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My favorite holiday is almost here! Thanksgiving…the day of stuffing, rolls, pies, and all sorts of gluten-ous offerings. Having given up gluten six weeks ago, I recently began to panic at the thought of making Thanksgiving dinner. (What will I cook?) I also began to mourn. (I can’t have stuffing?)

But the way my body feels and the zippier manner in which my brain functions have made me love my gluten free way of living. So with an open mind and a creative heart, I set out to put together a gluten free Thanksgiving menu that will be enjoyed by not only me, but all my dinner guests.

Here’s what’s on the menu…


You’d assume that it’s pretty easy to go gluten free with the bird, right? But that’s not necessarily the case. Depending on how the turkey is processed, it may indeed contain gluten. After some research, I ordered a Plainville turkey from Whole Foods. Organic. Free range. Antibiotic free. Gluten free. And humanely raised. If you want to eat turkey, you can’t get better than this.

I also switched up the way I cook the turkey and started using this roaster I found on Amazon. It’s a healthy way to cook the turkey and it’s super easy to clean afterward. Love!



Stuffing is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. This year, I’ll make it with four types of  Udi’s gluten free bread. Some great recipes can be found in the book, Gluten Free Cooking for Everyone: The Thanksgiving Holiday Table.


Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is hands down my husband’s favorite part of Thanksgiving. He loves making it, tasting it, and eating it for days afterward. And while I find the ingredients unappealing (condensed Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and canned green beans), I have to admit that I, too, have enjoyed the salty, creamy, oniony goo that we call green bean casserole.

My husband is steadfast against making his traditional recipe gluten free this year, so I have challenged him to a cook off. He will make his with gluten-filled Campbell’s soup and French’s onions, and I will make mine with fresh green beans, flash fried shallots, and cream (organic of course!). May the best chef win!

{Photo courtesy of intelligentgourmet.com.}

Roasted Squash & Parmesan

I had this simple but delicious dish for the first time at one of my favorite Chicago restaurants, The Purple Pig. I’ve been thinking about making it lately and knew it was meant to be on my Thanksgiving menu when I read a recent post by Ree Drummond. She enjoyed the dish recently at The Purple Pig and offered a version of the recipe on her website. I can’t wait to try her version with pine nuts instead of sunflower seeds.


{Photo courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com.}

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan

I love brussels sprouts – little heads of cabbage chock-full of vitamins and fiber. My friend, Linda Baldwin, recently taught me that the worst way to cook brussels sprouts is to steam them. Sautéing them is apparently the way to go. She offered me this yummy-sounding recipe for my Thanksgiving menu because a healthy, green veggie on the holiday table is always a good idea.

{Photo courtesy of intelligentgourmet.com.}

{Photo courtesy of intelligentgourmet.com.}

 Pumpkin and Brown Sugar Creme Brûlée 

As if all this tasty fare isn’t enough to induce a food coma, I found this delicious dessert recipe on Bon Appetite’s site. What’s Thanksgiving without something pumpkin?


I hope my guests enjoy the changes I’ve made to the traditional dishes. Tradition is important, but change is what keeps things fresh. Who knows? Maybe we’ll start a few new traditions this year. Ones that inspire us to be creative and open-minded, but still remind us of all we are thankful for.



Karena Kilcoyne

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