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I can’t have dairy for six weeks. No milk, yogurt, cheese — not even goat cheese. I can’t have bananas or pineapples. I can’t have pecans.
I have to cut back on cane sugar and baker’s yeast.
Seeing as how I cook, bake, eat out at restaurants, and then write about it for part of my living, the results of my latest food intolerance tests were a bit disappointing (read my previous post about why I had the testing done).
I CAN, however, still have butter, since it’s made mostly from milk fats vs milk protein, and it’s the protein that makes my skin flare up. YAY BUTTER! Long live butter!
And, bacon, wine, coffee, and chocolate are all still on the Good List, thank goodness. So really, it’s not as bad as it could be. If those beloved items were on my Do Not Ever Enjoy Again list, I would be having a life crisis of major proportions.
The intolerance testing results blow is also softened by this sick, sick, twisted addiction that I have to change and being challenged. So on the flip side, this has created a whole new exciting arena for this adrenaline junkie. I’ve loved getting everyone’s tips for eating dairy free, fave Paleo and Vegan recipes and cookbooks, and the fact that I am forced to expand my palate and get out of my cooking comfort zone.
Enter: butternut squash
I know, I know: butternut squash is everywhere these days, and there are a million recipes plastered all over Pinterest.
But, I’ve never cooked with butternut squash. What the what?! I know, but it’s true. I love eating butternut squash when someone else makes it, but I’ve never even purchased a butternut squash . . . until this week.
In effort to balance out my new diet, I decided to beef up my veggie options. I tend to always cook with the same veggies. Do you fall into that rut? For me, it’s spinach, kale, bell peppers, potatoes, corn, green beans, broccoli, carrots, and brussel sprouts. So I needed something new.
And that’s when I discovered my new addiction: ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH.
Oh my word. Chop into 1-inch cubes, liberally season with salt and pepper, lightly oil, toss, then roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Roasted butternut squash is like CANDY. But better. So much better than candy. It’s veggie crack. I couldn’t stop popping these like bad addictive pills. This is so good! Why didn’t you all tell me HOW delicious and so very simple this is?
I’m going to eat roasted butternut squash at least once a week, every week, until they are no longer in season. It’s good to have goals in this dairy-free season of my life, yes? A tasty goal indeed.
Then I also made a tasty Butternut Squash Hash. It’s a fantastic breakfast, brunch, or fast lunch recipe!
In a large saute pan or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add one minced garlic clove. Chop up very small cubes of butternut squash and baking potatoes. Toss into the pan. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin. Stir, mix, sing a little song, do a little dance. Then toss in some color, which I did in the form of a large handful of spinach.
I love spinach. I will throw a handful of spinach into almost any dish.
Except cereal. That probably wouldn’t taste very good.
Toss in one tablespoon of roughly chopped fresh sage. Sage is what makes this dish sing. It is such a fragrant herb that really brings out the sweetness of the butternut squash.
Then toss the ingredients around a few times and cook until the edges of the potatoes and butternut squash are lightly browned.
I topped this with an egg cooked over easy. Luckily, I don’t need to cut out eggs, but I’m told that many people have an egg intolerance, so if you can’t have eggs or don’t like eggs, simply leave this out.
I’m excited to embark on this new food journey. Will my eczema clear up in six weeks? Will I feel better and have more energy? Will I shed some pounds without the presence of cream sauces in my life? We’ll see. I’m looking forward to trying more new recipes and learning how to cook and bake without dairy. I’m determined to still bake for the holidays, so I’d especially love any dairy-free substitution ideas for baked goods that you all might have!