Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Picking Up Subsitutions


Ignore the boiling pot in the background. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I am prone to make batches of soup in the middle of the night.

I wanted to make sure I followed up on my migraine diagnosis that I received last year. I am still learning to live dairy free, but I’m happy to say that I am finding some really good alternatives to the dairy products that I love and miss so dearly.

Last month, I attended a healthy cooking class in Hixson, TN that was sponsored by the Seventh Day Adventist Church whose members are primarily vegan. Even though I don’t have plans to go fully vegan, I do think we should eat more meat-free meals than we do and because of my dairy-migraine issue, I need to learn to cook dairy free. There is no better place to learn that than in a vegan kitchen.

So, let me run through with you some of the dairy substitutes that I have either already tried or am about to try.

  • Milk--I gave up regular milk years ago and started drinking Soy Milk. For the past few months, I have preferred Almond Milk. Both are great alternatives. I have had no problem substituting them in recipes other than having to account for the sweeter taste. Regardless of which I pick up, I always go for the Silk brand.
  • Cheese--When I was in Virginia, I discovered a pizza place that had vegan pizzas. I fell in love with the cheese they used and by calling the restaurant and researching through Google, I found that I could buy this cheese in the store. The brand is Daiya and it melts so perfectly. I have used it for everything, including grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Vegan cream cheese--This particular brand is the best that I have tried and I am loving it on everything. Remember my sexy breakfast?
  • Sour cream--I have not tried this Better Than Sour Cream yet, but I have a couple of recipes that recommend it so I will be trying this soon. I have the Tofutti brand.
  • Ricotta Cheese--this is also made by Tofutti and I have yet to try it. A friend bought it for me to try after I was talking about finding substitutes to allow me to make my favorite lasagna roll recipe.--more on that in a bit.
  • Tofu--During the healthy cooking class, the instructor showed us exactly how to use Tofu as a substitute for ricotta cheese. This was the first thing that I tried following the class and it worked perfectly. My favorite lasagna rolls are back on my frequent meal list.
  • Yogurt--So Delicious is the best brand for dairy free ice creams and yogurts. I was thrilled when I ran across this greek style version in the store. I ate some of the plain this morning with some of my homemade granola. love, love, love!
Learning to cook with a food restriction is difficult but it is doable and the results can be oh-so delicious. And just so you know I’m not kidding--yea, you!--below is a pan of my favorite lasagna rolls, made with tofu in place of ricotta cheese and topped with Daiya mozzarella style shreds. yum!

IMAG1160-2012-03-27-14-22.jpg IMAG1161-2012-03-27-14-22.jpg

Even if dairy is not an issue for you, try a few of these substitutions for a healthier eating option.

1 comment:

  1. I've been drinking Blue Diamond almond milk for a while now and really like it. It comes sweetened or unsweetened. I always go un. I'm vegetarian, not vegan, but I just feel better consuming less dairy.
    I have different diet restrictions and know it's hard to adjust. Good for you for being so proactive!