This year, my family decided that they wanted to go Gluten Free. The decision for them, was spurned after reading Grain Brain and Wheat Belly. Although, I didn’t decide to jump head first into being 100% gluten free, I now am open to experimenting with gluten free options and recipes. The biggest concern I had was when I was asked, “What will be on the menu for Thanksgiving, now that we are gluten free?” My father placed in charge of Thanksgiving Dinner after last year’s performance, so now I was stuck figuring out what I could do to create the same reaction to last year’s gluten packed Thanksgiving meal. But I gladly accepted the challenge and was pleasantly surprised with the meal.
This year’s menu included Herb & White Wine Roasted Turkey Breasts, Sautéed Green Beans with Caramelized Onions, Maple Pecan & Bacon Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Mango Chicken Sausage Stuffing, Loaded Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole, & Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce.
I will share recipes for all of the sides that we made, as the turkey unfortunately was just a random throwing in of wine, fresh herbs, spices, and chicken stock. But we did opt for 2 boneless organic turkey breasts (4 pounds each) instead of the full turkey. It was crazy that 1 breast served 9 people without any issues, so now I am trying to figure out what recipes we can use for the next few day (stay tuned for that).
Maple Pecan & Bacon Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- 4 Medium Sweet Potatoes, diced & parboiled
- 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
- 6 Pieces of Bacon, crumbled
- 3 Tbsp of Bacon Grease (saved from 6 pieces of bacon)
- ¼ cup of pecans
- 3 Dashes of Cinnamon
- 1 Dash of Paprika
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Peel, Dice and place sweet potatoes into a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- While sweet potatoes are parboiling, dice uncooked bacon into small pieces and fry on high heat. As the bacon releases the grease, drain into bowl. Do not throw the grease away.
- Once the bacon is drained, remove from pan onto a plate with a paper towel to finish draining.
- Add sweet potatoes, bacon crumbles, bacon grease, pecans to a baking dish and mix until sweet potatoes are covered with grease.
- Drizzle maple syrup onto the potatoes and sprinkle cinnamon, paprika, and salt and pepper (to taste).
- Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir, and bake for another 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Mango Chicken Sausage Stuffing
- 1 loaf of Gluten Free Bread, cubed
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 pound bulk chicken sausage, removed from casing
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped or grated
- 1/2 cup of green onions, diced
- 3 Stalks of Celery, chopped
- 2 cups turkey stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- Salt, Pepper, Paprika, and other spices
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Dice gluten free bread into 1 inch cubes and place into a bowl. Add 1 tbsp of poultry seasoning, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix with hands and spread on baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden and slightly dried out, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- In a large skilled, melt remaining butter and add sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Add onions and celery to the pan and cook until tender, additional 7-10 minutes. Transfer mixture to the large bowl.
- Add bread crumbs, remaining poultry seasoning, eggs, and stock to the bowl and mix together (you can use your hands).
- Add some salt, pepper and any other spices that you may want to add.
- Place into a buttered 9×13 baking dish, lightly cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
Loaded Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
- 2 lbs cauliflower florets
- 1 Medium onion, diced and sauteed
- 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 bunches green onions, sliced (1½ cups),
- 6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- Season to taste – salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Steam the cauliflower florets and roughly chop, set aside.
- Fry 6 pieces of bacon into a pan, drain the fat (especially if you are going to use it for the Maple Pecan & Bacon Glazed Sweet Potatoes). Crumble up bacon and set aside.
- In the same pan as the bacon, sauté the onions. You can add some additional oil or butter if need.
- In a saucepan, onions, add cream cheese, 6oz of Cheddar Cheese, 6oz of Monterey Jack Cheese, heavy cream, and garlic and cook on medium heat until the mixture is melted and combined.
- Once the mixture is combined, add the cauliflower, bacon, and green onions.
- Add salt, pepper, etc until you have the desired flavor you are looking for.
- Pour into a casserole dish and cover with remaining shredded cheese and green onions.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and broil for 3 minutes or until top is browned.
Sauteed Green Beans with Caramelized Onions
- 2 pounds haricots verts or slender green beans, trimmed
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp of lemon zest
- In a pot, add water and salt and bring to a boil. Add green beans to pot and boil for 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. (You can steam as well).
- Slice onion lengthwise and melt butter and onions into a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan and sauté for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium-low, salute until onions are tender and brown, about 20 minute.
- Sprinkle onions with salt, pepper, and add garlic.
- Add in green beans and raise heat back to medium-high. Salute until beans are heated through, about 6 – 8 minutes.
- Add lemon zest and mix until distributed.
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
- 12oz of fresh cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup of water
- Juice of ½ orange
- ½ teaspoon of grated ginger
- 1-2 tablespoon of honey
- Add cranberries, water, sugar, ginger and orange juice to a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until water is evaporated and to desired consistency, about 10 minutes.
- Once at the desired consistency, add honey to sweeten the sauce to your liking.
- Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
BONUS RECIPE – Gluten Free & Refined Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie
- 1 ¾ Cup of Pumpkin Puree
- 3 Eggs
- 2/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
- 3 Teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup of crushed almonds (or mix of pecans and almonds)
- 3 Tbsp of Melted Coconut Oil
- 3 Tbsp of Maple Syrup
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine Almonds, coconut oil, and maple syrup to food processor, mix until even consistency. Spread mixture into the bottom of a pie dish to form the bottom of the crust.
- Combine Puree, Eggs, Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, Salt, and Vanilla Extract and Pumpkin Pie Spice into a bowl until evenly mixed. Spoon mixture into pie pan on top of almond crust.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the pie is firm.
- Let cool and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream with a dusting of cinnamon.