Combining the regulations of a clean-eating diet with the regulations of a wheat-free, dairy-free diet is a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the border pieces. Yeah, it can be done, but not without some frustration.
Especially for desserts. This new beast basically amounts to clean-vegan, two words whose combination summons mental pictures of organic celery dipped in melted carob chips (or something) and listlessly eaten by pale, shaky-handed waifs who keep telling you how great they feel now that they live on compassion rather than meat.
Fortunately, it's not that dire. In fact, everything I've made has been delicious. The only "Weeelllll, I wouldn't ask for leftovers" I've received was in regard to last week's chocolate cake, which was, in fact, very tasty but had a peculiar, grainy texture. I'm told that this is because I didn't use xanthan gum with the rice flour. I'm still hesitant about xanthan gum, mainly because I don't trust ingredients that start with "x".
Grilled Lime and Basil Pork Chops
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction
Baked Almond and Raisin Custard*
It's not that difficult. It's just that a lot of dairy-free recipes are a slap in the face to "clean". A lot of recipes are the same recipes we're all familiar with, only they use margarine instead of butter, or, worse, Tofutti products. For the uninitiated, Tofutti makes dairy replacement products (sour cream, cream cheese, etc.) that are soy-based and use hydrogenated fats (trans fats). That stuff all the fast-food restaurants have been under fire about because it's undeniably horrible for you? Yeah, that stuff. Clearly, I can't use a product that combines industrialized soy (because I don't want breast cancer) and hydrogenated fat (because I don't want heart disease) to replace wholesome, delicious, perishable butter. But-oh wait-I can't use dairy, either.**
It's cool. I can be into forced creativity.
*Using almond milk, of course, which is actually pretty awesome.
** Don't think for a nanosecond that my own eating habits are changing. Asking me to give up dairy is like asking me to give up oxygen. I ain't the one who's allergic, dammit. But for shared meals, I'm taking one for the team.
This is probably the first of many Elitist-Meets-Allergic posts to come.