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(sigh) Giving Up Dairy. Any Suggestions For Making Spinach (or Other Green Leafies) Palatable

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So I've still been having symptoms, though mild ones, and I've decided to see if doing without dairy will help. One of my go-to lunch items is spinach-cheese-onion-pepper-garlic thing sprinkled with picante sauce and wrapped in a soft corn tortilla. It may be that even without the cheese, the picante sauce will be enough to make it edible, but I have doubts. Previous threads seeking cheese substitutes have elicited the suggestion of using nutritional yeast, so I'll be buying some of that to give it a try. I also bought some Tofutti mozzarella-style tofu cheese substitute, having been tipped off by posters in the same cheese-substitute threads that most cheese substitutes still have casein, even the ones labeled "non-dairy" (which sounds like fraud or at least false advertising to me, but still). I'm certainly open to other brilliant ideas, though.

Also, without dairy I'll need more calcium. I'm getting supplements, but I've read that while there is calcium in spinach, it isn't readily usable by humans. Kale is said to be better. I've been using canned spinach mainly because I've never been able to wash all the grit off fresh spinach. Does kale also have the same grittiness? Is there any green leafy without this problem, or do I just have to knuckle down and learn to love scrubbing vegetables? Or does anyone have any suggestions for making canned collard or turnip greens taste anything but vile?

Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions.

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Vegan Gourmet Cheese melts well and is CF. If it's not used up quick enough it can get bad so follow package instructions and if you are not going to use it up within maybe a week, then grate it up and freeze it. I buy the pre-washed baby spinach in plastic containers or bags in the salad section. Keeps well, is tender sweeter and no sand! I like to mix some in with my salad greens, with some pecans and a mustardy vinagrette. It's nice thrown into a soup at the end too.

Get Calcium with D and Magnesium.

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So I've still been having symptoms, though mild ones, and I've decided to see if doing without dairy will help. One of my go-to lunch items is spinach-cheese-onion-pepper-garlic thing sprinkled with picante sauce and wrapped in a soft corn tortilla. It may be that even without the cheese, the picante sauce will be enough to make it edible, but I have doubts. Previous threads seeking cheese substitutes have elicited the suggestion of using nutritional yeast, so I'll be buying some of that to give it a try. I also bought some Tofutti mozzarella-style tofu cheese substitute, having been tipped off by posters in the same cheese-substitute threads that most cheese substitutes still have casein, even the ones labeled "non-dairy" (which sounds like fraud or at least false advertising to me, but still). I'm certainly open to other brilliant ideas, though.

Also, without dairy I'll need more calcium. I'm getting supplements, but I've read that while there is calcium in spinach, it isn't readily usable by humans. Kale is said to be better. I've been using canned spinach mainly because I've never been able to wash all the grit off fresh spinach. Does kale also have the same grittiness? Is there any green leafy without this problem, or do I just have to knuckle down and learn to love scrubbing vegetables? Or does anyone have any suggestions for making canned collard or turnip greens taste anything but vile?

Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions.

a little olive oil and fresh garlic is all I use to sautee almost any of my greens. (and some salt. ;) ) Different ones are better than others; I like chard far more than I like kale.

Rinsing isn't too hard - separate the leaves (undo to the twist tie, cut off the 'roots'), stick 'em all in a colander (or half

at a time), and rinse with the water set on "spray". Alternatively, you can fill a sink with water, swish the leaves around for a short while, then drain the water and give a quick rinse; works great, just uses a *lot* of water.

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I've been off dairy for more than a year, which is pretty amazing considering that I grew up in Wisconsin! A few quick thoughts for you...

