Well, we are fully submerged into the holiday season!
Whether you are hosting this year or are an eager visiting guest, the holidays are usually full of lots of food, fun, laughter, and, of course, a side of stress! If you are looking for some fresh ideas, and are also in need of said-fresh ideas to be dairy and gluten free, then you definitely want to try these meal ideas below!
Stress can come in all forms, but for me, it has a lot to do with ensuring that our holiday meals reflect our family traditions, because more often than I wish to admit, we are away from our families during the holidays. However, it wasn’t just about wrapping all of my family traditions into our meals, but to make sure these traditions could now match up to my new standards. You see, since becoming a mom, I learned, like so many new mama’s out there, that my babe is dairy and soy intolerant. Unfortunately, we had to learn this the hard way… through trial and error, sleepless nights, projectile spit up, horrendous reflux, and painful gas. Given the fact that I was determined to be successful on our breast-feeding journey, I decided to go dairy-free, soy-free, and eventually gluten-lite (because I just can’t give up all pasta, bread, or beer!).
Through this process, I have learned a great deal about dairy and gluten substitutions. However, not all substitutions are created equal! Some substitutions can cause more problems for my babe (like too much quinoa). And let’s be real, soy seems to be in just about everything! While this seemed daunting in the beginning, and I had to answer the question, ‘well if you can’t eat that, what are you supposed to eat?!,’ now I feel like I have a firmer grasp on navigating this new territory. I am also grateful to have friends that are dairy-free and gluten-free, because I have learned a great deal from them, as well.
There is usually a friendly substitution, for most meals, if you know what you’re looking for!
For dairy-based products, I have found the following items to be key in my need for dairy alternatives:
- Melt Organic
- Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Shreds
- Hampton Creek Just Mayo
- Daiya Plain Cream Cheese
- Sprouts Organic Almond Milk
Throughout my dairy-free journey, Melt has been my best friend. I have found it to be the closest dairy alternative to the actual thing and have used it for cooking and baking and have yet to be disappointed! I have also used it to grease pans for dishes! Although a good olive oil can’t be overlooked for greasing dishes, and for coating a beautiful chicken or turkey.
For the days when I am choosing the gluten-lite path, I ensure that these items are in my pantry:
- Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread
- Kroger Gluten Free Italian Style Bread Crumbs
- Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Blend
Here’s hoping I can reduce some holiday stress with some of my favorite dishes with a dairy and/or gluten free spin!
[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]*You can also choose to make your own gluten free breadcrumbs by following this recipe!