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Gluten-free holiday tips and tricks

Posted at 10:09 AM, Oct 21, 2014

For those who are sensitive to gluten, have celiac disease or are avoiding gluten to help weight loss, holiday dinners might seem like a minefield to avoid.

But they don’t have to be.

Most holiday dinner mainstays can be made gluten-free with a just a few tweaks.

One thing to keep in mind- marinades, seasonings, broth and gravy can all contain gluten. Deceptive, right? Check the ingredients list on seasonings, and make sure to purchase an unseasoned, fresh turkey.

To thicken gravy and keep it gluten-free, stir a few tablespoons of rice flour in with the natural juices from the bird as it cooks.

For stuffing, follow the standby family recipe and substitute gluten-free cornbread or gluten-free bread cubes for regular bread.

For pie crust, try gluten-free hard cookies, such as gingersnaps. Process them into crumbs using a food processor, and combine with butter to make a classic crumb crust. Want to make it vegan, too? Substitute organic coconut oil for the butter.

There is no gluten in potatoes, so mashed potatoes are game on-- as long as they are prepared from scratch. Peel potatoes, boil until soft and mash with butter and a little bit of whole milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: Most dairy products don’t contain gluten, but some with added flavoring do, so it’s important to check the ingredient list.

Whether you’re feeding a group or cooking for one, here are some gluten-free recipes to add to the mix:

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts


  • 14-16 ounce bag of Brussels Sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Chop sprouts into quarters.
  2. Place in a saucepan on medium heat and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Cook sprouts for 20-25 minutes, allowing the outer leaves to caramelize and turn brown in places. Toss occasionally.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve.


Maple-Glazed Carrots


  • 12 large carrots, peeled
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves



  1. Cut carrots into 2" lengths, then halve or quarter the pieces lengthwise so that all the carrots are in equal-size strips.
  2. Melt butter in a large heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add carrots, cover, and braise, stirring occasionally, until carrots are fork-tender, 20–30 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium, and stir in syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook for 2 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add thyme and mix well.

Serves 8. Recipe courtesy

Green Bean Casserole with Red Curry and Peanuts


  • 1 1/2 pounds haricots verts or thin green beans
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the coconut milk, red curry paste and the cornstarch mixture until smooth. Add the sauce to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the mushrooms. Add the sauce and toss to coat thoroughly. Transfer the beans to a shallow 3-quart ceramic baking dish and sprinkle the peanuts over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes, until heated through and the peanuts are lightly golden.

Recipe courtesy Food & Wine.