Dairy and Sugar Free Menu
|Breakfast||Scrambled Eggs with Toast||Oatmeal||Oatmeal, a different variation than Tuesday’s||Nut Butter Toast, and Smoothies||Oatmeal||Pancakes, with Eggs and Sausage||Smoothies, and Nut Butter Toast|
|Snack||Raw Nuts, and Fruit||Hard Boiled Egg||Hummus, Sliced Cucumber, and Baby Carrots||Hard Boiled Egg||Raw nuts, and fruit||Celery and Nut Butter with Raisins||Raw nuts, and Fruit|
|Lunch||Chicken on Green Salad with Dairy Free Dressing||Sandwiches, and Veggie Soup||Leftover meatloaf, Salad with Dairy Free Dressing||Sandwiches, and Soup||Soup and Salad||Pasta salad||Leftover Grilled Veggies on Salad with Sandwich|
|Snack||Hard Boiled Egg||Raw Nuts, and Fruit||Raw Nuts, and Fruit||Hummus, Sliced cucumber, and Baby Carrots||Celery and Nut Butter with Raisins||Hummus, Sliced cucumber, and Baby Carrots||Celery and Nut Butter with Raisins|
|Dinner||Orzo with Red Sauce, Shrimp, and Green Beans||Meatloaf, with Garlic Collard Greens||Beans and Rice with turkey and fennel||Quick Asian Stir Fry||Taco Night||Grilled steak, Salad, and Grilled Veggies||Roast Chicken with Lemon Asparagus and Dairy Free Dinner Rolls|
Dairy and Sugar Free Menu Tips:
If you’re planning on having sugar, then plan your day accordingly, and avoid fruit for the amount of time you are supposed to. For example, if your hours of separation are 6 hours, and you’re going to a birthday party (with cake) in the evening, then fill up on fruit at breakfast. At lunch, snacks, and dinner avoid fruit, and eat more veggies instead. By the time dessert rolls around you should be safe. Remember fruit can hide in unexpected places, like in most prepared red pasta sauces there is citric acid. Also, you can’t always be sure what is in food from a restaurant, but reading the entrée descriptions should let you know if there is fruit in the dish
Scrambled Eggs: Monday, and Saturday
Butter is not needed to fry eggs, use any light colored oil, or try coconut oil. Coconut oil can be found with the other oils, or in the health food section of your grocery store. It will be solid in the jar at the store, but melts at room temperature. You can cook at high temperatures without it burning, so it’s great for eggs.
If you’re scrambling eggs for a group, and like your eggs fluffy, use your blender! You just crack the eggs into your blender. Blend on low until combined, and frothy, then add to your hot pan and cook as normal. To wash the blender, first rinse it. Then add a couple drops of liquid dish soap, fill halfway with water and pulse a few times. Pour out the soapy water, and run a cloth on the inside (careful!) and the lid, then rise well.
Toast: Monday, Thursday, and Sunday
You won’t miss the butter on your toast if you use a delicious fruit sweetened fruit jam. These can be found along with the other jelly’s, and jams.
When it comes to the actual toast, find a quality whole wheat bread with no sugar or dairy. There’s some good ones in the health food section that are sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar.
If fresh berries are in season, you can put some nut butter of your choice on toast, and then top with blueberries. If serving to precious smiling faces, take the extra couple seconds and make a smiley face out of blueberries.
Oatmeal: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Wonderful, versatile oatmeal! You do not need milk or cream to have a delicious bowl of comforting goodness. You can microwave rolled oats, or stovetop cook them, with coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, or even water.
You can find coconut milk in cans on the ethnic aisle of your grocery store, or by the milk alternatives. If your canned coconut milk is too thick, try stirring it while still in the can, or just use half coconut milk, half water, and cook as usual.
Here are some exciting variations so you and your family will never get bored:
- Cook with half pineapple juice from canned pineapple chunks, and half water. When cooked, top with pineapple chunks, dried unsweetened coconut flakes, a little honey, and walnuts for healthy fats.
- Cook with your choice of nondairy milk, then top with frozen berry mix that you’ve microwaved to defrost, and a little pure maple syrup, or honey just to sweeten, and finish with sliced almonds.
- Cook with your choice of nondairy milk, top with raisins (no sugar added), raw walnuts or pecans, add in some fruit sweetened fruit jam for sweetness.
- Cook with half your favorite milk substitute, and half canned pumpkin. If it needs more liquid as it cooks you can add in water, or your milk substitute. Top with cinnamon, raw walnuts, and maple syrup just until sweet. This one is the most fulfilling right when the weather starts getting cold.
