The Big Dairy Free Cookbook: a hard transition seems less painful.

100% honest? I am addicted to the mere thought of dairy.
I was raised on milk and do not have any difficulties digesting it. It is hard for me to imagine anything more satisfying than a tooth-achingly cold glass of 2% milk and a peanut butter sandwich on 20-grain bread. Hard to beat that. Before I met my wife, I lived in a steady diet of no greater than ten food staples; three of which used flour tortillas and one I admit is just a plain bagel that I called a recipe because it used the toaster... Most everything was blanketed in a variety of milk products.

The universe doesn't care about my dream foods. My wife (Pigeon) recently found that many of her body aches and ailments are tied to her gluten and dairy consumption. She is not allergic, but it just doesn't sit well anymore and the side effects make her miserable. While not advised she should refrain from either entirely, the intolerance is causing a cascading shift in our household regarding the perception of both topics. I am trying to ride the same train because success is rooted in solidarity.

The Big Dairy Free Cookbook (Pamela Ellgen)
Paperback: 234 pages
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN-10: 1939754585
ISBN-13: 978-1939754585

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I tell you, the second... THE SECOND you cannot use dairy as an ingredient, you find it in practically everything. This cripples a person like me. I find myself utterly useless in the kitchen, cooking the same thing on repeat because I am not food creative.

Recently, using a review copy provided by the publisher, I crossed the threshold from passive to active participant in this journey.

Remember that lack of food creativity from a few sentences back? That is the real sticking point. While Pigeon can walk into a room and instinctively know what rudimentary flavors and ingredients will jive, I freak out a little and make something simple and flavorless.. or a delicious Sammich... She seems to genetically understand how things pair nicely and gel to a proper consistency.

This book is made for people like me. People who CAN COOK but are not NATURAL COOKS.
Guess what.. Complexity is not a requirement of these recipes. There are shortcuts and you are allowed and encouraged to use them as you see fit, while still teaching how to make things from scratch in order to ensure you have skills you cooking muscles you can make stronger. Embracing convenience, in some recipes it openly calls out buying and cooking with nondairy store-bought cheeses or other packages products. It shows no shame in taking an easier route if that route is a better option for you and your success.. or if you simply want a shortcut so you can get back to binge-watching Netflix.
Look at all the bookmarks!!
Things that sounded delicious:
Fluffy Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Fettucine
BBQ Chicken Ranch Pizza

Things we have made from the book so far (see photos)

Asian Cold Noodle Salad (with chicken) - delicious cold with hot chicken sliced on top. Our kids ate macaroni as they felt we were cruel masters for making them consider ‘cold noodles’ for dinner.
Photo Below:

Spicy Jalapeno Baked Taquitos (minus the Jalapenos) plus Nacho Cheese- refraining from the jalapenos, everyone ate this for dinner. It was simple and quick. The largest effort is making ‘cheese’ sauce from cashews, but even this was only a couple minutes. The kiddos were not fans of the cheese, while we adults really enjoyed it.
Asian Cold Noodle Salad (with Chicken)

Taquitos with Cashew Nacho Cheese

Taquitos with Cashew Nacho Cheese
Disclosure: This book was provided by the author or publisher for review purposes. I spoke to the book and asked it if it was worthwhile to read or if it was somehow tricking me. I also questioned the food inside asking if it would taste like the paper it was printed on. Both indicated to me that readers would fare well and not be bothered by the results. I concur with the details the book whispered to me.


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