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!
- 1/2 cup Italian-style dried Gluten Free bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Follow Your Heart Vegan Parmesan Shreds
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 28 Baby Portobello Mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Stir the bread crumbs, Parmesan shreds, garlic, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl to blend.
- Pulse in food processor for finer filling.
- Drizzle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat.
- Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each mushroom.
- Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes.
- 10 Bacon Strips
- 20 Medjool Dates, pits removed
- 2/3 cup Daiya Cream Cheese
- Preheat oven to 375. Cut each bacon strip into two halves. In a large skillet, on medium heat, cook bacon in batches until partially cooked, but not crisp. Remove and place in paper towel to drain and keep warm.
- Cut a slit into each date and remove pit. Fill with cream cheese. Wrap with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
- Place on baking sheet (no grease required). Bake for 10 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
- 1lb small white onions
- 2 cups Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Shreds
- 3 tbsp Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Blend
- 3 tbsp Melt Butter
- 2 cups Organic Almond Milk
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp white or black pepper
- 1-2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
- 3-4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- Boil onions in their skins in about 2 cups of water (partially to fully covered) for 35-40 minutes.
- Drain, but be sure to reserve a bit of the water in the pan and place aside.
- Peel onion and place in reserved bit of water. Set aside.
- In medium sauce pan, melt butter and blend in flour using a whisk.
- Add in salt and pepper and cook until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
- Slowly add milk, whisking the entire time.
- Stir in the 2 cups of cheese, Worcestershire, and Tabasco Sauce.
- Cook over low heat until all is melted.
- Add onions and reserved water to cheese sauce.
- You can make this dish ahead of time and reheat!
- 4 cups frozen chopped broccoli; thawed with water and squeezed out.
- 2 cups Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Shreds
- 1 cup Just Mayo
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Melt Butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Blend
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup unsweetened plain organic almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large oven-safe skillet, over medium heat, add vegan butter or olive oil, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes,
- Add mushrooms and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes more or until lightly browned.
- Sprinkle in flour and whisk to stir and coat the veggies. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly add in veggie stock, whisking to incorporate.
- Add almond milk and whisk again. Season with a pinch more salt and pepper bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low to thicken. Cook for 5-7 minutes more, or until thick and bubbly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Mix broccoli, cheese, mayo, eggs, and mushroom sauce.
- Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake until top turns brown and center is set (use a toothpick to ensure it comes out clean).