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Help! I need gluten free, dairy free meal ideas!

I have agreed with my nutritionist to do a 30 day experiment and go gluten free and dairy free (eggs are OK, but no cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.). I've discovered a couple good gluten-free websites, but am looking for specific meal ideas for all meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks (and desserts) - that will work and help keep me motivated, since my biggest fear is that I just end up eating the same thing over and over.

Many thanks in advance for all ideas and advice! -- FD

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  1. No dairy is actually not that hard (my son can't have dairy) but you have to watch out for things like whey on labels. Can you use soy cheese? It's not great, but when you get shredded soy cheese, it actually melts okay.

    I make scrambled eggs for breakfast or without soy cheese. If soy is ok, there is soy yogurt (I get Trader Joe's brand).

    I just made this for dinner the other night and it was actually very good -- No Stir Risotto. I can't be certain on the gluten free part, but is seems like it would be okay.

    http://nowheymama.blogspot.com/2007/0...

    I've got a whole load of recipes that have no dairy, but not sure of what kinds of things you like? Chicken, beef?

    Here's a website that has a lot of info on gluten and dairy free...not sure if you saw this one.

    http://www.godairyfree.org/Table/Reci...

    11 Replies
    1. re: valerie

      Soy is fine. And thanks for the reminder - I completely forgot about whey. I was going to add whey protein powder to my smoothies! I like pretty much everything except am not big on eggs, so breakfast is going to be the hardest. I can stomach a frittata, but not fried or poached or scrambled. I love fish, chicken and beef but eat very little pork. I eat some beans, but tend to prefer lentils and ceci beans. Thanks for any ideas - this will be a challenge for me

      1. re: farmersdaughter

        I often take recipes and just adapt them. My chicken marsala recipe is super easy and delicious. It calls for the chicken pieces to be lightly floured, but you could easily make it without using flour. It is not essential. I'd be happy to share the recipe if you want.

        Same with a recipe that I have for Chicken with Cranberry Mustard Sauce. You don't need to use the flour and you don't need the butter at all (or you can use Earth Balance).

        I have not made this Shrimp and Polenta, but I have it on file since I think it sounds good. The polenta calls for butter, you could use Earth Balance instead.

        http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/s...

        This grilled chicken with lemon and oregano it very good and you can have it with potatoes.

        http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/g...

        I make a lot of asian stir-fry types of dishes since they have no dairy and serve them with rice, and there are wheat-free soy sauces out there that you could use.

        This recipe for Halibut with capers, tomatoes and olives is very adaptable to use with chicken or fish. I never use the clam juice.

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        And same with this chicken with grape tomatoes...very adaptable to whatever you have on hand.

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Oh, and Trader Joe's has gluten-free, dairy-free pancakes, but I have to say that they are not that great. The texture is kind of gummy....I often just spend an hour making a batch of dairy-free pancakes (you can use soy milk or rice milk) and then freezing them. But I'm not sure what you'd do about the flour.

        Check out this website too, maybe there will be some things that will work for you.

        http://mrbreakfast.com/index.asp

        1. re: valerie

          What is Earth Balance? Sounds like something I need to look into.

          1. re: farmersdaughter

            It's non-dairy butter/margarine substitute.

              1. re: farmersdaughter

                Let's face it, butter is butter, but the Earth Balance is really not bad. I don't use a lot of it for anything, but it is handy to have around.

                Also, I keep this Better Than Cream Cheese around too. It tastes like a "light" cream cheese, but sometimes I use a little bit to give a baked pasta dish a creamy texture. I don't know if it is gluten-free, however. I get it at Trader Joe's.

                http://www.tofutti.com/btcc.shtml#

                1. re: valerie

                  I use the tofutti cream cheese and the Earth Balance products and I'm happy with both. Tofutti also makes a faux sour cream, but also not sure if it's GF

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    You need to be careful of glucous in many products (and in sodas and flavored seltzers) It is from wheat.

                  2. re: valerie

                    I can't deal with the better than cream cheese. It has an odd taste to me, but I really like the Earth Balance butter. We even use it on popcorn. I think it tastes good and similar to butter.

        2. re: valerie

          Most if not all soy has casein. That is dairy.
          There are some almond cheeses that are dairy free.

