Apple-Fennel Soup with Ginger and Coconut


This simple vegan soup is delicious: sweet and savory, creamy and substantial. Even guests who eat dairy will want the recipe.

2 apples, peeled and chopped 

1 fennel bulb, chopped

1/2 large red onion, sliced

1/2 cup coconut creamer

2 tbs low-flavor cooking oil, such as sunflower

1 tbs freshly ground ginger (can substitute 1/2 tsp ginger powder)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp herbal salt substitute

1/8 tsp pepper

2 cups water or vegetable stock

Sautee the onions until glassy; add the fennel and sautee until slightly tender. Add the chopped apples and immediately add the water or vegetable stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender-about 20 minutes. Add the spices and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the creamer, remove from heat, and puree with immersion blender. Serve immediately; can be garnished with nutmeg to emphasize sweeter flavor or scallions. 

Almost-Instant Breakfast Omelette


When you’re intolerant of egg yolks and dairy, it may seem all traditional breakfast foods are beyond you. Not so with some easy changes. This spectacular omelette is a nearly-instant way to create a hearty breakfast in under 10 minutes. Cheese substitute melts a bit differently from standard cheese, so adding it in after the omelette has started to set makes for easier clean-up.

4 -5 tablespoons egg whites, such as Egg Beaters

2 1/4” slices Daiya Havarti-style Garlic and Jalapeno cheese substitute, chopped

1/2 chopped green pepper

chopped red pepper and onion to taste

olive oil

Heat the olive oil in the skillet. Pour in egg whites and add chopped vegetables. Allow to begin to set. Add in cheese, spacing evenly. Continue to cook until set, flip or fold, and continue frying until desired texture and color achieved.

Serves 1-2

Tofu Ricotta


This guest post is by my friend Heather Wilkinson Rojo, genealogist and author of the Nutfield Genealogy blog. Heather’s recipe for tofu-based ricotta has fooled even the most discerning of guests. 

Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese

1 14 oz pkg of extra firm tofu, drained
2 tbsps nutritional yeast (Brewer’s Yeast flakes) (adds the “cheese” flavor)

Cut the tofu into four or five pieces and put into a food processor with the nutritional yeast. Use the pulse button until the tofu just crumbles. Now you have “ricotta cheese”.

To use as a layer in lasagna or a stuffing for ravioli, manicotti or shells add the following:
1 egg
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 thawed, drained pkg of frozen spinach

To use in cannoli add the following and chill before filling cannoli shells:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp orange peel or lemon peel or vanilla
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Optional chocolate chips

Tofu Ricotta is lower in calories, sodium and fat than dairy ricotta cheese.

Cheese Biscuits Made with Pea Protein Cheddar and Corn Meal Are a Delicious Breakfast or Lunch Bread Substitute

Cheese Biscuits Made with Pea Protein Cheddar and Corn Meal Are a Delicious Breakfast or Lunch Bread Substitute

Cheese Corn Biscuits


I grew up in a household where mixes were anathema. My grandmother viewed mixes as synthetic and without taste, and would have sooner gone hungry than baked anything from a mix. Her baking was superb, passed down from her great-grandmother, who had owned a hotel, two restaurants, and a coffee house with her great-grandfather, and ran them pretty much single-handed. 

The reality of food allergies and working full-time have made me more pragmatic. When you can’t buy most store-bought baked goods, mixes become a practical fallback. That is, when I can find a mix that is dairy-free. Thanks to quilting friend Francine, I have become aware of the usefulness of Bisquick as an allergy-friendly base for foods whose commercial versions I just can’t eat. 

Back in the day, one of my favorite snacks were these marvelous cheddar biscuits at a local bakery and sandwich shop. These simple faux cheese biscuits are outstanding as is, or can be made ever more elaborate and bakery-worthy with the suggested additions. I’m sure Grandmother would approve.

2 1/3 cups Bisquick

1/3 package cheddar substitute (Daiya is excellent)

1/2 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

1/3 cup rice milk

Cornmeal to dust kneading surface

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop cheddar substitute into small cubes (less than 1/2” square). In medium mixing bowl, crumble together Bisquick, Jiffy mix, and cheese. Using a dinner knife, mix in rice milk and combine until just springy. Place on counter dusted with cornmeal, and knead until still springy. Press into a rectangular shape, and using the same knife, cut into 12 squares. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Variations:

Season with black pepper and add 1/3 cup chopped chives and pinch of garlic salt before adding rice milk. 

Add chopped prosciutto or bacon before adding rice milk.

Add 1/4 cup of chopped scallions before adding rice milk.

Roasted Winter Vegetables


The key to good roasted winter vegetables is picking the right combination of textures and flavors. Pick all veggies that roast up soft, and the result can be too mushy; pick too many sweet flavors, and it lacks the savory kick you’re looking for. This combination, lightly seasoned with your favorite herb mix, is incredibly simple and impossibly delicious.

Stems from 1 bunch of rainbow chard

1 white turnip, peeled if desired

1-2 carrots

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Herb mix of your choice (Herbes de Provence, etc)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and slice the chard stems into 1” pieces. Drizzle a half-sheet cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and drizzle some more on top. Sprinkle on herb mix evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. In the meantime, slice the carrot(s) and cube the turnip. Add the other vegetables to the baking pan, drizzle on the remaining olive oil, and add herbs to taste. Toss the mixture gently and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until turnips are lightly browned.

Serves 4 as side dish.

Kale Makes a Great Base for a “Cream” Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Miso

Kale Makes a Great Base for a “Cream” Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Miso

Cream of Kale Soup


Getting the rich, mellow texture of a cream soup without the cream is a challenge. There are many substitutes for cream to achieve the same texture; the key is to find one that complements the flavors of the other ingredients. 

For savory soups based on slightly bitter vegetables such as kale and swiss chard, shiitake mushrooms, olive oil, and miso add texture and rich flavor, while the right preparation adds the smooth texture. This soup is also delicious as the base for a side dish. Simply drain the fluid and serve the veggies and mushrooms sauteed.

Cream of Kale Soup

Serves 4

Half a bunch kale, washed and stripped from woody stems

Half a package frozen shiitake mushrooms, or 5 fresh mushrooms, stemmed and chopped

One third of a large red onion, sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

One 8oz bottle miso ginger dressing or marinade

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sautee the onions in the olive oil until glassy. Add mushrooms and sautee until tender. Add in kale until wilted; depending on the size of your pan, you may need to first add half, allow to wilt, then add the rest. Stir on medium heat until kale has deepened in color to emerald green and has a soft, wilted texture. Pour in three-quarters of the bottle of miso ginger sauce, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool to warm, and puree on high in blender. Return to saucepan and heat to serving temperature. 

Eating Dairy-Free Can Be Pretty Darn Delicious


A while back, I was diagnosed with casein intolerance. Since casein, one of the key proteins that make up dairy products, is in practically everything, cooking without it, especially baking, is a challenge. However, with some practice and careful label-reading, cooking without dairy is pretty darn doable. 

Regardless of why you are avoiding dairy, this blog has helpful hints, recipes, and guidelines to make the transition to a dairy-free lifestyle easier.