- Hummus makes a good dip and "creamy" filling for sandwiches

- Coconut milk is a great substitute for dairy in smoothies

- Tofutti sour cream is pretty good (and casein-free) if you're really craving dairy... soy yogurt mixed with fruit, honey, and sliced almonds is so good I don't miss the "real" stuff

- Out of all the alternative milks, almond is my favorite :P

- Fruits and vegetables make great snacks... it pays to explore

- IMO, it's much easier (and tastier) to find new favorites than to substitute... my current favorites are bananas, cherries, hard boiled eggs, and pre-packaged Indian sauces with rice... all of these are very easy for lunch on the go

- Stock your kitchen with plenty of goodies so you don't feel stressed out and deprived! (although you'll probably have to go shopping more often for produce)

- Kale is delicious sauteed with sesame seed oil and garlic... I can eat an entire double batch (two heads of kale) as long as I don't mind having green urine :rolleyes:

- Spinach is not hard to deal with if you wash it in a sinkful of water (2-3 times until there's no more sand) and then dry it off in a salad spinner... worth the investment if you don't have one already

- Even very strong-tasting greens (mustard greens, arugula) are good in soup... my favorite is a Moroccan-style soup with a tomato broth, cumin, lots of onions, and lentils. The greens go in at the very end so they don't fall apart. They just need to sit in the hot soup for a few minutes.

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Vegan Gourmet Cheese melts well and is CF. If it's not used up quick enough it can get bad so follow package instructions and if you are not going to use it up within maybe a week, then grate it up and freeze it. I buy the pre-washed baby spinach in plastic containers or bags in the salad section. Keeps well, is tender sweeter and no sand! I like to mix some in with my salad greens, with some pecans and a mustardy vinagrette. It's nice thrown into a soup at the end too.

Get Calcium with D and Magnesium.

I think the local health food market had Vegan Gourmet cheese, but am not sure. The local healthy supermarket (Earthfare) either had no cheese substitute or was hiding them cunningly. Go figure. I'll look for the baby spinach the next time I'm in a regular supermarket. (I'm an Aldi boy as often as possible.)

My multivitamin already has 100% of the RDA (or whatever they call it these days for Vitamin D, but only 25% for calcium and magnesium, so I'm getting the calcium supplements that have both.

Thanks!

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a little olive oil and fresh garlic is all I use to sautee almost any of my greens. (and some salt. ;) ) Different ones are better than others; I like chard far more than I like kale.

Rinsing isn't too hard - separate the leaves (undo to the twist tie, cut off the 'roots'), stick 'em all in a colander (or half

at a time), and rinse with the water set on "spray". Alternatively, you can fill a sink with water, swish the leaves around for a short while, then drain the water and give a quick rinse; works great, just uses a *lot* of water.

Does chard have a similar nutritional profile to kale? I've been going crazy mad with the steamer basket lately, though I'm having trouble imagining creating deliciousness with green leafy vegetables that way. Still, probably better than going with canned.

Thanks!

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I've been off dairy for more than a year, which is pretty amazing considering that I grew up in Wisconsin! A few quick thoughts for you...

- Hummus makes a good dip and "creamy" filling for sandwiches

- Coconut milk is a great substitute for dairy in smoothies

- Tofutti sour cream is pretty good (and casein-free) if you're really craving dairy... soy yogurt mixed with fruit, honey, and sliced almonds is so good I don't miss the "real" stuff

- Out of all the alternative milks, almond is my favorite :P

- Fruits and vegetables make great snacks... it pays to explore

- IMO, it's much easier (and tastier) to find new favorites than to substitute... my current favorites are bananas, cherries, hard boiled eggs, and pre-packaged Indian sauces with rice... all of these are very easy for lunch on the go

- Stock your kitchen with plenty of goodies so you don't feel stressed out and deprived! (although you'll probably have to go shopping more often for produce)

- Kale is delicious sauteed with sesame seed oil and garlic... I can eat an entire double batch (two heads of kale) as long as I don't mind having green urine :rolleyes:

- Spinach is not hard to deal with if you wash it in a sinkful of water (2-3 times until there's no more sand) and then dry it off in a salad spinner... worth the investment if you don't have one already

- Even very strong-tasting greens (mustard greens, arugula) are good in soup... my favorite is a Moroccan-style soup with a tomato broth, cumin, lots of onions, and lentils. The greens go in at the very end so they don't fall apart. They just need to sit in the hot soup for a few minutes.

Dairy is so much worse than gluten because it was my crutch to allow me to give up gluten easily. I just made gluten-free pizza, gluten-free pasta, etc., and it was mainly similar to how I ate before because of the cheese. I don't care about milk, I don't care about cream, sour cream or yogurt, and even ice cream isn't much of a wrench (though those Julie's Organic/Glutenfreeda's ice cream sandwiches from Whole Foods-- oh my goodness!) but cheese is going to be a bitter bitter pill, uh, not to swallow.

