Appetizers

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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.

Appetizers

Dairy-Free Loaded Potato Skins

Dairy_Free Loaded Potato Skins from dontmissdairy.com

It’s game time. Whether you’re excited for the Superbowl or the Oscar’s, make these for your next party!

We were in Seattle last year in time for the big Seahawks vs. 49ers showdown. The atmosphere was tense and exciting, and it seemed like everyone in Seattle was a fan–which explains the 12th man. It was so different from the Bay Area’s reaction to football that I became a Seahawks fan in less than a week. 

Now, I’m not saying I’d root for Seattle over the Pittsburgh Steelers or anything, but when it comes down to it, I’ll be tense in those final moments, hoping for that miraculous touchdown or field goal to carry the Seahawks into victory. 

But mostly, I’ll be watching sappy Budweiser commercials and eating these loaded cheesy potato skins.

Dairy-Free Loaded Potato Skins from dontmissdairy.com

Dairy-Free Loaded Potato Skins from dontmissdairy.com

Crispy, buttery, cheesy, bacon-y, these pair perfectly with an ice cold beer on game day.

Even your dairy-loving friends will find these delicious! Just make sure to use a tried and trusted vegan cheese that you know performs well. I used Daiya, but I would also recommend soy cheese–it tastes the most authentic. I choose sweetened almond milk because it tastes closest to real milk, but feel free to experiment with other non-dairy milks and see what you come up with. Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Loaded Potato Skins from dontmissdairy.com

Dairy-Free Loaded Potato Skins
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 8 russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  2. 2 tablespoons vegan butter*
  3. Sea salt
  4. Black pepper
  5. 2 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese**
  6. 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  7. fresh chives, chopped
White Cheese Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella cheese**
  2. 1/2 cup sweetened almond milk***
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pierce each potato on each side with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 50 minutes, until the skins are crisp and the potatoes tender enough to cut. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile make your cheese sauce and set aside.
  3. Set oven to broil on high.
  4. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch intact. Brush the insides of the potatoes with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip the potatoes over, brush the skin sides with butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Evenly space the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet and broil until the skins start to crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes (keep a close watch so they don’t burn). Flip the potato halves over and broil until the top edges just start to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  6. Evenly fill each skin with vegan cheese and crumbled bacon. Place in the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the broiler and drizzle with white cheese sauce then sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.
White Cheese Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring almond milk to a simmer.
  2. Add vegan mozzarella and whisk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat.
Notes
  1. *I used Earth Balance Buttery Spread.
  2. **I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds for the filling and Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds for the cheese sauce.
  3. ***I used Almond Dream Original Almond Milk.
Adapted from Easy Potato Skins
Adapted from Easy Potato Skins
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
 Dairy-Free Loaded Potato Skins from dontmissdairy.comDairy-Free Loaded Potato Skins from dontmissdairy.com

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Easy Mini Quiches

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com
I’m always looking for easy, dairy-free breakfast options. I envy the people who can just pop a hot pocket into the toaster oven and call it a day.

I’m also big on BIG breakfasts.  

I need something substantial AND healthy AND delicious in the morning–cereal just doesn’t cut it. My husband loves healthy cereals like Kashi, but I think they taste like cardboard. I’m reminded of that Willy Wonka quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: “Do you have any idea what breakfast cereal’s made of? It’s those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners.” Yep, pretty much. Sorry cereal lovers.

Usually, I’ll make a spinach and egg scramble in the morning. The whole process only takes five to ten minutes, depending on if I’ve had my coffee or not.

But here’s the thing–I also crave variety. When you are absolutely forbidden from having something in your diet, you need variety to make up for the the lack of it. So I changed up my spinach and egg scramble the other day to include some yummy crescent rolls, making pretty, tulip-shaped mini quiches that are perfect for on-the-go breakfasts.

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

These take a little extra time in the morning–but not much. They are super easy to make and fun to share. They would be a great addition to a weekend brunch!

I do my best to stay away from Pillsbury dough, because it usually contains dairy and hydrogenated oils. You can find dairy-free and trans-fat-free crescent rolls at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

See? Easy!

You can customize this recipe by adding your favorite veggie combination. Just make sure to not overfill each quiche. As you can see in the above picture, I added just a tiny bit of filling to each quiche cup and added egg to just below the edges of the dough. The egg mixture will rise. If you are adding tomatoes, make sure you press the liquid out of them on a paper towel, or else your quiche will be too watery. It’s up to you if you’d like to cook the veggies beforehand. I needed to sauté the spinach to fit in the quiche.

I plan on making these again soon with bacon and potatoes, yum!

