Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Recipes

These last 5 months being dairy and soy free have actually had a good effect on our family's eating habits.  I can't eat fast food because of the soy in almost everything, so we do that a LOT less.  I'm also pretty limited with restaurants, so we don't eat out a lot either.  Part of the limiting factor is that I'm such a picky eater and not really a salad eater (unless it's taco salad), so we have 3 or 4 restaurants that I can safely eat at.  I've also been trying a lot of new recipes as well.  New recipes and new ingredients.  I use almond milk and rice milk to cook with and I have a diary and soy free butter that I use when I need butter.  I've also used coconut oil in my chocolate chip cookie dough bites and it was delicious.  Yes, it had a slight coconut flavor, but I thought it was great.

I've made several soups - mostly from a vegetarian cook book I bought for Brandon.  He's not a vegetarian, but he would like to eat a lot less meat in general.  As it turns out, I'm not a big fan of soups.  Or at least not any vegetable only soups. Go figure.  I try it, but never eat it the next night as intended.  After months of trying new recipes, I thought I'd post my most favorite that will definitely be made again.

One of the biggest things I miss and what is the hardest to avoid in restaurants (at least for me) is bread.  I'm a huge lover of bread, but being dairy and soy free limits my choices.  I currently buy my sandwich bread at Sprouts because it's the only bread I can find that meets my requirements.  I usually shop at Sprouts about once a month and stock up on bread, butter, peanut butter and specialty treats.  So, when I found this bread recipe around Christmas time I was very eager to try it.  This bread is DELICIOUS!!!!  I love it!  It's easy to make and tastes great!  It's awesome when it's warm and was a great alternative to hamburger buns and dinner rolls.  I've made it two or three times and now that I've blogged about it, I'm craving it again.  I might just be making some more this week!

Another recipe I need to make again is Pork Chile Verde from foodnetwork.com.  I may not like soups, but I like chili's and other similar dishes like this.  We ate this over rice and it was great.  It took a little time to prepare, but it was so delicious, it didn't matter.  Making dishes like this without proccessed foods feels so nice and has great flavor.  If I remember correctly, even Meredith ate some of mine.  I think we'll add this to next week's menu.

One of the recipes I have liked from the cook book I bought Brandon is mushroom stroganoff.  It was completely vegan - even the sour cream sauce!  The recipe actually calls for Tofu sour cream, but tofu is made from soybeans so I had to find another recipe.  I ended up using this cashew based recipe.  I wouldn't say the "sour cream" tasted just like sour cream, but I also don't think my blender or food processer did that great of a job.  Now that I have a Vitamix, I think the sauce will puree/thin out much better and might even taste that much better!  I like mushrooms, but I wasn't sure how I was going to like stroganoff without meat.  As it turns out, I really liked it!  I think I might even add more mushrooms next time!

And finally, as a little dessert, I recommend you make these sugar cookies!  I liked them both cooked and as raw cookie dough!  Again, super easy to make and I used almond milk as well as my fancy schmancy dairy and soy free butter. ;)  It didn't take me long to eat the other half of the dough within two days of making it.

While these recipes are my favorite, we have had quite a few duds.  I know they are duds when even Brandon avoids them on the second night!  I'm picky, so me avoiding a meal isn't that abnormal, but if Brandon doesn't really want it again, then it's not good.  This week we are eating PW's frito pie chili which is perfect for this cold weather!  I would love to have cheese on top, but I can't and guess what?  I'm still eating it and think it tastes great!  I double the recipe, use ground turkey and only red kidney beans.  I also use a little more water than her recipe calls for to make it a little less thick, but it's sooooo good.  I actually had never made homemade chili until a couple of months ago.  I didn't realize how easy it was!  Now we've had it several times - some with beef, no beef, ground turkey, whatever I remember to buy for it.  Go try it while it's still cold out!

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