Some of you know that I’m about halfway through my weeklong experiment of eating nothing but plant foods (and fungi). As an ethical vegetarian, I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that eating dairy isn’t morally consistent for me, and while I’m not ready to forswear it for life, I’m interested in seeing what life is like without it. Baby steps.
So far, vegan week has been pretty easy. It helps that I’m mildly lactose intolerant and dairy has always been more of a food flavoring than staple. The only times I’ve even really seen it as a dietary restriction has been with company, and only then with desserts. (I had to turn down bananas foster. Ouch.)
What have I been eating?
- Thick vegetable & kidney bean chili over crisp potato wedges
- Miso noodle soup with wild mushrooms, green onions, bok choy, and edamame
- Spicy pan fried noodles with basil
- Coconut peanut sauce dip with roti
- Bell pepper, new potato, and roast garlic pasta
- Farina with sliced white peaches, brown sugar, and almond milk
- Avocado and almond milk smoothies
- Stovetop popcorn with olive oil, sea salt, nutritional yeast, and a dash of garlic
- PB&J sandwiches
Last night I tried making pudding with almond milk, and I liked it so much that I thought I’d share. I was worried that it wouldn’t set well, but it totally did. And when warmed, almond milk has a marvelously fragrant aroma that makes it perfect in desserts and sweets. (Muffins? Hmm…) Anyway, this is the recipe for a creamy, mild pudding that could well pass for being dairy based:
Vegan Almond Pudding (2 small servings, can be doubled)
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk, separated
- 1 1/2 TB white sugar (more if you’re not using sweetened almond milk)
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 TB cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp rosewater OR vanilla OR almond extract
- cinnamon and/or slivered almonds to top
Pour 3/4 cup almond milk into heavy bottomed saucepan. Sprinke sugar and salt over liquid but do not stir. Bring to a boil over medium high. While waiting for milk to boil, mix remaining 1/4 cup almond milk with the cornstarch until fully dissolved. When milk has come to a boil, remove from heat, whisk in cold milk/cornstarch mixture, and return to heat (turn down to low). Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in flavoring. Pour into bowls, allow to cool, and refrigerate until set. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and slivered almonds.