Dairy-Free Mango Oatmeal

This oatmeal is a great way to start your day on a healthy note.  If you don’t have time to make it in the morning simply cook and assemble bowls in advance and place the dishes in your fridge so that you can warm them up before you head out the door.

Mangos have so many health benefits.  There are antioxidants in this fruit that have cancer preventing properties and it helps lower cholesterol and unclog pores for clearer skin.  The vitamin A improves eye health and mangos help to alkalize the body as well.  Using almond milk increases the protein and amount of healthy fats.  The maple syrup is a natural sweetener packed with minerals and vitamins and the cinnamon adds depth of flavor.  Every component of this oatmeal is good for your body in a different way so try it – even if it’s for dinner!

Prep Time:  5 minutes                  Cook Time:  5-10 minutes                   Serves:  2-4

Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup whole grain stove top cooking oats

1/8 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

16 raw almonds chopped

1 fresh mango chopped into cubes

Pinch of salt

Add the oats, almond milk, salt, cinnamon and maple syrup to a small pan.  Bring to a slow boil and stir intermittently to prevent sticking.  Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the oats (5 – 8 minutes) and the oatmeal is thick.  Stir in the chopped mango and top with the almonds.  Serve warm.  Oatmeal will keep in the fridge for up to a week.  When you are reheating this dish you can add a splash of almond milk if you prefer a creamier consistency.

dsc_0372dsc_0374

 

Heavenly Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies

Peanut Butter and Oreos are my favorite flavor combination.  Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together?  When you put this dynamic duo into a cookie it’s pure heaven!  These cookies are dairy free and you can substitute almond or cashew butter in for the peanut butter if you prefer that flavor.  Feel free to use any chocolate sandwich cookie that you enjoy whether it be organic or low fat.  (In general, most chocolate sandwich cookies are dairy free, but check the ingredients to be sure.)

Prep Time:  15 minutes                   Bake Time:  13 minutes                 Makes 25-30 cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all purpose white flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup softened coconut oil

3 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups smooth or crunchy peanut butter (May also use almond or cashew butter)

20 chocolate sandwich cookies crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the cookies in a large resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin or sealed bottle of wine until they are in bite sized pieces.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt then set aside.  In another large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, coconut oil, sugar and oil until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Then add the peanut butter and beat until combined.  Stir in the flour mixture and crushed cookies to the wet ingredients.  Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes or until firm.

Shape and roll the dough into golf ball-sized balls.  Place the dough on a cookie sheet rather close together because the cookies will not spread while baking.  Bake for 13 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.

Rosemary Pork Loin Dinner

What could be better than only one dirty pan in the sink after dinner?  You can make this meal quickly and easily with just a little chopping and everything cooks at the same time in one pan.  The sweet and tangy Roasted Applesauce recipe on this blog compliments this pork nicely.  If zucchini, carrots and potatoes aren’t your thing swap them out for mushrooms, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or peppers.  The best way to eat pork is slightly pink in the middle so that it remains juicy and tender.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                     Cook Time:  30 – 60 minutes               Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1.5 – 3 lb pork tenderloin (excess fat trimmed)

5 carrots peeled and cut on the bias into 2 inch pieces

2 large zucchini cut into 1 inch rounds

2-3 large potatoes cut into cubes (skin on or removed depending on preference)

2 shallots peeled and cut into thick round slices

2 tbsp avocado oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground pepper

1 tbsp fresh rosemary (strip the green leaves from the stem and chop coarsely)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the chopped vegetables in an even layer on the bottom of a large casserole dish or baking pan.  Sprinkle with 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper.  Toss to coat the vegetables.  Place the trimmed pork loin on top of all of the vegetables and rub with the remaining 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and 1 tbsp oil and rosemary.  Place into the oven for 30 – 60 minutes depending on the thickness and weight of the tenderloin.  When a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees remove it from the oven and place the loin on a cutting board and cover it with foil for 5-10 minutes to allow the meat to rest and the juices to redistribute.  Cut the tenderloin into thick slices and serve with the vegetables and optional applesauce.

