Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What DO you eat?

When I tell people I can't eat dairy, they usually look at me with pity in their eyes and say, "Well then, what DO you eat?" I always find that funny because it seems sometimes people act like the only food group there is, is CHEESE. Granted, eating out is a pain because most restaurants feature cheese or cream in everything they cook. And going to gatherings where there is food is tough because I can't eat, unless I bring something that I made. There is hidden dairy in so many products- and that's sad. However, there are still plenty of things that I get to eat, and being dairy free has really changed my cooking, and made our family diet so much healthier and more varied.
A friend of mine suggested that I do a post, or a series of posts about how to shop dairy free, and what I keep on hand in my cabinets. So I am going to do several posts on this, along with the pros and cons of being dairy free.

First to answer the question "What do you eat?"
A typical day for me may look like this:
COFFEE! I always start my day with a cup of coffee with soy milk ( or maybe almond milk) and sugar.
Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs ( fresh from the farm too), 2 slices of toast lightly buttered (with dairy free butter of course) and a fried Roma tomato on the side.
Lunch: stir fried veggies, and a glass of ice water with lime
Mid afternoon: Cup of rooibos tea (plain), and some tortilla chips and salsa, or handful of almonds
Dinner: Homemade spaghetti and meat sauce with crusty bread and a salad. Oh, and a glass of Merlot:-)
Evening snack: Not every night of course, but maybe some air popped popcorn drizzled with olive oil.

Or maybe it looks like this:
Coffee of course!
Breakfast: overnight oats made with vanilla soy milk, a little brown sugar, cinnamon, and dried cranberries ( SOOOO GOOD!)
Lunch: leftover taco meat from the night before, made into nachos with peppers, onions, and mushrooms, topped with black beans and salsa (that was my lunch today)
Snack: an apple and a cup of tea ( I LOVE my tea!)
Dinner: Sweet and Sour chicken with potatoes and spinach. And a glass of ice water.
Indulgence: 4 Hershey Kisses. Yes, I can have Hershey Kisses- but my limit is 4 in a day. (Serving size is 9 I think) Otherwise they make me sick.

Summer time we love to do steaks on the grill, along with some grilled veggies from our CSA share, and a pasta salad. Or one of our absolute favorite meals is my husband's homemade crab cakes- they are absolutely Delicious and totally dairy free! And if he's ever made them for you, you must be very important to us:-)

Those used to be tough to plan for. But here's and example of what I might serve at a casual, probably summer, gathering of friends:

My homemade BBQ ( which I have been told is better than anything you can get at a restaurant!)
Coleslaw with Marzettis dressing ( it's dairy free!)
Asian Chicken Wings
Make your Own Hoagie: We buy several dairy free French breads, cut them open, fill them with meats, lettuce, tomato, and some with onion, and then put out a fixings platter with spicy peppers, pickles, mustards, mayo and let people build a sandwich
Some sort of pasta or potato salad
Fruit Salad or fruit plate
Homemade Pico de Gallo with chips
BLT Phyllo cups
Chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes for dessert.
No one leave hungry!

Those are still a bit tough to get around. But I do make a homemade apple pie, brownies, Trader Joes Brownies, homemade chocolate chip cookies, granola bars, peanut butter brownies, smoothies, pies, cake... And I have a new cook book that I can't wait to get started on trying things from as well.

So to answer the questions of WHAT I Eat- A lot of things! Just hold the cheese, please.:-)

BTW- Dinner tonight is boneless skinless chicken thighs simmered in spaghetti sauce with peppers and onions. YUM!

Next post like this will be on good Dairy Free products to keep on hand. It's taken 3 years and a lot of label reading to finally know what to look for at the store.

Happy Cooking!

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