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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.

Dip

Mom’s Salsa

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.comI was on the phone with my mom while shopping for Super Bowl snacks at Trader Joe’s, and she mentioned this salsa recipe she had made up.

It’s no mystery where I get my recipe experimenting skills from. ;)

She had me looking for fire-roasted diced tomatoes with chiles and frozen sweet white corn. She said I could use Ro*Tel, but she liked the Trader Joe’s brand.

I was surprised at how it came together since it’s so simple. And after my husband and I ate the whole batch as the Seahawks won the Super Bowl I thought, what an awesome dairy free recipe for a blog post. I then asked her for her permission to publish it, which she granted, as long as I named it after her.

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com

I was talking to my mom, Donna, on the phone instead of shopping with her because she lives in Pittsburgh, PA, which is about a billion miles away from California.

Since my family is so far away, I miss my mom a lot. Thank goodness for cell phones, unlimited minutes, and Google Hangouts.

I’m missing my mom even more today, because she just came to visit me in California. I don’t know what she wanted more, to see her daughter, to escape Pittsburgh’s endless snowfalls, or to have a vacation. 

Though California needs the rain desperately, I was glad to have some warm, beautiful days for her visit. She needs a reason to come back, right?

She escaped the cold, snowy east coast for a week and got to experience blossoms, birds, and citrus trees, walks without a jacket, and sunning on the patio…in the middle of February.

We went shopping, ate vegan ice cream, and went wine tasting. We had a great time and she spoiled my puppy. The only thing I regret is not getting a good picture together during the whole trip. We had every intention of setting up the tripod and getting pictures at the ocean, but when we got to the coast the weather was overcast, windy, and freezing. Bummer.

The week went too fast and now it is too quiet in my apartment. So I am thinking of her as I type up her recipe.

It’s super simple and easy by the way. There’s no chopping required (yay!) and it’s fast to throw together. It’s also free of gluten and dairy.

Don’t leave anything out. You’ll be glad you made a trip to the store for fresh limes and cilantro. Yummy!

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com

Mom's Salsa
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles
  2. 1 cup sweet white corn, defrosted if frozen and drained of any liquid
  3. 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  4. Juice of 1/2 lime
  5. 4 sprigs fresh cilantro leaves, torn or chopped
  6. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine tomatoes, sweet white corn, and black beans together in a medium size bowl with a lid.
  2. Add juice of half a lime, sea salt, and chopped or torn cilantro leaves. Mix together, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with salted tortilla chips.
Notes
  1. Try with chopped avocado!
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com
Mom's Salsa from dontmissdairy.com

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Chocolate Cashew Butter

Chocolate Cashew Butter from dontmissdairy.com
We had a ton of roasted cashews that we weren’t eating, so I decided to turn them into something we would eat.

Most cashew cream or cheese recipes I’ve been wanting to try call for raw cashews, so I couldn’t make any of these. Trail mix left me with kind of the same problem, and granola bars seemed kind of a blah idea. I know, I know– everybody loves granola bars except me. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t love them.

I started thinking about how I’ve been meaning to make a dairy free version of Nutella, and then it occurred to me: I bet roasted cashews would make a really delicious chocolate cashew butter.  Go!

First I pulverized the roasted cashews in my food processor, then added vegetable oil, white sugar, and cocoa powder. You can definitely add a sweeter oil to yours, like a nut oil. I just like to use what I have in my kitchen already. I did have a little trouble getting this to be low sugar and still taste like chocolate, but with some experimenting and taste testing, I eventually got a good flavor balance. 

Cashews in food processor
Crumbled cashews

Processed cashews
It’s sweet but not too sweet, with a buttery, chocolate flavor. YUM.

I suppose I could have kept processing it to make it smoother, but I’m impatient. My food processor is not the greatest and it was taking a long time. Feel free to make yours into a smooth-and-shiny-as-Nutella-butter….or mix in some bigger cashew pieces to make a crunchy butter! 

