Sunday, November 16, 2008

A very GFCF Thanksgiving....

That's my plan anyways, a totally GFCF Thanksgiving. So I am going to post my anticipated recipes here and some warnings too.

Let's start with the main course, the bird. I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and ran into my awesome friend Abby whom I keep running into lately which is always a pleasant surprise. I was looking for Trade Joe's organic turkeys which we got last year. I left empty handed, at least on the turkey front. Some things to look out for if you are trying to keep the bad stuff out of your diets. Most (non organic) birds are "infused" with a "solution" which contains some form of MSG usually under the names of "natural flavors", "Broth" or something similar. If you want to know more about why you should avoid MSG and what to look for, scroll to the bottom and click on the MSG topic. Also, I found it disturbing that all of the turkeys they had were all fed "vegetarian feed" and no animal byproducts which is good but....their vegetarian feed consists of corn and soy, eeewww. More than likely it was GMO corn too, even bigger eeew. If you have a child on the spectrum who is sensitive to corn or soy (which is faily common) yes you need to even be aware of what the animal eats that you plan to eat, including eggs too. We are what we eat and when we eat animals fed corn and soy we also are eating corn and soy in their meat. Corn is something we have been advised by Julie Matthews to limit because of its mold content and the fact that it can be inflammatory especially if it GMO. So we skipped the turkeys and I will check at Whole Foods I guess. But don't be fooled, Trade Joe's carried 2 types of turkeys, one kosher and one not but both under the auspices of "all natural". Do not confuse that with organic, it is NOT the same.....

OK so on to the side dishes until I can find a turkey....First we shall tackle mashed potatoes. I did pick up organic potatoes from Trader Joe's. Root veggies are good to get organic. They are literally surrounded by the earth where they are grown unlike other veggies that come from the flower or crown of the plant. Going organic on those items are a good choice since they absorb so much of the toxins in the soil. I plan to go really basic, I will not be using milk (duh) but instead may thaw some chicken stock I made myself and then I will be using Ghee. Ghee is clarified butter, has a buttery taste and works just as well as butter and is GFCF compliant. I can find Ghee at Sprouts and Whole Foods. I also am wary of the commercial nut/rice milks because so many of them use either canola oil (which IS hydrogenated contrary to their ad campaigns) or soy lecithin which is a soy product. So, I will either use my own broth which does not contain MSG like almost ALL commercial broths do or I will just use some water which I have done in the past. I used to use non fat milk back when we drank milk and the two are almost the same, lol. I did not notice a big difference.

On to stuffing, my "plan" is to use the Namaste pizza crust mix. This is an AWESOME mix and one of the few bread type mixes without yeast (and it DOES rise slightly). We avoid items with yeast like the plague since we are trying to kill the overgrowth in Matthew. So, I have used this mix to make pizza crusts for him, it even has italian seasonings mixed in and smells amazing when you open the bag. You can make and freeze mini pizza crusts and when you want to use them, pull them out and pop them in the oven for about 8 more minutes with some olive oil and your toppings. Matthew loves it. My plan is to make it more into a french loaf size and then use this as my base for bread crumbs. I also plan on making some in roll form with some melted ghee brushed on them and some garlic salt. Matthew loves when I pull a crust out and brush with olive oil and garlic salt and call it "garlic bread" with his rice pasta. I think it should work well. So, you can use whatever stuffing recipe is YOUR family's favorite and just sub in this as the bread crumbs.
Veggies are easy, just sub in Ghee for butter where appropriate. We don't usually do green bean casserole so I cannot even begin to give pointers there. We do just green beans and corn and salad....
Now on to the best part, PIE! Here are the recipes I will be using this year:
The pie crust recipe comes from and it was the one I liked best based on ingredients used. Recipe Author's notes are in the ( ) except where noted as (Terri's Note).
2 1/2 cups GF Flour Blend (I like using Sorghum Chickpea Blend or All Purpose Sorghum Blend)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup palm shortening or casein free margarine alternative
1 egg, beaten, with cold water added to make 3/4 cup liquid (Terri's note - I will be using the egg sub here since Matthew is also egg free)

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles small crumbs. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add egg mixture all at once to crumb mixture. Stir with fork until large clumps form and dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should not be too wet or too dry – it should hold its shape in the palm of your hand if you form it into a ball, and it should not be very sticky. If it is too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until the dough sticks together.If the mixture is too wet, add more flour blend a tablespoon at a time until the right consistency is reached.
Place the dough onto a floured counter top (I like using sorghum flour). Knead once or twice. Cut the dough into halves. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use. Place the other half onto some floured wax paper.
Gently center your pie plate on top of the pie crust. Carefully run your hand underneath the wax paper and quickly flip the pie plate and the pie crust over so the crust sags into the pie plate. Press the dough gently into the pie plate and carefully remove the waxed paper.
Repair any tears in the dough by pressing the edges of the tears together with your finger. Trim the edges of the dough. If some of the dough falls off the sides, just reattach by pressing the pieces firmly into the crust.
For a single crust, roll the edges to make a double thickness of dough along the edge of the pie plate. Flute or crimp edges as desired (with the tines of a fork, or thumb and finger style).
If you do not need to pre-bake your crust, fill with your pie filling and bake as directed in your pie recipe.
To pre-bake your crust, generously prick the pastry with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
For a double crust pie, roll your chilled top crust the same way you rolled the bottom crust. Wet the edges of the bottom crust with a little bit of water. Then carefully slide your hand under the wax paper and flip onto your pie, being careful to center the crust on top of the pie filling.
Carefully remove the wax paper. Repair tears as needed if possible. Trim and crimp the edges, make slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape and bake as directed in your pie recipe.
*You can make the pie crust in your food processor. Place dry ingredients in the processor and pulse until combined. Add the palm shortening by tablespoonfuls and pulse until mixture looks like small crumbs. Add the liquid through the top and process until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed above.
Now on to the pie itself....This recipe seemed the closest to my mother in law's recipe which is the BEST and my husband's favorite. Some of the others I found seemed so bland and did not add in all the spices like we normally do. I found this on this site:
2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups water
6 1/2 T. corn starch
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
pie crust
*Topping (optional) (Terri's note - I will skip the toppings)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm. Remove pie from oven, sprinkle coconut topping on top. Bake 5 more minutes.
Our traditional family recipe uses condensed milk. I was going to try our recipe using coconut milk given that consistency is very similar as is its sweetness but then I found this recipe. I will give this one a try and maybe I will experiment more next year if this one doesn't work out well.
I will post the results and please share your own as well if you use some of these recipes or have new ones you try this year. It is my belief that you can make just about anything allergen free with enough trial and error! I used to make an amazing german chocolate cake frosting that was dairy free. I made my own condensed almond was just SO yummy!
So there you have it, our plan for a totally GFCF Thanksgiving. I am excited to give it a try and not worry one bit about Matthew eating something he shouldn't, what a nice change, lol. I am also going to try and experiment with making whipped cream using coconut milk. My mother in law gave us this whipped cream maker that uses CO2 cartridges and then you just add in cream. The CO2 charges it and when you pull the trigger, viola, fluffy whipped cream with no additives you don't want! There was also a whole recipe book for making mousse and other super yummy toppings and fillings. But, I am wondering how it would do with the coconut milk. That may be a great topping for the pie. Please share any additional ideas you may have! And above all, enjoy this fabulous time of year meant for sharing joy with family and friends!!!

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