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

Easy Mini Quiches
Yields 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can dairy-free crescent rolls
  2. Cooking spray
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  6. Cooked spinach, about a 1/4 cup (1 cup uncooked)
  7. 6 grape tomatoes
  8. 1/8 cup vegan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a cutting board and seal the seams so it it is one seamless sheet of dough. You can use a rolling pin, but I just pinched the seams together with my fingers.
  3. Cut dough into six equal squares.
  4. Spray six cups of a regular size muffin tin with cooking oil.
  5. Place a dough square in each tin, making sure to center it so an even cup is formed. All four corners should be lying outside the cups.
  6. Add your choice of veggies. I quartered 6 grape tomatoes, then pressed them into a paper towel to absorb excess liquid. I sautéed a handful of spinach in a little olive oil and salt so it would fit in the quiche cups, then distributed all veggies equally.
  7. Add a sprinkle of vegan cheese, or another yummy ingredient, like fresh herbs or bacon.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk two large eggs together with salt and pepper. Pour a very small amount of egg mixture into each quiche cup and overtop of veggies, being careful not to overflow. Two eggs will distribute perfectly into the six quiche cups.
  9. Bake for 16 minutes, or until eggs are set. If needed, a couple extra minutes will not burn the dough, and eggs will set unless filled too full.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Easy Mini Quiches from dontmissdairy.com

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Crispy Tomato and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Crispy tomato and goat cheese bruschetta from dontmissdairy.com
 

I don’t mean to brag, but this bruschetta has been declared the greatest of all time by a very reputable source, who is also my personal taste tester (my husband).

I’ve made it a few different ways with various toppings. I usually prefer regular French or Sourdough bread for the best tasting bruschetta, but this recipe goes  well with whole wheat French bread. Pour on the olive oil and you can’t go wrong.

I also use the freshest ingredients, like torn basil straight from the garden. Farmer’s market heirloom tomatoes are colorful favorites to use, unless I have homegrown tomatoes available, which are the best of the best.

The bruschetta pictured would not have been possible without Laura’s tomatoes from The Urban Homestead. I didn’t grow tomatoes this year so I’ve been enjoying hers! She is such a wonderful friend to have traded veggies with me, even though I only had one cucumber to give out at the time.

If you are looking for a great place to get fresh goat cheese, Harley Farms in Pescadero has some amazing cheeses. I love goat cheese, especially since it has much less lactose than cows milk cheese.

If you ever get out to the West Coast or are a Californian looking for a fun day trip, go to Pescadero. It’s a tiny town right on the coast, about 20 miles south of Half Moon Bay–pumpkin growing country! There’s an awesome restaurant called Duarte’s, where they make the most delicious olallieberry pie. You won’t miss it, as there are only two restaurants in the whole town, which is on one street. There’s also a general store, a post office, a fire station, and a single stop light.

Behind all of this is Harley Farms, where you can spend a good hour watching the baby goats play and tasting the amazing selection of goat cheese and olive oils. They also make ceramics and goat milk lotions, and sell fresh eggs. I’ve posted some pictures of Harley Farms below to accompany the coastal farm fresh experience of my goat cheese bruschetta.

Crispy Tomato and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
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Ingredients
  1. 6 slices whole wheat French bread loaf
  2. extra virgin olive oil
  3. minced garlic
  4. 3-4 roma tomatoes, sliced
  5. 3 sprigs fresh basil
  6. goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay slices of bread on nonstick baking sheet. Using an olive oil pourer or a spoon, pour olive oil over each slice of bread. No drizzling here, just pour it on carefully so that it drenches the bread, but doesn't spill over the slice. The bread will soak it all up during cooking.
  2. Spread minced garlic on each slice--as much as desired. I put about a 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic on each bread slice. Lay down tomato slices to cover bread, and then coat tomatoes with olive oil either by drizzling with a spoon or spraying.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until tomato slices are roasted. Timing will depend on how thick your slices are. Remove from oven.
  4. Add teaspoon size dollops of goat cheese onto the bruschetta or slices if you have a log. Bake for five more minutes in the oven. Cheese will be gooey and creamy. Remove from oven and add torn basil. Serve with your favorite wine.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
 

Crispy tomato and goat cheese bruschetta from dontmissdairy.com

Crispy tomato and goat cheese bruschetta from dontmissdairy.com

Crispy tomato and goat cheese bruschetta from dontmissdairy.com

Crispy tomato and goat cheese bruschetta from dontmissdairy.com

Harley Farms Open Sign.

Harley Farms

Mama goat walking in her pen.

Mama Goat

Mama goats eating from trough in the goat house.

Dinner time.

Baby goat being pet in it's pen.

Petting the baby goat.

Little goat cheese disks decorated with edible flowers.

Beautiful little goat cheeses with edible flowers and herbs, also apricot and pistachio and sun dried tomato.

Pescadero Beach

Pescadero Beach

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