Creating a dairy free weekly menu plan can be a challenge especially if you are cooking for a child who has to be dairy free or if you have people in your house who can eat dairy and others who cannot. Here are my tips for how to create a dairy free weekly menu plan with simple and delicious dairy free recipes that even the pickiest child will eat.
1. Make sure that you keep dairy free staples in stock so that you have them available to create your dairy free recipes. The following are food items that I try to never run out of:
Coconut or Almond Milk. (Rice or Soy milk can work too but I prefer coconut or almond)
Olive Oil (sunflower oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil can work too but olive oil is my favorite. No canola oil however, as it is really bad for your health for other reasons.)
A selection of spices- lemon pepper, paprika, pepper, and pink himalayan salt are some of my favorites
Nutritional Yeast (this has some great vitamins in it but also has an orange color that can be used to make a great Dairy Free and Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese
2. Write out your menu plan with a paper and pen or use a computer to type it out and then print it. This makes it more official and easier for you to track and can help with writing a grocery list to take to the store.
3. Make vegetables the focus of every meal with small amounts of meats and grains. Doing this makes creating simple and delicious dairy free meals a lot easier.
4. Experiment with various spices that can be used to substitute the flavor that you or your child is used to when using cheese.
5. One pot meals where you saute combinations of meats and veggies are my favorite classic dairy free meal.
6. You can also create an orange color by boiling carrots and potatoes together and blending them into a sauce. This can then be served as another way to create dairy free macaroni and cheese, or as a sauce over rice and vegetables or any other recipe that your child may be used to eating with cheese that has an orange color.
7. Know that it will take some time and experimenting but over time you will get better at it and you and your entire household will learn to enjoy a variety of simple and delicious recipes without cheese or other dairy products.
Have you ever tried gluten free and dairy free macaroni and cheese? I made this for the first time last week and I have to say that it worked pretty well and was quite tasty.
There are lots of gluten free pastas to chose from so this is actually the easy part. For this recipe I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. I’ve also heard that Barilla Gluten Free Pasta, Rotini, 12 Ounce (Pack of 12) is really good as well, although I haven’t tried it yet.
The harder part is the “cheese”. This is harder because in my opinion there isn’t really a good substitute for real cheese that is dairy free. There is some supposed dairy free “cheese” from a company called Daiya that is used in a lot of dairy free recipes but personally I can’t stand the taste. I bought some once and I thought it was disgusting. In addition it has canola oil in it which is not good for you and other ingredients that I prefer not to use.
That said, here is how I made the “cheese” part. After I boiled the water and added in the pasta, I let it cook until it was soft and then drained out almost all of the water, leaving in just a few tablespoons. Then I added in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a large spoonful of Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning, Premium, 4.5 Ounce. This is a great seasoning that is yellow orangish to the color and is both gluten free, and dairy free. It also has some really good vitamins and other nutrients in it so it’s actually healthier for you than dairy cheese.
That’s it for the basic gluten free and dairy free macaroni and cheese recipe. This particular time I also ate it with some tuna and peas but you could also serve ground beef, or chicken, or broccoli, or green beans or really any other meat or vegetable with it. While it doesn’t really taste like cheese, it was really good and at least it looks like macaroni and cheese.
Questions? Comments? Have other ideas for making gluten free and dairy free macaroni and cheese?
Do you need to eat gluten free and dairy free? I know I sure do and so fortunately there are lots of gluten free and dairy free options for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Here are some recipes that I have either used myself or heard about.
1. Make a quinoa salad with veggies such as carrots and celery instead of bread based stuffing.
2. Use olive or coconut or hemp oil with coconut milk to make your mashed potatoes.
3. Make this raw pumpkin pie.
4. Make this roasted pumpkin salad.
5. Make baked apples with raisins, honey and cinnamon instead of apple pie.
6. Use gluten free flour to make gravy. Personally I don’t like gravy anyway so I won’t be doing this so I don’t know how that would turn out.
7. Make coconut milk based ice cream.
8. Make this pumpkin corn bread.
9. Make “mashed potatoes” with cauliflower and spices and coconut milk instead.
10. Use olive oil or coconut butter to make your yams or sweet potatoes.
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