Tag Archives: Dairy Free

Walnut Chicken Salad for Recipe Friday

Earlier this week I had some leftover chicken from a whole chicken that I cooked on my Traeger (it was similar to Rosemary Garlic Chicken, except I used olive oil instead of butter because of my whole dairy-free diet thing). I decided I wanted to make a chicken salad with it, and I was going to use a roasted red pepper vinaigrette salad dressing so that it was dairy free. But then I looked at the ingredients on the Miracle Whip (Light) that was in my fridge and realized that it has egg but no other dairy products.

The resulting recipe was sort of a conglomeration of various chicken salads that I have had before, but was also based in part on what I had available in the fridge and cupboard. As shown in the picture I ate it with Rye Krisp crackers, but you could also serve it on bread as a sandwich or pile it in the middle of a green salad.

Walnut Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped chicken
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
⅓ cup chopped walnuts*
⅛ – ¼ cup Miracle Whip (regular or light)
⅛ tsp poppy seeds
⅛ tsp rosemary
Salt to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Serve with crackers, on slightly toasted bread, or on a green salad.

Note about the walnuts: I used honey glazed walnuts that I had in the cupboard. They are supposed to be salad toppers. They do add a little sweetness to the chicken salad, so if you only have plain walnuts you might need to add a small drizzle of honey to get the same sweetness.

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Hummus and Crackers for (Not Really a) Recipe Friday

I don’t have any new recipe for today, but I thought I’d share my lunch adventures over the past few weeks. In my efforts to be dairy free and wheat free, as well as increase my fiber intake, I have started having hummus and crackers for lunch almost every day. I also have an apple or some other piece of fruit, but that is even less of a recipe!

I must admit, I am surprised by how much I like hummus because I do not like whole garbanzo beans (or chick peas) at all. I’ve had soup with them in it and I always leave the garbanzos in the bottom of the bowl. But there is something about them being mashed into a paste with garlic and other delicious spices added that makes them delicious.

I suppose I should figure out how to make my own hummus — it would probably be cheaper than buying it pre-made — but there are so many delicious flavors and brands of hummus on the market it just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

The first brand I bought was made by a local Portland company and sold at Whole Foods, and was a roasted red pepper hummus. It was excellent, but I don’t get to Whole Foods very often so I had to try the brands that they sell at Safeway where I do my main grocery shopping. (Safeway is 1 ½ blocks from my house, so it is really a convenience issue). I’ve only tried one brand that they sell, and that is Sabra. They have a variety of flavors.

My favorite so far is the Roasted Pine Nut Hummus, but Roasted Red Pepper is a close second. Last week I bought Supremely Spicy Hummus thinking a little kick might be tasty. I guess the fact that it had a picture of a hot pepper on the label and I was stirring in a bunch of chopped pepper paste with seeds should have been a clue, but I was surprised with the first bite how supremely spicy it really was! I’m hoping I can get my hubby to eat the rest of this flavor and I won’t buy it again, but if you like spicy this might be the flavor for you.

After the first time I had hummus for lunch, and had eaten about a third of the container in one sitting, I decided to read the label about serving size and fiber content. I had to laugh at the Sabra serving size, which is two tablespoons and there are 10 in a container! That means I had eaten over 3 servings. I suppose if you were eating it for a snack, that would be too much, but as a lunch 3 servings seems about right.

Now a little about my cracker choices — a much bigger challenge when you want dairy and wheat free. I first tried rice crackers, and they are okay but can be kind of bland and don’t have much fiber. I wanted to use my favorite Blue Diamond Nut Thins, but discovered that they have butter in them. I was very disappointed about this.

I decided to try rye crackers because I like rye and you can get them both dairy and wheat free. The first brand I tried was Wasa Crispbread, but it was pretty dry. It was good with hummus, but when I wanted them to do double duty as a dipping cracker with soup they were too much like cardboard.

Next I tried Ry Krisp brand crackers. These are excellent with hummus and also work well for dipping in soup! Plus 2 medium-sized crackers provide 3 grams of fiber and are only 50 calories, so for a super healthy lunch I can eat 4 or 6 of them with hummus and not feel hungry at all.

So that’s my adventures into easy, healthy, dairy and wheat free lunching. I’m not sure I would eat this every day if I didn’t have to avoid dairy and wheat, but I definitely enjoy this lunch. Add a little almond or toasted coconut snack mid-afternoon and I am satisfied all day long at work.

