Tag Archives: make-ahead thanksgiving

Gluten-Free Holiday: Thanksgiving Favorites – Vegan Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

This week’s Gluten-Free Holiday is all about Thanksgiving Favorites, and is hosted by Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily. Shirley is sharing a delicious no-fail pie crust over at Gluten-Free Easily, and is giving away multiple copies of two amazing books. Just look at how awesome this pie crust is. And no rolling of the dough. I love Shirley for her super-simple recipes! Definitely check it out. She also shares other amazing Thanksgiving recipes and tips that are sure to make your big day easier!

photo courtesy of Shirley Braden of Gluten-Free Easily

 

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

 

But first, let me share with you about a new-and-improved version of a Thanksgiving favorite in our home. As much as I love to experiment with recipes, sometimes (at least, with our family), Thanksgiving isn’t the time to spring a “new” version of a favorite. At least, not with everyone. And if it’s a variation, it still has to have the “feel” of the original dish, or else I might risk someone missing out on their once-a-year comfort foods. My broccoli cheese rice casserole is one such dish. I’m sure you’ve heard of the dish before; it ranks up there with green bean casserole in popularity around this time of year. And traditionally, it’s a dish filled with processed ingredients – a can of cream of mushroom soup, some processed cheese food, and frozen broccoli. In years past, I improved the dish (and made it gluten-free) by replacing the canned soup with a homemade mushroom soup. Everyone loved the depth of flavor that soup provided, and I couldn’t make anything else but that dish.

Fast forward to this year. This is my first dairy-free Thanksgiving. I knew I would be making a broccoli cheese rice casserole regardless, but I truly wanted to partake in the dish as well. In the back of my mind, I knew that if my dairy-free version failed, I’d concede and make the processed-cheese version. But I had to try to make it gluten-free and vegan, and make it taste good enough to please the dairy-eaters at the Thanksgiving table. Making a dairy-free “cream” of mushroom soup would be pretty easy. But a dairy-free version of the famous processed cheese? How would I go about accomplishing that?

This is when I remembered a post on The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Ali was reviewing Alisa Fleming’s book, Go Dairy Free, and she posted a recipe for dairy-free nacho cheese sauce. I’d made it before (for nachos), and it was quite tasty. I opted to try it as an “unprocessed” processed cheese substitute. And to my delight, it worked! The casserole was so similar in texture and taste, I was delighted. When Matt came into the kitchen, the casserole caught his eye, and he asked for a bite. Of course, I indulged him, and he loved it. My husband exclaimed that if I hadn’t told him it was dairy-free, he wouldn’t have known the difference. It was tasty. My switcharoo had worked!

So while this is no longer an easy “dump-and-go” recipe, it is much improved from the preservative-laden, gluten and dairy-filled version of the original casserole. (Besides, in my mind, Thanksgiving is a time to share dishes that might take a bit more labor in the name of love!) A hint – the soup and the cheese sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen. Just thaw and use in the recipe as usual. Also, the casserole can be assembled and refrigerated overnight, keeping the actual work on Thanksgiving day to a minimum. This is my plan, as I also am in charge of the turkey (I use Alton Brown’s Good Eats turkey recipe every year – it is always so moist and delicious, I hesitate to want to change!) and a myriad of other gluten-free dishes!

What are some of your gluten-free Thanksgiving favorites? What will you make this year? Visit over at Gluten-Free Easily and share, and enter for a chance to win these amazing cookbooks:Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O’Dea

and The Spunky Coconut Cookbook by Kelly V. Brozyna

 To enter, head on over to Gluten-Free Easily and check it out!

 

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

 ¼ c Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread (or grapeseed oil)

½ c chopped yellow onion

16 oz frozen chopped broccoli

1 c vegan “condensed” cream of mushroom soup (recipe follows)

1 ¼ c vegan nacho “cheese”

2 c cooked long-grain rice (I used Basmati)

¼ t celery salt

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 c Daiya cheese (or other non-dairy cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt buttery spread in a large sauté pan at medium meat. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add broccoli and sauté, stirring occasionally, until no longer frozen. Add soup, nacho cheese, and rice. Stir and allow to warm through. Add celery salt, salt, and pepper to taste. Transfer to an 8X8 baking dish. Sprinkle with Daiya cheese. (can be made ahead and refrigerated at this point, just cover with plastic wrap.)

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

 

Vegan “Condensed” Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 T grapeseed oil

¾ c chopped shallots

1 lbs white mushrooms, sliced

1 lbs crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 t fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 c cream sherry

3 T potato starch

1 c vegetable broth

½ c almond milk

¼ t freshly ground nutmeg

Juice of ½ lemon

In a large saucepan, heat oil to medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add mushrooms and thyme leaves, and sauté for 7-8 minutes or until mushrooms release their juices and get soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add sherry and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices are nearly all evaporated. Add potato starch and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add broth and stir. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup using a stick blender (or puree in batches using a regular blender), and place back over heat. Add almond milk, nutmeg, and lemon juice and stir well. Season to taste with salt as needed.

(For a regular, non-condensed soup, add an additional 2-3 cups of broth)

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Rice, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Make-Ahead (Gluten-Free) Turkey Gravy and Stuffing for Holiday Food Fest

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The theme for this week’s Holiday Food Fest is Fall Dishes. If you have a favorite fall or Thanksgiving dish, please link up below to share! By doing so, you’ll enter for a chance to win a Flirty Apron! But more on that in a minute.

