Posts Tagged ‘allergy-free’

Vegan, GF Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

This year I decided to not just go all out on our Thanksgiving feast, but to make it as allergy-friendly as possible. My husband recently was diagnosed with a sensitivity to wheat, and I’m nursing a gluten-intolerant baby, so that makes all but one person in the family that has to be gluten-free. I am, however, a traditionalist; I love stuffing and buns and gravy. In the past, I would have despaired of a gluten-free stuffing or gluten-free buns, but this year, I knew I had the recipes needed to make a very traditional Thanksgiving feast, gluten-free style.

So I thought I would share with you what I did. Let me start with what my son ate, since he wasn’t able to eat everything we did. He had a salad with green leaf lettuce, cauliflower, and homemade Italian Dressing (using lemon instead of vinegar). I only gave him a little bit, and he ate it all gone first. The rest of us enjoyed a raw kale salad, which was basically kale torn in pieces, massaged with olive oil and  Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and topped with lightly toasted sesame seeds. Our 6-year-old daughter ate her portion, too, without complaining. The massaging really helps the kale.

I left out the onions in Manny's stuffing.

Then he had stuffing and buns. I followed this recipe for stuffing, making my own broth (with things like broccoli stalks, bits of celery, cauliflower stem, some cabbage–basically anything Manny isn’t allergic to) and using a recipe for GF bread that I found on Etsy. This bread is really some of the most amazing bread I’ve ever seen, at least in terms of gluten-free bread. If you’ve ever made GF bread, you’ll know how it usually has more of a batter consistency than a dough consistency, but this bread is a dough and can be kneaded. It is also very high in fiber, which completely negates all the starch that is used (about 1/3 of the flour). The recipe is copyright, but it’s cheaper than a loaf of GF bread is anywhere, so I recommend you buy it and try it out. One loaf made a pan of stuffing.

Another batch got turned into what I call Trinity Buns. A loaf of bread takes 45 minutes to bake, so I thought these would probably take about 30 minutes. In hindsight, I should have done them only 25, but they were still good, just a little on the dry side. I also think I had a tad bit too much flour in them, but that’s okay. We still enjoyed them. Take a closer look. Can you believe they are 100% gluten-free?

When I was growing up, I asked my mom why we didn’t make our own cranberry sauce. She said it was too much work. But she was ignorant. It is as simple as buying a 12-oz bag of cranberries (fresh or frozen), adding 1 cup each of water and sugar (I cut the sugar in half and add a scant half-teaspoon of stevia), bringing to a boil, and simmering until they are thick. No pectin needed. Couldn’t be simpler.

Unless you are not paying attention. I was talking on the phone and added two cups of water, the full cup of sugar, and then threw in the stevia. Moments later, I realized my mistake, so I ended up going to the local store and paying $4 for an 8 oz bag of organic cranberries (the only ones they had, surprisingly). So the sauce wasn’t cheap, but it was good. Manny loved it. I think it is what made his meal extra special.

Because it was just the four of us, I decided to skip the sweet potatoes. I may cook some up tomorrow in lieu of the stuffing, which is almost all gone now, so we can eat them with the leftovers. I bought some real maple syrup to go with them.

We are vegetarians, except for Manny; his diet is so restricted that we do give him organic chicken or turkey now and then. If I had planned ahead, we could have given him a little turkey, but I didn’t have any. But I think I created a new tradition for the rest of us when I decided to make a Tofurkey. I’ve heard of making one before, but I never actually did it. I researched recipes, looking for simple, and found this recipe for a gluten-free tofu turkey. It was very simple to make–but it used 4 blocks of tofu. I picked it partly because the other recipes I looked at used more tofu and had more steps to them. Because I’m concerned about GMO’s, I used organic tofu, which cost me about $2 a block, so the Tofurkey was the most expensive food on the table, but at under $10, I’m sure it was cheaper than a real turkey, and definitely cheaper than a vegetarian turkey substitute! I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce, because it is gluten and GMO free, and I left out the sesame oil because I didn’t have any. It was delicious. We ate just over a quarter of it. I also added cranberries to the stuffing (I didn’t put them in the regular stuffing because they have sunflower seed oil in them, and Manny is very sensitive to it).

My gravy recipe is quite delicious. I start with a half cup of cashews (or almonds, but this time I used cashews), 2 cups of water, and two heaped tablespoons of arrowroot. Then I added two teaspoons of onion powder, 2 tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of Bragg’s Aminos. Then comes the “secret” ingredient: the miso. I used to use Hacho Miso, which is quite intense, and only required 1 tablespoon. However, it contains barley, so I switched to a miso with rice, but it is more mild (both in flavor and salt content), so I increased the amount to a heaped tablespoon. Blend until smooth, then thicken like normal. Delicious!

Manny can’t have potatoes anyway, so I just mashed them with Earth Balance butter and Pacific Ultra Soy (which has the highest fat content of any soy milk out there). Topped with gravy, they were so delicious!

You can’t really see it in the picture, but we opened a bottle of sparkling cider as a drink. Manny is sensitive to apples, especially if they are not organic, so I gave him white grape juice, which he had never had before, so it was special.

So there it was. Our thanksgiving feast. Delicious, nutritious, and gluten-free. I really liked that “turkey.” I’m going to have to do that every year!