Non GMO Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Nov 25, 2013 by

dinner plate

Green beans, gluten free garlic toast, turkey with Pacific Foods organic cranberries, rutabagas, and yummy quinoa stuffing


Naturally Kristi is back for a day here and there. Today I am so excited to share my Non GMO Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dinner.

Since we enjoy Thanksgiving with our respective families, away from our home, I like to prepare an early Thanksgiving meal. This gets us into the spirit and it gives me food to bring with us to supplement our dietary needs.

Our meal was fabulous and we were able to share with impromptu family guests. It was perfect.

I apologize for my lousy photos. First of all, I am not much of a photographer and I also had guests in the kitchen as I was preparing the meal, so I couldn’t focus on photos. You get the point and the food was delicious!





Several months ago, I was lucky enough to win a medium size Big Green Egg ceramic grill. We never took the time to put it together, so it was finally the time on Sunday.

I purchased a fresh organic turkey from Costco. In my area, the price was $2.79/pound. This was half the price I paid last year for a fresh turkey from the farmer’s market. I felt a little guilty not supporting my local farmers for my holiday turkey, but it was wonderful to not have to pay the high price from last year.

My husband put the grill together, while my son picked up some apple and cherry smoking chips.

20131124-230131.jpg   20131124-230123.jpg











I washed and dried my 14# turkey. I would have loved to brine the bird, but didn’t plan ahead.

I applied the following rub from the How Sweet It Is blog:


3 TB organic brown sugar
1 1/2 TB smoked paprika
1 1/2 TSP chili powder
1 1/2 TSP garlic powder
1 1/2 TSP sea salt
1 1/2 TSP black pepper
1 TSP onion powder
1/2 TSP ground cumin
6 TB organic butter, melted

Combine all ingredients, except butter.Rub all the butter, covering entire turkey and under skin if you are savvy enough to separate it (I have trouble with that step!)
Spread the rub all over the bird (and under the skin, if you are able)
Put in disposable pan, with 2 cups organic chicken broth and some chunks of celery and onion.
If you have a rack, it might be good to put it on the rack. I cooked breast side down. It worked OK,
but seemed to get the breast meat a bit charred, so maybe next time I will do it the other way.
You can also roast your turkey in the oven.

Since this was our first time smoking with our Big Green Egg, I am not going to offer any direction, as we are still learning. We used 2 cups of a combination of apple and cherry chips for smoking (soaked for one hour)

We smoked the turkey for 2 1/2 hours keeping the temp between 250-300 degrees.
Since the turkey was organic, we were shooting for removing when internal temp was around 155 but it ended up being closer to 165 degrees. Still learning!

The turkey was AMAZING!!


Before smoking; rubbed and ready to go


Smoked and ready to enjoy


I made a Cider Bourbon gravy from How Sweet It is blog. It was OK, but not my favorite. Check it out and give it a try. I may have made a mistake while making it as I was chatting on the phone 🙂


Cider bourbon gravy

I also make mashed rutabagas (love them) and steamed green beans. But, my favorite thing I tried was Quinoa Stuffing. Yum, Yum! I am planning to make it again on Thanksgiving! Thank you to my friend Mary for sharing the recipe.


Quinoa stuffing; terrible picture, I know, but delicious

Quinoa Stuffing

1 cup organic celery, finely chopped1 cup organic onion, finely chopped
1 cup organic carrots, finely chopped
2 TB organic butter
1 cup organic quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups organic chicken broth (can also use vegetable broth)
1 cup cooked organic pork sausage (optional, but it really enhanced the dish)
1 1/2 TSP dried thyme (to taste)
1 1/2 TSP dried sage (to taste)
1/2 TSP black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

Saute celery, onions, and carrots in melted butter until tender. Add cooked sausage and spices and mix well for a 1-2 minutes. Add broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once all broth is absorbed, fluff with fork. Makes about 8 one cup servings.
I put the finished stuffing in the oven on 275 degrees to keep warm while the rest of the meal finished, it worked well. You could definitely make this ahead and keep warm in a crock pot or low temp oven. So good!








