Thanksgiving! Migraine and gluten free, round 2

Three years ago, I wrote a post about celebrating Thanksgiving with my brother, who has Celiac Disease. Welp, we get to do it again!! We’re loading up the mini and making the nine hour drive to his place! I thought I’d help out my fellow migraineurs by sharing what we’re having on the menu. 

Note: I’ve been on the migraine-free diet for nearly five years now. I know that these foods will not trigger a migraine for me. If they are your trigger, just avoid them. 

We’ll start with the star of the show, the turkey. I love using a brine on the turkey. Once again, we’ll be using the brine kit from World Market. The only questionable ingredient in the mix is orange peel. I’ve never had any issues with it. There are probably a ton of homemade brine recipes out there on the interwebs. You can always adapt one to eliminate your triggers, and voila! A delicious, gluten and migraine free turkey. Gobble gobble!

Last time I also made a cranberry chutney that was delish. I used peach juice instead of orange juice, and left out the orange zest. It worked well! 

 I don’t know if we’ve officially decided on appetizers, but I’m going to stick with my old favorite, veggies and hummus. Since my last post, I have actually figured out how to make awesome homemade hummus. This is the recipe I use.  You can make it a day ahead of time so it’s ready to go. I don’t know if I’ll have time to make some before I go, so I’ll probably just stick with Sabra. 

My mom is making Syracuse potatoes in the instant pot. I’ve never had them before, but she says they’re pretty amazing. I’ll probably make a couple baked sweet potatoes for my girls because they looove them. And they’re super easy. Wash potatoes. Poke potatoes. Wrap them in foil. Pop them in the oven at 400 for 45-60 minutes. 

I bought some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Biscuit Mix, so I’ll make some biscuits with that. 

My mom and I love a good squash dish, so I’d like to make roasted butternut squash again. It’s so good! We did it last time we had Thanksgiving together. Here’s the recipe I’ll be following. 

Some French cut green beans would be a great complement to the meal. Nothing fancy, just cook them, add butter and salt, and I’ll be a happy camper. 

My brother’s girlfriend is in charge of the pumpkin pie. She found a gluten free crust. Other than that, there really aren’t any migraine triggers in the pumpkin pie. 

So there you go! Gobble til you wobble, and may you remain migraine free throughout the Thanksgiving weekend! 


Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup

Creamy cauliflower potato soup

We have Christmas Eve at my parent’s house every year. This year, everyone brought a soup to share. I needed mine to be migraine-free and gluten-free. I poked around on Pinterest, found a couple recipes, and combined them to make one of the best soups I’ve ever made. 

Creamy cauliflower potato soup

 I’ve made it three times now, and it’s still amazing. Even my two-year-old, who declared she did NOT like soup, gobbled it up. 

Norah eating soup

There are no “cream of whatever” soups here! I stopped using those years ago. And now that I’m gluten-free, I couldn’t have them, even if I wanted to. The base of this soup is pureed cauliflower! I added a brick of cream cheese, because, why not? Just check the label to make sure it is free of MSG. If you see “carrageenan” on the label, set it down, and walk away.   

Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup
Creamy and delicious soup full of veggies!
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  1. 1 Head of cauliflower, chopped
  2. 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  3. 1 cup chopped carrots
  4. 1 cup chopped broccoli
  5. 8 oz cream cheese
  6. 6-8 cups broth or water, enough to cover the veggies
  7. seasonings to taste
  1. In a large pot, bring broth/water and cauliflower to a boil. Cook until cauliflower is fork tender.
  2. Put cauliflower and some of the cooking liquid into a bowl and puree with an immersion blender. You can also put them into your blender to puree.
  3. Cube the cream cheese and put in with the cauliflower. Let it sit for a few minutes to soften. Then puree again to incorporate the cream cheese.
  4. Put potatoes, carrots and broccoli into the pot and bring to a boil. Cook until tender. Transfer the veggies to the bowl with the cauliflower puree. Stir together, adding cooking liquid to desired consistency. Add any seasonings to taste.
  1. If you're not migraine or gluten free, you could crumble some cooked bacon on top, add shredded cheese or sour cream.
Be SamWise
This recipe is also great for customizing to your own tastes. You can add in whatever veggies you want! I used white potatoes, carrots and broccoli – besides the cauliflower base. Peas, mushrooms and corn would also be great additions! I see some new versions of this soup in my near future πŸ™‚


Homemade Vanilla Granola

There was a time in my not-too-distant-past when I hated oatmeal. It’s true. I thought it was slimy. When I was pregnant with Norah, I saw some instant oatmeal with strawberries while grocery shopping, and my pregnant stomach took over. It was fantastic. It wasn’t long until I learned that instant oatmeal is nothing compared to old fashioned. And don’t get me started on steel cut! Nom nom nom! 

