Love this stuff! And it tastes just like dairy sour cream!
After much trial and error, I think I've finally come up with my favorite recipe for cashew chicken--and here it is!!
3 whole, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 C celery, sliced thin
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms
1/4 C soy sauce (or Tamari sauce*)
1 8ozcan water chestnuts, sliced
2-3 T peanut oil
1 Tbs cornstarch
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/4 C water
1/4 C sliced green onion
1 large tomato
1 C cashews
Cut chicken breasts into cubes. Heat oil in large, deep skillet. Add chicken, waterchestnuts, celery and garlic. Stir fry until chicken is cooked. Add mushrooms. Combine cornstarch , water, soy sauce, pepper in a separate bowl. Add chicken to mixture, then add tomatoes and cashews. Serve over rice, or shredded lettuce or cabbage.
*Tamari is wheat free, and much favored by persons eating a wheat free diet. It is much darker in appearance and richer in flavour than koikuchi. It is the "original" Japanese soy sauce, as its recipe is closest to the soy sauce originally introduced to Japan from China. (I like the sweet flavor).
You can also add: bamboo shoots, bell peppers, zucchini, squash...you name it!
I haven't actually tried this recipe--yet. It's from the cookbook, CalciYum! and a friend of mine who has made it, said it was outstanding! I'm going to give it a whirl and let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, if anyone is brave enough to try it, tell us your experience!
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C maple syrup
1/2 C ground almonds
2 1/2 Tbs canola oil
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz soft tofu
8 oz firm tofu
1 C granulated sugar
1/4 C orange juice (preferably calcium fortified)
1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs almond butter
2 Tbs smooth peanut butter
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs vanilla
2 1/2 Tbs cocoa powder ( not to be confused with the ready-made powdered drinking chocolate that might produce a cup of 'cocoa' - this is a combination of cocoa powder, sugar and powdered milk and if mixed into batters will not taste chocolatey.)
2 tsp maple syrup
Crust: In a medium bowl, blend graham crumbs, maple syrup, almonds, oil and salt. Press mixture evenly onto a greased 9" pie plate and bake 10 mins. Allow to cool.
In a food processor, combine tofus, sugar, maple syrup, orange juice, cornstarch, almond butter, peanut butter, lemon juice and vanilla; blend until smooth. Measure out 1/2 cup of the filling and set aside in a small bowl. (This will be used for marbling later). Pour remaining tofu cream mixture into pie crust.
In a bowl, combine reserved 1/2 cup tofu filling with cocoa powder and maple syrup; mix well. With a spoon, evenly distribute dollops of chocolate cream (each about 1 Tbs on the pie filling. Using the tip of a knife, swirl the chocolate cream dots into the filling to create a marble effect.
Bake 55 mins at 350. Allow to cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.
There is much talk about milk and how it affects your body and its relation to several illnesses. For me, I was urged by my doctors to lay off the moo juice and its products to help alleviate my symptoms of Endometriosis. So far, it has worked and has done wonders for my digestive system (as well as my weight)! Here are some other illnesses/diseases where cow's milk may be a contributor.
From the PETA folks:
Human Bodies Fight Cow’s Milk
Besides humans (and companion animals who are fed by humans), no species drinks milk beyond infancy or drinks the milk of another species. Cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves, who have four stomachs and gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, sometimes weighing more than 1,000 pounds before they are 2 years old.(27)
Cow’s milk is the number one cause of food allergies among infants and children, according to the American Gastroenterological Association.(28) Most people begin to produce less lactase, the enzyme that helps with the digestion of milk, when they are as young as 2 years old. This reduction can lead to lactose intolerance.(29) Millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and an estimated 90 percent of Asian-Americans and 75 percent of Native- and African-Americans suffer from the condition, which can cause bloating, gas, cramps, vomiting, headaches, rashes, and asthma.(30) Studies have also found that autism and schizophrenia in children may be linked to the body’s inability to digest casein, a milk protein; symptoms of these diseases diminished or disappeared in 80 percent of the children who switched to milk-free diets.(31)
A U.K. study showed that people who suffered from irregular heartbeats, asthma, headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems “showed marked and often complete improvements in their health after cutting milk from their diets.”(32)
Many Americans, including some vegetarians, still consume large amounts of dairy products. Here are eight great reasons to eliminate dairy products from your diet.
