Delicious dairy-free creamy stew (can be vegan!)

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This Brazilian stew has a potato and coconut milk base, so it tastes creamy and amazing! I made it with shrimp since I eat seafood, but you could use mushrooms to make it vegan.

Ingredients:

1 medium potato

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 bag of frozen shrimp

1 can of full fat coconut milk

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Dried basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of palm oil, or olive oil

 

Directions:

Cook a medium size potato until very soft. Smash it or blend it in a food processor with a little  coconut milk and salt and set aside. Fry onion and garlic in olive oil. Add parsley and dried basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and red pepper. Add the  shrimp (I put them under water to defrost first). Add palm oil. Let this cook a little and add the coconut milk. Add the soft potato and let everything cook together .

Serve over rice. I used frozen organic rice because it’s so easy to make.

This tastes even better the next day! It’s also flexible- you can add tomatoes (I just didn’t because Jack is allergic), or other vegetables

Even Jack liked it, and he doesn’t like a lot of food!

Quick dairy-free dip recipes

These don’t even count as recipes because they are so simple, but I’ve been eating them a lot lately because they are fast to make and relatively healthy. I like eating them with organic pretzels or crackers to dip.

Spinach Artichoke dip:

  • Mix together:
  • A bunch of frozen organic spinach
  • An equal amount of artichoke hearts (or even better- artichoke antipasto in a jar which already has some spices mixed in)
  • Several spoonfuls of mayo and/or vegan grated cheese
  • Either microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, or for a crunchy top bake in the toaster oven or normal oven for about 30 minutes

Salmon dip (has lots of Omega 3s!):

  • Mix together:
  • A can of boneless, skinless salmon
  • A few spoonfuls of mayo
  • A bit of mustard
  • Either capers, olives, pickle slices, cucumber slices, or celery slices

Tahini dip (good on falafel or to dip veggies into):

  • Mix or put in the food processor:
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • a spoonful of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Eggplant dip:

  • Roast eggplant (cutup eggplant goes faster, or you can do it whole if you poke some holes in it, until it’s smooshy- about 45 min)
  • Most people peel the eggplant, but I keep the peel on since I don’t mind the little dark specks and think the peel probably has lots of vitamins
  • Put in the food processor with some olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini

Bonus: you can feed these to your baby as well and they are smooshy and easy to eat without teeth!

Sadly at some point I’ll have to start cooking normal real meals for myself and my family, but until then I’ll gladly just eat some crackers and dip for lunch :)

Vegan smoothie recipes

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zesty tropical smoothie

 

Now that I have a baby and don’t have as much time to cook, I’ve been making a lot of things using frozen organic fruits and vegetables since they are so easy to use. I like making smoothies because I can get all my servings of fruit in for the day without having to cut or wash fruit, or worry about buying too much and it going bad. Here are some of my favorite combinations:

  • Zesty tropical smoothie: combine a banana, frozen pineapples, and frozen cherries (available at whole foods). Add orange juice and blend. I use an immersion blender and blend it in a pitcher and then drink it out of that with a straw so that I don’t have to do much cleanup! I use these stainless steel straws to avoid plastic and throwing away the plastic ones.
  • Strawberry banana smoothie: combine a banana, frozen strawberries, and almond milk and blend. Optional- add a spoonful of nut butter for an extra filling smoothie, or just a handful of almonds or cashews
  • Pina colada smoothie: combine a banana and some frozen pineapple. Add half a can of coconut milk (may be in the asian section of the grocery), and blend. The coconut milk makes it taste really rich!

Bonus: your baby can eat some of the smoothie too!

 

Sugar-free dairy-free frosting recipe

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I’m trying to make a sugar-free and dairy-free frosting for my baby’s first birthday, so here’s a recap of what I’ve tried so far.

  • I took a jar of full-fat (not light) coconut milk and opened it and refrigerated it overnight.
  • The next day, I scooped out the more solid top parts with a spoon carefully, leaving the watery bottom part (I removed 1/3rd to 1/2 the contents)
  • I used the whisk attachment for my immersion blender and whisked it for a minute until it looked like whipped cream, and added a capful of vanilla extract.
  • This created the bottom right blob on the following picture. It tasted like whipped cream, but more coconut-y and not sweet. Not bad if you need a light and fluffy topping for something though- the texture was nice!

 

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  • Next I added about 2 tablespoons of dairy-free cream cheese and a teaspoon of lemon juice, and whisked again.
  • I ended up with the top left blob, which had a more frosting-like consistency but tasted too tart
  • For the top right and *winning* blob, I added dates which I had previously food-processed until I got a light caramel color. It was SO good! It tasted sweet, and thick like frosting, and spread well on a cake! The next day it didn’t look as good on the cake though, so I would do the process the day of.

I was so happy to discover that you can make frosting that tastes good without a ton of powdered sugar! I definitely have a sweet tooth, and this is so much less sugary but still fulfills that creamy sugary craving. Oh, if you are soy-free, I think coconut oil may work as well as cream cheese to thicken the frosting (you can’t store it somewhere too warm though).

Now I just have to try some different cake recipes!

Pumpkin quinoa recipe (allergen-free)

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This is a great way to use up leftover pumpkins from Halloween! It also stores well, so you can make a bunch and use up your entire pumpkin and then eat it all week.

Ingredients:

Quinoa (about 3 cups)

3 Apples

a smallish pumpkin

1/2 cup raisins

optional- 1/2 cup pecans or other nut

I used organic red quinoa from Trader Joe’s and followed the package about how to make it.