Fast-forward to the present time. Norah and I eat oatmeal almost every morning – preferably steel cut, but I don’t always have time to make that. Then we like to snack on granola throughout the day. Plus, granola is a great snack to put in my purse or diaper bag for when I’m out and about.

My current favorite granola is Bob’s Red Mill – Gluten Free Granola Honey Oat – 12 oz. (affiliate link). I love every BRM product I’ve tried, actually.

But, the bags of granola can get a little spendy. I’ve made my own granola before, so I thought I’d try it again. I found a recipe, figured out what I needed to change to make it migraine-free, enlisted my little helper and got to work! 

My little helper, stirring the granola mixture
My little helper, stirring the granola mixture

The original recipe called for almonds and almond extract. I left those out since they can be triggers. If you’re not worried about migraines, by all means, put them back in! You could also add dried fruit or other nuts. 

Homemade Vanilla Granola
Sweet and crunchy homemade granola!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
  1. 3 cups oats
  2. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  5. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  6. 1 Tbsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 300ΒΊ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix oats, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl, melt the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and vanilla to melted oil. Mix well. Pour over oat mixture. Stir until all oats are moistened.
  4. Spread mixture on your parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely. Try not to eat it all in one sitting.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Be SamWise
Next time, I’ll probably make a double batch. Granola is my go-to snack, and this stuff just won’t last long in our house! If you are going to do a double batch, use two baking sheets. Don’t try to get it all on one. 

Finished, homemade, crazy delicious granola!
Finished, homemade, crazy delicious granola!

Enjoy! Let me know if you try this recipe, or have ever made your own granola. 


Thanksgiving! Gluten and migraine-free style

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that my brother is coming home for Thanksgiving! I don’t even remember the last Thanksgiving we spent together. It’s been at least seven years! 

He has Celiac Disease, so we’re doing a gluten and migraine free Thanksgiving. My mom and I have been looking at recipes and planning our meal for awhile, so I thought I’d share it with you in case you need some inspiration for the quickly approaching day.

Veggie tray with hummus. I buy Sabra Roasted Red Pepper hummus. I keep trying to make my own hummus, and it’s never as good.

Turkey – we’re going to do a brine and then bake it. My brother-in-law did it this way a few years ago and it was the best turkey I’ve ever had. I bought this brine kit from World Market. 

GF Cornbread muffins – this recipe technically isn’t migraine free because there’s yogurt in it, but I eat them anyway. We make these in a muffin pan instead of a skillet. They only need to bake for about 12 minutes. I’ve used this recipe many times. It’s so good! The muffins only last about 3 days in our house. 

My little helper, making cornbread muffins
My little helper, making cornbread muffins

Homemade applesauce – My parents made a batch of applesauce and froze it, so we’ll be eating that. 

Sweet corn – My parents also cooked and froze some good ol’ Iowa sweet corn this fall, so we get to eat that. Mmmm, Iowa sweet corn!

Roasted butternut squash – I made this recipe last week to test it out. It is nothing short of amazing. Also, peeling and cubing a butternut squash is not fun! But your tastebuds will be greatly rewarded for your effort. I put my brother in charge of this dish πŸ™‚ 

Roasted butternut squash
Cubed butternut squash, ready for roasting!

Cranberry chutney – I’ve never made my own cranberry sauce, but I’m going to give it a whirl! I’ll be making a few changes to this recipe, since citrus is a no-no for migraineurs. I’ll be replacing the orange juice with peach juice and omitting the orange zest. 

Garlic mashed sweet potatoes – I’ll omit the sour cream, since that’s a migraine trigger. Maybe put in some cream cheese instead? Yeah, cream cheese! 

Stuffing – We call stuffing “dressing,” and it drives my husband crazy. “Dressing goes on salads!” Whatever you call it, I’ve never been a big fan. Probably because there’s onion and celery in it. My grandma is making the stuffing this year, so it probably won’t be GF/MF. But, if you want to make your own, this recipe doesn’t look too tough! Just leave out the onion to make it MF. 

