Sunday, November 25, 2012

a gluten-free thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a hit!

I will admit, I was worried.

Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year and I was already feeling a bit blue about the whole thing, knowing that we'd (again) be spending it away from family. So messing up my first gluten-free Thanksgiving meal was not (do you hear me? NOT) an option!

Luckily, my fretting was in vain, because it was the best Thanksgiving dinner we've had since moving away and having to learn how to cook it all myself.

On the menu:

Turkey, of course! We roasted a lovely free-range turkey, stuffed with various fruits and vegetables. It was the most moist turkey we've had in a while.

Stuffing! My mom's favorite stuffing has all the best stuff. It's got celery and carrots. It's got onions and spices. It's got pancetta (which we found for the first time since we have lived here! Someone's looking out for us!!) and Italian sausage.

The tricky part was going to be the bread. I have been trying to bake a perfect loaf of bread since I was diagnosed as a Celiac in June...and it hadn't happened yet. I've made runny bread. I've made grainy bread. I've made perfectly cooked bread that tasted like cardboard (in fact, I would have preferred the cardboard).

Luckily, I discovered Jules gluten free flour, just in time. My first loaf of her bread was so good that I thought about NOT making stuffing so I could use the bread to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, I'll admit that's a bit crazy, but I haven't had a piece of GOOD bread since June! I held out, though, and the stuffing turned out to be A-MAZ-ING.

Green Bean Casserole... Some of you already know the torment that cream of mushroom soup has brought upon me this month. Luckily, I had worked out how to make it already and was able to whip up my homemade-from-scratch cream of mushroom soup for the casserole. Then, I used a recipe from another gluten free friend for the casserole itself. It was the best green bean casserole I have ever tasted! It didn't have that fake-tasting onion topping. Instead, it had real grilled onions with gluten free coating. (The recipe is at the bottom of this post if you want it! You can do whether you're sticking to an allergen-friendly diet or was that good.)

Mashed Potatoes. Thanksgiving isn't complete without mashed potatoes. There was really nothin' special about them; just plain ol' mashed potato-y goodness.

Cranberry Sauce! This year I made orange cinnamon cranberry sauce. It was surprisingly easy to make and it was fabulous. I usually don't like cranberry sauce, but I enjoyed this one. (The recipe is at the bottom.)

Pumpkin Pie and Gingersnap Ice Cream... Last week, I made homemade graham crackers for a Saturday-night-bonfire. They were great for s'mores and I used the leftovers for my pie crust. Delicious! I also saved a bit of my graham cracker/gingersnap dough to use for some ice cream to go with the pie! I used my typical vanilla ice cream recipe (recipe below) and added pumpkin pie spice to give it a nice flavor. Then, as it was churning, I added ribbons of the gingersnap dough. Oh goodness, the pie and ice cream together were a bit of Thanksgiving heaven!

So, we made it through our first gluten-free Thanksgiving, and will reap the benefits of not having to cook for the next several days!


Green Bean Casserole, courtesy of Angela Glunt, my Thanksgiving hero!

**I substituted some Oikos greek yogurt in place of the sour cream since I have issues with lactose. I also used lactose free Kraft Mozzarella and vegan buttery spread instead of real butter.**

Casserole Ingredients: 

1 large bag of frozen green beans. (NEVER used canned!)
1 C. of Sour Cream
10 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)
Morton Brand: Nature's Seasons to taste
1 Med. yellow onion, chopped and sauté in butter
3-4 fresh Garlic cloves or 1 Tab canned, minced and sauté with onions
4 oz jar of pimientos with liquid

Topping Ingredients: 
3-4 cups Corn or Rice Chex cereal. (I used corn and it was really good, not too overpowering.)
3 or 4 stalks Green Onions chopped
Garlic Salt with Parsley-to taste
Onion Powder- to taste
*Blend cereal and seasonings in food processor until well chopped then add onions last and pulse until blended. 

*Mix all ingredients in large bowl until everything is well coated. Put mixture into large greased casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 365 for 30 minutes, then add Topping and continue to bake for additional 10-15 minutes.

Cranberry Orange Sauce, Courtesy of the Food Network


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 orange, zest cut into strips and juiced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream (Note: I use an ice cream maker for this recipe!)


  • 14 oz. coconut milk (I use Goya - it's certified gluten free)
  • 1 cup almond milk or soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

  1. Chill coconut milk and almond milk for at least a half hour prior to making. (Also, make sure you have your ice cream maker prepped.)
  2. Mix all of your ingredients in a blender and pour it into your ice cream maker.
  3. It takes about 20-25 minutes of churning, depending on your ice cream maker. 
**If you want to add toppings, wait until ice cream is about 2/3 of the way through the churning process. Then slowly add toppings to ice cream maker.

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