Thursday, November 28, 2013

My 2nd Wheat/Grain/Sugar Free Thanksgiving Dinner 2nd wheat, grain and sugar free Thanksgiving has almost come to a close. We had a wonderful dinner and I enjoyed it even more than I did last year's. Preparing a wheat-free Thanksgiving dinner last year seemed more daunting...but this year it was a breeze. I ate as good, if not better, than any Thanksgiving dinner I've ever eaten in the past...roast turkey, mashed cauliflower, cheesy squash casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, fresh cranberry orange walnut sauce...and biscuits that I was too full to eat. I had a crustless rich pumpkin custard cup for dessert (a cross between cheesecake and pumpkin pie). I snapped a few photos of my dinner below so you can see how deprived I wasn't! I hope everyone had a great day with family and friends. Enjoy!

Roast turkey, mashed cauliflower, green bean casserole, stuffing, cheesy squash casserole and fresh cranberry orange walnut sauce...100% wheat/grain/sugar free!


CyberSis said...


What a gorgeous table and dining room. The bountiful plate is no slouch, either! When we arrived back home this evening, I whipped up your crustless pumpkin pie which we enjoyed a little later. It was wonderful! :-)

I kind of miss preparing Thanksgiving dinner so if I can find a nice *small* turkey somewhere I just might do that one of these days soon! I saw some nice organic roasting chickens, but that's not turkey, is it!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, CyberSis! Glad you liked the crustless pumpkin pie, too! I know what you mean about missing preparing Thanksgiving dinner...although it would be nice at times not to have to...but I think I would feel strange not doing it, too. Even if you just roasted a could make a mini- Thanksgiving dinner and make your most favorite sides. Oh -- when I made the crustless pumpkin pies this time...I added some cream cheese to it and a touch of maple extract -- it made it sort of a cross between pumpkin pie and cheesecake but more a richer pie. Also, the cranberry sauce this time I used water (instead of orange juice)...kept the orange zest and walnuts but added some unsweetened coconut to it too, which gave it some nice crunch and texture...and added a bit more liquid because the coconut sucked up some liquid. :-)

Betty said...

Hi GGC. I'm looking forward to trying your turkey dinner for Christmas. However, I can't imagine not having any gravy (I noticed there was none on your plate??). Have you found a suitable thickener for gravies and stews? I've been experimenting, but haven't found the right one yet. Any ideas?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Betty -- the main reason there was none on my plate is that I am not a gravy fan, believe it or not and have never been. I don't mind "au jus" juices on top of a roast, etc. but for whatever reason...even in my wheat-eating days, you wouldn't have found gravy on my plate. I will experiment with some because it would be better for my family (that loves gravy) to eat wheat/grain free gravy. They still eat that stuff but I am inserting more and more grain free foods into our holiday meals. Have you tried using a little arrowroot powder yet? I wouldn't use large quantities (like for baking)...but a few teaspoons would not be bad carb-wise at all. I will experiment a bit with both xanthum gum and arrowroot to see how they work. I know some use coconut flour but I'm not a big fan of coconut flavor in my savory dishes -- but if it doesn't bother you, that might be an option. I have successfully used xanthum gum to thicken my cream of mushroom and chicken soups and to thicken the broth/gravy for chicken pot pie -- the trick is not too much and finding that fine line. Have you used that before? Let me know what you've tried thus far. :-)

CyberSis said...


Recently I tried a recipe for gravy that turned out really yummy. I made beef gravy, but I'm guessing that it should work for turkey gravy, too. The secret is our old friend, cauliflower! It makes the gravy creamy and silky smooth. Also caramelized onions add a rich and delicious flavor. (The basic recipe came from

First cook a thinly sliced onion in a tablespoon of good fat in a heavy saute pan on medium heat until onions are very soft and deep brown. Stir often and watch them so they caramelize rather than burn. Takes about 15 min.

Meanwhile steam some cauliflower florets until very soft (about 1/4 of a head.) Drain well.

Puree the cauliflower and caramelized onions together in a saucepan and add 1/2-1/3 cup of broth or juice from a roast plus 2 tablespoons butter, other good fat, or drippings from a roast. Blend well (an immersion blender is great for this.)

If gravy is too thick, add a little more broth. Season to taste with salt & pepper and keep warm. The recipe says it makes 2 cups, but it made somewhat less than that for me. I bet you could double the recipe if you want more servings.

I made one "tweak" to the recipe. I just happened to have some of your "Thick & Rich Cauliflower Mash” left over so I decided to use that in place of the plain cauliflower. Of course that has cream cheese & cream in it, so I'm sure it added even more flavor and delightful texture to the gravy.

I haven't tried this gravy with anything other than with au jus from a beef roast, but I'll bet you could use turkey fat and broth just like you would when you make "normal" gravy.

I must say, this gravy was scrumptious, even more than gravy made the "old" way with flour! It warmed up well the next day, too.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! It sounds really good -- hopefully Betty will read this, too. I have been planning to make a thickened soup using cauliflower (just haven't gotten around to making it yet) and this sounds good for use as gravy. Even easier that you used leftover already mashed cauliflower, too. I would have probably added a bit of heavy cream for body -- but the cream cheese probably did just that. I will have to make a point to try that next time I make cauliflower mash"! Thanks for that tip -- it sounds really yummy. On my blog you will see that there is a "golden cream of potato soup" that was a family favorite before going wheat/grain free...but it had potatoes and Velveeta...I have been planning to make a similar version using cauliflower in place of potatoes...and of course...real cheese! I think cauliflower is probably a very underused veggie for a lot of great things like the gravy you made! Can't wait to give it a try. :-)

CyberSis said...


I used to love cream of potato soup ... but could never get it quite as tasty as my mom's! :-) I wonder if thinned-down gravy would make a good cream soup base. But then you'd have cream of cauliflower-faux-tato soup with a cauliflower cream soup base! Lots of antioxidants in that dish, probably!

Thinned-out beef gravy might be a nice base for cream of onion soup.

I'm also thinking of trying the full-thickness gravy but *without* the caramelized onions to make "white sauce" for creamed onions, another favorite that I miss.

This is not the subject of this post, but I've been thinking about how one might make a credible "facsimile" of fruitcake. That's probably "Mission Impossible."

Well, enough of these "midnight oil" dancing sugarplums! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis -- I bet using cauliflower and cream and maybe some other items, it would be possible to make a tasty version of cream of potato soup! I may give that a try soon -- because I'm looking to make a version of the Golden version I made for many, many years -- I had found it in an old Southern Living Magazine or cookbook and tweaked it a bit. Oh...a healthier version of fruitcake would be great -- my grandmother made the best -- hers had more nuts than fruit so it wasn't sickening sweet. She made one every year and I think I was one of the few that loved it -- I would eat it for breakfast. Wow...we are really going down memory lane here! Well..hope your weather is better than ours -- it is dark and rainy and 73 here at lunch time and oppressively muggy and humid -- it is supposed to be cold here this time of year! :-)