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Archive for the ‘Dairy-Free’ Category

It has been FOREVER since I last posted, so here’s a quick update:

  • Alexander is now 10.5 months old. At his checkup a month ago, he was 19 pounds 5.5 ounces (can you say “growth spurt”?!) and 70.8 cm tall. He’s crawling all over the place, faster than we can move sometimes. He’s pulling up on things, attempting to let go, starting to walk along things, and he’ll walk a few steps holding our hands. He says “mama” and “dada”, and will mimic when we say “yay”. He’s growing into an amazing little man, and I can’t believe his first year is almost over!
  • I am no longer breastfeeding. Which also means I am no longer dairy-free. Having him wake every hour during the night to comfort suck and having to give up all my favorite foods eventually became too much. I stopped when Alexander was about 7.5 months old. I had intended to slowly stop over a month or two, but ended up stopping more slowly over about ten days or so. I felt terrible and was torn up with guilt, but now I feel surprisingly good about it. More to come on that in a later post!  Read more about that HERE.
  • Yesterday marked the start of another journey for me and my husband – to get back to being healthy. We had fallen into a routine of unhealthy eating and being pretty sedentary. Having a high maintenance baby definitely contributed to that. But, as of yesterday, we have committed to being healthier. I am at the heaviest non-pregnant weight I have ever been – a whopping 206 pounds – and I.HATE.IT. I was upset when I surpassed 200 pounds while pregnant, and now I weigh more than that without another life growing inside of me. I feel gross. So I’m putting my weight out there in the universe to make me accountable.

In a nutshell, that’s what’s been going on. And here’s a commitment to update more regularly!

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Tonight I had a craving for something sweet.

I’ve also been reading up on home remedies for increasing your milk supply. I don’t have any reason to think that my supply is necessarily low. But I’d like to get a bit of a stash in the freezer. And having a child who still feeds every three hours around the clock doesn’t leave me with much extra milk for pumping.

The solution to both problems? Oatmeal cookies!

The evidence to support that eating oatmeal (in any form, even cookies!) increases milk production is mostly anecdotal. There are some theories to support the science behind it. But not a whole lot has been proven. Either way, I figured it was worth a shot. If it really did increase my milk supply, well fabulous! If not, hey, I still got to eat cookies! 😉

I just used the Robin Hood Oatmeal Cookies Recipe found on the package of quick oats.

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Ingredients:

¾ cup (175 mL) margarine
¾ cup (175 mL) brown sugar, packed
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
¾ cup (175 mL) Robin Hood® All Purpose Flour
¾ tsp (3 mL) baking soda
2 ½ cups (625 mL) Robin Hood® or Old Mill® Oats
1 ½ cups (375 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Cream first 6 ingredients together on medium speed of electric mixer until light and creamy. Combine flour and soda. Add to creamed mixture, beating on low speed until blended. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto greased or parchment paper lined baking sheets.
2. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 12-15 minutes, or until light golden. Don’t overbake.

It called for chocolate chips, but I left those out to make them dairy-free. I finely chopped a little unsweetened chocolate and added it in to give them a little taste of chocolate, but they honestly should have gone without it. It was a little bitter for my liking.

Now I’m off to pig out on cookies… umm, I mean “increase my milk supply”. 😉

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I recently discovered what will likely be the thing that kills me – single-serve microwave brownie in a cup! Soooo good! But undeniably evil.

Usually I like to credit the original source of any recipes I post, but I honestly have no idea where this one originated. It’s all over the Internet. (Actually I’m surprised I hadn’t discovered it before now!) Just google “brownie in a cup” or “brownie in a mug” or “microwave brownie” or any variation of those and you’ll get millions of results all producing the exact same recipe. I clicked on a link to a blog called My Happy Place so that’s where I’ll give credit!

But, anyway, I’ve kept you waiting long enough!

Brownie in a Cup

2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
2 tbsp. cocoa
4 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. flour

In a 12 oz. mug, add water, oil, and vanilla. Whisk well.

Add cocoa, sugar, and flour… And mix it all up!

Microwave for 60-90 seconds. Center should be
slightly molten.

That’s it. It’s that easy. Which is part of what makes it so evil. If it required a great deal of work, I wouldn’t be near as tempted to make them. But I can mix it up in quite literally one minute and by the time I’ve put all the ingredients back in the cupboard, it’s done!

Bonus to the evil? It’s dairy-free! So I can get a super rich chocolate fix without torturing my poor breastfed child.

Seriously. Try it.

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I have finally found an acceptable cheese substitute!

