It’s certainly not your typical Thanksgiving without stuffing and bread pudding, but going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to say good-bye to your favorite holiday dishes. Simply tweak them a bit by substituting gluten-free bread and grains such as buckwheat or quinoa and you won’t even think twice about those gluten-ous grains.
At first, it may seem a bit odd not to reach for your favorite loaf of whole wheat bread or your Grandmother’s famous stuffing but believe me…with a swap of pasta with quinoa and a switch from barley to risotto, your guests won’t know the difference. The best part about a gluten-free holiday? No one even has to know it’s gluten-free. There are so many ‘Clean’ and naturally gluten-free foods that you can serve with fresh herbs and spices. I coin the term ‘Clean’ as I believe in eating pure foods that are minimally processed and full of vitamins, healthy fats, lean proteins and healthy carbohydrates.
All vegetables, dairy, oils, fruits and lean proteins such as turkey, chicken, pork, fish, tofu, eggs, bison and polenta are all naturally gluten-free. (Be sure to read every label carefully as some brands may use gluten to preserve the food). So, why not whip up a tasty holiday feast around these ‘Clean’ food groups? There’s nothing like a bunch of great root veggies such as squash and sweet potatoes along with green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and asparagus. Top each with a different dressing to wow your guests and get their taste buds dancin’. Try a mixture of balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds and lemon juice; sea salt, orange juice and ground flax seeds; olive oil, apple cider vinegar and dried cherries; crushed peanuts, purple shredded cabbage and wheat-free tamari. See how easy gluten-free can be?
And who ever said the bird isn’t gluten-free, too?
Just be sure not to use gluten-free flour when baking the bird in the oven and you’ll be good to go.
As for dessert…Well, that’s another story. Gluten can hide in many baked goods, therefore if you’re looking for a tasty gluten-free sweet treat to top of the night, try a fresh fruit platter or bake up a batch of macaroons. Why not serve Greek yogurt parfaits with dried fruits, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and honey? Or you can take the challenge and try baking with gluten-free grains.
For more healthy, Clean gluten-free recipes, you can visit my blog, TheHealthyApple.com.
Happy (Gluten-Free) Turkey Day!
GLUTEN-FREE BUTTERNUT SQUASH QUINOA ~ Gluten-Free and Vegetarian
- 5 cups butternut squash cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1, 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut and cut into cubes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups leeks, thinly sliced
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup rice milk
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with wax paper. Add squash cubes and 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium bowl; toss well to coat. Bake until golden brown, approximately 45 minutes, stirring often.
- While squash is baking, add vegetable broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until lightly browned. Add quinoa; mix well.
- Add balsamic vinegar; reduce heat to low. Add a cup of hot vegetable and simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed
- Add remaining vegetable broth, a cup at a time, each time allowing stock to be absorbed before adding more.
- Slowly add roasted squash, rice milk, Parmesan cheese and rosemary; cook for 2 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste; serve each bowl with a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan cheese.
GLUTEN-FREE ACORN APPLE SQUASH SOUP ~ Gluten-Free and Vegan
Makes 10 servings
- 2 acorn squash, halved, strings and seeds discarded
- 2 Tbsp. cashews
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- ½ cup parsnips, shredded
- 1 cup diced red apple1 cup chopped sweet onion
- ¼ cup scallions
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup dried cranberries, for topping
- ¼ cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped, for topping
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- In a shallow baking pan arrange squash, cut side down, with 1 cup water. Bake covered with foil for 60 minutes or until soft.
- Remove from pan and spoon out pulp. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add cashews; process until smooth.
- Spray a large sauté pan with nonstick cooking spray and cook remaining vegetables over medium low heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth, squash puree, cinnamon and nutmeg; simmer, covered for 40 minutes.
- Stir in salt, pepper and nut milk. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to serving bowls; serve warm. Top with dried cranberries and fresh tarragon.
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is a Manhattan based Culinary Marketing Consultant, recipe developer and food writer specializing in Gluten Free, Soy-Free and Dairy Free Culinary Nutrition. Amie writes a blog The Healthy Apple and is also the Publisher and Marketing Director of the online gluten-free magazine, Easy Eats. Amie believes in everything in moderation. Never using the word ‘diet,’ she stands by the truth that “each of us has control over what we put into our mouths and these choices impact our bodies now and in the future.”