When the party´s over, all is not lost. Bring on recipes for a rethink

You might love cheese,you might adore butter, you might love milk and you might love yoghurt, but as you age, sometimes their love for you becomes more than just unrequited.This means your body has developed an intolerance. One common example of food intolerance is lactose intolerance.These so called intolerances can appear at any stage of your life it seems. They just come in the night and steal your health,they do.
Whether lactose-intolerant or sick of cheese and wine parties,(does anyone still host a cheese and wine party I wonder?) there are many other gift horses out there that can give you back the daily dose of calcium that is missing in dairy free diet.Cheese and wine parties,coffee mornings,bring and buy stalls,God forsake,I am starting to sound like my mother.So when you have to by-pass the dairy aisle where do you go to get your calcium? Well as you´ve seen from my recent post there are now many alternatives to milk where no cows are required.
Oat milk,almond milk and rice milk,in which the bovine has played no part.Well now that I have this part of my shopping basket sorted I can excitedly move on to the next aisle, but pausing for a quick pine and small whimper as I pass the butter display."Lovely artistic display today Mr Martins,but I cant stop to purchase even one of your tempting 250g unsalted blocks". Yes, butter seems to be the big bug bear.I can´t believe I cant have butter.Its what I imagine a reformed smoker must feel like.Its an integral part of almost everything I eat,sandwiches,toast,cakes,soups sauces, curries, puddings...  Oh dear,bit overwhelmed,must go home sit down and think things through whilst having a comforting cup of tea with Oatmilk, and perhaps a bowl of hot porridge and luxurious Oatly cream.Just note the instant kind doesn’t boast the same benefits as old-fashioned rolled oats, which are a quick breakfast option full of fibre and the all important calcium that you need.
I can then start tapping on the keyboard to share this blog post of some lactose free recipes with you.
To consume the required 1,000 mg of calcium per day translated literally( in my terms ) this is what it takes,one thick slice of cheddar cheese in a sandwich, a bowl of yoghurt with fruit and a generously buttered toasted teacake.I have barely got past breakfast and I am not allowed to eat the majority of the above and there is still the rest of the days nourishment to be accounted for.
While food intolerances may be mistaken for a food allergy, they are thought to originate in the gastrointestinal system. Food intolerances are usually caused by the individual’s inability to digest or absorb foods or food components in the intestinal tract.
When one finds oneself in this situation Its amazing what you can create when you put your mind to it.Take for example pasta sauces,Many are rich in dairy and cream, well move over marinara,move on macaroni, its time to change to the new bambino on the block, avocadonara,well that´s what I have called it.
Spaghetti Avocadonara
Rich ,virtuous and on the table in under 30 minutes
Serves 6 to 8 so adjust quantities accordingly for a single portion

12 ounces spaghetti

2 avocados--halved, pitted and peeled 
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bunch small spring onions, roughly chopped 
Juice of 1 lemon 
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flor de sal and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped parsley, for garnish

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. 
While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: 
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the avocados, garlic,spring onions, lemon juice and olive oil until smooth.
When the pasta is ready reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the reserved water to the avocado mixture and process again until smooth.
 Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, portion the pasta onto plates and garnish with parsley.

While still on the subject of pasta dishes Here is a link to my dairy free take on pork and clams with Udon noodles.

Having had time to sit down and think all this through,my new shopping list was beginning to take on a structure and my new route around the supermarket bypassing dairy was starting to make sense.I then encounter two women trollies parked alongside each other and a conversation ensuing as follows...

A    "Where's Tim?"
B    "Oh we´ve got separate trollies this week,he´s gone gluten free".

Its always reasuuring to know you´re not alone in your own personal predicament.
The next stop after the no cow section would be grains and pulses,followed by pasta,canned fish,and in particular canned salmon.To avoid putting a dent in your wallet, canned salmon is a great choice. Here’s the catch: It’s the bones in canned salmon that hold all the calcium, so they need to be mashed up right along with the salmon meat for all the benefits! But don’t get turned off just yet—the canning process softens the bones so they easily break apart and are unnoticeable when mixed in with the rest of the can’s contents. For my boost of calcium and omega 3’s, I feel some salmon cakes coming on.Its the same with canned sardines,you can crunch up and eat the bones. For the rest of my dietary requirements I think a visit to the market will round the list off nicely.I can go nuts about some lovely Algarvian almonds and dried figs,always good to pack some punch and calcium into a mid - afternoon snack.A carrier bag full of seasonal veg like Bok Choi,Grelos (Portuguese turnip tops) and any kind of cabbage,including chinese leaf and not forgetting kale, will be great for stir fries, migas and side dishes.
Honestly, the first few weeks are horrible but then you figure out how to live with it and life goes on. In just three weeks, I've learned a few things, first among them that milk and soy are hidden in strange places. Second is that I prefer to discover some new favourites rather than gag on unsatisfactory imitations  ( I can´t believe its not butter) of things I can no longer safely have. One soon realises that with a bit of initiative there is still plenty one can eat out there, and everything need not be Utterly Butterly.I will keep you posted on how I am progressing.As I said earlier this is an elimination diet and hopefully by trial and error I can narrow down the food items that have been excluded and start to bring back some favourites with maybe the addition of some new introductions along the way.


  1. As a cow juice junkie, I thoroughly feel for you. At least you haven't lost your sense of humour: "I can´t believe I cant have butter". Yeah, lol.


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