Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tips & cooking substitutes for the lactose-intolerant newbie!

If you are new to the lactose-free lifestyle, you may be overwhelmed with questions about managing this lifestyle change. Lactose is the sugar naturally found in milk. For lactose-tolerant peeps, milk is fully digested in the intestines where lactose is broken down by the lactase enzyme and absorbed into the blood stream. If your intestines do not produce enough of the lactase enzyme, you may have a problem digesting milk or anything else containing lactose. It is important to remember that you are not alone - lactose intolerance affects 30 to 50 million Americans. The most important thing to remember as a lactose-intolerant is to always, always ask questions.

Be careful of the “non-dairy” label & whey
A "Non-Dairy" label is not a fail-proof way of determining that the product is lactose free. "Non-Dairy" often just means the milk fat has been replaced by a vegetable fat. These products may contain other ingredients, such as whey, which contain lactose.

Cooking Tips
Cooking can sometimes be difficult with lactose intolerance. This why we, the Lactose Free Ladies, aim to provide you with at least one new recipe per week. You can also modify your own favorite recipes by using the below tips, courtesy of Wegman’s.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shepard's Pie

Shepard's Pie is a warming comfort food for the winter that is easy and delicious.
Ingredients for the Mashed Potato Topping:
4-5 Russet potatoes
2 Eggs
2 tbsp Smart Balance
1/4 cup chicken broth
Boil potatoes until soft enough to mash, add all ingredients and mash until desired consistency.
Ingredients for Filling:
1 lb. ground beef
2 carrots peeled and diced
1 medium onion diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp oil
1. Brown beef in large skillet. About 10-12 mins. Set aside on plate and disgard any fat from the pan.
2. Add oil to the same skillet and add onions, garlic, and carrots and cook on medium to high heat until soft. Add the beef and remaing ingredients and let simmer for 10-12 mins while occasionally stirring.
3. Transfer to 11x8 glass cookware. Top with cheddar cheese (a Safe cheese).
4. Add the mashed potato to the top and sprinkle with paprika if desired.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Allergen Alert: Undeclared Milk in Uncle Ben's Rice

According to, "Mars Food US is recalling Uncle Ben's Whole Grain White Rice Garden Vegetable due to an undeclared milk allergen."  Click for the full story .

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Slightly Creamy Shrimp Scampi

This is a quick and easy recipe for shrimp scampi that will impress your guests!
Olive oil
1/2 a yellow onion
1/2 bag of frozen shrimp or 1/2 lb uncooked shrimp
1 cup of peas (frozen, canned, or fresh)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp smart balance
1/4 cup Lactaid cream
1. Cover the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and add butter alternative, garlic, and onion. Turn on low heat and let the ingredients mix together and the onions soften. About 10-12 minutes.

2. Add Lactaid cream. This gives the scampi sauce a very light creamy texture and taste.
3. Increase heat to medium and add shrimp and cook until pink and warm through. Add peas a few minutes after shrimp as started to cook and become soft.
4. Mix with pasta of choice. Use about 1/2 a package and cook to desired softness while making the scampi sauce.

Yields 4-5 servings.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Condiments: Friend or Foe

Ever wonder if certain condiments contain lactose? Especially those white, creamy ones? Well, we're here to help.

Mayonnaise: traces of milk

Sour cream: traces of milk

Ranch dressing: can contain buttermilk, mayonnaise and sour cream

Creamy Italian dressing: made with buttermilk or mayonnaise to add the creamy texture

Caesar dressing: contains Parmesan cheese, a safe cheese

Blue cheese dressing: blue cheese is a safe cheese; however, the dressing could contain quite a few ingredients in there that could bother the lactose-intolerant such as milk, mayonnaise, sour cream, and yogurt.

Whipped cream: contains cream - traces of lactose

Tartar sauce: contains mayonnaise

Veggie dip: usually contains mayonnaise or sour cream or both

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Here's a simple, healthy soup that tastes so creamy, you'd never know it was dairy free. It was originally adapted from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis and  is a great first course to any fall or winter meal.

1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into ~2 inch pieces (about 8 cups)
3 cups of carrots cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup of sage, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups of chicken stock
2 Tablespoons of Smart Balance

1)     In a stockpot, add butter, 2 tablespoons of EVOO, onion and carrots and cook over medium high heat until veggies are soft – about 5-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another 30 seconds.

2)     Add the squash, chicken stock and sage. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.  Turn off heat.

3)     Use an immersion blender and blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Note: if you don’t have an immersion blender, wait until the mixture has cooled down and blend in a food processor in batches.

4) Ladle into bowls and enjoy.