The Greatest Gluten-Free Vegan Thanksgiving Menu
Vegan blogger Allyson Kramer whips up an exclusive gluten-free Thanksgiving menu just for VegNews.
Allyson Kramer, creator of the blog Manifest Vegan, is no amateur when it comes to preparing gluten-free vegan foods that rival their traditional counterparts—Lemon-Poppy Seed Waffles, Apple Pie Cheesecake, and Jalapeño Chedder Bagels are just some of the amazing recipes she’s developed since starting her blog in 2009. Her first cookbook, Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats, is scheduled for release next summer, so we knew this fall was a perfect time to touch base with Kramer and discover her tricks to throwing a perfect Thanksgiving feast.
VegNews: How did you get started with gluten-free cooking?
Allyson Kramer: My diagnosis with celiac disease started it all. I actually had suspected that I had a gluten intolerance for years due to my symptoms, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of having to live wheat-free and cook and bake without gluten. I feel lucky, though, that I am able to experience the joys of cooking and eating with so many less common grains like quinoa, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, and teff. All this time I had actually been missing out!
VN: What are the easiest ways to start cooking safely for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance?
AK: For the first few weeks, I relied heavily on Bob’s Red Mill pre-packaged gluten-free mixes. It didn’t take long for me to trade those in for my own flour blends, but they were an immense help in the beginning. I would highly recommend proprietary blends for those who are just diving into gluten-free, especially if you are trying to make foods from your own recipes. If not, there are many great cookbooks to help you out—check out as many as you can from your local library. Most chain supermarkets now have a substantial gluten-free section, which is a great way to test the waters when beginning gluten-free cooking, and especially when cooking for others with gluten intolerance. There are boxed mixes for everything from stuffing to cakes, even bread. Avoiding the most common glutinous foods such as barley, rye, spelt, and wheat are very important, so be sure to read labels clearly. There are a lot of hidden foods out there that have gluten in them, such as most soy sauces, and many pre-packaged goods that contain malt flavoring. A great guideline to follow when starting out is, if you’re not 100-percent sure it is safe, avoid it.
VN: Can gluten-free food be just as delicious as traditional foods?
AK: Absolutely! With the variety of foods out there, such as Butler Soy Curls (which are great for replacing seitan) and hundreds of great recipes for gluten-free pie crusts, pizza doughs, breads, cakes, cookies, and more, you are really not missing out by being gluten-free. My entire family eats gluten-free 90 percent of the time and even though I’m the only one with an intolerance, they are all quite happy and well-fed. In fact, many of the vegan foods we enjoyed before my diagnosis were already gluten-free. There are also hundreds of great blogs that not only offer wonderful inspiration, but also solid tips, tricks, and recipes that work.
VN: What are some strategies to help prepare a meal if one of the guests may have a food allergy?
AK: Be very mindful of cross-contamination—Don’t use the same utensils and cookware to prepare gluten-free and gluten-filled foods. Some folks don’t require such rigorous measures, but it’s better to be safe then have a guest with an upset belly. Make recipes that are gluten-free by default, such as rice- and polenta-based dishes, pasta dishes using brown rice noodles, or mashed potatoes and gravy made with arrowroot or cornstarch instead of a flour-based roux. And of course, rely on lots of veggies—vegetables are naturally gluten-free!
VN: What are your Thanksgiving plans?
AK: We are going to feast! I am actually very excited about this year because I am working on my next book and plan on unleashing a few of my new main courses on my family this Thanksgiving. There will be some unorthodox main courses served, but it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving in my house without the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, a decadent vegetable casserole of sorts, and Champagne. After that, movie marathon!
Allyson Kramer’s Exclusive Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu
Stuffed Celery Bites
Butternut Squash Baked Risotto
Broccoli Rabe Almondine
Garlicky Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Herbs
Cranberry Orange Ice Cream Pie
Allyson Kramer’s Top 5 Thanksgiving Secrets
1. Make a menu and shop at least a couple days ahead of time.
2. Start cooking early in the day, but don’t make it stressful. Have fun!
3. Make sure there are plenty of appetizers out before dinner is served, whether you have guests or are just celebrating with your loved ones. Hummus and guacamole with tortilla chips are an easy treat and always appreciated in my family.
4. Having a mix of great tunes livens up the mood all day long.
5. Be thankful and mindful of how truly fortunate you are, and keep that mentality going all year long, not just on Thanksgiving.
5 Ways to Create a Great Vegan Picnic
Beat the heat with memorable outdoor meals that can happen at a moments notice.
Read More »
The VegNews Guide to Vegan Milk
Need milk? Our ultimate, up-to-date guides to vegan products give you everything you need to know.
Read More »
Going Vegan: How One Meat-Serving Restaurant is Catering to the Meat-Free
VegNews talks to acclaimed Washington DC's Equinox restaurant about its evolution to a more plant-based menu.
Read More »
Sneak Preview: What's on the Menu at Chloe Coscarelli's NYC Restaurant?
The 27-year-old chef is the latest to make the leap from cookbook author to restaurant owner, with her first New York eatery opening this month.
Read More »
14 Reasons Why Pitchfork Music Festival Is Vegan Paradise
Vegan beer, meat-free fare, and popsicles galore headline the catering line-up at Chicago's annual summertime festival.
Read More »
- Vegan Meringue Has Arrived
- Morrissey Uses NYC Concert to Promote Veganism
- Top 10 Male Vegan Bloggers
- How to Veganize Any Recipe: Sweet Edition
- 10 Foods You Never Thought Youd Eat Again
- 5 Ingenius Ways to Eat Chocolate Chips
- Subscriber Appreciation Month Giveaway: Miyoko's Kitchen
- A Vegan Mothers Day Your Mom Will Love
- A Vegan Cinco de Mayo Brunch
- Why Red Meat is at the Root of Americas Health Epidemic
- 14 Game-Changing Avocado Recipes
- Virgin America to Launch Vegan Airline
- 10 Foods to Help Get Rid of Stress
- Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
- The #1 Way to Make Sure You Eat Your Greens First
- 10 Creative Ways to Use Nut Butters
- 6 Delicious Ways to Get Vitamin C
- 3 Raw Vegan Desserts
- Valentine's Dinner for Two
- 4 Mouth-Watering Vegan Super Bowl Recipes