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Posts Tagged ‘lactose-free’

Hang onto your fishnets, misfits–it’s time for another installment of “Ask Bad Mama Genny!”  And today’s episode is likely to pull at the heartstrings of all you sweet-toothed yet lactarded gals and fellas out there.  Read on for Michelle’s query:

Caramel! I miss it as a lactard, have you found any suitable alternatives; or even better, a way to make the real thing?
Thanks a million!
Michelle

Caramel is a tough one, misfits.

Hey, hey, hey, come back here!   I didn’t say it was “impossible,” misfits!  I said it was “a tough one,” okay?  Thereby causing you to realize the enormity of the task I have undertaken and increasing my glory tenfold when you watch me do it BECAUSE OH HELLZ YES I DID DO IT.

So as we’ve discussed in the past, I am lactose-intolerant.  This does not mean that I no longer live like A Rock Star.   Not living like A Rock Star is totally not an option for me.  Therefore I need caramel.  Everybody knows that rock stars and caramel go together like gin and tonic water which IS REALLY FUCKING WELL.

Me=Rock Star.

Stop laughing.

In any case, Your Bad Mama Genny does not possess the inner fortitude to give up things like ice cream and cream soups and caramel.  Simple as that.

But, uh, let’s be frank here: I also LITERALLY do not possess the inner fortitude to eat them.  So I find ways around it.  Coconut ice cream.  Almond milk.  Hallucinogenic substances.  You know, the usual.  I tweak my recipes until they’re just as satisfying as the original, and YOU, yes, YOU reap the benefits.

So let’s talk caramel–technically speaking, caramel can just be, well, caramel, as in caramelized sugar.  Sugar plus heat equals caramel.  But right now you’re all, Oh, Bad Mama Genny, that is SO NOT what Michelle meant.  And I so know you’re right.  What Michelle meant is that gooey, creamy stuff you could eat out of a jar with a spoon–that stuff you drizzle on ice cream, over cakes, or all over yourselves for a bizarre photo shoot that will probably surface in Sweden someday.

I canz handle that challenge, my wittle misfittles.

So onto the dang quesadillas! (Please tell me you got that reference.)

I mean, the dang caramel!

Dairy-Free, Vegan Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (seriously, misfits, vanilla bean paste is my MSG–use it, and use it liberally)
2 T. vegan Earth Balance spread–or butter, if you can tolerate it (I can) and don’t have a problem with dairy on principle
1 dash sea salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons cold water

Directions:
Put sugars and Earth Balance in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Meanwhile, set the coconut milk in a small saucepan over low heat to get steamy.  Now cook the sugars and butter, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until it’s smooth and melty and sugars have dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Now toss in the vanilla bean paste or extract and stir quickly to incorporate–be careful, the mixture may froth up at this point.  Now slowly add the steaming coconut milk while stirring.  When it’s incorporated, mix the cornstarch with the cold water in a small bowl.  Add it to the caramel mixture while stirring, and let the mixture bubble until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Then transfer it to a jar or airtight container and OM NOM NOM NOM NOM start over again.

Enjoy, Michelle!

And for all of you lactarded misfits looking for a lil’ more non-dairy love, check out a few other recipes I’ve posted for your nomming pleasure:

Dairy-free, Soy-free, Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

Dairy-free Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Swedish Meatballs with Dairy-free “Sour Cream” and Mushroom Sauce

(Remember, misfits, you can submit your own question for your Bad Mama Genny to answer by clicking right here.)

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There is a specific grief that afflicts your Bad Mama Genny…namely, that which occurs when a foodie learns that he or she may no longer be compatible with a favorite nommable.  When I started to suspect that the lactose molecule (it is a molecule, no?  someone enlighten me) was not as Gen-appropriate as formerly thought, I…well, I went through some shit.

First came denial (“Oh, that no dairy thing is such fluffernutter, see, look, I can eat a whole pint of ice cream and I’m just fi—OH GOD SOMEBODY STAB ME IN THE CHEST RIGHT NOW”).

Then came sadness (“This is the end of my life as a foodie. I’ll never cook again. Why bother going out to eat? Well, there goes my social life. I might as well end it all right now. Anybody have a citrus zester I can fall on?”).

Overreaction was common (“No, The Boy, I do NOT think my Cashew Cheddar ‘Cheeze’ turned out well, I think it sucks, it does not remind me of cheddar, it reminds me of rotten hummus, and I’ll thank YOU to stay out of it! Stop eating that this instant! It’s terrible and I forbid you to like it!”).

Anger was a part of everyday life (“How could cream do this to me? ME?!  Bad Mama Genny loved it, cared for it, played with it all the time, put it in a bonnet and took it for walks around the neighborhood…sure, the other mothers stared, but cream was always the most beautiful baby to me—they didn’t understand our love!”).

But soon (okay, maybe not so soon, but for the sake of flow, let’s say soon), SOON, I reached the magical land of acceptance. Acceptance is not something that comes to those who wait. It is something that comes to those who bitch and moan and then refuse to live a life without spinach artichoke dip.