Dairy-Free Cranberry Margarita Bread

Studded with cranberries this sweet and tangy bread is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  Egg whites, coconut oil and almond milk increase the protein and decrease the cholesterol while the use of almond flour reduces the amount of white flour in this recipe.  The lime and orange zest add a hint of refreshing citrus.  It’s perfect for those times when you could use a margarita,  but must settle for something a bit more sensible.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                         Cooking Time:  1 hour                     Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

4 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 cup of almond flour or almond meal

1 1/4 cup white flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp liquid egg white

3/4 cup almond milk

1 bag of fresh cranberries (8-12 oz)

1 tsp lime zest

1 tsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, almond flour, baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl combine the coconut oil, zest, egg whites and almond milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in the cranberries.  Stir until combined.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow the bread to cool for 30 minutes then run a knife along the perimeter and remove from the pan.

 

Zucchini and Pepper Egg White Quiche

This is the easiest recipe and so versatile but also presents well.  It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Make it the day before and all you have to do is cut a slice and warm it up.  Serve it with a salad and you have a healthy lunch or have it for breakfast with a crispy hash brown and a side of ketchup.  This quiche is full of lean protein and veggies so there’s no guilt.  If you would prefer to use whole eggs simply substitute the egg whites with 4 whole eggs.  Going to a pot luck?  Need to make something for the teacher luncheon?  Have a friend who just had a baby?  You get the idea……..

Prep Time:  10 minutes                  Cook time:  60 minutes                   Serves: 8

 Ingredients

1 cup liquid egg whites

3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese – optional  (Romano is a Sheep’s milk cheese that some lactose intolerant folks can tolerate much better than cow’s milk)

1 small zucchini small diced

1 small red pepper small diced

1  frozen pie shell (bottom only)  I prefer 9″ deep Oronoque Orchards, which is dairy free

https://www.mrssmiths.com/products/pie-crusts/pie-crusts-oronoque-orchards.htm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place egg whites, almond milk, cheese, salt, pepper, zucchini and red pepper into a medium bowl and whisk together to combine.  Pour all of the ingredients into the frozen pie shell on a lined baking sheet.  Place in oven for 1 hour.  Remove and serve hot or cool and store in the fridge covered for up to a week.

Other variations:  Lean turkey breakfast sausage, chive and cheddar / Spinach, feta (Sheep’s milk cheese) and chopped tomatoes / Zucchini, carmelized onions and grated Romano cheese / Ham and Swiss cheese / Bacon, goat cheese and mushroom / Mushroom, bacon and chopped tomatoes / Asparagus, red pepper and grated cheese

Dairy-Free Chicken a la King

This dish immediately brings me back to my childhood.  My Italian mother would try out American recipes from a magazine or a cookbook and this was one that we all loved.  The flavor that the canned mushrooms gives the dish is very distinct and the silky texture of the sauce sits elegantly atop white rice.  I’ve adapted the recipe with almond milk and coconut butter and I have to say I don’t miss the butter and milk at all in this dish.  It tastes exactly the same as my mother’s but it is a whole lot healthier, plus this one pot meal can easily be made in 30 minutes. The red and green peppers make this dish a festive choice for the holidays but you won’t want to wait until Christmas to try this recipe.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                      Cook Time: 20 minutes                     Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 cup of basmati rice cooked according to package instructions (Makes 3 cups)

1 4oz can of mushrooms drained, liquid reserved

1/2 cup coconut butter (such as Olivio in the dairy case)

1 green bell pepper cut into chunks

1 1/2 – 2 lbs of chicken breast chopped into chunks

1/2 cup all purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder

1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk

1 1/4 cups hot water

4 oz chopped pimentos (found in a glass jar in the condiment aisle)

Cook the cubed chicken in avocado oil in a large pan until opaque in the center.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.  Then add the drained mushrooms, green pepper and coconut butter.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the pepper is softened.  Add salt, pepper and flour and whisk into the butter.  Cook the flour mixture for 2 minutes then add the bouillon, almond milk, water and reserved mushroom liquid.  Heat to boiling stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth and free of lumps.  Finally, stir in the pimento and cooked chicken.  Heat through for 2 minutes and serve over rice.

dsc_0278dsc_0279dsc_0280

 

Dairy-Free Salted Chocolate Almond Squares

Adults want some chocolate for Halloween too and this dessert is better than anything that will come out of a wrapper.  The coconut oil in this recipe eliminates the need for butter and if you can find the dairy-free chocolate chips in the supermarket it’s completely Moo-free.  Tip: You may want to share some with friends so you don’t eat the whole pan yourself.