Just replace nondairy milk for the milk in your recipe. There are many different options, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, hemp milk, or hazelnut milk. You can find coconut milk in cans on the ethnic aisle of your grocery store, or by the milk alternatives. If your canned coconut milk is too thick, stir it while still in the can, or just use half coconut milk, half water, and cook as usual.
If your pancake recipe calls for buttermilk you can add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per 1 cup of your nondairy milk, this should give the same flavor. You may want to mix the nondairy milk, and vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. This should work with most recipes, but due to the chemistry of ingredients some recipes may not taste exactly the same.
Breakfast Sausage: Saturday
Make sure to read ingredients for the “hidden dairy words.” (Cue intense scary noises: Du Du Duuunnnn!) If you get your sausage from the butcher counter just kindly ask them for an ingredient list.
Smoothies: Thursday, and Sunday
You do not need yogurt or milk to have a smoothie! Add in frozen mixed berries, frozen tropical fruit chunks, a handful of spinach (yes, just do it!), any fresh fruit you have laying around that is a little too soft, add in some water, or orange juice, and blend. Adding a handful of fresh spinach, or kale, to a smoothie is a great way to boost the nutrition, and you will not taste it.
If the blender gets stuck and the mixture isn’t moving you probably need more liquid. I’ve been known to add in pineapple juice, coconut milk, coconut water, of even leftover smoothie from the day before. If you’ve got that can of canned pineapple leftover in the fridge from your oatmeal, toss that in the mix. Play with your smoothies, and let the kids help.
During the colder months you can’t get quality fresh peaches, nectarines, pineapple, or any flavorful, sweet fruit, so you want to make sure the smoothie is sweet enough. You can do this by adding a little bit of honey at a time, or a few pitted dates thrown in will sweeten it quite a bit.
What I’ve learned does not work in all smoothies is peanut butter! It can work with maybe just some berries and coconut milk, but do not add in pineapple, mango, peach, and peanut butter, it does not work.
Raw nuts, and fruit: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Divide up raw nuts, and seeds into little reusable plastic, or glass tubs. Some combinations could be: raw almonds, pumpkin seeds (the green ones that have been hulled), sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, or walnuts. Play around, and when shopping for these, look in the bulk section. If you have little ones, involve them in looking at the shapes and colors of the nuts or seeds.
For fruit you can wash fresh berries, and also prepackage them into reusable containers, or if it’s colder and you can’t get fresh, use frozen. Pour some frozen blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry medley into the container in the morning, and by snack time they’ll still be cold. Pack a spoon to eat the berries with so it’s less messy. For another punch of nutrition, top the berries with ground flaxseed. I buy whole flaxseeds in the bulk, or refrigerated health food section, and grind them in a coffee grinder once I get home. Remember to always store flaxseeds in the fridge or freezer.
Hardboiled egg: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
Boil enough eggs for everyone’s snacks all at once in the beginning of the week, then individually portion them out, or keep in one container, and portion throughout the week.
Once the eggs have boiled, run cold water over them until cool. Do not wait to remove the shell later in the week. It is easiest to remove the shell right after the eggs have cooled.
Hummus, sliced cucumber, and baby carrots: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
If you or your little ones are new to hummus it’s a garbanzo bean based dip, full of protein and healthy fats. Your grocery store deli may make their own, and if they do, just ask for an ingredient list to make sure there isn’t cheese in it. Some delis may put feta cheese in it. If they do, just look for a prepackaged one, and always look out for any dairy words or sugar on the ingredient list. Manufacturers add sugar to so many things now days, so always check for that as well.
You can buy precut baby carrots, and during the summer months you can find the smaller “pickling” cucumbers that you can just dip and eat. If you aren’t able to find smaller cucumbers, look for English cucumbers and slice them into disks all at one time and package up individual serving sizes for everyone. You can also substitute flavored hummus, like roasted red pepper hummus, or swap out the veggies. I like to dip cut up sweet bell peppers, snap peas, or steamed artichokes into hummus.
Celery and nut butter with raisins: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Oh, the classic “ants on a log!” Peanut butter is always good, but try out other nut butters. Almond butter and raisins is fantastic! Kids and adults love this one. Since it can be hard to transport, you could put the butter in a container, top with raisins, and dip in the celery. I think it’s more fun to have kids help top their own “logs” with the “ants.” If you’re not a fan of dark raisins, try golden raisins, or fruit juice sweetened cranberries instead. These can be found in the health food section, or health food store.
