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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.

Snacks

Mom’s Salsa

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.comI was on the phone with my mom while shopping for Super Bowl snacks at Trader Joe’s, and she mentioned this salsa recipe she had made up.

It’s no mystery where I get my recipe experimenting skills from. ;)

She had me looking for fire-roasted diced tomatoes with chiles and frozen sweet white corn. She said I could use Ro*Tel, but she liked the Trader Joe’s brand.

I was surprised at how it came together since it’s so simple. And after my husband and I ate the whole batch as the Seahawks won the Super Bowl I thought, what an awesome dairy free recipe for a blog post. I then asked her for her permission to publish it, which she granted, as long as I named it after her.

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com

I was talking to my mom, Donna, on the phone instead of shopping with her because she lives in Pittsburgh, PA, which is about a billion miles away from California.

Since my family is so far away, I miss my mom a lot. Thank goodness for cell phones, unlimited minutes, and Google Hangouts.

I’m missing my mom even more today, because she just came to visit me in California. I don’t know what she wanted more, to see her daughter, to escape Pittsburgh’s endless snowfalls, or to have a vacation. 

Though California needs the rain desperately, I was glad to have some warm, beautiful days for her visit. She needs a reason to come back, right?

She escaped the cold, snowy east coast for a week and got to experience blossoms, birds, and citrus trees, walks without a jacket, and sunning on the patio…in the middle of February.

We went shopping, ate vegan ice cream, and went wine tasting. We had a great time and she spoiled my puppy. The only thing I regret is not getting a good picture together during the whole trip. We had every intention of setting up the tripod and getting pictures at the ocean, but when we got to the coast the weather was overcast, windy, and freezing. Bummer.

The week went too fast and now it is too quiet in my apartment. So I am thinking of her as I type up her recipe.

It’s super simple and easy by the way. There’s no chopping required (yay!) and it’s fast to throw together. It’s also free of gluten and dairy.

Don’t leave anything out. You’ll be glad you made a trip to the store for fresh limes and cilantro. Yummy!

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com

Mom's Salsa
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles
  2. 1 cup sweet white corn, defrosted if frozen and drained of any liquid
  3. 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  4. Juice of 1/2 lime
  5. 4 sprigs fresh cilantro leaves, torn or chopped
  6. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine tomatoes, sweet white corn, and black beans together in a medium size bowl with a lid.
  2. Add juice of half a lime, sea salt, and chopped or torn cilantro leaves. Mix together, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with salted tortilla chips.
Notes
  1. Try with chopped avocado!
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com
Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com

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Easy Mini Quiches

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com
I’m always looking for easy, dairy-free breakfast options. I envy the people who can just pop a hot pocket into the toaster oven and call it a day.

I’m also big on BIG breakfasts.  

I need something substantial AND healthy AND delicious in the morning–cereal just doesn’t cut it. My husband loves healthy cereals like Kashi, but I think they taste like cardboard. I’m reminded of that Willy Wonka quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: “Do you have any idea what breakfast cereal’s made of? It’s those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners.” Yep, pretty much. Sorry cereal lovers.

Usually, I’ll make a spinach and egg scramble in the morning. The whole process only takes five to ten minutes, depending on if I’ve had my coffee or not.

But here’s the thing–I also crave variety. When you are absolutely forbidden from having something in your diet, you need variety to make up for the the lack of it. So I changed up my spinach and egg scramble the other day to include some yummy crescent rolls, making pretty, tulip-shaped mini quiches that are perfect for on-the-go breakfasts.

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

These take a little extra time in the morning–but not much. They are super easy to make and fun to share. They would be a great addition to a weekend brunch!

I do my best to stay away from Pillsbury dough, because it usually contains dairy and hydrogenated oils. You can find dairy-free and trans-fat-free crescent rolls at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

See? Easy!

You can customize this recipe by adding your favorite veggie combination. Just make sure to not overfill each quiche. As you can see in the above picture, I added just a tiny bit of filling to each quiche cup and added egg to just below the edges of the dough. The egg mixture will rise. If you are adding tomatoes, make sure you press the liquid out of them on a paper towel, or else your quiche will be too watery. It’s up to you if you’d like to cook the veggies beforehand. I needed to sauté the spinach to fit in the quiche.

I plan on making these again soon with bacon and potatoes, yum!

