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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I just passed my 1 year mark of being lacto-ovo vegetarian and feel better than ever before. I originally planned to go meat free while at home and not worry about while eating out. My decision to go vegetarian are ones of health. Anyway, at first it sort of became like a challenge to find veg friendly meals while out and then after a few weeks I just realized I didn't miss meat at all. Still don't. Strange considering I was raised in a household where there was always a huge slab of meat on every supper plate and if you had vegetables they were battered and fried.

Now I am trying to give up dairy and finding it to be much harder. There is dairy in freaking everything! I am doing well with the big stuff. Gave up drinking milk long ago in place of rice milk. I've found a soy yogurt I like and some vegan cheese shreds that are working well. I even experimented with a vegan choc pudding recipe today using an avacado as the base. It rocked! My issue comes at being overwhelmed by eating out and all the little stuff that have dairy, such as ranch dressing, Morning Star corn dogs. I actually liked those once in a while when I didn't even like meat hot dogs.

I still cooked with milk, gravies and such and so go to make something or actually make it before I realize what I'm doing. It also doesn't help that I am the only veg in the household. I would be very grateful for any helps, tips, tricks etc. Also, is there a better alternative milk for cooking? I love rice milk for cereal and such but it just doesn't seem to do as nice of a job for cooking. Would almond milk be better? I don't like soy milk for drinking so am leary of cooking with it due to flavor, but am willing to try it if it works better.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I recommend you learn to make a good roux.
It's a Louisianna "starter" that thickens up just about everything and adds an awesome flavor.

Yes... Dairy is in everything... Even the non-dairy coffee creamer.

Items cooked with soymilk generally don't taste like soymilk.
Got a health food store nearby?
Get a carton of EdenSoy Unsweetened Soymilk.
There's a recipe on the back for a creamy sauce.
It calls for a roux and miso paste.
It tastes just like Alfredo Sauce!!!
 

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I personally love soymilk for cooking and baking. I use the plain soymilk, not vanilla. If you need something to replace buttermilk, rice milk and vinegar won't curdle properly, but soymilk and vinegar will.

My husband is not fond of soy milk for cereal or drinking, but doesn't mind it at all when I use it for baking or for making gravies/sauces.

Eating out and avoiding dairy can be tricky, but it gets easier over time - promise! Even pizza can be wonderful piled high with veggies and no cheese.
I usually add olives or a bit of salt to replace the flavor of the missing cheese. And I order oil and vinegar to put on salads - it's simple, and since I like my dressing a bit tangy, I can adjust the vinegar to my taste. Often, restaurant vinaigrettes are dairy-free, but you have to read or ask your server to be certain. At home, I love Brianna's poppyseed dressing - you'd never know it's dairy-free since it's white and creamy.

And yes, there's traces of dairy in the stupidest of things. It's just something you get used to after a while. Don't we wish they wouldn't put whey in everything?
 

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Plain soymilk works wonders for cooking; I find once you heat it up and add stuff to it that it tastes like 'normal' milk. My favourite things to do with it are baking, making cheese sauce, and making hot chocolate (with real cocoa powder). And I don't like it straight out of the carton either.

I don't have any problems when I'm out either, but I'm guessing you live in the US so my experience is probably very different to yours.
 

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Well, for your consolation, dairy isn't everywhere. Examples of places and contexts where there isn't dairy:

-at the bottom of the Mariana trench
-on the surface of Neptune
-Michael Caine's ear cavity
-2 meters deep in the snow in the Himalaya mountains
 

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First and foremost, you're taking the biggest chunk out of Big Dairy by simply not buying obvious dairy products like milk, cheese or cream. The hidden ingredients are more of a byproduct. The milk industry won't survive on cupcake sales alone, most certainly. Still, it's perfectly understandable to want to consume as little as possible for you. It's good to be a label reader. It's an exercise in critical thinking. I personally would always look for the big bolded "contains: milk" but maybe nitpick less over certain hidden ingredients like whey in some instances, like in restaurants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the responses. much appreciated. I will pick up some plain soy milk to have on hand and also look into learning how to make a roux. the rest i figure will come with time and practice.

