A few weeks ago, my friend Diane at The W.H.O.L.E. (whole healthy organic living everyday) Gang had the brilliant idea to host a Gluten Free Progressive Dinner, with Thanksgiving as the theme.
I'm pleased to be a stop on the journey, with my Corn Bread Slow Cooker Stuffing. It's absolutely delicious, and I look forward to bringing it along to my mom's house on the 26th for our family Thanksgiving dinner.
I don't write too much about gluten free stuff, because I try really hard not to let this allergy change the way we eat. I feel as if we eat a balanced diet full of lots of food and grains, we just happen to steer clear from wheat, barley, rye, and oats (unless they are certified gluten free), and read labels meticulously.
Although going gluten free hasn't been too much of a strain on our own day-to-day family eating, it is hard to plan for large gatherings where other people are preparing the food, and when the food is store-bought. Most store-bought prepared party food is off-limits, and it's just a reality we have to face. I don't want my children growing up thinking that they are different in any way, or that they can't participate in festivities--so we plan ahead, and always make sure to have a safe alternative on hand. My hope is that even if you are not gluten free, you'll be inspired by reading how easy it is to doctor a traditional recipe into a gluten (or other common allergen) free one.
If you are hosting, or are bringing a dish along to a party or get-together, find out ahead of time if there are allergies. It's quite easy to swap out eggs for an approved egg-replacer, or to use soy or rice milk instead of dairy. If a guest has nut allergies, do NOT bring your world famous pecan pie. Just don't do it. And *please* don't talk about how you wish you could have brought it but had to make due with plain old apple because of so and so. (sorry, got a bit preachy just now. It's one of my biggest pet peeves...)
This is the time of year to give, and if you are able, give the gift of togetherness---while yes, it's fine to have 2 separate stuffings, why not just make the allergen-safe one for your guests, so everyone feels included? It's okay to skip the Pillsbury crescent rolls, even if they are usually a part of your family's tradition. Start a new tradition instead, one that includes everyone.
This is my contribution to the Gluten Free Progressive Dinner:
Slow Cooker Corn Bread Stuffing.
originally posted November 13, 2008
--8 x 8 pan of baked cornbread (I used the Whole Foods 365 brand of GF cornbread mix)
--4 slices of toasted bread (I used the GF Food For Life brand in the pink bag)
--2 cups celery, chopped
--1 large yellow onion, diced
--3 beaten eggs
--1/4 cup butter, melted
--1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
--1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
--1/2 teaspoon black pepper
--2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable!) --and another 1/4 cup if desired, later
Use a 6 quart slow cooker. If you only have a 4 quart, toss the stuffing together in a huge mixing bowl, and then transfer to your 4 quart.
Bake the cornbread according to package directions (or by all means, make it by scratch!)
If you have a few days to let it go stale, do that. Other wise, cut into slices and bake at 300 degrees until toasty (along with your bread slices). It took about 30 minutes in my oven.
While the cornbread is toasting, chop up the onion and celery. Put the pieces into your slow cooker. Add the seasoning.
Melt butter in the microwave, and mix together with 3 beaten eggs. Stir well into the veggies and seasonings in the slow cooker.
Cut the cornbread and toasted bread into cubes, about 1/2 inch square.
Toss the cubes of bread and cornbread well with the ingredients in the slow cooker.
Pour in 2 cups of broth. Stir gingerly to combine. The cornbread will break up more than the bread did in the other stuffing, but try to keep a few pieces whole for texture.
Cook on high for 2 hours. This can be on warm successfully for up to 2 hours.
If you'd like a more moist dressing, add another 1/4 cup of broth before serving.
I think we have a new member at our dinner table this Thanksgiving!
Other Gluten Free Progressive Dinner Participants:
(Sugar Free!) Cranberry Orange Punch, at Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Hot Ginger Lemon Cider, Gluten Free Organics
Spicy Olives and Almond Nibbles, Gluten Free Organics
Pumpkin Kabocha Soup (allergen-free, casein-free), Book of Yum
Orange Pepper Salmon with Cranberry Sauce, Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Special Turkey Breast, gfe--gluten free easily (Shirley used her slow cooker for this recipe! yay!)
Pancetta and Sage Sausage Stuffing, The W.H.O.L.E. Gang
Pear Pomegranate Salad, Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Wild Rice, Gluten Free Girl (Shauna has included a wonderful round-up of her past posts in this entry, and has an article entitled: How to cook for the gluten free
these won't be posted until Friday, November 20th
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond Tart, Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake, Cook 4 Seasons