read more

Related Posts

Share This

Meal Monday: Stir Fry

Jul 29, 2013 by

Meal Monday’s recipe is for a quick stir fry; it is a delicious quick, healthy meal and the perfect way to use your readily available garden veggies.

stir fry

Last week while my family was away, I prepared quick meals for myself. One of my favorites was a stir fry using the organic vegetables from my garden. Since my garden is small and things are coming available at different times and there isn’t enough to feed my whole family, it worked perfect to use my little harvests every couple of days.


I don’t have an exact recipe; that is a the beauty of a stir fry, you can use whatever you have on hand.

First, chop up your veggies and get everything ready…stir fry moves fast and you need to be prepared. If you are using meat, either cook it quick in the pan before stir frying or use leftovers from the fridge/freezer.

stir fry veggies

Next, I like to get my skillet or wok nice an hot with either olive or grapeseed oil. Saute the onions and carrots; I like to throw in some chopped garlic towards the end. When those veggies are getting softer, throw in the rest of the veggies that don’t take as long to cook. I like to add some chicken broth or even water to the pan to get a little steam going. Keep the veggies moving to cook evenly. When they are getting close to being to your liking; throw in the meat and add whatever sauce you like. I used San-J Teriyaki…it is gluten free and non-gmo. Keep stir frying until everything is hot and cooked to your desired tenderness. Enjoy by itself or over cooked rice or quinoa. Delicious and nutritious!

stir fry


read more

Related Posts

Share This

Meal Monday: BLT Quinoa Salad

Jul 22, 2013 by

BLT quinoa salad

For Meal Monday, I am so excited to share a new recipe with you; BLT Quinoa Salad…it is delicious!

What a gorgeous weekend we had here! Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a delicious salad. I am always on the lookout for a new salad to bring to a gathering or enjoy for dinner at home. When I opened an email recently from one of the blogs I follow, Peas & Crayons, I was so excited to try this salad. The photos looked enticing.

A weekly family BBQ was the perfect occasion to give the recipe a try. I am always safe trying new recipes on my husband’s family; they eat whatever I make and never complain. I knew I had hit a home run when I received an email the next day from my wonderful mother-in-law telling me that they were enjoying the leftovers the next day and she wanted the recipe for bringing to an upcoming gathering. Win!

For me, this recipe is still in progress…not 100% sure on the amounts, as I made the original recipe x5, as you can see the Peas & Crayons recipe, BLT Salad with Toasted Quinoa is written for two servings. Making 5x the recipe gave me more quinoa that I used and some extra dressing. Maybe next time I will do quinoa x3 or x4 and the dressing x4. It was wonderful to have the leftover quinoa, as I used it to whip up another wonderful Peas & Crayons recipe Quinoa Fried Rice.

quinoa for salad

The quinoa all cooked up and ready to eat

onions for BLT salad

Caramelized onions in bacon grease…they smelled amazing, it was hard not to just eat them right up!

BLT quinoa salad

The salad ready to go to the party

I will provide the recipe as I made it for the party; for a large group. Check out the original recipe to get the measurements for two servings.

Trust me, make this salad soon, it was delicious!

BLT Quinoa Salad

Rating: 51

Serving Size: 10-15

BLT Quinoa Salad


  • Salad:
  • 2 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 3/4 cup water or veggie broth
  • 1- 1.5# organic/nitrate free bacon (you will love the bacon in this salad, don't skimp on it)
  • 5 heads organic romaine lettuce (add as much or as little as you want, torn in bite size pieces)
  • organic tomatoes; cherry tomatoes or diced, as much as you want
  • Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing:
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup organic mayo
  • 2/3 cup diced/minced Vidalia/sweet yellow onion, caramelized
  • 3 TB vinegar
  • 10 tsp organic honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried minced onion or onion powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper


