Cheese & Dairy

I hit the Irish Jackpot last week I won Gaby’s Give Away for Kerrygold products.

It was St. Paddy’s Day last week, and I guess I had the luck of the Irish on my side because there was:

Cheese galore


And an amazing cookbook. It’s a beautiful, hardcover, book with great photos and recipes inside.

I was seriously blown away by the generosity of Kerrygold’s “prize pack”.  They overnight, refrigerated shipped everything to me in California.  I have won a fair number of give aways over the past couple years blogging and have hosted at least 75 give aways for my readers on my own site, and this give away was definitely top shelf.

Thanks, Gaby and Kerrygold!

With all that cheese, I think I can make some Vegan Fajitas with Sweet Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce Obviously they won’t be vegan if I add cheese with dairy, but you could always add vegan cheeze, too.

Sweet Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce (vegan)
These fajitas use mushrooms.  But feel free to use tofu.  I just recently had ‘shroom cravings so am all about them lately.

From my last post about my rainy day coffee meetup with Amber, and cookies vs. cookie dough, it seems most of you love your cookie dough.  If we all love cookie dough so much, why do we even bother baking the cookies? Because lots of you said you do enjoy the baked cookies, too.  Not just dough.


1. Do you like cheese?

I loved cheese before I stopped eating it about 7-8 years ago.  I used to eat any and all types of cheese.

I’m pretty sure Triscuits + Cheese + Wine was dinner at least twice a week in my early 20s.  And honestly, those were great “dinners” and memories.

2. If you don’t like or eat cheese, why not?

For most of my life, I have eaten a largely plant-based diet.  Vegetarian, vegan, or pescatarian.  I dislike labels and since we are all on our own journey, and life ebbs, flows, evolves, and changes, we ought to be present and aware of what will work for us as life and our needs and desires change.

Growing up, even as a small child, I never liked or ate red meat or pork.  I ate very limited amounts of poultry and did enjoy fish.  However, I have food allergies, including anaphalactic reactions to shellfish that came on out of no where when I was 24.

Around that time I also felt like dairy was also a culprit and I eliminated dairy, including cheese, from my diet.

However, in recent years, it seems that dairy in trace/smaller amounts such as in butterscotch chips or in white chocolate in desserts or in cream in coffee, I don’t seem to have any issues or reactions.  I haven’t tried eating cheese though.

No issues with the butterscotch chips in No Bake GF Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars with Chocolate Frosting

And no issues with the white chocolate in the No Bake White Chocolate & Mango Cookie Dough Bites
And no issues with the toffee in No Bake Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Maybe in small amounts, my body is ok with dairy?

3. If you’re dairy free or vegan, do you miss cheese?  Do you miss dairy?  Would you miss dairy if you were to give it up?

Many people say they could never go vegan because they’d miss dairy, cheese, yogurt, and such.  I’ve said before I really don’t miss cheese or dairy (aside from the traces that I have in recipes).  Until I open my refrigerator and see all the cheese I just won.

Or walk around my neighborhood and see people drinking wine and eating cheese.  I guess perhaps I miss the memories.

I know we don’t “need” dairy.  I did a post on it.  Dairy FAQ’s, Calcium, Myths, RecipesBut I do think I “need” white chocolate in my life.

I love nutritional yeast for all it’s cheezy vegan-ness.  I have a nooch recipes post with about 15 cheezy recipe ideas but let’s face it, cheeze is not cheese.

Do you eat cheese?  Or dairy?  Would you miss it if you didn’t eat it?


106 Responses to “Cheese & Dairy”

  1. Tasha @ Voracious — March 22, 2011 at 3:05 am (#

    Kerrygold is such a great cheese! We get it here in Saudi, and we love it. Congratulations on your win!

    When I was vegan I obviously didn’t eat cheese, and I didn’t really miss it. Cheese is yummy, but it was never something that was a centerpiece of my diet. I’m glad to have it back in my life now, it is a fun addition to lots of dishes.

  2. Emma (Namaste Everyday) — March 22, 2011 at 3:17 am (#

    I try and eliminate dairy for health reasons, too. But the thing is, it tastes so good I think it is healthy for the soul! But it’s important to find the balance of when indulging in it is ok–I’m still struggling with that. Luckily I’m a healthy 19-year-old so I have plenty of time to figure it out!

  3. CathyK — March 22, 2011 at 3:24 am (#

    congrats on winning that giveaway, averie!! what a beautiful cookbook to add to your collection.
    i’m not a cheese fan – just because i don’t really like the taste or texture. not big into cheesy dishes like lasagna or pizza. i DO like milk – although i’ve been choosing almond more and more, of late. milk + cereal – the only way i do milk!!!
    LOVE nooch!!! i think it’s the best thing i’ve found thanks to blog reading!
    have a great day!