I think your suggestion of not looking for substitutes is a good one. As I mention upthread, I've lately been steaming vegetables of every variety. I suspect that this tendency will increase, at least until I get bored.

I dig hummus a lot. I started buying it in my "If it's labeled 'gluten free,' buy it" phase, and got hooked. Just checked and my current tub is (casein-free and) nearing its expiration date. Oh darn the luck, I have to eat it all in a week. And me with this new sack of carrots crying out for a tub of hummus to be eaten with. Whatever will I do? :P

The soups sound delicious. SC in summer really isn't the place for soup, but I'll definitely be trying these a few months from now.

Thanks!

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I love spinach cooked in some animal fat, like duck fat or bacon drippings. How about sticking some avocado in? In my mind, bacon and avocado took a lot of the sting out of losing dairy. :)

I personally don't worry about calcium. There are so many antinutrients in grains that keep you from absorbing and utilizing minerals and I no longer eat grains, so I figure I'm getting a lot more calcium out of what I do eat.

I usually buy baby spinach from Trader Joe's (among other places). It doesn't even need washing and there's never any sand in it.

The hummus idea is great. If you don't do legumes, make some baba ganoush, it is super easy and tastes a lot like hummus (same ingredients). And those 2 things are amazing with avocado.

I have a recipe for hummus, avocado omelet in my cooking blog, but I think I'm not allowed to link it. PM me if you want a link, have a recipe for baba ganoush in there too.

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I love spinach cooked in some animal fat, like duck fat or bacon drippings. How about sticking some avocado in? In my mind, bacon and avocado took a lot of the sting out of losing dairy. :)

I personally don't worry about calcium. There are so many antinutrients in grains that keep you from absorbing and utilizing minerals and I no longer eat grains, so I figure I'm getting a lot more calcium out of what I do eat.

I usually buy baby spinach from Trader Joe's (among other places). It doesn't even need washing and there's never any sand in it.

The hummus idea is great. If you don't do legumes, make some baba ganoush, it is super easy and tastes a lot like hummus (same ingredients). And those 2 things are amazing with avocado.

I have a recipe for hummus, avocado omelet in my cooking blog, but I think I'm not allowed to link it. PM me if you want a link, have a recipe for baba ganoush in there too.

Thanks! So far I've been the farthest thing from an avocado fan, but maybe I'll give 'em another try now. As to calcium, I have wrists like matchsticks and am 45 years behind on calcium and magnesium; I don't think I can take the chance that I'll just get enough from my diet. The nearest Trader Joe's is 90 miles away; though I make the trek when I can, their cheaper half-brother Aldi fills my needs most of the time. (They have a garlic-lover's hummus that makes me smile just thinking about it.) As to links to personal websites and blogs, I understand that you can put them on your profile page, just not in your signature or posts. Presumably no one would object to you saying, "and you can find a recipe on my cooking blog, the link to which is in my profile." At least I hope not, as I'm planning to do something similar shortly.:)

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Hi FlUFFY,

I am throwing in a link to another thread you might like cause I posted some hummus like dip idears in it. I went dairy free about 12 years ago after becoming lactose intolerant 1 day. Literally, 1 day I could eat it and the next no way. I got used to making dips more and using them instead of cheese. I noticed you are using picante sauce. Have you considered that the pepper hotness might cause some discomfort to your innards also? Burns the mouth, burns the gut? Just a thot. I avoid spinach, kale and soy because of the goitrogenic effect, caus'in I already have some hypothyroid issues. Not saying it isn't alright for nurmal people or occasionally though.

Anyway, greens would prolly be ok with olive oil and vineger, like they do for pasta sometimes. I get most of my green veggies from peas, green beans and lima beans these days. I definitely agree with adding a calcium, mag, zinc supplement if you are going off dairy. I am actually experimenting with dairy a little right now, to see if I can sleep after eating it.

