Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Gluten Free Stuffing

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A couple weeks ago, with Thanksgiving coming up, I couldn’t imagine that I would have made such an easy stuffing for tomorrow’s big feast! I’m pretty thankful that I saved lots of my gluten free bread in the freezer. I didn’t have a plan for what I would do with it, it was mostly ends that I wouldn’t throw away, and I had been saving them since August. I thought about bread crumbs at first, but that is so boring. So this morning when I opened my freezer, to get some cornbread muffins out, I took out my saved bread ends too!

This recipe starts with cornbread muffins, that are excellent, although much too crumbly. They held their shape better as mini muffins than regular size muffins, mostly because with the mini ones, they popped in your mouth instead of taking a bit. So I made ahead of time a dozen crumbly corn muffins that I knew would become stuffing. I froze them on the sunday before Thanksgiving.

Corn Muffins:
Ingredients:
1 Cup Unsweetened rice milk or other non dairy milk
1 Tablespoon raw organic apple cider vinegar
2 Cups Cornmeal
1 Tablespoon Baking powder
1 Teaspoon Baking soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 Banana, mashed
1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
Coconut oil for greasing

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil. Combine milk, apple cider vinegar, and chia seeds together. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the rest of the ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients to the mixer and combine. Poor into muffin pan. Bake 23 minutes.

Now that you have muffins, you can let them cool and freeze them for future use, or use them now.

Stuffing Ingredients:

Leftover Cornbread muffins, cut into 1 inch pieces, 3-4 cups Leftover Gluten free bread, cut into 1 inch pieces, 3-4 cups
1 Large onion, diced
4-6 Stalks of celery, diced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Cup of craisins (dried cranberries)
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Teaspoons dried thyme
1-2 Cups of low sodium chicken broth

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spread the cubes of bread and cornbread on baking sheets. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning the pieces twice to prevent overcooking.
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In a large pan, cook onions, celery, garlic, olive oil and Earth Balance, salt, pepper, and thyme. It will seem like a lot of oils, but once it is mixed with the bread, it’s not a lot. Cook on medium low heat until the onions are translucent and the celery is tender, about 15 minutes.
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In a large mixing bowl, combine bread cubes, onion/celery mixture, chicken broth and craisins. Place in a 9 x 13 baking sheet and bake 30 minutes.IMG_9213
I am in love with my Christmas cactus’ that are blooming in the background of all of my pictures. They make my kitchen so joyful for this time of year!

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Candied Pepitas

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I have been nut free since my early 20s. My family didn’t believe that I have a nut allergy for years.  I’ve had my allergy since my early teenage years. I had an “ah-ha” moment when I was about to bite into a brownie with walnuts on it, and my face got itchy. A total “Pavlov’s dog” moment; I think I dreamed up the itch as a subconscious warning to myself not to eat it. From that moment on, I knew I was allergic to nuts. I don’t have anaphylaxis, thank goodness, but I do get a swollen tongue, and itchy bumps on my mouth and face. Since allergies can change, sometimes for the worse, I don’t take any chances with it.

It may be that I haven’t eaten a real nut in a long, long time, but I really think these candied pepitas (the seed of a pumpkin, shelled) are great! My first time having them, I felt the urge to make homemade Cracker Jacks. Ok it’s been a longer time since I’ve eaten Cracker Jacks, so I have no idea if the taste really is similar at all!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups Pepitas (I like to get the ones with sea salt already on them)1/2 Cup Brown sugar
1/4 Cup Brown rice syrup (substitute honey)
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Ground cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Ground ginger

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Directions:

Preheat Oven 300 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, making sure to spread out the brown rice syrup thoroughly. It tends to clump together but by using the back of a wooden spoon it should spread out. Some of the pepitas may break doing this, that’s ok! Spread out on the 2 baking sheets, and bake for 30 minutes, stirring the pepitas twice as they bake for balanced baking. They are done when they are bubbly but not yet browning. Allow to cool completely, and then break up into chunky pieces using your hands.

These are so delish, my sister, husband and I ate it all in one sitting. Thanksgiving is only 2 days away, and I hope the batch I cooked up today makes it that long!!

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Pumpkin Pie! Gluten free, nut free, vegan

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I’m so grateful to have this vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year! Without eggs and milk, I was really afraid the flavor would not be right. I was happily surprised! We tried this out when my sister came to visit, she loved it! And she is a traditionalist in all things Thanksgiving, so for me that was a huge win! My daughter also loved it, and asked for more! With pumpkin and tofu as the main ingredients, I really feel as though it could be a semi-complete meal in case it’s the only thing my children will eat!

