Instead of cheese on your lunchtime sandwich, you might spread a couple of tablespoons of hummus onto that bread. It adds a bit of protein and makes any sandwich more substantial. Avocado is another great cheese replacer in sandwiches and wraps.
For salads, a handful of nuts or seeds goes a long way. Avocado works wonders on replacing the cheese here, too. Since skipping the cheese means leaving out some fat, you might want to be a bit more heavy-handed with the oil in your dressing. This isn’t about dieting or feeling deprived, so treat yourself!
If soups are your thing, try some diced onions instead of a sprinkle of cheese on top. To make up for the calories you’d be missing, it helps to have a nice piece of crusty bread to dip into the bowl.
Missing that jar of Parmesan cheese on the dinner table? Nutritional yeast has a similar cheesy flavor without the impacts of dairy. Shake it onto pastas, soups, salads, or even potatoes. Speaking of potatoes, there are some really great dairy alternatives here, too. You can drizzle a baked potato with olive oil or top with a nice salsa. For mashed potatoes, olive oil and almond milk replace the butter and cow milk nicely.
If you’re making a casserole, you might try just leaving out the cheese and covering the top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Non-dairy cheeses don’t always go over well with omnivores, but if you’re feeling adventurous, Follow Your Heart and Daiya brand cheeses both melt nicely in a casserole situation.
Of course, it would be tough to cover every sort of dish in this context, but hopefully this provides a good jumping off point. The trick to subbing out the dairy in food is getting a feel for what options are out there and what works well in different sorts of dishes. It’s not science, so experiment and have fun with it!