With Thanksgiving behind us, the winter holiday season looms large and with it more family meals and big, savory dishes. The holidays can be a dangerous time for folks with dietary restrictions. I am lucky to be able to have a family that is willing to accommodate me. As it is, I won’t be able to eat a single thing at the office holiday party coming up. Often, this is the case. The best way to survive the holidays and avert disaster is to plan and prepare in advance.
For this, I would like to share some of my holiday survival menu for those adhering to the fodmap diet and trying to avoid gastric distress this holiday season.
The things I worry about when it comes to the holidays are appetizers, sides, and desserts. The main meat is usually safe. I can count on turkey being all right, so I don’t worry about that. Though if you are having a ham, making sure it’s not honey glazed.
Cheese and crackers: When in doubt, I bring rice crackers. I know they are a safe option for me and paired with some sharp cheddar, they can be very filling!
Spiced pecans: This recipe available at Leite’s Culinaria is easy to make and so tasty! Just the right amount of sweet and spice.
Fruit plate: Some strawberries, berries, and citrus fruits are safe to eat and add lovely amounts of color to the holiday menu.
Mashed potatoes: Butter is low lactose, so go wild! I made sure to use lactose free milk, salt, and pepper.
Squash: I only have a little bit. We make ours with butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Small portions are key here.
Cranberry sauce: I opted for a cranberry orange relish, designed by the genius Kate Scarlata (recipe available here). It’s a nice alternative to the gelatinous goo of canned cranberry.
Rolls: In the past I’ve opted for Udi’s Classic French Dinner Rolls, which work nicely in a pinch. This year I made some mashed potato buns inspired by this recipe at Life + Thymez. Mine did not come out as pretty as hers, but they sure tasted good! They also went over really well with my family. Also a nice cornbread would also work!
Something green: Just saute some green beans or kale with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
I have found so many wonderful low fodmap dessert options. Bless the brave innovators who go out there and figure out recipes for treats that taste good and keep you feeling good. Here are a few of my favorites:
Pumpkin Bread Pudding: Gluten Free Goddess’s recipe is amazing! I always use regular butter and lactose free milk and it comes out like a dream. The family loves it too!
Pumpkin Pie: Last Christmas I made this pumpkin pie with a pecan crust from Oh She Glows. I thought it would be really difficult, but it wasn’t too bad actually. It came out delicious! This Christmas I am looking forward to trying a pie with a more traditional crust, courtesy of Delicious as it Looks. I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
Snickerdoodles: These snickerdoodles from Gluten Free on a Shoestring are hands down some of my most favorite cookies on the planet. They are so good and they get me into the holiday spirit like nothing else! The cinnamon and sugar are just perfect and they make my kitchen smell amazing. No winter is complete without them.
Muffins: For an early morning option, or a dessert, I really love these muffins from A Little Insanity. They are a sweet treat for any time of day.
I like to cook and bake and experiment in the kitchen, so I’ve treated my foray into low fodmap foods as a sort of culinary adventure, trying to find ways to still make good food, despite the restrictions. It’s been trying, but also kind of fun and the holidays are definitely my busiest season. But I’m up to the challenge.
I hope you all had a happy Thansgiving. I can’t believe tomorrow is December 1st! Where did 2015 go?!
Until next time!