Gluten-free Thanksgiving.
November 21, 2011 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Gluten-free Thanksgiving. My youngest sister was diagnosed with Celiac disease at the beginning of this year. She will be coming home for Thanksgiving and I'd like to make some gluten-free dishes for our family pot-luck style dinner. The interweb is chock-full of gluten-free recipes, but I don't know which ones are good and which are just meh. Please share your favorite gluten-free Thanksgiving-y recipes!

For what it's worth, I usually contribute at least a green bean casserole and a traditional English trifle for dessert, but I'm open to changing things up an cooking something different. I'm also open to going to Whole Foods and buying gf pumpkin pie :).

Is there a gluten-free version of Smitten Kitchen? Because that would be awesome.
posted by netsirk to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Book of Yum just did a whole series of posts on gluten free (vegetarian) Thanksgiving:

Also see posts tagged Thanksgiving on their site.
posted by cnc at 1:42 PM on November 21, 2011

Best answer: Here's the Gluten Free Girl's Thanksgiving recipe roundup for this year.
posted by Zophi at 1:43 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: A general tip - you're usually better off looking for recipes that were never intended to have gluten-containing components than attempting to create gluten-free copies. For example, make a cornbread stuffing instead of a stuffing with gluten-free white bread, try something like Brazilian Cheese Bread instead of paying out the nose for gluten-free rolls, or take a look at some Paleo recipes (which will definitely be gluten-free and are often really tasty in general.)
posted by restless_nomad at 1:50 PM on November 21, 2011 [10 favorites]

Whole Foods sells GF pie shells and stuffing cubes. I have made these part of holiday dishes for my husband, and his family doesn't seem to mind too much.

You can make pretty much anything, so long as it doesn't include flour. So if you're making gravy, substitute flour with corn starch, etc. Replace (wheat) bread rolls with cornbread (see the GF aisle for mixes), etc. Make lots of veggies: roasted Brussel sprouts, potatoes, carrots. Cranberry sauce is the same.

I go with pre-made and pre-mixed components because cooking is just such a hassle to begin with, and the mixes and pre-made stuff save time and grief. Mixing together various rice flours and xanthan gum etc. is just a pain, unless you're cooking for two.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:52 PM on November 21, 2011

i'm bringing french macarons to thanksgiving this year. you can try a pumpkin shell with maple filling if you're adventurous! people are always impressed with i bring these, even if they're not seasonal. i'm going to try chocolate this time around.

seconding resteless_nomad's advice of finding recipes that are already gluten-free rather than adapting.
posted by sabh at 1:59 PM on November 21, 2011

I third Restless! As a celiac I feel the same way....

Roasted veggies, Mashed potatoes so she can have a starch....

Flourless chocolate torte or Clafoutis for dessert is really nice.
posted by ibakecake at 2:05 PM on November 21, 2011

seconding resteless_nomad's advice of finding recipes that are already gluten-free rather than adapting.

Thirding that, yeah.

But if you really want to try to bake something: I just got a "gluten-free baking 101" from some dear friends who were coming to a dinner party (she's gluten free, he's her long-suffering foodie boyfriend). Flour is easy to leave out of things like gravy (use cornstarch instead, woo), so you're fine there. For the baking: the problem with a lot of "gluten-free flours" isn't a TASTE thing, it's a TEXTURE thing. The gluten-free versions of things can often be crumbly and dusty in texture ("yeah, 'tender and flaky' isn't a gluten-free possibility,' the foodie boyfriend told me sadly).

That said -- they both gave the thumbs-up to biscuits made with the gluten-free pancake mix from Bob's Red Mill, so you maybe could make a batch of biscuits and serve them instead of dinner rolls. The "recipe" they used was to look up the instructions off the back of a box of Bisquick, and swap out the gluten-free mix instead of the Bisquick (I did that myself -- it was something like 2 cups of the mix to 2/3 cup milk or something like that). It worked fine.

