Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a bore. There are so many delicious and even gourmet options for those of us with celiac and/or food allergies. Here are some of my favorites…
Wild Rice & Cranberry Stuffing: Made with onions, garlic, vegetable broth, wild rice, cranberries, seasonings and nuts if desired. We’ve made variations of this delicious stuffing in past years but here is a link to one that I really like.
Apple Crisp: Use cornstarch in place of the flour. Mix in dark brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, spices, and nuts if desired.
Cheese Buns: These little rolls are light and fluffy, warm and delicious. Link below! (It seems wordpress is having difficulty with links in text. Hopefully this is fixed soon) These cheese buns behave a bit like a popover but they rise, apparently because of the tapioca starch not all the eggs that you need in a popover so in my opinion you get a much better texture more like wheat buns. To get them just right you might want to try them out before Thanksgiving but believe me, if your family is around, even the flops won’t go unnoticed.
Mashed Potatoes: Don’t forget lots of garlic and butter!
Gravy: So much easier than you might think. At least it surprised me. Using the meat drippings scrape off some of the fat (save the drippings) and put it into a saucepan. Slowly add and whisk an equal amount of flour (corn starch works great, or rice flour, all purpose gluten free flour, bean flours, etc. etc.), on med to med/high heat simmer this mixture until the flour is browned (you should see a bit of color in the bubbles, you don’t want raw flour, it tastes bad, believe me). Once you’ve got the flour cooked (this doesn’t take long) increase the temperature and begin to pour back in the meat drippings and whisk like mad so you don’t get lumps. Continue to whisk. This should thicken into a nice gravy within 5 min or so. It is just making a roux like I wrote about in this post below. http://glutenfree4goofs.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/you-must-learn-to-make-sauce/
Fruit Salad: This should be naturally gluten free. Double check ingredients that are unusual
TWO QUESTIONS FOR YOU…
1.What are some of your favorite holiday recipes? Link or if they are naturally gluten free simply name them.
2. What are you thankful for? I am so thankful to my mom for letting me borrow her flour mill indefinitely. I can bake like crazy and cheap! That’s hard to do gluten free but when you buy in bulk and mill it yourself, the flour alternatives are quite reasonable! Thanks MOM
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
I wrote this as an email to a friend who did an elimination diet and discovered that gluten messes with her moods as well as other things. She wants to try going gluten free with her teen kids and see if they feel healthier too. She also had specific questions about Thanksgiving. Hope this helps Gina!
Think substitute or make from scratch instead of cutting things totally out. For example, need carbs? Corn, rice (careful of boxed rice), potatoes. This should help with thanksgiving. Instead of packaged gravy, make it using corn starch! Many, many gluten free foods are BETTER because they don’t rely on processed food. Watch your ham and instead of an injected one or some fancy stuffing that no one eats, get an organic one and make a rice and craisins stuffing.
What else? Need dessert? Ice cream is almost always a go and you can make a mean crockpot applesauce with brown sugar for it to go on. You can get mixes for the things you just can’t live without. Look at the new Betty Crocker gluten free line, (sold at WalMart) she has brownies and cakes and may even have a pie crust. If not I’ve made naked pumpkin pie before in a pinch.
As for now, with you kids, get some special treats to curb the munchies. Things you don’t usually buy but you can say I know it’s tough without… but here have a snickers! LOL
Another great option for a quick pick me up is a protein and/or fruit smoothie. When I’m really lamenting the lack of options my hubby whips up a dessert smoothie with peanut butter, chocolate, protein powder and milk. MMMM!
I keep stocked on protien stuff, yogurt, nuts, cheese and then definitely invest in some good gluten free noodles. You can get a case of Tinkyada noodles (by far the best texture out there IMO) on Amazon. Its spendy but definitely worth it if you really want to go for it. I just buy elbows and use them for almost everything. Sometimes I grab some spaghetti noodles.
Check out my no noodle lasagna “recipe”. We make it in advance and freeze it. Stick to meats and fresh veggies. We do a lot of salmon or chicken on the bbq, and when it comes to taco night we make our own seasoning and use warm corn tortillas. Cumin is the “secret” to the flavor.
Chex has gluten free cereals and if you can develop a taste for grits you can still have hot cereal too. Eggs are a go.
Speaking of eggs, you can boil up a dozen or so at a time and have another quick protein. Hard boiled egg, or egg salad sandwich (on rice cake or gf bread) etc.
