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Thanksgiving with Allergies

Updated on November 26, 2015

Turkey is the Thanksgiving Staple

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Welcome to Our Family Thanksgiving!

Imagine if you will, a family gathering where you have to address gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free challenges, alongside a high demand for wonderful food and enjoyable atmosphere. When you see this picture, you have my family in a "nutshell." We may not be a huge family, but our Thanksgiving feast consists of seven adults, one teenager, and a very young child. In this number, we have six who must be careful on what they eat and the ingredients in each thing. It can be very daunting! This is why I wanted to share a post as I wait for everything to finish cooking.

Thanksgiving is a day when we all take the time to reflect on all the blessings we are thankful for and spending time with the family. In our family, the sad truth is, we are more thankful for the opportunity to sit down, spend time together, and actually have the opportunity to consume a wonderful meal where there is no fear of some type of allergen lurking in the foods prepared. We struggle so much with trying to uncover the perfect meals full of flavor where the others in the family will not have to sacrifice flavor. The following is actually a very long post, which perhaps I should have shared before today but on the positive side, maybe you can use it for another holiday or save it for next year!

I am going to pretty much provide you with the entire meal spread as we are going to be enjoying for this wonderful day and hope you can find some ideas to help alleviate the stress of having to prepare such a large meal while also making sure there are foods for those in your family to enjoy, and keeping it all full of flavor!

I also want to give an interesting suggestion which we are going to use this year, which would be a great idea for any family, including those who are not having to seek out suggestions and ideas for avoiding hidden ingredients. When you prepare your feast, make copies and pictures of each of the dishes being served and type up recipes to go with the pictures. For all the adults in the family, hand out a brochure with the pictures and recipes so they can recreate any dish which they may enjoy! And if you have a family where several people are preparing different dishes, have one person who is the "contact" for everyone who can gather all the recipes together the day before the meal to create a quick print-out.

This is so great because not only do you have something like a menu, but you also are providing information to everyone who may need to watch for certain ingredients for health reason. Alongside this, there is not a shuffle to share recipes during or after the meal. Instead, it can be a real family time! If you have the chance, take pictures during and throughout and use a service like Shutterfly to create a photo album everyone could order that has the memories as well as the recipes in a hardback book to order after Thanksgiving! Here you have a wonderful book with memories and even the recipes that you share!

Star of the Show

The Main Dish

During Thanksgiving, the "star-of-the-show" is alway the turkey. There are a ton of ways to create the bird and you may just be looking for something a little different this year to set it apart from the one before. Nothing wrong with this and in fact, if you are in our family, it's actually encouraged. I am 32 years old and in my life, I have yet to have the same turkey recipe two years in a row. We are always looking for new suggestions and ideas! It is why I feel the need to share this year's wonderful mix.

This year, we chose to prepare a turkey with a wonderful honey orange glaze. The original link for the basis of this recipe came from and is called Holiday Turkey with Honey Orange Glaze and while it has been shifted around a little, wanted to let you know if you prefer the original recipe, you can find it by following the blue link! However, know if you are like our family, this recipe has been altered and changed around to suit us. I will even provide links to the specific ingredients utilised to make it even easier!

Making Sure You Have Enough Time!

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 3 hours 30 min
Ready in: 4 hours
Yields: 20 Servings

You Need the Following Ingredients

  • 4 tsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 16 lb. whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1/4 c. Smart Balance, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free
  • 1/3 c. orange juice, freshly juiced from organic oranges
  • 1/3 c. Smuker's Orange Marmalade, (No gluten, dairy, soy)
  • 2 tsp. Crystal's Raw Honey
  • 1 med. Organic Orange, peeled, sectioned, and cut into bite-size pieces


  1. Remove the pan from the roaster and pre-heat to 450.
  2. Combined sage, salt, and thyme in small bowl.
  3. Rub half of the sage mixture all over the turkey, preserving the other half for later.
  4. In small pot, bring the Smart Balance, orange juice, orange marmalade, honey, and orange section to a boil on medium-high heat.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer uncovered until thickened, stirring occasionally (approximately 10 minutes on my stove).
  6. Once thickened, stir in the remaining sage, thyme and salt mix until well blended.
  7. Brush the glaze over the entire turkey.
  8. Put the rack into the insert pan and make sure the handles are up and not tucked below and place the bird in the insert pan on top of the rack. (DO NOT ADD WATER TO THE PAN!!!)
  9. Roast at 450 degrees for thirty minutes, allowing the marmalade to begin making the skin brown perfectly!
  10. After thirty minutes, reduce the temperature in the roaster to 325 degrees. (Avoid lifting the lid as this can cause the roaster to lose much of its heat!)
  11. After about 2 1/2 hours, it is time to begin checking the bird every thirty minutes to determine when it is finally done! (Final temperature for safety and doneness is 180 in the thigh and 165 in the breast. Juices should be clear, not pink)
  12. When done, remove the turkey from the roaster, tent with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes (allowing the juices to seep into the meat)!

