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A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Feast

I remember being so discouraged my first holiday after finding out I had celiac disease. I pictured missing out on all the Thanksgiving traditional foods and only being able to eat the vegetables. With a little research and our Grandpa’s Kitchen mixes, I found out I didn’t have to miss out on any of the feast.

The most important part of the Thanksgiving meal is the turkey but how do you know if the frozen turkey with the seasonings and gravy is gluten-free? Celiac.com has done the research for us with their article “Which Turkey Brands are Gluten-Free?” by Scott Adams. Read this great article to find the right turkey for you. https://www.celiac.com/articles.html/which-turkey-brands-are-gluten-free-r5361/ Yeah! Turkey? Check! What is next?

Stuffing! What about the stuffing? Can you have a Thanksgiving turkey not stuffed to the ribs with seasoned bread cubes? Of course not! Now you can make delicious stuffing that everyone will eat with this Grandpa’s Kitchen recipe.

TRADITIONAL STUFFING

8 slices Grandpa’s Kitchen gluten-free bread

1 ½ cups water* (less liquid if using to stuff a turkey)

1 ½ cups gluten-free chicken broth

½ a minced onion

1 stalk diced celery

5 Tbsp. butter/margarine

2 tsp. sage

1 ½ tsp. thyme

1 tsp. pepper

2 chopped cloves of garlic

Bake a loaf of Grandpa’s Kitchen bread. Cut and cube eight slices. Lay out on a baking sheet to dry for a day or toast bread in a 300° oven for 15 minutes, stirring twice. Remove from oven and let cool.

Heat chicken broth in a sauce pan or microwave. In a large frying pan, melt butter and sauté vegetables until soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spices. Place bread cubes into large bowl and add vegetable mixture. Mix well. Pour broth mixture one ladle at a time and stir in between, just until moistened. Be careful not to get the bread too moist as it will make soggy stuffing and nobody wants that.

As a casserole, place in greased casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Take foil off and bake for another 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.

For stuffing in a turkey, use less liquid as it will get moisture from the turkey. Make sure you follow the turkey baking directions for a stuffed turkey.

I don’t know if your family has Green Bean Casserole as a Thanksgiving tradition but my husband’s family does and after having to make it gluten-full for years just for him to eat, I was so excited to find gluten-free ingredients available in the store. Now I can make my mother-in-law’s green bean casserole, which we lovingly call Green Bean Thing, gluten-free. Here is the recipe that even my gluten-full husband loves and I can enjoy it with him.

GREEN BEAN THING

1 can (about 10 oz) gluten-free condensed cream of mushroom soup

¾ cup milk

Dash of black pepper

2 cans of any kind of green beans (drained)

1 ½ cup gluten-free French fried crispy onions (divided)*

*The two brands I found and like are Full Circle Market and Natural Earth

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix cream of mushroom soup, milk, and pepper in a 1 ½ quart baking dish or 9×9 casserole dish. Stir in green beans and 2/3 cup crispy fried onions. Mix well.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir again and then top with remaining crispy fried onions. Bake 5 minutes longer.

Making the traditional mash potatoes is easily gluten-free if they are fresh. Read the labels of any premade mashed potatoes if you don’t have time to make them but fresh is the best! If your store-bought turkey package states it is gluten-free then any gravy package inside should also be gluten free but always read the labels to verify. If you are using a package or canned gravy, please read the ingredients carefully. It is amazing what food products contain wheat as a thickener or filler.

Whether you like sweet potatoes or yams, there are many dishes which can be made gluten-free. My mom cooks the sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows and my mother-in-law goes for a little tartness and adds apples to her sweet potatoes. I have not found any canned yams or sweet potatoes which are not gluten free but I always read the ingredients to be sure.

Frozen vegetables are usually safe unless it is potatoes. Some frozen potatoes have been dusted with wheat flour before being packaged so read the ingredients. Canned vegetables, without sauces, are almost always safe. Fresh vegetables are always safe. I saw a bag of produce potatoes which were marked “Gluten-free”, now that is just silly.

We have the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and vegetables, what is next? Dinner rolls! My family just can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without the rolls to soak up all the delicious gravy but I went for years without having a roll until we found this recipe.

