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How to have a delicious Thanksgiving dinner that’s totally gluten free

I'm a market researcher and brand marketer by trade. Quit it all to focus on everything gluten-free. I'm now the founder of Celiac & the Beast, author of Celiac and the Beast, the book (released October 2013) , and working full-...

If you're like me, being with family for an entire day during Thanksgiving is stressful enough on its own. However, adding an extra layer of anxiety by trying to make gluten-free celiac-safe food from scratch makes me want to claw my eyes out and stay in bed this Turkey Day!

Thus, I've made an entire Thanksgiving gluten-free hack list, where you can purchase pre-made pre-packaged gluten-free goods for this Thanksgiving that require minimal effort and minimal anxiety.

1. Turkey

Unfortunately, there's not much you can to do hack a turkey to make it any easier to cook. Especially on Thanksgiving, you have to make sure that the turkey you eat isn't stuffed with gluten-full stuffing if you are a celiac or sensitive to cross contamination! The easiest hack is to make your own roasted stuffed hens or chickens and bring it to the dinner. Your own meal, no cross contamination and you can eat all of the white and dark meat without someone giving you the sideways eyeball! Another great hack is Jennie-O's new gluten-free OVEN READY Skinless Boneless Turkey Breast.

2. Stuffing

Fortunately, stuffing is pretty easy to hack with gluten-free packaged goods. Brands like Rudi's, Glutino and Three Bakers have boxed gluten-free stuffing mixes on the market. Hilary's Eat Well just launched a vegan gluten-free frozen stuffing that is ready-to-bake (and therefore tops my hack list because I get to do nothing but shove it in an oven).

3. Gravy

Gravy is often loaded with gluten at Thanksgiving. Thankfully, this Thanksgiving you've got brands like Massel, McCormick, Simply Organic and Road's End Organic that provide a powdered gravy that tastes delicious and will fool everyone at the dinner table. It's so easy to just stir in hot water and heat!

4. Potatoes

If peeling, boiling, mashing and buttering real potatoes are too much for you, there are instant mashed potatoes available. Brands like Idahoan offer plenty of varieties of instant mashed potatoes, just add salt, water/milk and butter (or butter-like products). Check the FAQ section to see if other brands of instant potatoes are free from gluten.

5. Pumpkin pie

If you have a dedicated gluten-free bakery within driving distance, you're in luck for the holidays. I can't wait to visit the one near me to pick up all of my holiday pies. You don't even want to see photos of the pies that I attempt to make myself. I'm thankful this year for someone else making my pies! If you don't have a bakery near you, Katz makes gluten-free Pumpkin and Apple small pies for the holidays. They probably serve two people, but quite frankly I could take one of those down myself.

6. Dinner rolls

In the past few years, we've seen two new dinner rolls hit the frozen foods market that are incredibly useful for Thanksgiving hacks. Both Rudi's and Udi's have come up with some pretty awesome rolls to feature on your Thanksgiving table this year.

7. Hands-off ideas

The last hack is more of a safety hack, avoiding getting glutened. The last thing you want during a family holiday where you are supposed to be full of thanks, is to be full of gas and running to the bathroom. Use items like Gluten Free Labels, and Allermates stickers to label your food as gluten-free, and to stay away with all of that nasty gluten.

Photo credit: Steve Johnson/Flickr
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