Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

As you all know now, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Suddenly, our lives and our diets had to change dramatically.  Fortunately, Cliff and I both enjoy experimenting with new recipes and we found ways to make eating gluten free pleasant, however it was a bit more of a challenge getting our son on board.  However, he is coming around slowly but surely! Then it hit us....The first Thanksgiving since I was diagnosed was coming quick! We needed to find some gluten-free recipes for one of the most important dinners all year!  My parents came over for Thanksgiving dinner and my Mom made the turkey, and I cooked everything else.  Here are a few of the ways I prepared a gluten-free feast that everybody enjoyed!

1) Replace flour with corn starch as a thickener for the gravy. Corn starch is fairly inexpensive, and you can use about half the amount of corn starch as you would wheat flour to get the same consistency.  Comes out great!

2) Use stale gluten-free bread to make stuffing. This is one place where you don’t need to have the most tasty gluten-free bread to make a good dish. Just like regular bread, gluten-free bread can be found on day-old sales. When we found out I had Celiac we began stock up and freeze bits of inexpensive gluten-free bread for a couple weeks prior to Thanksgiving. Then we have all we need to make a great stuffing everyone can enjoy.

3) Make your green bean casserole from scratch.  Start by frying your own onion rings.  Cut onions and dip in a mixture of buttermilk and corn flour.  Flash fry.  Then drain and set aside.  This can be done a day or two in advance if necessary.  Next prepare your own cream sauce the way you would to make scalloped potatoes from scratch.  Add fresh, sliced mushrooms while the sauce is reducing.  Pour this over fresh or frozen green beans.

4) We also enjoy a crustless pumpkin pie.  Rather than using a pie crust, we simply mix the ingredients for the custard, pour it into a glass pie pan and bake as directed.  Really simple, still delicious!

Going gluten free certainly presents challenges.  Use these tips, and no one in your family will miss gluten at all this Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

-Tiff and Cliff