  1. Rinse quinoa in mesh strainer
  2. Shake out any excess water from quinoa and allow to dry for a bit
  3. While quinoa is drying. get bacon cooking
  4. I like to cook bacon in the oven on parchment lined trays; put bacon in cold oven, turn on 350 degrees and cook until crispy; about 20-25 minutes (when bacon is done, remove to pat off grease, but save that bacon grease in the pan, you will use it!)
  5. Back to the quinoa...add dry quinoa to medium pan and turn heat to medium and toast your quinoa to remove any leftover moisture
  6. While toasting, continue to move the quinoa around frequently so it doesn't burn
  7. After 1-2 minutes, add in your water or broth and increase heat to high
  8. When the quinoa reaches a boil, reduce to simmer and cover, allowing some steam to escape
  9. Cook for 12-15 minutes; until all liquid has been absorbed
  10. In skillet, use a small amount of bacon grease to caramelize your onion. Saute on medium low heat, stirring frequently until golden brown
  11. When quinoa is done cooking, you can toast it in a large skilled with more of the leftover bacon grease...this is optional, but adds some additional great flavor...season quinoa with salt & pepper to taste
  12. Combine dressing ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  13. Depending on where you are serving the salad, you can pile lettuce, quinoa, bacon, and tomato in bowl until ready to serve then add dressing and toss before serving.
  14. Or, pile on plates for individual servings.
  15. Enjoy; it is a delicious salad!








read more

Related Posts

Share This

Gluten Free Travel

Jul 19, 2013 by


How do you plan gluten free travel?

What a busy week we have had! So much planning and preparation to send my son an a cross country trip with his gluten free and special dietary needs in mind.

So, how do you send a hungry 17 year old on a 2200 mile trip while still following his gluten free, non-GMO, nitrate free, food dye free, peanut free, cashew free and banana free diet. Wow, another challenge! I started this blog last year while planning his trip to the Boundary Waters with his new eating plan. All went well and this trip will also.

Kudos to the cook at the Boy Scout Salmon River High Adventure Camp for working with me on the menu planning. Jen came up with a great menu that works for my boy and likely no one will know it was specially planned with Austin in mind.

We tried to keep as close to his diet as possible with a few variations; non-GMO is not always available and he insisted on bringing along a case of Gatorade (uggghhh)…at least he picked the kind that didn’t have Red #40 in it.

My thought in posting this menu is to offer ideas to others struggling to plan a menu for camp or travel. I always tell my son that his diet should NEVER limit what he wants to do!

Here is the menu.

Day 1: 507 miles of travel

Lunch: Lettuce roll ups (organic romaine wrapped around Applegate Farms ham & turkey and Organic Creamery colby/jack cheese from Costco, Chebe cheese bread (made into small buns), Fruit cups(not organic), frozen organic green beans (Costco), almond flour brownie (froze them and shrink wrapped for freshness), Annie’s fruit snacks

Dinner: Steak, Rice & Corn (troop meal they planned with Austin’s diet in mind)

Day 2: 519 miles of travel

Breakfast: gluten free instant oatmeal, Enjoy Life cereal bars and fruit (also boiled eggs with the rest of the group)

Lunch: Lettuce roll ups, Chebe buns, fruit cups, green beans, brownie, fruit snacks (see description Day 1)

Dinner: premade gluten free pizza with Namaste pizza crust (froze and shrink wrapped on metal pizza tray)…the Pizza Hut that they are eating at said “no problem” to cooking his pizza for him

Day 3: 228 miles

Breakfast: gluten free instant oatmeal, Enjoy Life cereal bars and fruit

Lunch: Lettuce roll ups, Chebe buns, fruit cups, green beans, brownie, fruit snacks (see description Day 1)

Dinner: the group is eating MRE’s so he is enjoying Nature’s Earthly Choice quinoa pasta, (cooked ahead of time and in a bag), homemade pesto (from our garden…we froze for him to enjoy on trip), frozen organic green beans, fruit cups


