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It’s Not Dairy, What?


I’ve been “officially” vegetarian for over a month now.  And honestly it has been easier than I thought because I forgot the day that I officially declared my vegetarianism passed on Sunday.  I guess it isn’t that big of a deal at all.  When I think about the meat and wanting to eat it I just think about the pain it will cause and pass on by.  So hard when you smell all the wonderful barbeques lately but I’m getting by.

But I still have a trouble with dairy.  I can eat/drink it but I have to know my limits.  the only problem is that those limits change daily alot like all the other things in my life and also change based on the dairy of choice.  Oh the fun of IBS issues.  But I’m not up for veganism and all the limits that entails.  Meat is easy to avoid…but cheese oh oooy gooey cheesy…how can I deny myself that.  Soy cheese just doesn’t compare and I love my cream and milk in my coffee.  So every day I play the guessing game with my dairy intake and usually I am victorious…although I don’t wear the crown every time.

But then Heather showed me the way…the ooey gooey non-dairy cheesey way.  After seeing that post I had to have it in the worst way possible.  While I all things cheese including the fancy and the stinky I am normally using cheddar and mozzarella to make things like quessadillas and tortilla pizza and eggs.  Preshredded easiness to make sure I actually eat at home instead of going to my favorite place down the street for the same thing that cost $8.25.  Why does $8.25 taste so good when I could make it for $2?  So the thought of my easy pre-shredded cheese in “Cheese” form really intrigued me.  And the fact that it actually melted sold me.  Fat free cheese and soy cheese just does not melt like regular cheese so I go for the regular stuff.

So at Whole Foods on Monday I sought the Daiya cheese out like a blood hound.  I looked with the fancy cheese, then the milk and then finally found it with the other non-cheese cheese.  Duh Cynthia should have looked there first.  🙂  Unfortunately my store only had the mozzarella version but I was totally game.  I bought it and moved past the price tag as I gasped.  More than twice what I normally pay for cheese.  But I already buy other healthy things at a higher price.  What was one more if it actually worked.

But did it work?  I decided to make quesadillas for Hunni and myself.  Black bean pepper quesadillas.

Crispy Goodness!

I sautéed up some of my presliced peppers, a can of rinse black beans, a table-spoon of tomato paste and some spices like garlic and cumin (I don’t remember which).

Look at the color.

I did the proper pince tomato thing Jenna showed on her channa masala post so that she would be proud.

Left over crust from the process.

While the tomato paste was cooking in the hot tub with the peppers and beans, I prepared the tortillas.  I preheated the oven to 375F (yes I just picked that number out of thin air).

Tortilla set up.

Okay so most quesadillas aren’t made with mozzarella or mozzarella style cheese but that’s what I had.  And notice I’m not sharing with Hunni.  The dude has a cast iron stomach and can eat anything (unless it’s spicy) so he got his normal cheddar.  I even snuck a taste of the raw cheese and it was pretty mozzarella like.  Then assembly.

Smoosh it!

I divided the toppings between the two added a tad more cheese for stickability and topped with another toritlla.  I used my fancy mister to spray it with olive oil and set to bake.  I got frustrated they weren’t browning to my liking so I turned on the broiler for a minute.  Hence the “Cajun” look.

Ooey gooey.

But it really melted and tasted like melted cheese.  Nothing fake about this except that there isn’t actually any dairy in it.  And I learned I could conserve my cheeseless cheese by not using as much next time because I was classy and picked up the cheese that oozed out on the plate and ate it too.  I will be making this purchase again and I hope they have the cheddar next time to try.

I’ve already told you about my love of almond milk and coconut milk ice cream but I was still leery to try alternative creamers.  I’ll admit I purposely used flavored sugared creamers in my coffee because I don’t like the strong flavor of coffee and need it to look and taste coffee flavored not like coffee.  The barista always looks at me like I’m nuts when I only ask for one shot of espresso in my drinks that usually come with 3.  I just want the taste of it kind of like coffee ice cream.  Ooo I could go for coffee Ice cream right now.

But I need to drink real coffee as my prescription for my IBS.  So I brewed some and put it in the fridge and decided to try one of the non dairy creamers.  First on the list was Silk.

