Staying gluten-free during the holidays can seem daunting, but try to stay positive and think of all of the mouthwatering items you and your guests can still enjoy – often just by making a few tweaks. You may even be surprised at the number of gluten-free products that are now available at stores.
Whether you or a family member is following a gluten-free diet, use the tips below to make your holidays happy, healthy and gluten-free.
Planning & Preparation:
- Plan ahead. Double check ingredients and contact companies to verify gluten-free status. You can search for gluten-free products that are available at Meijer at Meijer.com, using the search bar.
- Contact the host. If you are going to someone else’s house, contact the host ahead of time to tell him or her your needs and offer to bring a dish.
- Include your guest in planning. If hosting, involve your gluten-free guest in the menu planning. Also, give your guest an overview of the menu before it is served – explain which items are gluten-free and which are not.
- Watch the preparation. The foods themselves may be gluten-free, but the cooking or baking process could add gluten.
- Clean thoroughly. If the meal is held at a house that does not typically follow a gluten-free diet, thoroughly clean countertops, cutting boards and utensils.
- Prevent cross contamination. Leave croutons off of salads; open a new stick of butter to put on the table; keep gluten-containing rolls and bread away from your gluten-free guest; make sure serving utensils stay with the same dish.
- Be first in line. If you have a gluten intolerance, don’t be afraid to be the first person in line or the first person to start passing the food items. This will help prevent taking food that may be accidentally cross contaminated.
Traditional Holiday Foods:
Use fresh, whole ingredients and limit “convenience” foods such as gravy mixes and soup mixes as those often contain gluten.
- Fresh meat – turkey, beef, chicken, pork
- Typically fresh meats are gluten free, but check the label; some turkeys can contain gluten in the broth that is injected in to the bird
- Do not use the gravy packets that come with the turkey as they often contain gluten
- Fresh fruit salad
- Naturally gluten-free
- Mashed potatoes
- Typically are gluten-free
- Use gluten-free stuffing mixes
- Make your own gluten-free cornbread stuffing, wild rice stuffing, quinoa stuffing or Almond Brown Rice Stuffing (recipe below)
- Green Bean casserole
- Look for gluten-free cream of mushroom soup
- Try alternatives for French Fried onions: make your own (ex: crisped shallots), almonds or gluten-free corn flakes
- Alternative dish idea: try steamed, roasted or sautéed vegetables or Lemon-Dill Green Beans (recipe below)
- Try gluten-free mixes
- Sweet potatoes
- Sweet potatoes and marshmallows are gluten-free
- Alternative dish idea: roasted sweet potatoes
- Pumpkin pie
- Use a gluten-free pie crust or almond flour
- Try just the filling for a pumpkin custard
- Green Salad
- Use caution with prepared salad dressings (make sure dressings are gluten-free)
- Serve gluten-containing croutons on the side or make croutons with gluten-free bread
Holiday Gluten Free Recipe Ideas:
Almond Brown Rice Stuffing
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1/2 cup Meijer slivered almonds
- 3 tbsp. gluten free butter
- 1 medium tart red apple, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 tsp. gluten free poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
- 3 cups cooked Lundberg Brown Jasmine Rice (cooked in chicken broth)
- Cook almonds in butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown.
- Add apple, onion, celery, poultry seasoning, thyme and pepper; continue to cook until vegetables are tender crisp.
- Stir in rice; cook until thoroughly heated. Use as stuffing for poultry or pork roast, or bake tightly covered in a separate baking dish at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from USA Rice Federation.
Lemon-Dill Green Beans
Makes 10 servings
- 21/2 pounds green beans, trimmed (or frozen green beans)
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
- 21/2 tbsp. minced shallot
- 21/2 tbsp. Meijer extra-virgin olive oil
- 21/2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 21/2 tsp. whole-grain mustard
- ¾ tsp. McCormick® freshly ground pepper
- ¾ tsp. Meijer salt
- Bring an inch of water to a boil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add green beans, cover and steam until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk dill, shallot, oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Serve warm or room temperature.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories 72, Total Fat 4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 207mg, Total Carbohydrate 9g, Fiber 3g, Protein 2g. Source: Adapted from Eating Well