The thought of eating high-lactose foods like quiche, fettuccine Alfredo, or pudding can give you feelings of both yearning and dread if you have severe lactose intolerance. The good news? You can still enjoy these tasty dishes.
The trick is to swap in calcium-fortified lactose-free milk or nondairy milk for regular cow's milk, or use lactose-free options instead of cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt in recipes. Nondairy drinks, such as almond, rice, or soy milk, are also tasty options. Use olive oil or canola oil instead of butter if the lactose in butter gives you problems.
If you can eat some types of regular cheese or yogurt, feel free to add as much as you can tolerate to the recipes below. You can also take a lactase enzyme pill before you eat, to make any dairy you do include easier to digest.
Olive Oil Wheat Crust
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons ice water (a teaspoon or two more, if needed)
1 1/4 cups plain lactose-free milk (or almond or soy milk)
2 large eggs (higher omega-3, if available)
1/2 cup egg substitute (substitute 2 large eggs, if desired)
1/2 medium-sized sweet onion, finely chopped
6 slices crisp, cooked turkey bacon, crumbled (optional)
1 cup shredded soy cheese of your choice (mozzarella or Jack flavors work well)
3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and then gently squeezed of excess water
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (add more, if desired)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, white flour, salt, and olive oil, and beat on low until crumbly. Drizzle ice water over the top, and beat on low just until dough forms.
- Squeeze dough into a ball and place in a deep pie plate coated with canola cooking spray. Use hands to spread dough evenly into bottom and sides of pie plate.
- In same mixing bowl used for the crust, combine lactose-free milk (or almond milk), eggs, and egg substitute; set aside.
- In medium bowl, combine chopped onion, turkey bacon (if desired), soy cheese, and chopped spinach, and then pour into the prepared crust. Sprinkle nutmeg and black pepper over the top. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top of the spinach mixture and bake until center of quiche is set (about 55 minutes).
Yield: 6 servings
Per serving: 256 calories, 16 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 6 g monounsaturated fat, 3 g polyunsaturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 228 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 38%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.4 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 2 g
Lactose-Free Mac and Cheese
1 1/2 cups dried whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (add more, if desired)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups plain lactose-free milk (or almond, rice, or soy milk)
5 ounces shredded or cubed soy cheddar cheese
Black pepper to taste
- Bring about 8 cups of water to a rolling boil, add macaroni noodles, and boil until tender (8-10 minutes). Once pasta is tender, drain well in colander while finishing steps 2 and 3.
- Add olive oil to a large, nonstick frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic and black pepper and continue to sauté for an additional minute; set aside.
- In 2-cup measure, combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup of lactose-free milk (or almond, rice, or soy milk) to make a smooth paste. Blend in the remaining lactose-free milk. Pour into a medium, nonstick saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce heat to simmer and stir in the shredded or cubed cheese. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Add black pepper to taste.
- Combine cheese sauce with the drained noodles and spoon sautéed mushroom mixture over the top before serving.
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Per serving (if 4 servings): 305 calories, 18 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 3 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 540 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 21%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.3 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 2.6 g
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
You can make this a day ahead. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator, and then warm it in a slow cooker or in the microwave when you're ready to eat.
1 large head garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup plain lactose-free milk (or almond, soy, or rice milk)
28 to 32 ounces of potatoes, peeled and quartered
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic heads, throw the tops away, and place the heads on a piece of foil. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the garlic heads and wrap them well in the foil. Bake until tender and golden (about 35 minutes). Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin away from the garlic cloves.
- While garlic is baking, place quartered potatoes in a large microwave-safe container with 1/4 cup of water and cook on HIGH until potatoes are tender. If you prefer to use the stove, place potatoes in a stockpot, cover with cold salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potato pieces in a colander.
- Add hot, steaming, and drained potato pieces directly to a large mixing bowl, along with the garlic cloves and any olive oil drippings, and lactose-free milk (or almond, soy, or rice milk). Beat on low just until blended.
- Season with pepper and salt, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings
Per serving: 150 calories, 5 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fat (0.2 g saturated fat, 0.8 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3.2 g fiber, 29 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 9%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.2 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 0.3 g
Coconut Tapioca Pudding
If you grew up with tapioca pudding, this may be one of your comfort foods. Here's a quick and light low-lactose recipe.
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups lactose-free milk with a splash of vanilla extract (or vanilla soy, almond, or rice milk)
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 large egg (higher omega-3, if available)
1/3 cup shredded or flaked coconut
- Combine sugar, tapioca, lactose-free milk (or soy, almond, or rice milk), and egg with whisk in a medium, nonstick saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Stir in coconut. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil (it will take about 8 minutes). It will thicken as it cools. Remove from heat and stir in coconut extract. Cool 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stir the mixture and spoon into serving or dessert cups. Serve warm or chilled.
Yield: 5 servings
Per serving: 130 calories, 5 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 1.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 0.5 g fiber, 78 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 28%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.2 g, Omega-6 fatty acids: 1.3 g