        3. I have a dear friend who does not eat red meat, gluten, dairy, eggs or sugar. Here are my go-tos for feeding her:

          Grilled or baked fish, served with lemon/olive oil/onion or tofu/dill sauce
          rice
          potatoes in almost any manner
          sweet potatoes -- baked or mashed
          many kinds of green salads
          vegetable salads
          steamed vegetables
          rice
          lentil soup or lentil salad
          vegetable soups
          chickpea salad or hummus
          tofu and veggie stirfry
          nuts -- on the side or in salads and such

          For dessert I simply serve her fresh fruit or this ice creamy thing called Coconut Bliss (but you have many fewer restrictions when it comes to desserts).

          1. Spagetti squash with tomato based sauces.
            Quiona. Great for salads. Also fine for breakfast. Don't be afraid to eat things that aren't normally for breakfast.
            Peanut Butter is great on Rice Cakes and works well for breakfast.
            Polenta for breakfast as an oatmeal substitue.
            Use Soy, Rice or Almond milk for the polenta or for smoothies.
            Paella.
            Double check if soy cheese is okay, almost all of it has Casin which is from milk.

            If the diet helps, you may want to see someone who can do through allergy tests. I have a friend who was told she was lactous intolerent until she went to some who really investigated things and it turned out she is allergic to cow's milk. She is okay with goat and sheep and it has made a big difference.

            Good luck, hope it helps.

            1. I second quinoa. I do a basic quinoa, corn, red pepper mix, season simply with fresh parseley, salt, pepper and olive oil. yum. and a complete protein.

              also barley. I've been making a greek salad with barley, chickpeas, cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil.season with salt/pepper/parseley. i add feta (is sheeps milk ok??? sometimes it is) but you could skip that.

              also check out this blog, crockpot365.blogspot.com

              her recipes are gluten free

              hummus is also gluten free/dairy free

              popcorn is a great snack.

              be careful of oats, they are often contaminated in production with wheat. but you can use brown rice to make a hot breakfast cereal....use cooked rice, nuke with whatever dairy replacement you are using, season as you would oatmeal. like a hot rice pudding, delish!

              5 Replies
              1. re: ediecooks

                Ooh, I don't know if sheep's milk and goat's milk are part of the deal. I will check. Thanks for the reminder. I thought barley was a wheat product?

                She's already warmed me that unless I buy oats that are certified wheat free, no oatmeal or granola for me.

                  1. re: farmersdaughter

                    For a 30 day trail, you probably will just avoid all dairy, but check it out later.

                    1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                      Yes, she told me to avoid all dairy, including sheep and goat products. Sigh.

                  2. re: ediecooks

                    barley is *NOT* gluten free.

                    ETA: oops, i see lgss beat me to it...but it bears repeating.

                  3. gluten free and dairy free (eggs are OK, but no cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.). NOT A BIG DEAL!

                    Learn to like eggs! Learn to like soy/almond and rice milk. Thankfully we have those things today; Twenty years ago we didn't.

                    BTW, your nutritionist doesn't know her stuff if she says you *must* buy gluten-free oats and have not been diagnosed with extreme Ceiac disease. Gluten is, by definition, only found in wheat - not oats. The only possible gluten in oats (on a few parts per billion level) comes when some companies like Quaker, process oats on the same machinery as they process wheat without washing the equipment down between jobs. Only if you are diagnosed with extreme celiac disease is absolute 100% no gluten and "gluten free oats" an issue. As the Exec Chef of a company developing GF baked goods I've been educating myself on this very subject over the past few months.

                    Your biggest craving will be for wheat bread. Get used to corn tortillas, corn bread, etc. unless you bake your own breads using GF flour mixes.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: KiltedCook

                      Fortunately I love corn tortillas and polenta, so I'm definitely going to be eating a lot of them. And thanks for the education about gluten in oats. I don't buy Quaker oats, and the oats I do buy from my vegetarian co-op store here in San Francisco, but I would be comfortable that they are not processed on the same machinery as wheat. I will check and see, though, because I would be so happy if I could have oatmeal.

                      1. re: farmersdaughter

                        My daughter is restricted to a gluten-free and a CORN free diet (that's SO much harder!). I buy her oatmeal from Whole Foods-I am so sorry I cannot recall the brand at the moment: it does say suitable for gluten-free diets somewhere on the package.
                        However, it does not 'cook up' like regular oatmeal: it requires a longer cooking time. But be patient with it because it is good.

                        It will also serve as a flour substitute in an Apple Crisp...just buzz the dry oats through your food processer before adding to brown sugar, Earth Balance (or whatever) and cinnamon for your topping.

