Gluten Free in OKC
As we’ve discussed in previous issues, gatherings with people and food can be torturous for the gluten free (GF) crowd regardless of the circumstances. I’m sorry to tell you but the holiday season is no exception. November and December tend to fill up with school programs, holiday parties, family obligations and everything else. It doesn’t take much for this time of year to become a blur. But wait, there’s more! Th anksgiving! Christmas! (P.S. Whose idea was it to put two giant holidays within 4 weeks of each other?!)
The good news about these fall holidays is that there are more options to choose from without having to ask so many questions about ingredients, like turkey, ham, cranberry salad, sweet potatoes, etc. The tricky items to check will be the traditional favorites like green bean casserole (hidden soup!), stuffing (bread crumbs!), and gravy (flour!). Depending on what your family does for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, you may be able to flex the menu a little by suggesting dishes that would be naturally GF or easily made GF by swapping simple ingredients like a GF soup, GF flour and/or GF bread. It tends to go over well if you offer to bring these ingredients or dishes yourself.
I have found that people are generally pretty open-minded to eating or making GF options at large gatherings if you give them a few minutes and offer suggestions, recipes, or substitutes. One of my favorite holiday dishes is green bean casserole and after a brief time of mourning in 2009, I found out you can buy cans of GF cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup. Hosanna! You can now find these lovelies at some grocery stores but I know that Akin’s, Whole Foods, and Sprouts almost always have them in stock. (Don’t forget to check out Vitacost or Amazon!) Be warned, you’ll pay $2.50-$3 per can, but for special occasions it’s one of those splurge items I’m willing to justify to eat something I love.