Day 4,5,6,: Salmon River High Adv Base prepared by cook Jen

Monday Breakfast: Oatmeal, boiled eggs, apples, oranges, canned peaches

Monday Lunch: tuna, gluten free tortilla chips, watermelon & grapes

Monday Dinner: BBQ meatballs (no bread crumbs) over rice, homemade BBQ sauce, broccoli, green salad

Tuesday Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fresh fruit

Tuesday Lunch: turkey roll ups with fresh veggies, fruit, homemade pickles, and she is making up gluten free cookies especially for Austin from a King Arthur mix I am sending along

Tuesday Dinner: chicken breast, sweet potatoes, green salad, homemade apple sauce

Wednesday: Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fresh fruit

Wednesday Lunch: taco salad with tortilla chips


Day 6: 212 miles

Dinner: gluten free Pizza or Pasta at Pizza Pie Café in Rexburg, Idaho; yeah for restaurants with a gluten free menu!


Day 7: 126 miles (visiting sites in Yellowstone)

Breakfast: gluten free instant oatmeal, Enjoy Life cereal bars and fruit

Lunch: Pacific Foods Organic Chicken & Wild Rice Soup and fruit cups

Dinner: gluten free pizza at Scout camp (they are making it up special for him)


Day 8: 406 miles

Breakfast: gluten free instant oatmeal, Enjoy Life cereal bars and fruit

Lunch: Valley Fresh natural chicken pouches and whatever he has leftover

Dinner: Boil Nature’s Earthly Choice quinoa pasta with jar or organic tomato basil sauce from Aldi (he will cook at campsite)


Day 9: 654 miles to travel home!

Breakfast: Oatmeal, cereal bars and fruit

Lunch: leftover pasta & sauce




read more

Related Posts

Share This

Foodie Thursday: Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars

Jul 11, 2013 by

For our family BBQ on July 4th, I made my Dad’s favorite bar (it was his birthday.) He loves Magic Cookie Bars, also called 7 Layer Bars. Mine don’t have 7 layers though…not sure what layer is missing.

Anyway, I am always trying to make things gluten free and non-gmo; with the taste that I love from the regular versions.

All the ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, with the exception of the Enjoy Life cookies. I have seen the cookies in the gluten free section of most grocery stores or they can be ordered online; Amazon sells them at a good price for a case. BTW, the Enjoy Life cookies are non-gmo project certified.

This recipe hits it out of the park! Delicious and the whole pan was gone.

If you eat gluten free, you are going to love these bars. If you don’t, file this recipe away for when a friend is coming over that is gluten free. No one will know the difference, I promise!


magic cookie bars ingredients

Ingredients needed, plus butter


magic cookie bars
So delicious; I promise you!


Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars

Gluten Free Magic Cookie Bars


  • 1/4 -1/2 c melted organic butter **see note below**
  • 3 c Enjoy Life Vanilla Honey Graham Cookie crumbs (2 boxes are needed)
  • 1 c chopped Trader Joe's walnuts
  • 1 c Trader Joe's semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 c Trader Joe's sweetened coconut
  • 1 - 14 oz container Trader Joe's sweetened condensed milk
  • Please note, you do not have to use Trader Joe's brands, that is just what I prefer to use


  1. Process graham cookies in food processor to make fine crumbs
  2. Melt butter **because you are mixing with cookies, rather than traditional graham crackers, you don't need as much butter
  3. Add butter and slowly mix crumbsuntil graham mixture holds together well
  4. Press graham mixture into 9 x 13 pan
  5. Sprinkle chocolate chips
  6. Sprinkle nuts
  7. Add coconut
  8. Drizzle condensed milk over the top
  9. Bake 350º for 25-30 minutes
  10. Feel free to adjust ingredient amounts as you have available or prefer...this is a very forgiving recipe!


read more

Related Posts

Share This