Skip to main content

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Holiday Tips


Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Holiday Tips


Getting through the holidays gluten and dairy free can be tough. Let me tell ya. But then, the holidays were always a challenge for me because I was mostly vegetarian for decades (meaning ovo-lacto vegetarian and sometimes vegan). In truth, Gentle Reader, my holiday foods have often tended, shall we say, to be a tad different from mainstream holiday fare.

Being the wild and free goddess-in-training I was back in those golden zen-kissed crunchy pre-celiac days, I learned early on how to tweak traditional recipes and reinvent old favorites- like using coconut milk as a vegan (non-dairy) sub in whipped sweet potatoes (everyone loved this!) and subbing butter and cream with vegetable broth and crushed roasted garlic in fluffy smashed potatoes. No one missed the animal fat (unless they were just being polite).

My stuffing back then (baked as a casserole) was naturally gluten-free. I used cubes of toasted cornbread tossed with a skillet of softened onions, celery, chopped apple and cranberries seasoned with a touch of curry- then moistened with broth and baked till golden- sometimes with pine nuts or pecans on top.

Instead of serving green beans swimming in canned mushroom soup (because I never- and I mean, never- got the appeal of that goopy combination) I roasted fresh green beans in sea salt and balsamic vinegar- just until tender-crisp. Or did this simple but elegant recipe with pomegranate glaze.

Lucky for me, I enjoyed thinking "outside the box". And in my vegan years- not once- did I make a turkey out of tofu.

Who needs tofurky when you have Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas?







As for 2007? It will be another quiet Thanksgiving holiday here by the mesa. No traveling. I'm still off my feet- though a slick new wheelchair has helped me feel more mobile here at home and allowed me to work at my desk (and not be bored beyond belief). Steve will be the official cook this year. I suspect the afore mentioned enchiladas will be on the menu.



Ten Tips for Tasty Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Holidays:


For making gravy, use arrowroot starch, or sweet rice flour; these thicken better than wheat flour, anyway. Less lumps. Add a small dash of dry sherry, brandy, or wine, if you so desire.

For a non-dairy sub in pumpkin, squash and sweet potato recipes try full fat coconut milk- it's delicious.

Cook carrots in orange juice for a non-dairy flavor boost. Drizzle with a touch of pure maple syrup.

Use raw organic agave nectar or pure maple syrup for adding just the right touch of sweetness to veggies and sauces.

For stuffing, simply follow your favorite recipe and substitute toasted cubes of gluten-free cornbread, or a loaf of store-bought gluten-free white bread.

For a crunchy bread crumb topping try my Crunchy Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs (process toasted GF waffles- they make perfect golden crumbs).

As an all-around basic flour substitute keep a bag of Pamela's Baking Mix on hand (original has buttermilk- but there is a non-dairy mix now, as well); use it to thicken soup and chili, to coat and dredge pan fried cakes. It also works well as a one to one sub in almost every baking recipe I've converted. If you avoid dairy or nuts [Pamela's contains buttermilk and almond flour] try an all-purpose gluten free flour blend from Whole Foods, Bob's Red Mill or Gluten Free Pantry. Note that not all mixes taste the same (some feature bean flours- yuck).

For a classic cookie crumb pie crust use gluten-free cookies (Lemon or Ginger or Chocolate, depending upon the filling) processed into crumbs; I use Joy of Cooking's classic cookie/cracker crumb recipe and simply substitute with gluten free cookies.

Add turkey leftovers to nachos, soup, chili pasta, and frittata recipes.

Browse all my dairy-free recipes in this handy GF DF Index.

And one last holiday-kissed morsel- a few nut and crumb pie crust recipes from my baking file, see below.




Almond Macaroon Crust

Ingredients:

1 cup ground almond meal (processed almonds)
3/4 cup light brown or cane sugar
1 medium organic free-range egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
A dash of spice - cinnamon or nutmeg

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and GF-flour a 9-inch glass pie plate; or use a greased and GF-floured tart pan.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, egg, extract, salt & spice. Spread the almond mixture into the pie plate and press lightly (with moist fingertips) to form a crust.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, check to see the shape of it, and using a silicone or vinyl spatula, lightly press down any high puffy areas; resume baking for another 2 to 5 minutes, until the crust is firm. Place on a wire rack and again press down the shape to flatten, if needed.

Cool before filling. The crust will get crisper as it cools.


Quick 'n Easy Almond Pie Crust

For one 9-inch tart pan:

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal (processed almonds - pecans also work well)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter or vegan margarine
1 1/2 tablespoons of cream or non-dairy cream

Instructions:

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until dough clumps together. Chill 15 minutes. Roll out the dough on wax paper dusted with either cornstarch or tapioca flour. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan and press in lightly. Chill again till firm, and fill. Bake as directed in your pie recipe; keeping an eye on the edges of the crust. If it starts to brown too quickly, cover the edges with strips of foil. Also make sure your oven rack is in the center of the oven, and not close to the top.