  4. Leah — March 22, 2011 at 3:25 am (#

    Oh my goodness… I used to work for a gourmet coffee and grocery shop, and we sold this brand. It was delicious! I have been completely dairy-free, except for the lactose in a prescription I needed to take, for the last two years. While I am stubbornly faithful (to a fault) to my animal-free diet, piles of cheeses still makes me salivate. Looking is okay, right…?

  5. lindsay — March 22, 2011 at 3:32 am (#

    lucky gal! I love cooking with kerrygold. Their cheese is good too. I can still have high fat/low lactose dairy in moderation. But I usually go for the wine and raw nuts/fruit instead. Love those memories too!

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 22, 2011 at 3:59 am (#

      “I can still have high fat/low lactose dairy in moderation.”–good to know! I have heard other people say that, too about their choices. Something about the fat helps to “buffer” things.

  6. VeggieGirl — March 22, 2011 at 3:41 am (#


  7. totalwellness30 — March 22, 2011 at 3:51 am (#

    I was vegetarian for 10 years before I found out I was lactose intolerant. I had a rash on my arm and was gassy, bloated, had diarrhea and uncontrollable bathroom urges. This came out of no where since I have always had a heavy diet with cheese in it. I had already given up ice cream and yogurt and milk and mostly eggs. So to be come completely vegan I had to be done with cheese.

    I struggled for 4 years giving up cheese. I had an addiction, it became and obsession where I would guiltily buy it, eat it and then feel bad and not know why since logic says – don’t eat it if it bothers your stomach and body. Then I found out about the science of it. Cheese has two proteins – whey and casein. Casein breaks down into your brain into something called caso-morphine which basically acts like a morphine/drug addiction. After that and learning about the ethics of the dairy industry (I had made some incorrect assumptions) .

    I’ve been vegan ever since and have not looked back or missed a thing : ) That said you should do what is right for you. If you can’t give cheese up, then give everything up but cheese.

  8. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — March 22, 2011 at 4:04 am (#

    I’m kind of like you. Growing up, I never really liked meat to begin with, so when I cut it out completely, it never bothered me. I do love cheese, but cheese definitely gives my stomach problems. Small amounts of dairy in things such as dark chocolate, don’t seem to bother me. Greek yogurt doesn’t really bother me either. I love big hunks of smelly old cheese… ::sigh::

  9. Jennifer — March 22, 2011 at 4:18 am (#

    ooo those cheeses look so delicious! I absolutely love cheese, that is probably the one food I could never do without, I don’t get cravings for sweets or desserts ever, and I could care less about soda or chips, but I always crave cheese!

  10. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes — March 22, 2011 at 4:20 am (#

    Wow! That is a cheese haul that you have there. I do like cheese but don’t eat too much of it. I mainly go for white cheeses such as mozarella, feta and goat’s cheese.

  11. Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope — March 22, 2011 at 4:29 am (#

    What an awesome giveaway load! I’m sure you’ll make good use of it.

    I tend to avoid dairy OTHER than yogurt. I really do feel physically healthier by not eating it, however yogurt still sits well with me.

  12. Kath (My Funny Little Life) — March 22, 2011 at 4:45 am (#

    I’m intolerant to lactose and casein, and I had to quit it when I was 12 which was very hard for me, because I almost lived on yoghurt then. And loved ice cream so much. :( Cheese I never liked so much, though, although I would eat it.

    Now, the only dairy products I can and do eat are butter and cream. Kerrygold and organic sweet butter are my favorites! :)

  13. rhea — March 22, 2011 at 4:50 am (#

    i LOVE cheese. sadly, i’ve struggled with constipation and general stomach issues due to IBS as of late, so cheese has gotten the axe. thankfully, i like nooch a lot :)
    kerrygold is the BEST though. their butter is golden and cheesy. i want to know who could eat that much cheese before it goes bad!??! ;)

  14. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — March 22, 2011 at 5:01 am (#

    “Let’s face it– cheeze is not cheese.” Haha…so true. I do LOVE cheese, but have been cutting back over the last year or so. I could never give it up permanently, but I think the less cheese in my life, the better (for my health…not for my tastebuds though!)

