The Christmas Menu

Christmas isn’t that far away now, and even though I am writing a post about Christmas menus, I still don’t know what I’m doing for Christmas lunch!  The location is still up in the air pending other family commitments.   But I’m not worried, we’ve had three Christmas Days since we started the elimination diet in which we have hosted Christmas, helped cook at my parent’s place, taken our own food and gone it alone.  But I do remember how hard the first two years were, so I’ve decide to pull together all the recipes I think could be used for Christmas celebrations, along with a few tips that I used to manage it.  Some of these may be obvious, but sometimes when we are in unknown territory and stressed we can overlook the simple things.  So I hope you find some inspiration in this post to create your own wonderfully festive Christmas!


  1. Set your limits.  Decide in advance whether you are prepared to stray off your current dietary restrictions.  This is a personal decision and will depend on the consequences of a reaction and what kind of trade-off you are prepared to make.  If you are on the strict elimination diet, this maybe as simple as adding a few moderate salicylate or amine foods to your menu, such as carrots in a salad or salmon, or letting the kids have a few lollies or use natural food colouring to decorate biscuits.
  2. Don’t try and cook for everyone.  If you getting together with family and friends you don’t need to cater for everyone.  If you are hosting, provide food that your family can eat (and can be shared) and ask others to supplement with a dish of their own.  That way you will have a variety of dishes without all the work.  If you are the guest of someone else bring some dishes your family can have, it’s easier than trying to make sure someone else caters, and the host/hostess will appreciate the contribution.
  3. Put it on the side.  It’s quite easy to cater for multiple tastes and diets by having dressings, sauces and vegetables on the side.  Don’t add the Failsafe dressing to the salad, put it on the side and have the option for people to use other dressings as well.  The same goes for sauces.  With vegetables and salads  you can always include extras, such as a bowl of cherry tomatoes, or a platter of sliced avocado and let people build up their own salads.  You don’t have to provide all these yourself, ask someone else to contribute them.
  4. Presentation.   Even if you are preparing food and dishes that you’ve had before or that don’t seem very Christmassy, presentation can easily change that.  Christmas tablecloths, napkins, platters, decorations, etc. can be picked up quite cheaply and can easily transform a dish (see the Carob Syrup cake and Bite-sized Meatloaves).  On the other hand, you can make the most delicious dish  and poor presentation can detract from it.
  5. Don’t tell.  No-one else needs to know what is or isn’t in your dishes (unless they have their own food intolerances), so don’t tell them.  If you’re hassled, just tell them you’ve been trying out some recipes from a really popular website.  (I’m not just blowing my own trunpet here, you can use this line regardless of where you found the recipe!)
  6. Practice.  I always try new recipes in advance for special occasions   This is a lesson I learnt after Oscar’s First Birthday party when a couple of recipes didn’t turn out as planned.  If you don’t want to spend between now and Christmas eating Christmas food share it with your family, friends, neighbours and co-workers.
  7. Go it alone.  This is may be a pretty drastic decision, but sometimes it may be the only solution.   I love Christmas and getting together with family, but there was one year when it was all too much trouble , so we had Christmas lunch at home, just the three of us.  It was wonderful – one of my favourite Christmas days.  We ate exactly what we wanted, it was a chilled, stress-free day.  We caught up with that side of the family after Christmas when there was no family politics involved.
  8. Have fun.  Whatever you decide to do, have fun, enjoy yourself and enjoy the day with your family.


I’ve put together a list of all the recipes I have either used for special occassions, including Christmas, or would do so.  I can’t cater for everyone’s dietary restrictions, so against each recipe I’ve listed the level of salicyaltes, amines and glutamates, and whether it is nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free or egg-free.  This doesn’t mean you can’t make changes to the recipes, it just means that I haven’t tried it with other substitutes.

While your reading through the list you can listen to my favourite Christmas Carol – Australian Jingle Bells – and really get into the spirit!


Nibbles and Starters


Christmas Nibbles




These simple platters are filled with plain chips, white marshmallows, Smarties (Amines and Salicylates from natural colours), white Jelly beans and white musk sticks, pretzels and Savoy biscuits.  It was enough to keep the munchies away before lunch was served, but there are more great ideas below.


 (Low/ Moderate Salicylates, Low / Moderate Amines, Low Glutamates, Egg-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)

Home Made Sushi





Bite-sized Meatloaves

(Low Salicylates, Low / High Amines, Low Glutamates, Gluten-free, Nut-free)




Sweet Potato and Cashew Dip

(Moderate Salicylate, Low Amines, Low Glutamates, Egg-free, Dairy-free)

Sweet Potato and Cashew Dip





 Cucumber and Chickpea Dip

(Moderate Salicylate, Low Amines, Low Glutamates, Egg-free, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)

Cucumber and Chickpea Dip





(Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low Amines, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Gluten-free)

Chickpea Dip / Hummus





Chicken and Ricotta Pinwheels

(Low Salicylates, Low Amines, Low Glutamates, Nut-free)

Chicken and Ricotta Pinwheels



Bacon and Cheese Pinwheels

 (Very High Amines, Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Nut-free)

Bacon and Cheese Pinwheels





The Main Meal

Roast Chicken with Stuffing (Serve hot or cold)

This stuffed roast chicken recipe is my Easter and Christmas staple.  Oscar’s first Christmas on the diet we had to travel, so I made two at my Mum’s place on Christmas Day.  We had one hot for lunch and the second one travelled with us to the In Laws for Boxing Day to have cold.

