“Carl, that is NOT your jello!” – Jimmy

I seem to say this a lot but……I’m back!

I’ve been off grid for a little bit now, splitting my time at the YMCA between the gym and the youth centre but, During my absence I’ve still been playing around in the kitchen and have many recipes to add to this. I can’t promise ill be posting as frequently as I was in the beginning but I can promise new posts and new recipes to try.

I hope this finds you all well and ready to try something new =)

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I can’t get off this chair or I’ll drown, wanna know why, Bob? ‘Cause I can’t swim.

Welcome to my new readers & welcome back to those who have waited patiently for me to get back to business.

All of these start off with a quote that has nothing to do with the content, tonight’s is from SLC Punk! if you haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest checking it out.

DOWN TO BUSINESS!

I woke up today and decided to play around in the kitchen, no idea what the end result would be, but I knew I’d be making it up as I went along.

After looking in the cold room and the fridge a general idea started to form for a Shepard’s Pie of sorts, so I started grabbed 4-5 potatoes and headed upstairs.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

medium sized pot
9×13 pan
frying pan
4-5 potatoes
dairy free sour cream
dairy free cream cheese
5 strips of chicken bacon
2-3 green onions
1 pkg of ground chicken
1 orange pepper
1-2 shallots
5-6 mushrooms
1 medium  zucchini
2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp melted margarine
S&P to taste
Daiya Dairy Free Cheese

No need to peel the potatoes, I left it on to no ill effects. Quarter the potatoes and toss them in the pot with some water to boil, I chopped one green onion and threw it in the pot as well, just for a bit of extra flavour. That goes for a half hour, so you can leave it be.

Dice up the chicken bacon and fry it slowly in your pan with a little bit of olive oil, keep it at a low to medium heat and let it crisp up. While the bacon is frying, start chopping up all the vegetables and put them to the side. When the bacon is done place it in a large mixing bowl, put some more olive oil in the pan and start frying up the ground chicken. Once you get some colour on the chicken, add in all the veggies and let it all mingle.

By now your potatoes should be cooked through, drain them and add them into the same bowl as the bacon. Chop up the remaining green onion and throw it in the bowl too. Give it a rough mash with a bit of margarine and add in a spoonful or so of both the sour cream and cream cheese and either whip it all together or give it a really good mash. If you’re feeling fancy, throw in some of the Daiya cheese and mix that in as well.

We’re bouncing around a bit, but now that the potatoes are ready the ground chicken and veggies should be done too. Empty the contents of the pan into your 9×13 dish, then we can get started with the white sauce. It’s a pretty simple one, and has never let me down. In a bowl, add the almond milk, flour, and melted margarine and whisk until you’re happy with the consistency, then pour it over the ground chicken.

This is where it’s all up to your creative side, the potato layer. You can either make a layer right across the top and cover the whole thing or, like I did, you can take a scoop and get all fancy. I alternated between a large and small scoop and made a bit of a design, simply because I had the time.

Now it’s time for the oven, toss that sucker in at 350 for 30 minutes. Then flip the oven to broil until you get a nice brown on the potato.

You should end up with something like this…

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As always, if you try the recipe, send me an e-mail Iam@TonyLantz.com with a pic, any tweaks you made, and I’ll post it on here.

And that has made all the difference.

Life has been hectic, everything that could have gone awry has and it’s taken me a while to get it all under control once again.

 

But I have come out the other side of the tunnel, and am once again on the right path. It may not be the path that most would choose, but it’s mine.

 

I’ve been sticking to a meal plan and regular exercise and, since October 30th, I’ve gone from 173lbs to 150 and am not slowing down. I’m focusing on me and all the aspects of my life I can control, following my meal plan, exercising, getting my finances in order, and getting my career on track. Most other things are outside of my immediate influence and therefore not a concern.

 

This means I’ll be back with more recipes and small windows into my life as of late. If that appeals to you, enjoy the show. If not, please make your way to the exits.

