In terms of food (and also the fact that we’ve just moved into a gorgeous new flat) this Christmas was the best yet and conclusive proof that you don’t need gluten to have a deliciously indulgent Christmas dinner. Nothing felt like it was lacking and I can honestly say I didn’t miss gluten one little bit.
This year marked my eighth year of being gluten-free. When I look back on what it was like to follow a gluten-free diet back in 2007, I can’t believe how much easier it is now and how much more choice we have.
Here’s my round-up of all the awesome gluten-free food that we’ve eaten over the last couple of days…
Without fail, I start every Christmas Day with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. The salmon was an absolute bargain at £3.99 for 300g from ALDI. Who needs Fortnum & Mason, eh? What’s more, I managed to get the scrambled eggs absolutely perfect: soft, buttery and with just the right amount of black pepper. Served on top of an Udi’s gluten-free sundried tomato bagel (£2.30 for 4 from Tesco), it was that little bit more luxurious.
Seeing as we had so much salmon thanks to our ALDI bargain, we mixed some in with king prawns for a posh prawn cocktail before sitting down to the main Christmas dinner. The perfect wine with our starter was a Hungarian white wine, Mad Dry Furmint 2013, which we bought from our good friend Karl at Elwood Wines.
We hit the gluten-free jackpot with this year’s Christmas dinner! Not only did we find that Tesco’s Finest pigs in blankets were gluten-free (along with a load of other seasonal sausages and stuffings, which we’ve stocked up on to eat over the next couple of days) but we also found fresh, GF stuffing balls in Sainsbury’s. This is the first year I’ve been able to have stuffing that’s not a packet mix. It was awesome.
Not being fans of Turkey (and there being only two of us) we roasted a large chicken with garlic butter, fresh thyme and rosemary. Of course, we had roast potatoes (the trick is to par boil for five minutes, rough them up around the edges, then put them straight into in pre-heated butter and oil so they crisp up) as well as roast parsnips in honey; boiled carrots stirred with honey mustard, thyme and paprika; sautéed leeks, cabbage and bacon with crème fraiche; and peas (because peas are awesome as they are).
We used Bisto Best Chicken Gravy (which Coeliac UK has confirmed is safe for people with coeliac disease), with Tesco Finest cranberry sauce. It was all fantastic. Well done, Tesco!
With dinner, we had a wine from Sussex – Bolney Estate Lychgate Red 2010 – which we also got from Elwood. We chilled it for 30 minutes before serving, as instructed, and it was fantastic.
While I did find a gluten-free Christmas pudding for one (again, Tesco Finest) I ended up devouring the last of an incredible gluten-free cheesecake that my friend Ellinor bought round to our house on Christmas Eve. It was lemon cheesecake with a base made from crushed up gluten-free digestives and ginger biscuits, served with a side of caramelised apples. I’ve got to get this recipe from her… if I can persuade her, I’ll share it with you.
Boxing Day Brunch
What’s Boxing Day for? Leftovers! We started the day in truly indulgent style: a giant bowl of bubble and squeak with a perfectly poached egg on top. I can’t take credit for the egg, that was all Ben’s doing. Sadly, I’ve never mastered the art of the poached egg. Maybe that’ll be a new year’s resolution.
Boxing Day Dinner
Again… leftovers! Boxing Day wouldn’t be complete without a Ploughman’s style plate loaded with cold meat and cheese along with salad, coleslaw and all that stuff. We also threw some Tesco Spicy Potato Wedges into the mix (coated with rice flour and gluten-free).
And it’s not over yet…
We’ve still got these to enjoy over the next couple of days. The diet starts in January, right?