Chicken on Green Salad with Dairy Free Dressing: Monday
You can grill up a chicken breast, or cut one up and quickly sauté it with some healthy oil, like grapeseed, or coconut. Remember to season your chicken, try some dried herbs like tarragon, thyme, and my all time favorite, garlic powder. I don’t recommend the already grilled and seasoned ones in the freezer section since those will most likely be quite processed, but sometimes if that’s what you have to do then check for no sugar or dairy, and go for it.
A quality salad for lunch should become a staple for you and your family. Kids may not want salads, but if they help with the preparation they’ll be more likely to eat the final dish. Kids can help just by counting the cherry tomatoes, or washing the cucumbers, or while at the store picking out a leafy green salad mix that looks fun to eat. Always try to get the really leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula, or even red lettuce. Head lettuce has no real nutrition. If you need a sugar free dressing, mix 2 part extra virgin olive oil to 1 part good quality balsamic vinegar, a squirt of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and finely chopped shallot. If you can’t find shallot, chopped green onion or a little garlic is delicious as well, but the shallot really makes something special.
Sandwiches, and Veggie Soup: Tuesday
You should be able to easily find a canned vegetable soup that doesn’t contain dairy or sugar. It is so easy to whip up your own, and I encourage you to do so. Just heat up some good vegetable broth, and toss in a couple bags of you favorite frozen vegetables, and you can add in some beans if you like, diced tomatoes, a mixed herb Italian seasoning, granulated garlic and onion powder, and there’s your soup. Freeze soups in serving sizes for on the go lunches.
For the sandwich, if you’re using deli meat then check for any no-no dairy, or sugar ingredients. If you miss the creaminess of cheese then a ripe avocado smeared on your bread gives great flavor and richness, as well as healthy fats.
Leftover Meatloaf, Salad with Dairy Free Dressing: Wednesday
Again, leftovers are your best friend! Throw some meatloaf in the microwave, or toaster oven, toss some salad into a big bowl with our olive oil dressing from Monday, or just make some more and you’ve got a delicious and simple lunch.
Sandwiches, and Soup: Thursday
There are great canned, or boxed soup options at health food stores, or even supermarkets that are dairy, and sugar free. I like tomato soup, or even a sweet butternut squash. Making your own squash soup is as easy as roasting a butternut squash, and once cooked putting the meat of the squash into your blender with some vegetable broth, some garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper, and blend. The amount of liquid is up to you, how thick do you like your soup?
For the sandwich, if you’re using deli meat then check for any no-no dairy, or sugar ingredients. If you miss the creaminess of cheese then a ripe avocado smeared on your bread gives great flavor and richness, as well as healthy fats.
Soup and Salad: Friday
Heat up some leftover soup either the vegetable or squash, if you’re feeling crazy and have both soups, mix them. Yes, you can do it! It won’t be as sweet from the butternut, more savory, but it’ll be delicious, and you get in more veggies. Make sure to have some protein on your salad like beans, nuts like almonds, or walnuts to keep you full. Also, the healthy fats from your olive oil and balsamic dressing help to keep you satisfied. If you want to mix up the dressing, try a different vinegar. There’s all sorts of rice wine vinegars. Even chain supermarkets are carrying a variety of different red wine vinegars now. Some yummy add ins for your salad are pickled garlic, canned roasted red peppers, baby corn, fresh snap peas, frozen, and drained artichoke hearts, or canned, and drained water chestnuts.
Pasta Salad: Saturday
A great pasta salad needs a great dressing. My favorite is extra mix 2 part extra virgin olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar, 1 part fresh lemon juice, a few dashes garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Dress the pasta while still warm so it soaks up the flavors and then the fun part…add-ins. This is where little ones can help out. Some options are, kalamata olives, green olives, fresh spinach, sliced almonds, pine nuts, zucchini rounds, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli “trees”, cauliflower, green onion, red onion, fresh green beans, green peas, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, or any vegetable combination you like.
Leftover Grilled Veggies on Salad with Sandwich: Sunday
Leftover grilled vegetables are one of those all purpose great go-to ingredients. I say leftover because I’m assuming you made the Grilled steak, Salad, and Grilled Veggies on Friday night. For these leftover veggies, keep them cold and top a pile of fresh baby spinach, or spring salad mix, and then douse with some good extra virgin oil and balsamic vinegar.
Orzo with Red Sauce, Shrimp, and Green Beans: Monday
Orzo is a tiny, rice shaped pasta. You can find it in the dry pasta aisle. If your store has whole grain orzo, of course opt for that to bump up the nutrition. Cook according to package instructions. Orzo cooks very quickly, and is therefore a great accompaniment to weeknight meals.
