Holiday meals can be challenging with any food allergy. Thanksgiving dinner is especially challenging when living gluten-free. When I was young I was not aware that I had an issue with gluten and I still remember getting sick at every thanksgiving meal. On thanksgiving the abundance of bread, stuffing, gravy and pie most likely had been the cause for my illness.
Over the past few years it has become a tradition for me to host thanksgiving. Cooking the meal myself makes it very easy to create a safe gluten free meal. Being gluten free should not prevent anyone from sharing a meal with friends and family. The easiest solution is hosting the meal so that you are aware of all prep and ingredients.
Being a gluten free guest doesn’t have to be impossible. With a little preparation it’s easy to make a safe meal for everyone. The most important thing is to let the host know about your concerns and offer to provide what ever may be needed.
Below I have provided great tips and some recipes that are easy crowd pleasures.
Quick Tip For A Safe Gluten-Free Dinner!
-Make sure all broth used for cooking is gluten free.
– Make sure stuffing is made on the side and that bread containing gluten is not stuffed inside the turkey.
– Most gravy mix is not gluten free. You can use cornstarch to make your own gravy.
– Don’t be embarrassed to share your concerns with a dinner host. By communicating ahead of time it will make it easier to plan.
– Beware of canned cranberry sauce and read the ingredients first. Making cranberry sauce from scratch is with fresh cranberries, orange juice and sugar.
-Traditional green bean casserole is not gluten free. The canned mushroom soup and crispy onion topping both contain wheat.
-Educate your family on cross contamination so they understand not to mix spoons and serving utensils.
– When in need of a quick gluten free crust, try simple blending some gluten free cookies and butter together and pressing into a pie dish.
– Common dish that a normally gluten free include pumpkin soup, mashed potatoes, turkey with on gravy, greens, sweet potatoes and unglazed ham.
Gluten free Stuffing Recipes
Gluten free stuffing mix is hard to find. Making it your self is easy. Try this recipe and no one will ever know its gluten free.
7 cups gluten free bread cubes
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped carrot
3/4 stick butter
2 Tbsp dry parsley
1/2 Tbsp sage
1 1/2 cup gluten free chicken stock or turkey stock
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
Bake bread cubes at 400 degrees from about 8-10 minutes. Remove for oven and let cool. While cooling, melt the butter and sauté the onion, carrot and celery. Allow veggies to cool.
Combine everything in a large bowl. Add dry herbs and fruit. Mix it all together by hand.
To put it all together start by adding broth to the bread mixture. 1/2 cup at a time until the bread is moist but not soggy. Add the egg and mix all together.
Place mixture in a sprayed baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
Once golden brown remove and serve hot.
Drunken Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is easy to make. Forget the artificial store bought stuff and make your own.
2 lb cranberries
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup Red Wine
Zest and Juice of One Large Orange
1 Cup Apple Sauce
1 oz Port
Place cranberries, sugar, orange juice, zest and wine in a small pot. Cook on medium heat and stir continuously. The sauce will quickly combine and berries will start to pop. It’s important not to cook longer than 15 minutes in order to keep some of the pectin firm. 15 minutes is plenty of time for the cranberries to cook down and for everything to combine. Remove from heat and allow cooling in fridge. Once cool add applesauce and port.