In planning out the ultimate vegan, gluten-free Thanksgiving, part of my strategy was to make a list of the traditional foods I imagined people would associate strongly with being part of this holiday meal, and then find a way to include those, either in actuality or in essence. Things like green-bean casserole and sweet potatoes with marshmallows may be vital to particular family traditions, but I was aiming for more catch-all categories, like “stuffing,” “potatoes and gravy,” and, of course, I would eventually have to deal with the big one, “turkey.”
One thing I went back and forth about was the category of “bread” or “rolls.” Some kind of bread or roll is usually part of any big American holiday feast, but Thanksgiving is so carb-heavy that it seemed a little absurd to go to the trouble of making gluten-free vegan bread (which I’ve never done before) just so there would be one more plain starch on the table along with all the fancy ones.
Then I came across a recipe from Karina, the Gluten-Free Goddess for Blue Corn Muffins with Green Chiles and I knew a hot basket of these would get the meal started off right. Karina was even kind enough to tell me how to freeze and reheat them, so I was able to make them a week in advance, which was a great boon for streamlining the T-day preparations. (Scroll down to the bottom of the comments below Karina’s recipe for her freezing advice.)
I made the muffins exactly as directed, with the only difference being that, with the muffin papers about 2/3 full, I had enough batter for 16 rather than 12 muffins, which was perfect. This was my first foray into the type of gluten-free baking that uses GF flour combos and I was a little nervous, but thanks to Rainbow Grocery’s extremely well-stocked bulk section and Karina’s tried, tested, and true muffin expertise, everything went perfectly.
My one comment on the muffins is that, unless they were piping hot, the texture seemed oddly grainy and soft in the center. Once they were hot, though (I reheated them in the toaster oven right before we sat down to eat and then kept them warm in a basket wrapped in a towel) that softness seemed like melting goodness. There were a couple left over, and we ate these the next day with butter (er, Earth Balance) and those twice-toasted muffins were the best of the whole batch!