The gluten free, no eggs, no nuts, no soy Thanksgiving

Now that we've moved my mother-in-law out to Colorado, Thanksgiving is going to be challenging. No, not because she's mean ol' lady, but because she has celiac sprue and can't eat gluten. Combine that with my daughter's food allergies - no eggs and no nuts - and the holiday feast becomes quite challenging.

Hooray for turkey!

Working around these food allergies and sensitivities will be much easier than I thought. Thank goodness that my family can eat turkey. This year my husband has decided to smoke the bird, which should be a lot of fun. He used the smoker many times this summer and feels very confident using it.

I googled "smoked turkey" and found Alton Brown's recipe for Honey Brined Smoke Turkey. I love Alton's show and his appearances on Iron Chef America. We've made many of his recipes, and know his meat smoking recipes are top notch.

Honey Brined Smoked Turkey

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2004


  • J0227762 1 gallon hot water
  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 pound honey
  • 1 (7-pound) bag of ice
  • 1 (15 to 20-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
  • Vegetable oil, for rubbing turkey


  1. Combine the hot water and the salt in a 54-quart cooler. Stir until the salt dissolves. Stir in the vegetable broth and the honey. Add the ice and stir. Place the turkey in the brine, breast side up, and cover with cooler lid. Brine overnight, up to 12 hours.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine and dry thoroughly. Rub the bird thoroughly with the vegetable oil.
  3. Heat the grill to 400 degrees F.
  4. Using a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil, build a smoke bomb. Place a cup of hickory wood chips in the center of the foil and gather up the edges, making a small pouch. Leave the pouch open at the top. Set this directly on the charcoal or on the metal bar over the gas flame. Set the turkey over indirect heat, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast meat, and set the alarm for 160 degrees F. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour check the bird; if the skin is golden brown, cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking. Also, after 1 hour, replace wood chips with second cup.
  6. Once the bird reaches 160 degrees F, remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 1 hour. Carve and serve.

What about the stuffing, sides and dessert?

I googled "gluten free cornbread vegan" and ended up finding a recipe here at This Mama Cooks! that I used for Christmas 2005 when my MIL was visiting - Cornbread Stuffing with Dried Cranberries. If I remember correctly, I found gluten-free cornbread mix at Wal-Mart and used egg substitute. There's no nuts in it either. (Also, the Cranberry-Cherry Compote recipe from Weight Watcher's Magazine looks pretty darn good, too.)

I'll be making a sweet potato dish and mash potatoes, of course. Now for the biggest challenge of all - dessert. Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “The gluten free, no eggs, no nuts, no soy Thanksgiving

  1. Bill

    Ya gotta help me. What is a smoke bomb…”Using a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil, build a smoke bomb…


  2. capello

    be careful with your vegetable stock! unless you made it homemade, most have gluten in them as a binder and the FDA doesn’t regulate gluten as an ingredient when it’s used like that.

    the only brand of stock i have found that is safe is “kitchen basics”.

    you also need to be careful with what type of rice you use (ridiculous, i know) because some are coated in gluten as well, to keep it from sticking in the package.

    feel free to email me if you have any questions – my children and i have tons of food allergies.

  3. Pingback: Brining your Thanksgiving turkey with Kikkoman soy sauce | This Mama Cooks!

  4. Pingback: Brining and smoking your Thanksgiving turkey | This Mama Cooks!

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