Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lactose Intolerant Celebrities!

Celebrities - they're just like us, right? Well, when it comes to our eating habits, I guess you could say so! See below for our faves. The full list can be accessed below, courtesy of

List of LI Celebs

Anne Hathaway

Toni Braxton

Kimora Lee Simmons

Cindy Lauper

Lisa Cudrow

Woopie Goldberg

Anne Hathaway

Randy Jackson

Mira Sorvino

Nancy Kerrigan - Has a child who is lactose intolerant

Star Jones

Oscar de la Hoya

Michelle Rodriguez

Angelica Vale

Amazing App Alert: Shrimp Won tons

Raise of hands of anyone who has used the ever versatile Nasoya Won ton Wraps? Well, if you haven't, pick them up on your next trip to the grocery store - they are typically found in the produce section. They are great for any course of a meal - and in so many ways.  Today, I'm going to share my favorite - a shrimp won ton appetizer that just hits the spot...

Nasoya Won ton Wraps
1 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 hot pepper, diced (optional depending on your desire for heat)
1 cup of Veggie Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tablespoons of Smart Balance (light or regular)
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray (optional)


1) Add onions, red pepper, Smart Balance and a few turns of EVOO to a pan over medium-low heat. Cook until the onions and pepper are soft (approximately 10 minutes)

2) Add the diced shrimp to the mixture and cook until they are pink (about 2-3 minutes). 

3) Stir in cheese

4) On a greased cookie sheet (for this I like to use "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray) and start filling the won tons - about a a quarter to half spoon full in each and then fold the won ton over.  After you fill all the wraps (mixture should make between 25-30), spray all the won tons with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and press down on the edges (note: if you don't have the spray, you can use a little water or melt some of the Smart Balance and use a brush).

5) Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or so, until the won tons are slightly browned and crisp.

6) Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Drinks

This is the one time of the year where after-dinner drinks are in their prime. Creamy concoctions, peppermint and chocolate flavored creations; but for the lactose intolerant, that might mean missing out on all the flavors of the holidays.

Safe After Dinner Libations:
Dessert Wine
Brown Liquor (Scotch, Whiskey, Bourbon, Brandy)
Peppermint Schnapps

Or Add Something to your Coffee:
Coffee liqueur
Flavored rum, vodka, or schnapps

If you just can’t stay away from those creamy, coffee-like beverage here’s some tips to making your favorite drinks lactose-free or as lactose-free as possible.

White Russian - vodka, coffee liqueurs, and cream
Use cream if you aren't sensitive to traces of lactose, but if you are sensitive use a soy creamer or a lactose-free alternative.
Or make it a Black Russian and skip the cream altogether!

Bailey's - this is made with Irish cream and Irish Whiskey and can contain traces of lactose, though it is very unlikely.

Espresso Martini - traditionally made with coffee liqueur, vodka and espresso.
If you stick to that you're golden, but there have been so many variations on this. Avoid the chocolate drizzle and the ones made with creamers or milk.
Variations - cappuccino martini, mocha martini, chocolate martini, coffee martini, etc

Eggnog - Lactaid now makes a lactose-free version of this! Or you can make it yourself, lactose-fee of course.

Hot Chocolate - unless it's made with dark chocolate or is a lactose-free version, avoid it!

There are always new drinks created every year, you’re sure to find a lactose-free one that suits your fancy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Product Faceoff! Ice Cream Cones

Hello all! We hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend. This week we're back with more recipes and lifestyle tips. But first, here is the weekly Product Faceoff! This week I compared one of my childhood favorites. Tofutti’s dairy-free version of an ice cream cone went up against Hood’s ice cream cone (Red Sox!). It wasn’t easy picking a winner this week – see below for our findings!

$5.19 – Tofutti
$3.23 - Hood
Winner of Price category: Hood is the obvious winner of the price category. Plus you get 6 cones instead of 4.

