Monday, November 17, 2014

Allergy-Free Thanksgiving Recipes, 2014

By Kelley Lindberg

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and if you have food allergies in your family, you’re
Yes, it's possible to have an allergy-safe Thanksgiving dinner!
probably already wondering how to make the traditional meal safer. Every year I look for new recipes that are free from the Top 8 allergens, or can be made that way with simple substitutions. So here are some recipes I’ve found this year. (And by the way, when I’m listing all the things I’m thankful for, the internet will be on that list. I can’t imagine how much harder dealing with allergies would be without the internet as a source of support, education, and recipes!) I hope this recipe round-up helps simplify your holiday cooking!

Looking for more allergy-safe Thanksgiving recipes? Check out my earlier posts: Allergy-Free Thanksgiving Recipes 2013 and Allergy-Free Thanksgiving Recipes 2012.

  • First on the menu? The turkey, of course. Turkeys, especially the self-basting kinds, are injected with solutions that make them tender. However, those solutions can harbor allergens like milk, wheat, soy, or corn. So check labels before you buy. Read the very helpful article at called “Before You Buy a Thanksgiving Turkey” for some great advice.

  • Traditional Sage Stuffing: For all you traditionalists, this version uses olive oil instead of butter and skips the eggs. Use your favorite type of bread (sandwich, French, or gluten-free bread would all work just fine). 
  • Cornbread Stuffing: I come from a long line of Texans, so I love cornbread stuffing. This recipe mixes cornbread and white or whole wheat bread, but you can substitute your favorite gluten-free bread for the white/whole wheat. (My grandmother always used crumbled white biscuits—heaven!) If you need a good cornbread recipe to use in your cornbread stuffing, try this one for Albers® Corn Bread, which I’ve been using for years. However, skip the sugar (unless you like sweet cornbread—but I prefer savory, especially for stuffing). Also, you have to make two or three substitutions: replace the egg with Ener-G egg replacer or other egg substitute, replace the milk with a safe milk, like soy or rice (I use rice milk, and it works great), and you can replace the white flour with your favorite gluten-free blend. 
  • Quinoa Sage Stuffing (Gluten-free and Vegan): Dressing without bread? You bet. This one uses quinoa instead, along with olive oil, vegetable broth, and plenty of savory herbs.

Sweet potatoes:
  • Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole: The popular way to make them is to mash them with safe margarine and spices, then top them with marshmallows. This recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole II adds 3 T of orange juice for an extra little bit of flavor.
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Not a fan of marshmallows? Try these Twice-Cooked Sweet Potatoes—the recipe is much easier than it sounds! Just fry sweet potato cubes in safe margarine, then roast them in the oven with some brown sugar, salt, and sage leaves.

  • Mashed Potatoes: Use any basic mashed potato recipe and replace the butter with a safe margarine and replace the milk or cream with rice milk or soy milk. Or, ditch the whole butter-and-cream idea completely and use chicken broth instead to flavor them. Here is the super-simple recipe from Campbell’s Kitchen for Skinny Mashed Potatoes
  • Garlic Roasted Potatoes: Simple and flavorful! 
  • Vegan Scalloped Potatoes: This recipe calls for flour and soy milk. I wonder if it would work with a gluten-free flour blend and another type of safe milk. If you try it, let me know!

  • Allergy Free Gravy: I post this recipe from every year because it’s simple and it works. It explains the steps well and you can use either regular flour or gluten-free flour. YouTube has lots of videos showing how to make turkey gravy if you’re not sure of the process.

Cranberry Sauce:
Sure, you can dump it out of the can. (And let’s be honest, we like it that way!) Or you can try these versions:
  • Traditional Cranberry Sauce: The easiest recipe is the one printed on the bag of Ocean Spray cranberries you pick up in the produce section. Water, sugar, cranberries. Boil for ten minutes, and voila! Cook it up a day ahead and refrigerate it. Perfection! 
  • Cranberry Strawberry Relish: Add in some frozen strawberries, and you’ve got something a little bit different and even more delicious. 

Green Beans:
  • There are a gazillion delicious ways to make green beans that don’t involve cream soups and French-fried onions. Here are a few:
  • Bacon-smothered Green Beans: I mean, really. Bacon-smothered. What more do you want? 
  • Green Beans with Ham: Okay, ham is good, too. 
  • Green Beanswith Caramelized Onions and Tarragon: Can’t do pork? Here’s a meatless version that looks lovely and elegant on a platter.

Pumpkin Pie:
  • It’s just not Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie on the table. So here’s a recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Pie that looks delicious! You can use a regular pastry pie crust, but I like a graham cracker pie crust for my pumpkin pies.
  • Gluten-free Pastry Pie Crust: If you need a gluten-free pie crust, try this recipe.