My dairy free diary

I hope that can give ideas to anyone needing to replace dairies from their diet, or just looking for new flavors. Here is my guide book.
It’s about variations. So, no, I’m not renouncing to the wonderful French cheeses. I eat less dairies than I used to for a number of reasons.
I am not going to make you a list of the infamous industrial recreations, margarines and blocks of soaps marketed as cheese. I don’t find those products interesting. They are extremely processed, and not even cheap.
I found or rediscovered many cousins of dairies, mostly plant based cousins. Cheese-less dishes are not less good nor better than the others. They are different, new dishes. Don’t compare !
Disclaimer : I tried to organize it by ingredients (soy, coconut, millet, sesame, oil… and by use as “subs” (cottage cheese, cream, butter, stinky cheese, runny cheese…), and… you get that confusion ! Sorry, it’s a random mix. The topic is so vast…


Soy milk : It’s thicker and richer than milk. The drink you buy is diluted and sweetened, so to reproduce just add sweetened water to the “whole” soymilk. You can use it as a drink, as ingredient and also to make tofu or yuba.
DIY soy milk
tonyu milky cake
French-Chinese milky chervil soup

Almond milk :DIY almond milk

Corn milk : DIY sweet corn milk

Hemp milk : I didn’t find the one I made was good raw. Well, I make it from whole hemp seeds, maybe if they are hulled it’s different. But it’s delicious cooked.
hemp milk quiche
spouted hemp seed bread
hemp seed pain brioché

Coconut milk : I take big cans of thick milk, I chill and open to separate the floating cream and the skim milk. I don’t usually make it into butter to cook (and we can’t buy it here), but I sometimes clarify a small amount for cosmetic purposes.
The whole milk is very fat, too much for my gut, I make sure I use it diluted into sauces or in small amounts.
hot carobcinno
Café au lait, revisited
Coconut cauliflower creme soup

Butters, hard creams : I use mostly coconut cream. I sometimes buy cocoa butter but it’s a pricey rarity here. Both are perfect for chocolates, ganaches…
silky chocolate tarte
nama choco,vegan ganache sweets
coconut cream vegan scones

The whip question :
Commercial soy based whip is convenient, but very chemical and not very tasty. Pure coconut cream whip is really too fat to digest. A solution is to mix half coconut cream and half of either tofu or some starched based cream when everything is at room temperature, and to whip in a bowl bathing in iced water.

It exists in different textures, and you’ll get different results if you change.
DIY tofu

The silky tofu can become creamy if you whip it. Use it whipped instead of sour cream, cream cheese…
a vegan flower of marron cream
silky tofu cream
tofu pumpkin cake
tofu chi cakes, 3 flavors
shira-ae Japanese creamy dressing

The medium soft tofu, particularly tasty hand-made can be served like fresh mozzarella, either cold, or topping a pizza (slice thin as it won’t spread much, drizzle olive oil and salt and bake).
tofu in Caprese salad
tofu on a pizza

The firm (cotton, momen-dofu) can be crumbled and salted to be like a cottage cheese, served cold. To get it more grainy, place it 20 minutes between 2 plates with something a bit heavy on top, so most water gets out.
silky tofu broken as fromage blanc cottage cheese
fromage de tofu (tofu cheez loaf)

Also in the tofu family :
Yuba : It is tofu skin. Fresh, it’s served like a cottage cheese. I buy it but you can make yours (it’s a bit long and tricky).
Okara : It’s the fiber you obtain when you make soy milk. Using it as a base for cake, you don’t need dairies.
cakes made with okara

To replace butter in cakes, cookies… Any oil can be used but you get different added flavors.
I find white sesame oil, the odorless cold pressed type, is excellent and very comparable to butter in taste in fine cakes. Almond oil has the same properties and brings an Oriental flavor.
White sesame oil chiffon cake
Bayonesa sweet pie with almond oil pastry
olive oil oatmeal scones
olive oil baked donuts

SESAME (and peanuts, etc)
Pasted sesame is a whole world. It’s the tahini of Middle-East and the neri goma of Asia. They are similar and they are not… If you paste raw or roasted sesame, if it’s white, yellow or black sesame, if you use a mortar or a mill, you get different flavors and textures. These tahinis are perfect to cream a sauce and replace butter as your fat spread. Sesame powder can also bring the “milk touch” to smoothies and soups.
DIY tahini
creamy sesame sauce for wine mandarin sauce tofu
DIY gomadofu sesame tofu (a creamy custard)
goma dare (Japanese sesame creamy dressing)

And as a butter alternative for baking :
tahini Venitian snails (not fully dairy free)
black sesame croissant pastry

Peanuts can also be used to cream sauces, make peanut butter, peanut tofu. Of course, there are possibilities for other types of seeds or nuts, but I don’t get them easily.
creamy peanut sauce on gado gado

Millet : The upper photo shows a runny cheez sauce, nice for gratins and casseroles.

millet cheez on canneloni
millet cheez in tarragon gratin
millet cheez in moussaka

That sounds weird. Let’s be frank, if I were you reading this, I’d say “that’s gross…”. But I was given to eat mayonnaise pizza without knowing what it was, and it tasted good. It’s really much less heavy than what you expect. Even if the mayo is fat, you don’t put so much so the result is lighter than a classic cheeese pizza. So you can make your melted toasts with mayonnaise. Well I’ve tried with classic egg yolk mayo, but I think it would work with mayonnaise without egg, since the main ingredient is the oil.
Japanese pizza
Brown rice natto pizza

Others :
Some veggies have a sluggish texture (moloheya, nagaimo yam, etc…) and the most known is okra (gumbo) :
okra and coconut chizz chilled sauce
To make white sauces, corn starch, rice flours, powdered oatmeal are white and creamy.
Starch replaces the cream in ice-cream. Turkish ice-cream is based on arabic gum, and I’ve used kudzu to get a similar result.
Banana can give the creamy texture in ice-creams and smoothies.
Natural yummy banana pudding



Nutritional yeast is well know. I don’t think it’s a wonder on its own. I add a little amount to many savory cheez dishes, but I find it brings a weird taste to sweet dishes or in big amounts. I also adds salt, paprika, wheat germ, other spices.