Karina's Note:

To pre-bake for a no-bake filling, I would prick the crust, then bake it at 325 or 350º F for 10 to 15 minutes until firm. Cool before filling.

    Almond Pie Crust

    I've used this crust for pumpkin pie and cheesecake.

    Ingredients:

    2 cups (heaping) almond or hazelnut meal
    1/2 cup butter/vegan stick margarine, melted
    2/3 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
    Dash of pie spice or cinnamon, if desired

    Instructions:

    Combine all of the ingredients to form a sticky dough. With moist fingertips, press the dough into a greased 9x12-inch baking pan or 2 8-inch glass pie plates. Bake the crust at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.

    I've done the same with pecans; I've processed them into meal - pecans make a wonderful nut crust. Some cooks add a little rice flour. I like to add a little coconut flour to the mix. Experiment.


    TRENDING

    Sunbutter Cookies

    Here's an easy gluten-free cookie recipe made with sunflower butter- a post-modern peanut-free take on those retro peanut butter cookies your Aunt Lizzie used to make. You know, with those jars of Skippy peanut butter (or was it Jif?). Instead of using traditional peanut butter in this recipe, I used sunflower butter, which has a golden nutty flavor not unlike peanut butter, but slightly different. Kinda like peanut butter's wacky, geeky brother. You know, slightly nutty. Fun. Like a bright new bike. And they taste so good you just might want some more. Now, please. I adapted this recipe from a peanut butter cookie recipe (submitted by Erin Smith) to Beyond Rice Cakes , an easy, fun cookbook (especially for teens and students) by Vanessa Maltin, director of outreach and programming at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness .

    Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones

    Sconelicious. You heard me right. Because I know what you're craving.  I'm craving it, too. Something indulgent.  But not overly indulgent.  Sweet.  But not too sweet.  Something warm and tender, and laced with the autumnal spices you've been shaking and dashing and pinching with abandon.  Something using up that leftover half cup of pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Are you with me?  Are ya feelin' me?  Then let's get sconed. Karina xox

    My Favorite Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

    My Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes For Fall... The bittersweet, textured beauty of Autumn has always gripped my heartstrings, pulling me in deeper, connecting with some invisible part of me, so much more so than Spring. Much more so than summer's flirtatious pleasures. And Winter, well. She is a dark and icy mistress. That relationship has always been complicated. So unlike my truly, madly deeply love of Fall. Bake on, my friends. Tis the season for pumpkin. xox Karina

    Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Apple Cake

    As soon as I buy apples and start daydreaming about my favorite fall confections- imagining clear, cool evenings on Cape Cod and Miles Davis' haunting rendition of Autumn Leaves . September turns golden and sultry with a hint of rain, reeling me back into the closet to peel off my boyfriend jeans and fresh new flannel shirt. Faster than Gordon Ramsay can mock sashimi, Yours Truly is grabbing faded summer shorts and my favorite Patriots t-shirt to bake barefoot. See what I do for you? So go ahead, babycakes. Enjoy this new apple cake recipe. Share a slice or two amongst yourselves. Don't worry about me here in my hot little Hollywood apartment. Really. Go. Have some cake. You'll love it. Apple kisses, Karina xox

    Pumpkin Polenta Recipe with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

    Vegetarian pumpkin polenta with salsa fresca. The first gifts of Fall have arrived. Time to dig out the Crock Pot and your favorite flannel shirt. If you can find it, that is. It's got to be around here somewhere, right? You used it wore it to death last year. Or was that the year before? The harvest moon is playing tricks with your memory again. The crows outside in the oak trees caw like the crows in tomorrow's dream. Days turn into weeks and lunch turns into next month's breakfast. Hours spill through worm holes of time like so many episodes of Lost . And the Buddha imagines the universe. And gets it close to right . We're talking atoms, people. Particles of teeny tiny specks of even tinier teenier fragments of a single point of something so small the naked eye perceives it as invisible. Yet the Buddha perceived this. In 528 BC. I ponder this as I walk in a stream of brittle bronze oak leaves. The succession of days that adds up to a life is only a

    Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

    We found canned organic pumpkin on the store shelves this week. So be prepared for pumpkin recipes. I, for one, Darling, can't get enough. Pumpkin is my favorite fall ingredient. Maybe because it cozies up to gluten-free flours so well. It adds moisture and depth to g-free baked goods. It flirts with cinnamon and ginger like the sexiest, inscrutable movie star. You know what I'm talking about. It's not overt. Or blatant. It's not over the top. It is subtle. Secure. Pumpkin doesn't demand to be admired. Because it doesn't have to prove itself. It's not a bully flavor that crushes gentler flavors in its wake. It doesn't bark and claw to be Top Dog 24/7. It doesn't have a deep seated need to own the room, to dominate, to control the ingredients it shares a bowl with. Pumpkin goes with the flow. It likes vanilla. And it likes chocolate. You could say, it's bi-flavorful. Which happens to be a quality I admire. Even embody and

    Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

    Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Help is Here. Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours: Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture). Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch. Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorg