Compare: Non-Dairy Resources

For those of you that celebrated Thanksgiving this past week, I hope you had a great celebration.  Ours was lovely; filled with laughter & tears – the first celebration without the matriarch of our family.

For the comparison this month, I’m not actually comparing non-dairy foods but sharing some of the resources that were a great help to me when I first had to go dairy free.  First, I searched dairy-free & non-dairy and then I switched to Paleo & Vegan recipes as I knew both of those types of diets would be without dairy.

The four main websites I used were as follows:

Go Dairy Free

Against All Grain

All Recipes (I searched vegan/vegetarian, dairy free, non-dairy & paleo)

Taste of Home (same search as above)


These resources were lifesaving in the early days & a welcome resource as I grew in my learning to cook dairy free & inspiration of recipes I could potentially duplicate – but as a dairy free version.


Do you have another dairy-free website you go to (besides Non-Dairy Queen of Sweets, of course).  If so, comment & let me know.




Heirloom: Persimmon Cookies, Persimmon Cake

These are my favorite cookies at Thanksgiving each year.  I could eat an entire batch myself.  These recipes have been handed down 3 generations now; from my grandmother, to my mother & now to myself.  My mother adds a thin glaze to her cookies.



1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

splash (@ 1/2 teaspoon) lemon juice

1 cup persimmon pulp

1 cup nuts, optional

1 cup raisins, optional


Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cream shortening & sugar together; set aside.  Sift flour, spices, baking soda & salt together & set aside.  Beat egg; pulp & lemon juice to egg & mix well.  To the creamed mixture, alternate the egg mixture & the flour mixture until combined.  Add nuts and/or raisins at this time.  Scoop onto greased baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.  If making bars; spread into jelly roll pan to edges & bake.




1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon each:




1 teaspoon cinnamon

splash (@ 1/2 teaspoon) lemon juice

1 1/4 cup persimmon pulp

1 cup nuts, optional

1 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream shortening & sugar together; set aside.  Sift flour, spices, baking soda & salt together & set aside.  Beat egg; pulp & lemon juice to egg & mix well.  To the creamed mixture, alternate the egg mixture & the flour mixture until combined.  Add nuts and/or raisins at this time.  Pour into greased baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until done in center.



Mom’s glaze

2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk


combine until thin enough to pour; pour over bars.  If making for the cookies, make a little thicker so it can be spread.





Have you ever had persimmon cookies?  Comment & let me know.




National Day of Nachos – November 6

Happy National Day of Nachos.

Nachos are a favorite of our family; the creamy cheese sauce poured over chips are such a delight.  I hope you enjoy this recipe!


2.5 cups broth (I used chicken)

1 package Follow Your Heart Mozzarella slices

2 packages Follow Your Heart cheddar shreds

1 can diced jalapenos, optional


Bring broth just to a boil (but not boiling) over medium heat; add in mozzarella slices, one at a time.  With a wire whisk, stir slightly to break up.

img_4749   img_4751

Add in cheddar shreds, 1 package at a time, whisking to incorporate.  Stir constantly over medium heat until all the cheese has dissolved; add jalapenos.

img_4753   img_4758

Taste & season as desired (pinch onion powder, pinch or two of garlic, black pepper, salt, etc).

Set aside for about 10 minutes or until thickened & cooled slightly; pour over chips & enjoy.


National Day of the Great American Pot Pie ~ Sept. 23

This week I’m covering the second post I missed a few weeks ago ~ National Day of the Great American Pot Pie.


I don’t just like pot pies, I LOVE pot pies!  I could eat them daily & for every meal.  There is just something about the creamy veggies & chicken (or whichever protein) with a buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth crust.  So yummy.

Using the pie crust recipe here, you can choose to make a single crust for just the top or a double crust for top & bottom.  I make with a double crust.  I also use frozen peas & carrots for ease of preparation.  Parboiling* the potatoes also ease the preparation.  In fact, this is an excellent way to use leftover roasted meat & vegetables.

I’m basing my recipe on the recipe that came with “My Lil’ Pie Maker” my brother gave me for a birthday gift a few years ago (I love it!).


Pie crust dough

4 tablespoons Earth Balance or “butter” of choice

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup diced carrots

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground pepper

1 chicken bouillon cube or 1/2 teaspoon granules (take care with this as some include various dairy ingredients – the brand does matter!!)

1 cup water

1/4 cup peeled & cubed potatoes

1/4 c baby peas

2/3 c diced cooked chicken

1 tablespoon flour

2/3 c “milk”


Preheat oven to 425*F.  Lightly grease baking dish & place 1 cruse into dish & set aside.

Place 2 tablespoons “butter” in a large skillet; add onion, celery, carrots, peas & seasonings.  Cook & stir until vegetables are soft.  Stir in bouillon & water.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Stir in potatoes & cook until tender but still a little firm.

