Maybe it’s you, or somebody you love… Whoever you’re cooking for this Holiday Season, it can be really hard to find something that everyone can eat – Especially when there are food allergies and special diets involved.
Some of you might be wondering how it’s even possible to cook, especially if you’re newly diagnosed. My best advice is to focus on what you CAN eat and go from there. If you’re cooking for someone else, please remember that you won’t be able to please or accommodate everyone, so choosing a variety of dishes will give you the best chance of finding something everyone can enjoy. Also, don’t be afraid to ask other adults for ideas or have them bring a dish that they can share.
Over the years, I have come up with a somewhat unconventional (and continually evolving) menu we use over the holidays. I encourage you to pick a recipe or two to incorporate into your holiday meal plan this year. Almost all of them are adaptable for Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free & Vegetarian/Vegan.
- Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie – This recipe uses both my Gluten Free Pie Crust & Chicken Pot Pie Recipe. Both Recipes have Vegan Options & Suggestions. These Crusts & Pies freeze well & can be made ahead of time!
- Gluten Free Stuffing – If you’re making a Turkey, consider making my Gluten Free Cornbread Recipe or Gluten Free Bread Recipe to make your own Homemade Gluten Free Stuffing.
- Anti-Pasta & Snack Food Options – Fresh Hummus Recipe, Chopped Veggies, served with Gluten Free Chips & Crackers. Roasted Chickpeas, Marinated Olives, Fruit Salad, Gluten Free Breadsticks. If you don’t have Dairy or Meat restrictions, consider some cubed up Cheese & Natural Cold Cuts (such as Turkey, Ham or Salami). Don’t forget the Fresh and/or Candied Nuts or Seeds.
- Gluten Free, Vegan Rolls – I make these Gluten Free Crunch Rolls & drizzle some Butter Alternative on them right before serving. We also use them to make Sandwiches on Christmas Eve.
- Fresh Juice Bar – It’s the most unconventional menu item, but a Fresh Juice Bar is perfect for those requiring a Liquid Diet, or your die-hard Whole Food, Healthy friends. You’d be surprised how much fun people have creating their own juice… and the kids LOVE it too! =)
- Gluten Free, Vegan Pies – I make several variations of these during the Holidays. These recipes use my Gluten Free & Vegan Pie Crust Recipes: Dairy Free & Soy Free Pumpkin Pie; Low Sugar Apple Pie; Vegan Meringue Pies.
- Gluten Free, Vegan Cookies – Gluten Free Butter Cookies, Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free & Vegan Meringue Cookies (use this recipe to make Vegan Macarons too)
- Gluten Free Muffins – Gluten Free Cranberry Muffins, Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins
- Other Gluten Free Desserts – No Bake Vegan Cheesecake & Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones
- Special Beverages – So Delicious Vegan Egg Nog; Apple Cider; Vegan Mochas – This can be made Sugar & Coffee Free too without anyone knowing!
NOTE: If you are cooking a meal or dish for somebody with life threatening allergies, it is VERY IMPORTANT to avoid ALL cross contamination with your other foods. I can’t stress this enough… I know people that can have an allergic reactions from just smelling peanuts, and others who react from residual traces of dairy. When in doubt ask & take the extra steps to avoid a catastrophe.
I’d love to hear your ideas on how you accommodate special diets around the Holidays… What ingredients do you avoid and what dishes do you make?
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Whatever you serve this year, I pray you enjoy every precious moment together… because that’s what we’ll all be remembering!