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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.

Coconut Milk

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil from

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

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

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

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

Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil
Serves 6
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  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
  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.
  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
Butternut Squash Curry with Apples and Basil from

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Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream from
I am so ready for summer.

Is it me, or has summer been a long time coming? 

All I can think about now is sunbathing, vacation, fruity cocktails, and… 


I know you are thinking about it too, now that I’ve flaunted this delicious looking treat in your face. What screams summer-time ice cream flavor better than key lime pie? I scream, you scream, we all scream for key lime pie ice cream! 

I know that’s so cheesy, and yet not, because it’s completely dairy-free!

Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream from
It’s vegan and gluten-free as well, with only four ingredients. Who’d have thought that something so delicious could be so darn simple. 

If you are vegan or lactose intolerant and do not have an electric ice cream maker, I highly recommend getting one. It’s not very expensive and it’s so worth it to make your own dairy-free ice cream. Store-bought dairy-free ice cream is great, but it’s pricey. Mostly because it’s only sold in small containers. It also usually contains unnecessary thickeners and fillers–yuck. 

Making it at home is convenient, easy, and healthy. The hardest part for me is storing the bowl in my teeny tiny little freezer, but I make room for it. Why? Because it’s such a treat to make my own dairy-free ice cream!

Seriously, it’s the best thing ever. Happy summer!

Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
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  1. 2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled*
  2. zest of 2 key limes
  3. 3/4 cup pure key lime juice
  4. 3/4 cup white sugar
  5. 6 graham crackers, coarsely crumbled
  1. Whisk coconut milk and sugar together in large bowl until sugar is dissolved and any solids are melted.
  2. Add lime juice and lime zest and stir to combine.
  3. Set up electric ice cream maker according to directions and pour mixture into ice cream maker, allowing to churn for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Scoop soft ice cream into a large mixing bowl and add graham cracker crumbs. Fold in gently to combine.
  5. Freeze for at least 1 hour before enjoying.
  1. *13.5 oz cans.
  2. Yields 1 1/2 quarts.
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Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream from

Coconut Key Lime Pie Ice Cream from

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Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from
I’ve made these pancakes a bunch of times, but I hadn’t found the right opportunity to blog about them until now.

Not only have I been trying (extra emphasis on that word trying) to go gluten free, but my best friend is trying out the Paleo diet with her husband. She is a supportive wife, that’s for sure. I know how much she likes her Nutella and milkshakes and pasta.

She brought up a simple question when we were on the phone the other day: “What am I going to eat for breakfast?”

That really got my brain going. I’m always thinking of creative food options to meet different needs. I instantly thought of eggs baked in an avocado, eggs fried in a pepper ring, and my usual breakfast, a spinach and egg scramble. 

Then she said she wasn’t into eggs that much. Hmmmm.

A lightbulb clicked on above my head and I thought of my simple almond meal pancakes! Now, neither of us knew much about the Paleo diet, but we tried to guess based on quick research. If it’s okay to eat almonds, then it should be okay to have almond meal.

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from

My pancake recipe calls for a tablespoon of maple syrup. We weren’t sure about that one… but they really don’t need the sweetener! It’s just a sweet, sweet bonus. So I replaced the tablespoon of maple syrup with a tablespoon of water.

And, oh my. That berry reduction and coconut cream.




Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from

This is definitely a Paleo dessert! It’s made with healthy whole foods with no added sugar and the protein content is high, but the almond meal and coconut cream have a lot of fat. It makes sense to limit your intake of nut products and full fat coconut milk. The berry reduction is also high in natural sugar. It’s pretty tasty though, so is that okay? Yes. Unless you are very strict about your diet, I say ok. 

Don’t let the small pancakes fool you; this is a very filling meal. Remember, it’s almond meal, not flour. This serves two people. 

I recommend making the berry reduction ahead of time and storing in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Reheat before serving or enjoy cold like jam. I used the coconut whipped cream tutorial from Oh She Glows. The almond meal pancakes are adapted from  Laura Dolson’s recipe on

This post is dedicated to the wives who try to follow diets their husbands are following to support them (and vice versa)! Go you!

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream
Serves 2
A high protein, dairy free, gluten free, and Paleo breakfast option.
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  1. 1 cup almond meal
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1/4 cup sparkling water, plus 1 tablespoon*
  4. 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, plus more for cooking
  5. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 2 cups frozen berries (I used organic raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
  7. 1/2 cup coconut whipped cream**
For Berry Reduction
  1. Add berries to small saucepan over low heat. When berries begin to defrost, stir to speed up the process.
  2. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until berries are broken down and liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally.
For Pancakes
  1. Whisk almond meal, eggs, 1/4 cup water plus 1 tablespoon of water, and sea salt until well combined. Add melted coconut oil and thoroughly mix.
  2. Preheat a non stick pan or griddle over medium low heat and add a little coconut oil for frying.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup, pour the batter onto the griddle for little pancakes. Use your cup to spread the batter if it's very thick. You want thin pancakes.
  4. Cook for about two minutes then flip. They will start to have very small bubbles when ready to be flipped, not big ones like typical flour pancakes. Once the other side is done, remove from griddle to a plate to keep warm.
  5. Stack them, add berry reduction, and top with coconut whipped cream. This has no added sugar? Your tastebuds won't believe it.
  1. *You can use regular tap water. I used sparkling to add bubbles and make the pancakes fluffier.
  2. If you are not averse to extra sugar, replace the tablespoon of sparkling water with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. It's not necessary for taste, but it does make them sweeter.
  3. **I followed the Coconut Whipped Cream Tutorial from Oh She Glows. I didn't add any sweetener or vanilla to the cream. You could also just scoop the chilled coconut cream out of the can and dollop it on your pancakes to soften on the hot berry reduction. It will taste the same but won't have the thick, whipped texture.
don't miss dairy

Almond Meal Pancakes with Berry Reduction and Coconut Cream from
Did you try it? How did you like it? Leave me a comment!

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