Monday, November 23, 2009

Gobble Gobble


Gluten free eating got you down this Thanksgiving?  I must admit, my G-free lifestyle often makes me feel like my stomach is getting the short end of the stick.  It's hard to watch others eat the things they love, and not drool with envy.  For me, it's self-control by default only at times (not because I want to say no...don't tell my trainer)!  Well, not this Thanksgiving!  Of course, I am still going to practice self control (because I want to fit into my new jeans), but it's not going to be because the entire menu is off limits for me.  Here are some tips and recipe ideas that will help you or the one you love be oh so "thankful" for their Thanksgiving feast!


To thicken gravy:  Use Cornstarch instead of flour.
Need to use cheese in a dish?  Do not buy it pre-shredded.  Buy Kraft cheese and grate it at home.  No anti-caking agents can contaminate it that way.
Need to season meat?  Lea & Perrins Worchestershire is gluten free.  So is French's brand.  Toni Chachere and Cajun Injector are two safe seasonings.  
Need to use a soup to thicken a casserole?  This is often so problematic to me because I
 L-O-V-E casseroles.  Call me a church lady- I love church lady food!  The problem?  All "cream of...." soups contain wheat or flour.  So, here is what I do:  

Cream of Chicken:
Boil your chicken and put broth aside.  Add about 1 cup of broth to skillet...I usually chop some celery and onion and simmer in butter and broth....add cornstarch to thicken.  Keep adding until it is appropriate thickness.  If you need a Cream of Mushroom...just buy a fresh pack of mushrooms (chop up to desired size) and toss them in.  This has helped me make Chicken n Spaghetti...a holiday favorite at my house.  

Need a cracker to dip your favorite dip?  Try Glutino cheese crackers (Wholefoods).
Got a Toddler that needs something sweet?  Try Annie's Fruit snacks (Target or Wholefoods).
Need pretzels for anything:  Glutino's Gluten free pretzels are better than any other brand I have ever had! 
Need to make some good ole Texas Trash?  
- Chex are gluten free (flavors include plain and honey nut).
- Use Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce
- Peanuts (raw or use a brand that does not share a conveyor belt with wheat products)
- Gluten Free Pretzels can be found on the G-free aisle at Super HEB
- Can even safely add some M&M's for you sweet lovers out there!
Need to make a cheese ball?  Use Hormel Spam as it is gluten free for your meat.  Cream cheese and mayo are safe.
Need a G-Free chicken or beef broth:  Pacifica brand is G-Free (HEB).

It's not Thanksgiving unless these dishes are on the table at my house:

Sides:

Ma's Macaroni & Corn Casserole (G-Free style)
12 oz.  corn pasta (I use Schar spirals) - 1 box (can be found at Super HEB in the gluten free section.
2 cans Mild Rotel
2 cans cream style corn
1 can regular corn
1 stick butter melted
3 cups cheese (Remember, buy the block and grate the cheese yourself).

*Do not cook noodles first.  Do not drain any cans.  You will need a decent sized casserole dish.  Dump dry noodles and all canned items into the dish.  The liquid from the cans will cook the pasta. Mix about 1 cup cheese into the mixture.  Bake on 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top the last 10 minutes until melted.  

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1/2 bag red potatoes (peeled or with skin on according to preference)
2 cloves garlic (chop off the entire end of the full bulb of garlic (so that all bulbs are exposed).  Take a piece of foil and wrap it completely around the garlic (1 bulb in each foil wrap- not together).  Before you close the top, pour some olive oil over the exposed garlic).  Bake at 350 degrees until garlic is soft...about 30-45 minutes).  

*Boil potatoes, drain, and mash.  Add butter as desired.  Squeeze the roasted garlic into mashed potatoes and stir well.  I season lightly with Tony Chachere's and/or salt/fresh ground pepper. 

Homemade Macaroni: Can be made with corn or rice pasta (I prefer Debole's or Schar corn pasta).  Just follow directions on the box.   Follow your recipe as usual.

Green Bean Wraps

2 cans long green beans (drain).
1 package MSG free bacon- Try Hormel brand
1 stick butter melted
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (Wal-Mart brand...Great Value) is gluten free.  Be very careful...this is the only G-free brand I have found.
Brown sugar (I use 1/4 cup for a large dish).

*Cut each bacon slice in half.  Take about 8 beans at a time.  Wrap the bacon and pin with a tooth pick.  Do this until you have made your desired amount of bundles.  Melt butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic salt together.  stir and pour over green bean wraps.  Bake in oven on 350 degrees until bacon is done.  


Meats:

Free Range Chicken or Turkey is best.  Can be bought from any Super HEB.
*Beware of Red meats (which can often have oats as filler).  
Jimmy Dean makes an All Natural brand of sausage.  I use this often.  No preservatives etc...
*Beware of pre-packaged seasonings as these are usually NEVER safe for Celiac sufferers

Dips:

Hearty Cheese Dip:
1 Large Velveeta
2 cans mild Rotel
1 package Jimmy Dean All Natural Sausage

*Cook sausage thoroughly.  Drain meat.  Add Velveeta and Rotel.  Serve with any Tortilla chips or Fritos.

Cream Cheese/Olive Dip
  1 package cream cheese.  
Green olives (chopped)

Combine mixture and serve on celery sticks. 


Desserts:

White chocolate dipped pretzels/Strawberries
 2 white chocolate baking bars.
1 bag Glutino Gluten free pretzels
1 package strawberries

*Heat chocolate according to directions (stir continuously to keep from burning).  You will need wax paper to lay them on.  Leave them on wax paper until chocolate hardens. Repeat for strawberries. Can dip gluten free pretzels for a nice G-free dessert or shhh!!! (pre-meal appetizer).  Go ahead, I won't tell.

Pamela's Products makes a great brownie as well!  - Find this at Super HEB.  If you are allergic to eggs, there is an egg-less option on the back of the package.  

Mi-Del makes a gluten free Ginger snap as well.  

Hope this helps!  Feel free to message me with any questions or additional ideas!

Have a wonderful G-Free Thanksgiving!

Jessica






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