I hadn’t even bothered to check at our teeny tiny local grocery store because a) it’s really small, and I assumed it wouldn’t carry any dairy-free alternatives and b) we rarely shop there because it tends to be more expensive than the larger chain stores. However I had to pop in there one day last week to pick up some milk (not for me!) and noticed a new brand of cheese substitute – Daiya!

I purchased the mozzarella-style shreds. They’re mostly made with tapioca and arrowroot flours and vegetable oils. So they’re free of dairy and soy, as well as gluten, eggs and hormones/preservatives. You can also get cheddar-style shreds and several wedge varieties.

The Mozza ones are great. They actually melt and stretch and have a great creamy texture! I’ve used them to make a modified version of chicken “parm”, garlic cheese toast, and omelettes. So far, they’ve worked well on everything I’ve tried. I’m really looking forward to trying it on pizza and getting the cheddar ones to try. 🙂

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Today’s adventure in my new dairy-free existence was to find a suitable replacement for chocolate milk.

 

Yes, I am an adult. And a dietitian. And I drink chocolate milk. Moving on.

 

I’ve opted not to replace dairy with soy because many children who have sensitivities to dairy also have them to soy. Plus there’s the issue of soy containing estrogen which, in large amounts, can decrease your supply of breast milk. Highly unlikely in the amounts I’d consume in a few soy-based foods, but why chance it? So that left me searching for a beverage to replace chocolate milk – one of my all-time favorite dairy products. And that brought me to almond milk.

 

It’s actually not bad. If I had bought plain/vanilla to just use on cereal or in recipes, it would probably be fine. But I wanted something to replace the chocolatey goodness that is chocolate milk. And it just wasn’t chocolatey enough. So I did what any respectable adult would do – I put chocolate syrup in it. Haha. Problem solved.

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Tonight I decided to see how my rice cheese would work on pizza. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised!

I made homemade pizza dough using a recipe I posted earlier (here!), laid down a base of EVOO and some herbs, covered that with a mixture of BBQ sauce and a little hot sauce, topped with chicken, green onion, Serrano peppers and tomato, and finished with some grated rice cheese.

… Voila!

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Again, the cheese didn’t melt well. Not even with being in the oven for the prolonged time necessary to bake the pizza dough. And it didn’t give that same gooey goodness you’d get from cheese. But it was actually pretty good! I would definitely do it again!

Now I can have pizza again! Hooray!! 😀

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m having a rough time living a dairy-free life for the benefit of my son. Don’t get me wrong, I’m gladly doing it because it means providing my son with the best possible nutrition. But it hasn’t been easy, and there are so many dairy foods that I miss on a daily basis. I seriously ate cheese every.single.day. I ate ice cream and chocolate at least once a week, and I indulged in cheesecake when we went out to eat. Not to mention that my favourite pasta sauces have dairy in them and pizza is one of my favourite foods. So it has been a rough three months, and will continue to be rough for about nine more.

Recently, at a holiday gathering, I met a woman who had been diagnosed with a beef protein allergy (including dairy!) as an adult. She suggested that I try rice “cheese”. Her recommendation came with a disclaimer that it’s nowhere near as good as cheese and you certainly wouldn’t eat it on its own, but that it could be acceptable when used in cooking, like on pizza or nachos.

So I decided to give it a try!

I bought cheddar-flavored rice cheese, and decided to make nachos. I went into it with an open mind and low expectations.

The first thing I noticed when taking it out of the package was the difference in texture. The rice cheese feels very slimy and slightly gritty compared to regular cheese. The color is also slightly off. It has a greenish-grey tinge to it. It’s not all that noticeable if you’re just looking at the rice cheese on its own. But when compared to real cheese, there’s definitely a difference in color.

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See? The rice cheese is on the right.

You can also see from the picture that it did grate very nicely. It didn’t crumble or mush up. It grated just like cheese would. So that was a point in its favour.

It did not, however, melt like real cheese. I had these nachos in the oven for a little longer than hubby’s real cheese nachos, but it wasn’t nearly as melted.

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It did soften up a little. But, as you can see, I nearly burnt up the chips trying to get the cheese to melt. And the cheese itself dried up and got crunchy in some places instead of going gooey and melty.

Overall, it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t gooey and creamy like cheese, and it didn’t melt as well. But, for what it is, it wasn’t bad. I certainly wouldn’t eat it often, and I definitely wouldn’t eat it on its own. But it’s acceptable enough to use on pizza or nachos occasionally to help satisfy a craving and get me through my dairy-free year.

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