Dairy-Free Seven-Layer Bars

Today is the last day of school! We made it through all of the May activities in one piece! I didn’t lose any children when I chaperoned a field trip! And that was a near thing. Luckily (?), the first-grader who kept running away from me in the children’s museum shares a name with one of my children, so I could call upon many years of hissing her name in Mom Voice to keep her in line. 

This seems like the perfect day for a special dessert . Recently, I had some Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut left over from a recipe trial, so I thought I’d try my hand at some dairy-free Seven-Layer/Magic Bars. I served them to extended family on Memorial Day and the dairy eaters thought they were just as good, if not better, than the original. What really makes these authentic are the cream of coconut and the homemade dairy-free butterscotch chips.

Wherever you are in your end-of-the-school year or summer schedule, I hope you find a moment to sit back and relax with a cookie and a cup of tea. Perhaps while watching your preschooler play with his new “hoop de hoop.” (If you tell him the correct name is a ‘hula hoop,’ I will hunt you down.)

Dairy-Free Seven-Layer Bars
A favorite bar cookie, made dairy free
  1. 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, melted
  2. 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  3. 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  4. 1 cup homemade dairy-free butterscotch chips
  5. 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  6. 1 1/3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  7. 1 can cream of coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine the margarine and graham cracker crumbs and mix well.
  3. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan.
  4. Evenly spread the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and walnuts layer by layer in the pan.
  5. Sprinkle the coconut on top.
  6. Pour the cream of coconut evenly over the top.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Cool.
  9. Cut into bars.
  10. Store covered at room temperature, or chill if desired..
  1. Don't have time to make the butterscotch chips or need to leave out the nuts? Just add an extra cup of dairy-free chocolate chips instead.
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Dairy-Free Meatloaf; Being Cozy

Ground beef and breadcrumbs, some onions and an egg
My mouth is watering so please don’t make me beg
I know everybody’s got their tastes and that’s just fine
But if you say that you don’t like it, then you’ve never tasted mine
I’m talkin’ ’bout meatloaf (meatloaf)

Have you seen the episode of Phineas and Ferb with the band Tiny Cowboy singing their song “Meatloaf”? Tiny Cowboy, awesomely voiced by Peter Noone and the late Davy Jones, a band that bears more than a passing resemblance to Oasis? Seriously, listen to the song and see if you don’t spend the rest of the day singing a Meatloaf/Wonderwall mashup.

I’m talkin’ ’bout meatloaf, I’m a meatloaf lover
I’ll tell your brother, yeah, don’t need no other
Talkin’ ’bout (meatloaf) meatloaf, meatloaf lover
Warms you from the inside like it’s made by your mother

This simple meatloaf is adapted from my neighbor’s recipe. My kids prefer it to “fancier” meatloaves we’ve tried, which is fine with me. I don’t even pull out the recipe card to make it. I do double the original so we have leftovers for sandwiches.

So moist and savory, it’s beef that’s shaped like bread
Don’t know what that aroma’s doing in my head
Whatever we don’t eat we’ll discreetly put away
But never fear, my meatloaf, we’ll eat again someday



Dairy-Free Meatloaf
An easy, tasty dairy-free meatloaf. Optionally gluten free.
  1. 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 2 handfuls quick cooking oats (gluten free if desired)
  4. 1/4 cup homemade dairy-free onion soup mix, made with gluten-free bouillon, or one packet of dairy-free onion soup mix
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Place in a greased loaf pan.
  3. Pat down evenly and smooth the top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for one hour.
  5. Uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until cooked through.
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/
 On a completely unrelated topic, last month I took The Nester’s Cozy Minimalist course, thinking it might help me freshen up our living room on my budget of negative zero dollars. It did, but it also inspired me to clean out our basement I can’t even explain the magic this woman works, but the end result is that I am happier and more content in our home than I’ve been in awhile. And that is priceless.

If you sign up for a slightly abbreviated (and cheaper!) version of the class I took and enter my name (my real name), you get $10 off the cost of the course. I can’t recommend it enough. Then we can get together and talk about the creative things we’ve done in our homes. 