  15. fartygirl — March 22, 2011 at 5:13 am (#

    Cheese is one of my #1 offenders, so I don’t touch it. Even the tiny bit of parm that was sprinkled on the broccoli dish I got at my mother’s birthday dinner the other day bothered me!!! But I have been considering going back to Greek yogurt. I don’t think I will, because ultimately dairy causes me to get more colds. Right now, I’m working on a post for Dairy Free Betty about vegan sources of calcium and oxalates! Sounds fascinating, huh? Ha! :)

  16. Jess@HealthyExposures — March 22, 2011 at 5:19 am (#

    Amen to Tricuits + Cheese + Wine. Except replace Cheese with Hummus and Wine with Mixed Drinks and that was me. Sounds like you were classier :P
    Kerrygold really hooked you up! I was wondering how they would go about shipping all that but you answered the question for me.
    I never really thought I’d find myself where I am now in my “diet,” but I’ve just sort of phased out of dairy and animal products altogether. The longer I go without it the more it sort of…weirds me out, I guess. I still don’t consider myself vegan because it’s not like I try to avoid it at all costs (and honestly, I’m more likely to put the butter on the counter on my muffin or toast at night than I am to pull out my own Earth Balance, it’s in a hot cocoa mix I have and trace amounts in other products I’m sure, too) I’ve always been “I could take it or leave it” about cheese and my mom is the same. Blame her :P And milk? Always hated the stuff growing up! I’m kind of glad the vegan substitutes aren’t really all that similar to the real deal, haha.

  17. Keelie — March 22, 2011 at 5:21 am (#

    I eat and adore cheese! Feta is my staple- I use it on salads, in omelettes… you name it! :)

  18. Crystal — March 22, 2011 at 5:30 am (#

    After over 4 years of being very strict vegan I have in the last few weeks been including some cheese and eggs into my diet. I have said many times before that we don’t need these things in our diets- however in the last 6 months I have been feeling as though there is something missing from my diet. I was feeling extremely tired and a bit unhealthy. I really wanted to do what was best for my body because I’m an extremely active girl- and it seemed like the best way to go. Cheese is good- and I had always loved it! So for me eating a “vegan” diet rich in veggies, fruits and whole grains with these things is working :)

  19. Heather (Where's the Beach) — March 22, 2011 at 5:42 am (#

    Holy cheese heaven! Wow. I used to think I could never give up cheese. But it makes the hubs sick, so we rarely have real cheese. We did indulge in goat cheese last night (not even very much) and it felt so sinful, but oh so good.

  20. Sue @ Sue In Training — March 22, 2011 at 5:44 am (#

    Lately I’ve been trying to reduce dairy and eggs in my diet, to focus on more plant-based foods (for health/ethic reasons). Cheese is actually the only form of dairy I consume semi-regularly at the moment, exept for an occasional ice cream treat or traces in pre-made foods. I feel very lucky to live in Europe, where you have easy access to so many different kinds of awesome cheese. Having cheese only a few times per week makes me savour and apreciate it even more.

    Ah, memories … like feasting on parmesan and fresh ciabatta bread on a mild night in Rome. Sigh!

    I just recently bought a bag of nooch, not sure how to use it. I’ll re-read your post on it for inspiration!

  21. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — March 22, 2011 at 5:54 am (#

    I LOVE cheese, but it does not love me back. My boys would have been in heaven with that jackpot! YUM! I am sure your crew will be loving you making so many treats with it!

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm (#

      that’s so cool that you are DF and your boys aren’t. I guess I “knew” it but everyone’s households and who eats what…i can’t keep everyone straight :)

  22. Nicole @ Fresh & Fit — March 22, 2011 at 6:03 am (#

    The only dairy products I am really obsessed with are cottage cheese and yogurt. These are the reasons I could not be a vegan…

  23. marla — March 22, 2011 at 6:07 am (#

    I was wondering who won that cheese – love the stuff. Not vegan over here. Soooo psyched to see you today. Still on yes??

  24. rebecca lustig — March 22, 2011 at 6:24 am (#

    recently ive been really into fajitas!

    i have a love/hate relationship with cheese. sometimes i crave it, sometimes the thought of it makes my stomach churn. I’m so odd.

  25. Naomi — March 22, 2011 at 6:25 am (#

    HOLY CHEESE! the only thing I have been craving during comp prep is CHEESE and bread! lots and lots of cheese…its the strangest thing! I thought I would want cookies or sweets but nope! just bring on the cheese and ill be a happy gal! :)

    As far as dairly, whats strange is that I am becoming somewhat intolerant to dairy (I think) When I have dairy later in the day (past 3pm) I get extremely uncomfortable, bloated yadda yadda, but if I have it before say 12pm then Im okay! I know that enzymes are working harder in the morning in the stomach so maybe thast why its easier to digest? do you know anything about why this is?

