If I wrote a cookbook

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 1.56.20 PM

I’ve been looking around for dairy-free cookbooks lately, not the best results. It seems unless you are on a diet like the paleo diet or your vegan cookbooks with only dairy-free recipes is a hard find. The books I did find didn’t even seem to promising, one of the top results was a book dedicated to substitute milk product recipes and soy cheese doesn’t taste like cheese so why put it in a recipe that is supposed to use the flavor of cheese to its benefit? Since rustic, fresh food is a trend I think I should be able to use that to show that you can be dairy-free without being vegan and make meals that aren’t boring, something vegans are trying to do too. In this book I will use recipes form this blog and other similar recipes with some extra pages about tips and tricks to cooking.

imaginary celebrity endorsement:

“You’re doing a fine ass job here. Being dairy-free and cooking with fresh ingredients is a challenge, and I had to also tackle it gluten-free. Its good to eat healthier and you’re on the right track.”

-Gwyneth Paltrow

*disclaimer, if you didn’t read the above statement then here it is again. Gwyneth Paltrow did not actually endorse my cookbook idea. I should also add this imaginary quote is a little on the sarcastic side, meaning there is a lot of people who think she is a little too pretentious so is that is what this quote sounds like that was the intention. I apologize if I offended anyone I just thought it would be kinda fun to make a mock celebrity endorsement.*

other disclaimer: the images used in my cookbook cover page idea are not mine, they are from websites I have put links to in my recipe posts.

Eating dairy-free and fresh in college

Since vegetarianism, veganism, and eating organic food are more popular than ever and very much so in the younger crowds colleges are changing up their dining halls. At my college they’ve announced a move to using more and fresh, local ingredients and I decided to judge how they have done. Its obvious when there has been canned food used like the pies with perfectly rounded fruit and a thick corn syrup filling and corn that has that taste that reminds you of the tin can it came from. However if you look at the diversity its pretty good, of course there are many dishes with milk or cheese but there is always a salad bar, you can ask them not to make you burger or sandwich with cheese, and a lot of the vegetarian dishes just so happen to be vegan so that helps (as long as you can go one meal with out meat). Every time I get a burrito I just ask to have it without cheese and there have been multiple occasions where the only chooses I could choose where the pizza and preprepared sandwiches. If you want cereal in the morning you can even have it with the soy milk they keep next to the other drinks. I’m not going to say that the dining halls and serving homemade quality food, they’ve got a lot of mouths to feed and a budget, but I can say they do seem to have made a change in the right direction, one leading to giving all diets a chance, and that is a good start.

Soup a la taters, better known as potato soup

If you don’t get the title that’s fine, I was trying to make a joke, I kinda failed. Anyways I found this when I was searching the web to see how other people made potato soup besides my grandmother. She has a house in a rural town and she loves to can food when she is up there. Anyways this soup has lemongrass, its awesome, and potato soup is delicious crazy goodness so try this one out.

photo from http://www.godairyfree.org
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Medium leeks, sliced into ¼-inch rounds and halved (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Teaspoons dried lemongrass or 2 Tablespoons fresh lemongrass
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1-1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes, cleaned and cut into ½-inch cubes (skin on to make it look more rustic)
  • ¾ to 1 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • ⅛ Teaspoon White Pepper (optional)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste (optional)

Lets start from the ground

  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Chop and add the leeks and lemongrass. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leeks soften quite a bit and just begin to brown.
  3. Add the broth, deglazing (when you get all the brown parts stuck to the pan off) the pan if needed, and bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes, and ½ teaspoon of the salt, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Take half of the soup and blend in a blender, then pour back in. This way you will still have chunks of potatoes and the other vegetables.
  6. Taste test and season to taste with more salt. If using black pepper, this is the time to add it, or you could let each person grind in their own.

this recipe was originally posted on www.godairyfree.org

Toe-mate-o or to-mat-o, it doesn’t matter this is soup, good soup

Turmeric is actually very good for you, it has a lot of medical benefits. It also helps make this soup taste great! The cream in this recipe is made from coconut milk so don’t be alarmed. Honestly I love soups, if you haven’t noticed, and I haven’t had a good tomato soup in a while so this is a blessing.

photo from http://www.sobremesa-blog.com

Ingredients 

For soup

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 pounds of fire roasted tomatoes (here is a link to figure out how to do that:link)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 15oz can full fat coconut milk (liquids for soup, solids reserved for cream)
  • 1 tbsp maple, honey, or agave

For turmeric cream:

  • coconut milk solids reserved from 15oz can of milk
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of salt

