Cooking delicious gluten free meals can be a challenge anytime but during these food rich holidays the stress can get even higher. One thing I’ve found since I started cooking gluten free for my son is that the main courses usually are already gluten free on these food oriented holidays. Whole Turkeys, Honey Baked Hams, and many traditional vegetable sides are already gluten free and therefore don’t need any special alternative preparations to be safe for a person following a gluten free diet. Once I realized half the work was done for me I was able to relax a bit and find some delicious sides to enrich the meal experience for my son.
When I started cooking gluten free holiday foods I found the hardest thing to make or get were gluten free side dishes. Traditionally in my family holiday meals included a vast array of Jello molds, fruit salads, and of course casseroles. I’ve tried many recipes over the years and found that one of my son’s favorites is a simple seasonal fruit salad.
1 cup rinsed halved grapes
1 cup peeled sliced bananas
1 rinsed, peeled, and cubed apple
1 drained can mandarin oranges
1 cup cubed pineapple
1-2 cups mini or seasonal marshmallows
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
First you need to prepare all the fruit for your salad. Before you start you may want to rinse the grapes and apples. Once all the fruit is clean, peel and cut into approximately 1 inch chunks or coins. I usually just cut the grapes in half length ways, slice the bananas into coins, and cube the apples. Once the fruit is cut place it in a large, pretty serving bowl, cover with teaspoon of lemon juice and sugar. Then gently stir fruit until lemon juice covers everything in the bowl. Lastly, gently fold in the mini marshmallows and refrigerate until ready to serve.
My son especially loves the thanksgiving and Halloween marshmallows that have come out in recent years. He squeals with delight every time he sees them. They make such a cute finishing touch to this tasty, simple fruit salad and really set the holiday mood. As simple as this salad seems it always makes my son happy to eat it with everyone else on the holidays, and since the folks at the dinner table who do not have food restrictions will eat it too he feels included in the food festivities. Winter holidays seem to inevitably center around eating and usually my son has a plate full of strange and different food but on the holidays, with this salad on the table along side the turkey and green beans then he’s just another member of the clan enjoying his family and large amounts of delicious food and that’s my favorite part of the holiday meal.