Tofutti – Chocolate cookie crunchies top delicious dairy-free vanilla cream. The cone is also lined with chocolate and there is a chunk of chocolate at the bottom of the one. There was nothing about the taste that indicated this was dairy-free. Job extremely well done, Tofutti!

Hood – This was delicious as well. The only difference is the Hood version has nuts on the top instead of chocolate crunchies.

Winner of Taste category: I preferred Tofutti. I liked the chocolate crunchies on top versus the original coating of chocolate & nuts.

Nutrition Info
Tofutti – 220 calories, 13 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 24 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 21 grams sugar, 2 grams protein

Hood – 220 calories, 12 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 26 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber, 18 grams sugar, 4 grams protein

Winner of Nutrition info: Tofutti is the winner here since it contains some fiber, less saturated fat & no cholesterol. Calories, fat, sugar, and carbs were all pretty similar.

Both were from the neighborhood grocery store – most sell Tofutti dairy-free ice cream products. If you're not from New England, you may not have Hood products in your grocery store, but the Drumsticks brand is a very close substitute.

Winner of Accessibility category: It’s a tie

Tofutti – my only gripe about this brand is their sugar cone was kind of soggy. This is just my personal preference, but I like my cones.

Hood – in contrast to Tofutti, Hood’s cone managed to stay crunchy.

Winner of Texture category: In the end, I still pick Tofutti. I liked the texture of the ice cream more, as well as the toppings.

Final Results: Tofutti is the clear winner this week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Easy Spinach App - Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This is a very simple dip you can can make on the fly and tastes incredible!


  • 1 box of frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts - drained and chopped
  • 1 cup of Tofutti sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 1 cup grated Veggie Grated Parmesean Cheese Alternative*
  • 1/2 cup Veggie Shreds Cheddar Cheese Alternative* (Also while these are harder to find... their Cheddar & Montrey Jack blend and Cheddar & Pepper Jack blend are great too)
Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp horse radish
(optional ingredients aren't necessary, it depends on your taste. Use just one or both!)

1. Cook spinach to directions on box.

2. Mix first 5 (and optional) ingredients well.

3. Pour into square baking pan or dish.

4. Top with grated Veggie Cheese

5. Bake between 350-400 degrees until cheese on top is fully melted.

6. Serve. It's great with tortilla chips, pita chips and even carrots!

*Note: For you those of you who are able to dabble in some dairy, Cheddar and Parmesan are considered  safe cheeses

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Need an app fast? Try these spinach balls

These spinach balls are an easy and quick appetizer for the holiday season.  In fact they’re so simple I keep a few boxes of spinach handy in the case of unexpected company or to use as a side with dinner.  

2 – 10 ounce boxes of chopped frozen spinach
¾ cup of Veggie Parmesan Cheese Alternative
1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
½ Tablespoon of dried mustard
1 cup of breadcrumbs, preferably panko
4 Tablespoons of Smart Balance – light or regular
3 eggs

1)      Defrost spinach and squeeze out as much moisture as possible

2)      Mix spinach and all ingredients together.  Don’t be shy – using your (freshly washed) hands is the easiest way to do this

3)      Form mixture into golf sized balls – lay out on a baking sheet that has been thoroughly sprayed with non-stick spray.

4)      Bake for approximately 30 minutes until slightly browned, remove and serve with mustard.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Product Faceoff! Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese vs. Stop & Shop Light

I love bagels so knowing where to find some delicious cream cheese is an absolute must. Based on some not-so-great experiences with dairy-free products (Amy’s soy mac & cheese anyone?), I was a bit nervous to try this out. I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Tofutti went up against a store brand light cream cheese & here are the results!

Tofutti - $2.49 (or 2 for $3 at Stop & Shop this week!), 8 oz.
S&S - $2.29 for 8 oz.

Winner of Price category: Negligible difference in price for 1, Tofutti wins for its sale prices

Tofutti – although it didn’t quite have the same taste as regular cream cheese, it was great. It was more sour compared to the S&S stuff. I think it borders on tasting more like fat-free cream cheese, although Tofutti is definitely better than that stuff!
S&S – tasting good as always!

