Have an Allergy free Thanksgiving
(A repeat of my previous blog 11/15/10)
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and my kids with allergies are coming for dinner. My family is allergic to gluten, dairy, soy and eggs. The turkey will be fine, but what about the dressing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie?
Turkey: Turkeys themselves are not usually a problem for people with allergies. Some commercial turkeys have been infused with a broth that may have wheat in it. Be sure to read the label carefully or just buy a fresh turkey.
Dressing/Stuffing: My favorite way to make gluten-free dressing is to use wild rice or a mixture of wild and long grain rice as the base instead of bread. I use the drippings from the turkey combined with enough gluten-free turkey stock according to the directions to cook the rice. In another pan, in a small amount of olive oil, I sauté chopped celery, chopped water chestnuts, and a chopped medium onion. Then I add the cooked rice, dried cranberries, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and 1/4 c white wine. Everything you would use to make regular dressing except the bread crumbs. I don’t use a recipe, it all tastes good just mix it together, you can’t go wrong. If you can’t find gluten-free turkey stock, gluten-free chicken stock or a combination of chicken and beef stock work well. Or of course you can make your own.
Gravy: Do not use the prepackaged gravy that may come with the turkey or you can buy at the store, they contain wheat flour. I heat the turkey drippings with gluten-free turkey broth, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, then add tablespoon of corn starch or tapioca starch (it takes more of the tapioca) mixed with a 1/8 cup or less of cool broth or water. Hint: always mix your tapioca flour or corn starch with a tiny amount of cool broth or water before adding to the hot gravy mixture and stir constantly until mixture thickens, this help to avoid lumps. Only add a little starch mixture at first, more can be added as needed.
Mash potatoes: My family is allergic to dairy, so I use a little chicken broth for the liquid, and olive oil for the margarine. Use you favorite seasonings, the potatoes taste great and it also cuts down on calories.
Pumpkin Pie: Since my family is allergic to gluten, soy, dairy and eggs, this is a real challenge. The filling can be made using a traditional pumpkin recipe (on the back of the can) using almond milk or Coconut milk and EnerG Egg replacer instead of the usually milk and eggs. The almond milk is a little thinner than condensed milk, so it needs a little buckwheat flour or gluten-free oatmeal added to thicken it up a bit. There are gluten-free crusts available at the store, but they usually won’t work when there are other food allergies. I use crushed Rice Chex cereal instead of a graham cracker crust. One trick I love is to pour melted “Enjoy Life” semi-sweet chocolate over the crushed Rice Cereal and letting it set up, before pouring in the filling. The Rice Chex get a bit soggy if you don’t use the chocolate. As a special topping, there is a product called Rich Whip® Frozen topping, that is sold near the Coolwhip section, it has no wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, or shellfish.
Hope these hints help to make your Thanksgiving Holiday happy and uneventful allergy wise.