Steve's Meal Planner: No More Dairy

I love to eat pizza, pasta and burgers and have sometimes called myself a "carbivore". I am not too keen on spicy flavors and really enjoy savory tastes like sharp cheddar and peanut butter. When I learned I needed to follow a dairy free and gluten free diet, the floor fell out from under me - I did not know where to start - all my favorite foods were on my "no" list and just about every food seemed to have whey protein or added wheat even when they didn't at first appear to need these ingredients!

After some internet searching and speaking with friends I realized it is not as bad as it sounds. Lots of food out there is compatible with my new diet. You can't go wrong with meat and potatoes, rice pasta is close enough to regular pasta that I don't usually notice the difference, and Tofutti makes a "cheese" product close enough to the kind I like on burgers.


Here is a sample meal plan for the week that works for my diet and my family:

Weekday Breakfast - rotation of 3 options: - Cereal (Regular Cheerios or brown rice krispies) with milk (almond or oat) and seasonal fruit (bananas, strawberries, oranges, apples, etc) and a side of almond yogurt - Toasted everything bagels with peanut butter, and fruit - Oatmeal and fruit (with steel cut oats)

Weekend Breakfast - Breakfast Sandwiches with Costco filler-free sausage rounds, Tofu scramble and Tofutti cheese slices and peanut butter (my family thinks I am weird to add PB!)), hash browns on the side - Waffles, sometimes I add some sausage rounds to this as well

Lunch - rotation of 3 options - Macaroni and cheese (rice noodles with ucopia savory noodle mix and some leftover roast cut into strips or hotdogs, whatever's going!) - Ham sandwiches with cucumbers on the side - Leftovers!

Dinner - Spaghetti bolognese - Salmon, rice, steamed broccoli - Roast with onions, potatoes and steamed green beans - Burrito bowls with chicken, rice, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, spinach, chick peas, avocado - Quesadillas with wraps, chicken, veggies and DF cheese (cook on low heat to start to melt the cheese) Weekend Dinner - Paella with rice, sausage, shrimp, chicken, red peppers and edamame - Homemade pizza (ucopia pizza crust, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers. Sometimes I use dairy free cheese, sometimes I just put on some Tofutti sour cream - works well!)

Ordering in options - for when you just don't want to cook - Thai - from Basil Fried Rice to Green Curry, most of these options don't have gluten or dairy! - Pizza Pizza makes a cauliflower crust and has a dairy free cheese that together are pretty good. Usually if you call a restaurant they can list what works for your diet, it just takes a little time investment to find some options you enjoy. It take more kitchen time to eat without dairy and gluten, but I am getting faster as I get used to the new normal and I am eating more nutritious food and feeling so much better!

A local Cambridge favourite of ours is Bombay Sizzler. They have some fantastic dairy-free curry options which aren't a pile of oil.

In Mississauga we have had great success with Bombay Bhel. They understand that dairy-free doesn't mean don't add flavour.