Non-alcoholic Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby was this weekend! Did you watch? We did because we have an enormous, ugly antenna on the top of our chimney now! It can be seen for blocks! My dad keeps teasing me about how shiny and visible it is because he knows I hate love it so!

But, it does enable us to be able to see live sporting events for free since we haven’t had cable for years. And no one was killed installing it. Double bonus.

So we watched the Derby, placed our imaginary bets, and had fancy drinks. Three of our children picked three of the top four winners, so maybe we should have placed real bets.

There’s no way to make a faux Mint Julep taste like a real one, but the kids and I did enjoy our virgin Mint Juleps very much. They are based on several recipes I found online. The syrup is my Aunt Marian’s recipe with added lemon juice. I especially found the combination of mint and ginger soothing as I’d been struck down by the stomach virus the kids have been passing around.  I know how to party.

Non-alcoholic Mint Julep
A refreshing ginger ale-based beverage for the Kentucky Derby or any celebration.
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  4. 14 mint sprigs, crushed
  5. ice
  6. ginger ale
  7. additional mint sprigs for garnish
  1. Boil the water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the lemon juice and mint sprigs.
  4. Let steep for ten minutes.
  5. Remove the mint.
  6. Pour ginger ale over ice in a glass.
  7. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the lemon mint syrup.
  8. Garnish with an additional mint sprig.
  1. Refrigerate any leftover syrup in a glass jar. It can also be used in tea or other drinks.
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Dairy-Free Alfredo Sauce

For the past month, I’ve been busy enjoying a very early Mother’s Day present: The Nester‘s Cozy Minimalist course. I have been having so much fun meeting new online friends and rethinking our living room without spending much money. The effect has spread to the rest of the house, too, and bags of unneeded items have been kicked to the curb. And to the Salvation Army and to our neighbors’ houses. It is such a fun class; I recommend it if you have the chance.

Needless to say, dinners have been super simple in the midst of all of this painting and rearranging. If you’re looking for an easy, springy pasta sauce for dinner, may I suggest this dairy-free Alfredo? It’s based on a dairy recipe of a friend of mine, I just substituted dairy-free ingredients, subtracted the Parmesan, and added some seasonings. It’s pictured here with chicken, but it is also great with spring vegetables. This is the one dairy-free Alfredo that even the dairy eaters in our family enjoy. I hope you do, too.

Dairy-Free Alfredo
An easy, crowd-pleasing, dairy-free Alfredo sauce
  1. 8 oz. dairy-free cream cheese
  2. 1/2 cup dairy-free margarine
  3. 3/4 cup plain dairy-free milk
  4. 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  5. salt to taste
  6. nutritional yeast, optional
  1. Place the first four ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add a dash or two of salt; this helps replace the saltiness of the Parmesan.
  3. Sometimes I add a dash of nutritional yeast for an added cheesy flavor, but it isn't necessary.
  4. Cook over medium low heat, whisking occasionally, until the cream cheese and margarine are melted.
  5. Whisk to combine.
  6. Heat until just bubbly around the edges of the pan.
  7. Taste for salt.
  8. Add more if needed, especially if you did not use the nutritional yeast.
  9. Serve over pasta and/or vegetables.
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Dairy-Free Hasselback Potatoes

Here is a perfect Easter dinner potato recipe. Or if your holiday menus are set in stone, this is also a perfect easy-yet-fancy weekend side dish. The recipe description on AllRecipes says, “This Swedish dish takes its name from Hasselbacken, the Stockholm restaurant where it was first served. The seasoned potatoes turn out crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.” Yes, they do. There are a few people in our family who could take or leave baked potatoes but love these.

Happy Easter!

