Baby Goat

As you might have read several times in my blog(s), Trader Joe’s is one of my two favorite grocery stores (Wegmans being the other). The other thing you might have read is that I am a lactard (thanks Caroline for giving me that term, as you are also one), but can eat goat or sheep’s milk (cheese).

While strolling through TJ’s recently I was just really wanting some cheese. Stood there staring at the cheese section for several minutes then my eyes fell upon these ‘baby goat’ (as I like to call them) cheese discs. They are just the goat cheese logs divided into smaller pieces, or as they more appropriately term them Medallions. Each package is 1oz., very nicely sealed and there are about 5-6 per container. Of course I can’t remember the price, but I’m fairly certain it was less than $5.

Handy to have around and they will definitely be making it to my kitchen more frequently.

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Dairy-Free Cheesecake

I haven’t eaten cheesecake for ages because of my lactose intolerance. I have just found other things to gorge on post-dinner. I have a few lactard friends who are in the same boat but are on the lookout for options.

When a friend came over for dinner she picked up something that caught her attention at Wegmans (sigh, why can’t one be closer to me, it’s down the street from her). She found a Strawberry Cheezecake (no that’s not a typo) from Daiya, who’s tagline is ‘deliciously dairy-free.’

The ingredients in this, that make it diary free are:

Cheezecake filling (Filtered water, creamed coconut, cane sugar, coconut oil, tapioca starch, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, strawberries, potato starch, vegan natural flavors, pea protein, sea salt, vegetable glycerin, sodium alginate, xanthan gum, lactic acid (vegan), tricalcium phosphate, cultured sugar, agave syrup, fruit and/or vegetable juice (color), vegan enzyme)

Gluten-free crust (tapioca starch, cane sugar, coconut oil, brown rice flour, white whole grain sorghum flour, filtered water, potato starch, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, blackstrap molasses, vanilla extract, milled flax seed, psyllium, baking powder, sea salt, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum.)

There are a lot of ingredients but all things considered, not too bad. And, considering there was no diary, that was a pretty darn good cake. They have some other flavors, too — New York, Key Lime and Chocolate.

I happened to be at the Washington Health & Fitness Expo a couple weeks ago and Daiya had a booth. They were making some quesadillas so I grabbed a bite. Hadn’t tried their cheese yet. It was a bit chewy. But, if you are craving and wanting some cheese and can’t eat ‘normal cheese,’ you could go this route. Or if you need it for a recipe that you can’t really make alterations in, it should work. Overall, I think I’d rather stick with goat or sheep. I might, however, have to check out their mac & cheese at some point because I don’t know the last time I had that. It might not be perfect, but hey, it I had it with some wine or beer, it could make a very classy meal.

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Oh Ewe Cheese

Was on just a normal shopping trip the other day so had to stop at Trader Joe’s. That also meant I was required to stop by the sample and coffee counter.  They had a cheese sample out, so at first I didn’t think I could have some as the lactard.  Then I saw that it was goat cheese, cool. It was a new one — Chevre with Honey.   Just a little bit of sweet taste. I used to not like goat cheese but it has gotten so much better.  Ok, bad idea to try it… Effective work TJ’s… I left with one of the 8 oz. packages. We’ll see how long it takes me to get more.

Honey Goat Cheese

As you might have noticed I’m always on the lookout for new non-cow’s milk cheese.  Since I’m lactose intolerant and now know I can enjoy goat and sheep stuff, life is good!  Whole Foods had quite the displays out yesterday for Easter and the one that caught my eye was a Dutch goat cheese with natural honey flavor.  I love the proper name — Hollandse Honey Bzzz Chevre.  It was pretty good.  It was that nice sweet hint in it.  For goat cheese not too soft, which is what I prefer.  I would say it’s along the lines of a soft cheddar.  Worth checking out if you’re looking for something new.

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Say Cheese!

I’m always on the lookout for cheese I can enjoy.  Saw the mention of a new goat cheese at Trader Joe’s in their Fearless Flyer the other day.  A goat cheddar (though I realized later it might not have actually been the one advertised — oh well).  So, had to check it out.  It’s a white cheddar, a bit soft, and lots of flavor.  It had a bit of the goat-cheese ‘flavor,’ but definitely a great option for those who are lactose intolerant can’t take cow’s milk cheese.  It paired very nicely with red wine, crackers and veggies.

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Yodeling

When you hear the word Yodeling, there are three things you can do.

1) Look up the definition to be sure you know what it really is, or see if it some new-aged term.  To save you the time, per Merriam-Webster, it is to sing by suddenly changing from a natural voice to a falsetto and back.

2) Search for videos that feature this action.  Again, saving you some time.  Found a great one!

3) Go to Whole Foods and buy Yodeling Goat Gouda!  A great cheese for lactose-intolerant folks, those who love cheese, anybody who wants to try something new or just easily Yodle, because they don’t want to sing.

goudaI saw this the other day when I was at Whole Foods and picked some up.  It’s great because it’s harder than the normal goat cheese and as the sign mentions, has a bit of a nutty flavor.  Also, I’ve not purchase that much cheese there and didn’t realize they cut you as big or small of piece(s) as you want to take home.  I got a nice small piece to take with me.

