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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

Eggless, Dairy Free "Egg" Salad

I’ve been eating tofu a lot lately, and it’s not because I need to. I love eggs and meat! Trust me, I am not going vegan. But I love the taste of tofu, and I love how light and easy it is to digest. It’s cholesterol free, very low carb, low in calories, and still packs protein. My stomach feels untroubled after eating tofu; I feel more relaxed and slim.

I was a little wary of tofu at first. It seemed foreign and tasteless. Then I realized it’s what you do with tofu that makes it delicious–just like the dairy free products I use. I started putting it in scrambled eggs and omelets, then added it to flavorful dishes like curry and soup. I really got crazy and made a recipe using tofu to make dairy free chocolate mousse. It’s pretty delicious. I love that Chipotle now has a tofu option for their burritos. I usually get chicken, but after trying the sofritas, I was completely sold. I noticed a huge difference in how my stomach and body felt after eating a burrito bowl with sofritas versus chicken. Tofu is just so much easier for the body to digest.

This tofu recipe is quick to mix up and full of flavor. Experiment with different spices to see what suits your tastes. Eric is adverse to this particular recipe because it has sweet relish in it–he hates vinegary things. But I love pickles. For a totally different flavor, I want to try it with curry next. The best thing about this tofu salad? No egg boiling, peeling, or slicing!

Ingredients:

1 12oz package silken tofu
1/4 cup vegan mayonaise
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
green olives for garnish *optional

Directions:

1. Remove tofu from packaging, draining water, and place on paper towels. Pat dry. Mash or crumble the tofu into medium bowl.

2. In a small bowl, mix vegan mayonnaise, turmeric, pepper, paprika, mustard, salt, and then add to tofu.

3. Mix in celery, onion, relish, and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve on crackers as an appetizer, in a bowl as a veggie dip, or make an egg salad sandwich. It’s so delicious!

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Guacamole Pasta

I was inspired by a recipe from the blog Oh She Glows, which I found on Pinterest. Maybe you saw it? It was called Creamy Avocado Pasta. I tried it out and loved it, then decided to take it a step further with some of my favorite pasta ingredients. I had a fresh bag of avocados and had recently made a delicious batch of guacamole.

Most of my usual pasta toppings are also in guacamole, so they’d go perfectly well with avocado pasta, right? That was my hypothesis. I collected materials and then experimented in my lab (kitchen). My conclusion? A work of art both in taste and appearance. I was satisfied. It’s an excellent comfort food if you love avocado. Next time I might add a bit of Toffuti Sour Cream to make it creamier, as the dish loses some of it’s creamy texture when adding all those other ingredients. I bet it would go well with gluten free corn and quinoa pasta–like chips and guac!

Dice the grape tomatoes after cooking at your preference. I like my grape tomatoes whole and bursting with juiciness in every bite, but this recipe would be great with the tomatoes a little more blended. It doesn’t store for very long since it’s avocado, but the acidity of the tomatoes should help preserve it a little. Store in a super airtight container if you must store it, but this dish is best eaten right away.

Ingredients:
 
1/2 lb. uncooked pasta
1 package grape tomatoes or two cans diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 avocado
dash lime juice
fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (for topping)
Directions:
 
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add onions, whole grape tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper in a medium size casserole dish (I used a glass loaf dish). Mix well, then place in oven cook for 30 minutes.
2. Timing this perfectly so your pasta is ready when your sauce is ready, cook your pasta according to package directions. While your pasta is cooking away, cut your avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the creamy green fruit into a large mixing bowl, mashing it a bit. Add a dash or two of lime juice.
3. When your pasta is cooked, drain it and then toss immediately into the soft avocado. Also add the oven roasted tomato sauce. Make sure you add all that hot, garlicky olive oil! Mix thoroughly until the pasta is evenly coated. Serve and top with cilantro, sea salt, and black pepper. Superb said the herb.
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Chicken and Rice Casserole with Almond Milk

 
I’m still waiting for Campbell’s to come out with a soy or almond milk based cream canned soup. I’d be able to make all of my favorite comfort food recipes in a cinch. Although, making it yourself is probably healthier and more delicious, even if it’s a bit more time consuming.
 
I love this chicken and rice casserole dish because it’s basic and simple. The almond and broth base is just what I use in my Dairy Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Green Bean Casserole recipes, and it’s applicable to any recipe that calls for a cream based condensed soup.
 
I usually stick with the simplest form of this recipe since I am a busy working girl and have little patience for vegetable peeling and chopping, but you can add other vegetables to this dish to make it colorful. Chopped celery is an easy one, but I also thought of using frozen mixed veggies, broccoli, kale, and even sun dried tomatoes. Mixing in some fresh chopped herbs makes it fragrant and pretty. The recipe I used here is the most basic way I would make it. 
 
The most important aspect is the flavoring and thickening of the almond milk, to give it the consistency and taste of a cream of chicken soup. I definitely recommend almond milk over another dairy free milk for it’s flavor. I used short grain brown rice in this recipe. Long grain may require more liquid.
 

What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
*Optional: chopped carrots, chopped celery

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika and cook for about five minutes or until onions are tender. This is also where you should add any other vegetables you wish to include in the dish. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the onion and spices mixture, stirring quickly to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, and then slowly whisk in chicken broth until well combined.

Next, stir in almond milk and 1 cup of uncooked brown rice. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a large casserole dish.

In a nonstick pan, heat additional olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and a dash of chicken broth and sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and place chicken breasts on top of rice mixture in casserole dish. 

Cover the casserole dish in foil and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Cooking time will depend on what rice you use. White rice will cook much faster than brown if you’d like a quicker meal. Rice will be fluffy and chicken moist. Top with fresh parsley.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Almond Milk
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  3. 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  4. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 yellow onion, chopped
  8. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  9. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, quartered
  10. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  11. 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  12. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  13. 1 cup sweetened almond milk
  14. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika and cook for about five minutes or until onions are tender. This is also where you should add any other vegetables you wish to include in the dish. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the onion and spices mixture, stirring quickly to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, and then slowly whisk in chicken broth until well combined.
  3. Next, stir in almond milk and 1 cup of uncooked brown rice. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a large casserole dish.
  4. In a nonstick pan, heat additional olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts and a dash of chicken broth and sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and place chicken breasts on top of rice mixture in casserole dish.
  5. Cover the casserole dish in foil and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Cooking time will depend on what rice you use. White rice will cook much faster than brown if you'd like a quicker meal. Rice will be fluffy and chicken moist. Top with fresh parsley.
Notes
  1. Optional add-ins: chopped carrots, chopped celery.
  2. This recipe is also great in the slow cooker! No need to pre-thicken the almond milk. Just whisk flour with cold almond milk and pour into crockpot with other ingredients. Make sure to stir everything together before placing chicken on top. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4.
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