WFMW - July 12
All my good ideas have left me, but I managed to come up with something...
HOH is allergic to dairy products, although we are finding that he can eat a tiny amount of cheese or other cultured dairy about once a month (after almost a year of dairy-free cooking). So, I had to change my cooking significantly in a hurry. Here are some things that have really really helped me in our quest for DF foods for him.
The staples of our pantry, at least where it concerns HOH.
Earth Balance in the tub for buttering toast, sauteeing, etc.
Earth Balance sticks for baking
Olive oil or canola oil
Coconut milk (Indian, Thai, or desserts)
Rice Milk (cereal)
Unsweetened soy milk ("cream" sauces, soups, etc)
Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (it truly is, even for this cream cheese lover)
Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream (trans-fat free, although its sister product Sour Supreme isn't)
These form the basis of our family meals. This is even to the point of using the Earth Balance sticks in place of butter for shortbread and other baked items (even though there are dire warnings on the recipe about substitutions). By the way, nearly all margarines have dairy in them, but Earth Balance and Smart Balance do not.
One of our favorite desserts is to take a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and use coconut milk in place of cow's milk for bread pudding - yummy!!! Another thing is that the unsweetened soy milk makes a wonderful base for cream soups, especially clam or corn chowders.
I have to read labels religiously, but most labels now have allergenic ingredients highlighted in some way. Aside from the obvious milk, milk solids, butter, etc, we also screen for whey, casein, and words with derivatives such as lact- and casein- in them.
I have recently branched out into trying to make my own dairy-free cheese substitutes, as the ones on the market are either nasty or have casein in them. My favorite recipe is the Lesserella recipe here. I have used it quite successfully in a Mac "un" Cheese recipe that HOH raved over (his greatest regret of being dairy-free is the lack of mac and cheese). I look forward to trying the other recipes as time goes on.
It's what "works for me"!!!