Gluten-Free for the Holidays: Recipes and Meal Planning Tips

Andrea's Gluten-Free in Chesterfield and New Day Bakery and Cafe in Ballwin offered Patch some recipes, tips and overall good advice for those planning gluten-free meals over the holidays.

Food will be an essential part of many holiday gatherings this week, but for those on a gluten-free diet (or those planning meals for them), it also represents certain hazards as well. There are all kinds of ways to prepare. Check it out yourself.

To help plan your gluten-free meals, Patch contacted some local gluten-free bakeries and stores who shared holiday recipes along with tips on where to buy baked goods without the pesky protein.

Andrea Kosinski, owner of Andrea’s Gluten-Free in Chesterfield, regularly posts recipes on her company’s website, including video instructions on using their popular sugar cookie dough.

(Looking for recipes? Check out these links to a few of Andrea Kosinski's favorite gluten-free recipes: White Texas Sheet CakeHerb StuffingSugar Cookies - Instructions and Icing RecipesAndrea's Pecan PieSweet Potato Casserole)

“We have quite a bit of neat holiday stuff around our sugar cookie dough,” she said. “It’s one of the women who works for us grandmother’s recipe.”

In fact, Kosinksi said they also offer a “cup-for-cup” flour substitute that can help convert traditional family recipes, so planning gluten-free options can be as simple as making what you already know.

“What we recommend is that people take their family-favorite recipes and just swap it out using our flour to create a gluten-free option,” she said. “We have had the best luck starting with recipes we know are good.”

Andrea’s Gluten-Free also offers ready-to-bake pies and pie crusts, muffins, chocolate chip cookie dough, stuffing, pastries and desserts. Besides their physical location at 759 Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard in Chesterfield, many of their products are available at Schnucks locations throughout St. Louis.

For those who don’t want to do all the hard work themselves, they can put their gluten-free meals in the capable hands of husband-and-wife combo, Garrett and Kelly Beck, operators of New Day Gluten-Free in Ballwin at 15622 Manchester Road.

(For even more recipes, Garrett Beck recommended checking out some popular gluten-free blogs: Gluten-Free GirlGluten-Free MommyGood Without Gluten)

The bakery and café specializes in serving a whole range of gluten-free meals as well as providing to-go options and special orders. Garrett Beck said they started the café 19 months ago, inspired by his wife’s struggles after she was diagnosed 7 years ago with Celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder triggered by gluten.

“We try to be a resource to the community in helping them find the right gluten-free foods,” he said. “When we started 7 years ago, we had no idea how to feed ourselves. Our goal is to make it easier.”

In that vein, visitors to New Day can pick up everything from pizzas to sandwiches to entire Italian entrees, such as lasagna. Beck said those to-go entrees are a great option for people going to holiday parties.

“Part of the challenge is eating safely,” he said. “If I can provide them with a pre-prepared meal, then they can heat it up in a microwave when they arrive and there’s no risk of contamination.”

The bakery and café is typically busiest around Thanksgiving, but Beck said the Christmas season has really picked up this year as well (they've even got a special holiday menu).

“This time of year is very popular for cookie trays,” he said, adding that other sought-after items include breads, dinner rolls and desserts that can be served during large group meals. “Those are typically the things people are looking for.”

Like Andrea’s, many of New Day’s products are available at Schnucks, and at Dierbergs as well, for those who can’t make the drive out to West County. For those who want to make custom orders, Beck recommends calling at least 24 hours ahead.

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