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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.

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil from dontmissdairy.com

This recipe has quickly become one of my fall favorites.  What’s more fall than squash? Add apples and spices and you have the ultimate fall inspired meal.

I first tried squash curry at the annual Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. It was slathered over a steaming baked potato and was oh so amazing. I had it again this year and couldn’t wait to make it myself at home.

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil from dontmissdairy.com

Eric and I went this October, of course. It was our 5th Pumpkin Festival! Neither of us can believe we’ve lived in California this long. It’s always the same routine:

We start out bright and early to get in line for pumpkin pancakes, homemade by the kids at Half Moon Bay High School. They are only served from 7-10am and the line gets long, so you must get there early.

After stuffing ourselves full of pancakes and sausage, we walk around and view the art, which always includes glass pumpkins. Main Street gets crowded fast, so we like to accomplish this as soon as possible.

This year they offered some new, tempting drinks. We had jack-o-tinis along with the typical pumpkin ale brewed by Half Moon Bay Brewery specifically for this festival.

And no pumpkin festival would be complete without seeing the giant pumpkins. This year’s winner weighed in at a record 2,058 pounds.

Runner Up Pumpkins from Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival dontmissdairy.com

Before we head home along the winding mountain roads, we always stop at  Bob’s Pumpkin Patch to get a couple of pumpkins to carve for Halloween. 

It’s a great annual tradition and I hope you get to check it out one day! Just remember to go early for the best experience. I mean like get-there-by-7am-early.  Trust me.

Bob's Pumpkin Patch Half Moon Bay, California from dontmissdairy.com

The first time I made this curry it was absolutely delicious. The second time I made it I decided it needed apples. There’s just something about the combination of squash and spices that goes so well with sweet apples. That being said, you can make this dish with or without them. Just don’t forget the wine!

Certainly the hardest part about this recipe is cutting the squash. It is helpful if you microwave the whole squash for a few minutes. It softens it up a bit. Be very careful.

I hope you enjoy this fall inspired meal. Please share on Instagram with #dontmissdairy if you make it!

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil from dontmissdairy.com

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
  2. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 package firm tofu, cubed
  3. 1 large apple (or two small apples), peeled, cored, and chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon garlic infused oil (optional)
  6. 3 tablespoons curry powder
  7. 1 can full fat coconut milk
  8. 1/2 cup water
  9. 1/4 cup white wine
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cardamon
  11. 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  12. 1 large cinnamon stick
  13. fresh basil
Instructions
  1. After peeling your squash, carefully and patiently remove the ends and cut in half with a large, sharp knife. Scoop the seeds and set aside.* Chop squash into bite size cubes. Also prep chicken (or tofu) and apples before cooking.
  2. Heat olive and garlic oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. If using chicken, add the chicken to the pan and sear 1-2 minutes, until no longer pink on each side. If using tofu, add the tofu after adding liquid.
  3. Add butternut squash to pan, stirring to combine, and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add white wine, curry powder, cardamon, sea salt and cook for up to one minute.
  5. Slowly pour in coconut milk, stirring to combine. Add apples and cinnamon stick. Add water, stirring well. May add more or less water depending on desired thinness. Cover and reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Curry will be done when squash is soft. Add basil last, cooking for up to 1 minute only. Remove from heat. Salt to taste. Serve over your favorite rice.
Notes
  1. *Rinse, dry and roast butternut squash seeds in olive oil and sea salt at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes. They make a great snack or garnish for your curry.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil from dontmissdairy.com

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Morning Boost Smoothie

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

 I am loving smoothies this year.  

So many friends and family members have been on big smoothie kicks, and thanks to my mom, I am now the proud owner of a Nutribullet Pro. It makes incredibly smoothe smoothies.

I prefer my smoothie concoctions to be as simple as possible, so I’ve been using frozen fruit–that way I don’t need to go to the grocery store twice a week. My favorites are organic wild blueberries, pineapple, bananas, and whole frozen strawberries. 

I love experimenting with different dairy-free milks like almond milk and rice milk and add-ins like whole grains and nuts, raw cacao powder, and almond butter.

But the best part about this smoothie is the chia seeds: 

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com 
I get an extra large bag of them at Costco and they go surprisingly fast. Did you know how many ways you can use chia seeds?

These teeny tiny seeds are a great source of omega 3s and contain protein, which makes them the perfect add-in for smoothies and protein shakes.

Besides that, I always sprinkle a tablespoon of chia seeds over my salads. They can be gelatinized and used in place of eggs or added to baked goods. You can also mix them with coconut milk and cocoa powder and make a yummy dairy-free pudding.

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

This is an easy, high-fiber, high-protein, filling recipe to replace your morning juice and jumpstart your metabolism. I’ll have this before a morning workout or to hold me over until brunch.  

It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and low-FODMAP.

