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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.


Summer Plums

The family I work for gave me a huge bag of red plums from their backyard tree last week, so over the weekend I found some delicious plum recipes on the internet.

I discovered plum bread. I never knew there was such a thing as this and I was skeptical about how it would turn out, but I’m glad I tried it. Forget pumpkin and zucchini bread, this sweet bread is my new favorite.

It’s easy to make it dairy free by using Smart Balance Light and soy yogurt. You can also substitute applesauce for the yogurt. If you use greek yogurt (I did), there is much less lactose in it so it shouldn’t be bothersome unless you are highly sensitive. I’m sensitive to lactose but I can eat about a cup of greek yogurt with a lactaid pill and be okay.

You can also cut the sugar by using half sugar and half SPLENDA, or use all SPLENDA. I recommend using a sweetener even if your plums are very sweet, but this would still be a good bread with less sugar.

I also made a balsamic plum reduction sauce to go with a pork tenderloin. Since my husband hates anything with vinegar, I reduced the two tablespoons of vinegar the recipe called for with a teaspoon of vinegar. It smelled just right and tasted amazing to me, so I didn’t want to add any more than that.

Eric and I took some pictures of our dinner with our new camera. I’ll get better and more creative with it as I keep practicing!

Plum Bread


1 1/2 cups pitted, chopped plums–keep the skins on!
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup Smart Balance Buttery Spread Light, softened
1 cup sugar–I used 1/2 SPLENDA, 1/2 white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs–you can use 4 eggs whites, or a combination, for less fat
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup of plain or vanilla soy yogurt–actually, any fruity flavor will do!
Sprinkle of brown sugar (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan with olive oil spray or Smart Balance.

2. After chopping your plums, sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of flour and toss to coat then set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs with a wire whisk until smooth. Add the yogurt and mix until well combined.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly stir the dry mixture into the egg and sugar mixture.

5. Once smooth, fold in the chopped plums and pour batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Let cool for another 30 minutes before slicing, but enjoy that first warm slice before it cools completely. Bet the taste will surprise you!

What it looks like right before the oven.

Pork Tenderloin with a Balsamic Plum Reduction


1 pork tenderloin
sea salt and black peper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 small plums, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons blueberry juice–I think a berry jam would work here. I used the blueberry fruit and syrup from the fruit on the bottom yogurt.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Rinse the pork tenderloin then pat dry and season each side with sea salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet until hot, then sear the tenderloin for three minutes on each side before transferring the pork to the lined baking sheet. 

3. Roast the tenderloin for 15-20 minutes depending on the size. Once cooked, let stand for five minutes before slicing.

4. While the pork is cooking, begin the reduction sauce. Add the plums, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and juice or syrup into a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat, until ingredients are well blended and plums are soft, about 5-10 minutes.

5. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to the saucepan and simmer until reduced and thickened, another 5-10 minutes depending on how much liquid you have added. Spoon the plum sauce over the sliced pork medallions and enjoy with Herby Quinoa. Share with your hungry Chihuahua!

Mia’s favorite spot–right by the stove.

Balsamic Plum Reduction

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Dairy Free Orange Cranberry Quick Bread

Cranberries in a measuring cup.

We just moved into a new apartment, and it had a couple of issues. The tiny bathroom floor was pretty gross, and over a couple of days it began to reveal an ant problem. So today I was stuck inside waiting for the specialists to come in and take care of things.

The exterminator came first and sprayed the areas where the ants were coming from, followed soon after by three hispanic men that I could barely understand but believed to be the guys that would replace the bathroom flooring.

I think one of them tried to tell me that the old flooring was still good…I guess if you are okay with yellow staining, gashes, and ant colonies it was still good.  C’mon guys! Maybe he was telling me it was no good? I don’t know. But these guys were then followed by the maintenance man who came to oversee the work. There were a lot of strange men in my apartment.

Since I was stuck inside all day to wait for everybody, I decided to whip up something healthy for Eric  for when he got home. And, of course, I wanted to enjoy it as well, so I adapted a quick bread recipe to be dairy free. I happened to have orange juice and cranberries on hand, so I made a super healthy whole grain orange-cranberry bread with Very Vanilla Soymilk.

It’s pretty easy to put together but requires some whole grain ingredients like whole wheat flour and fiber rich wheat bran.  Not everyone is likely to have these ingredients in their cupboards but they are good to keep around. It’s cooking right now and smells delicious.


1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg
1/2 cup Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, Very Vanilla Soymilk, orange juice, and oil.

Orange juice mixture.

Whisking orange juice, milk, and egg.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flours, wheat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Flours in a bowl.

4. Add dry mixture into wet until just combined, then stir in cranberries.

Adding dry mixture into wet.

Muffin mixture without cranberries added.

5. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing.

Muffin mixture with cranberries poured into loaf pan.

6. Serve warm for your sweetheart ;-)

Finished cranberry orange quickbread

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Missing Fall-Not Fat Pumpkin Bread

Here is a deliciously healthy pumpkin bread recipe that is more like a true bread rather than the super sweet 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 (you can use any other sugar substitute) replaces half of the sugar, and the extra pumpkin eliminates the need for a cup of oil. By the way, you may gasp when you see that I’ve used olive oil in this recipe, but it really tastes great! If you are a skeptic, use vegetable oil or coconut oil instead.

Though I don’t recommend using all whole wheat flour because of the taste, go all out and use all whole wheat flour, no sugar, more pumpkin, and all egg whites if you want! However, my combination is a good one. It remains moist and flavorful–try for yourself! There’s that awesome secret ingredient of apple cider in there. Why add water when you can add apple cider? After many attempts at creating the perfect healthy pumpkin bread, I have come up with a recipe I will use year after year. The best part about this recipe? No butter or milk!


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Splenda or other healthier sugar substitute
1 tsp baking soda
1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz)
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.

spice and sugar mixture in bowl.

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.

pumpkin, egg, and apple cider mixture.Wet ingredients mixed.

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.

Finished pumpkin bread
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