Even if you’re not lactose-intolerant or allergic to milk, there may be plenty of reasons to limit dairy in your diet. I myself do not have an allergy to dairy, but I have to avoid it anyway. It encourages yeast growth, exacerbates allergies (it’s full of histamines that can worsen your congestion), and is a major culprit in GI difficulties.
I do feel somewhat devastated by this diet modification. You know how some people are crunchy people, while others are sweet people, and so on? Well, I’m a creamy person. For me, it’s all about the cottage cheese, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, blue cheese, yogurt, gelato, ice cream, creme brulee, cheesecake, and mousse. Notice a common thread here? Dairy, darn it! Nevertheless, I am persevering, and it’s really not so bad. I’m coming up with alternatives and ways to avoid using dairy in some of my favorite dishes (although I don’t have high hopes for dairy-free cheesecake). Here’s my modified version of pesto:
4 cups Fresh Basil Leaves (moderately packed)
2/3 cup Pine Nuts
2 Garlic Cloves
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/2 to 3/4 tsp Salt
With a food processor or blender running, drop in the garlic cloves. Then, add the rest of the ingredients. I really enjoy mixing up the pesto with shredded, poached chicken breasts and serving over a green salad with cucumbers and tomatoes. Mmmm….
Also for your enjoyment, I present 3 more recipes that I have found to be exceptional (although I can no longer eat 2 of them):
Southwestern Salmon and Black Beans
You really can’t beat this recipe for flavor and healthfulness.
Baked Chicken Breast with Honey Mustard Sauce http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=61
(Just be sure not overcook the chicken. The time given in the recipe seem to be too long for most ovens.)
Indian Black Bean Burritos
I know, I know. Sweet potatoes and black beans with curry?! Really, it’s delicious. I was skeptical too, but I was immensely pleased with the results. Even my husband raved. And if there’s no reason you can’t have dairy, you should definitely eat the goat cheese with this. It makes the dish! (I often add shredded chicken or turkey breast to this recipe for my meat-loving husband. It’s excellent with that addition.)
Okay, Mom, you may no longer claim that I hoard recipes. You’re getting all my favorites now, one by one.