The holiday season is always a favorite time of year, with family traditions, parties, and of course, delicious holiday meals! Many holiday meals can often feature gluten, however people leading a gluten-free lifestyle don’t need to skip their favorite meals. For our December spotlight, we chatted with Karen, creator of Healthy Gluten-Free Family, about eating gluten-free and how you don’t have to miss out on your favorite meals just because you have a gluten sensitivity:
- Living gluten-free doesn’t have to be hard: “Some people believe it’s really difficult to eat gluten-free, or they think gluten-free food doesn’t tastes good, or that you have to miss out on your favorite foods. Gluten is a protein found in wheat barely and rye so it is in many processed foods and all the classic carbs like bread, pizza and pasta. But real, whole foods– fruits, nuts, meats, vegetables and many grains like rice and quinoa, are naturally gluten-free. Plus, there are many amazing gluten-free options for pasta and bread these days. So I would say the toughest part about eating gluten-free is planning ahead, but the food itself can taste fantastic and there is no need to miss out on anything.”
- Pasta is still on the menu: “When my son was first diagnosed with celiac disease eight years ago, I panicked because pasta was his favorite food. But I soon learned there are many amazing gluten-free pastas on the market and he still enjoys lots of pasta dishes. In fact, pasta is one of our go-to meals because it is quick and easy to make and so versatile — the sauce options alone are endless! It is really difficult to choose a favorite pasta dish but one would definitely be a one-pan Pasta Puttanesca. It takes 20 minutes to make, uses only one pan, and is packed with flavor!”
- Holiday foods can be gluten-free too: “Everything we love has been adapted to be gluten-free… I would have to say my personal favorites are holiday cookies! My son would say the lasagna!”
- Food is still a big part of family traditions: “My husband and I both come from big Italian families with lots of holiday traditions, and many of them revolve around food. One of my favorite traditions is affectionately known as Cookie Baking Day where we bake and eat all day long with family and lifelong friends. Ever since my son and my friend’s daughter were coincidentally diagnosed with Celiac disease within months of each other, we’ve been making cookies gluten-free. Other favorites including the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve and we do a big Italian Christmas dinner with a full antipasto followed by lasagna and homemade meatballs.”
I’m Karen, the creator behind the Healthy Gluten-Free Family. I combine a passion for healthy living and healthy food with our Celiac son’s need to eat 100% Gluten-Free. I share whole and real food recipes and ideas. My mission is to show that eating Gluten-Free can be easy, delicious and healthy.