Dairy-Free Hasselback Potatoes
An easy yet impressive dairy-free potato side dish perfect for special occasions.
  1. 4 baking potatoes
  2. 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, melted
  3. 2-3 tablespoons dairy-free Panko bread crumbs
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel the potatoes.
  3. Place them in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning.
  4. Place one potato on a cutting board next to a large wooden spoon.
  5. Using a sharp knife, make slices across the potato the short way about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, making sure not to cut all the way through the potato.
  6. The slices should stay connected at the bottom, and the spoon acts as a guide to help keep the depth even.
  7. Return the potato to the bowl of water, and proceed with the remaining potatoes.
  8. When all of the potatoes are cut, place them cut side up on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat.
  9. Drizzle the potatoes with half of the melted margarine, then season with salt and pepper.
  10. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the remaining margarine.
  12. Sprinkle the Panko bread crumbs onto the tops of the potatoes, and season with a little more salt and pepper.
  13. Return to the oven, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Adapted from AllRecipes
Adapted from AllRecipes
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Aunt Lala’s Fudge Pie

Of course we made pie on Pi Day! I am just now sharing the recipe, but it will be here for next year. Or tomorrow. Or today. Or the day you find dairy-free pie crusts marked down to 49 cents at Aldi. Whenever.

Aunt Laura makes this pie with condensed milk. I’ve had success with soy creamer and even soy milk, although sometimes the cocoa separates and float to the top. It still tastes great! This time I tried canned coconut milk and the consistency was perfect. I did need to add 10 minutes to the cooking time, though. Enjoy!

Aunt Lala's Fudge Pie
A rich, fudgy pie made with easy-to-find pantry ingredients.
  1. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  2. 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  3. 1/4 cup dairy-free margarine, melted
  4. 2 eggs. beaten
  5. 2/3 cup soy creamer or canned coconut milk
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1 dairy-free pie crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the pie crust in a pie pan.
  3. Whisk the ingredients together until well mixed.
  4. Pour into the unbaked crust.
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
  6. Shake gently.
  7. If the filling jiggles anywhere but in the very center, bake for 5-10 more minutes.
  8. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Laura Hatfield
Adapted from Laura Hatfield
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Dairy-Free Cream of Chicken Soup Mix

Longtime readers (or anyone who knows me) may remember that I am a recovering cream of soup addict. I love creamy, unhealthy, church-potluck casseroles. Growing up I always chose my great-aunt’s Chicken Divan casserole for my birthday dinner. 

We went without creamy sauces for a few years post-dairy allergy diagnosis. Then I tried some of the prepackaged ones with some success. Cost and availability were still barriers, though. 

Then I dairy free-ified Mary Ostyn’s Cream of Anything Soup Mix from Family Feasts for $75 a Week. And the casseroles reappeared in the house and the people were happy and the angels sang.

What’s your favorite cream-of-soup-using recipe?

Dairy-Free Cream of Chicken Soup Mix
A versatile, shelf-stable, dairy-free cream of soup mix.
  1. 3 cups powdered soy milk or other dairy-free powdered milk
  2. 1 cup cornstarch
  3. 1 cup dairy-free, MSG-free powdered chicken bouillon (I like Orrington Farms)
  4. 2 Tablespoons onion powder
  5. 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  7. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Store in a tightly-covered airtight container for up to one year.
To make soup
  1. Combine 1 1/4 cups water and 1/2 cup soup mix in a medium saucepan.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 2 to three minutes, whisking constantly.
  1. You can add minced celery, mushrooms, or cooked shrimp to make other cream of flavors, although I usually don't bother and just use the basic mix in any recipe.
  2. Orrington Farms also makes a vegan chicken broth bouillon.
  3. This soup doubles as a quick, creamy gravy.
Adapted from Mary Ostyn
Adapted from Mary Ostyn
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Dairy-Free Crunch Salad

Katherine participated in World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine last weekend. Not surprisingly, she came home very hungry, so we made her favorite dinner Sunday night: dairy-free fried chicken, baked potatoes, and her new favorite salad. It’s my new favorite, too. After all these months of CSA root vegetables, I’m ready for something that tastes like summer, and this is it.

This salad recipe is from Jen Hatmaker, who got it from the Robertsons’ Aunt Carol. No, I don’t know any of these people in person, but I do know a good recipe when I see it! Here is my dairy-free adaptation of Aunt Carol’s Crunchy Salad.