Perfect coffee combo.

I liked that it gave me the flavor like I had added a flavor shot and it made it the proper color (that’s how I make coffee not by measurements).  But it was almost too much when I made a full glass.  So I cut it with almond milk much like I do with egg nog or the lattes I get at Whole Food…BTW have you tried their lattes with Almond Milk?  Sooooo good!  And then I think I’m almost ready to cross Make the perfect cup of coffee off my 101 Things List.  I’ve had this 3 days in a row and it was good all times. I still want to try the coconut milk version but for now I’m happy.

These lovely dairy substitutes actually taste like the real things so I can stretch my dairy tolerance to other thinks like greek yogurt and cottage cheese and I’m one happy camper.  I will be eating these things again and my tummy will thank me.

Have you tried dairy substitutes?  Which do you like?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. 26/05/2010 9:55 AM

    LOVE the Soy creamer – it’s my favorite, I use it all the time! I’ve tried with soy milk but it makes it a bit chalky.

  2. 26/05/2010 9:56 AM

    Oh no, what are you going to do when we go for Italian tonight! Lots of cheese there!

    • 26/05/2010 11:22 AM

      I’ll be fine. I can pick something less cheesy…I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out my limits. No stuffed shells or lasagna but I can have penne ala vodka with no chicken 🙂

  3. 26/05/2010 11:06 AM

    OMG, your quesadilla looks amazing, and I won’t lie…I love scraping up the excess melted daiya that oozes out of my omelet while cooking…I think that’s why I use too much sometimes. 🙂

    I have not tried the almond milk lattes at Whole Foods, but I will. Just not craving coffee much these days. Been doing the hot chocolate thing instead, but I could get a decaf mocha with almond milk. Yeah, might just do that soon.

    Enjoy your day!

    • 26/05/2010 11:18 AM

      I think that’s why I used too much too 🙂

      You should definitely try the decaf mocha when you are feeling up to it. It’s so good!

  4. 26/05/2010 12:56 PM

    I can never be vegan…I mean, cheese is one of my favorite foods. I’d rather help the earth in another way. Dang, I feel so guilty whenever I say this.

    I do love almond milk, though. It’s great for cooking!

    • 26/05/2010 1:17 PM

      I’m not giving up cheese or eggs. I just need to balance them out. If I had my way I’d eat my weight in aged gouda 🙂

  5. licoriceroot permalink
    26/05/2010 4:35 PM

    When I gave up meat last year, my IBS syptoms totally subsided, except when I over indulged on cheese dip and things like that. I need to follow your lead and swear off the meat again, but in the summer? That’s tough!

    • 27/05/2010 9:01 AM

      That’s been my experience. I only get symptoms if I over do the cheese, sugar or other things that also trigger. But meat was a huge everyday thing I could get rid of it.

  6. 26/05/2010 5:17 PM

    Personally I’m a big fan of rice milk, although I’ve been using almond milk more lately.

    I love your 101 things list! What a fun idea!

    • 27/05/2010 8:59 AM

      I like rice milk for some things too. I just like the thickness of Almond milk. But I have a carton of Rice milk in my fridge too 🙂

  7. 26/05/2010 8:21 PM

    I haven’t tried many dairy substitutes except for soy milk a few times. I think that you are doing such a great job figuring out what works for you.

    • 27/05/2010 8:59 AM

      Thanks Diane! I don’t like soy milk. It was one of the first I tried and couldn’t get over the taste. But I like soy creamer…I’m a crazy bird.

  8. 26/05/2010 10:30 PM

    I’ve been dairy free for almost 7 months. It is the best thing that I could do for myself. I had a soy latte with whipped cream that a friend brought in for me, and it made me sick. My life with IBS would have been much shorter had I eliminated dairy sooner. The one thing I’ve not substituted is the cheese. I thank you for reviewing this non-dairy cheese. I shall look for it at my local whole foods. Continued success with your vegetarianism (veganism?).

    • 27/05/2010 8:58 AM

      Thank you. I’m so in love with cheese I don’t know if I could completely eliminate it. I’m not ready for that step yet.


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