Just plan ahead! That’s the best way to stay on top of it. Don’t let yourself get hungry without having an idea of what you will eat. It takes dilligence and probably at first you will be longer at the grocery store but just make sure you always have something that IS ok. That’s one of the hardest parts.
I hope you are having a wonderful August! The fair just closed, which to me, always feels like the official close of summer. I know I said no posts this month but I’m avoiding housework.
I’d like to work through the 12 week art course with other moms. Would you like to order the book and blog your progress too? I can tell you in advance, I won’t be accomplishing it in 12 weeks. It will be more of a here and there process. But the “homework” is manageable even if you want to keep to the schedule. Order yours and look it over. I want to start in September sometime.
Here is what I’ve been up to in random order…
- The hogs are filling out. We just went to the farmer to get another 900lbs of grain that should finish them off by Thanksgiving.
I still have a very sad garden. The only things I’ve been able to harvest are red potatoes and a few golf ball sized onions. The carrots are ready. It seems only below ground vegetables worked this year. I am holding out hope for some tomatoes, garlic and my squash plants have little baby zucchini, summer squash and pie pumpkins on them so keep growing!
- Baby is growing. I guess I’m making skin right now! Yesterday I got my first dizzy spell. That’s never happened before, that I can remember. It’s funny how mushy my brain is too. I went to my first appointment at 12wks. I knew all the pertinent dates, even conception but I still had myself all messed up. My midwife did the calculations and she said, “Jess you are 16wks not 12, we need to draw blood today.” I’m a month further along than I originally thought. Must be another girl. Too funny!
- On birthing… I was talking to a friend of ours who is an anesthesiologist and telling him my birth stories, including the one time I got an epidural. I told him that I’ve decided (through personal experience, assisting a mother in her hospital birth and extensive research) that birthing naturally is a matter of education and being confident in what God made our bodies to do. I love this quote on Dayspring’s website, “Childbirth should be viewed as a natural undertaking in life, not a medical crisis…” Here is what my friend, whose career is largely dependant on epidurals said, “If more mothers educated themselves I’d be out of a job.”
- As we “speak” I’m rocking out with our favorite net radio station www.christianrock.net
- Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Call it nesting or fall cleaning but I’m on a rampage to get my basement cleared out so we can finish the drywall and floors. I’m hoping to acid wash the concrete and get the majority of the unfinished space usable by the time baby comes. Has anyone ever done the acid wash? NO I’m not doing it but I can coach my hubby on how to do it rather than having to hire it out. Seriously, how hard can it be? As long as you don ‘t melt your shoes right? :-]
- Requests I’ve had for future blog posts… my testimony, baby bump pictures and my favorite gluten free pizza crust recipe. Any other requests? I’m not guaranteeing anything!
I recently had the opportunity to vacation in Denver Colorado. It was my first vacation where I didn’t have access to a kitchen where I could designate a gluten free section and manage my own food. Needless to say that made me nervous.
If you’ve been to Denver recently or live there, you probably know that I had nothing to fear! I ate like a gluten free queen!
The Mercury Cafe had an nearly an entire menu that could be made gluten free. Not to mention dancing! I shouldn’t have eaten Elk Bean and Cheese Enchilada’s before a night of east coast swing but it was worth it! We loved our waitress who was also great entertainment. What a fantastic dancer! She was cute. We tipped her well.
Denver’s gluten free treasures had only begun that night. The next day for lunch, my friend took me to Udi’s, a bakery with a dedicated gluten free facility. Woo HOO! I ate a huge sandwich on bread that was to die for. It was so exciting I took a picture.
The fries are made in a dedicated vat and everything tasted amazing! Going gluten free only cost an addition $1. Not bad especially after you’ve taken a bite. Udi’s is a must if you are in Denver.
For the grand finale we ate chinese at PF Changs who, since my glutening experience, have been forgiven. I talked with the manager and have seen all the precautions they take in assuring their gluten free guests are safe and can confidently say, they are one of the few places I trust implicitly. NOW.
The trick is, look for your food to be served on round plates with the PF Changs label. I got glutened by eating an appetizer on the plain square plate, which the server neglected to recognize. Purely human error.
Now I ask a lot of questions and am never afraid to say, “How do I know this is gluten free?” or “This is something I’ve never seen before, what’s the breading on the chicken?” That “breading”, by the way, is potato starch.
