Thursday, April 8, 2010

Test drives: Two vegan recipes and coconut milk creamer

The vegan recipes and coconut milk creamer actually have nothing to do with each other aside from the fact that they're all things we've tried recently. But, one of these things is not like the others . . . two of these things are kinda the same. (When did they stop doing that on Sesame Street? I haven't seen it since I had kids. Then again, we're pretty much a Dora household. Elmo's got nothin' on that spunky little Boots.)

Last night's dinner
. Aack.
What a big, fat disaster. Actually, it was a big, fat-free disaster. I was so disappointed! I mean, I spent an entire afternoon nap period on this casserole, people! No takin' a load off for this old gal. I was in there chopping and rinsing and layering to the point of exhaustion (that's a total exaggeration, but there was a lot of prep). But I kept thinking how worthwhile it would be when I had a huge pan of Mexican goodness to serve up for not just one dinner, but probably a second dinner and a lunch, too.

So imagine my reaction when I saw that not only was Eloise refusing to put one bite past her lips (not a huge surprise from this particular 2.5-year old), but that Paul wasn't exactly devouring his either. I know -- not every recipe can be a winner. But we made this unbelievably low-fat Chili Mac last weekend, and it was a hit. Paul even took it for lunch for a couple of days. I guess I was expecting continued fat-free success. However, not even my constant reminders of how I used an entire afternoon nap time to prepare it could convince my family that if they really loved me, they would eat this dish. They weren't buying it.

I'm not sure where things went awry with the Mexican lasagna. I did like it (so I'll be the sole recipient of six servings we divvied up and froze individually), but not nearly as much as the online reviewers seemed to. It did seem to be missing something . . . um, fat? That said, I do think you should consider trying it. Especially if your family is a little more accustomed to low-fat dining than mine appears to be.

Coconut milk creamer. Capital D-E-licious!
I've been using the French Vanilla flavor, but they also have Original and Hazelnut. Now. For those of you drinking your coffee with traditional half and half, you're going to notice the difference in taste, of course. However, I like the taste so much more than soy creamers I've tried, and I found my tastebuds acclimated to it really quickly.

In addition to being dairy free, I feel it's a benefit that this creamer is soy free. I read here that some people may want to steer clear of too many soy products because of soy's affect on the thyroid. As someone who deals with an underactive thyroid, this recommendation was not lost on me. Plus it has a short list of ingredients -- much better than off-the-shelf non-dairy creamers I've considered before.

Let me know if you try the recipes or the creamer!

Anyone wanna come by for lunch? I'm serving up Mexican lasagna!


Megan said...

OOOOO...thanks for the heads up on the coconut creamer. It does look so good. I'm having a hard time getting my kids to try my vegan creations also. And thanks for the chili mac link--that I will try!

Tracie said...

Let me know what you think, Megan!

Yeah, I am not sure how much to expect with presenting new foods to Eloise. Last night, after begging her to try just one bite, we ended up giving her a PB sandwich and some fruit.

Anonymous said...

i love coconut milk & creamer. have you tried coconut yogurt? heaven!!!

i am also going as soy free as i can.

i recently bought the earth balance soy free "butter" and it tastes amazing! better than that- my husband likes it more than regular butter and he is usually a stickler about this.


ellie said...

Love the blog Tracie! My husband is addicted to the TJ's soy creamer, but you are right it does have a long ingredient list. I am going to ask him to get the coconut stuff next.

Tracie said...

pinkini - Coconut yogurt and Earth Balance have become two staples in our fridge! My fave breakfast these days is yogurt piled with fresh berries and that maple cashew granola I'm so addicted to. I have to learn how to make that stuff myself. It's up to $9/lb. now! Eek!

ellie - I don't remember seeing the So Delicious at TJ's, but last time I was there was before I'd tried it, too. We pick it up at either Whole Foods or our local co-op.

Thank you both for stopping by!!

VivaciousVegan said...

Hey Tracie!!!
I am sorry about your mexican lasagna....booo that just bites doesn't it. I have had my share of disasters...I tried to make sugar biscuits yesterday and burnt them to a crisp and my enchilada casserole was suppsed to be like enchilada's but ended up being a tamale pie. Actually...I think that is pretty low fat...hang on...yep it is really low fat, here is the link.
If your family likes mexican food you can give it a try, I would serve this with a nice romaine salad with maybe a vegan lite ranch dressing....
Just a suggestion!!!
Oh and by the way....I adore coconut creamers so much, they are the absolute bomb!!!!

angela | the painted house said...

That stinks, Tracie! But I've so been there...and will be there again over and over as long as I keep cooking and trying new recipes. When dinner bombs at our house, I always say, "At least i tried something new."

If you crave creamy and spicy and a little fat, try an enchilada sauce with pureed cashews. Yum!

Sarrah said...

hi tracie!!
i just tried the same creamer for the first time.. i love it! looks like i can finally take myself off the coffee mate.

sarah (mrsdef)

Tracie said...

Viv and Angela -- Thank you for the recipe and the suggestion!

Sarah -- Really cool to see you here!