Category: Dairy Free


I watched an episode of America’s Test Kitchen in which they traveled to Pittsburgh, (Mt. Lebanon in fact) to learn the family recipe of a woman for pierogies!  First, being from Pittsburgh, it caught my attention.  Second, having only eaten the frozen ones from the market for the last 40 some odd years, I was intrigued.  Almost as if it was meant to be, I had scooped out 5 lb. worth of baked russet potatoes to make potato skins, had vegan plain yogurt and vegan cheddar shreds on hand, and always have onions on hand.  I can’t say it wasn’t a bit of work, but I can say IT WAS WORTH IT!

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I am posting what I did, rather than what America’s Test Kitchen did.

Filling:

1 lb. cooked potato, heated so the cheese and butter will melt.

1 c. vegan cheddar cheese, shredded

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Combine to make a creamy, smooth, whipped potato filling in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Refrigerate to cool.  Mine was in the fridge overnight.

Dough:

2 1/2 c. bread flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 C. plain Kite Hill almond yogurt (the original recipe called for sour cream)

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk

Whisk dry ingredients.  Add in yogurt and eggs and run in mixer with dough hook 8 minutes.  The dough was sticky, smooth and elastic.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. (I did overnight)

Line baking sheet with parchment dusted with flour.

Roll out dough and cut biscuit size circles.  Put scrap dough back in the fridge for second batch.

Put 1 tsp. into each circle, and seal and set aside on the prepared baking sheet.

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I put mine in the fridge at this point to get the rest of the dinner going.

I cooked sausage, peppers and onions in the oven.  I tossed the veggies with oil and seasonings and placed them into a baking dish with the sausage on top.  They were baked at 400 F for 45 minutes and were perfection.

 

Meanwhile, I brought 4 qts. of water seasoned with garlic and salt to a boil to cook the pierogies.  In a separate pan, I caramelized some onions to toss them with.

 

I had lots of leftover pierogie filling, so I put it in ramekins and topped with bacon and vegan parmesian.   I baked them along side the sausage.

 

The dinner came together really well.  While the sausage and ramekins were baking, I cooked the pierogies in the boiling water for 5 minutes (in two batches).  As they floated, I put them in the skillet with the caramelized onions.

This dough will definitely be made again for potstickers and ravioli.  It was amazing!

 

 

 

 

My son gave me a plantain press, so I decided to try homemade tostones for the first time.  What better day than Cinco de Mayo.  They were a huge success.   I cooked them in the oven along side the chicken while the rice and beans were on the stovetop.

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6 plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 c. grapeseed oil

Salt to taste (we like them pretty salty)

8 chicken patties (I actually used Gardein Crispy Chick’n Patties)

1 jar salsa (I used roasted tomatillo with pineapple)

Cheese to melt on top (I used vegan cheese, which isn’t pretty, but tastes yummy)

Start rice cooking and black beans heating on stovetop.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Toss plantain slices with oil and spread out on a baking sheet.

Place salsa in the bottom of two 13 x 9 taking dishes.  Top with patties and sprinkle with cheese.

Place plantain slices on the lower rack and patties on the upper rack.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove plantains from oven.  Reduce heat to 375F.

Smash plantains and place brown side up on the baking sheet, and return to the oven with the chicken for 15 minutes more.

The rice was done first, so I kept it warm on the stovetop.

We will definitely have this again!

Back before everyone was suddenly into baking bread during quarantine, I happened across an amazing and easy peasant bread recipe on alexandracooks.com.  It caught my eye because it said No-Knead.  I followed Alexandra’s basic peasant bread recipe.  However, instead of making two smaller loaves, I make one big loaf in a pyrex bowl that has a capacity of 2 Qts.

I also like to experiment with different flours and add ins.  However, after binge-watching hours of British Baking Show, be warned that any deviation from the basic recipe can change proofing time.   Today’s experiment was a success!  The best bread I’ve ever made!

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4 C. flour (I used 3 c. AP, 1/2 c. flaxseed meal, 1/2 c. millet flour)

2 tsp. salt

2 c. tepid water

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. yeast (I used Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast)

2 Tbsp. butter.  I wasn’t good about taking pictures.  They all started to look the same LOL.

First Place flour in large bowl and wisk in salt.

Boil water (you will need 1/2 c. boiling with 1 1/2 c. tap water to get “tepid water”)

I melt the sugar in the boiled water in a large mixing cup before adding in the tap water to make sure the sugar is dissolved.  (I actually forgot to do that today, and it still turned out okay).