The wonderful dip thread link: drool drool.. :D

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.ph...mp;#entry546382

I broke my left elbow in a fall 5 years after going dairy free. I always wondered if I had been taking calcium supplements if it wouldn't have been so dramatic. 5 breaks in one elbow, some nerve damage, and didn't even dent the concrete floor. Even tried to ding it with my head bone and didn't make a scratch. Prolly too soft from lack of calcium is my theory. Live and learn they say. I take calcium most every day now.

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We like rice cheese and also the beef based stuff from Allergy Free foods. Mostly we just do without cheese.

As for the greens, you can mince them into small bits and add to pretty much any cooked foods. I add Swiss Chard to hamburger gravy. Spinach can go into spaghett sauce.

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Going to make up some kale today and put it in quiche (no crust this time, too lazy). I find that if you rip or cut the greens up before washing, then immerse in a big bowl of water and swish around it helps a lot in cleaning them up - fewer hiding places than with whole leaves. Then put them in the basket of the salad spinner, rinse again, and finally spin dry and put in a plastic bag with a paper towel to control humidity. I also once impulsively added chopped cooked kale to the meat while making burgers (might have been turkey), threw in some garlic, and was surprised how good that came out. The kids were not thrilled, but they eat like children. I actually hate veggies, so I was wondering myself how I would disguise them if not for cheese. I find that putting leafy greens in some other food (quiche, casserole, meatloaf) hides the texture, while other means are needed to disguise the taste.

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It's possible that I'm weird, but I like steamed spinach (and broccoli) sprinkled with some red wine vinegar. Somehow just that little bit of vinegar makes it taste extra delicious. But I grew up eating it that way, and I think it's good to begin with.

Chard and Kale are another matter entirely. I haven't had much success with those, so I'll be trying some of the suggestions you got.

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Calcium supplements are weird, IMHO. Paleo people had wonderful bones, much stronger than their neolithic counterparts, but why? They didn't eat dairy. I suspect maybe eating bone marrow and broths made from bones might have been helpful. So I save up bones in the freezer and make bone broths from chicken carcasses etc. You cook them a looong time until the bones are soft.

Also, calcium supplements have been implicated in coronary calcium deposits. Not try to dissuade anyone but these are the things I think about when I wonder about calcium.

Avocado advice: I have heard the CA ones are better than the FL avos. I've never had the florida variety though. Make sure they're ripe but not too ripe. They should give slightly to pressure, but not be soft and definitely not hard. They need something tangy and a bit of salt to really sparkle. Lemon juice, salt, mayo, all fine things. They work well cut up into a salad because the vinegar sparks them up.

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Hi FlUFFY,

I am throwing in a link to another thread you might like cause I posted some hummus like dip idears in it. I went dairy free about 12 years ago after becoming lactose intolerant 1 day. Literally, 1 day I could eat it and the next no way. I got used to making dips more and using them instead of cheese. I noticed you are using picante sauce. Have you considered that the pepper hotness might cause some discomfort to your innards also? Burns the mouth, burns the gut? Just a thot. I avoid spinach, kale and soy because of the goitrogenic effect, caus'in I already have some hypothyroid issues. Not saying it isn't alright for nurmal people or occasionally though.

Anyway, greens would prolly be ok with olive oil and vineger, like they do for pasta sometimes. I get most of my green veggies from peas, green beans and lima beans these days. I definitely agree with adding a calcium, mag, zinc supplement if you are going off dairy. I am actually experimenting with dairy a little right now, to see if I can sleep after eating it.

The wonderful dip thread link: drool drool.. :D

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.ph...mp;#entry546382

I broke my left elbow in a fall 5 years after going dairy free. I always wondered if I had been taking calcium supplements if it wouldn't have been so dramatic. 5 breaks in one elbow, some nerve damage, and didn't even dent the concrete floor. Even tried to ding it with my head bone and didn't make a scratch. Prolly too soft from lack of calcium is my theory. Live and learn they say. I take calcium most every day now.

It's not very piquant picante sauce-- straight from Aldi. It's about as hot as mild paprika; I think I'll be all right.

When I was 12 I broke my left arm. Very, very minor break, yet I was in a cast for nearly two months. If I knew then what I know now...

Thanks for the reply!

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We like rice cheese and also the beef based stuff from Allergy Free foods. Mostly we just do without cheese.

