One of the many things I missed after Doug got his diagnosis was that I couldn’t make my tried & true favorite recipes, or could I? I have to admit that initially I was too intimidated to venture out and go modifying ingredients and just stuck to GF cookbooks and such, but then I got bored and said why not, what’s the worst that can happen? Uh, maybe we throw away some failed attempts and vow to never try that variation again, but other than that, I came to see it as a challenge.
It was our second GF Thanksgiving that I had this notion that we could still have stuffing, green bean casserole, and gravy on the turkey. Keep in mind that this was back in 2008 and GF substitutes weren’t as plentiful, so this is how I compensated- I found a GF cornbread mix at our local health food store and used that in the stuffing, I used Progresso’s cream of mushroom soup (it’s gluten free, but not condensed) in the green bean casserole and topped it with “french fried onions” that I made myself, using cornstarch to make them (somewhat) crispy, and also used the cornstarch to make gravy with the turkey drippings. Were they as delicious as the ones we were used to? Heck no…the green bean casserole was downright soupy (imagine that!), the gravy was pasty, but the cornbread stuffing was pretty tasty and that was enough to encourage me to keep at it.
Nowadays, when I’m browsing Pinterest for what seems like a few minutes but in reality is hours of pure bliss (I might be slightly obsessed with pinning…can I get an amen?!) and I come across an interesting recipe that calls for a non-GF item, game is on!
A few things to keep in mind is 1) if it calls for flour, how much? It’s been my experience that 1/4 cup is about the limit for using a product like Cup for Cup GF flour, any greater quantity and you can totally tell the difference 2) is there a store bought version I can use as a substitute? We made a pumpkin cheesecake over the holidays, using Glutino brand chocolate sandwich cookies for the crust and it was divine! I also made a meatball sub casserole for Doug’s beloved OSU Buckeye’s bowl game that called for a french bread crust and I used the Udi’s bread slices and toasted them first and he deemed it a keeper…the only bright spot to that day, as the Bucks got whipped. Most recently, I made chicken pot pie and used Trader Joe’s GF turkey gravy for the sauce and instead of crust, I topped it with ABUNDTANT LOVE’s biscuit mix and it was life changing! 3) know the limits of modifying a recipe to GF- if there’s too many items to substitute or if it calls for too much flour, it might be more cost effective/time saving to just follow Kenny Rogers’ advice and know when to fold ’em.
Now…back to that green bean casserole…has it defeated me? Absolutely not, Trader Joe’s now has a GF condensed cream of mushroom soup and Aldi’s has their own version of GF french fried onions and I have won, so take that gluten!!
My next post is going to be about gluten free dining out, a topic we know all too well!