mulberry purse Special treats for special nee

Special treats for special needs

While visions of sugar plums dance in our heads, there’s an ever growing population of allergic or sensitive nibblers, especially children, who cannot tolerate dairy, nuts, egg, egg yolk and/or wheat gluten.

Add to that the serious and rising issues of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and a significant number of vegetarians, and it’s clear that some different options are in order on the party scene.

Coming to the cook’s rescue this year are a number of bakers and cand mulberry purse y makers who already runneth over with Christmas spirit. Agnes Nemeth of Breadland, 11642 104th Ave., is baking gluten free focaccia and gluten free whole grain bread, as well as yeast free speltbread and cinnamon buns, a spelt tiramisu and delicious pastries. It’s all 100 per cent organic. Kinnikinnick Foods, 10940 120th St., has an in house bakery and carries a large and growin mulberry purse g stock of specialty baked goods, gluten free flours, soups, pastas and other products for allergy sufferer mulberry purse s.

Carol’s Quality Sweets, 12519 102nd Ave., has a bevy of elves making sugar free chocolate in all manner of seaso mulberry purse nal shapes.

For gluten free treats at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market, look for The Candyman, with an all chocolate version of the magical gingerbread house, and their popular Christmas candy packs just chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate with dried blueberries.

To make your Christmas preparations a little easier, and the meals a little merrier, we have a gaggle of recipes for people with special dietary needs.

For openers, here’s a vegetarian appetizer inspired by the people at Planet Organic.

It’s easy to make and can be refrigerated 24 hours ahead.

Vegan. No dairy, egg, egg yolk, nuts or gluten

TOFU EGG SALAD

Serves 8

1 pkg (400 g) firm tofu, pressed

1 small inner stalk celery, finely minced

1 small red onion, minced

2 green onions, finely minced

1 cup (250 mL) vegetarian whipped dressing

1 tablespoon (15 mL) grainy mustard

1 teaspoon (5 mL) curry powder

salt and pepper

8 diagonal slices raw carrot

8 inner leaves of romaine heart or endive

Mash tofu with celery, onion, whipped dressing, grainy mustard and curry powder. Stir with a fork until well blended. Salt and pepper to taste. 30 minutes before serving, scoop into the inner heart leaves of romaine or endive, and spread on carrot slices. Dust with paprika.