One of the problems with a gluten-free diet can quickly become too much weight gain if you focus solely on replacing items from the Standard American Diet (SAD!) swap for swap (erm...SADly, that's how I learned to do it over eleven years ago). Even so, adopting a gluten free diet doesn't have to mean forgoing all your seasonal favorites. Maybe it just means freezing the leftovers instead of allowing Thanksgiving to last a full week. Maybe you serve a salad first, or you consciously incorporate more clean vegetable dishes into the meal than you might have done in the past. It may take a little training, patience and dedication for your palate to come to anticipate and enjoy this type of meal, but here's why it's worth asking yourself and your family to work toward just that.
My Thai Butternut Bisque would be a great accompaniment or first course to your Thanksgiving spread, for instance. Or here's a fantastic recipe for roasted Brussels Sprouts with real bacon (um, HELLO! Who doesn't like the sound of that?! And if you don't have access to the kind of bacon he's talking about, at least go for something like Hormel's Natural Choice or Oscar Meyer Selects brands that contain no nitrates or nitrites--they're bad juju!). Maybe instead of the canned gluten-ous sodium, I mean, soup version of the usual green bean casserole, you use the freshest beans you can find and experiment with some real diced onions (or shallots) and mushrooms. A bit of Greek yogurt flavored with thyme, a little garlic powder (or preferably the real thing), salt and pepper and a bit of The Wizard's vegan/wheat-free Worcestershire sauce might not taste exactly how you remember, but it's gluten free and it's much cleaner, and absolutely delicious. Chopped pecans or walnuts or slivered almonds can lend a satisfying crunch instead of the usual fried onions. Or if they're an absolute must, slice some onions very thinly, dip them in a little thin #GF pancake batter, and shallow pan fry them to sprinkle sparingly over the dish. Sure, it's a little more work than opening a can. But it'll be a much more satisfying holiday when you can enjoy your tryptophan-induced coma on the sofa with everyone else instead of on the bathroom floor, in massive abdominal pain from a gluten reaction.
I wish I could give you my husband's recipe, but I'm usually up late baking the cornbread and the dessert, and he's up early with the bird, the stuffing, and the potatoes. When the daughters are around, just like those damn crescenty rolls taunting from the other end of the table, there's a very small dish of old-fashioned syrup and marshmallow covered sweet potatoes (which I have never enjoyed, even as a kid). Otherwise, we either mash or beautifully roast those, too.
TONS of options on my Pinterest board, check it out.
Without further ado, here's the wonderful #GF cornbread recipe I've adapted over the years to serve our needs and tastes. Bless you and yours, and happy holidays!
1 egg (works great with flax substitute for vegan)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon org apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon gf baking powder
1 cup organic yellow corn flour
1/2 cup or less organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 T milled FLAX seed (1 if you use flax sub for egg)
(In an effort to reduce the sugar, I've made this in the past with 3/4 cup almond milk and substituted 1/4 cup of the sugar with a scant 1/4 cup agave nectar [agave is sweeter than sugar, and has become a controversial ingredient--I don't think I would want the flavor of maple syrup, which could also be used, so if you're not opposed to agave, choose raw organic--you could also leave the milk alone, and substitute the granulated sugar for xylitol]. Particularly for a savory purpose like stuffing, just using a bit less sugar works fine, too.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large measuring cup, combine milk, egg, oil, and vinegar. Mix well. Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk together. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and mix thoroughly. I use a fork, making sure to scrape down the sides and get all the dry incorporated off the bottom. Coat or spray a cast-iron skillet with oil. Cornbread is always best in a cast-iron skillet, and GF is no different, but of course an 8x8 cake pan or muffin tin works, too. Muffin papers haven't worked so well for this recipe (sticks), so I would just spray or coat the tin.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes (may take a bit less time for cast-iron). The top will be lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Serves 8-9. Double this recipe if you want stuffing leftovers! We've done the stuffing in a muffin tin, too, which was delicious, with crispy edges for all, and they froze well!
[The cornbread pictured was made with the flax vegan substitute. Without the yolk for color, and because I was using organic corn flour, which isn't as brilliant yellow as either "Over the Counter" or corn meal, it looked a little pasty. I added just a bit of natural yellow food coloring to make it more appealing to my family. And boy, was it!! ENJOY!]