Have you been to any great gluten free digs lately?
There are a few things that I occasionally still forget that contain gluten. Mostly its because they are things I don’t usually eat but at a grad party this week I encountered them and thought I’d share.
Imitation Crab – sushi rolls on an hors d’oeuvres tray peaked my interest but thankfully my sister remembered about the crab.
Soy sauce – this one doesn’t usually sneak up on me but you’d be surprised how often, rice that looks like plain white rice is cooked in small amounts of soy sauce.
Crumbs – I just about cut open a watermelon on a counter that someone before me cut bread on. I didn’t realize it at first and was surprised how many crumbs came up on the dishcloth!
Be safe out there kids…
A friend of mine was told she has irritable bowl syndrome. She wanted to try the gluten free diet to see if it relieves her symptoms. I’m no expert but I have had a five+ year struggle making gluten free, family friendly and PICKY eater friendly. So here are some of my tips that don’t involve running out to the health food store and laying down a small fortune for a mini cart full of cardboard food. Though, I will say there are some things there I definitely splurge on from time to time that are delicious!
First things first. Write out your regular “go to” foods. What do you eat under stress? That’s a biggie because going gluten free is stressful… then replace them with something productive that actually sounds good so if for the time being it needs to be something not so good for you, give yourself some slack and go ahead and eat the ice cream! Girl, you know what I talking about. Just go easy and in time you will find a more suitable alternative. Don’t get all crazy on me now.
So, for example you eat a lot of meat and casseroles.
- Find casseroles with tortilla ingredients and tomato base instead of cream base.
- Meats are great, grill them in minimal marinade something like salt and lime instead of basting.
- Use hummus in place of creamy dressings if you need to cut out milk with gluten.
- Tempted to go for soups? Buy Amy’s broth and tomato soup in the box at Costco and use it to make home delightful home made soups.
- Are you in a time crunch? Pre-make a big batch of trail mix. Again, Costco has all kinds of nuts, berries and such. Most commercial trail mix has a large chance of being cross contaminated but if you make it yourself you can read every label.
- Chips get you into trouble? Go for corn chips or potato chips (carefully read the label for teriyaki or BBQ flavorings that might contain wheat)
- Crackers? There are some decent rice crackers available.
Having trouble reading labels? EDITED TO ADD… Here is a great post by one of my favorite Gluten Free Bloggers on this subject. Read the comments, there is a really helpful discussion going on over at Gluten Free Homemaker!
- Look first for the bold GLUTEN FREE usually located at the bottom of the ingredients box or sometimes scrolled across the front of the item near the title.
- Next check the allergen warning under the NUTRITION FACTS box. It usually says CONTAINS: egg, milk, gluten
- If that still checks out then scour the ingredients looking for hidden sources of gluten like malt or malt flavor, whole grain, spelt, barley, soy sauce, oats etc.
- Does the label say “processed in a facility that also processes wheat”? Skip it then, it’s not worth the chance.
- Remember Wheat Free is not Gluten Free
Do you have any other blind spots like… ”I always cheat with a piece of toast in the morning.”
I’d say splurge on a box of gluten free frozen waffles at the health food store.
What else? I needed to remind myself of these simple ideas and get back to the “What CAN I eat” mentality instead of focusing on what I can’t eat. Thanks to my friend for this reminder.
Post those blind spots and we’ll brain storm!
I’ve been having strange dreams about ready made food and lamenting the ability that others have to just eat what they want whenever they want. With more get to gethers and being away from the home lately I’ve gotten mildly glutened on several occasions. Boy, what I’d do for a Stouffers lasagna or a cup of noodle that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. As a result I’ve been on a cooking strike. Not really, but my creative energy, my small bit of determination (when it comes to meals) is “gone with the wind”. I wish I had started out with a love of all things kitchen and then discovered the celiac. Unfortunately the kitchen, on most days, is the last place I want to be.
What have you been eating lately? Rice cakes are myfaithful friend. So are nacho’s and Tinkyada pasta. How about you. What do you do when you want a TV dinner or frozen hash browns?
As a small aside I did re-discover that probiotics can help reduce the negative effects of getting glutened. Twice in the last couple weeks I’ve had to rush home and take a couple tablets loaded with healthy bacteria and then guzzle tons of water. It seems to speed up the digestion process and while it doesn’t stop the discomfort it definitely helps!