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm (#

      if you followed the principles of food combining, there is definitely merit to time of day and ingesting certain foods. Also the ORDER of the foods, i.e. fruit first, don’t mix carbs and meat, there are tons of “rules” and it’s food for thought but i am not a “food combining” advocate per se.

      I also think that the biorhythms of our bodies differ and at certain points in the day it can handle certain foods and other times….not so much.

  26. Evan Thomas — March 22, 2011 at 6:41 am (#

    I’ve never really cared much about cheese so I had no problem giving that up, but I’ve been drawn back into eating real butter and I don’t think I’ll ever turn away from it again. That would not last long near me; they just make brownies taste that much better.

  27. Leslie — March 22, 2011 at 6:44 am (#

    Wow, congrats on your prize! You really must have the luck of the Irish! ;)

    I am going through a vegan phase after reading Crazy Sexy Diet. Soo…..I have given up dairy–however, I think my chocolate chips DID have dairy that I through in my no bake cookie dough balls yesterday. So I guess I’ve given it up in large amounts. I don’t really miss it though. I have found alternatives that are just fine, like nooch, nut milks, etc. I do miss cream cheese sometimes though. ;)

  28. Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — March 22, 2011 at 6:50 am (#

    Kerrygold is supposed to be the best, I’ve heard–but I’ve never tried it.

  29. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine — March 22, 2011 at 6:50 am (#

    I’m not a big cheese person, mainly because I think the majority of it in the US sucks. Yes, total snob over here, but the only kinds I can’t resist are things like amazing brie, roquefort, camembert…the stuff my mom fed us growing up. I mean, cheddar and American still taste good to me, obviously, but I never crave it and have no problem saving it for the really good stuff!!

    I still eat some dairy, so I never really miss it. It’s not a part of my every day life, but if I want ice cream or frosting, I eat it! There’s no intolerance, it’s just an ethical, taste and health thing, so I let myself have it when it’s calling my name :)

  30. Download software — March 22, 2011 at 7:09 am (#

    Excellent job! I found your blog using google. I am going to tell my wife about your blog later.

  31. rachel — March 22, 2011 at 7:30 am (#

    i used to have a hard time giving up cheese and dairy. until one day i decided i was just going to do it for good. i’ve been vegan for a few months now and feel great, and i don’t miss dairy or eggs. ok sometimes i miss eggs. but definitely not dairy. though i know if i won a cheese giveaway i’d probably be craving some of it, just because it was there ;)

  32. sahara violet — March 22, 2011 at 7:39 am (#

    Hi averie, congratulations on all that! Sooo jealous!
    Kerrygold is great especially the butter because it has the higher fat content (european style)and is made from the cream of the grassfed animal during the grass growing season which maximizes the nutrients. If I don’t get raw or local butter, KG is my next fav. choice and ghee is another wonderful choice for butter uses without milk solids, Pure foods is great for ghee. Use all this healthy butter fat liberally to maximize uptake of the fat soluble vitamins in your food. And its YUM! :)
    did I mention I was jealous? Are you planning a cheese and butter tasting? ;)

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm (#

      haha! i would love to have a wine + cheese party. If only i wasnt working so much, I’d have you over :) Hope you’re doing well, honey!!!!

  33. Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh — March 22, 2011 at 7:50 am (#

    Real cheese def taste amazing, but I am lactose intolerant. I can handle a little dairy in moderation, but not too much. Cheese is the one thing that makes me sick the worst. I miss it sometimes, but I know I feel alot better when I don’t eat it :)

  34. Katie — March 22, 2011 at 7:52 am (#

    So much cheese! Giving up cheese was the hardest thing for me when I went vegan 2.5 years ago, but once I got it out of my system, I craved it less. I miss the fancy cheese plates in gourmet restaurants, and every once in a while I have a little bit of raw goat cheese. But even with that, the longer I go without it, the less I crave it.

    I have been eating cheeseless pizza, but I have to admit that finding Daiya has been a game changer for me.

  35. Erin — March 22, 2011 at 8:05 am (#

    Wow! That really is a nice package. It really looks top notch. I’m sure you’re family will enjoy all the good things you’ll make from it!

  36. Pain Relief — March 22, 2011 at 8:06 am (#

    The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice.
    Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.

  37. radioactivegan — March 22, 2011 at 8:15 am (#

    I was a big cheese eater in my pre-gan days, but when I gave it up I didn’t really miss it (after the first month or two). My boyfriend eats cheese, so there is usually some in my fridge, but the smell of it puts me off now — it’s just salty and … cloying? I don’t know, it smells like fat to me, if that makes sense. lol. I suppose tastes just change over time.

