Category Archives: Dairy Free

Revival of the Fittest

So, like I said, I got my books and I’ve dug into them. However, just reading them isn’t going to get me where I want to be, now is it? I’ve got to put my fanny in gear and get with the program.

And, yesterday, that’s exactly what I did.

Sunday night, I looked through the recipe book, planned my menus for the next week (Actually, since many of the recipes make four servings and freeze well, the meals will last for more than just the one week.) and made my grocery list. Then yesterday, I grabbed my grocery bags and headed out to Aldi and Kroger. Many of the items I bought were larder stocking kinds of things like nutritional yeast, chia seeds, dried beans, canned diced tomatoes, and spices. I tell you that because I had to say it to myownself at check-out so that I wouldn’t hyperventilate at the totals. Nearly gave myself a stroke, I did! Now, normally, I look in my refrigerator and cabinets to see what’s there and I concoct something edible with the ingredients (the ketchup pizza being a notable exception to the edible thing). However, as I fully transition into this Whole Foods, Plant Based lifestyle, I wanted to make some proven recipes so that I can learn to cook without butter, oil, cream or even cheese. It’s not like I used cream or cheese all that frequently to begin with; but, I have no idea how to make sauces creamy without them. Using the recipes in the Forks Over Knives books, I’ll learn how to do that.

Now, let’s take just a minute because I can hear some of you rolling your eyes at me. I’ve gone off the deep end – no animal protein. What?! Have I lost my mind?! And I used to be such a nice girl! Well, the nice girl thing may be a bit of a stretch; but, otherwise, I can totally get where you’re coming from. I used to dig into a rack of ribs like someone was going to steal it. I enjoyed my steaks so rare that some of them may have moved. Hot, buttered bread, okay, hot, buttered anything was a favorite. Although allergic to dairy, I love ice cream enough to make the bathroom my home for hours after eating it. I was a carnivore who loved all things dairy. Now, what am I? Some kind of bean freak?!

Maybe not yet, but I can totally see myself getting there. Particularly since my cookbooks have arrived and I’m going to learn how to cook with new ingredients and how to use familiar ingredients in a whole new way. And, don’t even think I’m going to be eating grass and twigs.  My refrigerator and freezer are soon to be stocked with:

  1. Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal
  2. Portobello Florentine
  3. Breakfast Fruit Crisp with mixed berries
  4. Red Lentil Dal
  5. Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms
  6. Baked Ziti
  7. Polenta Pizza with pesto, caramelized onions and potatoes
  8. Jamaican Black Beans
  9. Pineapple Chutney
  10. Whole Grain Penne Primavera
  11. Stir Fried Bok Choy and rice in garlic sauce
  12. Black Bean Burgers
  13. Black-Eyed Pea Burgers
  14. Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Nope. No grass and twigs here, friends. It’s gonna be good eating at the Doty Hjem! And every single recipe is designed to give my body varied and complete nutrients for better health, and to give my taste buds a big, ole tent revival with every single bite!


Dairy, Dairy, Quite Contrary

“If you had been my first baby, you’d have been my last!”

My mother used to say that from time to time.  It wasn’t that I was a horrible baby, it was that I was allergic to milk.  So, for the first several weeks of my life, I screamed. And I screamed.  And I screamed.  Apparently, I drove nearly everyone insane.  Finally, the doctor recommended that they feed me something called lamb base (by all accounts, a vile substance) and I stopped screaming. Angels sang. Humans slept. Pretty maids grew all in a row.

Barbara Mandrell was Country Before Country Was Cool.  I was Lactose Intolerant before that was …um… cool? Okay, in vogue? Whatever.   Although, I think that perhaps I’m not lactose intolerant.  I can enjoy some dairy with its sugar.  I think that perhaps it’s the milk fat that lets me know how the garden grows!

cheeseOn the menus I publish on Sundays, you’ll find regular Greek and Australian yogurt, and regular hard cheeses. You’ll also find almond milk, reduced fat normal yogurt and fat-free cottage cheese.  I can digest most regular Greek and Australian yogurt and regular hard cheeses.  Something in the processing kills whatever it is that wreaks havoc with my system.  However, regular yogurt, milk and soft cheeses are a nightmare for me.  I go with the reduced or no fat versions of those and I’m fine.  I use almond milk on my cereal.

I’ve tried soy milk, rice drink, goats’ milk and almond milk.  The soy doesn’t work for me since it upsets my stomach nearly as much as cows’ milk.  Soy also contains some hormones I’m not crazy about adding to my diet; so, that really isn’t an option for me.  I didn’t much care for the flavor of the rice drink. As for goats’ milk, maybe I got the wrong kind, but it was, in a word, disgusting.  I am thrilled that some people like it and provide those farmers with customers; but, even thinking about it makes my lip curl.  Almond milk works for me.  The calorie count in the unsweetened almond milk is crazy low, too, which is great!  I like the dark chocolate version for an after workout recovery drink.  Almond milk also has more calcium than dairy milk.  I don’t know if that calcium is as readily absorbed as calcium in dairy milk and I’m having a hard time finding out.  If any of you knows, please share.

Brie is a soft cheese exception.  I can eat it without pain; but brie is one of those weird cheeses to me.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes….ew.  I’ve discovered, though, that it can make a nice addition to a green salad.  I’ve also discovered that I like the Ile de France brie better than the President brand.  Additionally, the Ile de France brand comes in these wee tiny little wheels that are just perfect for a single salad with spring greens, walnuts, blackberries, bits of orange and a fruit vinaigrette.  It makes for a really tasty, if somewhat girly, salad.  Sorry, guys.

Dairy is a great source of calcium, protein and, let’s face it, flavor.  I need all of those in a healthy diet and I’ve found ways of enjoying dairy without finding out just how the garden grows.