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.

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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!








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Trader Joe’s Tuesday: Organic American Cheese

Jun 25, 2013 by

organic cheese clices

One of our staples in the deli drawer used to be Kraft American Cheese Slices.

Luckily, Trader Joe’s carries an organic replacement of this staple….Trader Joe’s Organic American Slices.

I think the cheese tastes good and goes great in a gluten free grilled cheese. I also used it in the Chebe Calzone I posted a few weeks ago.

That is all I have for today; have a great Tuesday!

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Trader Joe’s Tuesday: Organic Applesauce

Jun 11, 2013 by

apple sauce I love the unsweetened Organic applesauce from Trader Joe’s. It is reasonably priced, readily available (if you are near a Trader Joe’s) and tastes great. I like using apple sauce in recipes. They also carry individual containers or organic apple sauce.

Now, back to the garden but where is the sun?

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Meal Monday: Gluten Free Calzones

Jun 10, 2013 by

Chebe Ham & Turkey Calzone

Meal Monday: Gluten Free Calzones

I know it is late, but it is still Monday! I have been having a heck of a time keeping up with the blog since school got out. Too busy having fun! Tonight I made Gluten Free Calzones and it was a hit! One of our favorite quick meals in the past was Ham/Turkey Calzones made with frozen bread dough. Obviously, those kinds of meals are a thing of the past. I needed to prepare a meal today that didn’t need meat pulled out of the freezer (oops, forgot to plan ahead.)

Last week, my order of Chebe Bread Original Cheese Bread Mix, Gluten Free, 7.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 8) arrived and my son was really looking forward to me making something with the mix. I made the mix as rolls one night and tonight, I decided to adjust my recipe for Calzones to make them to meet our dietary requirements of gluten free, organic, and non-GMO. I like to stay away from cheese, but once in awhile, we do use it and my son seems to do OK with it.

Chebe is a Brazilian style cheese bread and their mix does not contain any potato starches/flours (which we can’t consume) or gums (which I don’t like the gummy texture.) It is also non-GMO, which I love! The mix is quick to mix up; just adding oil, eggs, cheese and water. Using the Subscribe & Save feature from Amazon, the price comes in under $2/box…I can live with that! You can buy the mix at local specialty stores, Vitacost, etc but I have found the best price to be on Amazon.

Chebe has a line of products, including an all purpose mix that could be used in place of the cheese bread if you are unable to eat dairy (which is part of the cheese bread mix.)
Chebe Bread All-Purpose Mix, Gluten Free, 7.5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 8)

On to the recipe…pretty easy actually. I doubled the recipe to feed two normal eaters and one very hungry teenager. We had a few pieces left over. I look forward to experimenting with other meats and a pizza calzone in the future. Pair with a salad, green beans, watermelon and you have a great meal!

Chebe Ham & Turkey Calzone

Rolled dough

Chebe Ham & Turkey Calzone

With fillings added






  • 1 box Chebe Cheese Bread mix, prepared as directed
  • Organic cheese slices (American, Swiss, a combination or any cheese you want)
  • Thin sliced deli meats (I used Trader Joe's smoked turkey and Applegate Farms Ham)
  • Green Onions
  • Pepper


  1. Roll out prepared dough between two pieces of parchment into large rectangle
  2. Layer cheese, meat, and green onions ( used 4-5 slices of each)
  3. Sprinkle with pepper
  4. Roll up, folding over edges of dough towards the center
  5. Make small perforations along the top of the rolled calzone to allow for steam
  6. Transfer to well sprayed or parchment lined pan (don't use foil, it will me!)
  7. Bake in 350 degree oven fro 40-45 minutes until browned.
  8. Enjoy!






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Meal Monday: Eat Plant Strong

Jun 3, 2013 by

organic salad with Hillary's Veggie Patty

My dinner salad with organic lettuce and radishes from my garden, organic hard boiled egg, Hilary’s veggie burger broken over the top and my homemade organic ranch dressing…yum!


For Meal Monday, I want to throw out the idea to Eat Plant Strong and “Go Veggie” every once in awhile. Plant strong is a trending topic and one that should be considered for all. I am not saying to not eat meat. Even though I know many people who are 100% vegetarian or vegan, at this point, I am still interested in eating meat. There is a significant amount of information out there about the benefits of a plant strong diet. Just last week, a friend of mine who was diagnosed with high cholesterol, lowered her numbers significantly by eating a plant strong diet. She was prescribed medication by the doctor and didn’t like how it made her feel. I was very proud of her that she decided to try to manage her health with food. Three months later, she was rewarded with surprisingly lower cholesterol numbers. Yeah!

I have talked about the Engine 2 Diet in the past. Day after day on their facebook page, you will find amazing stories of improved health and well-being from eating a plant strong diet. Recently, one of the guys that originally started the Engine 2 Diet released a book, My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet–Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes…it is also available on Kindle download My Beef with Meat: Kindle Version. While I have not read the book yet, I am planning to order it myself, I have watched interviews with the author, Rip Esselstyn and they are very compelling.

I realized today that I had gone three days with no meat. I hadn’t consciously decided to not eat meat, it just happened and everything I ate was delicious! Since my garden is now producing lettuce and radishes, I have been enjoying the harvest with daily, delicious salads. On Friday, we picked up Copper River Salmon and some jumbo shrimp and grilled that up with a fresh salad. Dinner took 10 minutes and was amazing! When you are in a hurry, fish is one of the quickest meals ever.

For dinner Sunday, I enjoyed another salad topped with a new favorite item…Hilary’s Veggie Burgers. I purchased the 2 pack of veggie burgers at Whole Foods because I had a free item coupon from some sample box I subscribed to awhile back. Whole Foods appears to be the only place that sells them. I bought them over a month ago and apparently was not that interested in trying them (since they sat in the freezer for a month.) Well, I have been missing out for a month, haven’t I…they are delicious! I don’t typically like veggie burgers because they usually have potatoes, peppers, mushrooms and the like in them. I can’t eat potatoes or mushrooms and I can’t stand the taste of peppers. Hilary’s Veggie Burgers were perfect for me because they didn’t contain any of those items and they are non-GMO, and free of nearly every allergan. There are four varieties. I will definitely be purchasing these again and I already have a recipe to try to make something similar…can’t wait to get the ingredients. Funny story…I told my son how good the veggie burger was when I tried the first one and he mocked me a bit about eating a veggie burger. Yesterday, when I made the 2nd burger, I gave him a piece to try. He liked it so much he wanted to have it for dinner too and was disappointed that I wouldn’t let him eat the whole thing. Now, he is looking forward to me getting more.  Eat plant strong!

Hilarys Veggie Burger

Ingredients: Water, Millet, Quinoa, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Spinach,
Onion, Garlic, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Sweet Potato, Real Salt,
Apple Cider Vinegar, Sunflower Seed Oil

Veggie Patty

Cooked up, ready to eat. Pan fry, grill, bake or even toast…just don’t microwave


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