Dairy free and surviving, plus a recipe

 

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I don’t believe there is a single person on the face of the earth who loves ice cream as much as I do. Or cheese. Or creamy, cheesy pasta with buttered bread on the side. I know, it’s a heart attack waiting to happen, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Alas, this heart is on restriction because the tiniest love of my life is allergic to all things dairy and delicious. I wanted to ignore it or deny that the positive test result COULD have something to do with why my boy was projectile vomiting across the room. There was no way that me cutting dairy would stop his eczema from spreading like the pox. But, the day of truth came when the GI asked if after a month of me limiting dairy, had baby Bug’s symptoms lessened? I had to undeniably say yes. So, because I’m eating for two, here we are, he and I, restricted to the watery sweetness of almond and coconut milks.

 

It’s been this way for two whole months now and I am pretty proud to say that I have figured out some cooking hacks to psych myself into believing I am still indulging in creamy goodness. For example, did you know you could boil raw cashews and then purée them with water until you reach the creamy consistency you need for pretty much any recipe that calls for a “cream of” soup? Also, butternut squash can be steamed and puréed to the consistency of cheese sauce…and you can kind of pretend it’s the same thing because it has the same color and sweetness, too! All this to say, I am surviving. I only sort of cry a little inside when I see someone bite into a big, cheesy burger. And it doesn’t hurt so much now to watch my girl eat her frozen yogurt if I have a nice heaping bowl of dairy free sorbet from Menchies. I mean after all, isn’t that face worth it?!. image

 

 

In an effort to help others, here’s one of the recipes I have conjured up. I think even the lactose-lovers in your family won’t notice what’s missing!

 

CREAMY CHICKEN, BROCCOLI AND RICE CASSEROLE

What you’ll need:

1 cup rice, cooked

1lb chicken thighs or breasts

1 large head broccoli, chopped finely

1 cup raw cashews

2 cups water

4 strips bacon if desired

Chives

salt and pepper to taste

 

First you want to boil your raw cashews in two cups water for about thirty minutes. Once done, strain water but set aside. Put boiled cashews in your blender or food processor and add about a quarter cup water. Purée adding water as necessary to reach the consistency you desire. While your cashews are boiling you can precook your chicken by pan frying it in coconut oil for about 6 minutes per side. Remove from heat and shred. Cook bacon and break into bits. Once your cashews, bacon and chicken are done, mix shredded chicken, broccoli and cooked rice with the cashew cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with bacon and chives, cover with  foil and put in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until broccoli is to desired tenderness. Remove foil for the last five minutes of cook time.

 

The final step is to put this bad boy on the table for all to enjoy. It won’t disappoint!

 

 

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