Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cooking Dairy Free: An Update

A few weeks ago, I started a month-by-month plan to reduce my impact on this planet. For the month of May, I had decided to reduce my dairy and meat intake. Overall, I have been doing really well. I have only eaten meat about 3 times since my plan went into effect (but have had fish several times). I have also eaten minimal dairy for the past few weeks. I cut out cheese and milk completely, but have used small amounts of butter for cooking and have had a few yogurt smoothies. Oh yeah, and there was the one late night I was hungry and ate about half of Finn's leftover cheese breadstick before I mentally processed that it had cheese on it. Oops.
This huge dairy reduction initially had seemed to help my asthma quite significantly, but the past few days I have been met with a relapse (probably due to some seasonal allergies which have triggered my asthma). So, I now know that getting dairy out of my life will not completely solve my asthma problems, but I think it is helping. I am going to stick with a diet that is completely cheese and milk free for at least another couple of weeks. If my asthma is still bothering me, I will probably indulge in small amounts of cheese on occasion, but I want to avoid making cheese the focus of my meals.
This whole cheese-free-ness has really made me have to plan out meals ahead of time and to put more thought into how I am going to get the protein and calcium I need (and I have been eating much healthier mind you!). I have talked Todd into having at least a few vegan meals each week, which means that a) our food impact will be greatly reduced and b) I need to learn how to cook some good vegan dinners.
Which leads us to The Vegan Table and Veganomicon, 2 vegan cookbooks that I have just devoured. OK, well not literally, and I actually haven't even cooked anything from them yet, but I have gone through and photocopied a ton of yummy sounding recipes that I can't wait to try. So, I am hoping that this summer will bring me time to perfect a few of these dishes and get them into my repertoire.
Do you have any good dairy-free recipes? A favorite cookbook?

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