My brother and I were talking about eating more paleo and low-carb, and he mentioned that one thing he has trouble with is making meat dishes like casseroles without some sort of canned soup like cream of mushroom to sort of hold it all together. That's how we learned to cook, growing up: put together some meat, some vegetables, some pasta or starch (or both), stir in a can of "cream of something" soup, and cook it. It's easy enough to just leave out the pasta, but he said if he leaves out the soup too, he's just got a bowl of loose meat, and that gets pretty boring.
Obviously the canned soups aren't acceptable at all, with all the processed ingredients and the fact that most have gluten as a thickener. I could make my own soups with cream -- it'd be a lot more trouble than canned, but doable -- but what if I want to eliminate dairy for a while? Can anyone suggest other cream-soup-type ingredients that could be put with meat and vegetables to bind together a decent casserole?