Friday, November 15, 2013

A Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a tough time for those who watch what they eat. Whether it be a food allergy, intolerance, or diet everyone is tested in some way. If this Thanksgiving is your first time eating gluten-free, or preparing a meal for someone who is gluten-free, don't be too alarmed, cooking gluten-free is completely manageable and I promise - just as delicious.

8 Tips to Having a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving in a Gluten-Full World

1. Ask Questions: If you're going to eat something someone else made be sure to ask questions! How did you make that? What ingredients did you use? Are there any cross contamination risks? If they can't tell you exactly what is in it - you're better off passing.

2. Do Your Research: Did you know some turkeys aren't gluten-free? I certainly didn't until I looked it up. A lot of stocks or bouillons aren't gluten-free either and people love to use these in place of liquids in things like mashed potatoes or vegetables. See my post Sneaky Places Gluten Hides at Thanksgiving.

3. Bring Your Favorite Dish: Is your favorite dish something that is traditionally gluten-full? My first gluten-free Thanksgiving I made a green bean casserole a la Campbell's traditional recipe with gluten-free ingredients. Was it hard? Yes. Time consuming? Yes. But was I SO happy I could eat it? Yes!

4. Consult Your Host: Should the host of Thanksgiving dinner be aware of your food allergies/intolerance? Absolutely. Most hosts want to be accommodating to their guests, to help spread the word and make others aware. There might be another person attending with similar restrictions

5. Band Together: Is someone else you know gluten-free? Include them in your meal plans! There is strength in numbers and will make your job much easier and your day less stressful.

6. Educate Others: If you don't tell people something could make you sick, they will never know. You might have to be blunt to get the point across. Saying you could get a stomach ache is vague and unlikely to get your point across. If someone asks you what happens if you eat gluten, tell them what could happen! Depending on your severity of sensitivity, they're more likely to remember.

7. Separate the Food: Picture this - its dinner time on Thanksgiving. You've done everything possible to have a gluten-free dinner. You did your research, brought your own safe dishes, and you consulted with the host. Everything is lined up and ready to eat. The first person to go takes a large portion of regular (gluten-full) stuffing and proceeds to take servings of every other dish with the same spoon effectively ruining all of your hard work. So - keep your dishes separate!! Even in another room if necessary. Signs are also super helpful in this situation.

8. Deep Breathe: This is manageable. Millions of other people are in it with you. Try and enjoy!

For my Thanksgiving meal this year I'll also be incorporating a dairy-free eater into the mix. I know what you're probably thinking - I don't want to be at your Thanksgiving dinner - but in reality so much of what we would have made needs only small tweaks to be safe to eat. Everything below is a link to a recipe!
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Side Dishes

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes - Martha Stewart

Cider Glazed Carrots

Garlic-y Spaghetti Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole - to make dairy-free, just replace with your favorite milk substitute!
Bacon-y Green Beans

Gluten-Free Gravy - This is so delicious and easy to make its a sin to use the pre-packaged mix.

Deserts

Gluten-Free Diary Free Pumpkin Pie

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Cream Pie

Gluten-Free Apple Pie

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato & Pecan Pie

Dairy-Free Whipped "Cream"

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