But allow me to depart for a moment from this me, me, me thing, and mention that I did not bring on this enlightened thinking all on my own. Rice milk, almond milk, nutritional yeast (or “nooch”), and tomes of online recipes were my friends as I slowly started to put my life back together.

Mostly, though, I’m brilliant. And that is how this recipe for Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip was born.  Out of my brilliance.  You’re welcome.

Lactose-Free Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Go Get:

8 oz. package Non-Dairy Cream Cheese (i.e. Tofutti or Soya-Kaas–I find mine at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)

1 11 oz. (approximately) jar marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as you can get it

1/2 cup mayonnaise (REAL mayonnaise–nothing low-fat, as they’re just so processed and frequently have lactose added for stability)

1/4 cup parmesan or vegan parmesan (most cheeses, especially aged ones, have little to no lactose remaining, but use soy if you’re having fear feelings)

2 large garlic cloves

2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil)

1/2 tsp. salt

approx. 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella OR soy mozzarella

Go Do:

Preheat oven to 375, and lightly oil a baking dish.  Combine all the ingredients except for the mozzarella in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until combined and creamy.  Spoon it into the prepared baking dish and top it with the shredded “mozzarella.”  Bake it until it’s bubbling and the cheese on top is golden–maybe 20, 25 minutes.  Serve with diced tomatoes and tortilla chips, pita chips, sliced veggies, crackers, or wedges of toasted rustic bread.  (Note—it’s also possible to skip baking this dip and just mix all the ingredients in a crockpot set on high until the dip is hot, and then lowered to the warm/lowest setting.  Voila—now it’s ready to party, just like your BMG!  Invite me, bitches.)

     

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God, the Swedish Chef can be the biggest pain  sometimes.  For example, the other day I was riding the subway and he happened to get on next to me, and he would NOT stop nagging me to make meatballs!  In Swedish!

If I don’t want the litigious ghost of Jim Henson getting all spooky on my as, I’d best explain.  The Boy was the Swedish Chef for Halloween.  And we rode the New York City subway together.  In costume.

We have fun, The Boy and I.

Needless to say, it’s been a while since Halloween.  You can imagine, then, what it must have been like for Bad Mama Genny to have a Swedish Meatball craving since then!  Truly excruciating.   Anyhow, the Swedish Chef just wouldn’t give in–

“Spernda…schweedish meatbalshe…spernda spunda…bork bork BORK!”

–so I finally relented and Holy Meatballs, The Boy, what a great idea!  You can bork bork BORK me anytime!

Yeah, I said it.

Ultimate Swedish Meatballs with Sour Cream and Mushroom Sauce

Makes about 6 servings

Go Get:
1 lb. ground beef (Grass-fed, but of course!  Why not grind your own for the most flavorful blend?)
2 thick slices sourdough bread
3 1/2 cups unflavored almond milk, divided
8 oz. plain whole milk yogurt (if you can tolerate it) or soy sour cream like Tofutti (if you can’t)
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
4 Tablespoons, divided, of butter (if you can tolerate it) or Earth Balance (if you can’t)
2 small onions, finely chopped, divided
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
3 Tablespoons flour
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 Tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
1 lb. egg noodles

Go Do:
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Set the bread in a shallow bowl and pour 1/2 cup of the almond milk over it. Allow it to sit and saturate for 5 minutes or so. In a food processor, combine the meat, bread and milk mixture, half the chopped onions, the egg, nutmeg, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Allow the mixture to process for two minutes. When this is done, you should have a thick, pate-like paste. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dip your hands in cold water. Form small balls with the meat mixture, about an inch in diameter, re-dipping your hands in the cold water as necessary to keep the meat from sticking. Bake the meatballs for approximately 25 minutes, or just until done (do not let the bottoms get dark).

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While the meatballs are cooking, heat 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and the other half of the onions.  Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms render most of their liquid and the onions are tender. Add the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter and heat until melted. Stir in the flour, being sure to break up any lumps. Stir constantly, allowing the flour-y mixture to cook for about 3 minutes (do not let it get dark). When this is done, slowly add the remaining 3 cups of almond milk, stirring while you add so as to avoid lumps.

Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened some, and then add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the dried parsley.  Stir in the yogurt or soy sour cream.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. When the sauce is almost as thick as you like it, gently drop the meatballs in, pushing them under the surface of the sauce.  At this point, cook the egg noodles according to package directions.  Allow the sauce mixture to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are heated through and the thickness is where you like it.  Sometimes non-dairy milk can be a bitch to thicken–if this is the case for you, and heating the sauce uncovered doesn’t seem to be getting the mixture thick enough, whisk 1 Tablespoon cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons COLD water.  Then add it to the sauce while stirring.  Cook it for a few minutes longer–it should do the trick.

Serve on top of pasta.  Bork bork bork!

 

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