Thanks again!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Well, for your consolation, dairy isn't everywhere. Examples of places and contexts where there isn't dairy:

-at the bottom of the Mariana trench
-on the surface of Neptune
-Michael Caine's ear cavity
-2 meters deep in the snow in the Himalaya mountains
I love you, Sevenseas.

OP, one thing you can do that is easy is looking at the labels for "may contain traces of." If it lists dairy, you're fine - it just means that the product was processed in a place where dairy is also processed but that it is not supposed to contain any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, Kjesta. That is very good to know.

@Hazelnut-- I looked up how to make a roux and started laughing. Evidently I have been doing so for years making gravies and such and just never knew there was a name for it. hahaha. I already feel more confident. Now to just experiment and learn to cook with other types of "milk".

Thanks again!
 

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You might have a hard time finding dairy-free bread and burger buns in a regular grocery store. Whenever I look at bread labels, they all say they contain milk ingredients. I managed to find ONE loaf of bread in the Health Market section at Hy-Vee in the freezer. It was called Ezekiel bread. It's a sprouted grain bread that's not like regular bread. I'm so not fond of that stuff. It has a very course texture that I just don't like. I tried the Ezekiel buns and the wheaty flavor was so strong that I couldn't even taste my veggie burger.

However, you can make your own bread and buns.

French Bread

Cinnamon Rolls

You can also find pizza crust recipes and any kind of bread thing you want on vegweb.com.

Also, you can use this list as a guide when shopping at the grocery store.

This site may help when eating at restaurants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Holy Moly! I never even thought about bread. My favorite double fiber bread probably had dairy in it then too, sniffle. Thank you very much for the links. I will be sure and check them out.
 

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Foods that contain no dairy:
Vegetables
Fruits
Nuts
Seeds
Beans/Legumes
 

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I have trouble finding bread that contains dairy. The only things I have found is some turkish and naan breads.
 

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I dont like soymilk either, and sometimes can taste it in cooking. however i find that "light"/low fat soymilk (i use alpro light) doesnt have the same aftertaste - so i always use that and it goes unnoticed
 

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Why's everyone hating on soymilk?
I drink way more than a normal person should... About 3-4 gallons a week.
Years ago, I drank 3-4 gallons of dairy milk a week (might explain why I had C-cups by the end of age 12), and I just switched over to unsweetened soymilk when I cut out dairy.
It's nothing for me to stumble out of bed, wander over the the fridge, and suck out a quart of soymilk directly from the carton... Mmmm... Best way to start a day!

If I wind up with any sort of horrible health problems from soy overload, I'll let everyone here know.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post

Why's everyone hating on soymilk?
I drink way more than a normal person should... About 3-4 gallons a week.
Years ago, I drank 3-4 gallons of dairy milk a week (might explain why I had C-cups by the end of age 12), and I just switched over to unsweetened soymilk when I cut out dairy.
It's nothing for me to stumble out of bed, wander over the the fridge, and suck out a quart of soymilk directly from the carton... Mmmm... Best way to start a day!

If I wind up with any sort of horrible health problems from soy overload, I'll let everyone here know.
You seriously drink 3-4 gallons of soy milk a week all by yourself? And I thought I loved soy milk. My love for soy milk is actually hate compared to yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I checked the label of the bread I eat and see no dairy. The little note says it is made in a factory with shared equipment and so may come in contact with milk and tree nuts. Whoooppie!! I was panicking for a minute there. lol
 

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I don't have a problem finding bread without dairy. It's DATEM that I find it nearly impossible to avoid.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post

I don't have a problem finding bread without dairy. It's DATEM that I find it nearly impossible to avoid.
Use Ezekiel breads they don't have that crap in them and they're super good for you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktormartini View Post

Use Ezekiel breads they don't have that crap in them and they're super good for you.
Hmm... Are those the frozen kinds? I've never tried those before.
 
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