Many dairy-free folks report missing comfort foods the most. Among foods that top this list are pizza and creamy salad dressings. Tonight, surprise your family with both and see if they can tell the difference. Galaxy Foods Mozzarella flavor Rice Shreds melt, stretch, brown, and bubble just like real cheese and taste amazing, too. Regular folks in blind taste and sight tests have been unable to tell which is the cow’s milk mozzarella and which is the Rice Shreds. Rice Shreds are available in most health foods stores, including our Riverside area Sprouts in the Mission Grove shopping complex.
Regular Rice Shreds do contain a trivial amount of casein, a milk protein. Small amounts of casein do not usually cause problems for lactose intolerant folks, but if you are vegan, have a dairy allergy, or just aren’t sure, it is safer to opt for Galaxy Foods casein-free Vegan rice cheese. As always, read labels carefully and consult your physician or nutritionist with any questions or concerns.
When choosing your pizza ingredients, be sure to check for hidden dairy in the mix. Some pizza crusts contain cheeses and/or whey solids. If you are also gluten-free, Udi’s makes a fabulous ready-made crust. Bagels, English muffins, and pita bread make great crusts for quick after-school snacks, too. Pizza and pasta sauces can also contain cheese, cream, and other dairy ingredients (Prego Traditional is both dairy and corn syrup free). Meat lovers should also search labels for hidden dairy products like casein and whey.
Take advantage of summer herbs and vegetables and pair a healthy salad with pizza for a reduced guilt meal. Creamy salad dressings are a great way to get vege-phobic kids to down a salad but, due to the gaping lack of available substitutes in the grocery aisle, are a big challenge for folks avoiding dairy. Salad dressings are deceptively easy to make at home and the tangy, non-dairy ranch recipe below is no exception. Whip up pizza and a salad for a family movie or game night and let them taste what they’ve been missing.
Pain-free Pizza Pie
Your favorite ready-made pizza crust or dough baked according to package instructions
Extra virgin olive oil
Pizza or pasta sauce
Fresh or bottled minced garlic
Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and/or fennel (dried works in a pinch but fresh always tastes better!)
Galaxy Foods Mozzarella flavor Rice Shreds
Your favorite pizza toppings: pepperoni, sausage (Jennie O Sweet Italian Turkey sausage is a lean and flavorful, gluten-free option), pineapple, olives, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, etc.)
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the tops of crusts with olive oil (this keeps sauce from sinking in and causing soggy crust), sprinkle with minced garlic or garlic powder. Spoon sauce into the middle of crust and spread to about 1″ from the sides. Sprinkle with Rice Shreds (as much as you like!) and add your favorite toppings. (Note: toppings with high water content like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, and spinach should be sautéed on the stove prior to topping to reduce baking time and crust sogginess.) Sprinkle with chopped fresh or dried herbs. Bake (directly on rack for crispier crust) for 8-10 minutes or until Rice Shreds are hot and bubbly. Remove pizza from oven and let sit on a cutting board for 1-2 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
Creamy Dairy-free Ranch Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise (substitute Vegan Mayo if you are also avoiding eggs)
- 1/2 cup Tofutti Sour Supreme Better Than Sour Cream (opt for the new trans-fat free variety!)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes a great dip, too! Break out the board games and have a great bonding night. Make it a weekly tradition!