“Not to sound too much like Christopher Guest in ‘Waiting for Guffman,’ but on Thanksgiving you’re putting on a show!” – Ted Allen

I’ve been away for a while, working on two other sites which took my spare time away from my own. But just because I’ve been away from the keyboard doesn’t mean I’ve been out of the kitchen. This past weekend, Thanksgiving, I created a dish, somewhat by fluke, that has become a side dish staple.

We cooked our turkey two days in advance and were having people over for dinner on Friday night (you guessed it, our T-Day was Sunday), but since I have so many food issues I couldn’t eat what was being served. So I started to make a mini turkey dinner for myself, which meant I needed some veggies. Rather than dirty several pots, I put the potatoes in the bottom and tossed a veggie steamer on top for the carrots. Originally my plan was to do up a batch of Make Ahead Potatoes, but the carrots gave me a better idea.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 small to medium sized potatoes (peel to preference)
  • 3-4 good sized carrots peeled
  • curry (to preference)
  • Daiya Dairy Free Cheese
  • Tofutti Sour Cream
  • margarine

I made this twice over the weekend, once with steamed carrots, the second time was done with carrots that were sliced into dollars and cooked in a pot all their own. Both worked quite well, the steamed, of course, mashed better and the dollars kept their form. How you cook the carrots depends on whether you want to have a completely smooth consistency or a more chunked, rustic, feel. I do prefer the latter and, as such, leave the skin on the potato and mash rather than use a hand mixer.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll give the recipe with dollared carrots and then, if you’d rather, all you need to do is steam the carrots and use a hand mixer to marry it all together before tossing it in the oven.

Peel the carrots, halve or quarter the potato according to size and slice the carrots into dollars. toss both in separate pots to cook. Once the veggies are done, put in a large bowl, add in some margarine to make the mashing easier and have at it. After you get a good mash on the potatoes and carrots, add a couple spoonfuls of the sour cream, your preferred amount of curry and a handful of the Daiya Cheese. When the mix is mashed to your desired consistency, transfer to an 8×8 pan, flatten it out, layer on some more Daiya, and put in the oven @ 350 for 25-30 minutes.

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While it does LOOK like the Make Ahead Potatoes, it tastes completely different and an excellent addition to your dinner table.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

First off, I want to thank everyone who came to visit me last night at my booth during Afterglow. I had many great conversations with the lot of you and it was great to be able to share what I know about living dairy free, and very encouraging to have so many people excited to try my recipes.

Those who attended last night’s event got a bit of a preview that you folks have not yet been privy to, a few days ago I made Panko Crusted Stuffed Meatballs and posted a picture on both Facebook and Twitter. That resulted in several people asking for the recipe and I decided to include it in those featured at my booth.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Since some of you were geographically unable to attend, and others either couldn’t make it out or the rain killed their copy of the recipe, I’ve uploaded a PDF version of the pamphlet I handed out with all three recipes included. Simply click the link and you’ll have access to them in all their glory. Tony’s Recipes – Afterglow

I look forward to hearing feedback from those who give these recipes a go and, as always, if you’d like to send me an e-mail with pictures of your creation and a write up on what you did, I would love to post them on here. My goal for this blog is to replicate the atmosphere found when sitting with a group of friends in the kitchen, swapping recipes.

Happy Cooking!

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. – Og Mandino

Back in action!

As I mentioned previously, the past few weeks have been incredibly hot and humid here, so I’ve had to stay away from the stove as much as possible. Otherwise I would have overheated the whole house, and I didn’t want to have to deal with that.

This meant I was very limited as to my choices, especially since take out isn’t an option. I decided to break out the slow cooker, which still kicks off a fair amount of heat but my system worked out quite well. The best way to beat the heat is to do all your prep, load the slow cooker, then find the coolest place in your house and plug it in. Since you don’t need to do much other than leave it be, and occasionally twisting a knob or two it doesn’t need to be on the kitchen. Keep it somewhere cool, and let the smell waft through your house.

We got a good rain storm, so I can use the stove again, but I wanted to pass on my personal favorite of the recipes I came up with.