This is great for spreading and dipping. Spread on graham crackers or croissants, or make a cashew butter and jelly sandwich. I ate most of this batch as a dip with salted pretzels, which was so addicting. It was one of those snacks where you eat a few and you’re like, okay, just one more, then that one more turns into an empty bag of pretzels and a need to buy more cashews.

I hope you enjoy this simple chocolate cashew butter as much as I did! 

Chocolate Cashew Butter from dontmissdairy.com

Chocolate Cashew Butter
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup roasted cashews (salted is okay)
  2. 3 tablespoons oil of your choice
  3. 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  4. 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1/8 cup sugar
  6. dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, grind your cashews until finely chopped.
  2. Add oil and process until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, then process until well combined. Taste, and add more sugar or cocoa powder to your liking.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
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Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese

A snack I am always missing at baseball games is nachos and cheese, piled high with jalapeños. It’s a serious craving.

I’ve been wanting to create this recipe for a while now, and it’s become one of my new favorite things. I thought it would be a long shot to recreate the taste of nacho cheese using non-dairy products, but I totally surprised myself. It was very simple.

The key is to use sweetened almond milk (without flavoring) and a soy cheese.

If you are looking for a good cheese to use, I really enjoy the soy cheddar from Milk Pail market in Los Altos, CA. This is what I can get locally. I love the taste, the only problem is that it doesn’t stretch or melt as well as other brands. Check out your local whole foods market or specialty food store to see if they make their own and give it a try! I also recommend Trader Joe’s Three Cheese Soy Blend and Daiya Cheddar Shreds, which are soy-free and probably the best for you.

Remember, don’t base your opinion on dairy-free cheese by what it tastes like out of the wrapping.

Cheese alternatives always taste better cooked and with other ingredients added–like hot sauce! This is great with chopped peppers added in, but I usually eat mine like stadium nachos: tortilla chips covered in cheese then piled with jalapeños.

There is no good picture of this because I was busy eating it and watching football.

I especially created this nacho cheese to accompany the first Pittsburgh Steelers preseason game. It was almost perfect, but only because the Stillers lost. They proceeded to lose each following preseason game as well, which is not a good sign for the upcoming season. So sad. At times like those, the only comforting part of the game is the food.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were still going strong for a while, but who knows? My husband and I were at AT&T Park to see the Pirates play the Giants last weekend and the Pirates also lost. That was a bummer.

The comforting thing there was not just the awesome stadium food, but that we were not the only Pirates fans! We met up with a few members of Eric’s family who were also at the game, and we saw some people with Pirates gear on. There were probably more in secret. I don’t blame them–it was Giants territory. Anyway, I hope to be making this nacho cheese for the Pirates World Series games. Let’s go bucs!

Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sweetened almond milk
  2. 1 cup shredded soy or vegan cheese
  3. 1 tsp hot sauce (I use Frank's)
  4. 1/4-1/2 cup pickled jalapeños, finely chopped*
  5. salt and pepper to taste**
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium low heat, bring the almond milk to a simmer.
  2. Add in shredded soy cheese, stirring frequently until melted. The last unmelted bits may require vigorous stirring for up to 10 minutes, but they will melt and the sauce will thicken considerably. Don't give up! If you are having trouble, try using a whisk.
  3. After all the soy cheese is melted add hot sauce, salt, and pepper if desired and to your taste. Remove nacho "cheese" from heat and add jalapeños the way you like them.
Notes
  1. *Amount of jalapeños depends on how much you like them and how hot you want your cheese sauce to be.
  2. **Amount of salt added will depend on the vegan cheese you use and how salty it is. Taste test before adding. Black pepper can be added according to your tastes.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Dip Made with Almond Milk from dontmissdairy.com

Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Dip Made with Almond Milk from dontmissdairy.com

Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Dip Made with Almond Milk from dontmissdairy.com

Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Dip Made with Almond Milk from dontmissdairy.com
Did you try it out? Please let me know what type of cheese you used, how it turned out, and how you ate it!

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