Monday, November 25, 2013

Easy Gluten Free Side Dishes for the Holidays

I promise to have photos soon! Keep reading for recipes and info!

So today, my dear friend, Barb, invited me to come back on her lovely TV show and talk about navigating the holidays when you are gluten free. There's lots of info about this in my cookbook (click the tab up above to order your copy). We also had a table full of holiday goodness, and I think you'll want the recipes and ideas we chatted about.

So here's the list of yummy goodies I brought to the show today, starting with the side dishes:

Green Bean Casserole
2 15-oz. cans French style green beans, 1 drained and the other one just half-drained
1 12 oz. container Pacific Natural Foods (brand) Organic Cream of Chicken condensed soup
Ree Drummond's Onion Strings recipe (I subbed out Pamela's Baking and Pancake mix for the flour)

Preheat oven to 375. In a mixing bowl, combine green beans, their juice, and soup. Stir til well combined. Pour into a 8" square baking dish or smaller casserole dish. Top with those amazingly delicious and highly addictive onion strings. And yes, they are highly addictive. Like I think I ate nearly half before I even realized it. Bake for about half an hour, just til everything is hot through and bubbly. Serve warm.

Broccoli Casserole
Very similar to the above recipe but swap in
1 16-oz. package frozen broccoli, defrosted but UNDRAINED, for the beans
and add in
dash pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup milk
1-2 cups (depending how cheesy you want it) shredded cheddar cheese (I used Sargento 4 State Cheddar)

Stir all together, and pour into your casserole as above. Top with homemade bread cubes (see below), and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, til hot through and bubbly and bread cubes are toasty. Serve warm.

If you are travelling with these dishes over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house, feel free to make them the day before and keep them in the fridge. Be sure to bring any cold casseroles up to room temperature before sticking in an oven, and I'd highly suggest starting them in a cold oven and bring up to temperature while the oven preheats. Also, wait to add the crunchy stuff til you are ready to serve. Otherwise, sogginess ensues. And that is bad. And gross. Ewww.

As for those bread cubes, take a loaf of Udi's Gluten Free bread (I use their Millet Chia). Cut it into cubes. Need it in a hurry? Stack several slices on top of each other. Cut them into quarters lengthwise, then cut them into quarters width-wise. Want your cubes smaller? Just cut them smaller. Or remove the crusts if that's what suits you. To toast them, put them on a cookie sheet. I set the sheet in the preheating oven, then let them sit for about 5-10 minutes more, depending how toasty I want them. You can toast them most of the way, toss them with some olive oil or butter and herbs if you'd like, and use them for croutons. Or use the plain cubes to make stuffing or dressing.

The cranberry salad recipe can be found here and in the cookbook.

A quick note about the veggie tray - I bought my vegetables pre-cut at the store, but I did NOT buy a vegetable tray. I bought 2 containers, and both were being marked out because they were due to expire the following day. For less than $5, I got just as many vegetables as I would have with a tray. All I had to do was sort them and place them on my own tray. I saved more than $7. If you are bringing the vegetable tray, and you will be bringing it within 24 hours, this will help save you both time AND money. Just be sure to use it up right away.

Now all those wonderful sweets!

The Walnut Saltine Toffee is in an ad for Diamond Walnuts in this month's issue of Family Circle magazine. I used Glutino (brand) Gluten Free Table Crackers (Original flavor), and then just followed the recipe as is. Well, I did use a Hershey (brand) bar instead of the chocolate chips. If you are doing any of the "let it sit and melt then spread" action this holiday season, use the Hershey bar. It takes a lot less time to melt, and it spreads like a dream. And use an offset spatula - it will make your spreading easier, like frosting a cake.

The Candy Cane Dessert Minis recipe is in an ad for Jell-o (brand) and Cool-Whip (brand) in this month's issue of All You magazine. The only thing I changed was the container. I have to add here that I would never in my life have dreamed of combining raspberry gelatin and candy canes. It is extremely refreshing. It would be good with or without the frozen non-dairy topping. That being said, it's the topping mixed into the gelatin that settles over time into the pretty layers. I used a larger canning jar on TV so that the layers would be easier to see, but you can use smaller jars, like the 4-ounce jelly jars. Or feel free to repurpose some old jelly jars. Just take the labels off with boiling water and Goo-Gone. Want to make them super fancy? Tie some inexpensive ribbon around them, or make a band with some holiday-themed scrapbooking paper. That would make a neat place card.

And by the way, below that recipe is a coupon for $1 off the combined purchase of a container of Cool-Whip (brand) and a package of Jell-o (brand). My local grocery store had the frozen whipped topping on sale for 99 cents, so basically it was free.

The Rolo Pretzel Turtles recipe came from the back of a package of Rolo's (brand). I just used Glutino (brand) Gluten Free Pretzel Twists. Everything else is gluten free. This is another one to make while that oven is preheating.

The pretty dipped graham crackers are Kinnikinnick S'moreables (brand) Graham Crackers. I used Wilton (brand) Candy Melts white chocolate melting disks. Once the white chocolate was melted, I spread it on half the cracker and dipped it into crushed candy canes. And another way to save a few bucks here is to buy your candy canes during the post-holiday sales. They'll be a fraction of the price, and they store forever. Last year I made these with dark chocolate on half, and white chocolate on the other. Whichever end you are NOT going to put in the candy canes is the side you need to do first.

The chocolate crinkles are in the cookbook, as are the MnM (brand) cookies.

Red Velvet Chip Cookies
1 package your choice of brand gluten free chocolate chip cookie mix (I've used Betty Crocker and King Arthur brands - they are both good), made per package directions
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon-ish liquid red food color (I used the whole little "bottle", which I think is about a tablespoon)
1/2 of a 12-ounce package of white chocolate baking chips

Add cocoa powder, food color and white chocolate chips to existing batter. Bake per package directions.

Be sure to check out the Christmas Dinner Menu and Plan of Attack in the book. Get your copy by clicking on the tab at the top of the page - it'll be a great holiday gift for yourself, your family and friends!

A blessed, Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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