Eating and cooking Thanksgiving gluten and dairy free: Waldorf Salad

Not my kitchen window, but instead, one from a home in Tucson. So peaceful isn’t it? That’s what I want for you this holiday season. Peace.

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.

[gmc_recipe 20662]



  1. Kay G. says:

    Ha, I never thought of buying Miracle Whip since I didn’t think it would be gluten free. Turns out that it is! I have been married to my husband for 29 years now and have had to cook gluten free all these years. Now, more people know about it so that has been a blessing. It’s still not easy, even with all the new labeling. You have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

  2. Martha says:

    Hi Dee – Glad you continue to write about these food sensitivity issues – it helps me remember to keep an eye on my cooking, too.
    I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  3. Thanksgiving wishes to you & yours for a lovely holiday

  4. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to go gluten- and dairy-free. Especially in our house with a vegetarian and a diabetic. And I’m a limited meat-eater. It seems all families have dietary issues, and Thanksgiving seems to highlight all the lovely diversity of it all. 😉 Happy Thanksgiving, Dee!

  5. Cydney Axtell says:

    Dee, Thanks for the waldorf salad recipe – I was looking for a fruit salad for tomorrow and this is perfect. Many blessings to you and your family and Happy thanksgiving.

  6. Carol says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Dee. The food industry really has come a long way in providing better options for you and others who can’t eat wheat or dairy. I’m just trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup, just because I think it is not a good sweetener. They are hiding it in everything it seems.

  7. VP says:

    That sounds great!

    Christmas used to be awful for our family gatherings – me not eating wheat (I’m lucky to have been able to return to eating small amounts without harm after 3 years of abstinence), my father in law dairy intolerant, plus my brother-in-law and family are all vegetarian. My poor mother in law used to go into melt down!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Dee xxx

  8. We have a neighbor who can’t eat gluten, so when we were putting meals together for her (she was hospitalized then convalesced at home) I was mindful of no wheat or wheat products. Making a layers dip for a neighborhood party, I was going to use taco seasoning…but the pre-mixed stuff has some ingredients that I think are wheat based. Mixed up my own. Wheat is in soooo many products. ANYWAY….having done Atkins for many years (on and off) no wheat isn’t too hard for us, but boy, no dairy (cheese especially) would be a major change.
    Glad you won’t have to do double duty cooking this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  9. Sonia Kirk says:

    Sounds wonderful..haven’t had Waldrof salad in years! Have to add it to my holiday recipes!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Miss Bloomers

  10. Can’t have apples on my low FODMAP diet, but this looks wonderful. May you recognize God’s hand as you thank Him for the blessings this week, my friend! c:

  11. Jenny says:

    Yes, reading this you make me realize what a challenge it would be. I remember once looking for gluten free products some years ago and there were so few. Today I see so many-well maybe not as many as you would like. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all at your table.

  12. CurtissAnn says:

    Yumm! Think we’ll love it. Maybe do it instead of cranberry sauce.

  13. Dee I have to go one step further and have organic as well so it is hard with the cranberries but not the turkey. Of course organic is a choice for me. I love learning more gluten free choices so thanks!! Love this recipe.

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