Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Gluten-Free Southern Thanksgiving Feast and Lesson

The anxiety of being at the precipice of the Holiday season with Thanksgiving right around the corner is stewing below the surface for most of our followers. This anxiety is due to family reunions and pot luck dinners with questionable preparation and ingredients. We used to be right there among those with anxieties, until just a couple years ago when we moved to the mountains of North Carolina.

For 4 years after Doodle's diagnosis, I prepared and carted a separate meal to each of our Holiday get-togethers. It was doable with a lot of planning and extra work. When we made the move, it finally gave me the chance to use distance as an excuse to not have to pack up a full meal. Understanding the meaning of having a Holiday meal without stress and worry of cross contamination is truly wonderful.

The move also allowed for me to focus on not only eating gluten-free, but eating organic and clean. No longer did I have to worry if the turkey that was chosen was a mass produced fattened up bird or the cranberry sauce was out of a can. No longer did I have to upset anyone with my annoying requirements of eating closer to the vine and making things homemade, as well as with dietary restrictions. And now, I could surround myself and my daughter with people on the same mission who appreciated real food.

I got to know a butcher who could provide me with a pasture raised turkey at Rose Mountain Butcher Shoppe in West Jefferson. We now buy all of our meats, eggs, and some local produce there. I picked up some homemade canned organic cranberry sauce at my best friend's farm. While in Connecticut doing our event in October, we purchased our favorite Stuffing Mix from Aleia's Gluten Free Foods. So with a little planning, our cleaner meal has formed without the usual last minute stress.

Remember: Pinterest is a wonderful place to find recipes for your favorite oldies done with your dietary needs in place but we thought we'd share some of our Southern favorites with you here.

Southern Gluten-Free Cornbread Dressing

1 Medium pan of gluten free cornbread (not sweet) crumbled

1 box of gluten free stuffing mix from Aleia's

Toss together

Add 1 Tsp. of poultry seasoning and 1 Tbsp. of sage, salt & pepper

(Once completely mixed, taste and adjust seasoning to your liking)

4 Stalks of celery chopped

1 large onion chopped

Saute celery and onion in 1 Tbsp. of butter or oil and add to bread mixture

Add gluten free Chicken Broth to make a very wet mixture. (Depending on the amount of bread crumbs – You will need 3-4 cans of chicken broth or 1 large carton)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt 1 stick of butter in a casserole dish.

Add stuffing mixture on top of melted butter

Bake for 1 hour.

Holiday Gluten-Free Pie Crust

(Good for sweet potato and pumpkin pies)

2 1/2 cups ground pecans in food processor

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Stir together ground nuts, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix in melted butter.

Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch, deep-dish style, pie pan. Chill the unbaked crust in the refrigerator for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Fill with your pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie mixture and bake.

If pre-baking nut crust for a custard pie (like key lime or lemon):

Place pie crust on a cookie sheet, and position on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. WATCH it carefully, as nut crusts burn easily; they DON'T have to turn black to taste burnt!

Cool completely before filling.

You may use almonds to make this crust as well. You can also add about 1/2 cup of gluten free flour such as rice flour to the nut mix if you are making a potato or pumpkin pie for a more flour like texture

Sweet Potato Souffle

4 medium sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup of raw sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup of condensed milk

1/2 cup of fresh butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 cup brown sugar

1 cup of chopped pecans

1/2 cup of fresh butter

1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour

1/2 tsp of baking powder

Boil potatoes with skin on until tender. Peel and mash. Add sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 cup butter and milk. Beat eggs well and add to mixture. Add vanilla. Pour into buttered 8x8' Pyrex dish.

Mix up topping and spread mixture over top. Bake at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes.

Some people use marshmallows on top instead of topping in which case you add them when the souffle is almost done and brown the marshmallows slightly on top.

Monday, November 2, 2015

FREE Webcast Jacksonville GFAFEvent - Celiac Disease, Kefir and Gut Health, Essential Oils, Grain Free Living, & Elemental Wellness

It's the second year for the Jacksonville Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event on November 14 from 10 am - 3 pm at the Prime F Osborne III Center, and we have a fantastic lineup of presentations and vendors for you. As always, we are lucky enough to bring a pre-event webcast to you completely free of charge so you can get a preview of the incredible information that will be given at the event.

So join us right here on Thursday, Nov 5 from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (we went over by 16 minutes:) to listen in to the following speakers:

Julia McRae has been in private practice for over twenty years, as a Certified Nutritionist. She herself suffered with Ulcerative Colitis in her youth. She has been colitis free for 30 years. Her passion to see others recover bowel health is one of the primary focuses of her practice. Customized, nutrient dense protocols are designed to bring lasting digestive health. She is a frequent guest speaker at Wellness events and for private businesses. Julia remains true to her belief that bowel health is a foundation to a strong, functional immune system.

Jen Eccleston- Author of the blog “my BIG FAT grain free life” and owner of Jen Tilly Tea. Using humor and quite frankly, crybaby moments, she seeks to deal with food allergies, bowel health and autoimmune disease while retaining her belief that allergen free food really CAN taste delicious. Along the journey, Jen learned the important role probiotics play in overall health. After learning to make water kefir from a health conscious friend, Jen found herself and her family addicted to the delicious drink, and, just to make things weirder, she named her kefir grains. She now operates blue bottle bootlegger, hosting classes on the benefits of water kefir, including demos and tastings and allowing attendees to meet the offspring of "Squishy".

Jennifer Cuevas- The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet supports delicious eating that is gluten, grain, soy, and poultry free. Jen Cuevas experienced her own journey to wellness by eating this way, and desires to share the message that life can still be delicious!

Dana Martin - As she encountered more and more people with allergies and herself being diagnosed with multiple restrictions, she began to transform their restaurant recipes to fit the needs of allergic eaters. This began her work in the recipe and product development for many gluten free companies and her cooking show with her family that broadcast LIVE every week around the world. Her desire is to see each person gain optimal health thru their eating, by creating good habits, and a desire to live healthy and delicious. She wants everyone to “Come Taste and See How Good it is to be Gluten Free”

Jenna Drew - Jenna Drew has been active in Gluten Free and Celiac Disease Awareness since 2007, her most prominent event was the first annual Celiac Awareness Night with the Pittsburgh Pirates. She officially was introduced to Celiac Disease in 2007 as her mother underwent a very slow and painful diagnosis. After having a gene panel test, Jenna was surprised to learn that she inherited the gene for both Celiac Disease and Lymphoma. She began following a strict gluten free diet in 2009 after her Celiac Disease diagnosis and symptoms of needing a gluten free diet became severe through rapid weight loss, unbearable migraines and more.

Beth Mincher, CHHC, AADP - Beth is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who received her training through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She focuses on helping people achieve optimal wellness through a whole body approach that emphasizes the importance of not only diet, but other factors such as: physical activity, personal relationships, career, emotional wellness, lifestyle, prevention and the use of natural therapies.