Prep Time:   10 minutes                   Cook time:  15 minutes              Makes 30 squares

Ingredients:

15 graham crackers

1 cup of coconut oil melted

1 1/2 cups chopped almonds

1 bag (10oz) dairy free chocolate chips or chunks

1 cup crushed pretzels (any shape will do)

1/2 tsp coarse salt

Take a rimmed baking sheet and line it with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.  Lay 15 graham crackers along the bottom of the pan.  Pour the melted coconut oil evenly across all of the graham crackers.  Sprinkle the chopped almonds, chocolate chips and pretzels on top of the crackers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  The chocolate should act as a glue to hold the toppings onto the cracker.  You may want to spread them a bit to ensure the toppings adhere.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and refrigerate for 45 minutes to harden the chocolate.  Remove from pan and use a sharp knife to cut each graham cracker in half.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken

I was never a person who liked fruit or nuts on my salad, but I fell in love with the sweet and salty crunch of this satisfying and healthy meal.  The crunchy pecans compliment the chewy dried cranberries which provide a nice contrast to the sweet and tart apples.  The chicken adds extra protein to keep you full longer and the goat cheese is optional but adds a wonderful creamy texture.  Make this gem for dinner in under 30 minutes!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                 Cooking time:  15 minutes                       Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 oz of washed lettuce (romaine or mixed greens work well but if iceberg is your favorite then go for it!)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

1 cup of Nonni Netta’s Spiced Roasted Pecans or store bought roasted glazed pecans

1 cup of chopped apple

2 lbs of grilled or baked chicken breast

1.5 cups of Apple Cider Vinaigrette or your favorite dressing

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and either bake or grill until cooked through.  Slice the chicken into strips and set aside.  You can either serve all of the ingredients separately and have each person assemble their own salad or add all of the ingredients to a large bowl filled with lettuce and toss with vinaigrette.  Either way, you’ll be eating something different tonight that took under 30 minutes and it won’t be coming from a drive thru.  Yum!

 

 

Easy Restaurant Style Baked Fish

Who doesn’t love that buttery cracker crusted baked fish that is served at restaurants?  Make something special tonight that is also surprisingly quick and easy.  I love to serve this fish with some sautéed zucchini and a baked potato.  I truly feel like I’m eating out, but of course with a lot less calories and no dairy.  I hope this will become one of your favorite dinners.

Prep Time:  5 minutes                  Cook Time:  25-35 minutes           Serves:  4-5

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 2 lbs of cod or haddock

1/3 cup melted coconut butter (such as spreadable Olivio Coconut Butter in the dairy aisle)

3 cups of crushed dairy free crackers (I like the 12 grain crackers at Trader Joe’s, but any cracker will do)

1 tsp dried dill weed

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place fish in a casserole dish.  Melt the coconut butter in a medium bowl and set aside.  Place the crackers in a gallon sized resealable bag and let the air out before sealing.  Crush the crackers with a wine bottle by rolling it up and down the bag or simply use your hands.  Pour the crushed crackers into the melted butter and add the salt, pepper and dill.  Mix until the crackers are completely coated.  Pour the cracker mixture over the fish and place in the oven for 25 – 35 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  The fish will be cooked when it flakes easily with a fork and is completely opaque in the  center.  The crumbs should be browned, but if they start to brown too much simply cover with foil.  Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon.

Dairy Free Healthy Breakfast Muffins

I promise that you will not miss the butter in this delectable muffin.  In fact, you won’t even notice that there is absolutely no dairy and most of the white flour was replaced with almond flour.  They are a great choice for a healthy breakfast and can be made quickly and easily with no mixer at all.  If you aren’t a fan of blueberries feel free to substitute apples, raspberries, peaches or pears.  Also, these muffins freeze well so make them ahead for a Sunday brunch or a sick friend.  Enjoy every tender crumb!

Prep Time:   10 minutes           Cook Time:  17 minutes         Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup of almond flour

3/4 cup white flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup almond milk

3 tbsp liquid egg whites

1 1/4 cups of washed fruit (if you use apples peel and cut them into a small dice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners for easy cleanup.  Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; whisk to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, almond milk, extract and egg; whisk to combine.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and add the fruit.  Mix just until combined (mixing too much will make for a tougher muffin).  Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full and bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.  Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then remove them and place them in a sealed container or store them in the fridge to prevent spoilage.