With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, many of us are turning our attention to crafting menus for a special holiday dinner with family and friends. For those that are gluten-free, the holidays can present challenges – how to have “traditional” dishes without compromising flavor or texture? In this article, I will offer some ways to make pie crusts and stuffing with real food alternatives to wheat flour and bread. Hint: when working with coconut flour or almond or other nut flour, do not attempt to substitute one for one for wheat flour in recipes. They work very differently, (march to a different drum).

As always, use the best quality ingredients you can find- organic or non-GMO, to ensure the best flavor and nutrition.

Pie Crust: To Pre-bake or not to pre-bake?

Pumpkin and sweet potato pie typically have quite a runny filling that will need to be cooked for a relatively long time. When a pie filling needs to be baked for a long time to cook through, it is best not to use a pre-baked crust because they can burn while the filling cooks. However, you can “partially bake” a crust – just about 10 minutes or so – then add the filling, and off you go! Partially baked alternative pie crusts which work well for pumpkin and sweet potato pies are those made from nuts or seeds, or coconut.

Almond (or other nut) Crust

makes one 9-inch pie crust, pressed, partially baked

  • 1 1⁄2 cups almond or other nut flour (if you are using pecans, use less butter)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pastured butter, melted
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Butter a 9-inch pie pan.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form it into a ball and press into pan, taking care to make it as thin as possible and cover the bottom and sides of the pan.

Bake at 325°F, about 10 minutes. Do not overbake.

Fill with pumpkin or sweet potato pie filling and bake as directed.

Nut Crust with Spices

For a little zing, add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves to the above recipe

Partially Baked Coconut Flour Pie Crust

makes one 9-inch pie crust, rolled, partially baked

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup sifted coconut flour
  • 1⁄2 cup flaked or shredded coconut, no sulfites
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1⁄4 cup ghee, butter, lard, or coconut oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 pieces of waxed or parchment paper and rolling pin

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Coat a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil or other high heat cooking oil such as ghee, to keep crust from sticking.

Sift coconut flour into a small bowl to remove lumps and create a smooth texture.

In a medium bowl, combine all remaining ingredients. Add sifted coconut flour and mix thoroughly. Then knead the dough with your hands for about one minute. Shape the dough into a ball.

Place 1 piece of waxed or parchment paper on a flat surface and place the ball of dough in the center. Flatten dough with your hand until it reaches 6 inches in diameter. Cover dough with the other piece of waxed paper. Roll with rolling pin to flatten dough until it is no more than 1/8 inch thick.

Remove top sheet of waxed paper and invert dough into pie pan (hint: you can slide a baking sheet under the waxed paper to support the dough, then cover with pie pan and flip).

Press dough together to seal any cracks or holes, trim edges, and prick bottom with a fork. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Do not overbake.

Fill with pumpkin or sweet potato pie filling and bake as directed.

Unbaked Coconut Flour Pie Crust

makes one 9-inch pie crust, pressed, not baked

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cold pasture butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, no sulfites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pastured egg white-beaten

Instructions

In a medium sized bowl, use two knives or a pastry cutter to cut the butter and coconut oil into the coconut flour until mixture resembles irregular pea sized clumps.

Add remaining ingredients except egg white.
Mix with your hands until a soft dough has formed. Pat dough into a 9-inch pie pan.

When you are done forming the crust, take the egg white and beat it with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, brush the crust with the egg white just before filling.

Fill with pumpkin or sweet potato pie filling and bake as directed.

wild rice stuffing in a metal casserole dish

Move over Bread, Here comes the Wild Rice (Stuffing)!

Wild rice makes an excellent alternative stuffing. It is one of the only grains native to North America, and it is more like a grass than rice. Its nutty flavor and chewy texture are especially good when cooked in stock or broth. You may choose to stuff your bird or bake it on the side in a casserole dish. Note that stuffing a turkey or other fowl extends the cooking time by about 30 minutes or more, depending upon the bird and the size of the cavity. (Bigger cavity means more stuffing to heat.) Don’t pack the stuffing in too densely, as it will likely not cook through. All of the following recipes can be used either way. You can find instructions about both methods after the recipes below.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Mushrooms

serves about 8-10

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) pastured butter
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • 1 1⁄4 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as crimini or shiitake, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 1⁄2 cups wild rice
  • 3⁄4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional: reserve some for garnish)

Instructions

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until very tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Transfer onions to large bowl.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and 1 tablespoon thyme; sauté until mushrooms are deep brown, about 12 minutes. Add to bowl with onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring stock, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 2 teaspoons sage to boil in heavy large deep saucepan.

Mix in wild rice; return to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the rice is done—it will be tender and have split open.

Stir in caramelized onions and mushrooms, remaining thyme, and sage. Cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.