With Thanksgiving only 2 weeks away, I’m starting to form plans for how I will successfully host yet another big dinner for our family. Many families, including ours, have a variety of people with dietary restrictions. In our family, some cannot tolerate gluten, some cannot handle corn, and some are intolerant of sugar or dairy. I’m hoping to make a few dishes that will accommodate all of these restrictions, without sacrificing flavor. And to make it easier on myself, I’m planning ahead – making these dishes now, and freezing them until the big day.

Two of my favorite dishes to make ahead are gravy and stuffing. Yes, gluten-free gravy and stuffing! Not only is it gluten-free, it’s also sugar-free and dairy-free, so everyone can indulge in these Thanksgiving comfort foods. Making them ahead makes such a crucial difference the day of the big event. Have you ever tried to frantically make the gravy, while the bird rests, you’re finishing up other dishes, and there’s just not enough space or time? This gravy simplifies the whole process, as you only have to reheat it to serve. The stuffing only has to bake, so throw it in the oven as soon as the turkey comes out. Easy peasy! Once you have these two dishes in the bag, you can focus your energy on that beautiful bird, some mashed potatoes, or maybe a vegetable or two. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait!

blue-chocolate-front-with-bow

Don’t forget to link up below for the chance to win an apron from Flirty Aprons! They sent me one to review, and it’s wonderfully well-made, machine-washable, and so cute! The straps are adjustable, so the aprons can fit any size. Absolutely the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one. Link your favorite fall or Thanksgiving recipe, and comment below letting me know you did so. If you don’t have a blog, no worries – just leave me a comment sharing your recipe! The links will be available until Wednesday, November 18, at 11:59pm CST. Please make sure you leave your email address, so I can get in touch with you if you win!

The winners for this week’s Holiday Food Fest giveaways at Hoosier Homemade are:

Pampered Chef Pie & Tart Cookbook goes to April at Gluten Free Foods Rock
 
Red Velvet Cake Candle from http://www.etsy.com/shop/countrycandles goes to Alisa at One Frugal Foodie
Please get in touch with Liz at Hoosier Homemade to claim your prize!

Don’t forget next week’s Holiday Food Fest: Gifts of Good Taste! Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt Free will be hosting, so be sure to link up your favorite edible gifts. She will be giving away a Digital Precision Pro Kitchen Scale. I’m excited about this one too! I personally love making or receiving goodies packaged as gifts – so I want to see what everyone makes!

gravy

Gluten-Free Make-Ahead Gravy, adapted from Woman’s Day

4 lbs turkey wings, or turkey wings and drumsticks

2 medium onions, sliced

1 c water

8 c chicken broth

1 chopped carrot

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/2 t thyme leaves, chopped

1 t fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 t sage leaves, chopped

1/2 c potato starch

1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put turkey wings/drumsticks in a single layer in a roasting dish; scatter onions on top. Roast for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until turkey is browned.

Put turkey and onions into a large saucepan or pot. Add water to roasting pan, stir to scrape up brown bits. Add water to saucepan. Add 6 cups of broth (refrigerate the remaining 2 cups), carrot, celery, and herbs. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove turkey and set aside. When cool, pull off skin and meat. Discard skin; reserve meat for another use. Strain broth into saucepan; skim fat off of broth.

Bring broth to a gentle boil. In a separate bowl, whisk the potato starch with the remaining 2 cups of broth until smooth. Whisk into broth, simmering 5 minutes to thicken gravy. Sprinkle pepper over, taste; add additional salt if necessary.

You can freeze gravy for up to a month. Reheat, whisking as necessary. You can even add fat-skimmed drippings from the turkey to the broth before serving. Makes 8 cups.

stuffing

Gluten-Free Stuffing, adapted from The Pioneer Woman and The Gluten-Free Homemaker

1 recipe gluten-free french bread, cubed, or about 4 cups of any cubed gluten-free bread (I used agave nectar instead of sugar in the recipe)

1/4 c olive oil

3 c butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 onion, diced

1 c celery, diced

2 c low-sodium chicken broth

2 T fresh parsley, chopped

1 t fresh rosemary needles, chopped

1/2 t sage leaves, chopped

1/2 t thyme leaves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour, or until sufficiently dried out. Place cubed bread in a large bowl.

In a large skillet, place 1 T of the olive oil. Bring to a medium heat and add butternut squash. Saute until tender, but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add remainder of oil, and add onions and celery. Saute for a few minutes more, until onions are translucent.

Add broth and herbs to the onion-celery mixture, and bring to a boil. Add butternut to bread cubes and toss. Ladle broth mixture over bread cube mixture, tossing after each ladle, tasting the whole way. Salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture isn’t quite moist enough, add more broth and toss again.

At this point, you can either place in a baking dish, or stuff your bird. If baking right away in the baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If stuffing your bird, stuff just before you are ready to roast your turkey. What did I do? I placed the stuffing in a baking dish, wrapped it tightly, and placed in the freezer to save for Thanksgiving. (I only baked a little amount just for the photo – and a taste test.) I’ll defrost in the refrigerator for a day before Thanksgiving, and bake it for 25 minutes or so in the oven, until it’s browned. Might even put some turkey drippings over and toss, just for added flavor. 

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54 Comments

Filed under Gluten-Free, Side Dishes