Green bean casserole – My husband really wants to make a green bean casserole. He said he’s just going to make up his own recipe as he goes. This recipe looks pretty tasty though! The onions and cheese are migraine triggers, so I’ll probably pass, but everyone else can enjoy it!

Pumpkin pie – My grandma is in charge of the pies. But I want to make one pumpkin pie just to be sure it’s GF and MF. I bought some Bob’s Red Mill GF Baking Flour (affiliate link – Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour Gluten Free — 22 oz), so I’ll be testing my GF baking chops! Here’s the crust recipe I’ll be using. 

Have you planned out your Thanksgiving meal yet? Do you have to modify for any food allergies? Think you’ll try out any of these recipes? Let me know in the comments!


Freezer Meals – gluten and migraine free

If you follow me on Facebook, you’d know I just finished up a round of freezer meals for our family. This is only the second time I’ve made them, and I can’t believe how helpful they are! 

I love cooking, but when the husband is gone all day or on overnight trips, it can be hard to find time to make dinner. But pulling one out of the freezer and plopping it in the crockpot? Easy, peasy. 

All of these recipes are gluten free and MSG free if you read your labels. Some have cheese in them, which can be a migraine trigger. If it’s your trigger, skip that recipe or leave out the cheese. 

I keep a running list in my Google Docs of the recipes I use. When I’m preparing for my cooking day, I print it out and make my grocery list. I write down EVERYTHING I will need. Then I go through the kitchen and pantry and cross off what I already have. Then make a new grocery list with what I still need. It takes awhile, but it’s worth it. Also, if you have a simpler way of doing this, let me know!

It takes a whole day of cooking for me to get these all done. That’s what life is like with two little ones! 

Note on the chicken meals: Norah’s not huge on eating meat, so I usually just use one full breast in each meal. (A full breast is when they’re still attached – I separate and clean them before bagging them). If you have more than two that will be eating, throw in another breast or two! It shouldn’t be an issue.

A note on broth: Using homemade broth is best because you know that it won’t have gluten or MSG in it. Most chicken broth was made using onions, which are triggers. I  have yet to find a store-bought broth that doesn’t have onion in it. You can always just use water and add more seasonings. 

The night before I make the meals, I label all of my freezer bags with what goes in them and how to cook/reheat them. These details are all listed with each recipe below. Ideally, I’d have gone grocery shopping in advance of my cooking day, but I didn’t this time, because that’s life. So Norah went with me early in the morning. 

Once I actually got to cooking, I started out by washing and chopping all my vegetables. Then I cleaned the chicken breasts and put them in their respective meal bags. 

Chopped veggies
Chopped veggies

I tried to find the links to the original recipes. If there’s no link, I couldn’t find where I got it from! 

Cheesy Meatloaf

If cheese is a migraine trigger for you, just leave it out! It’ll still be delish πŸ™‚ High quality American cheese is not a trigger, so you could use that. 

  • 1 lb beef
  • 1 c shredded cheese
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 3/4 c oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Cool, and put in freezer bag.

Write on bag: Thaw, Reheat at 350 until warm throughout. 

Recipe from Little House Living


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c Gluten-free panko crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. Cool, and put in freezer bags. Makes 12 meatballs. *I put 6 meatballs in two quart sized freezer bags because we don’t eat more than 6 at a time.

Write on bag: Thaw, reheat in microwave or oven.

Sweet Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 c honey
  • 1/2 ketchup
  • 1/2 gluten free, MSG free soy sauce
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

Write on bag: Thaw, line baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Serve with rice or quinoa and veggies.

Note: When I made this, I had frozen peas in my freezer so we cooked them up. It was the perfect addition! We also had a lot of sauce left over so you could probably cook 4 chicken breasts if you wanted.

Chicken Broccoli Rice casserole

This recipe makes at least two meals. 

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 pkg cream cheese (read label to make sure it is MSG free)
  • 6 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 packages frozen broccoli
  • 5 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Melt butter in saucepan. Add milk and cream cheese. Stir occasionally until cheese is melted. 

Mix ingredients with cheese sauce in a big bowl. Divide between two freezer bags. 

Write on bag: Thaw, grease 9×9 pan and bake at 350 for 30 mins.