Dairy-Free Crunch Salad
A crunchy, refreshing, addictive salad. Add sliced chicken breast for a full meal.
  1. 1 three-pack bag of romaine hearts
  2. 1 package of dairy-free Ramen noodles
  3. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  4. 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
  1. 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 6 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  4. 2-3 shakes Frank's Red Hot sauce
  5. 1/2 cup peanut oil
  1. Wash, dry and chop the lettuce.
  2. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Break up the Ramen noodles.
  4. Discard the flavor packet.
  5. Saute the noodles, sunflower seeds, and almonds in a skillet with the margarine.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Mix together the dressing ingredients.
  8. Pour the dressing over the lettuce.
  9. Add the noodle mixture.
  10. Toss well, and serve immediately.
  1. Add chicken breast slices for a complete meal.
Adapted from Aunt Carol's Crunchy Salad
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Dairy-Free Baked Potato Soup

How many two-hour school delays equal a snow day to make up? Asking for a friend.

Here is a recipe for one of my favorite wintertime soups, adapted from Stephanie O’Dea’s recipe at Crockpot 365. It will cook in the crockpot all day and make your house smell wonderful while you’re out shoveling and trying to get the car to start.

Dairy-Free Baked Potato Soup
Serves 12
Creamy, Dairy-Free Baked Potato Soup for the Slow Cooker
  1. 5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 to 2-inch chunks
  2. 1 onion, diced (1 cup)
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I use Krazy Jane's Mixed Up Salt)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  7. 2 quarts chicken broth
  8. 1 (8-ounce) package dairy-free cream cheese (I use Tofutti)
  9. 6 oz. (half a container) Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
  10. 12 oz. bacon for garnish, cooked and crumbled
  11. green onions or chives for garnish, chopped
  1. Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.
  2. Spray the stoneware insert with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Peel and dice the potatoes, and put them into the stoneware.
  4. Add the onion and garlic.
  5. Sprinkle in the seasonings.
  6. Pour in the broth.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  8. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  9. Add the dairy-free cream cheese and dairy-free sour cream by the spoonful.
  10. Replace the lid.
  11. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese and sour cream are dissolved.
  12. Stir with a whisk a few times during the 30 minutes.
  13. Serve the soup, and garnish with the crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, if desired.
Adapted from Crockpot 365
Adapted from Crockpot 365
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/

Split Pea Soup My Children Will Eat

Alternate title: Ugly Food That Tastes Good

It’s winter. It’s cold. Our immune systems and our possessions are giving up one by one. So far the toaster, garage door opener, and parts of one vehicle’s engine have succumbed to seasonal affective disorder and given up. The lightbulb and protective light cover in our oven went out in a blaze of glory, spewing shattered glass all over the inside of the oven. We borrowed my mom’s car while ours was being repaired, and a passing snowplow threw a rock or piece of ice and shattered the rear window as her car sat in our driveway. Seriously.

I think it’s time for some hearty, inexpensive comfort food. And a hot toddy.


Split Pea Soup My Children Will Eat
Serves 12
A hearty, ham-filled split pea soup with pureed vegetables.
  1. 1 16 oz. package of green split peas, rinsed and drained
  2. 8 cups water
  3. 1 meaty ham bone
  4. 1 small onion, chopped
  5. 2/3 c. chopped carrots
  6. 2/3 c. chopped celery
  7. 1 raw potato, peeled and chopped
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 1 garlic clove, minced
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients except salt in a large pot with a lid.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until peas are soft, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove bay leaves and ham bone.
  6. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  7. Cut meat off of the ham bone and dice.
  8. Add the ham pieces back to soup.
  9. Add pepper to taste.
  10. Taste for salt and add salt if needed. (The ham usually provides enough salt.)
  1. Pureeing the vegetables is the secret to making this soup palatable for children--and adults!
  2. Split Pea Soup is wonderful with grilled cheese sandwiches. I use Daiya cheddar for dairy-free grilled cheese.
No Whey, Mama http://nowheymama.com/