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

Easy Mini Quiches
Yields 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can dairy-free crescent rolls
  2. Cooking spray
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  6. Cooked spinach, about a 1/4 cup (1 cup uncooked)
  7. 6 grape tomatoes
  8. 1/8 cup vegan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a cutting board and seal the seams so it it is one seamless sheet of dough. You can use a rolling pin, but I just pinched the seams together with my fingers.
  3. Cut dough into six equal squares.
  4. Spray six cups of a regular size muffin tin with cooking oil.
  5. Place a dough square in each tin, making sure to center it so an even cup is formed. All four corners should be lying outside the cups.
  6. Add your choice of veggies. I quartered 6 grape tomatoes, then pressed them into a paper towel to absorb excess liquid. I sautéed a handful of spinach in a little olive oil and salt so it would fit in the quiche cups, then distributed all veggies equally.
  7. Add a sprinkle of vegan cheese, or another yummy ingredient, like fresh herbs or bacon.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk two large eggs together with salt and pepper. Pour a very small amount of egg mixture into each quiche cup and overtop of veggies, being careful not to overflow. Two eggs will distribute perfectly into the six quiche cups.
  9. Bake for 16 minutes, or until eggs are set. If needed, a couple extra minutes will not burn the dough, and eggs will set unless filled too full.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

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Chili Lime Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds from dontmissdairy.com

Besides parties and free candy, the best thing about Halloween is pumpkin carving!

We love pumpkins in our little family. Pumpkin everything! Even our picky Chihuahua, Mia, who won’t eat dog treats, loves pumpkin. Allow me to tell you a story.

Every year we attend the annual Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay, California. We just enjoyed our fourth Pumpkin Festival this weekend. Wow, how time flies!

We had an amazing time with our friends, indulging in pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin chili, and even pumpkin ale. We bought two awesome pumpkins at Bob’s Pumpkin Farm right along the coast (pictures below). We even got some homemade pumpkin rolls to take home. Here’s where the Chihuahua comes in.

Mia loves pumpkin. Whenever we carve our Halloween pumpkin she gets some of the slimy goopy orange innards. Mmm pumpkin innards—what a special treat.  We certainly have a weird dog. Though, apparently, pumpkin pastries are also desirable.

After waking up at 5am and driving down curvy mountainous roads on the trips to the Pumpkin Festival and back, this dog mom was feeling tired and a little car sick. I crashed and fell asleep as soon as I got home, leaving my bags on the floor. I woke up to a little Chihuahua enjoying a sweet pumpkiny treat all over my white carpet. She had found both pumpkin rolls in my partially opened backpack, took them both to her bed, chewed through the tightly wrapped cellophane, and feasted on little plastic covered bites.

It’s really my fault (and Eric’s, too) for leaving the bags on the floor and not watching the puppy. I’ve learned my lesson. The positive side? I guess I just have to make my own dairy free pumpkin roll. Consider it coming soon.

Though I was quite mad at my little puppy, I couldn’t stay mad for long. I know from experience that it’s super hard to resist pumpkin roll that’s right within your reach.  So when we carve our pumpkin, she’ll still get a taste.

While Mia gets the innards, the humans get the seeds. Those we save for roasting. It’s a very simple process to roast them in the oven with some oil and salt. On to the recipe.

Roasted chili lime pumpkin seeds from dontmissdairy.com

Plain roasted pumpkin seeds are a perfect munching snack, but it’s nice to spice them up sometimes. For our last batch of seeds we really did go spicy with a chili lime seasoning.

Chili and lime aren’t exactly fall themed seasonings, but we are loving this flavor combination right now. We use it on our stove top popcorn as well! Plus, the chili powder and cayenne pepper give your roasted seeds a beautiful autumn color,  and they are so flavorful.

Use the chili powder you are likely to have in your spice rack already. My huge container of chili powder is Tone’s brand from Sams Club, and it contains “other spices” plus garlic powder and salt. Feel free to add as much cayenne pepper as you want to really give your seeds a kick. These are spicy enough that Mia won’t go anywhere near them.

Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds from dontmissdairy.com

Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds from dontmissdairy.com

Chili Lime Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
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Ingredients
  1. Seeds scooped from a medium size pumpkin
  2. 2 tablespoons of SmartBalance Light Buttery Spread
  3. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  4. the juice of 1/2 a lime
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  7. zest of half a lime
Instructions
  1. Cover your freshly scooped pumpkin seeds with water in a medium bowl. Stir them around to loosen the pulp, then drain the water, picking out as much of the pulp as you can. Lay the seeds over a paper towel or cloth and pat dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a small bowl, melt 2 tablespoons of SmartBalance Light Buttery Spread. Add lime juice and pumpkin seeds to bowl of melted butter and stir to coat.
  4. Add chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt, stirring to coat seeds with seasoning evenly.
  5. Spread the seeds onto a foil lined baking sheet to form one even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring to turn the seeds halfway through.
  6. Allow to cool for a few minutes before adding lime zest. Salt to taste.
Notes
  1. We got about a cup and a half of seeds from our pumpkin. If you have fewer, adjust the seasonings. You can always roast a small test batch to make sure you're not over (or under) seasoning your seeds.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Me and Eric in front of the runner up pumpkin from this years biggest pumpkin contest.

Picking out pumpkins at Bob’s Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay.

Pumpkins

Our pumpkins for Halloween.

Hope you enjoy my recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds. Do you have any favorite pumpkin or Halloween traditions?

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