Friday, November 14, 2014

A Paleo Cheese Substitute

A year and a half ago we took gluten out of our diets for Boogie who was having a major reaction to it.  While this helped the major problems she was having with self control and behavior I have never felt like we were totally dialed in.  She still had stomach episodes here and there and taking corn out would help then it wouldn't.  A few weeks ago she was having up to 10 stomach aches every day so I told her I wanted to help her and asked if she was willing to take out dairy and grains completely.  She agreed and her stomach aches have almost disappeared completely.

She has done such a good job making good choices to heal her body.  She even came up with an idea for a recipe hack all by herself!

A few months ago I made this Cheesy Chicken recipe from Empowered Substenance.  It was a huge hit.  The chicken really did taste cheesy!   It is in our rotation every few weeks now.

When Bella and I were talking about Thanksgiving meals and what grain free things I was making and what she would miss she mentioned that she would really miss cheesy potatoes.  My mom makes a cheesy potato casserole similar to this every Thanksgiving.  Then she said "MOM!  I know!  Use the cheese sauce from the cheesy chicken!"

Well we tried it and it worked!  Obviously it's not exactly the same texture.  But it really does taste like cheesy potatoes.  Boogie was a very happy camper.

This morning as I was getting ready to cook the squash for another batch of cheesy potatoes I got another great idea.  I have been missing broccoli cheese soup BIG time as it gets colder.  It's practically a once a week meal around here when it gets cold.  Gluten free broccoli cheese soup is easy but dairy free?  The cheese sauce!  Of course!

I cooked a few shallots in butter (yes I realize butter is dairy.  It doesn't seem to bother her.  Cheese absolutely does).  Then I added 2 heads worth of broccoli florets and 3 cups broth to the pan.  After the broccoli was tender I put the soup in my blender until is was nice and smooth then I put it back in the pot and added 2 cups of cheese sauce.  It was pretty thin so I made a slurry of the sauce and 2-3 TBS arrowroot powder and added that in too.  It worked!  It's delicious!!  Boogie was so excited when she got him.  I scored major mom points!

Now, to nitpick...I would definitely use more broccoli next time.  I like to have a few chunks in my broccoli cheese so I would probably double the broccoli or do some broccoli and some carrots.  I was just working with what I had.  Instead of blending it all I would take out some broccoli first.  It might also work with using almost milk instead of broth.  I just had some broth I needed to use it.

You could probably also cook the butternut squash right in with your veggies and blend all at the same time then add in the additional cheese sauce ingredients (I used butter and used almond milk instead of cream because it's what I had.  Usually I use unsweetened coconut yogurt.  It's honestly pretty forgiving!  I also add nutritional yeast for even more cheesy flavor)

It really is a tasty substitute and I'm so happy I stumbled across the original recipe by Empowered Sustenance! 

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