Monday, February 10, 2014

Dairy-Free Menu Plan

More and more people are going dairy-free and searching for ideas of what to eat. So many people tell me they couldn't do it, they couldn't go dairy-free. Sometimes it takes not having a choice--to have horrible reactions--to finally do it. But I think that if I had also seen "normal" menu ideas, I might have had an easier time with the switch. So, I've decided to share a basic weekly menu plan with you!

Breakfast: oatmeal with milk alternative; I prefer almond (naturally high in calcium) or calcium-fortified rice milk (if you use instant oatmeal, check the ingredients; I like to eat Quaker Brown Sugar instant which is dairy-free here) and orange juice

Lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwich with carrot sticks and hummus or tahini; if you use butter in your sandwich, use a vegan margarine instead (Becel Vegan or Fleischmann's non-hydrogenated margarine--apparently a Canadian product and I don't know if the American Flesichmann's spread is dairy-free or not. BEWARE! Most margarines contain whey, a milk product.)

Supper: chili with pasta and an assortment of raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, cucumbers...)

Breakfast: cereal with milk alternative (many, many cereals are dairy-free, like Rice Krispies, Cheerios, Special K, many Nature's Path cereals...)

Lunch: salad with leftover chili

Supper: chicken and veggie stir fry (super easy way is to stir fry chicken, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, maybe some snow peas, and use a bottled teriyaki or other sauce to add some flavour) with rice

Breakfast: oatmeal

Lunch: sandwich with dairy-free deli meats (I tend to buy the prepackaged ones because the deli counter doesn't seem to always have ingredients readily available!), lettuce, cucumber--NO cheese. Mayo (here, anyhow) is dairy-free.

Supper: minestrone soup (find an easy recipe online; some are truly super easy!) with salad

Breakfast: choice of cereal with milk alternative

Lunch: leftover soup

Supper: Tacos. Just skip the cheese (or try an alternative cheese if you like; I was a cheese lover and have found I'd prefer to just skip the cheese!)

Breakfast: oatmeal

Lunch: pasta salad with rotini noodles, tuna, cooked peas and mayo; can serve on a bed of lettuce

Supper: grilled cheese with salad or veggies. I prefer Daiya cheddar-style for the cheese; if you choose another cheese, make sure there isn't any milk in it since many of the alternative cheeses have casein, a milk protein

Breakfast: eggs and toast with orange slices

Lunch: Hot dogs (check the ingredients!! many have milk products!) with raw veggies and hummus

Supper: Spaghetti with tomato-based sauce; some recipes are very simple, but you could always go for a bottled version, but, as usual, check the ingredients! A lot are dairy-free, but a good number also have cheese in them. Serve with a salad. And maybe some garlic toast (just pop bread in the toaster, spread with vegan margarine and sprinkle some garlic powder over top). You can purchase soy-based parmesan cheese or, if you are willing to go a step further, check out Mimi Kirk's Caesar salad recipe, specifically the cashew parmesan part. This stuff's AMAZING.

Breakfast: something light--a single piece of toast, an orange, a banana, a fruit smoothie...

Lunch/Brunch: pancakes (made with milk alternative; your regular recipe works just fine with almond or rice milk, but if you use a prepackaged mix, check the ingredients first!). If you use real maple syrup, you will be adding to your calcium intake.

Supper: roast chicken (consider purchasing a pre-cooked one at the store; they are sometimes cheaper than purchasing a fresh or frozen chicken and roasting it yourself!) with roasted potatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and salad


This is all just a suggested basic, hopefully simple, menu plan that does not include snacks and desserts, which can also be easily dairy-free. It is not intended to cover all of your calcium or other needs (like fruit and vegetable consumption) and, for the most part, tries to avoid prepackaged foods. If you use microwave meals and such, just check the label first, but be prepared to find that most have milk in them. Fill in the above with fruits and vegetables, and additional foods for calcium intake, such as tofu made with calcium sulfate, soy or other alternative yoghurts with calcium (read the label!), plant foods high in calcium such as almonds, sesame seeds (tahini, made with sesame seeds, is a very good source of calcium), dark green leafy vegetables, Chinese cuisine foods such as bok choy... There are many more possibilities and various things we eat, but I tried to keep things as simple as possible for this first menu plan. The cookbook Calciyum!: Delicious Calcium-Rich Dairy-Free Vegetarian Recipes has more ideas AND includes calcium content.

If you are trying to go dairy-free and use the above menu to give it a whirl, let me know how it goes! It's been a while since I've been dairy-free newbie and it can be hard to make things simple when we've been beyond simple for a while. :) If you have any questions about the above suggestions, let me know, too!

No comments:

Post a Comment