For the pumpkin: I cut it in half, scooped everything out, and then cut it into 8 slices like a watermelon. I roasted those until they were soft at 350 degrees, about 45 minutes.

Then I cut the pumpkin in cubes and sauteed it with the quinoa, cubed apples, raisins, and pecans if you want to add them. To make it even better I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar before serving. The vinegar really made it great!

Dairy-free stuffed mushroom recipe

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They had really nice looking portobello mushrooms at the farmer’s market this week, so I got some to stuff and bake in the oven. They are a great alternative to meat if you’re vegetarian, and can easily be allergen-free for an elimination diet.

Recipe:

Sautee your filling until browned (I used the mushroom stalk, and a little spinach, garlic, herbs, and olives. You can add breadcrumbs if you want)

Meanwhile, bake the mushroom for 15 minute at 350 degrees on a baking sheet. (You can brush olive oil on it if you feel fancy!)

Remove the mushroom and fill it with the filling. I topped it with daiya cheese too which melted nicely

Bake the whole thing for another 15 minutes at 350

 

I served it with quinoa and it was delicious!

 

Easy dairy-free vegetable casserole (can be gluten-free too)

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I made this really quick casserole the other day that turned out well, and gave me enough meals for several days which is a plus when you’re chasing after a crawling baby all day and don’t have time to cook! Now that Jack is crawling (quickly) he gets into everything, so it’s harder for me to make my usual healthy foods. This meal can use some frozen veggies if you have them on hand, and the leftovers taste great.

Directions:

I layered sliced small potatoes, carrots, peas, spinach, and olives in a baking dish.

Make a bechamel sauce either whatever way you want, or by using

3 tablespoons of vegan butter

5 tablespoons of whole wheat flour (or rice flour for gluten free)

1.5 cups milk (I use almond milk)

salt, pepper, and spices (I used basil, garlic, and oregano) to taste

-melt the butter, then slowly add the flour and then milk until you get a thick sauce

(honestly if you are really in a hurry I’ve made this by just microwaving the milk for 30 seconds and adding the flour and some olive oil and it’s not as great but it’s ok)

Pour the sauce over your veggies

Sprinkle with vegan cheese if you want, pine nuts, or whatever topping you have at home

Bake for a long time until the root veggies are soft- about an hour at 350

 

 

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Favorite dairy-free recipes

I’ve been dairy- free for about 6 months now because of Jack’s allergies and have found some really good recipes! I especially miss being able to buy prepared desserts at many places (like Trader Joe’s desserts almost all have dairy), so I’ve been cooking desserts at home. Plus breastfeeding burns a lot of calories, so eating dessert is ok!

Cashew mousse

I made an amazing cashew mousse pie using this recipe for the mousse and making pie crust by blending 1.25 cup dates, 1 cup hazelnuts, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder in the food processor and then pressing it into a dish and topping with the mousse.

 

vegan cheese sauce

I also tried an easier nutritional yeast cheese sauce recipe which turned out well. I usually make a vegan cheese sauce that’s raw and uses cashews in the food processor to thicken it and is really amazing, but I was too lazy to clean the food processor after cooking, so I tried this stovetop one and it was great, but a little lighter. I put it over pasta with frozen spinach and peas and it was a fairly quick and healthy dinner.

 

I’ve also been making these super fast peanut butter cookies:

1 egg

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

You just mix it up and make into flattened balls and cook for about 15 minutes at 350. They definitely have a lot of sugar, but I tell myself at least peanut butter has protein and healthy fat….

Elimination diet

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Since Jack was a few months old I’ve been cutting things out of my diet because of possible allergies. For the last few weeks that’s included the 8 causes of 90% of infant allergies:

  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts

Also, for the last 2 weeks I’ve tried cutting out corn as well!

I’ve been eating a lot of rice and potatoes! As well as fruits and vegetables of course. It’s extra hard because I was already a vegetarian (who ate fish). To get omega-3s, I’ve been putting ground flax seeds in baked goods and eating seaweed mixed in with my leafy greens. I’ve also been eating Trader Joe’s calcium chews which are really good.

Some dishes I’ve been eating include:

  • Butternut squash soup (puree roasted squash, a few potatoes, vegetable broth, and garlic)
  • Tomato soup (Puree peeled tomatoes, coconut milk, spices, and broth)
  • Vegetables with rice
  • Vegetables with potatoes

Snacks:

  • Baked sweet potato fries
  • Frozen french fries with ketchup or mustard
  • Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal muffins
  • Oat pancakes
  • Coconut chips from Trader Joe’s
  • Potato chips (sometimes dipped in nutritional yeast)
  • Potato balls
  • Tapioca pudding
  • Coconut yogurt from whole foods
  • Olives
  • Guacamole and veggies
  • Fried rice cakes using “flax egg” to hold it together
  • Coconut milk ice cream from whole foods (really good!)
  • Dried fruit as a snack
  • Banana and frozen fruit smoothie in coconut milk
  • Chocolate/chocolate sauce

In general, here are replacements I’ve used:

  • Instead of butter for baking: coconut oil (coconut is a seed, not a tree nut)
  • Instead of flour: oats ground in the food processor
  • Baking chocolate or cacao nibs instead of chocolate
  • Sunbutter instead of peanut butter
  • Coconut milk instead of milk or cream (watch out for using too many American-grown rice products like rice milk due to arsenic)
  • A “flax egg” instead of eggs in baked goods (mix 1 tablespoon flax and 1 tablespoon water and let it sit a few min)
  • I’ve eaten the oatmeal muffins instead of granola bars or as a snack I can eat in the car