  38. Andy — March 22, 2011 at 8:18 am (#

    I loved cheese before going vegan almost a year and a half ago, but I still crave it from time to time. In fact, just last week I broke down and got some, and it was very tasty. I think I am likely to continue avoiding dairy, but there may be those sinful moments of indulgence time and again as long as it’s good quality cheese! If I ever go back and travel about Europe, I think I’ll probably drop my anti-dairy for the trip because European cheese is soo good.

  39. lynn @ the actor's diet — March 22, 2011 at 8:18 am (#

    wow that is a giveaway jackpot! i don’t eat too much cheese but if a bunch of it landed on my front porch i would!

  40. Andrea — March 22, 2011 at 8:18 am (#

    Cheese is ridiculously tasty, but I don’t use it when I cook for myself (which is most of the time). Sometimes it’s unavoidable though if I’m at an Italian restaurant…and don’t want a house salad, ya know? :) And I reeeeaally appreciate it when I do have it. :)

    About the shellfish thing, my sister had that reaction when after one time she got sick from shellfish when she was pregnant. It’s been two years now and she can’t have shellfish anymore! Bummer. Hers isn’t as sensitive as yours though, she still dabbles in sushi. :) I’ve heard that roughly every 7 years (and when you’re pregnant) your body chemistry changes – you’ll see changes in your hair (curly vs. straight), skin, and reactions to food….Interesting huh.

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm (#

      that sucks about your sister’s rxns. If there is one thing i CANNOT “cheat” with…it’s shellfish. I could die b/c my airway could close on me!

  41. janetha @ meals and moves — March 22, 2011 at 8:26 am (#

    i love kerrygold cheese almost as much as i love dogs. since you don’t eat it, you can go right ahead and send it on over ;)

  42. Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete — March 22, 2011 at 8:38 am (#

    I don’t eat 100% dairy free, but I don’t eat much of it at all — definitely no milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc. I do miss yogurt though :(

    I can handle it in small doses — a piece of cheese every couple of days doesn’t hurt — just larger amounts or “pure” dairy sources are hard on me. A little bit of milk in mashed potatoes isn’t bad, but a glass of milk is.

    I never had problems with dairy until I met Jason, who can’t have dairy (or only extreme small amounts) — so I cut it out. By cutting it out I wonder if I have developed some sort of intolerance? Because now I react to it. So strange!

    That is an awesome prize pack! I am super jealous.

  43. Stefanie @TheNewHealthy — March 22, 2011 at 8:45 am (#

    Wow–that is such a generous prize pack! I like cheese, but I definitely try to stay away from it! Every once in a while I have goat cheese or mozz on pizza, but other than that no cheese for me! :)

  44. Lauren — March 22, 2011 at 8:55 am (#

    Hi Averie! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and love it! I’m delurking just because i’m so curious … what are you going to do with all that cheese being that you are a mostly dairy-free household?!

  45. McKella — March 22, 2011 at 9:11 am (#

    I just went to a doctor for fatigiue, anxiety and depression and tested me for several deficiences, imbalances and allergies that could cause those things, and it looks like I have a dairy intolerance. I love yogurt, cheese and cheesecake, so I threw myself a quick pity party but decided to move on and see if I could live without them. I haven’t had dairy for a couple days and my energy is much better and I haven’t had any headaches or cravings (well, a few. But nothing like they were before.) I swear this only developed in the last couple of years too. I’m so glad I read blogs like yours, they’re very inspiring and help me stay on track with habits that help me stay healthy.

  46. Katie — March 22, 2011 at 9:19 am (#

    More power to you. Eat some for me, kay? :D

  47. mimiatpersonaltrainerschicago — March 22, 2011 at 9:27 am (#

    Congratulations! the pictures look so yummy =) I love cheese so much..

  48. Christine (The Raw Project) — March 22, 2011 at 9:56 am (#

    Sweet prize pack, wow!

    1. It’s okay, but it’s not something I really miss since going vegan with so many great vegan alternatives. But the stuff is like crack for my mom for some reason, she swears it’s the only reason she could never go totally vegan.
    2. Because I’ve converted to a vegan diet and find overall I have more energy and less intestinal dysfunction since dropping dairy products.

  49. Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) — March 22, 2011 at 9:57 am (#

    omg do I love cheese? YES!!! haha all that cheese looks amazing!!!

  50. Lauren Marie — March 22, 2011 at 10:07 am (#

    Well I’m both vegan and lactose intolerant. I used to be a complete dairy addict and never imagined how people could avoid eating dairy! I do find that I miss cheese sometimes, but I think I agree with you that its really about the memories. All of the dairy memories…

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