The Japanese trinity :

Sake kasu is sake lees, a white paste of very fermented rice. The closest I know is goat cheese. Like natto, it’s not salted. It can be used to make a milky soup, and a milky drink. It can be grilled, and you get like a goat cheese melted toast.
Miso, the different types have that fermented flavor, but are extremely salty, so use by touch like very salty aged Holland or Parmesan cheese.

miso + sake kasu toast
miso + sake kasu dip
miso marinated tofu (bought version)
pide, Turkish pizza with grilled sake kasu


Fermented soy beans. It is like a strong French cheese already. It has the smell, the strong flavors, the slugglish factor… It’s a cheese, it’s the vegan cheese. Not some recreation. The only thing is it’s not salted.
Munsterious natto (the stinkiest)
black natto

Millet cream Spring cannelloni

This month’s Daring Cook Challenge is :

Blog-checking lines: Manu from Manu’s Menu was our Daring Cooks lovely June hostess and has challenged us to make traditional Italian cannelloni from scratch! We were taught how to make the pasta, filling, and sauces shared with us from her own and her family’s treasured recipes!

I have not followed the given recipes, that look gorgeous but require Italian ingredients a bit out of reach for me.

I made a second Summer recipe chilled and vegan :

chilled veggie cannelloni

I had 2 other variations before :

green peas and marjoram

carrot and azuki bean

That’s like a ragu pasta sauce. I add potato starch as a binder.

Fresh egg pasta.

Mochi awa (foxtail millet). I had already used this sauce here. That’s just boiling the millet till it becomes a sauce. I passed the mixer to smooth it. I added a little beer yeast (the health store type, not for bread), salt and olive oil.

When serving, I added a sort of gremolata made of salted nira, young onion and chili pepper.

Coconut black rice doria

Coconut power !
A light summer version of the doria gratin, with very sweet coconut and cinnamon flavors. The black rice is a sticky rice that naturally brings a sweet texture and flavor. It’s nearly a dessert. I could have eaten 2 or 3.

what is a doria ?

Black rice, young onion and carrot, stir-fried in coconut cream.

Layer 1 : cooked chick peas.

Layer 2 : the rice

Layer 3 : white sauce
It’s a leftover of millet white sauce. I have added more coconut cream. Reheated. Just poured on the rice.

Yummy !

Millet au lait

I had a little left-over of cooked mochi awa (foxtail millet). Just enough to prepare a little dessert.

That’s the dry grain.

I cook it with 3 volumes of water in the rice-cooker.

Then I add coconut milk and cream, and yellow cane sugar. And wait a few hours (in the fridge when it’s cooled). That’s all.

Enjoy like that. That’s deliciously refreshing.

The texture is like semolina desserts. I missed them as I don’t see semolina anywhere in Japan, but maybe that’s my solution.

The second option is to serve it with fruits, fresh or dry, or both.

Mungo bean curry and purple naruto

Indian spices and beans for this little lunch trio.

Mungo beans after one night of soaking. These Indian beans are often used to make bean sprouts.

After boiling, and clean foam, 15 minutes, I simmered them with the small grains of mochiawa( foxtail millet). It’s flavored with kujo negi leek, curry spice mix, ground mustards seeds, ajowan, beer yeast…
That gave a good Indian style curry, perfect to warm you up.

This sweet potato is called “purple naruto”. Why that ? They created the cultivar in the region of Naruto. And it’s purple. Light purple. It is not very sweet. That’s well as a vegetable.

Steamed then baked. No seasoning needed.

Simple too. Genmai brown rice, with tomato paste, salt and olive oil.

Poulet en gratin, with a macrobio twist and a hint of tarragon

Chicken baked in a cheese-texture sauce. Actually it’s dairy free.

Not the best photo… That looks like melt cheese. It is made of foxtail millet, not the one I had a few posts ago, but the sticky type.
Some macrobiotic eaters make this sauce to use instead of cheese. I don’t know who invented it, it’s all over the web. Well, it’s just a porridge. I boiled the millet a few minutes, let it stand, passed the mixer and simmered to thicken.
Then, you can add salt or soy sauce. It can be used that way on a pizza. It’s not very strong in taste, but not less than average pizza mozzarella. If you want it “stronger”, you can add beer yeast (the pharmacy one that is “killed”, not the baker type that would make “bubbles”), or dry wheat germ, or powdered malt. Plus curry spices of your choice (not too much). You don’t obtain a cheese. You have a melty sauce.

Add fresh tarragon.

On boiled chicken. I’ve let some chicken broth in the dish.

I couldn’t take photos in the oven but it really looked like cheese melting. And that’s the ideal comfort food texture. As it’s dairy free and poor in fat, it’s easy to digest in hot weather (I wouldn’t have eaten a cheese one today).

But flavor is from tarragon.

Konnyaku (wakame flavored) and raw veggies.

Pimp up your rice with pandan and bird food

In today’s rice with a simple variation.
There is what you can see.

Small yellow grains of awa. It’s millet des oiseaux in French, so the name indicates it’s food for the birds. It’s Setaria italica, AKA foxtail millet.

I simply added them to brown rice, in the cooker. With something else that you can’t see. But it perfumes the house…

A knot of pandan leaves. That’s magical. That fills the air with a fragrance of sweet rice.

That’s exotic here. That was the first time I could buy fresh leaves (from Philippines).