Daiya Shreds

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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.

Daiya Shreds

Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup from dontmissdairy.com (Updated from original post on January 24, 2013)


My dairy-free broccoli cheddar soup is sweet, rich, and creamy, just like the dairy version. I’ve been craving this soup since one of my friends ordered a big bowl of it at Panera!

Isn’t it so disappointing to see a yummy soup on a restaurant menu, only to find out it has dairy in it? Please tell me I’m not the only one who goes through this.

I don’t know how many times I’ve asked about a seemingly harmless tomato or butternut squash soup, only to find out it’s made with cream. It’s a total downer. Oh, and you have to be specific and ask if there’s any dairy in it, because many times I’ve asked if the soup is vegan, to which the cashier behind the counter confidently responds “yes, this is a vegan soup.” Turns out some people do not know the difference between vegan and vegetarian. So now I make sure I say, specifically, I am lactose intolerant, and I can’t have any milk or dairy.

I feel like a total alien when I do this. People always look at me like I’m crazy.

That being said, perhaps I was crazy to re-create a soup thats key ingredients are milk and cheese, but the result was better than I could have expected! I am always impressed with this soup every time I make it, and so are my dairy-loving friends.

Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup from dontmissdairy.com

The combination of sweet onion and sweetened almond milk in this recipe makes a perfect dairy-free soup base. Sweetened almond milk is ideal for savory recipes because its flavor is closer to cow’s milk. I recommend following the first few steps of this recipe to make any dish that calls for a cream-based canned soup, such as chicken and rice casserole. It can always be pureed in a food processor for a smoother texture. 

A dairy-free cheese I recommend using is Trader Joe’s Shredded Soy Cheese Blend, but it’s not completely vegan. For vegan soup I recommend using Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds. I’ve also used rice cheese in this recipe with great results.

Sometimes I like to use what I call a fake cheese cocktail: a mixture of different soy or veggie based cheeses to achieve a more natural flavor. The cheddar-style flavors can be very strong, and they taste more realistic if toned down with parmesan flavor or mozzarella. Experiment with different brands, but I usually agree that less is more when it comes to adding fake cheese. Try half a cup and judge the flavor, and then add more if you like it.

Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup from dontmissdairy.com

Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons vegan butter
  2. 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  7. 2 cups sweetened almond milk
  8. 3 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
  9. 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, melt vegan butter over medium low heat. Add onions, salt, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are tender.
  2. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, careful not to burn the flour.
  3. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until well combined and bring to a simmer.
  4. Whisk in almond milk until blended, and then stir in broccoli. Cook uncovered at a simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until broccoli is tender, stirring occasionally. Do not bring to a boil.
  5. Finally, whisk in the vegan cheddar cheese until melted.* Salt and pepper to taste.** Remove saucepan from heat and serve.
Notes
  1. *Depending on the brand used it can be tricky to melt completely, so I say whisk it. Whisking will also break down some of the larger broccoli pieces, creating a smoother soup. Different vegan cheeses vary in taste. You may find that your soup tastes better with more cheese added.
  2. **Depending on the type of vegan cheese and broth used, the salt content will vary. Taste the soup when it's done before adding any extra salt.
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Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup from dontmissdairy.com

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Dairy Free Quiche with Ham and Kale

How else can I use this leftover ham from Christmas dinner? I’ve made ham and cheese crescent rolls, pasta carbonara, mac’n’cheese with ham, and had ham and eggs–all dairy free of course. For breakfast today, let’s try a dairy free ham and cheese quiche. I have green beans, lettuce, and kale in the fridge. Kale wins! I made a wonderful gluten free pasta dish with it last night.

I love having some extra time around Christmas to come up with delicious recipes. This year I tried out a couple dairy free cheesecakes and the final result was a delectable triple chocolate cheesecake that I need to post soon. Some other dairy free snacks we had for our Christmas feast were buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips and onion dip made with Toffuti Better Than Sour Cream, served with pretzels. Both of these I am happy to announce were big hits among my dairy eating friends.

I didn’t go all out this feast like I did for Thanksgiving; in fact, I felt like a horrible hostess. I was so tired this year that all I did was make the snacks and cheesecake. Eric made the ham on his own, and each guest brought a dish. I even forgot to make the crescent rolls I had bought (hence the ham and cheese crescent rolls above) and never served the coffee and hot chocolate. At least I can safely say everyone had enough champagne to drink. I proceeded to sleep in for three days after Christmas.

This recipe calls for all of my favorite dairy free goodies. Silk Nog, the soy alternative to egg nog, is dairy and egg free, but it still contains the perfect blend of spices to flavor a good quiche. If you are looking for soy free, try SO Delicious Nog, which is made of coconut. I always recommend Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk to cook with if you choose something else. You can find these items at your local grocery store. Daiya Chedder Style Shreds are a key ingredient in my buffalo chicken dip, as well as this quiche. Daiya is a soy and dairy free cheese alternative made from tapioca. I usually find it at Whole Foods.

Ingredients:

1 refrigerated pie crust
2 cups chopped kale, stems removed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup chopped ham
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese alternative (I used Daiya Shreds found at Whole Foods)
4 eggs
1 cup Silk Nog (or other dairy milk alternative)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Let the pie crust sit out to adjust to room temperature for at least 15 minutes, then mold it into a 9inch pie dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large heated skillet, add olive oil, onions, kale, 1/4 teaspoons of salt and pepper, and onion powder. Cook over medium heat until onions and kale are tender, about five minutes.

3. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, then add Silk Nog, curry powder, salt, and pepper and whisk until blended.
4. Layer the ingredients into the pie dish in this order: ham, onion and kale mixture, and shredded cheese alternative. Pour the egg mixture over the top so that all ingredients are evenly covered.

5. Bake for 40 minutes or until center of the quiche is cooked through. Hopefully the ham is all used up!

           

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How to Make a Delicious Grilled (Fake) Cheese Sandwich

I made this particular grilled cheese using Trader Joe’s Soy Blend of Mozzarella, Jack, and Cheddar Flavors.

Grilled cheese is one of those comfort foods you don’t have to lose with lactose intolerance. Fake cheese works surprisingly well as a substitute. The trick is to blend it with other flavors. Some fake cheese options are better than others. I’ve tried many different kinds of soy cheese or vegan/dairy free cheese alternatives.

One version of sliced cheese singles I can recommend are Veggie Slices. These are soy based, but they do contain milk protein so watch out if you are allergic. They taste terrible on their own but make a great grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve used them for cold sandwiches but I’d honestly rather do without the fake cheese. This stuff tastes best cooked in something or melted.

If you are looking for vegan and completely dairy free, I always recommend Daiya Shreds. Although for taste, I prefer soy blend cheeses. Two other types I like are Trader Joe’s soy mozzarella and shredded soy blend. These are sometimes hard to find in the cheese aisles so look thoroughly. I always find Daiya Shreds and Veggie Slices at Whole Foods.

Other pluses to lactose free cheeses: no cholesterol, less saturated fat, less sodium, and easy to digest.

Adding another filler in your sandwich blends with the fake cheese, making it taste more authentic. I like to add pickles, tomatoes, bacon, or all three to perfectly replicate a dairy grilled cheese sandwich. Get a nice, thick bread, like sourdough, spread on the SmartBalance Light, and honestly, it’s hard to tell the difference.

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