As for the pies -- the crumbly/grainy texture you'll get from the gluten-free flour is something you would EXPECT in graham-cracker crust pies. So maybe you could find a pie recipe that calls for a graham-cracker crust, but use a gluten-free flour pie crust recipe instead. (You could get real creative here, and add ground nuts or something as well.) That way people may not even notice the whole "hey, this isn't supposed to be this texture" thing. (Note: this doesn't mean you should USE a graham-cracker crust, as graham crackers are made from wheat. I'm speaking strictly to the phenomenon of someone eating a banana cream pie with a crumbly crust, and assuming 'oh that must be because it's a graham cracker crust" and not realizing that no, it's because it's gluten-free). Or you could just offer a non-pie dessert alongside the pies (how about sundaes?).

As for the stuffing -- there are a lot of lovely wild rice stuffings that you can try. As for the rest -- turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and other vegetable sides do not contain gluten anyway.

Good luck!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:15 PM on November 21, 2011

Best answer: nthing restless_nomad. My niece is Celiac, and I've had a couple of years crash course in this. Unless you're making your own bechamel, green bean casserole is not going to work, and a trifle is going to be nearly impossible (or ridiculously expensive) to pull off. Can you roast some brussel sprouts? Or make a green bean salad with a shallot vinaigrette? Basically, any veggie you can roast, grill, or steam will be essentially gluten free. For a dessert, you can still make pie, and Whole Foods is a good source for the gluten free pie crust.

Perhaps an obvious point, but do keep an eye open for any cross-contamination. If you can prep ahead of time and keep your dishes away from any surfaces that may have touched gluten, you should be in good shape.
posted by Gilbert at 2:26 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're making a pie, I've made this GF piecrust before, and some people who could eat gluten preferred it to the regular crust.

Just a note: there are lots of GF baking recipes that use a teaspoon or so of xanthan gum, but I only see it for sale in big bags. Reasonable if you're doing a lot of GF baking, but a bit expensive if you're only doing it once a year. You could see if your sister already has some, and could bring you a bit.
posted by JiBB at 2:29 PM on November 21, 2011

Ooh. This is relevant to my interests, as my oldest just came up with gluten sensitivity of some kind. I got a recommendation from a passerby for a particular brand of flour that worked really well as an AP flour substitute. It wasn't Red Mill. What was this brand? It was a mixture of glutenless flours and probably the xanthan ... what brands of gluten-free AP flour have people here tried?
posted by zomg at 2:37 PM on November 21, 2011

Pamela's makes a GF bread mix. So does King Arthur, but I'm not sure it has Xantham gum.
posted by Gilbert at 2:43 PM on November 21, 2011

pineapple bake!

See here for a recipe, but if you have your own, all you need to do is substitute gluten-free bread or gluten-free flour in it. :)

sooo good.
posted by fuzzysoft at 2:48 PM on November 21, 2011

Grandma's husband loves this Fresh Ginger Cake. He sometimes makes it as cupcakes, just to mix things up. It's delicious, I must say!
posted by slmorri at 2:49 PM on November 21, 2011

Best answer: This Roasted Acorn Squash recipe is delicious and it's what I'll be contributing to our Gluten Free Thanksgiving. I recommend doubling it at the very least.

If you make some gravy using chicken broth and corn starch then that'd be gluten free.

Here's a Crustless Pumpkin Pie recipe. I haven't tried it myself, but it might save you some trouble.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:03 PM on November 21, 2011

Best answer: Nom Nom Paleo has a Thanksgiving roundup. I've just started reading her site, but so far all the recipes I've tried have been great.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:08 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

(Oh, in case you don't know: "Paleo" food is inherently gluten-free.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:10 PM on November 21, 2011

I made a not-half-bad gluten-free pie crust with almond flour and coconut flour similar to this recipe. Or this one.

Overall, though, my primary approach is to find things that never had gluten in them. Thanksgiving has plenty of foods like that, so go with the things that you and your sister love that don't need substitutes.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2011

We have a whole crew of celiac sufferers in the family. Seconding "go for things that have no gluten originally in them".
We do:

Praline topped sweet potatoes. Skip the flour in the topping, it's not really necessary,1838,147171-245195,00.html

Pumpkin Cheesecake: for a bottom crust, mix almond flour + melted butter + egg yolk. Make cheesecake from whatever recipe you prefer

Tom Douglas's Red Bliss Mashed potatoes:
(my husband will not sit down at a thanksgiving dinner that doesn't include these (; )

Also, my sister bought some nice glutcranberry/cinnamon english muffins that we toasted and used in an improvised stuffing recipe. Super tasty.