Recipe adapted from My Gluten Free Kitchen

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger soup
Cheeseburger soup

This is the most labor intensive recipe, and it’s totally worth it. So good, especially on a chilly night! This makes a LOT of soup! I put about 6 cups of soup in two freezer bags. I use my 9 quart stockpot to cook in. Again, there is cheese in this recipe, so if that’s your trigger, leave it out or skip the recipe. I added mushrooms to my soup because I had them on hand. This recipe is easy to adapt to your family’s tastes!

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package frozen peas and carrot (or fresh veggies of your choice)
  • 1/2 c chopped red pepper
  • t Tbsp minced garlic
  • 6 cups gluten and MSG free chicken broth
  • 9 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 c corn starch
  • 1 lb cubed cheddar cheese (I use sharp cheddar)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Brown the beef in the large stockpot. 
  2. Add the broth, potatoes, red pepper, peas and carrots.
  3. Bring to a boil, stir, then turn to low heat, cover pot with lid, and let simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
  4. In a smaller pot, melt the butter, then whisk in cornstarch. Add milk, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil until starts to thicken, about 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  5. Gradually add the milk mixture into the stockpot once the potatoes are tender. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes to thicken the soup. Reduce heat to simmer and stir in cheese cubes.
  6. When cheese is melted, add garlic salt and pepper. Stir until all is warmed through to desired temperature. Taste to see if you would prefer additional garlic salt or pepper, or other seasonings. (I add cayenne pepper to everything!)
  7. Cool, put in freezer bags.

Write on bag: Thaw, add milk when reheating. 

Teriyaki Chicken

  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 bottle of gluten free teriyaki sauce (check for MSG also)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

Combine everything into a freezer bag. 

Write on bag: Thaw, cook 8 hours on low, 4 on high. Serve with rice.

Note: I added a bag of frozen broccoli during the last hour of cooking. 

Recipe from Fall Apart With Joy

Bacon Potato Soup

Note: Bacon can be a migraine trigger (sad but true). This soup would still be great without it!

This recipe makes 2 meals. 

  • 2 pints heavy cream
  • 1 bag hashbrowns (gluten and MSG free)
  • 1 can chicken broth (gluten and MSG free)
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 bag frozen carrots
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb bacon

Divide the bacon between two quart sized freezer bags. Label it “For bacon potato soup.”

Divide the rest of the ingredients between two gallon sized freezer bags.

Write on bags: Thaw, cook 2 hours on high.

Staple the bacon bag to the soup bag.

Before serving, thaw and cook the bacon, and crumble it on top. 

Beef Stew

Beef stew
Beef stew

If you’re going to freeze this meal, start it early. It needs to cook in the crockpot and cool before it is frozen. Makes 2 meals.

  • 3 c chopped carrots
  • 4 c cubed potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce (check for migraine triggers)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 lbs stew meat cubed (I used 4 round steaks and cubed them)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can beef broth (gluten and MSG free)
  • 1 package frozen veggies of choice (I used mixed veggies – corn, carrots, peas and green beans)

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours. Remove bay leaf. Add frozen veggies during the last hour of cooking.

After cooking in slow cooker, allow to cool, then portion into freezer containers. 

Write on bag: Thaw, reheat in microwave or on stovetop. 

Recipe from Once A Month Meals.

Quinoa and Chicken Burrito Filling

I love this recipe. I’ve never frozen it before so I’m hoping it turns out well! We’ll test it soon to make sure πŸ™‚ There is cheese in this recipe. If that’s a migraine trigger for you, just leave it out.

  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 cup dry quinoa = about 3 cups cooked 
  • 1 cup cooked/canned black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Β½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Β½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Cook quinoa. In a large bowl combine chicken, quinoa, black beans, corn, and cheese. In a small bowl combine dry spices.

Toss with quinoa mixture. Add lime juice and toss well.

Cool and put in freezer bag.

Write on bag: Thaw and reheat in microwave. Serve with chips or corn tortillas, tomatoes, salsa, etc. 

Recipe adapted from Cooking Quinoa

Italian Chicken

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 4-6 medium potatoes, about 2 lbs, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning  (make sure it is MSG free)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Put all ingredients in a freezer bag.

Write on bag: Thaw, cook 8 hours on low or 4 on high.

Recipe from 5 Dollar Dinners

BBQ Chicken and Potatoes

  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 potatoes, cubed
  • BBQ sauce (The directions didn’t say how much BBQ sauce to use, so I did about 1/2 cup. Also, make sure it is gluten and MSG free)

Add all ingredients to freezer bag.

Write on bag: Thaw, cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.


There you have it! Let me know if you have any questions!