Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Favorite Things (MSPI edition)

So I've been faithfully soy and dairy free for over 2 weeks now and as I mentioned in my last post (view it here) it is DEFINITELY helping alleviate Nicolette's upset tummy and night waking!  Eating soy and dairy free is not for the faint of heart (or for the picky eater).  I used to live on edamame for quick and easy meals or would grab some of the Fried Tofu from Whole Foods (sigh....I really do miss that tofu!).   I was surprised to learn that nearly every convenience food that you buy contains soy in some form.  Luckily I have researched and learned that soy lecithin and soybean oil do not irritate many of the babies with MSPI (Milk & Soy Protein Intolerance) so you don't have to be as careful with those items which does open the doors quite a bit.

Sidenote: it was enlightening (and frightening) to learn how much of our food contains soy in some shape or form.  I was reviewing the allergen list for the Olive Garden since we were planning to go there for lunch one day and EVERY ITEM ON THE MENU contained SOY!  This is particularly frightening because something like 99% of the soy in America is Genetically Modified (a GMO) - it's not even naturally growing soybeans - it's something some kook worked up in a lab...sheesh!  And we wonder why cancer rates, asthma, allergies and everything else are on the rise...we're not eating REAL foods anymore.  But that's a post for another day.  

Here are a few of my favorite Soy & Dairy Free foods:

So Delicious Soy & Dairy Free "Ice Cream"
Chocolate Brownie Almond and No Sugar Added Mint Chocolate Chip are my favorites so far.  I can't wait to try the ice cream sandwiches and some of the other flavors.  And the best thing is that the Italian (who usually eats any and all snack foods and sweets as soon as they enter the house) won't touch this stuff because it says coconut on it and he swears that he doesn't like coconut (even though I make his toast with coconut oil every morning)  :)

Trader Joe's Coconut Oil
I use this stuff as a straight up replacement for butter in nearly everything...cookies, brownies, as cooking oil, on toast, etc.  It's delicious and crazy good for you.  Trader Joe's has by far the best pricing on Coconut Oil ($5.99 per 16oz jar).  I also use Coconut Oil for a myriad of other purposes (diaper rash, dry skin, chapped lips - you can view a list of 101 Benefits of Coconut Oil HERE)

Snap Pea Crisps
I LOVE snacking on these!  Probably a little too much!  They're light and crispy and a yummy, easy to grab snack!

Pacific Organic Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup
This is my new favorite dinner along with a slice of organic wheat bread toasted with my organic coconut oil on it!  mmmmmmm, tasty!

I'm sorting through some new recipes from my friend Toby who just finished nearly an entire year Soy and Dairy free in order to breastfeed her son through his first birthday!  Looking forward to getting creative in the kitchen and hopefully loving some yummy soy and dairy free meals!  I'll share any fantastic recipes that I test!

Here is my Soy & Dairy Free Brownie Recipe to get you started:

Yields 9-16 servings

1/2 c. Trader Joe's Organic Coconut Oil, melted
1 c. Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs

1/2 c. All Purpose Flour (I've also done a combo of 1/2 AP Flour and 1/2 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
1/3 c. Trader Joe's Cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a 9"X9" Square pan (or line with parchment
  • Stir together Coconut Oil, Sugar & Vanilla in a large mixing bowl
  • Add eggs, beat well with spatula 
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, beating well until blended
  • Spread batter into a prepared pan (I grease my pan with coconut oil)
  • Bake 25 minutes until sides pull away from the pan
  • Cool COMPLETELY in pan or on wire rack
  • Cut into 9 or 16 squares and ENJOY!

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