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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.


Ketchup Haters Best Meatloaf Ever

My husband hates ketchup. I love ketchup, and I love meatloaf. So I concocted this recipe to make us both happy. After trial and error it is perfected. He also hates carrots. Along with the ketchup, he won’t even guess these ingredients are in here! Instead of empty carbs, aka breadcrumbs, use oats and toasted wheat germ–they are full of whole grains, vitamin e, folic acid, and fiber. You can find both in the cereal aisle. Make the switch to hearty grains; they are delicious when you cook with them in a great recipe like this one. The title says it all!


1lb. extra lean ground beef or turkey
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 small zucchini or carrot, grated
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup quick cook or regular oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 Heinz Ketchup
1 tablespoon Frank’s Hot Sauce, plus a little extra for brushing.
1 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large saucepan, melt Smart Balance over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper and cook for at least two minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for thirty seconds. Stir in Worcestershire Sauce, oregano, ketchup, and Frank’s until well combined. Cook for one more minute.

3. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, eggs, oats, wheat germ, and cooked veggie mixture. Mix well. It’s easier to use your hands.

4. Form mixture into a lightly oiled nonstick loaf pan. Brush the top with a thin layer of Frank’s Hot Sauce.

5. Bake meatloaf 50-60 minutes. Goes great with roasted potatoes!

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Homemade Cabernet Tomato Basil Sauce

Making your own tomato sauce can be super easy!

There are many complicated and time consuming ways to make tomato sauce. I researched a thousand recipes that all called for skinning the tomatoes and boiling down the sauce to make a thick, rich tomato sauce.

For one thing, I didn’t want to toss out all the skins–it seemed so wasteful. I’ve been refining my gardening skills which is why I need to make tomato sauce. I spent months caring for my plants to get those beautiful tomatoes! Maybe I could toss the skins of store bought tomatoes but not my homegrown roma’s. Besides, the skins have the highest concentration of antioxidants.* I’d rather not throw out the health benefits.

Aren’t they so pretty?

I also don’t have the right tools for pureeing and straining, and I didn’t want to stand at the stove boiling the sauce forever. I mean, come on, I have laundry to do!

So I took my own fresh approach. I got out the slow cooker to make it easier. I generally like my tomato sauce herby and with a touch of sweetness. A sweet and salty tomato basil sounded perfect for my roma’s, and since I’ve been growing oregano as well, I decided to add that to the batch. Finally, I added a taste of cabernet to give it a unique flavor. My husband said it was award winning! It’s definitely the type of sauce I would expect of a great restaurant.

Honestly, homemade tomato sauce is simple and it’s hard to go wrong. It’s much healthier than store bought sauce and tastes better. By eliminating some of the steps it becomes a quick process yet maintains great quality. You know what you put into it and know what you get out of it.


2 cups roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (makes 2 servings)
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons cabernet sauvignon
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10-12 fresh oregano leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped


1. Turn your slow cooker on high. While it’s warming up, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Toss onions into the saucepan and sprinkle with a pinch of the sea salt and pepper. Cook for three minutes or until tender, then add minced garlic. Cook for no more than thirty seconds.

Should look like this.

Are those tomatoes chopped? I like that my “waste” pile is very small.

2. Add tomatoes and wine to the saucepan and stir to combine with oil, onion, garlic mixture. Let cook for a minute, then add sugar, the rest of the sea salt and pepper, oregano, and basil. Stir to combine. Cook for five minutes, uncovered.

Two cups.
Salt and peppered.

4. Transfer to hot slow cooker and let cook on high for one hour. I let my Crock Pot heat up for 15 minutes before transferring the sauce. A doubled recipe may need another half hour to an hour to cook. You can also simmer over medium low heat on the stovetop for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta–I used tri-color farfalle and added some ground turkey cooked with a little salt and pepper.

Cooking in the Crock Pot.

This recipe makes about 2-3 servings, enough for one meal for a couple. Easily double if you need to make more or want to freeze some for later. I have about enough patience to chop two cups of tomatoes at a time :-).

Finished product.

Fun Facts:

*Did you know that the olive oil in the sauce helps your body to absorb the carotenoids found in tomatoes?

*Also, in the case of tomatoes, cooking for prolonged time at high temperatures makes carotenoids more available. I got my info from www.whfoods.com.

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Dairy Free Turkey Broccoli Quiche

We had a ton of leftovers from our 23 lb. turkey this Thanksgiving, so I was coming up with ways to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A quiche is a great breakfast opportunity to use up leftover turkey, but lactose intolerant and quiche usually don’t go together that well. I replaced the heavy cream and cheese with shredded soy mozzarella, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and, of all things, Silk Nog.

Now, before you go wondering how any of these ingredients can possibly go together, you should know that the result was absolutely divine. My husband and I devoured this entire 9inch quiche in less than two days. You don’t have to use the Nog, which is an eggnog alternative, you can use Lactaid Milk or Lactaid Half and Half (if you can find it), or Almond Milk or Soymilk instead. But if you do see the Silk Nog, give it a try. It has a beautiful blend of spices in it already that tastes great with an egg dish! A perfect Thanksgiving leftovers treat for the person in your family that can’t digest dairy.


1 refrigerated pie crust
1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli
1 tsp onion powder
Dash of black pepper
1 tablespoon Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
1 cup cooked turkey, chopped
3/4 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese (I use Trader Joe’s)
1 tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese Alternative
4 eggs
1 cup Silk Nog (I also recommend Very Vanilla Soymilk)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt


1. Let the pie crust sit out to adjust to room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Mold it into a 9inch pie dish.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon of buttery spread in a large pan and add the broccoli, onion powder, and a dash of black pepper, cooking over medium heat until just tender and it becomes a bright green color.


3. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, then add 1 cup of Silk Nog, salt, pepper, and curry powder and whisk together until blended.

4. Add the ingredients to the pie in this order: cooked broccoli, chopped turkey, shredded soy mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese. Then, pour the egg mixture evenly over these ingredients. Spread the mixture so that all the ingredients are evenly covered.

Broccoli and turkey in pie shell.

Shredded Soy Mozzarella

uncooked turkey quiche

Uncooked turkey broccoli quiche with egg mixture

5. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes, until the center of the quiche is completely cooked through. Goes well with a steaming cup of pumpkin spice coffee. Happy Black Friday!

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