For this week’s menu plan, I’m taking back Italian. For the most part, I have steered clear of one of my favorite cuisines since going dairy-free (and mostly grain-free) earlier this year. But now I’m ready to re-define my definition of Italian goodness. With the exception of lasagna, I think most Italian recipes can taste equally as good without cheese as they do with cheese (assuming your brain is able to wrap itself around this crazy notion). For instance, can you imagine a pizza without cheese? Neither can I, but surprisingly enough, it actually tastes pretty good even if it’s not exactly visually appealing. And yes, I know they’re are many dairy-free “cheeses” out there (and I use that term loosely), but I’m just not ready to go there yet. I think it will take a looonnnngggg time before I’m able to embrace most cheese alternatives (I have found some that are quite good, but not a casein-free cheddar or mozzarella because casein is what makes cheese…well, cheese!).
The key is looking for authentic Italian recipes where cheese is not center stage (and can therefore be eliminated without completely altering the end result). By kicking out the ooey-gooey, stretchy casein glue (a.k.a. cheese), the bold Mediterranean flavors of oregano, thyme, and basil will be center stage. And my belly (and behind) will thank me for it.
Wednesday: Italian Wedding Soup in the Crock Pot (recipe to come), Green Salad
Thursday: Zucchini Pasta with Parma Sauce (I will use coconut oil instead of the butter and canned coconut milk instead of the cream)
Friday: Chicken Scaloppine with Marsala (recipe to come), Green Salad
Sunday: Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Sage Brown Butter Sauce (I will use my recipe for Allergy-Friendly Pasta Dough, and I will omit the cheese altogether and use coconut oil for sauteing and casein-free ghee for the sauce) and Apple, Dried Cherry and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing (I will use Soy-Free Veganaise, omit the granulated sugar altogether and olive oil)
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