1. saute mirepoix (chopped onion + chopped celery + chopped carrots)
2. add some cubed butternut squash
3. cook some bacon or sausage and shred
4. put bread crumbs, squash mixture and bacon in a casserole dish. pour in gluten free chicken stock to cover. cook.
posted by lyra4 at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2011

that should be " my sister bought some nice glutEN FREE cranberry/cinnamon english muffins".

can't type. And I think she got them at whole foods, although I forgot to ask!
posted by lyra4 at 3:16 PM on November 21, 2011

Pumpkin pie! I don't have a specific recipe, but you should be able to use pretty much any old filling, and a graham cracker crust using gluten free ginger snaps instead of graham crackers. I made this with a friend who doesn't eat gluten, and it was delicious! We used midel brand ginger snaps.
posted by one little who at 3:29 PM on November 21, 2011

Best answer: Serious Eats has a gluten-free Tuesday column that you might look through. I made the Apple Galette for a work party, and it was a big hit.
posted by statsgirl at 4:17 PM on November 21, 2011

We'll skip stuffing for our mostly gf household since only a couple people are big fans. I plan on trying Smitten Kitchen's pear cranberry crumble substituting Midel gingersnaps and using Hodgson Mill's all purpose gf flour blend. I make a pecan pie using Whole Foods' gf crust - it's quite good and I've got enough to do making dinner without making pie crust! We also skip most things that aren't naturally gluten free. Will be making a stuffed breast of turkey brined and filled w/prosciutto since the bird we got from a local grower is enormous - far too large to roast the whole thing for our small gathering. Creamed onions - no flour required, mashed potatoes and roast yams - naturally gf, etc. No one will feel deprived!
posted by leslies at 4:30 PM on November 21, 2011

You can make pretty much anything, so long as it doesn't include flour.

Flour is not the only thing that contains gluten! Many jarred condiments and seasonings contain gluten, as do a million other things you wouldn't expect. Everyone above is right that lots of Thanksgiving dishes are naturally gf, but be careful when you're seasoning them so you don't accidentally introduce some gluten. If there's something you're wondering about, check the label, check with your sister, or google it, just to be sure.

As far as recipe blogs go, this one (written by a friend of mine) is great (and has a couple of Thanksgiving-y things on it right now), and her blogroll is full of others that are probably also good.
posted by dizziest at 5:51 PM on November 21, 2011

Here's an article written by my co-worker.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Thanksgiving by Gabriel Gallegos, Ownership Coordinator
The Wheatsville Breeze, November 2010 Page 11
Hello readers! Last year I shared my Homemade Tofu Roast in the Breeze and received quite a bit of positive feedback. It is both vegan and gluten free, but can be enjoyed by everybody in your family. This recipe requires a bit of time to prepare, so start a day in advance. You’ll have lots of fun doing it and the results will amaze you. If you make it, I’d love to see the pictures (post them on Wheatsville’s Facebook Page)! I’ve also included a great Vegan Butternut Squash Pie recipe. Enjoy!

Homemade Tofu Roast
2 lbs Westsoy extra-firm tofu
2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 tsp Dried Sage
2 cups prepared cornbread stuffing*
2 large sheets of yuba (tofu skin)
**Yuba is sold in large sheets, usually in the frozen section of Asian markets.

