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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.

Entrées

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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Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves

Butternut Squash Pasta with Batter Fried Sage Leaves from dontmissdairy.com
Sage leaves frying in a pan of olive oil is one of the best smells in the WORLD.

Batter frying them is so simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before! They are a perfect addition to anything with butternut squash or pumpkin, but they can also stand alone.

Batter fried sage leaves from dontmissdairy.com

Dipping sage leaves in flour and water batter.

Batter fried sage leaves from dontmissdairy.com

Frying battered sage leaves in olive oil.

I’m just going to warn you, fried sage leaves taste so incredible you’re going to be sad if you don’t make more than this recipe calls for, and you’re going to want to eat them before your pasta’s ready. I highly suggest making some extra to snack on.

Batter fried sage leaves from dontmissdairy.com

I was so excited to make butternut squash pasta when the winter squashes started arriving in stores. Luckily they can sit on your counter for weeks and still be in great condition, because life has been so busy in November that I haven’t had many chances to cook or post.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves from dontmissdairy.com
I saw an amazing looking recipe in a magazine for butternut squash pasta made with bacon, but I wanted to keep this one healthy, vegan, and as simple as possible. I combined a few different recipes to get what I wanted, plus added my own touch.

One of my favorite pasta dishes in the world is Il Fornaio’s  Walnut Butternut Squash Ravioli. They pour on a brown butter and tomato sauce and add battered sage leaves. I wanted to replicate this without the added process of making fresh pasta–I groan at complicated recipes–and of course, I needed to make this dairy free. Instead of cream and tomato for that acidic touch, I used Moscato. It pairs perfectly with this pasta dish.

So here it is, a restaurant worthy dish made simple, healthy, and vegan. The recipe makes four servings of pasta, but you can easily double it for a family or dinner party. Just use the whole squash, the whole onion, a pound of pasta, an 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, and double everything else.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves
Serves 4
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Total Time
50 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 butternut squash
  2. 1/4 cup sweet white wine
  3. 1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light
  4. 1/2 yellow onion
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. 1/2 lb pasta (I used gemelli)
  8. dash nutmeg
  9. 1/2 cup crumbled walnuts**
  10. Parmigiano reggiano*
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, carefully. Scoop out seeds. Pour 1/4 cup water into a large glass casserole dish. Add squash to dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until squash is soft enough to be pierced with a fork.
  3. While the squash is baking, fry batter dipped sage leaves in oil.
  4. When squash is tender, allow to sit and cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, start to cook pasta according to directions.
  6. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook yellow onion in Smart Balance for 10 minutes or until translucent and beginning to brown.
  7. Scoop preferred amount of cooled squash from the skin and place into blender.
  8. Puree with 1/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Moscato, but don't over process to leave some texture.
  9. Add butternut squash puree to the saucepan of onions, along with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-10minutes, until heated through. Wine or broth can be added to make a thinner consistency if needed.
  10. Add cooked, drained pasta to the saucepan and toss in butternut squash sauce until evenly coated.
  11. To serve, sprinkle with crumbled walnuts,* parmigiano reggiano,**and top with fried sage leaves.
Notes
  1. This recipe is halved for the convenience of cooking for two. If you are cooking for a family, it's very easy to double. Use the whole squash, the whole onion, and 1 lb. of pasta.
  2. *optional
  3. **To crumble place in Ziploc bag and run over with rolling pin.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Fried Sage Leaves
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 10-15 big sage leaves
  4. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for frying
  5. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Wash the leaves and dry them on a paper towel.
  2. Whisk the water and flour together until the batter becomes smooth.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat (not too hot or it will burn). Dip the leaves in the batter and let the extra batter drip off.
  4. Fry the sage leaves about 1 minute each side until crispy and a light golden color.
  5. Place them on a paper towel and sprinkle them with a dash of sea salt.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves from dontmissdairy.com
Butternut Squash Pasta with Battered Sage Leaves from dontmissdairy.com

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Healthy Chili with a Kick

Low Sodium Chili from dontmissdairy.com(Updated from original post “Low Sodium Chili” on November 10th, 2011)

You don’t need to add more salt to a dish to add flavor, just add more flavor! To make chili less complicated, canned tomatoes, sauce, and beans are a great option. But this usually packs your chili with a ton of sodium.

It’s unnecessary.

Opt for “no salt added” canned goods instead and you will create a much healthier meal. These are conveniently labeled in the canned goods section of your local grocery store. You can always add more salt to taste in your finished recipe. It’s easier to add salt than remove it!

Here is my go-to chili recipe that replaces all added sodium with a couple teaspoons of sea salt and uses sugar and spice to bring out a flavorful meal for chilly nights.

I grew some delicious (but super hot) Bulgarian Carrot Peppers in my garden this year, and they are a key ingredient. Make sure you wear gloves when dicing them! If the oils get in your skin it will burn like crazy.

Healthy chili from dontmissdairy.com!

You can make this deliciously spicy, low fat, low sodium chili quickly on the stove top–it will take about 30 minutes to cook. Or, you could simmer it for four to six hours in the Crockpot, whatever method suits your time and energy level.

I usually cook it on low in the Crockpot when I want to come home from work to a ready dinner. If you choose this method, make sure you sauté your veggies over the stovetop before adding them to the slow cooker for the best flavor.

Use 93% or higher lean ground beef to make this recipe even healthier. I try to find 96% lean. It’s more expensive but worth it when it comes to eliminating excess fat from your diet. 

Healthy Chili with a Kick
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound 93% or higher lean ground beef
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  5. 1 green bell pepper, diced
  6. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  7. 1-2 Bulgarian carrot peppers or serrano chili peppers, diced
  8. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes
  10. 1 can unsalted tomato paste
  11. 2 cans no salt added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  12. 1/4 cup red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  13. 1/4-1/2 cup water or low sodium beef broth
  14. 1 bay leaf
  15. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  16. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  17. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  18. 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  19. 1 tablespoon white sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, sprinkle the black pepper onto the ground beef and cook meat until browned and no pink remains. Carefully drain excess fat then return pot to stovetop.
  2. Add olive oil, onion, peppers, and salt to the pot. Stir and cook for five minutes, or until onions and peppers begin to turn translucent.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the pot ingredients and add the minced garlic. Cook garlic for no more than 30 seconds before stirring with the rest of the mixture.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes with liquid, drained and rinsed kidney beans, tomato paste, wine, water or broth, sugar, spices, and bay leaf into the pot. Set on medium high heat to start the boiling process.
  5. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to medium low heat and cover. Simmer for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. If you make it in the Crockpot, cook on low for at least six hours or high for four hours. Salt to taste.
Notes
  1. Serve with shredded vegan cheese, chopped onions, and lactose free sour cream!
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Low sodium chili recipe from dontmissdairy.com
Low sodium chili from dontmissdairy.com
Low sodium chili from dontmissdairy.com

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