Do you have your Christmas or Hanukkah dinner planned out yet? Do you know what you’ll bring or make?

Trying to plan a meal or bring a dish that suits everyone is becoming more difficult as the years go by. Indeed, many families today struggle to accommodate their recipes to different food allergies, dietary restrictions, or just plain culinary preferences.

Adapting & Overcoming

Over the past 10 years, I’ve adapted (and discovered) classic crowd-pleasing recipes that will surely bring everyone happily together around the table. They all contain quinoa, a well-known superfood that will please your vegetarian/vegan friends, while keeping your dishes gluten free.

They’re also all so tasty that even the most skeptical or traditional eater won’t know the difference! So here are 6 of my allergy-safe, gluten free, and vegan holiday recipes, that encompass traditional flavours with a quinoa touch!

Holiday Flavours

This time of year, I start to crave some of my childhood holiday dishes and treats.  I dream about the smell of chestnuts roasting, a piece of Terry’s Chocolate Orange melting in my mouth, cranberry sauce warming on the stove top, the sweet and tart taste of pomegranates and gingerbread cookies baking in the oven. Most of us look forward to our childhood holiday dishes and desserts. I’ve included 6 of my allergy-safe, gluten free and vegan holiday recipes, that encompass traditional flavors with a quinoa touch!

Holiday Starters

I love to start a party serving some easy to pass finger foods. Croquettes and a dip is easy to prepare in advance and is always a hit with everyone.

Recipe: Quinoa & Chickpea Croquettes

Unless you’re serving salsa or hummus, dips usually have cheese, sour cream or milk. I love to serve a variation of the classic warm artichoke dip without the dairy, but with all the creamy texture. The dip can be served with veggies and corn chips or even better, along with these Quinoa & Chickpea croquettes!

Recipe: Warm White Bean Quinoa Artichoke Dip

Holiday Sides

The staple Christmas dinner consists of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed (sweet) potatoes and hopefully a side of veg. This is difficult in a family that has a few members who don’t eat meat, and a few that are gluten free or dairy free.

A stuffing that is both gluten free and packed with protein is a great dish to serve as a main. My recipe also has two classic holiday flavours – chestnuts and cranberries. Even those that are having turkey will want to try this one!

Recipe: Quinoa, Cranberry & Chestnut Stuffing

When you have food intolerances, being invited over for a pot-luck holiday dinner can be tricky. A salad is the easiest dish to bring over to someone’s house. I try to bring one that everyone will enjoy but that I can secretly eat as a main just in case everything else has gluten or dairy.

This one by Sylvia Fountaine not only has quinoa, but also has pomegranates, almonds and avocado. Colourful, fresh, and filling!

Recipe: Quinoa Pomegranate Crunch Salad

Holiday Desserts

When I was little, I would sneak downstairs at the crack of dawn to get my hands on Terry’s Chocolate Oranges that I got only once a year in my stocking. To this day, I still love the combination of chocolate and orange! To satisfy this craving I make Chocolate Orange Quinoa brownies. These I eat all year round!

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Quinoa Brownies

Making Gingerbread men with my kids is a tradition that I started when my daughter was 4 years old. After my son and I were diagnosed with Celiac disease 10 years ago, I had to modify my usual recipe in order to continue this tradition.

Quinoa flour has a strong flavour, so I usually mix it with other flours to soften the taste. This recipe calls for 2 ½ cups of quinoa flour, but I use 1 ½ cups of quinoa flour and 1 cup of brown rice flour instead. We always leave a couple of cookies for Santa (even though we all know who eats them!).

Recipe: Quinoa Gingerbread Cookies

Rediscovering the Holidays with Quinoa

The holidays are fast approaching, and whether you’re ready for it or not, your family and friends will be gathering around your fireplace, dinner table or theirs. This year why not try making a dish that everyone can enjoy – one with a super-versatile ingredient, quinoa!