Here’s What You Need

  • 1.5 lb ground poultry
  • 1 medium sized zucchini
  • 6-7 mushrooms
  • 1-2 scallions (depending on size)
  • 1 orange pepper
  • cayenne
  • sea salt & herbs
  • 1 pkg brown rice pasta (shape to preference)
  • 2-3 green onions
  • tomato sauce (2 cans)
  • Daiya Dairy Free Cheese

This can become a vegetarian dish very simply, just ditch the poultry & double up on the veg. =)

There is still some stove work required, but not much.

Put some olive oil in a pan big enough to cook all the poultry, and dice all the veggies. Set the green onion aside, and toss the rest in the pan once the meat starts to change colour. Season everything as you see fit (cayenne + sea salt & herbs, for me.) Keep it at a medium heat and let it all cook down, until the meat is browned slightly.

At the same time, bring a pot of water to a boil, put in a few drips of olive oil and the package of pasta.

When the ingredients in the pan finish cooking, put them in the slow cooker, and when the pasta is done, drain it and add that in too. At this point I added in a healthy amount of cheese and then mixed everything together with the tomato sauce. Topped it off with a layer of cheese, cranked the slow cooker to high and put it in the coolest place in your house for 4-5 hours. Then toss on the green onions, and leave it for another hour or two.

Now is about the time to carry this amazing culinary pot pourri back to the kitchen and serve it up!

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I’m about as tired as my little one, so I’m calling this blog sufficiently entried!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

This Life Is What You Make It” – Marilyn Monroe

When I first kicked this blog back into gear I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to become. It was more or les a virtual recipe book that I could refer to as need be, then something happened. People start reading. Not just people I knew either, I’ve met quite a few people since I started. In doing so, the main idea for my blog took form.

I love cooking with friends and sharing recipes/ideas, as well as riffing on how to make them better. So I want to replicate that atmosphere in a blog, and apart from encouraging people to comment about how the process goes for them or suggestions for recipes to feature, it is somewhat out of my hands haha. Luckily I received an e-mail this week with Barbara Nolan‘s take on the Breakfast Pizza recipe I posted a few entries ago.

So, basically from here on out, if you try one of the recipes and want to share with everyone, and I hope you do, just shoot off an e-mail to biodomer@hotmail.com with pictures and any tweaks you made to the recipe and I’ll gear up a post and share it with everyone else.

Here We Go!

Starting with the tweaks to the recipe:
Bacon fried in a 12″ pan – I was actually considering changing this to chopped up Canadian bacon in the future.
6 eggs scrambled – I did this with milk but think I might leave the milk out next time.
Daiya Cheddar cheese – Cheddar is my personal favorite kind of cheese.
Black olives spread over half of the eggs
Red/Green peppers spread over the other half
Sea Salt and Garlic & Herbs sprinkled over all

Bake at 350° for 15 min.

She also posed this question – “I am thinking that the consistency of mine may have been different because of using the milk to scramble the eggs.  Did you use anything?” The answer is just a very little bit of water. I find it makes the egg a lot fluffier, which gives your eggs a great little pick me up.

Now for the photographic evidence, and I would like to go on record saying this looks leaps and bounds fancier than mine! Great job, Barbara =)

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I look forward to more e-mails from all of you.

Have a great one!

PS – If you send in your goods, you name the post too =P

Failure is success if we learn from it. – Malcolm Forbes

My mother always made the best Mac & Cheese growing up, and I would request it regularly. But when you develop both IBS and an intolerance to dairy, your diet gets tweaked ever so slightly.

I can no longer eat pasta, one of the joys of IBS is everyone reacts to it differently and the triggers are different for everyone. I have no problems with bread, or wheat, or flour, gluten is not my enemy. But for some reason Pasta just does not agree with me. So I just considered Mac & Cheese to be a write off. I figured I had eaten my last one long ago and didn’t even savour it because I had no idea it was my last hurrah.

Over time I found some pasta alternatives, there’s brown rice pasta, corn pasta, rice vermicelli, udon noodles, and one made of bean sprouts and peas that is white raw, but cooks clear. When you’re not warned about something like that it can catch you off guard pretty quick!