Sprinkle water with yeast and let activate for 15 minutes.

Stir into flour/salt mixture until no pockets of flour remain.  Cover with plastic wrap and proof about 1 hour.  It should be doubled in size.

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Meanwhile, get the bowl(s) you will be baking the bread in ready by spreading butter over it’s entire inner surface.

Deflate proofed dough using two small forks, pulling dough in from the sides of the bowl onto itself.  It is really sticky and hard to scrape from the sides.  That’s normal.

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Put is into the bowl you are baking it in (just sort of plop it in there) and use a spatula or metal spoon to get as much of the dough out of the original bowl as possible.  You won’t want to waste any of it.  Trust me.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Sit bowl of dough on the stovetop where the heat comes out of the oven.  Let the dough have a second proof (about 20 minutes).  It will double in size again!

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Place bowl in the 425F oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375F and cook 15-17 minutes more.

Immediately turn the bread out onto a cooling rack.

The video from Alexandracooks.com is great:

My Mother’s Peasant Bread: The Best Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make

 

 

 

Tonight’s dinner was such a hit, the boys said to write down what I did differently so I can recreate it!  One part I don’t want to recreate is having a stove that only has one working burner (a small one) and an oven (no broiler).  I didn’t really know that some of the minor changes I made would make it so much better, so I didn’t take pictures as I went along.  It was, however, pretty, so I took a picture of a serving of the finished product.

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1 lb. elbow macaroni

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. seasoned salt

1 8 oz. container vegan or lactose free cream cheese

1 large sweet onion, finely chopped

1 C. finely chopped turkey ham

4 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 c. leftover roasted (charred) broccoli, finely chopped

1 pouch vegan mozzarella style shreds

Cook elbow macaroni.  I use the Alton Brown method of putting the pasta in a large pan with enough cool water to cover it by about an inch.  Stir in minced garlic and seasoned salt.  Bring to a boil and stir occasionally.  Lower the heat to medium low and the pasta basically becomes rehydrated instead of boiled.  Because I’m dealing with only one burner, once the pasta was cooked, I placed it in a 13 x 9 lasagna dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Rather than draining off all the fabulous flavored pasta water, I spooned approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup into the baking dish with the pasta.

Next, I cooked the onion and ham in butter and oil with all the seasonings over low heat for about 25 minutes.  I turned it up at the end, and added in the chopped charred broccoli.   Add in cream cheese and melt through.

Pour over noodles and mix in.  Top with shreds and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

I’m not sure what made this better than usual.  Maybe the pasta was perfectly cooked and had just enough pasta water?  Maybe the charred flavor of the broccoli added a special touch.  Whatever it was, I’m going to try to recreate this to see if it can be done!

Oh, and this was the last meal I’m preparing on my old on its last legs stove.  Tomorrow my son is installing the stove I always wanted.  It’s a combination Birthday/Mother’s Day present.  I can’t wait!

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Lemon Tarragon Chicken

My love for lemon and tarragon began the first time I tried Stonewall Farms lemon tarragon aioli.  Luckys Market brand lemon tarragon sauce is also amazing.

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Although both made great marinades for chicken, I experimented with making my own.

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 Tbsp. dried tarragon leaves

2-3 Tbsp. flour

1/2 cup white wine

2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter and add tarragon.

Add flour and cook a few minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking.

Add wine and lemon juice and cook until thickened.

Stir in Tofutti “sour cream” and “milk” and continue to cook until slightly thickened.

Marinate chicken in sauce for at least 30 minutes.   I actually froze mine in the sauce, and defrosted it in the fridge the day ahead of when I planned to cook it.  I used four large boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Bake chicken in sauce at 350F for approximately 30 minutes or until internal temperature is about 150F.

Cut into bite sized pieces with kitchen shears and return to oven at 450F to cook until and golden and yummy – about 5-10 minutes.

 

I served with oven roasted broccoli, potatoes, and baby portobello mushrooms tossed with olive oil and seasoning blend.  Yummy!!

My sister Sue introduced me to the combination of tuna and pineapple.  I bought some canned tune and crushed pineapple recently to use for lunches during the workweek.  I added  in Korean Kimchi and Pepper Jack Vegan Shredds.  I can’t wait to try this with Ahi seared tuna and fresh pineapple.

