Sunday, February 11, 2018

Eat Dairy Free: Cookbook review + recipe

I was recently given the opportunity to review Eat Dairy Free by Alisa Fleming (BenBella Books, 2018). The book isn't vegan (or even vegetarian) but it includes many recipes which are. The author also includes details of her personal experiences cutting out dairy and offers lots of tips on how to make the transition.

I liked the organisation of the book, with initial sections on core ingredients and menu plans. There are tips throughout for saving money too. The main downside for plant-based eaters is that the sections presenting main meal options ('American comfort food', 'Mediterranean meals' and 'Asian eats') have relatively few vegan meals and do include a fair amount of meat. However, there are lots of side dish, breakfast and snack choices that will work for vegan eaters.

It is also easy to see at a glance which recipes suit vegan diets and also which are egg free, gluten free, tree nut free, peanut free and soy free. Each chapter starts with a handy table, as above.

There were a few recipes that stood out for me when I leafed through the book. One was the 'rich Thai dip', shown with broccoli trees, which I am pleased to share the recipe for. I am yet to try this but it sounds delicious.

Impossible vegan quiche

Another recipe that stood out, and which I have tried, was the 'impossible vegan quiche'. Featuring chickpea flour and chickpea liquid (aquafaba), the 'quiche' had a silky smooth interior and crisp exterior. I never liked traditional quiche but loved this, in keeping with my enjoyment of chickpea-based egg dish alternatives.

Eat Dairy Free is a good blend of interesting recipes, dairy free staples, and attractive photography. The organisation is effective and there are enough vegan recipes to make it worth my while, despite not being vegan in its entirety.

I hope you enjoy the rich Thai dip as a taster of the book, and thanks to BenBella for the opportunity to review it.

Rich Thai Dip with Broccoli Trees
From Eat Dairy Free by Alisa Fleming (BenBella Books, 2018)"
Makes 6 Servings

3 or 4 broccoli crowns
1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (see Sweet Potato Tips below)
6 tablespoons creamy unsalted almond butter (use sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter for nut free)
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons non-GMO soy sauce, wheat-free tamari (for gluten free), or coconut aminos (for soy free)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or loosely packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Water or unsweetened plain dairy-free milk beverage, as needed

1. Cut the broccoli into stalks and steam for 3 to 5 minutes. For dipping purposes, broccoli stalks that are relatively crisp-tender work best.

2. Put the sweet potato, nut butter, 2 tablespoons lime juice or vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener, oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. 

Taste, and if desired, blend in the remaining 
1/2 tablespoon lime juice or rice vinegar.

3. Serve the dip immediately with the steamed broccoli stalks, or cover and refrigerate it for 1 hour to thicken before serving If it becomes too thick, whisk in water or milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin.

4. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Sweet Potato Tips:
To cook whole sweet potatoes, peel and cut them into 1/2-inch disks, then
steam for about 15 minutes. Steaming preserves more of the flavor and nutrients than boiling.
For a super-fast dip, you can use canned sweet potato puree.
If you don't have sweet potatoes or sweet potato puree on hand, squash, carrot, or pumpkin puree makes a tasty substitute. 

I was given a complementary copy of the book for review purposes. Opinions are my own.

Have you tried any new recipes or cookbooks lately?


  1. How fab that you liked the quiche despite not liking regular quiche. Sounds like an interesting book.

  2. this looks like a great cookbook - I have always enjoyed reading the blog and am glad it is dong well with a cookbook - i really like the idea of besan and af for a quiche - you have me sold on that!

  3. I’m intrigued with the idea of the quiche - I’ve never had an egg version but this one looks yummy (I adore chickpea anything). I really like the summary tables in the book - what a great way to provide an overview of recipes


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