Use to stuff turkey or place in buttered baking dish, as below.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries

serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 1⁄2 cups chicken or turkey stock 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 tablespoons pastured butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 1⁄2 cups cremini or shiitake mushrooms, or variety, diced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1⁄2 cups diced Granny Smith apple

Instructions

Bring stock and wild rice to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook covered until rice is tender and has split open, about an hour. Drain well in a colander and set aside in a large bowl.

In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is transparent, 5-7 minutes.

Add garlic, celery, mushrooms, and curry. Cook until mushrooms have softened, about 6-8 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

Add mushroom mixture, cranberries, and apples to wild rice. Stir to combine. Use to stuff turkey or place in buttered baking dish, as below.

The following recipe makes enough to stuff a medium sized turkey and bake some in a casserole dish. You are always welcome to forgo stuffing the bird and bake the whole recipe if you prefer!

Wild Rice Stuffing with Sausage

makes about 12 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 1⁄2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (or bulk)
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed (or bulk)
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 4-6 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) pastured butter, divided
  • 3 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3⁄4 cup packed fresh sage leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup chicken or turkey stock

Instructions

Bring stock, wild rice and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook covered until rice is tender and has split open, about an hour. Drain in a colander and set aside in a large bowl.

Sauté sausages in very large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking into pieces with spoon, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with wild rice.

Add onions and celery to same skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes; add to sausage and wild rice mixture.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes; mix apples into stuffing.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet. Add sage and sauté until dark green, about 2 minutes. Mix sage and butter into stuffing. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Stuff turkey. Transfer remaining stuffing to prepared dish; drizzle with 1⁄2 cup chicken stock. Cover with parchment paper and then foil.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stuffing covered until heated through, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Here are some general instructions about how to bake stuffing.

To bake stuffing in turkey:

Loosely fill neck and main cavity of turkey with stuffing. Then truss the turkey to keep the stuffing moist. If you stuff the turkey, be sure that the temperature reaches 165°F.

To bake stuffing in baking dish:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish, or smaller if needed. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Dot top of stuffing with butter. Cover with parchment paper and then foil. Bake until heated through, about 30-40 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 15-20 minutes longer.

Note that you may prepare any of the above stuffing recipes ahead. Simply refrigerate covered and take out when you are ready to bake. It is best to bring the stuffing to room temperature prior to baking and follow the same bake times suggested above.

Bon Appetit!

Monica Corrado, MA, CNC, CGP is a teaching chef, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and Certified GAPS Practitioner who is passionate about illuminating the connection between food and well-being. A member of the Honorary Board of the Weston A. Price Foundation for almost 20 years, Monica is a dynamic teacher, speaker, consultant, and author who lives to share the tools, knowledge and inspiration to cook nourishing, traditional food. Monica is also The GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome™) Chef”, and teaches cooking for the GAPS diet for Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s GAPS Training team.

www.simplybeingwell.com
FB: Simply Being Well: Cooking for Wellbeing
Twitter: @simplybeingwell
IG: mcsimplybeingwell

Add to Plan to Eat

Almond (or other nut) Pie Crust

Source: Monica Corrado

Course: GAPS-Treats

Yield: one 9" pie crust

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1 12 cups almond or other nut flour, (if you are using pecans, use less butter)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 18 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pastured butter melted
  • 1 12 teaspoons honey (optional)
  • spices (optional)
  • 18-14 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 18 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Butter a 9-inch pie pan.
  3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form it into a ball and press into pan, taking care to make it as thin
  4. as possible and cover the bottom and sides of the pan.
  5. Bake at 325°F, about 10 minutes. Do not overbake.
  6. Fill with pumpkin or sweet potato pie filling and bake as directed.
  7. Nut Crust with Spices
  8. For a little zing, add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves to
  9. the above recipe

Powered by
Plan To Eat

Add to Plan to Eat

Wild Rice Stuffing with Mushrooms

Source: Monica Corrado

Course: Side Dishes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) pastured butter
  • 3 large onions diced
  • 1 14 pounds assorted mushrooms such as crimini or shiitake, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 12 cups wild rice
  • 34 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional: reserve some for garnish)

Directions

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until very
  2. tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Do not allow to burn. Transfer onions to large bowl.
  3. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and 1
  4. tablespoon thyme; sauté until mushrooms are deep brown, about 12 minutes. Add to bowl
  5. with onions. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring stock, 1 tablespoon thyme, and 2 teaspoons sage to boil in heavy large deep saucepan.
  7. Mix in wild rice; return to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 45 minutes to an hour, or
  8. until the rice is done—it will be tender and have split open.
  9. Stir in caramelized onions and mushrooms, remaining thyme, and sage. Cover and simmer 5
  10. minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.
  11. Use to stuff turkey or place in buttered baking dish, as below.

Powered by
Plan To Eat

You may also like...

Skip to content