Turkey with your favourite stuffing, gravy, all those wonderful pastries; Being gluten free for the holidays can feel like you’re floating on oceans of water and there’s not a drop to drink.
The good news is, it will be a lot easier not to overindulge during the holidays because most of the things you find yourself nibbling at then wishing you hadn’t are the cookies and squares, all of which are off limits.
The other good news is, with a little planning, you can still have a great time and even indulge a little. Here are a few tips.
It’s easy if you’re the host. You can make an entirely gluten free holiday meal, throw a few bread rolls on the table and no one will even notice. There are gluten free alternatives to stuffing, you can make your gravy gluten free and the rest of the main course is likely naturally gluten free. Mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce, it’s all a wonderful part of your gluten free holiday. Even dessert.
Stuffing: It's been tradition in many families to stuff a turkey with a lovely aromatic bread based stuffing and let it roast for hours inside the bird. Current heath guidelines however recommend making the stuffing (or dressing) separately to avoid bacterial growth, or if you choose to stuff your bird follow these guidelines.
Gluten Free Stuffing:
- You can use gluten free bread and make your favourite stuffing recipe. The texture may be a bit different.
- Try something different. Peruse the internet and look for a naturally gluten free recipe you'd like to try. Many use rice as a base with sausage and fruit for substance and festive flavour.
Make it Separately:
This is what I do. My family love our traditional stuffing so I don't have the heart to keep it from them. Your favourite turkey stuffing can be made in a casserole in the oven along with the turkey, or in the slow cooker. I like the slow cooker version. It saves room in the oven and allows me to keep the bread separate from the rest of the meal to avoid cross contamination.
If you’re a guest, the terrain is a little more uncertain, but you can navigate no problem.
Let you’re host know that you require a gluten free diet and ask about what’s on the menu. If you have celiac disease make sure he or she is aware of that and how serious it is for you to know what’s in the food you eat. Often very slight alterations will be fairly simple for your host to manage. Keep the croutons separate from the salad. Same for the dressing if you’re not sure it’s gluten free. If your host is amenable you can make some gluten free brand suggestions along with some tips like thickening gravy with corn flour or rice flour.
frequently pop a little bottle of homemade salad dressing in my purse just in
case I can’t have what’s being served.
If meat is on the menu yours can be cooked separately and seasoned with
just salt and pepper, or you can offer to bring your own. I often bring my own piece of meat to summer barbecues. I wrap and cook it in foil so it’s not
touching the grill that the glutenous sausages and hamburgers are cooked
on. If you’re not comfortable asking for
alterations, you can offer to bring a dish, so you know there will be something
there for you. I attended my cousins
Christmas dinner this year. She asked me
to bring a salad. I suggested that since
I was bringing my whole family I should contribute to the meat as well. There were a few other items there that I
could have, but the roast beef and salad that I brought gave me the comfort
that I wouldn’t go hungry. One year I
brought gluten free pumpkin pie to my sister-in-law’s Thanksgiving dinner, and
it was gone before all the other desserts!
going to a party that you can’t influence or contribute to the menu you can: