How to have a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

A few years ago I became violently ill 20 minutes after I ate pretty much everything. It happened out of the blue, I’ve never had any allergies of any kind before. After dealing with being sick for a little over six months I finally went to the doctor admitting something was wrong. I am Celiac (a disease of gluten intolerance). I cannot have any wheat, rye, or barely. I am extremely sensitive so any cross contamination can also make me sick.

This makes the holidays difficult as you can imagine. I would prefer to cook myself so I know what is in each dish and I don’t have to put the burden of finding gluten free holiday recipes for my friends and family members to make so I can eat at their home for a holiday meal. Luckily over the last few years there has been a huge increase in gluten free products and substitutes that makes the holiday season much more enjoyable and less stressful. So, here is my Ultimate Gluten Free Thanksgiving Meal…

TURKEY

I have to be honest, I still haven’t cooked my own Thanksgiving turkey yet, I do all the sides 🙂 Turkey in itself is gluten free and as long as whoever is making it doesn’t coat it with wheat, barley, or rye, or with any ingredients that include those things, it will be safe to eat. I don’t feel comfortable putting a recipe for this portion if I haven’t used it myself.

STUFFING

I grew up with Stove Top Stuffing as I’m sure every kid did. Since becoming 100% gluten free, it’s hard to find a recipe or mix that comes close to that when the main ingredient is bread. However, Trader Joes has come to the rescue! They have a GF Stuffing mix that is delicious and just as easy to make!

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CRANBERRY SAUCE

12 oz Cranberries

1 Cup White Sugar

1 Cup of Fresh Orange Juice

1 Orange Zested

2 tsp Cinnamon (or to taste)

Dissolve the sugar in the orange juice in a medium size sauce pan on medium heat. Add the cranberries and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until the cranberries pop, stirring occasionally. Add the orange zest and cinnamon. Remove from heat and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Betty Crocker Green Bean Casserole can be modified to be gluten free! The classic holiday recipe can be found here. Depending on the time frame I have to make everything, I have skipped making the gluten free fried onions and I eat it plain and buy the original fried onions that people can add to the top of their serving if they would like.

When cooking with soup make sure you read the label for the ingredients, many soups contain flour (or other gluten products) as their thicking agent. Progressive Vegetable Classic Creamy Mushroom is safe.

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MASHED POTATOS

2 lbs potatoes

2 Tlbs Butter (I don’t cook with real butter I use Earth Balance Original Butter Spread.. you can’t taste the difference)

1 Cup Milk (I also don’t use milk, I typically use almond milk, however you don’t want your mashed potatoes to have an almond taste, so I use Lactaid Milk)

Salt/Pepper to taste

Clean your potatoes and choose if you would like to leave the skins on or off. I like to leave them on because it adds texture and more flavor to the potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add your potatoes (cut into quarters). Cook until tender and drain. Mash potatoes using a potato masher or hand mixer.

In a separate bowl mix together the butter, milk and salt and pepper. Slowly add the mixture to the potatoes stirring until desired consistency. I do not stir completely until it is smooth, I like some potato chunks.

PUMPKIN COOKIES

You can find my Pumpkin Cookie recipe here from the blog. Having cookies instead of pie helps prevent that angry food-baby feeling where you make sure you bring your stretchy pants for they holiday dinner. You can easily snack on a cookie or two after dinner has settled. It’s consistency that is similar to that of a rich muffin or cake so you’ll be sure to get you pie fix with these alternative desserts.

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