Gluten-free recipes and tips for your Thanksgiving dinner menu

Your Thanksgiving meals can still taste delicious even when recipes are made to be gluten-free. (Courtesy of Ongjulian)

Your Thanksgiving meals can still taste delicious even when recipes are made to be gluten-free. (Courtesy of Ongjulian)

Thanksgiving may be over a week away but it’s a good time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving dinner menu. This is especially true if you’re going to need gluten-free recipes. The good news is that there are plenty of tasty gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes that will make your dinner a success. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

Gluten-free Thanksgiving

A good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the gluten-free lifestyle is at the site GlutenFreeGirl.com where Shauna James Ahern shares her vast knowledge about gluten-free cooking.

In her November 5, 2012 post titled, “A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving,” Shauna James Ahern announced the release of her new iPad app that teaches users about gluten-free baking.

“Each recipe is presented in easy-to-understand format, with plenty of interactive features including video illustrations of everything you need to see. Tap the screen and let us walk you through each recipe’s technique and texture,” Ahern explained.

The post also included a video that illustrates how easy it can be to go gluten-free at Thanksgiving. Good news! The app has been updated. The 2013 version is now available on iTunes.

A slice of gluten-free pie

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie. However, the crust presents a challenge for those who want to cook gluten-free. Fortunately, Mary Frances Pickett took on the challenge of creating a superb piecrust and shared her success with readers.

In her November 9, 2012 post for GlutenFreeCookingSchool.com titled, “Easy Peasy Gluten Free Pie Crust,” Pickett provided the details.

Pickett’s recipe will create either one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies. Ingredients include:

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water
  • 1 tsp. salt

“I originally tested this recipe as written. I’ve since tested the recipe with 2 c. of corn starch and no tapicoa starch (I ran out!) and could not discern any difference. If you are allergic to corn, then I think this would work perfectly well with all tapioca starch,” Pickett added.

Get stuffed

Another Thanksgiving tradition is stuffing. Instead of using a prepackaged variety or making your own from bread, gluten-free will mean finding bread substitutes. One tasty suggestion came from food writer Stephanie Stiavetti whose blog, The Culinary Life, is a collection of stories and recipes sure to tempt any reader.

In her November 10, 2010 post titled, “Vegan and Gluten Free Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe,” Stiavetti describes how easy it can be to create a gluten-free stuffing.

According to Stiavetti, “Gluten free folks are in luck, because for stuffing, heavier breads work better than lighter varieties since they hold their own against an onslaught of soaking and stirring. So if you’ve got a loaf of adobe-like tapioca bread that’s been collecting dust in your cupboard, this is the perfect use for it!”

Prep time will take 30 minutes and cooking time will be 45 minutes so plan accordingly. In addition to a loaf of bread, garlic, broth, celery, salt, pepper, onion, and oil, Stiavetti also suggests adding:

  • 1 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 4 fuyu persimmons
  • 2 sweet red apples
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and diced

Your first step will be to toast the bread cubes at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.

The rest is gravy

The trouble with gravy is that it needs to be thick. This usually means adding a wheat product of some kind. But good turkey gravy is still possible for the gluten-free cook. In a November 15, 2012 post for IWishIWasinDixie.com titled, “Amazing Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy (Gluten-free!)” Amy Dotson gave step-by-step instructions.

It turns out that the secret to thick gravy is to add blended root vegetables that have been cooked with your turkey. You’ll drain out the drippings from your turkey pan and skim off the fat. Boil the turkey neck to make broth for the gravy while your baked turkey settles.

Then, according to Dotson, “In batches, add roasted vegetables (NOT THE CELERY-TAKE IT OUT) to a blender. Carefully, blend. It will start out like a thick soup. Add broth/drippings from your turkey, turkey neck or bouillon and keep blending until it reaches the thickness you desire.”

Then pour it into a pot on the stove, season and add butter for richness. Yum!!

What’s your most successful gluten-free holiday recipe? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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