The holiday season is full of opportunities to entertain a wide variety of people, some with dietary restrictions. As a hostess I am always looking for interesting dishes to make for my friends who can’t eat dairy or are vegetarian. And of course I can’t have gluten anymore, so all foods in my home are gluten-free.
I have assembled a variety of options for holiday meal from appetizers to desserts, with a wide variety of flavors and ingredients. All of them have gluten-free options and most of them are easy to adapt for vegetarian and dairy-free with a few adjustments. These recipes may help you get some ideas for your visiting guest’s preferences. They are all delicious, The Artist approved, and easy to make with a little advanced planning (you may need to get a few different ingredients).
Here are some ideas for ways to alter the recipes for specific dietary requirements:
If you are looking for dairy-free alternatives for your baking projects, I personally think the best butter substitute available is Earth Balance. It behaves very similarly to butter in baking and the flavor is pretty darn good. I think you will be happy with the results you get.
In the place of milk, you can use soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, etc. These days there are more and more alternative cheeses. You also have the option to leave the cheese off any of these recipes except the mac and cheese where it is integral.
Many of the dishes are naturally vegetarian or you can easily leave any meats out. Ask your guests what kind of vegetarian they are. Some will eat dairy and eggs, others are good with cheese, and some will eat fish and chicken. With such a wide variety of options, each individual will tell you what their preferences are.
If a recipe calls for chicken stock, use vegetarian stock instead. If there is meat in the recipe, substituting portobello mushrooms is a great alternative. They have a texture very similar and will be filling and satisfying for your vegetarian guests.
Sausages are one place where gluten can hide. If you are making the Shrimp-Sausage Skewers, make sure you buy a good quality gluten-free sausage. My favorites are from Applegate. If you have an old-fashioned butcher in your town, you can ask if they put any fillers in their sausages. Depending on the level of sensitivity of your guests, they might work for you and of course you can leave the sausage out completely. There is even a soy-based form of bacon for a vegetarian option. Just be sure if your guests are also gluten-free that the alternative meats are not made from tempeh or contain gluten.
A note about gluten labeling … if you see “Wheat Free” on a label that doesn’t mean gluten-free. Gluten in contained in wheat, barley, and rye grains. The wheat-free label just means that they didn’t use wheat as their primary grain. If you have any questions, you can always ask your gluten-free guests for recommendations of their favorite brands of foods and ingredients.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help you. Just leave a comment below or on the Contact page. Cooking for people with dietary restrictions can be intimidating, but also a whole lot of fun!
Be sure that all of your ingredients, including dried and herbs and spices are gluten free. Two companies that are very good at labeling their products and you can trust their quality control processes are McCormick and Penzey’s.
Pick one from each category for a full meal, mix and match to your heart’s content, or make several from one category for a holiday buffet. Let your imagination run wild!! 🙂
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This site is not intended to provide medical advice. The suggestions here are not intended as dietary advice or as a substitute for consulting a dietician, physician, or other medical professional. It is the reader’s sole responsibility to determine which foods are appropriate and safe for their family to consume. Always consult your doctor. The author makes no claims regarding the presence of food allergens and disclaims all liability in connection with the use of this site.