Hum along with me . . . and, so this is Thanksgiving . . . .
My apologies to John Lennon for putting my own words in his famous song, but every year, this is what I think about our most American holiday. While other people’s excitement builds, I’m trying to figure out the best way not to get sick. It’s not easy to coast through the holidays with food intolerances and allergies.
However, I have good news. You have more options than ever to eat this starch and dairy-filled meal and remain healthy. I’ve written about the challenges before in 2008, 2009, 2011. In 2010, I simply wrote about gratitude which probably shows a change in my feelings about my disease. In 2009, my mom’s dressing is front and center. It’s the one dish that completes the holiday meal for me.
Here’s a current listing of gluten free turkeys. This year, I bought a Honeysuckle White that states clearly on the label it is gluten free. Boy have things changed.
Living gluten and dairy free for five years, here are my thoughts about the big day from a 2012 perspective.
Take your time to think about gluten and dairy free choices before you hit the supermarket. Otherwise, you may become overwhelmed. If you’re making the big meal, count yourself among the fortunate. No worries of cross-contamination from Aunt Martha’s pie, or Grandma Suzy’s stuffing. There will probably be some in your family who doubt you can prepare a delicious gluten and dairy free meal that still satisfies. Trust me. It’s possible. This year, we are going to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving and then to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dessert (at least for the wheat and dairy eaters in the family.) When my mom decided to cook, I was glad. I’ve made separate dinners for years, and I’m tired.
If your family all comes to your house and wants their favorites–who doesn’t on this most traditional of days–you will need to keep these foods separate from yours. If your family is open to your food challenges, lucky you. Ask them to bring the fruit salad, or some other dish that is dairy and wheat free and kindly warn them of wheat ingredients in sauces. Personally, I always stress that if they want to bring a dairy or wheat filled goodie, I’m fine with it. I know some of us aren’t. I do ask them to keep their food and utensils separate from mine. Sometimes, especially with pie, people tend to double dip. They don’t mean any harm. They just don’t think about it.
Can you imagine the luxury of not having to consider every bite you take?
The following is another recipe favorite from my family’s dinner table. It is naturally gluten free.
Mama’s Waldorf Salad
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Dietary||Gluten Free, Vegetarian|
|Meal type||Salad, Side Dish|
- 4 apples (Make them a mix of tart and sweet. Green and red apples are especially nice)
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts (toasted and broken into small pieces.)
- 2/3 cups chopped celery
- 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup Miracle Whip
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
|Combine apples, pecans, celery and raisins in a bowl. Mix together Miracle Whip, almond milk, apple cider vinegar and sugar. Pour over fruit and vegetables. Mix all together and place in refrigerator for several hours. The apple cider vinegar will help keep the apples from turning brown.|