What To Do With Your Gluten Free Holiday Leftovers

Those who know me will know that any excuse for cooking for a crowd (by which I mean anything more than just my boyfriend and myself) means I will purchase a rather large amount of food, make huge amounts of dishes, and have lots of leftovers. Case in point: when my boyfriend told his brother that I was making Thanksgiving dinner, his brother’s first response was ‘Oh, so she’s making at least 10 courses?’ I guess there are worse things to be known for than making great quantities of tasty food.

(Yes, I ordered a lot of food)

Other coeliacs will probably understand the reason for so much cooking. If I make it myself, at my gluten free kitchen, I can eat everything I want and not worry about contamination. So I’m going to cook everything I’ve wanted to eat, and then eat it for the rest of the week too. Also, the traditional meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas are both easily made entirely gluten free. A bit of gluten free flour or corn flour in the gravy and some good-quality gluten free bread for the stuffing are all that are strictly necessary to transform a traditional holiday meal into a coeliac-friendly holiday meal. Most of the traditional vegetable sides are naturally gluten free, which to me means that Thanksgiving provided an opportunity to cook six. For six people. Plus biscuits. And two types of dessert. Maybe I do have a problem…

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

The full meal. Minus desserts.

All of which means that I end up with a large amount of leftovers, providing multiple holiday packed lunches. (Hint: pack gluten free gravy granules with your lunch and you can have fresh gravy at work). But even I can hit a wall where having the same roast dinner every lunch/dinner can get a bit boring. And holiday meals (Thanksgiving or Christmas, it’s really the same meal) can get a bit repetitive. So I’ve been experimenting with different ways of using up my leftovers, both the food I’ve cooked and the leftover fresh food that I ordered but didn’t need. I can imagine that other coeliacs have woken up on the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas and faced the same vast quantites of food, so I thought I’d share my successes from this year.

(A tiny pot of gravy granules makes a work lunch so much better!)

First up, how to use up stuffing. My stuffing was made using gluten free bread from Artisan Gluten Free Bakery, which comes unsliced so it was perfect to make into large chunks. I used Smitten Kitchen’s apple-herb stuffing recipe, which worked a treat. I also used her ‘put an egg on it’ philosophy to transform leftover stuffing into breakfast for two days. A crispy egg (ie an egg fried until the white can almost shatter) was a great addition, adding some protein to the meal and making it feel very breakfast/brunch-worthy.

I also used up my leftover mashed potatoes with the stuffing in this weird version of a tarte tatin. I reheated my caramelised shallots and their braising liquid in a frying pan, then added potatoes and stuffing that had been mixed together with an egg for binding on top. I tried to flip it so the shallots and liquid poured over the hash, but I’m still working on my flipping skills. But it didn’t matter because it was a glorious lunch.

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

One leftover that shouldn’t need instructions for using up is apple crisp. But, in case any of you have not tried it for breakfast, DO IT. It’s really just baked oatmeal and stewed fruit, which is definitely a balanced breakfast. I would also recommend it with a bit of cold milk. I used Delicious Alchemy oatmeal for my crisp, but any gluten free oats are fine.

 

As you might have guessed from the produce photo, I also had some fresh vegetables leftover to use up. So I tried to find dishes that were completely different from a traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas meal to add some variety in among the stuffing.

First up was saag paneer: curry made with spinach and paneer, a type of Indian cheese. I am a big fan of this Delicious Magazine recipe, which is naturally gluten free, really easy to make and doesn’t involve the huge amounts of cream or ghee you often find in curry recipes. I used up onions and the entire 450g bag of spinach I had leftover, as well as the cream from the pumpkin pie (I would usually use the yoghurt recommended by the recipe). The curry was delicious and a good break from roast dinners.

 

Even though I made two separate sweet potato dishes for Thanksgiving I still had about a kilo leftover. So I continued on the spicy trend and went for chili. The chili was inspired by this recipe from Simply Quinoa, but I didn’t feel the need for extra grains after all the stuffing I’d been eating and added extra beans and sweetcorn instead. I also made the chili on the stovetop, rather than a crockpot. It took about 35-45 minutes of simmering, just be sure to check if the sweet potatoes are becoming too soft.

The chili was a great way to wind up the post-holiday overeating. It’s vegetarian, vegan and grain free, but very hearty so you’d never know. Also good if  you’re coming down with a cold in the winter, the spices really clear you out.

