I clearly remember my first gluten-free Thanksgiving. Preparing the traditional meal is daunting enough, but trying to do it gluten-free while maintaining all the favorites for everyone seemed to me like just a taste of what those early Pilgrims must have gone through! They too were in a whole new world with foreign foods, learning to cook, prepare, and adjust to their new way of life. I’m sure they had a few meltdowns like I did with moments of panic that they would never eat normally again. But, I’m also sure that they made it through, learning and growing with each step, and persevering to create health for their families and a heart of thanksgiving for all that their Creator had provided.
This gluten-free life means lots of adjusting, and I’ve found that the attitude adjustment is the first and hardest step. Once I’ve let go of expectations and just been willing to enjoy the foods I can eat, my taste buds get in line rather quickly. If my heart is thankful, my taste buds seems to follow suite.
Thanksgiving may seem like a long list of “can’t – haves”, but actually it is so easy to make gluten-free. Now that I have my system down, no one could tell that there are any differences at all.
Here is my meal plan with some tips toward a gluten-free feast:
Turkey – make sure you buy a gluten-free turkey without any added ingredients containing gluten
Gravy – made like normal, but using cornstarch to thicken instead of flour
Mashed potatoes – your own version or this one
Sweet Potato Casserole – I use a recipe similar to this
Stuffing – don’t panic! Just make a loaf of gluten-free bread (I’d recommend getting an easy mix like “The Gluten-Free Pantry’s Favorite Sandwich Bread”) gluten-free cornbread (my favorite recipe is in here, but I’d cut the sugar just a little for using it in stuffing) and use them to make this recipe. Stuffing seems intimidating, but it’s super easy!
Green Beans – cook them with a few tablespoons of butter and some chopped garlic
Layered Salad – recipe found here
Gluten-free Green Bean Casserole – if you’re used to the version with cream of mushroom soup and fried onions, you could substitute that with Health Valley Cream of Mushroom Soup and Funyuns. How easy is that?!
Rolls – I buy mine from Whole Foods in their gluten-free freezer section. You could also use this recipe.
Pies – I buy these at Whole Foods too. If you want to make your own, Gluten-Free Pantry makes a “Perfect Pie Crust Mix”. Or you could try this one. (scroll down in the post for the recipe)
And, there you have it! A gluten-free feast! Enjoy your food this year, but enjoy the heart of it more. Be thankful!