Before food allergies, Thanksgiving was a simple, convenient affair. Sure, it was a little time consuming, and I would feel anxious about the turkey. But everything else was convenient. We used boxed stuffing, mashed potato flakes, a frozen pumpkin pie & another frozen apple pie or apple crumble. There are boxed corn bread mixes or a sack of pre-made rolls.
Once we had children, and it became apparent that they had food allergies, and I, in turn, developed food allergies after giving birth to baby #2, daily meals became a real challenge, and holiday meals became nearly impossible.
I’ve had to get creative over the years. Omitting dairy, eggs, peanuts & tree nuts makes things incredibly difficult. After a few
years, though, I did it, and it was amazingly delicious.
This year, however, in addition to the other ingredients we have to cut out because of food allergies, we’re taking out the gluten…we are having a gluten free Thanksgiving.
What a headache, right?
Well, I have a plan, and I hope that it turns out. After Thanksgiving, I will post about each new dish I prepared to share the successes and failures of our Thanksgiving dinner.
Turkey, naturally… What is Thanksgiving without a turkey? Well, I know some people don’t have a turkey at Thanksgiving, but I’ve never gone without one. I have had smoked turkey, which I think is the best, but I’m unable to do that as I don’t have the proper equipment at the moment. So, in the 9 years I’ve been making Thanksgiving dinner, I have just cooked the turkey in the oven. We never fry our turkey, as that requires a peanut oil blend. We are allergic to peanuts, so that’s a no go.
Cranberry sauce, but not the canned stuff with high fructose corn syrup in it. Blah. I’ve started making my own sugar free cranberry sauce. Last year I made it with stevia and agave nectar to sweeten it without refined sugars. This year, I plan to also make it with orange juice instead of boiling the cranberries in water. I hope it turns out.
Stuffing is non-negotiable. I’ve never stuffed a bird, but I love stuffing. I no longer buy the boxed stuffing because they are loaded with MSG. Now, I’m also concerned with the gluten. This year, I decided to try and make my own, homemade from scratch stuffing. Lucky me, I got an email from Enjoy Life Foods with a very mouth watering recipe for a Cranberry Apple Sausage Stuffing free of all the allergens we’re avoiding, and it’s gluten free. I’m really excited about this recipe.
Green bean casserole was hard just trying to make it dairy free. However, last year, I came up with a tasty green bean casserole recipe that was 100% dairy free. This year, however, I have to hunt down some gluten free french fried onions. I hope the local Whole Foods carries them.
Mashed potatoes, thankfully, are still convenient and easy. I can still use the boxed mashed potato flakes. Instead of using butter and milk, I use a vegan buttery spread and an unflavored dairy free milk substitute. This year, I’m using rice milk.
Corn on the cob is super simple. No issues there. Just boil it in water and don’t let the dairy allergic child use butter on it. Easy peasy. That’s nice for a change.
Pumpkin pie for dessert…that was a toughy. It was so hard, we just didn’t eat it for a few years. Last year, however, I was fed up and came up with a few ingredient substitutions so that I could make a dairy free and egg free / vegan pumpkin pie. It was a wonderful success, and this year, I’m going to attempt to make a pie shell for the first time…and it will be gluten free. My fingers are crossed. I hope I don’t mess up the gluten free vegan pie shell.
Bread rolls, we’re going to be lazy about. As I’m the only one who is gluten free, everyone else will have regular wheat rolls that are milk, peanut and tree nut free. I will have my own gluten free rolls that I purchased.
Last, but not least, apple cider. It just ties everything up and makes it perfect.
If you’re looking for some last minute recipes that are free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, gluten and, in some cases, sugar, then check out the above recipes I’ve linked to and give it a whirl.
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