Navigating our First Gluten Free Thanksgiving
My son’s recent Celiac diagnosis just before the holidays has had my head spinning on how we will be navigating our first holiday season gluten free. It was very overwhelming to wrap my head around, but focusing in one day at a time has helped. I hope to share some insight as to what I am working on cooking / preparing for him. This is not perfect, nor is it all inclusive, but it is a start. It is kid focused dishes that I know he will eat. I hope to continuously share and provide insight for other moms new to the gluten free / Celiac world. I will be sure to update on how Thanksgiving goes and any pivots we make for Christmas.
My son is now 8, and his Celiac diagnose just came to us last week. So we are all new to this. As an 8 year old, his eating on Thanksgiving doesn’t include all dishes anyway. Because if it looks “different” it’s hard to get most kids to try it. He maybe actually be happy that I don’t ask him to at least try everything this year.
Since I know he loves macaroni and cheese, I am offering to bring this dish for everyone to enjoy. I often make Alton Brown’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese for holidays, so this year I am making some adjustments. Here are the changes I am making:
- Instead of regular elbow pasta, I will be using either the Barilla Gluten Free Penne Pasta or the Jovial Brown Rice Gluten Free Farfalle pasta. We have tired both before in our family already and no one has known the difference.
- Alton Brown’s recipe does call for flour, so I will be substituting sweet rice flour instead. I haven’t actually tried it yet, but it only calls for 3 Tablespoons of flour, so I don’t think it will be difficult to switch up. And everything I am reading says sweet rice flour is an easy switch for flour when making a roux consistency. I hope.
- Andlastly,I’ll just leave off the bread crumbs.
As far as I know right now, he will be able to eat the turkey with no problem. So for the gravy, I am bringing a jar of Primal Kitchen’s Classic Turkey gravy. I have used this before on other dishes and it tastes great. I realize it is not home made but this is our first go at this, so I am looking at Thanksgiving as a trial run for Christmas, all while not overwhelming myself.
We traditionally have some kind of stuffing and green bean casserole. Since he can’t eat those now, and he never really cared for them anyways, I am not pushing to replicate. Instead, I am making some roasted fresh green beans that I know he already loves and I think others will too.
So on his plate, he’ll have turkey and gravy, rice, mac and cheese, green beans, and yams.
I will try my hand at some cupcakes, but I will have some from Trader Joe’s as a back up. 😉
I am hoping to make this Thanksgiving as if everything was normal for him all while not stressing myself out too. I realize I am in this for the long haul and we are currently in the learning phase. If you are reading this, and new to the Celiac / gluten free world like me, you’ve got this Momma. I know you do.