Are you still finalizing your holiday gathering plans? Here’s a holiday menu inspired by my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook.
Inviting friends and family to share a meal is a chance to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other. In today’s busy world, gathering, connecting, and sharing time is more important than ever.
I inherited my love of entertaining from my mother and her mother before her. Their balance of grace and hospitality inspired me to experiment in the kitchen and to share my table. This passion for sharing and bringing people together is the heart of my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook.
Family gatherings can present enough opportunities to feel excluded (hello, politics!), so food shouldn’t be one of them. Whether you’re a strict gluten-free eater, or just looking for more variety, I wrote The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook for you. I crafted the recipes with the notion of coming together and sharing in mind, so there’s truly something for everyone in the seasonal dishes.
I’ve saved you a seat, and I want to offer you a cheese board and a glass of wine, and equip you with the tools to bring my book to life, to shape menus and experiences. Let’s get started!
A Holiday Menu Inspired by The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook
A Welcome Cocktail: The Wild Rose Fizz
When I celebrated the launch of my cookbook, my friends at Pennsylvania Libations curated a gluten-free bar complete with three signature cocktails inspired by recipes in the book. Now you can sip the same drinks with your loved ones and celebrate with me digitally, so cheers! Here’s the Wild Fizz Recipe inspired by my recipe for Rose-Colored Beet & Rose Water Granola (pg. 34-35).
Starter: Roasted Red Pepper Millet Dip with Assorted Vegetables
(Gluten-Free & Vegan, pg. 134)
You can make this creamy, nut-free, vegan dip the day before and then assemble before the gathering. With the general onslaught of holiday eating, guests will appreciate the light and healthy aspect of this starter. Don’t be turned off that it’s vegan either. Even your dairy-loving friends will be scooping heartily into this dip.
First Course: Creamy Amaranth Corn Chowder
(Gluten-Free & Vegan, pg. 146)
This soup can be made ahead, even frozen. Plus, it’s hearty enough that vegetarians can lean on the soup course as their main dish in lieu of the salmon. Play with the garnishes for extra presentation points. Fried shallots or garlic, toasted almonds and fresh herbs are all pretty and complement the soup’s flavors well.
Main Dish: Beet-Roasted Salmon & Parsnips with Sumac & Sorghum Faux Roe (pg. 117)
The beets impart a vibrant fuchsia hue to the already colorful long cut of salmon, making for a stunner of a main dish platter.
Side Dish: Mint Pea Buckwheat Mash
(Gluten-Free, Vegan, pg. 114)
Bright green, subtly sweet and minty, this dish will surprise most guests, but the color will really complement the redder tones of the salmon. This dish could be made earlier in the day, then reheated when guests arrive, or left in a warm oven if need be.
Add a Mix of Traditional Sides:
These are dishes that are straight forward and lend themselves to asking friends/family to contribute or are readily available from grocery stores’ holiday menu offerings. Think mashed potatoes, garlic green beans, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
Dessert: Maple-Sweetened Pecan Pie Bars (pg. 188)
Whoever said “easy as pie” was clearly a liar. This dessert packs all the deliciousness of the traditional pecan pie without the finicky variables of pie dough. Sweetened with maple syrup, this new take on the classic will leave you with less of a sugar crash too. This recipe has proven to be a crowd favorite.
The Nightcap: Lavender Latte
Another signature cocktail from my launch party inspired by the recipe for Iced Oat-Milk Lattes with Honey Simple Syrup (pgs. 46-47). The coffee liqueur will help guests perk up after all the eating. If you want to add a more festive twist, substitute holiday flavors like cinnamon, cardamom and clove for the lavender.
Happy holidays, friends! May your tables be pleasantly crowded.