                        Also check the website for Celiac Foundation for food ideas and recipes.

                        1. re: farmersdaughter

                          the GF oats LJS buys from Whole Foods are most likely from Bob's Red Mill. just be sure the get the package that specifically says "Gluten-Free," because they distribute several varieties.

                          the two other brands of GF oats available here in the States are Nature's Gift and "Lara's Oats" from Cream Hill Estates....both of which are usually sold at smaller health food or specialty stores, and are typically more expensive than Bob's Red Mill.

                          understand something about oats, though...it's not just an issue of cross-contamination in the processing. the conventional crops are often grown near wheat fields, and the oats can become contaminated before they're even harvested...at which point processing doesn't even matter. so it's *very* important to stick to *certified* GF oats.

                          1. re: farmersdaughter

                            I used to love a fried egg and polenta, before I had to give up eggs.

                            I make a lot of my own granola using gluten free oats, buckwheat, and a combination of whatever dried fruits and nuts I have lying around the house.

                            I also keep a lot of apples and peanutbutter around for quick snacks.

                            Lara bars are good for grab on the go food. They are also now getting out in a lot of stores like Target. I usually stop and grab a box if I get the munchies while I am out shopping.

                        2. My husband and I are vegan (no animal products) and I'm gluten-free.

                          Breakfast: homemade gf bread (zucchini/tahini bread, banana nut bread, banana split bread, etc) or muffins (blueberry, apple peanut butter, etc), gf frozen waffles from TJ's, homemade gf pancakes, Mesa Sunrise or corn flakes with almond or hemp mylk, oj or smoothies (oj, frozen bananas, frozen fruit: blackberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, mango, etc)

                          Lunch: planned leftovers from previous night's supper.

                          Supper: Masamba (potatoes & greens topped with mixture of peanut butter and salsa), gf pasta (from TJ's) w/veggies & hummus or veggies & tomato sauce; quinoa w/black beans, veggies (broc, zuke, greens, etc) w/ salsa and guac; lentil soup with hemp tortilla chips (also from TJs); brown rice w/hazelnuts, sweet potato, and currants; homemade gf/vegan pizza; brown rice w/stir fry veggies, millet w/ broc & cashews; savory pumpkin pie and greens; posole, vegan goulash; etc.

                          Consider taking a look at the following:
                          The Gluten-Free Vegan by Susan O'Brien
                          Pure and Simple by Tami A. Benton

                          When baking it's easy to substitute dairy. Almond, rice, or hemp mylk for milk. For recipes that call for buttermilk, use non-dairy mylk and add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Earth Balance substitutes for butter or margarine. There are recipes for nut cheese. Most commercially available supposedly non-dairy cheeze actually has rennin or casein which are both dairy products or they taste odd or don't melt properly.
                          The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman would require you making the dairy substitutes.

                          Since you're doing a trial you may want to see if your library has some cookbooks to try.

                          More on snacks and desserts later, time to leave for work.

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: lgss

                            These are great food ideas! Thanks so much. I'll check out those books from the library. How do you do gluten free pizza?

                            1. re: farmersdaughter

                              GF pizza - I did a trial GF as well, and didn't see the results I was looking for, so I'm no GF goddess. I tried Bob's Red Mill GF pizza crust mix and was reasonably happy with the result. There's a whole series of Red Mill GF products and I'd definitely be checking that out so you'll have something to eat while you're trying to figure out the new diet. http://www.bobsredmill.com/home.php?c...

                              Also - check out recipes that use almond meal or ground chestnuts instead of flour. Likewise polenta/grits/corn meal.

                              Also - Epicurious's search function will allow you to control for diet, so you can select wheat-free and dairy-free.

                              1. re: farmersdaughter

                                I just lost part of the message, so will send this part and try to reconstruct the rest of it.

                                Store-bought Snacks/Desserts

                                Frozen Non-Dairy Dessert
                                http://www.goodkarmafoods.com/
                                We tried the peanut butter chocolate fudge from the above brand tonight after finding it on sale at WFM.

                                We also recently tried Cherry Nirvana, Chocolate Obsession, and Pomegranate Chip versions (also on sale) from the following. Some are GF, some not, but labelled.
                                http://www.turtlemountain.com/product...

                                Here's another brand we tried not long ago. We had the strawberry.
                                http://www.welovesoy.com/product.php?...

