Friday, November 20, 2009

Simple Cooking for the Dairy Intolerant Part 1

Back when we were completely avoiding dairy (except for possible cross contamination during processing), I was frequently asked "What can you eat? What do you eat?"

I would frequently browse the internet for various restaurants' and fast food chains' ingredients lists. I compared the ingredients to my handy dairy and hidden dairy cheat sheet and made a list of "safe foods" so I could always find something we could eat when we were out and about.  Of course, I also carried "safe" non-perishable foods in the car just in case.

But safe dairy free foods were not the only concern. The other hurdle was having something that Jack would eat. Food still has to be the right texture. He eats a wide variety of foods but the texture has to be right.

Now that we've been given the clearence to add some dairy back in, we've been able to expand a bit on things that we eat around here. Jack is now considered dairy intolerant.

Excessive amounts of dairy protein still lead to increased congestion for him and that can quickly spiral out of control. We still avoid actual milk, yogurt, cream, and ice cream.

Some days I work from home and some days I am gone all day for appointments but I am busy every day. While I like to cook, trying to be too fancy frustrates me. I like to try to keep it fairly healthy but I mostly figure if we are eating at home and it's not mostly boxed pre-packaged food we are doing pretty well.

I thought I'd share with you some simple easy meals that we have around here. Don't look for fancy pictures or fancy stuff. I'm a simple cook and this is gonna be simple stuff. :)

Tonight's dinner: Grandma's home grown peas/beans, baked potatoes, and leftover Publix fried chicken.

This was typed up as I prepared dinner tonight so this is how I did it.

For the home grown peas/beans, marry yourself a man whose mother loves you over and abundantly than you deserve, get her to garden, and always remember your favorite things and freeze them for you. (Or if you cannot do all that just go buy your favorite kind of frozen peas/beans.)

*All pictures for this post were taken with camera phone and while in the midst of cooking and trying not to get run over by fast tricycling preschooler. Please forgive the (lack of) quality.*

1. Rinse however many potatoes you need to feed your bunch while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Dry the potatoes and wrap in foil (I usually just kind of shake them dry before wrapping them).

3. Put them in the oven to one side of the middle rack.

4. Get the peas out of the freezer, place them in a pan of water with some salt, bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and let them cook.

5. At 30 minutes, check your potatoes. They're not done yet.

6. Crank up the oven to 450.

7. Place your leftover Publix fried chicken in an oven safe dish of some kind and place it on the middle rack next to the potatoes.

8. Set timer for 15 minutes.

9. When timer goes off, squeeze largest and smallest potatoes to check level of tenderness. Still not done. (Do not burn finger through cheap pot holder).

10. Turn chicken pieces over using tongs. Next time remember to perhaps oil your dish a little before putting in chicken.

11. Set timer for 10 minutes.

12. Check beans/peas. Yum just like I like them. Turn heat off but leave pan on stove "eye" so peas/beans don't get cold.

13. When timer goes off, squeeze taters again. Nice and squishy except those two bigger ones? Everybody out of the oven. Those two biggies are gettin' zapped in the microwave.

14. Remove chicken from oven.

15. Fix kiddo's plate first since it will need to cool a bit. Add dairy free buttery spread
to potatoes if you like.

16. Fix your plate.


Yes, we do eat that much. We're big eaters around here. :)

This was actually the night before last and I did not have time to get the post together. Last night, I added a defrosted previously cooked roast to the leftover peas/beans and potatoes. Yummy! I put them all in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. I prefer oven heating to microwave because I think it all just tastes better but if I was in more of a hurry they all could have been zapped.

Hope you enjoyed this view of our dinner.

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