Winner of Taste category: Overall I could barely tell the difference between the two, but I preferred the real stuff this week. S&S it is.

Nutrition Info
Tofutti – 2 tbsp serving
60 calories (45 from fat), 5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 2 grams trans fat, 120 mg sodium, 2 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 1 gram protein

S&S – 2 tbsp serving
60 calories (40 from fat), 4.5 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 2 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 2 grams protein, 2% Calcium & 8% Vitamin A

Winner of Nutrition info: Sorry, have to go with S&S here based on Tofutti’s trans fats alone!

Accessibility- Both were from your neighborhood grocery store

Winner of Accessibility category: It’s a tie

Tofutti – it has a great consistency, spreads just like the original cream cheese would. I think it would make a wonderful baking ingredient as well.

S&S – I was slightly put off by the fact the light cream cheese seemed more watery than it should have been.

Winner of Texture category: Tofutti is better here.

Final Results: It’s a tie at 2.5 wins each! In the end, I loved both of them and would definitely recommend Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese to all of our lactose-free readers. I am lactose-tolerant but wouldn’t have a problem happily substituting if Tofutti didn’t have 2 grams of trans fat!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions - chopped
  • 2 carrots - chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic - minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cans 100% pumpkin or 6 cups of roasted pumpkin puree
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Silk Soy Original
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Silk Soy Creamer
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tofutti Sour Cream (for topping)
1. Olive oil should cover the bottom of a large sauce pan. Over medium-high heat saute the carrots and onions until soft (add carrots first since they take a bit longer to soften). Add the spices and saute for another minute or so.

2. Add pumpkin and broth and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil then let simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
3. Transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor  cover tightly, and blend until smooth. Return to sauce pan on low heat. 
4. Add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add soy milk while stirring the soup. Add soy cream. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Serve. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar enhances the taste or a dollop of a Tofutti sour cream.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Safe Cheeses

As a cheese-lover, I hate being lactose-intolerant. While only mildly so, I have my days. But put a nice cheese platter in front of me and I simply can’t resist!

Luckily for you lactose-intolerant cheese-lovers like me, there’s a solution. A
tip to remember is that the harder the cheese the less lactose in it, with many options having trace to no lactose.

Traditionally made hard cheeses and soft ripened cheeses are the most tolerable. The longer it is aged also reduces the lactose

Safe Cheeses:
Goat cheese is a soft cheese has very little whey, which is the trigger for lactose intolerance.
Cheddar (trace or none)
Feta (only if made from goat or sheep’s milk)

Softer more risky cheeses: Ricotta, Buttermilk, Cottage cheese, Mascarpone

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tex-Mex Rice, Shrimp & Black-Eyed Peas... Quick, Delicious, AND Dairy Free

This weekend I picked up my November issue of Food Network Magazine and immediately tried out the “weeknight” meal, "Tex-Mex Rice and Black-Eyed Peas". Many times I feel these so called "weeknight" meals  take much longer than indicated but this one pleasantly surprised me.  I tinkered with it to give it a little more substance (such as adding some roasted shrimp) and to make I non-diary (of course) - it turned out to be not only quick but delicious!  This is also a great recipe to serve company with all the toppings in the center table so people can customize their own bowl.

1 cup white rice
1 cup fresh salsa
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 14-ounce cans black-eyed peas (1 undrained; 1 drained and rinsed)
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
½ pound of shrimp
1 lime
½ red onion, sliced thinly
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Shredded Veggie Cheese
Tofutti Sour Cream
Lime (sliced)
Chopped Cilantro
Chopped Scallions
Hot sauce (I used and loved a few dashes of Tabasco Chipotle)

1)      Cook rice as directed on label (tip: I like to use chicken broth for some extra flavor)

2)      Peel shrimp (if needed) and toss with the juice of one lime and a ½ teaspoon of cumin.  Turn oven to broil and cook for 3 minutes until shrimp is just turns pink.

