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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.

Chicken

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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Simple Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup with Kale

I just came back from a month long trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I was born and raised. We have an amazing soup there called Italian Wedding Soup, which, I just found out, is not actually Italian.

At any Italian restaurant (or often any restaurant) in Pittsburgh, you can order a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup. My favorite kind is the light version served at the chain restaurant Olive Garden. Since I was not very cultured and didn’t travel much before moving out of Pittsburgh, when I went to the Olive Garden in California I tried ordering Wedding Soup. It’s not usually on the menu in Pittsburgh because it’s such a popular item and everyone knows it’s there–you just have to ask for it. But the California waiter had no idea what I was talking about.

I always thought Italian Wedding Soup was an Italian tradition. Though, apparently, Italian Wedding Soup is a Western Pennsylvania tradition started by immigrants to the area. According to my quick research, Italian Wedding Soup is a mistranslation of a soup called “marriage soup,” which is actually Spanish.

Here is a quick version to make in the crock pot using kale instead of the traditional spinach. Italian Wedding Soup is usually made with really tiny meatballs and pasta. Unless you make the meatballs yourself, you might not be able to find them small enough, but you can always cut slightly thawed frozen Italian meatballs into quarters before putting in the crock pot.

Ingredients:

1 small package frozen italian meatballs (15-20)
5 oz can low sodium chicken, rinsed and drained
32 oz chicken broth
2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped (can also use spinach)
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup-1/2 cup pastina pasta
parmesan reggiano for serving

Directions:

1. Add meatballs, chicken, broth, spices, and onion to slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on high for 3 hours.

2. Add pasta and kale (or spinach) to the pot, and cook for an additional hour on high. Serve
topped with parmesan reggiano if desired.

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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.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
 
 
 

 

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