Finding an alternative to run of the mill pasta was easy, as the first one I tried didn’t taste like cardboard. I wasn’t so lucky with an alternative to cheese.

I tried many different types of dairy free cheese and none of them tasted anywhere close, some claimed they “melted” but they didn’t. They ended up with a film over top and just molten particle board tasting lava underneath. I had almost given up, I thought I had tried them all, with no success, but then I noticed Daiya for the first time as I passed by it in the deli. It wasn’t with the other dairy free or vegan cheeses, but around the corner with the “normal” cheese, so I hadn’t paid it much attention. I saw those magic “Dairy Free” words, and tossed it in the cart. When I got home I also noticed the claim that it “melts and stretches”, but took it with a grain of salt. Fast forward to a year or two later, and there is always at least two bags of the shredded in my fridge. It is the best alternative I have found, it DOES melt, it DOES stretch, & most of all IT TASTES LIKE CHEESE!

To me it’s a wonder product, it was a game changer for me, it was with this product that I realized being dairy free wasn’t all that horrible, there were work arounds and they tasted great.

It’s because of Daiya cheese that I’ve been able to make a lot of the recipes that are on this blog, including the one I’m about to share.

I’ve obviously had to tweak the recipe a bit as far as ingredients go, I’ve also added some stuff too because I can never leave well enough alone, this is Mac & Cheese 2.0

The zucchini is something that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have in my fridge. However, the always fantastic Susie Jimenez sent out a battle cry to pick up a new vegetable, you normally wouldn’t cook with, and incorporate it into your night’s meal. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have figured out just how awesome zucchini is and how much it added to this recipe. I suggest you all give her a follow on Twitter, she’s got some great ideas!

Side Note: If you want to make this dish vegan, all you have to do is omit the bread crumbs and chicken, also use the vegan margarine that Becel has.

The Goods

  • 8×8 pan
  • 1 3/4 cups macaroni (brown rice pasta)
  • 2 tsp margarine (olive oil or vegan becel)
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • bread crumbs (omit for vegan)
  • Daiya Dairy Free Mozzarella or Cheddar style shreds
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 4-5 mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1-2 small chicken breasts (omit for vegan)
  • curry powder
  • sea salt & herbs

I tend to cook the chicken in the afternoon so that its cooked when I’m prepared to get everything else ready. Just very simply chop it up into chunks, season it lightly as you wish, over the dish in tinfoil and cook it at 350 for 30 minutes.

Put the pasta in a pot with some salt, water and a little bit of olive oil to keep it from clumping.

Slice up the onion, zucchini, and mushrooms and toss them in a frying pan with some olive oil and some Sea Salt & Herbs and once the veggies start to get some colour, toss in the chucks of chicken. Keep it at a low-medium temperature and let it cook, while keeping an eye on it, and get everything else ready.

In a small microwavable bowl, melt the margarine then, in a larger bowl, whisk it together with the flour, almond milk, salt, pepper, and curry. Now the curry is a recent addition, and we loved it! For those who aren’t familiar with it, you don’t need a lot of curry for big flavour, so be careful not to make it too spicy. We use a yellow curry and keep adding it in bit by bit to avoid a mishap.

The veggies and chicken will be done before your pasta, so feel free to transfer them from the stove to the 8×8 pan. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, rinse it off, and drain a second time. Then add it into the pan with your other goodies. This is where the cheese comes into play. I didn’t put an amount on the list of ingredients for the simple fact that it all comes down to preference, we like it quite cheesy. Put your desired amount of cheese and mix it all together, and pour in your liquid. After everything is in the pan, give it another mix to make sure everything is coated, sprinkle on a layer of bread crumbs and some more cheese and into the oven it goes @ 350 for 30 minutes. The cheese and bread crumbs crisp up and everything else cooks perfectly to the point where it all melts in your mouth.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Once again, if you try this, please send me an e-mail with pictures and any revamps to the recipe you’ve made. My next entry will be Barbara‘s take on the Breakfast Pizza =)