Ask your ped about yogurt. Because it's cultured, you can start it before you would other dairy. We always bought a big tub of plain yogurt and flavored it with jarred fruit so that we could control the sugar. (Read the labels even on baby yogurt. Sugar is sneaky.) It's also much cheaper than buying pre-flavored yogurts.
Also ask about meat because I'm not sure why you would be avoiding it. Most babies have an increased need for iron around 9 months and if you're not feeding anything iron fortified (like formula or cereal) the typical advice is to increase their meat consumption. Salmon is another really good early food. Mild flavor, good omega 3's, easy texture, low mercury.
I used to toast bread, spread jarred fruit on it like jam, and give her toast strips to chew on.
My son LOVES baked sweet potatoes; they are easy & soft like mashed white potatoes. I have also given him oatmeal, grits & farina cereal. Lots of great suggestions above- unsweet applesauce, yogurt, etc..
Good Luck it can be an adventure somedays
I have a 10 month old daughter whos been eating rice cereal since she was about 2 1/2 months old. Shes still low on her weight. But she loves chopped banana and mum-mum's with cream cheese. Shes got her two bottom teeth and two more on the way through. Bananas that are ripe are really soft and majority of baby's can gum them, also with the mum-mum's they pretty much dissolve with enough gumming and spit. Another one of my daughters favorites is Gerber yogurt! I've started cooking chicken nuggets for her and chopping them up really small for her to pick up and feed herself. We've been giving her a lot of the Gerber Toddler snacks and she does great with them. Majority of the time she rather feed herself. I'm pretty picky on what I feed my daughter, I'm always checking the sodium and sugar content of her food. Due to my mothers harping I've gotten a lot better at what I feed her.