Wednesday, November 28, 2012

my gluten free thanksgiving

trying out this low fodmap diet has been really interesting. for one, you learn a lot about the ingredients that go into common foods (like onion and garlic which appear in everything). you also learn a lot about foods you used to eat all the time that may have been making you feel ill (like hummus, edamame and wheat). you also get to try a lot of new foods in order to find things that are suitable on a low fodmap diet (i have yet to find a decent substitute for apples. i'm convinced one doesn't exist. an orange just isn't the same as a crunchy, juicy apple!). one of the biggest shockers (and maybe it shouldn't have been) is that wheat is a high fodmap food, meaning it's something i should try and avoid. 

it's pretty damn hard to avoid wheat.

what makes it easier is going gluten free, as gluten free foods lack wheat and thus are safe on a low fodmap diet.

the thought of being gluten free nearly sent my pasta-loving, italian boyfriend over the edge. but he's a great guy and supportive at that, so we've been experimenting with various gluten free foods over the past fews weeks; non-wheat pastas, breads, cookies and beer. the good news is, it is a lot easier to find gluten free foods in grocery stores than it was five years ago. i'm even making a giant food comparison by store spreadsheet (comparing prices at different grocery stores of gluten free and dairy free products) - i'll share someday when it's complete!

anyway, i was fearful that my gluten free diet would ruin thanksgiving and thus ruin any thought of fun food-related traditions for years to come. thankfully, that did not happen and i'm happy to report i survived thanksgiving gluten free (and low fodmap approved) and actually enjoyed it!

my secret?

i prepared a lot of the dishes myself (and i wasn't even hosting)! the best way to know you'll have food you can eat at an event is to prepare it yourself. and it is certainly acceptable to explain to the host why.

so here's what i made:

1) gluten free, 95% dairy free pumpkin pie

this most amazing pumpkin pie, ever

holy crap. i never thought this pumpkin pie would turn out as well as it did! it was hands down the best pumpkin pie i've ever had (and that's saying a lot because my momma makes some good pumpkin pie). i made my own sweetened condensed milk by boiling down almond milk to make the filling dairy free (this took two stinkin' hours per pie, by the way). i bought a gluten-free pie crust at whole foods, and it tasted like butter. butter crust + pumpkin filling = so yummy. as if i haven't made myself clear yet, the pumpkin pie was a huge success. ;)

2) gluten free stuffing

stuffing is my favorite dish at thanksgiving. screw the turkey. i'll pass on the potatoes. gimme a big ole bowl of stove top. well, not this year :( so i had to suck up my sorrows and i made glutino's gluten free stuffing. to keep the stuffing low fodmap, i added in parsnips, carrots and mushrooms as the vegetables (instead of onion and celery). as prepared, this stuffing is pretty high in calories, but it turned out really good and is especially delicious as leftovers. 

3) burbon-maple sweet potatoes & squash

i can't find a picture of this, but the recipe was such a hit at the three thanksgivings i attended that i will most likely type the recipe up and put it on my blog at some point. i made a sweet potato dish because i wanted to be able to eat sweet potatoes without having them loaded with butter or marshmellows, and i needed to keep side dishes low fodmap. my recipe consisted mostly of maple syrup, brown sugar and burbon whiskey, which is all low fodmap and very tasty.

so there you have it. the few things i made to keep thanksgiving a delightful holiday, full belly and all. what are some of your favorite thanksgiving dishes? have you modified dishes at holiday events to suit your diet needs?


  1. I was having tons of stomach problems, and finally did an elimination diet. Now I always say I'm on a "gluten-reduced" diet. I can have a little gluten without any problems, but if I have an italian meal, it really upsets my tummy! It is sometimes awkward going to events with food, because you don't want to make others accommodate your diet, but at the same time, you want to stick with it! I actually often just eat what I'm given, and have a tummy ache the next day!

    1. Some events are easier than others, that's for sure. I also try and eat beforehand, which isn't always fun, but at least I know I'll save myself a stomach ache, and can usually find some small sides to nibble on at the event!

  2. This year was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian, so I took a vegetarian stuffing to dinner. I was able to eat most things at the meal, which was good, but I'll probably make a couple of dishes instead of just one next year.

    It's great you have been able to come up with some good alternatives to your regular foods to help you feel better.

    1. How did you do without turkey? I'm not sure I could go without a tiny nibble. We'll have to swap recipe ideas next year!


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