General Question

Aqua's avatar

Can you suggest recipes that don't use these ingredients?

Asked by Aqua (2546points) February 3rd, 2014

I’m living in China right now. Many dairy ingredients that I’m used to using when cooking/baking (butter, cream cheese, milk, cheese) are hard to find or fairly expensive. Canned foods like cream of mushroom are also hard to find. Can you suggest some favorite recipes that you can make without these ingredients?

I have a toaster oven, an 8×8 baking pan, a 6-cup muffin tin, and a pot and pan. No blender, electric mixer, or food processor.

I’m looking for main dishes, soups, desserts, casseroles, anything I could make in the toaster oven, authentic Chinese food, etc.


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11 Answers

pleiades's avatar

Why not go to the market and take a leap of faith? It’s more fun, you get to interact and you learn about the culture through investigating.

Juels's avatar

You can try to stir-fry. We use sesame oil in the skillet/wok. For ingredients, just pick whatever you like. We use beef, chicken, shrimp, pineapple, bean sprouts, carrots, water chestnuts, broccoli, mushrooms, and those weird mini-corn things. Make sure the pan and oil is hot. Cook to desired temp and serve over rice. Can also top it with soy, teriyaki, or sweet n sour sauce.

I tend to cook each portion separately. Each person pre-selects their ingredients and we cook them one at a time.

JLeslie's avatar

The list is so long I don’t know where to start. I primarily use a stove top and toasteroven for my cooking. I hate cream cheese, I don’t usually have butter in my house, and I usually only use milk in cereal. Anything you put cheese on you can just make without cheese. You say you have a pot and pan so I guess that means you also have a cooktop?

Some dishes I make are:
Chicken cacciatore/captain
Pasta with a red sauce. Pasta with veggies and a little oil. Pasta with meatsauce.
Stir fry.
Cous cous with zuchini, mushrooms, peppers, anything really. I like adding mint to cous cous.
Rice and beans.
Beef, pork, fish, chicken, shrimp.

I could go on and on, like I said I don’t know really where to stop or start.

Strauss's avatar

I would second the suggestion made by @pleiades. Go to the market, see what the food vendors there are cooking. I think it’s exciting to explore new cultures and foods!

Aqua's avatar

@pleiades Do you mean eating out? We do that, but it’s not very convenient sometimes, and the food isn’t as good as it is in other cities. Plus, you never know who’s using gutter oil (地沟油). I also enjoy cooking.

@Juels Stir fry is a good idea. We’ll try it out.

@JLeslie Yep, we have an electric stovetop. I’ll have to check for couscous next time I go to the store. Pasta sauce is available, but it’s also a little pricy. Canned beans are hard to find, but I can probably find dried beans. I’ll check for those too. It’s a broad question, but I appreciate your suggestions.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aqua Are you American?

keobooks's avatar

Just remember not to eat fruits and vegetables raw unless you are used to the water in China. Cook them well!

JLeslie's avatar

@Aqua I would guess they have many different types of rice in China. You can make a paella dish, even if you don’t use saffron. Basically rice with sausage, chicken, seafood, I add peas and roasted red peppers. You can put whatever you want though.

You can roast peppers on toast in the toaster oven, peal them and use them in salads, rice, tortillas (if they have tortillas) and sandwiches.

I also broil asparagus in my toaster oven. I just salt them and put them in, but you can also add olive oil.

You can make potatoes a bunch of different ways. Boil them, then slice and brown them in a skillet with onions and salt. You can add bacon if you want. Potatoes can be roasted/broiled, baked, boiled.

If you like sunny side up eggs, a common dish in Latin America is rice witha sunny side up egg. Very inexpensive. You just have to trust there is no samonella risk if you have a runny yolk.

All sorts of omelets and similar you can make without cheese, or if you want a little cheese you can use stronger fresh cheeses like parmesian, because you can use much much less cheese and it is just as satisfying. Another breakfast option is french toast. If it is hard to find maple syrup, french toast with regular sugar is good. You can make cinammon sugar, but I like plain sugar better.

In my opinion no dairy, or very little dairy is a good thing. Americans get teased by people from other countries that we put cheese on everything, so it’s a little funny (giggle funny) that you are American and fit the stereotype. I associate big milk drinkers with the midwest. I was shocked when I went to school in Michigan that teens and adults chose all on their own to drink milk with dinner. I had never seen that before.

Living in China sounds exciting! I hope you have a good time while there.

Cruiser's avatar

Spring rolls are easy to make and need little cooking if that and best part is you can put anything your heart desires in them.
Here is a recipe for baked spring rolls.

Aqua's avatar

@keobooks Thanks for the reminder.

@JLeslie Thanks for the suggestions. China is pretty exciting. Very different than what I was used to, but it’s been a great experience so far.

@Cruiser Mmm those look good.

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