3)      While rice is cooking, heat a few turns of EVOO in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the thinly sliced red onions.  Let cook until they’re translucent and starting to caramelize (about 10 minutes). 

4)      Turn up heat slightly, drizzle additional EVOO as needed and add salsa and cumin and stir.  Cook until the salsa is soft ( about five minutes or so).

5)      Add the two cans of black-eye peas (including the liquid from one) and ¼ cup water.  Cook, stir occasionally until the beans are creamy and tender – about 12 minutes.

6)      Add the spinach and cilantro to the black eyed pea mixture and stir until milted about 1 minute.  Add in cooked shrimp and stir together. 

7)      Fluff the rice and divide amongst the bowls.  Spoon the black eyed peas mixture over the rice.

8)   Top with sliced avocado and the toppings of your choice….  Veggie cheese, Tofutti sour cream, salsa, hot sauce (your choice), chopped cilantro, scallions, lime slices, etc.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Top 5 Tips - How to Get Enough Calcium

Lactose-intolerant individuals are at risk of calcium inadequacy if they avoid dairy products. Individuals with lactose intolerance are considered as an "at-risk" group for calcium inadequacy by the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institute of Health.

Read our top 5 tips below for how to ensure you are getting enough calcium. You can also learn your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium & find a list of low lactose sources of Calcium.

1. Research suggests that most people with lactose intolerance can consume up to 12 grams of lactose, such as that present in 8 ounces of milk, with minimal or no symptoms, especially if consumed with other foods. Larger amounts can frequently be consumed if spread over the day and eaten with other foods.

2. Choose non-dairy food sources such as kale, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, collards, fortified foods, oysters, tofu, salmon, sardines, shrimp, almonds, and calcium-fortified orange juice.

3. One of the best sources of calcium is lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk. Some lactose-reduced milk has extra calcium added. Low-lactose cheeses (such as Cheddar and Swiss) and yogurt are also good sources of calcium.

4. Consider a calcium supplement. Food is the best way to get calcium, but if you need a supplement, limit doses to no more than 600 milligrams (60% DV). Your body can't absorb larger amounts at one time. Take with meals to help the calcium tablets dissolve and improve absorption. Food helps stimulate production of the stomach acid needed to dissolve calcium supplements.

5. Add vitamin D unless you're already taking a multivitamin. Choose a supplement with between 200 to 400 International Units (50-100% Daily Value) vitamin D.

The recommended daily amount of calcium required for most people in the U.S. are:

Low Lactose Sources of Calcium, courtesy of Wegman's

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our Top 3 Tips for Eating Dairy-Free in Restaurants

Finding the right dairy-free dish in a restaurant can be overwhelming. Hopefully these tips will help guide you to a delicious, dairy-free decision the next time you go out to eat.

1) Research the menu before you go out to eat. Many chain or larger restaurants have allergen information posted online. If you can’t find it, call ahead and see what your options are.
2) Always mention to your server that you cannot eat dairy products. Any restaurant worth their salt will accommodate your needs. Don't ever feel bad about making a special request or asking what it is in a dish.
3) Smaller, family-run restaurants tend to be more flexible with ingredients and usually make your dish to order. This is in contrast to bigger chain restaurants, where it may be more difficult to get your baked ziti without the cheese on the top.

When I think of the Olive Garden, pasta drenched in cream sauces usually comes to mind. I scoured their menu to find some tasty dairy-free options. I was actually shocked to find the breadsticks were safe, but according to their most recent nutritional disclosure as of Oct 2011, they are dairy free! Note: The below suggestions are based on the restaurant’s latest nutritional disclosure, so to be safe, ask your server before ordering just to make sure nothing has changed!

Olive Garden Dairy Free Menu Options:
Breadsticks (!)
Pasta e Fagioli soup
Herb-Grilled Salmon
Spaghetti & Italian Sausage
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce