#ALIVEHoliday: The All-Inclusive Holiday Meal

By Rachel Brandt
In Food

Here’s how to please the gluten-free family members, the vegans, the vegetarians and even the pickiest of eaters at your holiday table this season:

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Deng.

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Deng.

The Gluten-free Eater
For those of us who are trying to lay off the wheat products or have an aversion to it, there’s no reason why a delicious holiday meal can’t be enjoyed with the rest of the family.
Gluten-free cooking doesn’t have to be scary. There is a bevy of foods that are naturally gluten-free like ribs, steak, chuck roast, all fish and most chicken or pork. Most vegetables and fruits are also gluten-free. Use rice in casseroles and substitute flour with corn, rice or tapioca flour. A quick Google search before you start will answer all questions about what your house guests can comfortably ingest. 

Or Grab And Go
If you’re too busy to even consider a homemade gluten-free menu, we understand. Utilize The Corner Pub & Grill‘s two locations in St. Louis and their entire menu of gluten-free options. Or, try New Day Gluten Free Cafe & Bakery, which won Favorite Gluten Free Restaurant in Sauce Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Poll and offers an array of baked goods. Bonus: The facility is also peanut-free.

VEgan

Photo courtesy of Monstruo Estudio.

Vegan/Vegetarian
For your favorite plant-based person, have more than one side dish for them to nosh on when they arrive. Choose from these options and you’ll have something to please them and also something the rest of the family will enjoy.

When tackling a vegetarian dinner, the easiest thing to do is make everything you had planned and simply alter them to be vegetarian. Grilling? Add a bean burger or two. Italian? Switch to veggie lasagna or leave the meatballs for the spaghetti on the side. Almost all Chinese, Thai and Indian foods can be easily made vegetarian. If you’re planning a big feast, use cream of celery or cream of mushroom in place of cream of chicken in casseroles. Consider a delicious butternut squash soup in place of beefy vegetable soup. With a few simple switches, your entire meal can be altered and everyone at your table will be extremely appreciative.

Or Grab And Go
When a vegan or vegetarian is on their way and all you have to offer them is slow-roasted ham, stop by Fit Flavors in Chesterfield. There are more than eight great full meal options on their menu that will please even the most health-conscious of guests. Choose from Asian Veggie Stir-fry, Bean Enchiladas, Vegan Chili and more. 

Photo courtesy of Glen Carrie.

Photo courtesy of Glen Carrie.

The Picky Eater
We all have that special someone in our lives who hates everything. Maybe it’s your picky niece who will only take part in chicken fingers or your nosy uncle who hoards the mashed potatoes. We’ve compiled a small list of menu items to keep their bellies full and their appetites at bay. For the picky eater who will only accepts chicken fingers or fast food, try heating up some oil and putting together veggie tempura. For the persnickety person who only likes mashed potatoes, get creative. Steam some purple cauliflower, mash and sprinkle with sea salt, butter and pepper for a healthier alternative. When making Christmas morning breakfast, mix green and red peppers in with the hash browns for a festive look.

Follow #ALIVEHoliday on social media and our blogs for a month of festive tips, inspirations and events to make the season bright.

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