Dairy free dishes contain no animal milk or milk products such as cheese, yogurt, butter, sour cream, etc. Because they are dairy free, they are naturally lactose and casein free. In place of dairy I often use soy, almond, coconut and hemp milk, though they are called “milks” this is because they resemble the appearance of milk, they are not from an animal and do not have lactose or casein.
Engine 2 is a diet designed by Rip Esselstyn for the primary purpose of reducing cholesterol with the added benefits of losing weight and reducing the risk of various diseases. It is designed as a 4 week long diet but can be followed for longer if desired. The diet does not allow the use of any animal products (so it is vegan) or the use of any refined products (olive oil, refined sugar, refined flour, etc). See the official Engine 2 website for more information.
Gluten is a protein found in most grains that some individuals have an allergy to. Gluten allergies range from mild sensitivity to celiac disease. There are many symptoms but the most common are stomach related. If you do not have a gluten intolerance there is no reason why you need to avoid gluten. It has recently become a bit of a fad to eat gluten free but unless you have a gluten sensitivity it is neither helping nor harming you. Something to Keep in mind when making gluten free food is that a dish is not entirely gluten free unless it is made in a gluten free facility/household. For all intents and purposes these dishes are made with gluten free ingredients, but it is up to you to make sure that the ingredients you use are also gluten free. Beware, gluten masquerades under many names and can be found not only in wheat but also in barley, bulgar, durham, farina, graham flour, kamut, matzo, rye, semolina, and spelt. It can be found in many prepackaged items so make sure to read the labels. Some of the more conspicuous every day items are couscous, beer, soy sauce, pasta, and seitan. Items that sometimes have gluten in them are sauces like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pasta sauce, stocks, etc. You can get gluten free versions of all of these products just make sure to read the labels. If it doesn’t say gluten free somewhere on the container then it’s likely not gluten free.
Nightshades are fruits that are members of the Solanaceae family and some people are allergic to them. The allergy symptoms are often subtle so some people live their whole lives without knowing they are allergic to nightshades. Allergies include joint pain, migraine headaches, sleepiness, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. This website defines “Nightshade Free” as dishes that do not contain any nightshades, i.e. eggplants, goji berries, peppers (all, except peppercorns), pimentos, potatoes (except sweet potato), tomatoes, and tomatillos. Other things to be on the lookout for are sauces like ketchup, and hot sauce, and spices like cayenne, chili powder, curry powder (when it’s a blend) and paprika. Additionally some pre-made products contain nightshades, such as most vegetable stocks have some kind of potato in them.
The Paleo Diet (also referred to as the Paleolithic diet, caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet) claims that we are genetically adapted to the foods that our Paleolithic ancestors ate before the widespread use of agriculture. This diet encourages the use of lean meats, fibrous vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. It does not allow dairy, cereal grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, salty food, fatty meats, soft drinks and sugary sweets. See the official Paleo website for more information.
Vegan recipes do not use any animal products. This includes the obvious like meat, milk, cheese, butter, and the more obscure like honey and gelatin. Vegan recipes are ideal for those individuals who have high cholesterol because all animal products have cholesterol in them.
This website follows the Ovo-Lacto vegetarian definition which means that the recipes do contain milk, cheese and eggs but do not contain flesh from dead animals. There is some debate about whether or not vegetarianism includes eggs or not. For the purpose of this website eggs will be considered vegetarian because they are unfertilized. One additional concern for vegetarian dishes is rennet. Rennet is an enzyme extracted from a dead cows stomach in order to make many cheeses, it is NOT vegetarian. Some cheese are made with vegetarian rennet and some are made with animal rennet, it is up to you to decide which cheese to purchase. If the label says “rennet” it is definitely from a cow. If it says “vegetarian rennet”it is vegetarian. Sometime it just says “enzymes” or “microbial” these are usually animal based, but it is best to check with the manufacturer in this case. There are lots of cheese makers that produce rennet free versions of popular cheese. (For Example, Organic Valley makes a line of cheeses with Vegetarian Rennet including: Baby Swiss, sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, feta, Wisconsin raw milk Jack style cheese, pepper Jack, mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, and provolone). Make sure to check the back of the cheese to verify. In summary, vegetarian dishes DO contain milk, cheese and eggs; they DO NOT contain animal flesh or gelatin and it is up to you to use rennet free cheeses.
Written by Anne Beaubien