My First GF Thanksgiving #healthyeating #glutenfree #

I have been gluten free for a couple of years now but this was the first time I had the opportunity to have a completely gluten free Thanksgiving.   And not only was it gluten free,  it was low carb as well!  I modified a lot of my parents recipes to healthier alternatives!
Plus,  apparently I was planning to feed an army (instead of 3) so made a plethora of food options.

image

Turkey – local brand 12 lbs
-1 stick butter inside turkey
– about 4 apples diced and put inside turkey
-a few stalks of celery diced and put inside turkey
-garlic,  salt, and pepper inside and outside to taste
-melt quarter stick butter and rub on surface of Turkey
Bake overnight for about 8 hours at about 200 and then let stay in warm oven for another 3-4 hours.
Don’t worry about reheating turkey later because the gravy will be hot!

image

Ham
*gluten free note*- check your glazes!!!
Cooked as instructions directed.
Then make a yummy homemade honey mustard sauce by mixing mayonnaise,  honey,  and mustard until u get desired consistency and desired flavor. It can chill in the fridge.

Once these two are cooked get to work on those sides!
We had a bunch so I will just run through all of them for you,  in no particular order. Plus they are all simple and healthy! 🙂

Brown sugar maple carrots

image

These were really easy and hands down my favorite side!  Slice about a dozen carrots (if you decided to feed an army like me) and drizzle with 1/4 c maple syrup and 1/4c olive oil.  Sprinkle about 1/4 c brown sugar over carrots. Salt,  pepper, garlic,  thyme, and rosemary to taste.  Toss in the oven at 400 until carrots are soft (about 15 min)  and serve.

Homemade mashed potatoes

image

Boil potatoes until soft… We did about 5 lbs of potatoes and left the skins on.    Once soft,  drain and mash until you get desired consistency.  Do this while potatoes are still hot.   Add 2-3 cups of milk and 1 stick melted butter.    Stir until desired consistency.  If dry add more milk.   Salt, pepper,  garlic,  and rosemary to taste.

Maple cinnamon sweet potatoes

image

This is a much healthier alternative to yams w marshmallows!  I diced about 5-6 sweet potatoes and tossed them with 1/4 c olive oil,  1/4 c maple syrup,  salt,  pepper,  and sprinkle with cinnamon.   Sprinkle with about 1/4 c brown sugar if you really want it sweet,  if not,  leave it out.
Throw it in the oven and bake at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Glutino  gf stuffing
This one really doesn’t look as good as it tastes but it is very good.    We were cooking so much that this was really the best alternative for us.

image

Just follow the very simple instructions on the back.    Don’t forget to use the turkey juices in place of chicken broth and also the celery and apples from the turkey for extra yummyness!

Parmesean baked Potato,  squash and onion casserole

image

So this isn’t really a casserole but I couldn’t think of a better name for it,  so I’m calling it a casserole haha.
This is just slices potatoes,  onions,  and squash that were laid out in a pan,  drizzled in olive oil, topped with Parmesean cheese, seasoned with salt,  pepper,  garlic, and rosemary and tossed in the oven. Bake at 400 for 30-45 min until all are tender (particularly the potatoes).
Toss some more Parmesean on top and serve.

Green bean casserole
Apparently I forgot to take a picture of this in my Thanksgiving zest but let me tell you how we made it gluten free.   We cut onions and made onion rings using a gluten free seasoning flour mix we found.   You coat the onion in egg then in the mix and put them on a cookie sheet.   When done crusting,  toss in the oven for about 15-20 min at about 325.  You want the onions to be fully cooked but not burnt.
Then we mixed a can of gluten free cream of mushroom into 2 bags if frozen green beans and salt and peppered to taste.   Then tossed I the oven for about 15 min at 350 degrees. In the meantime,  cut the onion rings into smaller pieces. Then remove dish from oven and top with the onion rings.  Put back in oven for another 5 min or so.  Then remove and serve.
*warning,  the onion rings on top should be kept separate because they will not keep well of they remain in casserole. *

I bought gluten free rolls from a local gluten free bakery.

image

You know you’re from Texas when your Thanksgiving menu includes jalapeño poppers!!  But they were so yum!

image

Slice jalapeño peppers into 4 pieces.  If you are a heat wimp,  discard seeds.   If you are a heat seeker,  add the seeds to your filling mix.   In a bowl,  mix equal parts cream cheese and sour cream and place into popper.   In another bowl break one or two eggs and a splash of milk and stir. And in a third bowl,  have your gf flour coating mix.   Coat the popper in the egg mix  and then in the flour mix.  Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 15 min.   Watch for browning.