Stuffed Roast Chicken




(Low / Moderate Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low Amines, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Gluten-free)


The Seafood / BBQ Lunch

If you want to do a BBQ/Seafood lunch, then the links below might be of interest.  The best thing about the BBQ Christmas lunch is that you can have a variety of meats, including sausages, rissoles and even burgers, catering for a variety of tastes.

BBQ Scallops

(Low Chemical / Failsafe, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)

BBQ Scallops




Potato Skewers

(Low Chemical / Failsafe, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)

BBQ Salmon with Fruit Salsa

(Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Moderate/High Amines, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free

BBQ Whole Chicken 

(Low Chemical / Failsafe, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)



Whether your having a BBQ, picnic or more formal lunch, there is always room for salad on the table (especially on a hot day), so here are some of my favourites:

Lentil and Rice Salad

(Moderate Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low Amines, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)

Lentil and Rice Salad




Green Bean Salad

(Low Chemical / Failsafe, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free)

Potato, Egg and Bacon Salad 

(Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Very High Amines, Gluten-free, Nut-free)

Potato Egg and Bacon Salad 




Chicken and Risoni Salad 

(Low/Moderate Salicylates, Low Amines, Low Glutamates, Egg-free, Nut-free)

Chicken and Rissoni Salad





Apple and Sour Cream Coleslaw

(Moderate Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low Amines)

Apple and Sour Cream Coleslaw








Cakes and Desserts

Coffee Cake

(Low Chemical / Failsafe, Dairy-free, Nut-free)

To decorate this cake for Christmas, make it in a round tin and wrap a Christmas cake wrapper around the outside. The top can be decorated with just icing sugar using a Christmas themed stencil, or the maple cream icing with plastic decorations.

Coffee Dessert Cake





Honeycomb and Banana Ice Cream

(High Amines, Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Egg-free, Nut-free)

For a dairy free ice cream try this banana and honeycomb one.  I use allergy train honeycomb.

Banana and Honeycomb Icecream




 Chocolate Squidgy Log

(Very High Amines, Low Salicylate, Low Glutamates, Gluten Free, Nut-free)

The Chocolate Squidgy Log is very rich and decadent, but also very high in Amines.

Chocolate Squidgy Log




Chocolate Cashew Butter Cheese Cake

(Very High Amines, Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates)

Chocolate Cashew Butter Cheesecake





Tropical Pavlova Roll

 (High Amines, High Salicylates, Low Glutamates)

Tropical Pavlova Roll







Pear or Mango Ricotta Pie

 (Low/High Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low / High Amines, Nut-free)

Mango and Ricotta Pie




Carob Syrup Cake

(Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low Amines, Nut-free)

Carob Syrup Cake






Golden Syrup Cake

 (Low Salicylates, Low Amines, Low Gluamates, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free)

This cake would be fantastic cooked in a ring tin (like the carob syrup cake) or as small cakes and served with caramel sauce, custard or Domestic Diva’s Whiskey Cream Sauce.

Golden Syrup Cake or Slice





Sweet Treats

Chocolate Balls and Chocolate Cashew Fudge

Chocolate Balls and Chocolate Cashew Fudge




 Chocolate Balls

 (Very High Amines, Moderate Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Egg-free, Nut-free)

 Chocolate Cashew Fudge

(Very High Amines, Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Egg-free, Gluten-free)

 Christmas Cake

(Very High Amines, Moderate Salicylates, Low Glutamates)

Decorated Christmas Cake







(Low – High Salicylates, Low/Moderate Amines, Low Glutamates, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free)






 Christmas Biscuits

 (Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low Amines, Nut-free)  

Christmas Biscuits Decorated




Look out for my next post with more biscuit and decorating ideas.


“Gingerbread” Muffins

 (Low Salicylates, Low Glutamates, Low Amines, Nut-free, Gluten-free)

“Gingerbread” Muffins with no ginger





These are great for the kids to make.  Use muffin/cake trays in any Christmas shape.

Christmas Lolly Stocking

Christmas Lolly Stocking





Coming Up Next Time: Christmas Biscuits

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6 Responses to The Christmas Menu

  1. LisaW says:

    This list is amazing! Thank you.

  2. Danielle says:

    Thank you so much this is fantastic. I was having minor panics last night about our first FS Christmas for DS