Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Made Simple

"To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through: that is what it means to be a nurse." - Rawsi Williams

I'm a nurse, so I work a lot of holidays. About half of them, actually. This year I'm working Thanksgiving. I also recently moved, so instead of doing Thanksgiving "potluck style" like I usually do with my large family back in the midwest, I prepared the whole meal myself! As a result, I didn't make everything from scratch, but I did make a darn good meal. I am calling this my "express" Thanksgiving, because it only took 3 1/2 hours total, and most of that was turkey cook time (and I did all my shopping in the morning before I started cooking!).

Feel free to steal any of my secrets--after all, the point of Thanksgiving isn't to make a bunch of complicated recipes from scratch, but to spend time with people you love. So I'm personally giving you permission to cheat a little this year, and spend more time loving, and less time cooking!

Last year I made my first Thanksgiving turkey, which was a combination of recipe suggestions and tips from family and friends. It was absolutely amazing. It was a little time consuming, but man was it delicious! This year I decided to try something else, and used a turkey bag. It was easier (which is what I wanted), but not nearly as good. If you have the time to baste, and want to make a perfect turkey, follow this recipe. 

I love how there are so may easy gluten-free options available these days. This year, I tried Glutino's Cornbread Gluten-free Stuffing. It was great! I highly recommend it, especially if you are pressed for time. Otherwise, if you have time to make your own stuffing, here is my personal recipe. I really enjoy changing my recipes up, based on my mood, which is a little more tricky with a box. In general, I prefer using my own recipe and adjusting it, but overall I was impressed with Glutinos and would try it again.

Green Bean Casserole
This has been the hardest recipe for me to "get right." I have adjusted my recipe about six times, and this is the best version. One of the tricks to this casserole, and really almost any casserole, is to let it cool before serving. Otherwise you won't give the casserole time to thicken up. Have your own great green bean casserole recipe? I'd love suggestions!

The Rolls
One of my goals this year is to perfect gluten-free rolls. I'm definitely not there yet. So for Thanksgiving I tried Udis Gluten-Free French Rolls. They were fantastic! They only take 5 minutes to heat up, and they went amazing with my orange marmalade. A simple, yummy add-on to any meal.

Additional Sides
Corn, canned cranberry. Sadly, I didn't make my own mashed potatoes this year. My family recipe is literally the best mashed potatoes you will eat in your life. I will make them and post it eventually, because it is a recipe that has to be shared. This year it was just a matter of time, which is why I bought mashed potatoes from Whole Foods instead. They were divine.

Not pictured: Whole Foods Gluten-Free Apple Pie

Also not pictured: Me drinking a ton of red wine and wearing reindeer antlers while cooking...I wish I was joking.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Grateful Green Bean Casserole

"I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land." - Jon Stewart 

I still don't feel like I've perfected the traditional Thanksgiving green bean casserole (gluten-free style), but this recipe comes close! If you have your own, leave it in the comments!

3 cans of french style green beans
1 can of gluten-free cream of mushroom soup
1T gluten-free soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onions
1 teaspoon onion powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of crushed Funyuns 


Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix cream of mushroom soup, soy sauce, diced onions, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.

Step 2: Slowly stir in drained green beans until they are completely covered in sauce. Transfer mix to 8x12 or larger oven-safe container.

Step 3: Bake casserole for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and top with crushed Funyuns. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 6-10 side dishes.