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Asparagus Salad with Manchego and Almonds

As I continue going through some Cooking Light recipes, the next one I tried was an awesome asparagus salad.  The proper title — Shaved Asparagus Salad with Manchego and Almonds.  What was unique about this is that the asparagus is raw.  I can count on less than one hand the amount of times I’ve eaten un-cooked asparagus.  Game on!  When I made this, I did not add the egg because of everything else I was making for dinner, I didn’t need that extra bit of protein/food.

Asparagus1Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (I used tarragon vinegar because I didn’t want to buy a fresh bottle of sherry vinegar just for this and that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons walnut oil (again, didn’t want to buy something new, so used some sesame oil)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic (of course I used more than that!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound large asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 ounce Manchego cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Directions

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Using a sharp peeler, thinly peel asparagus to equal 3 cups asparagus ribbons. Add asparagus and parsley to bowl; toss gently to coat.  *They make this sound SO easy.  Not so much.  With a carrot, yet, but with a smaller asparagus spear/stalk, not so much.  After awhile on each one, I’d stop and just throw a larger piece in the  bowl.
  3. *THIS IS THE PART I DIDN’T DO*  Combine 8 cups water and white vinegar in a large skillet; bring to a simmer. Break each egg into a custard cup, and pour each gently into pan. Cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove eggs from pan using a slotted spoon.
  4. Place about 2/3 cup asparagus mixture on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons almonds; top each serving with 1 egg. Sprinkle evenly with Manchego cheese.  *I don’t get this fancy.  I tossed everything in a bowl.

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It was DELICIOUS!  Crisp, fresh and some nice tang with all the flavors.  Highly recommend it!  I can’t decide if next time I’m going to try cutting the asparagus with a mandolin or V-slicer or cutting them in half and using the food processor with the proper blade.  I just need to hope the hit the blade horizontally to slice properly.  Though, I guess even if not, they’ll taste the same!

New Cheese Find

When at (one of) food shopper’s heavens the other day, Trader Joe’s, I was actually shopping for cheese.  Yes, cheese.  I was initially just going to grab some Manchego but then decided to see how many labels I could read to determine which ones had sheep’s milk (vs cow’s).  After going through a good bit of the cheese case, I did find several that I could eat, being lactose intolerant.  I found this new (to me) one that looked intriguing.  One of the Crew Members walked by and I asked if he’d had it before to get his thoughts.  He said…not yet.  He took it back to the sampling area and opened it open so we could both try it.  Awesome customer service!  And, amazing cheese.  A bit softer than Manchego but a bit harder than cheddar.  It’s Mini Basque Cheese from France.  Totally buy some.  You won’t be disappointed.

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I actually ate…

…goat cheese.  Yes, it happened.  I admit it, I did it.  I normally can’t stand the stuff.  I used to not touch it because of lactose intolerance, then I found out lactards (love the name my friends gave us) can tolerate all milk but that from cows.  But then I tried goat cheese and it’s just gross…the taste, the texture.  I’m saving it for the lovers of the stuff.  Then the other day my friends offered some that is dangerous.  Trader Joe’s does it again, hurting one’s wallet and waist.

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The full, fancy name — Trader Joe’s Goat Cheese – Blueberry Vanilla Chevre.  What’s in it, not a ton — pasteurized goat’s milk, wild blueberry (wild blueberries, grape juice), salt, vanilla extract (vanilla beans, water, bourbon), cheese cultures, vegetable rennet, natamycin (natural yeast and mold inhibitor).

It pretty much tastes like blueberry cheesecake.  Melts in your mouth.  You can eat it on a (graham) cracker, right off your finger or a fork.  Would be great with some extra berries, too.  Definitely check it out!

Kale Salad with Cashews and Lime

I love getting my Bon Appetit magazine each month and there is one recipe in there I’ve been eyeing for awhile from the January issue.  Finally got around to making it last weekend while watching (yelling, screaming, cheering, crying, and finally celebrating) the Seahawks game.  It was the Collard Green Salad with Cashews and Lime (they mention you can easily substitute kale for the collard greens, which I did).  Delicious, filling, vegetarian, can make it lactose-free (as in non-cow milk).

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted, roasted cashews, divided (love being able to buy in bulk at my Whole Foods)
4 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino, divided, plus shaved for serving (I used Manchego! — tastes just as good and I can eat it)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 anchovy fillet packed in oil, drained, finely chopped (I used anchovy paste — I didn’t want to open a whole can of anchovies for 1 fillet)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice  (just used bottled, was lazy)
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed, plus more for serving (didn’t get that fancy)
½ bunch collard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn

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Directions:

Process ½ cup cashews, 2 Tbsp. grated cheese, and 3 Tbsp. water in a food processor (I used a mini prep — fun!), thinning with more water as needed, until a smooth, creamy paste forms; season with salt and black pepper. Set cashew paste aside.

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Whisk anchovy (paste), oil, lime juice, 1 tsp. pink peppercorns (for those who follow recipes to the dot), and 2 Tbsp. grated cheese in a large bowl; season with salt and black pepper.

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Coarsely chop remaining ½ cup cashews. Add nuts and collard greens to large bowl.

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Toss to coat, gently massaging dressing into leaves with your fingers to bruise and slightly wilt.  (Spread some reserved cashew paste onto each plate and top with salad and shaved Pecorino; sprinkle with more crushed pink peppercorns.)

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This salad was delicious!  Very hearty and lots of flavor.  Next time I make it I think I’ll throw some garlic in there, too.