A Gluten Free, Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Have you ever hosted a dinner party for friends or family members that have food restrictions you aren’t used to you and you can’t think of what to make? Most people have been there as I have and if you said no to this question don’t think it won’t happen as Gluten Free diets and allergies are on the rise.

Take my Aunt Nancy’s Thanksgiving challenge this year. Please two men who like meat, a vegetarian daughter, a daughter with Celiacs who is strictly gluten free and isn’t a huge meat eater and her own cravings. Sounds like a lot; I agree. The good thing is she owns a ton of cook books, is well read and loves to explore new recipes which means her meal will still rock the house! Her menu will inspire you to think outside the box for your holiday meal this year and remind you to include everyone, even those with food restrictions.

The Reeves/Postorino Gluten Free Thanksgiving Menu

For the Vegetarian

  • Triple-Corn Spoon Bread -A Cornbread Casserole that you can make with gluten free cornbread (a tradition in the Reeves household) Source: Cooking Light November 1997
  • Gravy: Using gluten free baking mix (see below pie recipe for this) to make a roux. Once that’s cooked, add vegetable broth and season appropriately to finish it.  This will likely be a little thinner that gravy made with flour
  • Gluten Free Stuffing- My AUnt plans to make one of the rice recipes from this link: 5 Gluten Free Stuffing Recipes from the NY Times
  • Mashed Sweet and White Potatoes (mixed together- a great combination for those who haven’t tried it)
  • Roasted Parsnips, Carrots and Onions
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Pumpkin Pie with Gluten free pie crust (see recipe below)

For the Gluten Free

  • Same as above + Turkey

For the rest

  • All of the above + Rolls
My Aunt tested the pie crust this weekend and here is her advise.  Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper sprinkled with gluten free baking mix. The crusts were crumbly when they were warm but they firmed up nicely overnight. Overall, she said they passed the test although my Uncle thought they were more sweet than regular crusts (likely from the sugar that’s added to the mix). Either of the below gluten free baking mixes will work, one requires a food scale and the other uses standard kitchen measuring devices.
Gluten Free Pie Crust
2.5 C gluten free mix (see below)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar (optional; use if making a sweet/dessert pie)
8 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6 T shortening
4-6 T ice water
-Combine dry ingredients.  Add butter and shortening and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add ice water, 1-2 T at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball.  Divide dough in half.  Flatten each half into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Can also be frozen.
-To make crust, roll out between two pieces of parchment paper.   Add filling of your choice and bake (at time/temp as per pie filling).

Gluten Free Baking Mix 1

From the New York Times
2 C oat flour
2 C brown rice flour
2 C sorghum flour
5 T corn flour or corn meal
1 C potato starch
1 C arrowroot powder
Store in dry sealed container.  Use in place of regular flour.

Gluten Free Baking Mix 2

200 gm brown rice flour
150 gm sorghum flour
50 gm potato flour
250 gm sweet rice flour
150 gm potato starch
100 gm arrowroot flour
100 gm cornstarch
Store in dry sealed container.  Use in place of regular flour.
Comments and debriefing from my family to follow post-Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Food Fact: The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 this year is $49.20 which is up 13% from last year according to the American Farm Bureau Federation