Must Have Gravy!

Next Up: Brown Gravy!

Okay, so when you prepare Thanksgiving, at least one, if not the entire family, wants brown gravy either for the turkey or the mashed potatoes, or something. Since I am having a difficult time setting up a list of recipes on this post, bear with my alternations to make sure I can share everything!

This will take approximately 2-3 minutes to prep and less than 10 (depending on the stove) to prepare.



  1. In a small pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Once melted, add rice flour and whisk until a paste forms.
  3. Continue whisking until paste turns light beige, about 2-3 minutes, depending on the oven.
  4. In a slow and steady stream whisk in the turkey stock.
  5. Continue to whisk until gravy is thickened and begins to bubble.
  6. Ready to serve.

NOTE: If the gravy is too thick, add more stock.

Next, Stuffing!

What's Thanksgiving Without Stuffing?

Okay, so we have the turkey and the gravy, now it is time to looking into the stuffing! You can "stuff" your turkey once it is prepared, but for our family, we just place the stuffing in a bowl and serve. Saves on time and ensures everyone knows where to find it on the table!

Takes approximately 20 minutes to prep and 50 minutes to cook for a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes and makes approximately 8-10 servings.

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Stuffing


  • 1 lb. loaf of gluten-free bread (we choose Rudi's)
  • 3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 tsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 c. turkey stock
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 3 qt. baking dish.
  3. Cut bread into cubes, approximately 3/4-in squares and spread on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, took about 15 minutes in my oven.
  5. In large skillet over medium heat, begin heating up the olive oil.
  6. Stir in onions and celery, cooking until soft (approximately 8 minutes).
  7. Then add the sage, thyme, salt, and black pepper.
  8. Mix in the bread crumbs, turkey stock, and eggs.
  9. Spoon dressing into the prepared baking dish and cover.
  10. Bake in over for additional 30 minutes, then uncover.
  11. Once uncovered bake until the top is lightly brown and crisp (approximately 12 more minutes).
  12. Serve.

Next Up: Mashed Potatoes

Now Its Time For Potatoes!

Most enjoy some mashed potatoes with their Thanksgiving meal, but when you are having to be cautious because of food allergies, it's time to work and adapt any recipes to be suitable for those hoping to delve into this wonderful dish and that is why I want to include this recipe in my list of our Thanksgiving Recipes!

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

Between prep and completion, takes approximately 30 minutes and provides 8 servings. I will note as I do not have to abide by the soy-free restrictions, I alerted others that the cream cheese has got a non-gmo soy base in it so they knew to avoid. If you want to go completely soy, gluten and dairy free simply follow this recipe and instead of the cream cheese, use a turkey or chicken stock. They do amazingly well!


  • 4 large potatoes, quartered (approx. 3 lbs.)
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. diary free cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 c. Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Fresh Chives, diced (For garnishing)


  1. Place potatoes and onion in large saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Reduce, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, you are wanting them to become tender.
  4. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
  5. Add cream cheese, milk, salt, and per pepper.
  6. Beat until fluffy.
  7. Time to serve.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

My family produces many of our own fruits and vegetables from gardening. As such, sweet potatoes are something we have in abundance. Recognizing this, we cannot enjoy Thanksgiving without some type of sweet potato dish. Meet this year's choice!

Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

This dish take approximately 1 1/2 hours to prepare and bake and produces 8 servings!


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 gala apples, cored and diced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime
  • 1 tbsp. Agave nectar
  • 4 tbsp. non-dairy butter


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with salt.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and apples.
  5. Pour lime juice over the apples and sweet potatoes.
  6. Mix all these ingredients together.
  7. Combine agave and 2 tbsp. of melted butter, then toss with the sweet potato and apple mixture.
  8. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  9. Cover dish with foil and place in the oven.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes, the remove the foil and brush the top with remaining melted butter.
  11. Bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the top and edges are brown. brushing with melted butter every 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10-15 minutes.
  13. Serve!

Minus a Few Additions, The Main Meal is Complete!

I am actually going to begin closing up the post here. I have not included dessert as this will be the second post, and most likely come tomorrow. Not only this, but a lot of people are probably wondering about the bread that is served with the meal. In truth, I posted the only recipe I know we are using yesterday in my Gluten Free Special Pumpkin Bread post and figured I did not need to include this twice. Not only that but also waiting on the completion for a dinner roll recipe we will be serving and don't want to guess at how it was made. Hopefully, I can edit this post tomorrow to include that!

Having said all this, may you each have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!


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