Soup time

  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and curry powder and cook for 2-3 minutes until very fragrant.
  3. In the soup pot, pour tomatoes, stock, and coconut milk reserving coconut milk solids in a small bowl to make the cream.
  4. Stir in maple, honey, or agave and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. After soup has simmered, puree in the blender or with an immersion blender. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  6. Meanwhile, add turmeric and a pinch of salt to the bowl of coconut milk solids and whip with a fork.
  7. Pour soup into bowls, stir in turmeric cream and serve. Maybe you want to garnish them with some cilantro and a side of pita bread? Just a good suggestion.

recipe originally from www.sobremesa-blog.com

Insert random haiku about fall, Pumpkin spice

So its fall, also known as pumpkin spice season. When all the -enter stereotype I need not mention- are getting their psl you can have this, its a smoothie, they are kinda better for you than coffee (plus there is more pumpkin in this then there will ever be in a psl, and pumpkins have good stuff like vitamin A). And since most smoothies have yogurt as a thickener this one has bananas, side fact frozen bananas can make a mean ice-cream substitute.

photo from http://www.superhealthykids.com

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Almond milk
  • 1 cup Coconut milk yogurt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (so unless you know how to make pumpkin puree, and want to spend the time, you might as well buy the canned stuff, there’s a lot of them that just have pumpkin without the preservatives)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (if you like this stuff add a tad bit more) 
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Ice (as much as you want)

You ready for the difficult part?

  1. Blend. Boom, done, thats it. Drink up!

recipe originally from www.superhealthykids.com

Sugar and spice and every nice: or apples, apples work too

Another fall recipe, wow this season is giving me ideas. I recently found out many of my friends don’t like apple cider because all they have ever tried is the hard kind, and I only found out about that kind a few years ago. So this is just what the title says: fruit juice, spice and sugar. This is a good old fashion, seasonal drink so its pretty rustic right?

photo from http://www.food.com

Ingredients

  • 8 -10 apples (you might wanna look online so you can have a balance of sweet, tart, and bitter flavors. Its you choice, but advice: use some sweet apples so you don’t have to add too much sugar though)
  • 1⁄2-1 cup sugar (depends on the kinds of apples you used and how sweet you want it, do some taste tests)
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon (or 4 cinnamon sticks)
  • 4 tablespoons allspice

Spice time

  1. Quarter your apples (you do not need to remove the peel or seeds).
  2. In a large stock pot add your apples and fill with water–just enough to cover the apples.
  3. Add your sugar. Be careful, if you don’t want it too sweet you might wanna leave this step till #11, once you add that sweeter you can’t take it out.
  4. Wrap your cinnamon and allspice in a doubled up cheese cloth (if you don’t own one you could use a paper coffee filter) and tie, and add this to the apples and water.
  5. Boil on high for one hour, uncovered, checking on it frequently.
  6. Turn down heat and let simmer for two hours, covered.
  7. Take off the heat after two hours of simmering and let cool.
  8. Remove spices and mash up the apples to a pulp like consistency (a potato masher works well for this).
  9. Once cool pour into a strainer over a large bowl. When most of the juice has drained away, put the remainder of the pulp into a doubled up cheese cloth (if you don’t own one hopefully you own a strainer, sadly this might take longer for you because you can’t squeeze a strainer, just let it drip and maybe apply pressure with the back of a spoon to help) and squeeze over the bowl until no more juice comes out.
  10. Here’s the thing, if you have been using a cheese cloth you will have pulp I your cider, but if you where using a strainer, not so much. If you don’t like pulp and you used a cheesecloth pass the liquid through a strainer to help catch what the cheesecloth didn’t, if you where using the strainer I guess you could pass it through again.
  11. Taste your cider, now if you don’t like how sweet it is you can add more sugar.
  12. Drink warm, so heat it up again after its done or save it and heat it up later.

recipe originally from www.food.com

When you need ginger in your life

Look at the photo below, I agree its green kinda weird, but there is ginger so its promising. There is a lot of dairy free recipes for ice-cream out there, a lot of them now are using frozen bananas since it makes the process simpler, but I found this one using coconut milk, something I haven’t tried before. Its not the most rustic recipe here but hey its fresh so that counts.

photo from http://www.sassy-kitchen.com

Ingredients

  • 2 (15oz) full-fat cans coconut milk, there are also recipes online for this if you can get fresh coconuts
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or other sweetener
  • 2 inch peeled knob of ginger + 1/4 cup grated ginger
  • 2 inch peeled knob of turmeric + 1/4 cup grated turmeric (if you can’t find the root and only have the powder, its harder to find than ginger, this is about 2 teaspoons and 4 teaspoons respectively)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (you can buy it from the candy section or make your own using this: link. Warning, it takes a while)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Lets make ice cream