Milk is touted for preventing osteoporosis, yet clinical research shows otherwise. The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study,1 which followed more than 75,000 women for 12 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. In fact, increased intake of calcium from dairy products was associated with a higher fracture risk. An Australian study2 showed the same results. Additionally, other studies3,4 have also found no protective effect of dairy calcium on bone. You can decrease your risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium and animal protein intake in the diet,5-7 increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,8 exercising,9 and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as leafy green vegetables and beans, as well as calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices.
2. Cardiovascular Disease
Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt—contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and fat to the diet.10 Diets high in fat and saturated fat can increase the risk of several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease. A low-fat vegetarian diet that eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent heart disease, but may also reverse it.11 Non-fat dairy products are available, however, they pose other health risks as noted below.
Several cancers, such as ovarian cancer, have been linked to the consumption of dairy products. The milk sugar lactose is broken down in the body into another sugar, galactose. In turn, galactose is broken down further by enzymes. According to a study by Daniel Cramer, M.D., and his colleagues at Harvard,12 when dairy product consumption exceeds the enzymes’ capacity to break down galactose, it can build up in the blood and may affect a woman’s ovaries. Some women have particularly low levels of these enzymes, and when they consume dairy products on a regular basis, their risk of ovarian cancer can be triple that of other women.
Breast and prostate cancers have also been linked to consumption of dairy products, presumably related, at least in part, to increases in a compound called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).13-15 IGF-I is found in cow’s milk and has been shown to occur in increased levels in the blood by individuals consuming dairy products on a regular basis.16 Other nutrients that increase IGF-I are also found in cow’s milk. A recent study showed that men who had the highest levels of IGF-I had more than four times the risk of prostate cancer compared with those who had the lowest levels.14
Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I or childhood-onset) is linked to consumption of dairy products. Epidemiological studies of various countries show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes.17,18 Researchers in 199218 found that a specific dairy protein sparks an auto-immune reaction, which is believed to be what destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
5. Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is common among many populations, affecting approximately 95 percent of Asian Americans, 74 percent of Native Americans, 70 percent of African Americans, 53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 15 percent of Caucasians.19 Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence, occur because these individuals do not have the enzymes that digest the milk sugar lactose. Additionally, along with unwanted symptoms, milk-drinkers are also putting themselves at risk for development of other chronic diseases and ailments.
6. Vitamin D Toxicity
Consumption of milk may not provide a consistent and reliable source of vitamin D in the diet. Samplings of milk have found significant variation in vitamin D content, with some samplings having had as much as 500 times the indicated level, while others had little or none at all.20,21 Too much vitamin D can be toxic and may result in excess calcium levels in the blood and urine, increased aluminum absorption in the body, and calcium deposits in soft tissue.
Synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) are commonly used in dairy cows to increase the production of milk.13 Because the cows are producing quantities of milk nature never intended, the end result is mastitis, or inflammation of the mammary glands. The treatment requires the use of antibiotics, and traces of these and hormones have been found in samples of milk and other dairy products. Pesticides and other drugs are also frequent contaminants of dairy products.
8. Health Concerns of Infants and Children
Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy products may pose health risks for children and lead to the development of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and formation of athersclerotic plaques that can lead to heart disease.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants below one year of age not be given whole cow’s milk, as iron deficiency is more likely on a dairy-rich diet. Cow’s milk products are very low in iron. If they become a major part of one’s diet, iron deficiency is more likely.10 Colic is an additional concern with milk consumption. One out of every five babies suffers from colic. Pediatricians learned long ago that cows’ milk was often the reason. We now know that breastfeeding mothers can have colicky babies if the mothers are consuming cow’s milk. The cows’ antibodies can pass through the mother’s bloodstream into her breast milk and to the baby.22 Additionally, food allergies appear to be common results of milk consumption, particularly in children. A recent study23 also linked cow’s milk consumption to chronic constipation in children. Researchers suggest that milk consumption resulted in perianal sores and severe pain on defecation, leading to constipation.
