Whole Grains

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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.

Whole Grains

Ketchup Haters Best Meatloaf Ever

My husband hates ketchup. I love ketchup, and I love meatloaf. So I concocted this recipe to make us both happy. After trial and error it is perfected. He also hates carrots. Along with the ketchup, he won’t even guess these ingredients are in here! Instead of empty carbs, aka breadcrumbs, use oats and toasted wheat germ–they are full of whole grains, vitamin e, folic acid, and fiber. You can find both in the cereal aisle. Make the switch to hearty grains; they are delicious when you cook with them in a great recipe like this one. The title says it all!


1lb. extra lean ground beef or turkey
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 small zucchini or carrot, grated
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup quick cook or regular oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 Heinz Ketchup
1 tablespoon Frank’s Hot Sauce, plus a little extra for brushing.
1 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large saucepan, melt Smart Balance over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper and cook for at least two minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for thirty seconds. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce, oregano, ketchup, and Frank’s until well combined. Cook for one more minute.

3. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, eggs, oats, wheat germ, and cooked veggie mixture. Mix well. It’s easier to use your hands.

4. Form mixture into a lightly oiled nonstick loaf pan. Brush the top with a thin layer of Frank’s Hot Sauce.

5. Bake meatloaf 50-60 minutes. Goes great with roasted potatoes!

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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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