 

2 cans light tuna, packed in water, well drained

1 small can crushed pineapple, well drained

2 Tbsp. Garlic Teryaki Sauce

1 Tbsp. Korean Kimchi, drained

Combine ingredients and chill for flavors to marry, at least 20-30 minutes

4 large tortillas

Vegan shredds (I used about 1/4 c. Daiya pepper jack shredds for each quesadilla)

Spray for pan

Heat tortilla until browned on one side.  Flip and top with filling ingredients sprinkled with shredds.

Cook about 1 minute and flip top over.

I love fruit and protein, so this really appealed to me.  I will make it with gourmet ingredients soon. (Using chicken for non fish eaters, or even tofu crumbles fried up with teriyaki sauce would be good.)

This is a super easy for a weeknight meal.  Ingredients on hand, ready to go.  Variations are endless.

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2 packages frozen crumbles

1 onion, chopped

Oil to soften onion

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1 tsp.  garlic powder

(variations available based on seasoning choices!)

2 cans french style green beans, drained

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 pouch Imagine non-dairy cream of mushroom soup

1 pouch vegan cheddar shredds

1 package tater tots (I used Ore Ida mini tots)

Chop onion – I used a sweet red onion

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Put tater tots in oven to cook according to directions.

Cook onion in large skillet in oil with seasonings until translucent.

Drain beans and add in to onion.

Stir in soup and heat through.

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Keep warm until tater tots are ready.  I cooked them on parchment and made them extra crispy.

Pour skillet ingredients into prepared baking dish.

Top with cooked tater tots.  I could have used sweet potato tots to eliminate nightshades.,

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Sprinkle with vegan cheddar shredds.

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Pop into the oven at 400-425F for 15 minutes or until shredds melt.

Variations – veggie tater tots or sweet potato tots, other varieties of soup, other vegetables besides green beans, real ground meat instead of crumbles.  Mexican style?  Indian style?  Italian style?  Yum, Yum, Yum.

 

 

0These were soooo good.  Creamy, stringy vegan cheese,  amazing gluten free rye bread, and tofutti sour cream.

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Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Rye Bread

Daiya Dairy Free Cheddar Style Slices

Vegan Butter for outside of sandwich

Russet Potatoes

Vegan Cheese Shredds

Vegan bacon (optional)

Grapeseed oil for brushing.

1.  Bake and cool potatoes.  Cut in half and scooped-out potato leaving just a little white and the skins. Reserve the stuff you scoop out for mashed potatoes another night!

2.  Brush skins with oil, top with shredds, and place on sheet pan.  Season as desired.

3.  Assemble grilled cheese sandwiches and prepare to bake on sheet pan or cook in large skillet.

4.  Bake 425 for 15 minutes.  Sandwiches need to be flipped halfway through.

Top the skins with chives mod sour cream if desired.  Yummmm.

The Canyon Bakehouse rye bread was the best! We used it when we had Beyond Burger patty melts. Recipe to be posted soon!

 

My niece is in town for a visit adding yet another set of food allergies to cook around!  We all loved these burritos!  I was glad to find a taco sauce with no black pepper that she could eat.

Burrito and Salad

We are lucky here in Florida to have so many great allergen free foods.

1 onion, chopped

3- 4 Tbsp. Grapeseed oil

2 tsp. The Spice Hunter coriander lime rub

1/2 cup Brazilian spinach, torn

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. salt

4 cups cooked brown rice

1 package Gardein crumbles

1 pouch Frontera Texas skillet taco sauce

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 pouch vegan cheese shreds

Large tortillas.  Recipe makes approximately 12- 14 burritos.

Start by softening onion in a little oil, reserving some to brush the burritos prior to baking.  Season with salt and coriander lime seasoning.

Add in spinach, garlic, and crumbled, cooking till spinach is softened.

In a large bowl, combine rice, beans, taco sauce, shredded vegan cheese and crumbles.

I used a standard ice cream scoop and put 2 scoops on each tortilla, wrapping envelope style.

I placed them on a sheet pan and brush them with oil and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until golden.

I keep cooked, crumbled ground meat and sausage in the freezer for night like tonight when I can’t decide what to make and want dinner in a hurry!

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1- 2 lb.  Cooked crumbled meat I used Turkey brats

Broccoli florets

Chopped onion

Oil to cook veggies

1 tsp. Garam Masala

1 container vegan cream cheese

1 can pumpkin

1- 2 cups vegan shredded

1 lb. Cooked pasta

Cook veggies in oil.  Season with Garam Masala.

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Add defrosted meat.

Mix in cream cheese and melt.  Stir in pumpkin.  Place in greased 13×9 casserole dish.

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Top with shredded and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

A total success!!

@myfoodswings

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