  1. In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of coconut milk with arrowroot powder to form a thick slurry, set aside.
  2. Heat the rest of coconut milk, maple syrup, ginger knob, turmeric knob & grated turmeric (or 4 teaspoons of powder) in a small saucepan. Bring to low boil then cover and let infuse until cool.
  3. Strain the ginger & turmeric through a fine mesh sieve, then return to saucepan and whisk in the slurry until smooth.
  4. Remove from heat, then mix in sea salt and grated & crystallized ginger.
  5. Let the mixture cool completely, then refrigerate overnight or 5-6 hours before adding to your ice cream maker. Use as brand directs or about 25-30 minutes. If you do not own a ice cream maker you can stick it in the freezer but you have to fold the mixture, like stirring but using a spatula and slower, every 30 minutes until you think its done. You can also check online for other methods, there is a lot.
  6. Store in a glass tupperware container or loaf pan.

recipe originally from www.sassy-kitchen.com

Awesome chicken lettuce wraps

Ever since I found this little restaurant in my home town that had lettuce wraps on the menu Ive been looking if the next place I go to has them. I wouldn’t mind eating two whole plates of this, and you get protein, vegetables, and garlic (something chock full of good nutrients, but if you want to make sure you don’t ruin those nutrients let them sit for 10 minutes after you crush it). These things are also great appetizers if you aren’t going for bite sized food and only plan on eating a couple.

photo from http://www.suesnutritionbuzz.com

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions
  • 2 tablespoons steak seasoning (or just make your own with paprika, black pepper, cumin maybe some oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 cup celery or cilantro leaves
  • lettuce leaves and rice (optional)

Chicken time

  1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add 1/3 sliced onion and saute about 4 minutes till dark brown. Add ginger, garlic and saute 2 minutes
  2. Add chicken chunks and the steak seasoning, mix, and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes till it dries up.
  3. Meanwhile add remaining onion and olive oil to a pan. Cook till it get soft brown and caramelized.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of fresh pepper, paprika, and salt to the chicken mixture and cook another 2 minutes. Add chopped celery/cilantro leaves and caramelized onion and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with rice and/or in lettuce leaves to make a lettuce wrap.

recipe from www.suesnutritionbuzz.com

Apples and tarts are the best idea ever

I love apple tarts, apple pies, etc. though you probably figured that out form the title. Serve with some vanilla ice cream and thats just wow. Sometimes though I find apple pies too full of that sticky filling and I don’t enjoy it, thats why I think this tart is great.

picture from http://www.healingandeating.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp of sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 fuji apples
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of water

Time to bake

  1. Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel and chop two fuji apples. Add apples to saucepan with water and boil until soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer to food processor and puree until you get applesauce. Pour it all out into a bowl.
  4. Wash food processor, it will now make the dough. Combine flour, coconut oil, egg, and sea salt until it forms dough.
  5. Roll dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap, some times the dough will stick to the rolling pin so this makes it easier.
  6. Transfer rolled out dough to pie tart  mold. Fit dough around until tart mold is completely filled.
  7. Spread applesauce on bottom of tart.
  8. Peel remaining apples and arrange apple slices in an overlapping circle until you reach the center. thin slices make it easy.
  9. Brush maple syrup over apple slices and bake for ten minutes.
  10. Then turn down the temperature to 350 for twenty minutes.
  11. Let apple tart cool before removing from tart mold.
  12. Use a sifter to garnish apple tart with cinnamon.

Recipe taken from www.healingandeating.com, http://www.healingandeating.com/2014/11/rustic-apple-tart.html

Berry Citrus-ade, make as you wish

So this isn’t exactly my recipe nor is it anyone else’s I just found some inspiration. I love lemonade and limeade and sweet berries are awesome so this is pretty damn good. There is a lot of personal choice here, practically the whole recipe is really, so have fun and experiment.

photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen berries of your choice
  • 5 or 6  lemons or limes juiced (depending on how tart you like it)
  • 1 lemon or lime sliced for garnish (you don’t have to add them, just makes the drink prettier)
  • ⅓ cup sugar/syrup/agave etc
  • 6 cups water
  • Ice cubes

Lets to it

  1. Add berries to a blender or food processor, then add the lemon/lime juice and sweeter. Blend till smooth. (if you don’t want berry pulp in your drink strain it with a cheesecloth or strainer)
  2. Add ice to a pitcher with the citrus slices, pour in blended fruit and water. Stir. Boom, done. Drink the juice of life.
  3. I’ve also noticed that sometimes I need to add extra sweeter so do a taste test.