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Toasted Coconut for Recipe Friday

Now that I am eating both dairy and wheat free, I keep thinking of all the desserts I love that have one or both of these ingredients. The other night my husband and I went out to dinner. After we were done eating we talked about whether to get dessert. I said that most, if not all, of the desserts probably had either dairy or wheat so there was no point in even looking at the dessert menu. He joked, “That’s because all the good things to eat have those two ingredients in them.” Thankfully that is not true.

The next day we went to Costco and while looking in the snack aisle for dried fruits to put in my oatmeal in the morning, I found dried young coconut. Rather than being shredded it is chunks of coconut. Knowing that shredded coconut tastes better toasted, I decided to try toasting this coconut. It turned out delicious, just a little sweet, and serves as a simple dessert as far as I’m concerned.

Rather than formatting this like my usual recipes, since this recipe only has one ingredient, I thought I would just include pictures and directions.

I placed the coconut pieces on a homemade aluminum tray. I used our toaster oven and set it to 300°. After a few experiments, I discovered that 15 minutes is the perfect length of time to toast the coconut. Allow to cool before eating.

I think I’m going to try to develop some other dessert recipes that incorporate this toasted coconut, like maybe drizzling it with melted dark chocolate and combining it with toasted almonds or other nuts.

The best thing about this simple dessert treat is that it is good for you! It is low in sugar and fat, and high in fiber. But it won’t feel like you are eating healthy.

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Quick Steel Cut Oatmeal for Recipe Friday

Last week I promised I would start sharing some dairy free recipes for Recipe Friday, since I am now dairy free in everything I eat. I’m also trying to limit wheat in my diet, but my main focus is eliminating dairy – and still enjoying what I eat!

I thought I’d start out this week with what I’ve eaten for breakfast every day for the past two weeks – quick cooking steel cut oatmeal. I have previously posted a Pan-fried Oatmeal recipe, but this recipe does not require the prior planning of making a big batch of regular steel cut oatmeal on the weekend.

This recipe is so quick and easy, and it tastes awesome even without milk on top. Plus it is very healthy and high in fiber. I was so excited when I discovered that McCann’s had made a quick cooking version of their oatmeal! This recipe makes a single serving, but I suppose it could be doubled or tripled if there were more people at your breakfast table.

Quick Steel Cut Oatmeal

Ingredients:

¾ cup water
¼ cup McCann’s quick-cooking steel cut oatmeal
¼ cup dried fruit
1/8 to ¼ cup chopped nuts
1 -2 tbsp dark brown sugar

Directions:

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add oatmeal and stir. Reduce heat to low and set timer for 5 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and nuts. Stir frequently so the oatmeal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After 5 minutes, pour oatmeal into a bowl. Stir in brown sugar and enjoy!

Yummy Oatmeal - Needs No Milk!

Note about dried fruit: I have been using a combination of two dried fruits, either chopped prunes & cranberries, or chopped dates & cranberries. I actually don’t like raisins, but if you do they would work, too. I found some great cranberries that are infused with pomegranate or cherry flavor. For variety, I might try golden raisins some time, or dried chopped apricot.

Note about nuts: I have been using macadamia nuts or pecans, but you could use walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds. I’ve found that pecans are nice because it is easy to “chop” pecan halves by putting them in a snack-sized ziplock bag and breaking them with your fingers. Macadamia nuts taste really good, but they are harder to chop.

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Dairy Free for Recipe Friday

I spent most of the month January feeling awful, going to the doctor and having tests done, and getting one negative test result after another. Each doctor visit would add to the list of what wasn’t wrong with me. I had no appetite, and whenever I did eat I felt worse. I ate a lot of Greek yogurt because it’s supposed to be good for you and easy on your stomach.

Then last week my primary doctor suggested I try cutting wheat and dairy out of my diet. I had already been avoiding wheat for a week at that point with no change, so I decided I might as well cut out dairy, too.

Within four days I was feeling amazingly better, and each new day seems to bring more improvement. Symptoms I had experienced even before January have also gone away. I am so happy!

The sad part is that every day I remember another favorite dish that I won’t be able to eat if I remain dairy free. Of the 59 recipes on my Recipe Index, 27 include some sort of dairy ingredient, either milk, cheese, or butter. A few others include bread that has milk in it. And I don’t even have a recipe for my favorite dessert – cheesecake – posted here.

But that’s okay, because if it makes me feel better I can avoid dairy. I’ve decided, though, to try to share dairy free recipes for Recipe Friday from here on out. I don’t have a recipe this week, but starting next week I’ll start sharing some new ones – all dairy free.

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