Grain free gluten free chili

Hopefully some of these ideas will be helpful in your quest to eat up all your gluten free leftovers. None of them require much onerous cooking, which is great if you’ve had to cook an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas meal recently! And all of them are vegetarian, if you either can’t face any more turkey or want to make sure everyone can eat. I would love to hear any other ideas people have for using up their holiday leftovers. As of writing, it’s only one month to Christmas!

Peppered Goat Cheese Scones – Gluten Free Recipe

Gluten free goat cheese scones

My British readers especially might be scratching their heads over the title of this recipe. Aren’t scones supposed to be sweet? With raisins/sultanas? Served at 4pm with jam? Well, these scones might not be sweet or contain dried fruit, but they are awesome served with jam at any type of day. I can sometimes find Serious Eats overwhelming from the sheer number of recipes, tips and reviews available, so I feel very lucky that I ran across Anna Markow’s recipe.

These scones are made in the American style of patting the dough into a round and cutting into wedges, resulting in large and craggy slices of deliciousness. The goat cheese softens into pockets of tastiness and the pepper adds a nice kick and a bit of something different.

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It was extremely easy to make these scones gluten free. I replaced the flour with Doves Farm plain gluten free flour and added a pinch of xantham gum. I made the dough once in my food processor and once by hand, but didn’t notice much of a difference.

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I didn’t have the multiple types of pepper recommended by Anna but didn’t feel that I was missing out. Plus my spice drawer is already overflowing and I just couldn’t justify extra pepper jars.

These scones go really well with any type of jam, my personal favourites are cherry and raspberry. I find tart jams are really good with the richness of the cheese and the heat of the pepper. But these are also awesome warm with just a bit of butter. Or with frittata and potato hash, as seen here.

Gluten free goat cheese scones

These scones are also amazing for when you’re having overnight guests or people for brunch. They have to be frozen for at least an hour before baking, but are happy to hang out in the freezer for much longer. So you can have warm scones in about 20 minutes whenever you want. Just make sure to separate the wedges before they go into the freezer, otherwise you may end up with scones that are a bit bigger than you expected.

Gluten free goat cheese scones

I would really recommend these scones as something a bit different for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, or general eating. You can find the full recipe and instructions here. Do you have any more unusual scone flavour combinations that you enjoy? Would love to get more inspiration!

Chickpea, Corn and Avocado Salad – Gluten Free Recipe Inspiration

A few months ago I moved into a flat with my boyfriend, with the exciting bonus of a fully gluten-free kitchen that I can experiment in to my heart’s content. Which means I’ve been doing a lot less eating out and a lot more cooking than when I was sharing flats. So I’m going to be sharing a few of my gluten free food ideas. Nothing fancy, very much in a ‘what coeliacs eat’ way, but I always like inspiration!

First up is one of my favourite lunch salads.

Colourful corn salad

The salad in its purest form. Love the colours so much.

This is one of the most versatile things I make and can stand up to all sorts of changing the ingredients based on what’s in the fridge/cupboard. I have been known to eat it for weeks on end. Plus it’s also vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, and all sorts of other healthy hashtags. But most importantly it’s tasty and naturally gluten free. It’s also one day late for Cinco de Mayo, but this is definitely more a take on ingredients associated with Mexico, rather than any kind of traditional Mexican food.

The main ingredients are chickpeas, sweet corn, red peppers and spring onions. I use canned chickpeas and frozen or tinned sweet corn because they’re easiest, but I’m sure it would be tasty with dried chickpeas and fresh corn. I usually make two portions, and divide the can of chickpeas, a tin of corn and a pepper between two tupperware. A quarter or a half of an avocado per lunch is also almost always involved, unless I can’t find one but am craving the salad.

Salad with black beans and cheddar

Experimental salad with black beans and grated cheddar.

Everything else is very experimental depending on what’s around. I have made this with black beans, with grilled halloumi, with grated cheddar, and with sausage. It would probably be good with all of those things at once even, though would provide more than 2 meals! For dressing I usually just season well and add a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon, but the oil isn’t necessary if you have a ripe avocado because it will mash into a dressing.

Salad with avocado

The salad with the avocado mashed in as dressing. Really works in place of the oil!

Salad in layers

I love the layers the salad makes in my tupperware. Probably a good one for a Mason jar, but I’m not quite that hipster. Also notice the halloumi on top.

Hopefully this will provide some lunch-time inspiration to coeliacs and to everyone. I would love to hear any gluten free lunch ideas that you have too!