Milk and dairy products are not necessary in the diet and can, in fact, be harmful to your health. Consume a healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods including cereals and juices. These nutrient-dense foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin D requirements with ease—and without the health risks.
Ok, I first posted that goat cheese had very little lactose in it (I was told by the "Cheese Expert" at Whole Foods this and that it was a good alternative to cow's milk)...Well now, in doing some research, (see previous post, The Hidden Cow), that goat's milk has nearly as much lactose as cow's milk and is not suitable for those with a lactose intolerance.
Although, when I ate goat's milk, I did not find that I had any adverse effects from it, so I suggest, like anything, try it in moderation.
Below I have a partial list of manufactured foods where dairy ingredients may be hiding, check out it out, I guarantee a few will surprise you! I was!
Artificial Sweeteners – Darn, I guess we will have to suffer with real sugar! Some artificial sweeteners are derived from dairy foods.
Baby Formula - Read the labels carefully on this one. Babies can have much more severe allergic reactions to milk than adults.
Bakery Goods – This is a hard one to verify, although many fresh bakery goods do come labeled with ingredients.
Baking Mixes (cakes, biscuits, pancakes, etc.) – Read up, there are some okay brands.
Bath Products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.) – Okay, so these are not food items, but those who tend to have skin reactions to milk products (i.e. eczema) may want to avoid topical application.
Bread – Whey is a common preservative in breads. Also, other milk proteins and possibly cheese or butter may be included, depending on the type and brand.
Breath Mints – Not all, but a few do contain casein related ingredients.
Candy – Much of the candy world (of the non-chocolate variety) is free game from a dairy free point of view, not from a health perspective of course, but there are a few to watch out for.
Canned Tuna Fish – Some contain hydrolized caseinate,
Caramel – This is a highly suspicious food and ingredient. It may either be made from sugar and water or milk.
Cereal - Dry and instant cereals vary significantly in ingredients. Even the same type of cereal may contain milk ingredients in the brand name, but not in the generic version.
Chewing Gum – Okay, now this is a weird one. Some brands do actually contain milk protein ingredients.
Chicken Broth – Several brands use milk proteins or solids.
Chocolate – Milk chocolate is a given, but some semi-sweet and dark chocolate brands have milk ingredients as well.
Chocolate Drinks – Even the non-milk varieties frequently have some dairy to beef them up.
Coffee Whiteners / Creamers - Well, something has to make them white and creamy.
Cookies & Crackers – Often the most processed foods of them all.
Cream Liqueurs – These may possess solid milk ingredients or caseinates.
Custard / Pudding – Most contain milk products, although a few are dairy free.
Drugs / Medications - Lactose is used as the base for more than 20 percent of prescription drugs and about 6 percent of over-the-counter medicines and vitamins.
Eggnog - Try some soy-nog, or make an at home version with other "milk" alternatives.
Fat Replacers - Some are derived from milk, such as Simplesse® & Dairy-Lo®.
Fondues - Isn't this the word the Swiss use for cheese?
Fried Foods – The breading on fried foods can contain many mysterious substances. Also, cheese is commonly added for flavor and texture.
Ghee - This is technically pure butter fat, no proteins or sugars, but some argue that trace amounts may still linger.
Goat’s Milk – Although slightly different, goat’s milk has proteins similar in structure to cow’s milk proteins, and thus is often an allergen for those with cow’s milk allergy. Also, goat’s milk contains a significant amount of lactose, just a touch less than cow’s milk, and thus not suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
Granola & Nutrition Bars - Just like cookies, various milk additives could be in there.
Gravies - Some utilize milk ingredients for flavor and texture.