Basting sauce:
1/4 cup dark sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 Tbs miso paste
2 Tbsp juice (cranberry or orange)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Large Plate
Small Plate
Cheese Cloth
Food Processor
Something Heavy
Roasting Pan with Lid

Squeeze tofu to remove water. Line colander with dampened cheesecloth so it hangs over the sides. Place colander on large plate. Roughly chop tofu, place in colander and cover with the cheesecloth that is hanging over the sides. Place the small plate upside down on top of the tofu with something heavy on top to press out remaining liquid. Let sit for one hour. Blend drained tofu, Braggs, and sage in food processor until smooth. Remove 3/4 cup of the blended tofu and set aside for later. Return remaining blended tofu to the cheesecloth- covered colander and press it down against the edges of the colander – creating a 1-inch thick “bowl” shape. Add prepared cornbread stuffing to the center of the tofu bowl and press the reserved tofu over the top to cover the stuffing. Carefully bring up the edges of the cheesecloth, tie the cheesecloth very tightly together at the top with the string, and place colander on large plate again. Place the small plate upside down on top of the roast and put the heavy weight back on top. Let sit in refrigerator overnight.

Next Day: Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk together all ingredients for basting sauce. Set aside. Remove roast from fridge and carefully remove from cheesecloth. Carefully place roast upside down in roasting pan and baste with half the basting sauce. Place both sheets of yuba over the roast and tuck the sides underneath the roast. It doesn’t have to look perfect because the yuba will shrink around the tofu to create a “skin” as it bakes. Use some of the run-off basting sauce to baste yuba as well. Cover with lid and bake for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350°F. Remove lid, and baste with remaining sauce. Bake for an additional 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with run-off sauce. Carefully transfer roast to serving platter. Makes 6-8 servings. Goes great with Roads End Organics Gluten Free Gravy Mixes!

For Cornbread Stuffing:
Start with Pamela’s Cornbread and Muffin Mix (made with Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of eggs and Earth Balance Buttery Spread instead of butter). After preparing it, crumble it in a cake pan and add Imagine No- Chicken Broth, and all your favorite ingredients, likes sautéed mushrooms, chopped onion, celery, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme, and poultry seasoning. Then bake it in the oven at 350°F for 40 mins. This will make way more than what you need for this recipe, so you’ll have some left over.

Vegan Butternut Squash Pie
1 8oz Mori-Nu silken (soft) tofu
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 container Tofutti vegan cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tbsp vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Puree together all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into prepared piecrust. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until set. Turn off oven, and allow pie to sit in oven another 30 minutes. Serve chilled. Looking for a gluten-free pie crust? Try Bob’s Redmill Biscuit and Baking Mix (pie crust recipe is on the back).
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:15 PM on November 21, 2011

Might want to double-check on tofu and miso a_h_n, as both generally require wheat to produce. I also happen to know that Bob's Red Mill can not guarantee that any of their products are truly gluten-free (to the level that someone with Celiac would require). We sent the folks at Anson Mills an e-mail and got a very quick and very thorough response on how they produce their meal, so that's who we work with, in spite of the price difference.
posted by Gilbert at 10:56 PM on November 21, 2011

Gilbert, can you give some more information on the issues with Bob's Red Mill? I had the impression that they were pretty reliable for gf stuff (separate production lines, ELISA testing, etc.).
posted by Siobhan at 9:53 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I use some of the GF-labeled Bob's Red Mill mixes, and my husband doesn't seem affected.

People diagnosed with Celiac disease are affected by their condition to different degrees — some people can tolerate a certain parts per million (ppm) exposure to gluten, while others cannot tolerate any, at all, and require more stringent manufacturing standards.

The key is to read the fine print: If a product is labeled gluten-free, it is still important to check the packaging for caveats, such as: "Manufactured in facilities which process wheat", which raises the risk of cross-contamination.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:58 PM on November 22, 2011

Siobhan, the issue w/ Bob's was cross-contamination. If corn is milled in the same mill (or in some cases, even the same building) as wheat, then there's a risk there. Perhaps they have expanded their production facilities to accomodate the gluten-intolerant, but I had always heard that their products were "iffy."
posted by Gilbert at 11:23 AM on December 3, 2011

I would be very surprised to see stuff about Bob's Red Mill being a source of cross contamination - not only do they have a dedicated GF packaging facility but they source from GF farmers. Here's their page on their GF products. I don't work for them - just been aware that they're pretty careful on that front.
posted by leslies at 11:15 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

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