It’s not too soon to start prepping for Thanksgiving if you want to have control over the ingredients in the foods you and your family will be eating and save money. Yes, as you can see I am a bit of a control freak. I like to save money, pick which ingredients we don’t eat and most of my foods to be organic. I especially buy organic when it comes to ingredients that fall on the dirty dozen list. We’ll be eating celery in my stuffing, potatoes will be mashed, spinach, lettuce, sweet bell peppers and cucumbers in a salad, kale in my vegetarian Cashew Cream Yam Cannelloni and green beans as a side dish.
Also as soon as I can place my order for an organic turkey I do so. I remember the first year I made the switch to organic turkey. It was by far the best tasting turkey I have ever eaten. It was juicy and tasted like turkey, instead of just bland.
But for now I’ll just work on the foundations of my turkey and stuffing portion of the meal. I’ll work on some of the other menu items closer to the date. For instance I’ll make cashew cream cheese on Tuesday of that week so it will be ready for my Cashew Cream Yam Cannelloni. That will be the centerpiece for my vegetarian Thanksgiving for my oldest son, Andy.
So this week I got to play more with my new Ninja Cooking System, (sent to me for free). The more I cook with this the more I really love it. I steam roasted two organic turkey breasts. They were on sale for a great price so I had to snag them. I also wanted them to slice up for lunch and dinners for the coming couple of weeks. It’s so much better than buying lunchmeat. Again, control over ingredients. I get organic, gluten free and sugar free lunch meat plus save money at the same time. These breasts came out so tender and juicy and it didn’t take long to cook them either. I put vegetable and chicken stock in the bottom of the Ninja and put the breasts on the roasting rack.
What I was not expecting with this was a beautiful delicious turkey gravy base when I was done cooking the turkey. You could of course buy things like this at the stores like Williams Sonoma for $10.95. Here is what is their turkey gravy base: Water, turkey flavor (chicken stock, salt, autolyzed yeast extract, flavors, hydrolyzed soy protein, maltodextrin, chicken fat, caramel color, soy lecithin), modified food starch, turkey broth, rendered turkey fat, natural flavoring, gdl (an acidifier).
Can I just say yuck! So first of all there are many ingredients in here that could contain gluten such as maltodextrin, caramel color, and natural flavoring. The modified food starch if made from wheat should note this. Just in case you have never used a turkey gravy base, all you have to do is add in water or milk and you have gravy.
So I made an amazing tasting turkey gravy base for free since it was what was left after steam roasting my turkey. I also can tell you every ingredient in it and you can even pronounce them.
I then sliced the turkey off the bones and tossed those bones back into the Ninja to make turkey stock. I ended up with 15 cups of stock. This will be perfect for making my Gluten Free Stuffing with Pancetta Sage Sausage and the gravy. This is a huge money saver since I’m using the turkey bones again, some vegetables and water. The cost for those ingredients was far less than the $20 it would cost to buy that much turkey stock that usually contains sugar, which is off limits for my youngest son. Besides if I’m eating something with sugar or sweet, I want it to be a dessert. Again I get to control the ingredients, save money and keep that easy, healthy, gluten free life!
Turkey Stock Gluten Free Recipe
cooked turkey bones
2 stalks of organic celery with leaves, cut into chunks
1 onion, cut into chunks
1 organic carrot, cut into chunks
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (Braggs with the mother)
Place the ingredients into the slow cooker and pour the water over top until close to the top.
Cook on low for 24 hours.
Strain the liquid into a large bowl through a sieve or fine colander. Keep the stock and discard the rest. It’s done the job and is no longer needed nor will it have much flavor. All of the flavor is in the stock.
I put my stock into glass Pyrex storage containers(affiliate link) label it and put it into the freezer. Do you like my fancy masking tape and marker?Print This Recipe
I'm so impressed at your level of organization! I'm lucky if I know what we're eating this week, much less in a month!
Thanksgiving is usually an easy one to know about ahead of time. There are a few recipes that I make every year so I know the ingredients and when to start looking for those to be on sale. Planning a menu for then or for the week will really help save time and money. Look at what you already have on hand and go from there. I'm guessing you have some idea of what you'll be eating on Thanksgiving? Do you do the cooking or do you go somewhere?