You can purchase already cooked frozen shrimp, and reheat per the package instructions. Before cooking the Orzo and shrimp look at the directions on the packages, and try to time them so they’re done around the same time.
Heat a jar of readymade marinara sauce (no sugar added, look at labels) while the shrimp and orzo are cooking. Once all are done and hot, mix them together for a fast delicious pasta dish.
Frozen green beans can be just as nutritious as fresh. You can add a bag, or two depending on your family size, to a glass dish, and cover with a plate, or glass lid and microwave to steam the beans until hot. Once hot, drain off excess water by holding the lid on the dish, but slightly tilt it over the sink and pour out the water. You can add some garlic powder, onion powder, or any premixed seasoning that’s dairy, and sugar free.
Premixed seasoning packets usually always have added dairy, and sugar, and many other additives your food, and body, don’t need. There are bottled seasonings that have only dried herbs and spices that are readily available in all grocery stores.
Meatloaf, with Garlic Collard Greens: Tuesday
If your meatloaf recipe calls to soak breadcrumbs in milk you can use any (no sugar added) milk substitute. Also, if you use prepackaged breadcrumbs, make sure to read labels on those as well. It’s not always just bread crumbs in those cans. You can use crackers in place of breadcrumbs if need be.
Many recipes call for a sweet tomato based topping. If you can’t find no sugar added ketchup, to help make your topping, throw together a small can of tomato paste, with a couple tablespoons of honey, and a couple shakes of garlic and onion powder, there’s your ketchup. To replace the sugar in your topping, try coconut palm sugar, which also may be called coconut sugar. This is not a sugar; it’s the dried nectar from the coconut tree blossoms. This will be found in any health food store.
Another even easier option is to buy a bottle of bar-b-que sauce that doesn’t have processed sugar, and just top the loaf with BBQ sauce. It should be easy to find sauces made with corn syrup. Remember Molasses is a no-no sugar.
Collard Greens are related to Kale, and in the same family as broccoli. You can find collard greens in the frozen food section, but if not, they are available in produce in bunches. Cut the green leaf part off of the stem, and toss into a big pan with a couple chopped cloves of garlic, add some water and sauté until tender. If you are using them from frozen, you can just add them to the pan, and heat up with the garlic. When they’re done cooking, top with some extra virgin olive oil. This helps your body absorb all the nutrients it can.
If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, leftovers are your best friend! When making your meatloaf, prepare two. It doesn’t take hardly any extra time, and you can make sure to have some for lunch the next day, or freeze it and have dinner one night the following week! I say even if you live alone, or with just one other person still double the recipe, and freeze the leftover. This makes life easier when you have a stock of properly labeled food ready to eat on a particularly busy evening. Always label what you freeze! Trust me, this is the best tip thus far.
Beans and Rice with Turkey and Fennel: Wednesday
Beans and Rice can be made into so many different, and budget friendly, variations. If you’re really crunched for time pick up a couple cans of black beans, or one can of black eyed peas, and one can of pinto beans. For the rice, you can find heat and eat brown rice in a bag at any grocery store. You may need a couple bags depending on how many people you’re serving.
Pick up a bag of frozen mixed vegetable that will also go into this quick dish. I like a bell pepper and onion mix for this.
Cook up some ground turkey with the frozen peppers, a small can of tomato sauce, your favorite dried Italian seasoning, or just garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, and dried fennel seeds. The amount of fennel seed depends on the amount of turkey. I use about a half teaspoon per pound of turkey, of dried fennel seed. Once turkey is thoroughly cooked taste it for seasonings. The fennel adds a slightly sweet sausage flavor to the dish.
Quick Asian Stir Fry: Thursday
The most important element to this, as with many dishes, is the sweet, yet salty sauce. You should not be using a bottled teriyaki sauce since most all of them have some type of bad sugar. Instead, you can mix soy sauce with honey or maple syrup. I tend to use honey just because it’s a bit more economical. You can also use the pineapple juice from canned pineapple chunks, and use the chunks in the dish as well. The ratio I like is 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part sweetener. If you have time, a fresh chopped 1 inch hunk of ginger, and a couple chopped cloves of garlic take this sauce to the next level! If you’re in a rush, a couple shakes of dried ginger, and garlic also are delicious.
I like soba noodles with my stir fry, but if you can’t find soba noodles a whole wheat linguini, or spaghetti works just fine. While the noodles boil, cook up the vegetables. To make sure the noodles are done around the same time as the other elements, I put the water on to boil before I start prepping chicken. Add noodles once water’s boiling. If the noodles are done before the veggies, and chicken, just drain them, and add a little sauce so they don’t stick together.