As for the greens, you can mince them into small bits and add to pretty much any cooked foods. I add Swiss Chard to hamburger gravy. Spinach can go into spaghett sauce.

I've been very frustrated trying to find casein-free non-dairy cheese substitutes. I'll probably just use the nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan and otherwise do without. Unless the Tofutti mozzarella proves to be a taste sensation, which isn't something I'm betting the house on.

Maybe I'll add chard or kale to my turkey chili and quinoa; I can't get anybody to come over and try it anyway.:)

Thanks!

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Going to make up some kale today and put it in quiche (no crust this time, too lazy). I find that if you rip or cut the greens up before washing, then immerse in a big bowl of water and swish around it helps a lot in cleaning them up - fewer hiding places than with whole leaves. Then put them in the basket of the salad spinner, rinse again, and finally spin dry and put in a plastic bag with a paper towel to control humidity. I also once impulsively added chopped cooked kale to the meat while making burgers (might have been turkey), threw in some garlic, and was surprised how good that came out. The kids were not thrilled, but they eat like children. I actually hate veggies, so I was wondering myself how I would disguise them if not for cheese. I find that putting leafy greens in some other food (quiche, casserole, meatloaf) hides the texture, while other means are needed to disguise the taste.

Meatloaf! Hmmm... but what am I using to take the place of the old bread we used to put in. I've got all this gluten-free flour I'm never using. Hmmm.

Thanks!

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It's possible that I'm weird, but I like steamed spinach (and broccoli) sprinkled with some red wine vinegar. Somehow just that little bit of vinegar makes it taste extra delicious. But I grew up eating it that way, and I think it's good to begin with.

Chard and Kale are another matter entirely. I haven't had much success with those, so I'll be trying some of the suggestions you got.

It's possible that I'm weirder; I like steamed broccoli per se. I need to try steamed spinach. I used to like it raw in salads. It's possibly that I'm misjudging it due to eating the canned version for too long.

Thanks for the reply!

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Calcium supplements are weird, IMHO. Paleo people had wonderful bones, much stronger than their neolithic counterparts, but why? They didn't eat dairy. I suspect maybe eating bone marrow and broths made from bones might have been helpful. So I save up bones in the freezer and make bone broths from chicken carcasses etc. You cook them a looong time until the bones are soft.

Also, calcium supplements have been implicated in coronary calcium deposits. Not try to dissuade anyone but these are the things I think about when I wonder about calcium.

Avocado advice: I have heard the CA ones are better than the FL avos. I've never had the florida variety though. Make sure they're ripe but not too ripe. They should give slightly to pressure, but not be soft and definitely not hard. They need something tangy and a bit of salt to really sparkle. Lemon juice, salt, mayo, all fine things. They work well cut up into a salad because the vinegar sparks them up.

Brilliant thinking on the bone broth. I noticed ages ago that chicken backs are very cheap, and I've always had a proclivity for chicken noodle, um, it would be soup if I didn't boil all the fluid away. Call it chicken noodles, I guess. Think I'll lay in a stock of rice noodles and give in to this tendency.

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Steaming is very boring. I find that there are some vegetables it works well for, and others that it fails to bring out the good flavors. Leafy greens are one of the latter. Sautee - in a pan, on high heat, with oil, and an aromatic - the vegetable. It will allow for a little bit of a different flavor which, imho, makes all the difference in the world.

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Meatloaf! Hmmm... but what am I using to take the place of the old bread we used to put in. I've got all this gluten-free flour I'm never using. Hmmm.

Thanks!

I use gluten-free oatmeal. I whiz it up in the food processor and then soak it in tomato juice, V-8 or whatever else I am using in place of milk. You can also buy gluten-free bread crumbs or make your own with gluten-free bread or crackers. Rice can also be used.

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I use gluten-free oatmeal. I whiz it up in the food processor and then soak it in tomato juice, V-8 or whatever else I am using in place of milk. You can also buy gluten-free bread crumbs or make your own with gluten-free bread or crackers. Rice can also be used.

Awesome, thanks! I even managed to remember which store has gluten-free oatmeal (oddly, a regular supermarket). I'm also the world's biggest V8 fan, so I think this is doable. Gonna take the sting out of going dairy-free. Thanks again!

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