Notes about this smoothie:

Use fresh or frozen fruit. I add fresh bananas to my smoothies usually, but when they start to get too ripe, I peel them, quarter them, and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. You can use frozen bananas for more than just smoothies, like banana bread and banana ice cream.

I used Blue Diamond sweetened almond milk and Growing Naturals brown rice protein powder. 

Keep in mind when making this smoothie, a 1/4 scoop of rice protein powder is not a lot of protein, but rice protein powder tends to be chalky and can overwhelm the flavor of smoothies. If I want protein after a work out, I would rather drink a plain protein shake than ruin the taste of my fruit smoothie, but if you’d like to add more of your favorite protein powder, this is a good recipe to do so. There are about 10 grams of protein in this smoothie.

Follow me on Instagram for more dairy-free smoothie recipes!

Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Morning Boost Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 banana
  2. 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  3. 1/4 cup oats (gluten free)
  4. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  5. 1/4 scoop brown rice protein powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
  7. Almond milk
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine fruit, oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and coconut oil. Pour almond milk over ingredients until just covered. Blend on high until smooth. Add more almond milk to thin if necessary.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Morning Boost Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

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Blueberry Cashew “Cream Cheese”

Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com
Last month I had the pleasure of trying a delicious cashew cream parfait made by a friend on a weekend getaway to Santa Barbara. It was light-tasting, creamy, and delicious. I must say, I was reluctant to embark on the cashew cream experience, but it does open up a new world of dairy-free possibilities. 

One drawback to cashew recipes is prep time. Depending on what you make, it can take days to complete. Cashews usually require soaking, a high powered blender, and patience, and this blueberry cream cheese recipe is no exception. I do have a few options, though, for those who like to take the faster route.

Either way, the result is this: a soft and sweet cashew spread in a delectable shade of purple, perfect for topping bagels or even spreading on cakes. 

Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com

For a firm cream cheese, like you would normally buy in a block at the grocery store, you have a few options. The simplest is straining the cream cheese after processing in a cheesecloth overnight.

Do this before adding any extra flavors to the cream cheese but after you add the salt, lemon juice, and vinegar. I do this by fitting the cheese cloth over a bowl, large cup, or pitcher with a rubber band and setting the cream cheese on top.

Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com

Plain cashew cream before straining.

Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com

For a firmer cream cheese, strain using a cheesecloth positioned with a rubber band over a tall cup like this.

Make sure to cover the exposed cashew cream with plastic wrap to avoid it drying out. You can leave on the countertop or in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours. Extra liquid will drip to the bottom of the bowl, leaving you with a firm, shapeable cream cheese base. There’s so much you can do with this, like adding different flavors or even shaping into a cheese ball.

Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com

Set the cashew cream into the cheesecloth and cover with plastic wrap. Allow liquid to drip overnight or up to 24 hours. I put mine in the fridge.

Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com

This one I let drip for about 16 hours. The liquid will collect at the bottom.

Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com

Finished cashew cream cheese, ready to be eaten, mixed with seasonings, or shaped into a cheese ball.

A faster option for a firmer cream cheese is to add 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil or a thickener such as tapioca flour or xanathan gum (found in your local Whole Foods store) to your cashew cream, along with your flavor additives, then refrigerate. This will affect the taste, however.

The easiest option is to skip the thickening, which will result in a soft and fluffy cream cheese. It will have more of a whipped cream consistency–still thick enough  to spread on a bagel yet thin enough to spread on a crumbly biscuit or muffin. The softer version of the cream cheese is pictured. Make it your own and enjoy! 

If you do, share it on Instagram with #dontmissdairy. I’d love to see your version! Sharing dairy free recipes is so inspiring to others with lactose intolerance!

Blueberry Cashew "Cream Cheese"
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
  2. fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  3. 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar*
  4. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1 cup frozen blueberries
  7. 2 tablespoons white sugar
Instructions
  1. To soak cashews, place in a medium bowl and add water until just covered. Allow to sit overnight, or at least 8 hours. Strain the liquid and rinse the cashews well.
  2. In a high powered blender, add soaked cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and water. Blend until you achieve a smooth consistency, scraping the sides to incorporate. If necessary you can add more water 1 tablespoon at a time, but this will thin your final product. For a firmer cream cheese, strain in a cheesecloth overnight. For a faster, softer cream cheese, move on to the next step.
  3. In a small saucepan, simmer frozen blueberries and white sugar over low heat for about 10 minutes. Liquid should be so much reduced it is almost all evaporated. Remove from heat.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix cashew cream cheese and blueberry reduction until combined. Add a quick thickener if desired, such as melted coconut oil.** You can also add more sugar to taste. Refrigerate for at least four hours to cool and firm. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
  1. *Optional (Gives it that tangy cream cheese flavor. If you don't like the slight taste of apple cider vinegar, you can omit)
  2. **Blend with 1 tablespoon coconut oil for a quick firmer cream cheese option.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Blueberry Cashew Cream Cheese from dontmissdairy.com

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