The infamous Thanksgiving ‘soup’  as well call it.
Aka,  the gravy!

image

Boil some eggs in advance until they are hard boiled,  then peel and slice into small chunks.   Set aside.   Then take the giblets and neck and cut them up and boil them to get all the juices.   Add the turkey drippings and 1-2 c of corn starch into a skillet over low medium heat.   Continue to stir until begins to thicken.   Salt, pepper,  garlic to taste.  Let sit for a few minutes once nears desired thickness.    As it sits it will continue to thicken.    Then just before serving,  add the egg.   Do not stir after as it will cause the egg to fall apart.  Serve over mashed potatoes, Turkey, stuffing or as some people have been known to do,  eat it as a soup (I wouldn’t actually recommend this seeing as it is a gravy but to each his own).

Before I show you the finished product,  let’s talk drinks and desserts!

Cranberry spritzer

image

So this is just 1 bottle of sparkling cider,  1 3-L sprite,  and 2 bottle of Cranberry juice.   Then for color and ice,  add a frozen bag of cranberries in.    Let me warn you on two counts… If you are like me and don’t have much of a sweet tooth,  you will only be able to drink one glass and I recommend having tea or water on hand as your actual beverage. However,  if you say the sweeter,  the better,  the new this drink won’t last long in your company as it is very good.

And now for desserts:

image

we did the Apple a couple days before and froze it and the pumpkin the day of.
For the pumpkin,  just follow the directions on the can  but use a gluten free crust.   For the Apple,  we made a healthy alternative.    We got a bag of about 5 lbs of apples and ground 1/3 of them into an applesauce and diced another 1/3.   We then layered these into the gluten free crust.  Add about 1/4 c brown sugar to top.  Then slice the remaining 1/3 into pretty slices to layer on top.  You can freeze at this point. Just before you bake,  add a bit more brown sugar to the top of the apples and a pat of butter to keep them from browning too much. Bake for about 30 – 45 min or until it is warm throughout and the pie center is not real jiggly. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

The results of all our hard work :

image

image

image

And there you have it!  A full blown,  healthy,  decadent and gluten free Thanksgiving dinner!!!

Advertisements

Au Natural Thanksgiving Window decorations! #nature #DIY #supereasy

So I needed something to decorate my windows for Thanksgiving, but being a poor college student (and also time crunched) I needed to come up with something easy and cheap.  Well, one day on the way home I came across the hugest leaves outside my complex and had a great idea! Use them as décor!

20141115_145607

You will need:

leaves

clear coat spray paint

books

well ventilated area

drop cloth (or trash bag- something to keep the spray paint from getting everywhere)

scotch tape

cardboard

scissors

construction paper

pencil

black pen

glue stick

1) okay so first, gather some leaves

2) mine were all wrinkled so I laid them under a bunch of books for a night

3) clear coat one side of all the leaves and let dry

4) flip them over and clear coat the other side and let dry

5) write out Happy Thanksgiving using alternating colors of construction paper

6) then cut them out

7) cut cardboard to size

8) glue letters onto cardboard with glue stick

9) outline all letters with black marker

10) tape all onto window

and viola! a simple all natural window decoration!

‘Missing you’ Thanksgiving tree

I made this because as a student,  I won’t be able to be home for Thanksgiving, so i was missing the family tradition of gathering for a large dinner w friends and family.    So,  since I am making my own Thanksgiving dinner this year (my brother will be joining me though!)  I decided to pay tribute to all my family so when we sit down to eat,  they are there with us.

image

You will need:
Newspaper
Construction paper
Pencil
Scisskrs
black marker
Scotch tape
3M mounting tape

1) trave leaves on construction paper
2) cut them out
3) write names of family and friends in black marker
4) roll up newspaper into various sizes- planning for a thicker base and thinner,  smaller branches

image

image

5) secure with scotch tape
6) add some strips of mounting tape to each

image

and start building your tree on the wall.    Remember to keep the base thick and the branches thinner.   Also don’t put them in perfectly straight lines.

image

7)  add leaves to each branch
8) make a statement sign,  like mine that says this is a missing tree…  I just traced my hand to make a turkey and added a beak and red gobbler and glued it to another piece of paper and wrote missing tree on it.

image

And viola.