                                All are rather expensive when not on sale, but well worth it when on sale.

                                The following are portable for travel.

                                Rice crackers from TJs.

                                Mary's Gone Crackers www.marysgonecrackers.com

                                Enjoy Life cookies www.enjoylifefoods.com/

                                Organic Food Bars (we eat the chocolate chip, omega-3 and vegan ones) best price at TJs www.organicfoodbar.com/

                                1. re: farmersdaughter

                                  Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread includes a recipe for GF pizza crust. We make individual deep dish ones in our glass pyrex lunch bowls so we can take the extras for lunch.

                                  For snacks and dessert:

                                  dairy-free chocolate chips (from TJs, they have a list of their GF products as does WFM) and candied ginger by the handful.

                                  Cookies, cakes, brownies, freezer fudge, and occasionally pie, etc from the previously mentioned cookbooks and
                                  "The Allergy-Free Self-Help Cookbook" by Marjorie Hurt Jones, RN
                                  "The Gluten-Free Kitchen" by Roben Ryberg
                                  "The All-Natural Allergy Cookbook: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free" by Jeanne Marie Martin
                                  "My Sweet Vegan" by Hannah Kaminsky has a few GF recipes
                                  "Sinfully Vegan" by Lois Dieterly has some
                                  "ExtraVeganZa" by Laura Matthias has a few

                                  I also "de-glutenize" some regular recipes. We buy sorghum flour and teff flour but generally grind our own brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, amaranth, garbanzo, etc flours using our VitaMix or a small coffee/spice grinder.

                                  1. re: farmersdaughter

                                    My favorite gluten fee pizza is similar to this: http://cakeandcommerce.typepad.com/ca...

                                    except my flour mix varies depending on my mood/what I have on hand. I use an egg instead of the chia meal. Most important though is to ferment at room temp all day - it gives flavor. Note - the texture will never be like a good Italian pizza.

                                    Google Socca for another recipe you can use as a pizza base, or just plain (also called farinata

                                    )

                                    I use Corn Cakes (can get them at whhole foods) and good quality corn tortilla as my bread a lot b/c I don't find most GF bread worth it, especially for a month experiment.

                                    Second the almond meal/chestnut suggestion, especially for dessert. The Clementine cake oft discussed on this board for instance is dairy and gluten free.

                                    I love black bean, seafood or chicken enchiladas. Asian rice noodle salads. 100% buckwheat soba noodles. Sushi (veg of desired).

                                    1. re: jsaimd

                                      I love farinata! What a great idea for a gluten free base. I've tried some of the gluten free breads at Whole Foods before and wasn't crazy about them.

                                      For going out, I figured Vietnamese, sushi and some Mexican food (street tacos and enchiladas without cheese) are my safest bets.

                                      1. re: farmersdaughter

                                        Socca/farinata - REALLY good idea. If you can get your hands on a copy of Colman Andrews's book about Liguria (title?) there's a LOT in there. Chickpea flour, fava flour, chestnut meal... and it's all authentic, not crappy ersatz something else, yk?

                                        Many of my dairy-free friends favor coconut oil or lard (depending) as butter substitutes. They're saturated fat, which makes a difference.

                                        I think we are lucky in that the awareness of GF/CF diets is exploding right now, as is the range of options available. I like the GF products at WF from Quebec, but so far what I've had from Enjoy Life has absolutely sucked.

                                        1. re: Mawrter

                                          Replying to myself, oy vey: the title is _Flavors_of_the_Riviera_, 1996. OUt of print and hard to find, but worth it if you like his writing and the kind of food.

                                        2. re: farmersdaughter

                                          www.glutenfreeregistry.com/ is a listing of GF restaurants.
                                          www.happycow.net is a listing of veg-friendly restaurants

                                          1. re: farmersdaughter

                                            For sushi restaurants, bring your own wheat-free tamari sauce. Soy Sauce nrmally is made with wheat as well as soy. Make sure the tamari is labeled wheat-free. It can be made with or without wheat. Be cafeful in Asian restaurants, as most items have soy sauce in them.

                                            1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                              Can anyone recommend a good tasting GF soy sauce?

                                              1. re: golfersmom

                                                San J tamari is pretty good. In California we also have Osawa which is good.

                                                1. re: jsaimd

                                                  +1 for San-J Tamari - i use the organic, reduced sodium version.

                                                  you might also want to try Bragg's Liquid Aminos as a more all-purpose seasoning sauce (though not necessarily for soy-based Asian dishes). it has the umami element of soy, but the flavor is a bit lighter and not *quite* as salty.

                                                2. re: golfersmom

                                                  personally, i love using Bragg's Amino Acids instead of soy sauce. even if i could eat the soy, i still like the smoother flavor or Bragg's

                                      2. For convenient foods:
                                        Sunshine burgers sunshineburger.com/
                                        and TJ's frozen black bean & corn enchiladas

                                        1. i am allergic to both gluten and dairy, but will try not to overlap with others too much... my hardest loss was cottage cheese.

                                          i love egg white omelettes, filled with caramelized onions and wild mushrooms.

                                          do a broiled fish topped with a butternut squash, caramelized onion and sage sauce, thinned with soy milk or rice milk or broth; or even pureed with a tofutti cream cheese

                                          roast a chicken; serve with roasted veggies, potatoes or yam

                                          lentil and rice salads

                                          ratatouille serve w/ protein of choice

                                          seared tuna served with a ponzu (make your own using tamari or bragg's amino acids (my best friend)) and serve with grilled asparagus

                                          for breakfast, something as simple as fruit salad with some almond butter or a hard boiled egg (or whites)

                                          spaghetti squash as a base with old grilled veggies and protein of choice (chicken, tofu, tuna, etc.); i toss mine with balsamic vinegar and bragg's amino acids.

                                          i'm not a big fan of gluten free products, but the one i do eat is Dixie Diner's Maple Smaps cereal. you may like it as a snack. i eat i dry. good protein and fiber.

                                          i use TVP (textured vegetable protein) to make patties (some tvp soaked in vegetable broth or mushroom broth, mixed with cooked onions, herbs, egg whites, and finely crushed dry tvp to act as a binder), as well as to make a hot cereal with cinnamon and stevia.

                                          soy grits make a nice cereal as well.

                                          love seaweed snacks from Whole Foods.

                                          love Crispy Green fruit snacks that come in apple, pineapple, pear, and apricot flavors, also from Whole Foods. http://www.crispygreen.com

                                          TJ's has great tortilla chips -

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: Emme

                                            I'm sorry to hear about your allergies! I have never heard of TVP before. Do you think it would work in place of bread to make meatballs?

                                            1. re: farmersdaughter

                                              For meatballs I use corn tortillas or oatmeal - works great. We use grass fed meat which has a stronger flavor, but I never taste the corn or oat taste. I process with the onions garlic and milk to make a "panade"

                                              Watch - some TVP is not GF.

                                              1. re: jsaimd

                                                Great idea about the corn tortillas or oatmeal. I will try both. Any tips?

                                              2. re: farmersdaughter

                                                You could definitely try crushing TVP, and using as a binder. I buy the Bob's Red Mill brand in a bag from Whole Foods (cheap there).

                                                Some people use rice as a binding agent - you could even use brown rice.

                                                1. re: Emme

                                                  Ground rice cakes or puffed rice cereal is another filler option.

                                                  1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                                    *many* rice cakes & puffed rice cereals contain gluten. labels need to be read CAREFULLY.

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      I've got a brown puffed rice cereal that is GF. I am going to try that this weekend.

                                                      1. re: farmersdaughter

                                                        it's also great as a coating/crust for meat or fish.

                                              3. re: Emme

                                                Try avocado in an omelet. It melts to a very "cheesy" texture and is delicous.. Also would be a good cheese replacement in sandwiches, including grilled ones.

                                                1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                                  And guacamole with corn tortillas is one of my snack items!

                                              4. Soy cheeses have milk in them (casein). Look up milk allergies.
                                                • Any type of cow's milk or food containing cow's milk (including skim, dried, solid, evaporated, and condensed)
                                                • Lactaid ®, which is milk that has been specially-processed for lactose intolerant people. But Lactaid ® still contains cow's milk protein, and so should not be given to children with milk allergy.
                                                • Cheese, cheese curds, yogurt, and ice cream
                                                • Butter and buttermilk. Also, many margarines have milk in them, so be sure to carefully check the ingredients.
                                                • Soy products containing cow's milk. Many of the popular soy-based products now on the market, such as frozen soy desserts, actually contain small amounts of cow's milk in them. So again, be sure to read labels carefully for product ingredients.
                                                • Pre-mixed cereals containing powdered cow's milk
                                                • .. and any products containing casein, caseinate, sodium and/or calcium caseinate, lactalbumin or whey. These terms all indicate milk protein.

                                                1. Moosewood is my go-to source for questions like this, as many of their dishes are also vegan. The soups and salads have got me drooling... http://www.molliekatzen.com/archives.php

                                                  If you like cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, I'd say to aim for:

                                                  dinner salads: vegetables (raw and roasted, perhaps); whole non-gluten grains that are good warm and cold (quinoa, buckwheat groats, wild rice); lean protein sources like chicken, tofu and beans; vinaigrettes

                                                  rice or soba noodles with vegetables and lean proteins

                                                  falafel or vegetables with hummus and baba ghanouj

                                                  poached, grilled and roasted fruit (so easy and good)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sfumato

                                                    I'm having a dinner party and for dessert am doing roasted strawberries over meringues (with whipped cream for everyone else but me). So far it's been a lot of main dish salads of veggies topped with protein, vinaigrette, tossed with quinoa or brown rice. Or soba noodles with baked tofu (I do my own with wheat free soy sauce). It's hard to stay out of ruts.

                                                    Hummus with rice crackers and carrots and sugar snap peas is my go-to snack together with the guacamole/corn tortilla thing.

                                                  2. Does anyone know if dosas and pappadums are GF? I've looked at online recipes and they seem to be. I'll ask the restaurant where I go to, but thought I'd check to see if I can even put them on my radar screen.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: farmersdaughter

                                                      Traditional recipes for dosas and pappadums are gluten free. As are idli, uttapam, some uppam. Indian is great for GF. If cross-contamination in oil isn't an issue for me, pakoras, bondi, vada etc. are often GF. Unfortunately I can't indulge, because of the cross-contamintation.

                                                      That being said - always check with your restaurant. Specifically ask if they put in "all-purpose flour" in their dosas. Often uttapam will be safe, if the dosas are not. I often clarify with them by asking if the only things in the batter are rice and lentils.

                                                    2. Paging through April's COTM book, "Breakfast Lunch Tea"
                                                      I've noticed a large percentage of gluten-free baked goods, salads, snacks
                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608726

                                                      Good luck with the experiment!

                                                      1. Here's a breakfast idea. Chinese often have congee (rice porridge or gruel) for breakfast. There's Cantonese style which is cooked for a longer time until sort of pasty, like an oatmeal consistency. And usually flavoured with chicken or fish stock. Or Teochew style, which is cooked for a shorter time so the rice grains are more "firm", resting in a pool of rice 'soup'. When I've had Teochew congee, it is cooked plain and served with highly flavourful pickles, fish cooked in black bean sauce, chopped scallions and the like. Heaps of recipes online for both.

                                                        1. I realize this is an ancient thread, but I highly recommend raw coconut oil over butter as a substitute. Earth Balance doesn't cook the same and personally, I hate the taste. Can be expensive if you don't order it in gallon quantities but Swanson's (the vitamin store) has a very decent tasting version in a decent quantity for about $5 and they often have coupon codes for $1.99 shipping or free shipping over a certain amount.
                                                          cooks exactly like butter. bakes too -- excellent pie crusts. palm oil is also good but very hard to find.
                                                          I even use it as a spread and if you want it to taste more like butter, add a bit of salt and color it with a smidgeon of annatto.

                                                          fwiw, I also vastly prefer coconut milk's taste to that of soy milk. unfortunately, the Goya canned variety which used to be so concentrated you had to water it down to get cow milk consistency now comes pre-watered like the other brands. (don't know why Silk doesn't produce a coconut version -- except silk always adds sweeteners, etc., to their nondairy milks which isn't the greatest for using in recipes).
                                                          Anyhow, if you have access to a health food store type place with bulk foods, they usually have dessicated coconut dirt cheap (between $2-$3 a pound) which you can blender with water then strain for much better tasting and more economical coconut milk. Haven't done this in a while -- can't remember if boiling together first gives a better yield/taste or not. but there's a million internet recipes for this.
                                                          I think maybe the new york times guy Mark Bittman might also have mentioned he does this in a rregular column.
                                                          If you're not going dairy-free for ethical reasons, you may also want to talk to your nutritionist about the possibility of utilizing ghee (basically clarified butter but cooked way longer to eliminate all milk solids completely). Tastes like butter, keeps indefinitely outside the fridge and you can fry at much hotter temps without smoking. Only thing is, it stays liquid, not solid, so you can no longer spread it.