Homemade Marshmallows aka Pseudo Peeps

12 Jul

I got asked why I made homemade marshmallows, was there dairy in the store bought kind?

“no, not that I know of… it just sounded like fun!”

So here’s the thing, there are a ton of recipes on the internet already, nothing new there, but they require you do super crazy things like use a candy thermometer.  Which is all fine and dandy, except that mine broke a couple of months ago…

So here’s what I created, sans a candy thermometer, and was was described to me as having a smooth texture and tasting like Peeps…

What you need:

4 envelopes gelatin

1 C. water

2 C. sugar (I just used regular old sugar)

1/3 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

1 Tablespoon vanilla

What you do ::

Generously grease a 9 x13 pan.  Set aside

Put you gelatin in with your cold water.  If you have a stand-up mixture put it in the bowl you use for it.  Set aside.

Heat sugar, corn syrup, and water over a medium heat, stirring constantly.  Once your mixture starts to boil set your timer for 9 minutes.  Keep stirring so your sugar doesn’t burn.

While your mixture is boiling whip the egg whites and vanilla until peaks form.

After your sugar mixture has bubbled for 9 minutes add to the bowl with the gelatin and water and beat for 6 – 10 minutes.  Gently fold in egg white mixture and pour in to greased 9×13 pan.

Let set in your refrigerator for at least 3 hours, up to overnight. to set up.

Here is the fun part my kids got in to ::

Run a spatula along the rim of the marshmallows until the whole thing is loosened from the pan.  Flip on to greased surface.  Cut in to 1 inch squares.

This is where it gets fun for the kiddos – pour an combination of colored sugar and sprinkles in to a bowl and let them roll the marshmallows around until the well covered.  You cannot skip this step, the marshmallows are just too sticky otherwise!  It was the colored sugar that we used that gave them the Peep style flavor.

They can last up to two weeks in an airtight container.

Did you make them?  Leave me a comment or pin it on your pinterest!  I LOVE seeing what you’re doing!!!

Simple Yummy Salad – Dairy Free

2 Jul

We just came inside from running in the sprinklers.  It is 104 degrees out and we are hot.  The kids are now puddles of wet hair and swimming suits in the living room. They asked for a movie and I agreed, sometimes you just need to lay low.

To avoid turning on the oven we are having this salad.  It was first introduced to me 12 years ago and over the years we have tweaked it to make it our own.  That is the beauty of this salad, it is highly experimental and just begs to be a “have fun with me” recipe.  And the best part?  It is going to turn out good, no matter what you do!

Be creative!

What you need:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup frozen concentrated orange juice

AND however much sounds good to you of the following:

-grilled chicken, sliced and cooled, pull out last night leftovers

-lettuce, spinach, mixed greens, etc.

-apples, finely chopped

-dried cranberries

-oranges, pieced

-chopped almonds, toasted – do it, they taste so much better toasted!

What you do ::

Mix liquids, add rest of ingredients in to large salad bowl, toss together and serve!

Seriously, I could eat this all the time, it is so tasty and refreshing!  And my kids l-o-v-e that there is fruit in here!!!

How This All Got Started

8 May

Six years ago we welcomed Dino-Man in to our family. It had been a difficult pregnancy and we were told many times that he would not make it. But defying all odds, and relying heavily on the power of prayer and God’s mercy and grace, he joined our family.

Within a couple of weeks of being born Dino-Man turned in to a non-stop crying fool. He would cry and cry and cry and all I could was rock his sweet self until the Soldier would get home from work and then he would rock him until bedtime.

We soon realized that much of the food I was eating was transferring through the milk he was consuming and making him terribly sick. For a year I then lived on the blandest diet possible, mostly chicken and rice.

In his first year of life we fought endless ear infections, by the second year it was regular asthma attacks. He then got so sick that we spent a Christmas in hospital as he cried in pain from his abdomen despite the morphine they were pumping in to him. We finally realized the poor guy is allergic to dairy, all forms of dairy, and removing that completely from his diet has alleviated both the abdominal pain as well as the asthma symptoms. Last fall he developed psoriasis, a condition often reserved for much older individuals, and we have had to once again evaluate what is going in to his body.

And through this a shift has started. Dino-man cannot eat like other children, most children’s menus have items that contain milk in one form or another. Most pre-packaged foods and dinner has dairy in them as well. Dairy hides in a lot of places my friend.

So I had one option, to become extremely diligent about everything he eats, and to start making most of his food. This had meant a return to the basics, simple vegetables, lean meats, and a little creativity. It means that some days I have to cook for two or three hours to make a dish that he can eat, and that we can all enjoy.

So here are the recipes that I have created, that I have found that are still creamy and delicious, kid-friendly and healthy.  Each one I have tried and re-tried until it tasted just right.  And the fun that we have between meals.

Welcome. Simply U. Simply Me.

2 May

Hello and welcome to Simply U.  Simply Me.

This is our story of looking to simplify to gain a homestead.

We’re a family of five, living in suburbia, and realizing our hearts yearn for simplicity.

To heal our son we have gone dairy free, this our story, the recipes I’ve created, and the fun that we have between meals.

This is our journey as reclaim a simpler life.