Chop chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Half to a whole breast per person; depending on if you’re feeding little ones. Toss those into a little bit of sauce to marinate.
While chicken marinates, prep your vegetables by washing and cutting into bite size pieces. If you have fresh produce that’s maybe not so fresh, a stir fry is a great way to use them up. If you don’t have any fresh, frozen is also great! My favorite vegetables for a stir fry are broccoli, snap peas, red bell peppers, and zucchini. You can also find an Asian vegetable mix in the freezer section.
Once everything’s prepped, cook the chicken in your largest pan, then add vegetables, and finish with enough sauce to coat. Add all those goodies to the noodles. Add more sauce as needed.
Additional toppings: chopped fresh green onion, cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, sriracha sauce.
Taco Night: Friday
Tacos? How are you supposed to enjoy tacos with no cheese!? Add more fresh deliciousness! Make your own pico de gallo with delicious fresh tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, and plenty of salt and pepper. Fresh summer tomatoes are a whole different flavor profile than a yucky winter tomato, so keep the time of year in mind. My favorite fresh addition is lime juice. Squeeze a quarter of a lime on the taco, once it’s assembled, and you’ll never be able to go without lime again. Fresh cilantro is usually available year around, and adding that as a topping brings a freshness that will also become a necessity.
Do you like it a little spicy? Great! Add fresh jalapenos, or branch out to other new peppers you haven’t tried. A red Fresno chile looks like a red jalapeno, but is spicier. You can add flavor, and a little spice, with canned chipotle peppers. Add 1 chopped chipotle, and some of the juice in the can, to your taco beans, or meat while they cook. Keep in mind, little ones will most likely not want this heat, so you can add the chipotle and sauce to the beans or meat separately for the grown-ups.
The one condiment I thought I’d miss the most is sour cream. You don’t have to miss it! There are some great dairy free (vegan) options at the heal food store now days. Some of them do not have sugar, and are a great replacement for sour cream. I now actually prefer just loading up on fresh green onions, spinach, shredded cabbage, and lots of salsa, and I really don’t miss the sour cream.
Grilled Steak, Salad, and Grilled Veggies: Saturday
Grill your steak, and some large sliced zucchini, red bell peppers, red onion slices, and mushrooms. If you normally brush your vegetables with a sugary sauce from the store, whip up your own! Add fresh chopped garlic, Italian herb seasoning, salt and pepper with some orange juice and brush over vegetables as they cook. Make sure to make extra vegetables for leftovers to have with lunch tomorrow!
A big salad is a great addition to steak and grilled veggies; you can even top the salad with the warm vegetables. I like a salad mix of fresh spinach, and arugula, with fresh cucumbers. If you need a sugar free dressing, mix 2 part extra virgin olive oil to 1 part good quality balsamic vinegar, a squirt of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and finely chopped shallot. If you can’t find shallot, chopped green onion or garlic is delicious as well, but the shallot really makes something special.
If you want some fresh bread to sop up your steak juices, add a good quality dairy and sugar free bread to the menu. To kick the bread up a notch, grill slices of bread until just toasted, and the rub a garlic clove over one side for a fresh garlic bread!
Roast Chicken with Lemon Asparagus and Dairy Free Dinner Rolls: Sunday
Roast your chicken like normal, but if you usually put butter on the skin, omit that. If you don’t normally have leftovers from one chicken, then roast 2. Really it takes the same amount of time. If you only have one roasting pan, roast the other in a large enough glass dish. The next day send the drumsticks in someone’s lunch, one breast for you for lunch, and divide up the rest to whoever doesn’t really want drumsticks.
You can purchase dinner rolls, but if they have dairy, or sugar, look at some other options. If you can’t find one without sugar, you can always toast some good (dairy and sugar free) bread and top it with a vegan butter substitute. The vegan butter substitutes are found either by the regular butter, or in the refrigerated health food section of the store. Dipping bread in a quality extra virgin olive oil is an even better butter alternative.
Either sauté or broil asparagus, and at the end of the cooking time squeeze for lemon juice over it, and a little extra virgin oil, salt and pepper. If you’re in a time crunch, you could steam the asparagus in the microwave with the lemon juice. If you have little ones that won’t touch asparagus, of course always try to explain how it takes tasting things many different times until they really know if they like it or not. Another option is any other green veggie they like, or at least fight with you less about. You can cook these in the microwave, or sauté them. I find a frozen bag of mixed veggies with green beans, carrots, and lima beans seem to always work. Top with extra virgin olive oil, and some dried herb seasoning for the little ones too.