Thursday, August 29, 2013

What's for dinner?

I get asked this question a lot by people who are new to the dairy free lifestyle.  One of the hardest things about eliminating dairy is that so many of us are used to putting cheese on everything and when we look through our own recipe collection, we are hard pressed to find recipes that are dairy free.  So, here is a week of ideas for easy dairy free dinners. Enjoy! 

Monday: Tacos

If you need a really fast meal, you can stick to the basics:
  • tortillas or taco shells
  • ground beef or cooked beans
  • store-bought salsa
  • lettuce and tomato
If have some extra time, adding one or more of these elements will add lots of flavor (and not to mention nutrients!) 
  • guacamole is creamy so it's great instead of sour cream (try my super fast easiest guacamole ever)
  • saute some peppers, onions, and/or mushrooms in olive oil for about 10 minutes
  • diced raw onion (or other veggies)  

Serve with rice and veggies 

Wednesday: 15-minute Creamy Avocado Pasta 

From the oh she glows blog.  This is super yummy, vegan, and fast.  Make sure you include the optional basil when you make it.  I definitely do not consider it optional.  If you are making this for carnivores, some plain grilled chicken would go nicely... 

Thursday: Hamburgers or Veggie Burgers 

Some commercially made veggie burgers contain milk ingredients so check labels carefully.  
To make this meal super easy serve with some of the following: 
  • store-bought sweet potato (or regular) french fries 
  • tortilla or potato chips
  • frozen vegetables 
  • store bought baked beans 
If you have a little more time: 
  • mashed potatoes
  • grilled or roasted vegetables 
  • make up some guacamole to put on top of the burgers

Friday: Pizza Night

Super Quick: 
  • Buy premade pizza dough (Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both have dairy free ones.  Or check out your local pizza shop, most non-chain pizza places do not use dairy in their crusts)
  • Store bought tomato sauce (check labels!) 
  • Canned sliced mushrooms and olives
  • If you like fake cheese, you can sprinkle some on top.  Or just drizzle with a little olive oil to kick up the flavor a bit  
If you have a little more time: 
Romesco pizza with carmelized onions and squash.  This is my favorite cheeseless pizza, it is made with romesco sauce which is much more flavorful than regular tomato sauce.  It was invented by the vegan chef who wrote Veganomicon so it was never meant to have cheese on top and it really doesn't need it...  

Saturday:  Spaghetti with Tomato Meat Sauce and Salad.  

Or use baby portabellas instead of ground meat in the sauce to make it vegan.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce

Lately, dinner planning has consisted of asking myself one of these two questions:  What already made food do we have in the freezer? -OR- What can I throw into the slow cooker? In this case, the answer is chicken and some stuff I always keep in the fridge. This is an amalgamation of a couple of different recipes that I'm pretty sure were probably all stolen from the same person.  It is really easy and super delicious.  I usually serve it with rice.  

Slow Cooker Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce
1.5 lbs chicken thighs (or whatever cut you want really) 
1 cup honey
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce 
1/4 cup ketchup  
1 1/2 Tbs. neutral tasting oil (such as peanut or canola)
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) 
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)  

Combine ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours, depending on your slow cooker. A 4-quart one is probably the best size.  If you have larger one or one that runs hot like mine, you might even want to check after about 3 hours to avoid drying the meat out.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Avocado Fudgesicles

My 3-year-old had never had ice cream until a month ago on the 4th of July.  Part of the reason is that most ice cream has dairy in it, but the main reason is that we eat pretty healthy and I just saw no point in introducing him to something like that before it was necessary.  Before you think I live on Mars or know some magical secret, I never said he hasn't had any junk food before.  In fact, when we took him to the dentist last time they gave him one of those blue Fla-Vor Ice things.  I could have said no but I try to have a general policy that if we are out of the house and my son is offered a food, he can eat it as long as he is not allergic to it.   I was really mad about it though because it is the dentist!  If they can't even back me up on the whole "sugar is bad for your teeth" thing, well then my kids are never gonna believe anything I say!  

Anyway, depending on your definition of ice cream, my son still hasn't had it since the recipe I used was mostly avocado, dates, cocoa powder, and canned coconutmilk.  But to his inexperienced palate, the frozen treat I made was AMAZING.  Actually, my husband and I thought it was pretty great too!  I can't wait to make it again, it was that good.  

Here is the link to the recipe I made at  The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.  I followed her instructions and ingredients exactly and was quite pleased with the result. The only point I disagree with the blogger on is that she says you can eat it as a pudding.  I personally could taste a mild avocado flavor before it was frozen so I definitely recommend putting it in the popsicle molds and freezing it before serving. 

Sorry I don't have any pictures to post.  We gobbled them up too quickly!