In medium saucepan melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter.  Stir in cooked chicken & flour.  Add milk & hat through.  Stir the chicken mixture into the vegetable mixture & cook until thickened.  Pour into the unbaked pie shells.  Place remaining crust over top & use egg-wash to seal.  Vent crust & bake in oven for 15 minutes & reduce oven temperature to 350*F.  Bake another 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.



Do you like pot pies?  What “flavors” (chicken, beef, turkey, vegetarian/vegan)?  Comment & let me know.


Minor Proteins & Enzymes in Milk; Butter Nutrients


I’m not a professional/nutritionist or a doctor; this is just the result of research that I’ve done for myself that I am sharing.  Please research for yourself and don’t forget to consult/discuss with your healthcare provider!


Today I’m finishing up the nutrients in milk & the nutrients in butter.


The minor proteins & enzymes in milk include lactoferrin, lipases & lactase.

Lactoferrin is an iron binding protein that plays a role in iron absorption & immune response.  It also has a role in anti-inflammatory response & enzyme activity; it is an anti-microbial agent with possible protection against bacterial & viral infections.

Lipases is an enzyme which breaks down fats, but is inactivated by the pasteurization process.

Lactase breaks down lactose into glucose & galactose for digestion.  This is not naturally found in raw milk – it must be added on purpose or by airborne bacteria/contamination.




Butter includes several vitamins & minerals, most of which have already been discussed such as Vitamin A, D, E & B12.  Butter also includes calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium & iodine.  Minerals contained in butter include conjugated linoleic acid, lauric acid, lecithin & selenium.  Butter is mostly fat, around 80%.  The balance includes about 15% water.


Iodine is found in iodized table salt (I don’t recommend this), sea vegetables, cod, salmon, yogurt, sardines, eggs, navy beans, strawberries, cranberries, baked potatoes & tuna.

Conjugated linoelic acid foods are beef (grass-fed) & eggs.

Lauric acid can be found coconuts & egg yolks

Lecithin food sources are cod, salmon, eggs, cooked brussels sprouts, broccoli & other green leafy vegetables and legumes (kidney, black beans) & peanut butter

Found sources of selenium include brazil nuts, yellow fin tuna, halibut, sardines, grass-fed beef, turkey, beef liver, eggs, chicken, lamb & spinach.



Compare: Other Brands

There are many brands of food that have non-dairy items & I’m sure that there are more out there that I have yet to discover.



First up is Tofutti.  I use both the sour cream & cream cheese.  I find that the cream cheese, especially is good.  No, it doesn’t taste like dairy cream cheese, however, the consistence is similar.  I especially like this brands cream cheese for cheese cake, cheese balls & any other recipe that calls for cream cheese.  I’ve used the sour cream just a few times & it is especially yummy with chili & homemade burritos. So creamy!

This brand does have soy in it so for those that are not able to have soy, this brand will have to be avoided.  I personally, not due to allergies, stay away from soy as much as possible due to the controversy over soy & women’s health.  However, I when I do have something with soy, it’s Tofutti.


Amy’s Kitchen

This brand is a vegetarian/vegan food brand & if you try the vegan items, they will be dairy free.  You do need to watch since the vegetarian foods do have cheese and/or milk in them.  I especially like the black bean burritos.  I like to keep them stocked in my freezer for an easy meal – I don’t even miss the cheese.


King David (vegan, found on Amazon)

They’ve chips – chocolate, white, butterscotch, caramel

I’ve the white chips, I’ve only used them with the peppermint bark last year – they were a bit interesting to melt – definitely different from standard white chocolate chips, but they worked fine & tasted delicious.  I found these on Amazon & they came 4 in a case – I’m still working on finding other recipes to use them in.

I’m planning on purchasing & trying the butterscotch & caramel chips next (& quite possibly, eating by the handful…).



They have dairy-free caramel that is amazing.  The golden vanilla caramel is yummy, but the sea salt chocolate caramels by far are my favorite.  All of their caramels just melt in your mouth…so amazing!

In addition to the candy, AvenueSweets also offer caramel sauce (including the sea salt chocolate & sea salt), various Brittles (Cashew, Pecan & Peanut).

I found AvenueSweets on Amazon.


Cocomels by JJ’s Sweets

Delicious non-dairy coconut milk based caramels & chocolate bars.  I’ve not had a chance to try the bars yet, but their caramels are very yummy.    You can find them on Amazon & on their website as well (click link above),


Some other brands that I’m planning on trying:


Premium Chocolatiers (offers various vegan/non-dairy options, including no no’s [m&m’s – plain & peanut], peanut butter cups, caramel nougat bars & milkless chocolate bars [milk (as in picture), dark & white].


What other brands have you tried?  Comment & let me know.