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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

    Cape Cod Apple Cake with Cranberries (Gluten-Free)

    Sweet and Tart.   No philosophy today. Dust off your cake pan, Babycakes. This is a moist and tender apple cake laced with a hint of cinnamon and studded with fresh tart berries. After seven   twelve   - er, 19!- years of baking various gluten-free incarnations of my tried and true family apple cake recipe, this could be our favorite. Maybe it's the sweet-tart combo. The subtlety of flavors. In a food culture obsessed with kicking up recipes with more for the sake of more (white chocolate peanut butter bacon swirled maple donut ice cream drizzled in dulche de leche coconut marshmallow syrup and dusted with sugared Meyer lemon zest and shaved cacao, anyone?) the clean and classic flavor contrast of apples and cranberries is somehow new again. Even, refreshing.  I don't need dessert to taste like candy. I like my cake to taste like cake.  You can bake this recipe with eggs and dairy, or vegan alternatives. See options below.

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

    YES PLEASE.  This award winning budget-friendly Santa Fe inspired vegetarian enchilada recipe is one of those happy accidents that springs from a burst of creative imagination. Or rumbling hunger. In that what-have-we-got-in-the-pantry sort of panic. I was craving the soft and spicy comfort of enchiladas one windy spring night back in 2003, and I had none of the usual suspects on hand (no chicken, or beef, no pinto beans).  But! I had one lovely mother of a sweet potato.  A can of organic black beans.  Some roasted green chiles.  One lonely lime.  And your intrepid Mamacita-Goddess at large thought, Hmmm. Why not? Deliciousness ensued. These wrapped little gems are soft and creamy and a little bit spicy- Just like a certain cook , my point-scoring husband wisecracks. It's the yams, I tell him. Er, sweet potato. I can never tell the difference. Can you? In the end, it doesn't matter.  What matters is how it tastes. And darling, these are so mucho scrumptiou

    Gluten-Free Goddess Lemon Yogurt Cake

    Luscious Lemon Cake So  I've been jonesing for a cake laced with citrus- not too sweet and not too light. A cake with character and heft.  Something akin to a lovely simple cake I remember liking as a child, a store bought bakery cake called Louisiana Ring made by Freihofer's. The cake featured a hint of orange. The day I decided to bake, I did not have oranges in the pantry- but I did have some lemons, organic Greek yogurt, and plenty of blanched almond flour.  And this simple home baked lemon cake was born.  In time for Spring. Love, Karina xo

    Gluten-Free Goddess Flourless Chocolate Cake

    Ah, flourless chocolate cake. The perfect rich dessert. Forgive the hyperbole. But I just can't help it. This is rich, sexy chocolate deliciousness on a plate. And such an easy recipe, especially if you use a food processor to do the work. Serve this to non-gluten-free folks with no apologies. None. Zip. Nada. And for gluten-free folks? Hand out seconds (we deserve it, don't we?). And the best part is- the recipe is inherently gluten-free and wheat-free. Always has been. No substitutions. No funny stuff. This is the same flourless chocolate cake I've been making for decades. It never contained flour. The only thing I've tweaked post-celiac diagnosis is adding more coffee and vanilla. Just because. And PS: See below why I make this recipe in a food processor- thanks to Bobby Flay. Karina xo

    Gluten-Free Goddess Pasta Frittata with Kale

    An Italian Classic - Updated. Today I offer you a simple recipe spun from the magic of leftover gluten-free spaghetti and eggs- a creamy, light frittata. Perfect for the weekend. Or when you're simply too tired to cook. Or you have nothing in the fridge but a carton of eggs, half a bag of kale salad and last night's leftover cooked spaghetti. It's one of those intuitive, spontaneous recipes I've pulled out of thin air, so many times. For dairy-free folks, the "cheese" pictured in this version was a vegan "mozzarella" (my current favorite is Vegan Gourmet). But if you prefer using dairy- select one or two of your favorite Italian organic cheeses. I've also made this yummy dish using goat cheese (and roasted red peppers!), and another time I tried a blend of fresh mozzarella and shaved Parmesan. It's a very versatile recipe. Celebrate Spring. Have fun with it! XOX Karina

    Gluten-Free Goddess Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    A classic cookie made gluten-free. I suppose you could argue that one oatmeal cookie recipe is enough. I mean, how many oatmeal cookie recipes does a person need? To this I answer, at least two. Why? Well, first you have one with raisins (my oatmeal raisin cookies here ). Raisins give oatmeal cookies that old school chewy sneaky nutrition boost. They're old fashioned and comfy cozy. Kinda like spending one of those Saturday afternoons at your Aunt Martha's house, chillin'. Watching Mr. Rogers and laying on the floor with a pile of coloring books. Coloring outside the lines with a beat up box of Crayolas. Wishing the silver crayon was more than a lonely nub. And right at that nub lamenting moment she'd bring you a plate of cookies. Truth is, I never had an Aunt Martha. But I did have a chain smoking platinum blond babysitter who liked martinis a little too much. Or maybe it was gin and tonic. There was ice in the glass. If I was lucky enough to scro

    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