We often remove dairy from our diet because it makes us feel better, but for many it’s also a go to source of protein. Which leaves us wondering, how do we get enough protein to recover without it? Let’s dive in to high protein dairy free meals to make this change feel easier.
Once you’ve been dairy free for awhile, like anything it becomes a no-brainer, but any massive shift in your normal patterns is going to feel overwhelming.
Suddenly you’re nixing all kinds of foods, which you’ve forever considered healthy and important to your diet, like that high protein Greek yogurt or Whey Protein.
How Do You Get Protein Without Dairy?
Even with foods and recipes that aren’t super ”high protein,” you can almost always add plain or flavored pea protein powder to bump up the protein without any flavor sacrifice.
In many packaged products the protein is often coming from the almond flour, nuts or soy isolate. Soy from organic tofu, no problem…soy isolate and you are asking for lots of gut trouble.
Dairy Free Protein Sources
- Meats and fish – highest sources
- Nuts, seeds
- Lentils, tempeh
- Protein powder (pea, brown rice, chickpea or collagen)
Plenty of vegetables can provide protein, but the volume required to create a high protein meal is MASSIVE.
As noted previously, you may see a few more meals that are entirely plant based here because it’s easier to know you’ve avoided allergens and because our goal is to lean towards whole foods rather than replacements when possible.
For athletes, yes if you are working out consistently you now fall in that category, it’s important to fuel with foods that reduce inflammation, get a variety of nutrients and enough protein for recovery.
These ideas will help you hit all those goals.
Dairy Free Breakfast Ideas
The best way to start our day is with a high protein breakfast! It can help prevent sugar cravings later in the day and is the perfect post run recovery meal (yes you need protein and carbs to recover!).
You can never go wrong with a green smoothie, so let’s just put that out there to start! I won’t extoll the virtues again, but I do love them.
However, I also need a second breakfast that involves chewing to make me really feel satisfied. Tofu Veggie Scramble from RunToTheFinish
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats from Vegan Heaven
Baked Avocado Cups from Oh Lardy
Blueberry High Protein Chickpean Donuts from Skinny Fitalicious
Turkey Egg Breakfast Casserole from Aime Mars
Pumpkin Seed Power Bars from Flo and Grace
Dairy Free Lunch and Dinner Ideas
I’m the opposite of many folks and eat most of my calories by lunch time, so dinner for me is usually smaller…hence lunch and dinner become the same category.
Grilled Chicken Tacos via The Fit Cookie (yup mexican without the dairy is good!)
Tempeh Reuben Sandwich (could make with meat if you prefer) from Karl Cooks
Potato Wedges with Avocado Dip from This Savory Vegan
Thai Broccoli Chicken Curry from A Healthy Life for Me
Asian Salmon Salad from Avocado Pesto
Paleo Coleslaw from Raising a Generation Nourished
Friday night is always pizza around here and now there are some great dairy free options, especially from my friend over at A Whisk and Two Wands, this week Buffalo Chicken Neapolitan pizza.
High Protein Dairy Free Snacks
What is life without dessert?
Dairy free dessert ideas used to be extremely hard to find, now they’re increasingly common thanks to great milk alternatives…but healthy dairy free desserts take a little more digging. That’s what we have here!
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins from Hummusapien
No Bake Pumpkin Pie Balls from Gluten Free with LB
Mexican White Cheese Dip from Veggies Don’t Bite (great for veggies or a party)
Hazelnut Banana Protein Muffins from RunToTheFinish
Healthy Edible Cookie Dough from Veggie Balanced
And of course apples, almonds, cereal, turkey jerky, are all on my go to list.
BONUS DAIRY FREE RECIPE TIPS
- Searching for Paleo will often get you dairy free meals with meat
- Don’t be afraid if you see the word VEGAN, you can add meat if you choose, but it will ensure your sauces and base are dairy free
- Double check the ingredients on anything packaged, it sneaks in so many things
- Checkout my milk alternatives posts for some great replacements that make most recipes easy to convert
- Use dairy alternatives like cheese initially to help you make the switch easier
Love to hear some of your favorites!
Share one of your go to dairy free recipes!
Any other dairy free questions?
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