How To Enjoy A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Amy has some great ideas this week for making a gluten-free Thanksgiving stress-free and delicious, too. Enjoy! — Denise

 

If you love food – and who doesn’t? – then Thanksgiving is a hard holiday to beat. But when you need to be gluten-free, that same holiday becomes challenging.

Here are some tips for taking the stress out and putting the fun back in.

 

Eating at someone else’s home?

  • Interview your host: find out what they are serving and how they cook. Little things can make the meal sharable: for example, gluten-free flour is an easy replacement in holiday gravy.
  • Not comfortable telling them what you need? Offer to bring something.
  • Get in the kitchen and help with the preparation: you’ll be the sweetest guest at the party and know exactly what you can and cannot eat.

Hosting your own holiday?

  • Be honest: let guests know what is and isn’t allowed in your home.
  • Feel safer cooking everything at home? Have your guests come early, so they can help in the preparation.
  • Guests often want to contribute a food item. If all else fails, have them bring the drinks!

This week’s recipe is one of my favorite parts of the meal: the stuffing (or dressing). Crunchy, chewy, salty and sweet, all at the same time. Plus, this one is gluten-free and dairy-free. Sounds like a delicious holiday meal is headed our way!

GF Stuffing with Celery, Cranberries and Pecans

This gluten-free stuffing will please all of your guests! It is easily adaptable: cook it in a pan or in the bird, double it if you have a huge crowd. And great the day after in a turkey-potato hash!

Makes 12 cups

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 14.5-ounce loaf multi-grain or seed bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used Glutino’s Seed Bread, from the freezer section)
  • 3 Tbs + 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp fresh basil, chopped, or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped small
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 1 large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place bread pieces in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and toss to coat. Spread bread in single layer on prepared sheet. Bake bread until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheet. Transfer to very large bowl.
  2. While bread is toasting, toast pecans: place them in a small oven-proof dish and set in the oven on another shelf. Check after 5 minutes. Remove when the nuts are just becoming brown (they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven).
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and celery; sauté until vegetables begin to brown and are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add chopped garlic, thyme, oregano and basil; stir 1 minute. Add dried cranberries and pecans; stir 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread. Season generously with salt and pepper. Mix eggs into stuffing.

To bake stuffing in turkey:

Loosely fill neck and main cavities of turkey with stuffing. Add enough broth to remaining stuffing to moisten slightly (1/4 to 3/4 cup, depending on amount of remaining stuffing). Spray 8×8 baking dish. Spoon remaining stuffing into prepared dish. Cover with foil,. Bake stuffing in dish along side turkey until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover stuffing. Bake until top of stuffing is slightly crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.

To bake all of stuffing in baking dish:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Add enough extra broth to stuffing to moisten (3/4 cup to 1 cup). Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through, about 30-40 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 15-20 minutes longer.

 

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