DINNER ROLLS

1 pkg or 1 Tbsp. yeast½ tsp salt

1 cup warm water 1 tsp sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder 2 eggs

3 T margarine/butter (melted)½ tsp vinegar

1 ½ cup + 1 Tbsp. Grandpa’s Kitchen Gluten-free Baking Flour Blend

Preheat oven to 350°. In small bowl combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside until yeast is dissolved and really bubbly. In medium mixing bowl combine flour blend, baking powder, and salt.  Mix with fork until blended.

In large mixing bowl beat eggs, vinegar, and cooled, melted margarine. Mix in the yeast mixture. Add flour mixture a little at a time and mix well until smooth. Drop rounds of dough on a large, greased cookie sheet or in greased muffin tins. Let double in size, about 20 minutes. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

For a sandwich or hamburger bun, spread dough out on a greased cookie sheet or in the cups of a Whoopie pan.  Let rise for about 20 minutes then bake at 350° for 10 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Variations

HERB ROLLS:

Add 1 cup grated cheese and 2 tsp. of favorite herbs and/or spices.

ORANGE ROLLS:

Add orange zest and a little concentrated orange juice to mixture before baking. Top with an orange glaze (mix some concentrated orange juice and powdered sugar).

A Thanksgiving feast is not complete until the pies are brought out, cut, and devoured. Whether it is pumpkin pie, pecan pie, double-crusted apple pie or whatever your favorite pie is, it is just not the same without a delicious, flaky crust. My mom’s mother’s pie crust is so easy to make. If it breaks, push it back together. If it does not lay nice the first time, smoosh it up and roll it out again. Don’t forget to put the leftover pieces in the oven after sprinkling them with some cinnamon and sugar for a fun flaky treat.

NO FAIL PIE CRUST

(makes two 8” pie crusts)

2 ¼ cup Grandpa’s Kitchen Gluten-free Baking Flour Blend ¾ tsp salt

1 cup cold margarine, butter, or shortening 1 cold egg

¾ tsp sugar 1 Tbsp. vinegar

4 Tbsp. ice water

CAUTION: over-working the pie dough will cause it to become less flaky.

Preheat oven to 400°. In large mixing bowl combine flour blend, salt and sugar. Keep the margarine in the refrigerator until ready to use. Cut the margarine into small cubes and dump into the flour mixture. Mix until all the pieces are coated with flour. With a pastry cutter, cut margarine until pieces are pea size. In separate bowl, beat egg using a fork; add vinegar and ice water.  Stir into flour mixture and knead with your hand to form a ball of dough. It is better to be a little too moist than too dry.  Add a little more cold water if it is too dry. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cold dough is easier to roll out.

For Single Crust: (2 pies)

Divide dough in half.  Roll out each half, separately, using a gluten-free floured rolling pin on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper dusted with flour. Roll the dough out until it is a couple inches larger than the pie pan. Place the dough into the pie pan.

One method is to lay the pie pan on the dough. Placing one hand under the wax paper and the other on the pie pan, invert the dough and pan. Carefully peel the wax paper off. The wax paper should peel off easily. Shaking the wax paper carefully helps.

Another method is carefully rolling the pie crust onto the rolling pin and then carefully unrolling over the pie pan. Find the best method for you.

If the dough splits just press it back together. Shape to fit the pan, trim, and flute the edge or press a fork onto the edge to make it look nice. Using a fork, poke holes in bottom of crust and around the sides so crust does not bubble. Some people place wax paper onto the pie pan over the dough and then fill it with beans or pie weights to help keep the pie crust from bubbling. Brush vegetable oil onto fluted edge to keep it from cracking.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes if you are adding a filling that needs to be baked. After taking it out of the oven, fill the pie crust and bake following the instructions for the filling.

Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly brown if you are filling the pie crust with a filling that does not get baked. Cool pie crust before adding the filling.

For Double Crust: (1 pie)

Roll out and prepare bottom crust as instructed above but do not bake. Pour filling into crust.  Roll out top crust and place over filling. Trim edges leaving ½ inch; fold under bottom crust to seal. Flute then oil edge. Make a few slits on the top crust before baking. Bake as directed for filling being used. Sprinkle top with sugar to make it shiny.

Whether it is a Thanksgiving Feast or a Christmas Dinner, you can make it gluten-free. Don’t resign yourself to missing out on your favorite dishes. Find ways to make them gluten free using Grandpa’s Kitchen gluten-free flour blend and mixes and enjoy your holiday with everyone else!

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