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Style Crust:
1 1/2 Cups Ground gluten free graham style crackers (I used Schar Honeygrams)
1/3 Cups Sugar
6 Tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1 16 oz can pumpkin or equal amount of cooked pumpkin, well drained
3/4C Brown sugar
10 oz Firm Tofu
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Cardamon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

I used my food processor for this project. It did the best job. Put gluten free graham style crackers in the food processor and pulse until all big pieces break down. Add sugar, Earth Balance, and cinnamon, and pulse again until you can press the crumbles into pieces with your fingers. Pour crumbles into a pie plate and press into a pie crust shape. Place aside.

Also using a food processor, prepare the pumpkin pie filling. I found it a slight pain to have to wash out my food processor. I tried to make the filling in my kitchen aid mixer, but it did not work. It just made a lumpy mess that no one wanted to eat!

First, process the tofu until it is smooth and creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until fully mixed. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40 minutes.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the pie cooked, because the graham cracker crust edge burned. Next time, I will use foil all around the edges. Also, I’m planning not to let the pie crust rise up as high in the pie plate. The crust was perfectly cooked under the pumpkin filling.

This pie was a HUGE hit with my sister, the traditionalist, and my kids and husband! Mmm! My daughter has been asking for pumpkin pie ever since. Thanksgiving is the week, so the wait is almost over to have this pie again!!

 

 

Gluten Free “Ultimate” Ginger Cookie

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I love the flavors of fall! This ginger cookie works great from October until the end of the Christmas season, and will be making guest appearances on the dessert table for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

I adapted the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, who I love. If you don’t have an allergy problem, following her recipe should be simple and easy. The ginger is powerful enough in this recipe that I don’t miss any of the substituted ingredients, making it a perfect recipe for a mixed gathering of people. It’s vegan, gluten free, nut free, and delish!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
1/4 cup teff flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses, I used organic
1 Tablespoon flaxmeal soaked in 3 tablespoons warm water
1 package crystallized ginger, 3.5 oz, chopped fine in food processor
Splash of rice milk (optional)
Granulated sugar to roll cookies in at the end.

Directions
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in the soaked flaxmeal, grapeseed oil, unsulfured molasses, and processed ginger. My mixture was a touch dry, so I added a splash of rice milk until it came together nicely. Next, roll teaspoon size balls of batter in granulated sugar, flatten balls slightly, and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 13 minutes. Cool slightly. These are delicious still warm!
Yields approximately 30 cookies.

My kids loved to eat the cookies and the batter. Have I mentioned how much I love vegan batter??

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Wild Rice Stuffing with Mushrooms, Pepitas and Dried Cranberries

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Who doesn’t love stuffing? This Thanksgiving, I’m trying it two ways. Our cornbread stuffing will be gluten, egg, and dairy free, but will have chicken broth and giblets.  Our wild rice stuffing will be vegan!

This wild rice stuffing was pretty easy to make, and I prepared it as a weekday meal stuffed in the hollow of a baked acorn squash. This could easily be a side for so many dishes in the fall!

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Ingredients:
1 cup dry wild rice
2-3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon Earth Balance original spread or olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped. I used baby bella and shitake
A large handful of dried cranberries, to taste (the more, the sweeter)
A large handful of pepitas, to taste (the more, the crunchier) (if you can eat nuts, pecans would go well here)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook wild rice according to package directions, substituting the low sodium vegetable broth for water. Saute onion and celery in Earth Balance spread or olive oil until they are soft and onions are translucent, about 8-10 minutes, being careful not to brown any of the veggies.  Salt and pepper to taste. Add the mushrooms next, and continue to saute an additional few minutes until mushrooms are cooked. Add cranberries and pepitas next, turning heat to low. An important note, any salt you add will take moisture out of the mushrooms, so a little will go a long way here.

Mix the rice in last, once it’s done. It’s ok if a little bit of the liquid remains. Stuff your favorite fall squash, or use as a side. If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can also stuff a turkey!

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Family reaction: I personally love it and want to make it again. My husband, sadly, does not like mushrooms and was not thrilled.  He loved the combo of wild rice and cranberries though, and he did not like the added pepitas for crunch. Mind you, they’re not nearly as crunchy as pecans, which I often see in this type of recipe.
My son didn’t like it either, and my daughter never eats food all combined like this. She likes them to be separate.  My son did love the acorn squash that I stuffed it in, so that was a win! Look on the positive side, I guess!