Creating New Traditions Around Food

For many people, the festive season is a time where  food traditions can get you down if you’ve just been recently diagnosed with a food sensitivity. But guess what? There are ways to get that “special occasion feeling” back this holiday season.

The way I see it there are 3 ways you can tackle special occasion cooking when your diet has some restrictions:

  • The first is to find new favourite recipes that you like and create traditions around those foods.
  • The second is to adapt your “old favourites” by making substitutions with foods you can eat and incorporate them into your traditions.
  • The third is to check to see if there are any foods that you loved before your food intolerance diagnosis (or decision to become plant based) that are suitable for your new dietary needs.

For us, crostoli fits in the third category. It’s been  a favourite all my life it turns out that my mums recipe is dairy free. (My mum’s crostoli are also egg free. Traditionally they are made with wheat based flour, but when my niece was diagnosed with coeliac disease a few years ago, I made a gluten-free version of the recipe. Around that time, I also made the ninja bread (which are also gluten and dairy free) which are a new food we’ve incorporated into our traditions.

Interestingly, sometimes it doesn’t matter so much what food you are actually cooking or eating.. it’s the other things which help create the tradition. For example, over the last few years, I’ve gone to my parents house to help my mum cook the crostoli. My daughter is now big enough to help with “pinching” the  crostoli into shape and I am frying them (and my son is an official taster;-).

Really though, we could be making pizza, or a fruit salad or my Christmas Pudding Bliss Balls, the recipe itself doesn’t matter, that we’re doing it all together and we each have a job and forms the tradition  around it.

My mum and my daughter making crostoli together as part of our new Christmas tradition.

Perhaps a new tradition you can create would be going to the farm and picking cherries or going to the market (if you don’t usually) and picking out the veggies for your roast? Or making Glenys Red Wine Reduction?

To secret to making a special occasion tradition that you’d form fond memories from is to try to make some things about the “new tradition” exclusive and not something you can do every week or month but only once or twice a year and if there are some yummy aromas involved as well that’ll give it even more impact when forming memories.

So take another look at that “can eat” list and see if there are some recipes you already like that are still suitable, or others which can be easily tweaked to suit your needs. If creating new traditions, check out that “can eat” list for seasonal foods which you can create new traditions around.

If you’d like some more ideas for ingredient substitutions to tweak recipes or a whole lot of new recipes then….

Check out the Charity Fundraiser cookbook, which includes Lisa’s Snowflake Truffle recipe as well as 27 other delicious plant-based, gluten, dairy and egg free recipes by a collection of healthy foodies in  The Ultimate Christmas Menu extended version which was put together  by Kris Goetz to raise money for the non-profit recipe chain Lentil As Anything. I completely loved the idea and their mission (when I read about Lentil as Anything – they don’t like people to feel or be left out either!), so I was pretty excited to have a recipe included in the book.

Until next time, Happy Cooking!