Hot Cocoa Mix - The best varieties are pure cocoa and sugar, but some have milk ingredients added for a creamier drink.
Hot Dogs - What isn't in hot dogs?
Imitation Maple and Other Syrups - Go for the real stuff, it tastes much better!
Instant Potatoes - Particularly the Au Gratin varieties.
Kosher Parve Desserts - Most parve foods are okay, but those with highly sensitive milk allergies may have a problem with the desserts.
Lactose Free Milks - These will still be loaded with milk proteins.
Lunch Meats & Sausages - Some "meat allergies" are actually dairy allergies in disguise. Lactose and caseinates are common in these foods, as well as ingredient cross-contamination.
Margarine - Most are not dairy free, and many are rich in hydrogenated oils. (Go for Smart Balance Brand.)
Meal Replacement / Protein Powders & Beverages – Those instant breakfast mixes and muscle beverages may contain powdered milk, or other milk derived ingredients.
Peanut Butter - A very few may contain milk solids.
Potato Chips – Particularly risky among the flavored varieties, although several brands and flavors are dairy free.
Salad Dressings - Most natural brands have good dairy free flavors.
Sherbet – This is different from Sorbet (usually dairy free), and usually contains milk/cream.
Soup - Obviously the creamy varieties, but even some of the tomato and chicken based soups are not dairy free
Soy “Meat” Products – Those veggie hot dogs, sausages, and patties are also guilty of harboring milk proteins. These products are typically safe for the lactose intolerant, but allergy suffers should read the labels carefully.
Soy Cheeses - Yep, the very products combating the milk industry often contain milk proteins for a more cheese-like consistency. If you are absolutely certain that you do not have a milk allergy, then the soy cheeses should be okay. Otherwise, be sure to check the ingredients.
Spice Mixes – Several contain whey powder.
Whipped Toppings – You know those packages in the dessert section that say “non-dairy topping”. Let’s just say that term is used rather loosely. These products contain casein and are not okay for the milk allergic.
Ingredients on the food label aren't always clear that they are milk products. Here's a list of milk ingredients to watch out for:
* Acidophilus milk * Dry milk solids
* Ammonium Caseinate * Evaporated milk
* Artificial butter flavor * Goat's milk
* Butter * Half-and-half
* Butter Fat * Hydrolysates
* Butter Oil * Hydrolyzed Casein
* Butter Solids Buttermilk * Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
* Calcium caseinate * Iron Caseinate
* Casein * Lactalbumin
* Caseinate * Lactalbumin Phosphate
* Cheese (All) * Lactate
* Condensed Milk * Lactoferrin
* Cottage Cheese * Lactoglobulin
* Cream * Lactose
* Curds * Lactulose
* Custard * Magnesium Caseinate
* Delactosed * Malted Milk
* Whey Demineralized Whey * Milk (whole, lowfat, and skim)
* Dry milk powder * Milk Derivative
* Milk Fat * Sweetened Condensed Milk
* Milk Powder * Whey
* Milk Protein * Whey Powder
* Milk Solids * Whey Protein Concentrate
* Nougat * Whey Protein Hydrolysate
* Potassium Caseinate * Yogurt
* Pudding * Zinc Caseinate
* Recaldent * Sour Milk Solids
* Ready Sponge * Sour Cream
* Rennet Casein * Sodium Lactylate
* Sodium Caseinate
It can be a challenge to find dips and appetizers without dairy, but with guacamole, who needs dairy?
6-7 ripe avocados
3/4 C of your favorite salsa--I like Pace Picante, medium
1/2 tsp garlic salt, but use more or less according to your own taste
1-2 Tbs of lime juice, again to your own taste
1/2 C chopped cilantro (I think cilantro really makes it)!
Mash up the avocados to your liking. I like to leave it a little chunky. A potato masher or a dough cutter works pretty well if the avocados aren't quite ripe enough. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
To keep it from browning, cover with plastic wrap, but mold the plastic wrap to the top of the dip so that air will not get to it. Then stretch a layer of plastic wrap over the bowl. Makes approximately 4 cups.