Well, it’s been a week of dairy and soy- free life, and I haven’t wasted away to nothing, so I think this diet is possible. Of course, my lack of wasting away might be due to the fact that, as I mentioned last week, my husband made brownies that I could eat, and I ate them all, you can be sure.
This week, Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder was on sale, so we’ve got a new batch of brownies going…I’m sharing this time, though.
Vegetable oil has been replaced with coconut and canola oils in our kitchen. We’ve discontinued use of powdered flavor mixes, like McKay’s (which i had already quit, because it contains dairy) and George Washington broth. I’m going to attempt to make my own mix this week, because it’s kind of a staple around here.
I can’t eat Fritos, so haystacks have been modified with a tortilla chip substitution, and the omission of cheese.
On the fly, last week, husband made up a black bean burger recipe that’s proven to be a winner, and the vegan sweet potato burger recipe I make was already soy-free, so we’ve replaced burger buns (many of which contain soy) with homemade honey wheat bread.
We bought a big bag of popcorn and a stack of paper lunch bags with which we’ve been making our own microwave popcorn. It’s a delicious snack, and the flavor experiments (both sweet and savory) have gone well so far.
Falafel is one of my favorite meals, and it had been a long time since we’d had it, but the mix I have on hand contains soy, so I had to find a new one. In California I used to make falafel all the time with Telma Falafel mix, and it was delicious, so I looked it up. It contains “natural flavors”-a red flag for soy avoiders- and a phone call to the company (it’s made by Knorr now) revealed that there’s cross-contamination with soy at the manufacturing facility. I found a different mix at my grocery store, Ziyad brand, that didn’t contain any ingredients that were difficult to identify on my own. The flavor isn’t quite as good as other falafel I’ve made and had in restaurants, but it wasn’t bad, and it was a good meal overall, with pita bread, red pepper hummus, and fresh veggies. The only thing missing was feta, but of course that’s off the table.
Baked potato wedge “fries” have been sides for more meals than usual lately. There’s also been a surge in gluten steak, avocado, oatmeal, hummus, and egg consumption at our house. Oh, and white grapefruit has made an appearance at the grocery store! Happiness and joy! Since white grapefruit juice is basically the only thing I drank for two and a half months last year (morning sickness demanded it), I wasn’t sure if I’d have one of those issues like I do with Andes mints (I ate a whole box of them in the course of about 2 days in academy…I haven’t been able to eat one since), but it turns out that I still love white grapefruit. It’s been a great addition to our breakfasts lately.
It’s gotten to a point that we are making so many substitutions to our buttermilk waffle recipe that the waffles just don’t work, so I’m going to try to find a recipe that my husband will enjoy this week that will not stick to the waffle maker until you scrape a pile of crispy waffle skeleton onto your plate. We had Sabbath blueberry pancakes yesterday, instead.
I’m trying to largely avoid buying special processed products marketed as soy and dairy-free, because they’re so pricey, and in most cases we can just make our own from scratch. However, I have splurged on peanut butter, because our store brand contains soy; and ice cream, because we haven’t found a great vegan base yet to use in our gelato maker. We’re continuing to buy almond milk (as we’ve done for a couple of years now). I just buy whatever’s least expensive week by week, either the store brand, Almond Breeze, or Silk.
What really matters is how eliminating soy affects my little guy, and the jury’s still out on this one. There’s no noticeable change in his skin so far, and there are still signs of gastrointestinal distress, though they do seem to be slowing down. I have to keep this going for another week before I draw any conclusions about what to do next.
Please excuse me while I enjoy a dark chocolate brownie. My son will wake up screaming soon, and I’d like to savor a snack.