Are you cooking for a special someone this Thanksgiving and still trying to find the perfect recipes? Maybe you have one guest who can’t tolerate gluten, another who can’t have dairy, and yet another who is vegetarian and can’t eat processed sugars. Or maybe that special someone is you, without any dietary restrictions at all, but you just feel a little better keeping your holiday indulgences on the clean and healthy side.
I know it can be tricky to cook for someone with special dietary needs if you aren’t used to doing so, which is why I wanted to share two delicious recipes that are quick, easy, and will satisfy a range of dietary requirements. I made both of these for an early Thanksgiving dinner with friends this past weekend. As a matter of fact, no at this dinner party had any particular food intolerances or allergies, but I chose the recipes anyway because they sounded good to me and they are all natural and clean. And most importantly… delicious! Both were a hit among my friends. I’m going to give you my comments on each of them, but please click the links to see the actual recipes.
First up, The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate Carrot Souffle. I’ve been reading the Primal Palate blog quite a bit lately. From my basic understanding, those who follow a primal or paleo diet avoid grains, dairy, processed sugar, legumes, and alcohol. Though I do not follow this diet myself, I place a lot of emphasis on eating clean and I get a little giddy over finding recipes that I could make for friends with a variety of different diets, should I come across them. Hence why I love checking out this blog. When I saw the recipe for carrot souffle and scanned the ingredient list, I was immediately smitten. Here’s a few reasons why I love this recipe:
- It’s gluten-free and dairy-free
- It does not contain refined sugars (all of the sweetness comes from the carrots themselves and a little maple syrup)
- It can be suitable for vegetarians if you replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth (as I did)
- It uses coconut oil (more on this below)
- It is super-duper easy (I simply blended all the ingredients together in the food processor, by adding them after pureeing the carrots)
- It can be made ahead (I made it a day ahead and refrigerated it without any problems reheating; the author also notes that it can be frozen.)
- It’s delicious!
Are you wondering about coconut oil? It certainly seems to be a trendy ingredient in the healthy cooking realm lately. This is because it is one of the healthier fats and the plant supposedly provides many health benefits. But I love it most for its excellent flavor! I have purchased it in a health food store though I have also seen it in regular grocery stores in the natural/health/organic sections. The recipe also calls for 1 tablespoon of coconut flour – you should be able to find this in a health food store too but if not, I don’t think it is critical. I used peanut flour instead. I think any flour would do, gluten-free or regular if you do not need a gluten-free dish. The dish can be made vegetarian (as I did) by cooking the carrots in vegetable broth. I made this the day before and reheated with no problem; the author also notes that it can be frozen.
As I mentioned, I love the use of coconut oil in this recipe. It adds a heavenly twist to deliciously sweet and savory carrots, resulting in something that I would choose over any of the traditional starchy sides. As soon as I took my first bite, I knew this recipe was a success. A few minutes later as everyone started eating, enough of my friends expressed their love that I could declare this a true a winner. The clean casserole dish at the end of the meal provided the last bit of reassurance!