November 29, 2013

Week 47 - Eating Dairy Free in a Cheese Loving Family

Printable Version of Meal Plan

Sooooo, remember way back in my first post I said....

"this is not a ‘diet’ nor am I a trained dietician! No one in my house has allergies, it’s not gluten-free, dairy free or anything else free – although it is free to follow me!!" 

Well that's mostly still true, but after more than 3 decades of living with Eczema I'm attempting to get to the root cause of my flare-ups.  First test is to eliminate dairy for 3 weeks.  I can't lie... my first reaction was that this was going to be torture.  I mean, no cheese???  For 3 weeks??  But then I thought to myself, "Self... this is only for 3 weeks (for now anyway) and I will see this as a fun challenge".  So instead I'm going to concentrate on all the delicious things I can eat, instead of what I can't.  Isn't that very "glass half full" of me??  I am however secretly hoping this is one test that I'll fail miserably.

I had planned out this week prior to this dairy challenge so I ended up just tweaking the plan for myself only.  The Week in Review includes notes on how I de-dairy'd (yes, I totally made up that term) my planned meals.

Recipe Quick Links

Easy Overnight Oats, Marin Mama Cooks
Ranch Dip, 100 Days of Real Food
Almond Milk, Oh She Glows
Maple Soy Salmon, Chatelaine
7 Vegetable Soup, Oh She Glows
Vegan Caesar Dressing,
Freezer Chocolates, Practical Paleo
Pumpkin Spelt Muffins, 100 Days of Real Food

Week in Review

Breakfasts - We typically do our own thing for breakfast anyway so this wasn't a biggie.  Although I think for me this was the biggest challenge since I didn't have a chance the first few days to research what my options were or even to get to a store to get a milk alternative.  So I stuck mainly to overnight oats, eggs and of course, fruit! Mid-way through the week I made a batch of Almond Milk which helped.

Easy Overnight Oats

Feta Stuffed Omelettes and Roasted Sweet Potatoes - Totally enjoyed this lunch, the roasted sweet potatoes were an exciting addition to my lunch box! 
Dairy-Free Option: Omit the Feta and don't add milk to the eggs (you can simply omit or add water instead)

Salmon w/ Steamed Vegetables - This was dee-licious!  I've been wanting Salmon for weeks but haven't been able to find it at a decent price.  This week I found trays of salmon pieces (the bits they trim off the "pretty" pieces) for a very reasonable price so I stocked up.  I made Maple Soy Salmon.  Mmmm.... so good!  Actually I think the small pieces worked great for this recipe because it really soaked up the flavor.  Definitely my winner this week... and dairy-free.

Tuna Salad Sandwich on Whole Wheat Kaiser with Veggies & Dip - Tuna Salad was on my mind because a friend mentioned she had made sandwiches with tuna and goat cheese.  I had some goat cheese to use up so I was going to give it a try... but then goat cheese was put on the 'do not eat' list.
Dairy-Free Option:  Use avocado and lime for the Tuna Salad instead of mayo.  Omit the dip.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Thighs w/ Salad - I didn't follow a recipe for the chicken (I used boneless, skinless thighs).  I really just cooked them in a skillet with lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and rosemary.  For the salad I used the Organic Supergreen Mix from Costco, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice, aged white cheddar and apple.
Dairy-Free Option:  Use Nutritional Yeast in place of Parmesan.  I mixed Nutritional Yeast with a small amount of olive oil and used my fingers to blend.  The result was crumbly. 

Turkey "Dinner" - In honour of American Thanksgiving we had a mini version of Turkey Dinner.  This was turkey cutlets served with cranberry sauce, a celery root puree (in place of mashed potatoes) and a mix of roasted vegetables.
Dairy-Free Option: No butter on the veggies.  No milk in the puree.

Salsa Shrimp with Couscous - This was another meal I was totally digging this week and as a bonus it could not have been easier to make.  In fact I'm going to write out the recipe so that I remember to do it again sometime.  And I think I can safely say that this would be even better with some feta crumbled in.

Salsa Shrimp with Couscous

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • 1 Cup Salsa
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • Cooked & Peeled Frozen Shrimp (adjust amount based on servings required.  I used about 2 cups)
  1. Heat the oil over med-high heat in a skillet
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 min
  3. Add the salsa & lime juice to the skillet, stir
  4. Immediately add the shrimp (frozen or thawed) and cook until heated through
  5. Serve over whole wheat couscous.

7 Vegetable Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Croutons - This is a vegan recipe from Oh She Glows (awesome blog - go check it out!) so no Dairy issues here.  I would say this soup was good and I enjoyed it for lunch but found it lacking on its own for supper.  I skipped the croutons because they weren't dairy free so I think a side of garlic bread would have nicely rounded out this meal for me.

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad  - We don't do this meal often but it's a tasty and quick supper - Cook a couple of chicken breasts and then dice up and toss on top of a Caesar Salad.  I typically make the dressing found on my Salad Dressing Printout.  I highly recommend using Kale instead of the more traditional Romaine for a nice twist.  Tip: Massage the kale with a little olive oil and lemon juice before adding the dressing.  This will help the Kale absorb the dressing better.
Dairy-Free Options:  Use this vegan Caesar salad dressing; Check ingredients on croutons or omit; Replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast or this Vegan Parmesan (which I have not tried but most certainly will be!!)  Note:  I found many recipes for vegan Caesar dressings, I chose this one because it used ingredients I had on hand.

Pumpkin Spelt Muffins - I had to make a batch of dairy-free muffins to get me through the week. I modified this recipe replacing the butter with a 50/50 split of applesauce and coconut oil.  Honestly, couldn't tell the difference.  In fact I often replace butter or oil with applesauce in muffin recipes with only a slight difference in texture.

And I leave you with this.... it might not look like much but I assure you this is what I would call "a darn good snack!".  And it's dairy free!

Freezer Chocolates and Almonds

Happy Weekend!




  1. New Diet Taps into Innovative Idea to Help Dieters Get Rid Of 12-23 Pounds in Just 21 Days!

  2. 3 Studies SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you actually burn fat by eating coconut fat (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medicinal magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world around!