Enjoying the Holidays While on a Special Diet
Home for the Holidays
People find that visiting out of town families homes and vacationing, can be some of the most difficult aspects of being on a special diet. Holidays do not have to be overwhelming; if special care is taken to assure that the person on a special diet has a wonderful eating experience.
If you are invited to attend a meal away from your home, offer to bring some food that you know your family member(s) who require special foods will enjoy.
Some of the most common holiday foods that seem to appear on a holiday table at this time of year are: turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, pumpkin related items, stuffing, cranberries, special breads, and desserts. You might want to contact the host or hostess, as to what he or she expects to be serving or what people will be bringing. You could prepare a small meal ahead of time, so that the person on a special diet can still enjoy what the rest of the guests are enjoying. Put the food on a microwavable plate, so it can be heated right along with everyone else’s meal. Also offer to prepare a few of the dishes to be served at the holiday meal that can also be consumed by people with allergies or intolerances.
Try making a sweet potato casserole with margarine and dye free/chemical free marshmallows. Make stuffing with gluten free bread. Be careful when purchasing broth, as many broths have gluten in them.
This is a delicious stuffing recipe to try courtesy of Jennifer Riordan:
- 12 cups 1 to 2 inch cubes (croutons) homemade style GF white or GF or mixed bread
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 3-6 tablespoons margarine
- 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage—to taste
- 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons dried thyme—to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 ½ cups GF chicken broth (you might need more, depending on the bread)
1. In a preheated low oven (about 200 degrees F) dry the breadcrumbs. This will take a while (hours). The key to keeping the stuffing from getting too mushy, is bigger cubes and getting the REALLY dry.
2. In a large skillet, melt the margarine and cook the onion and celery over medium heat until softened. Transfer to a bowl and add dried bread cubes, herbs, salt, pepper and broth. Toss well and adjust seasonings to taste. Add more broth if not wet enough.
3.Transfer to baking dish and bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let a crust form on the ends. Make sure everyone at the table knows to not cross contaminate by using the same utensil in a forbidden dish. Sometimes it is wise to allow the people with special diets to fill their plate first.
Web Sites to Order Foods for Special Diets
There are many wonderful web sites online that provide an abundance of wonderful holiday recipes to fit special diets. If you have a specific allergy or intolerance, google that item and the word ”free” to find appropriate recipes.
Here are a few sites in which you might find helpful:
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