I might not have been 100% honest with you in my last post. It turns out that I am good-for-sumthin’ when it comes to Thanksgiving.
Ever since I found out about my new dietary restrictions last week (no wheat, dairy, sugar or caffeine) I’ve been bookmarking recipes left and right so that I have plenty to feast on come Turkey Day. (This means I will now be taking Wednesday off to cook for myself and shlepping my Thanksgiving Dinner 6 hours in the car on Thursday to be with family – fun times, huh?)
One thing is for sure. I WILL be making the Carrot Souffle from the Food Lovers’ Primal Palate. This recipe is grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free, making it suitable for a paleo diet. But really? I’m making it because it’s so irresistibly delicious. (I know, I’ve made it before!) This year I plan to make a few changes. I’ll swap in butternut squash for the carrots, because I know that my relatives always make a carrot dish but no squash. That way my dish won’t be a duplicate of something already on the table, and perhaps (hopefully!) others will eat it as well. I’ll also cut back on the oil (coconut oil is nutritious, but I’d like to reduce the overall fat) and replace it with some applesauce or even almond or soy milk. I’ll let you know how it goes!
This Sweet Potato Gratin from the Healthy Foodie sounds right up my alley. Sweet (from the honey and pecans) and savory (rosemary and mustard), I’m sure it will be a crowd-pleaser. By the way, it’s also made entirely of clean, natural ingredients. I passed the recipe along to my mother (who is not cooking for anyone on a special diet this year) and she agreed that it sounded wonderful and plans to make it.
Although mashed potatoes aren’t necessarily my must-have on Thanksgiving (I’m more of an orange veggie gal, but I think you knew that) I couldn’t help bookmarking Lexie’s Mashed Potatoes. They get their creamy texture from Earth Balance Buttery Spread, and a little hint of cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast. I promise that those are not “weird” or “hard to find” ingredients, so if you know of a mashed potato lover who can’t eat dairy, I’m positive they’d be very thankful to see these on the table. As would everyone else, gobbling them up without knowing the difference.
I’ll also admit that stuffing isn’t my favorite, but perhaps that’s because I haven’t tried Kim’s favorite recipe at Cook It Allergy Free. Her recipe combines gluten-free cornbread and crusty bread with apples, sausage, pine nuts, raisins and a secret ingredient. Which I can’t even bother trying to keep a secret because it’s probably my favorite thing in the world: pumpkin! There is no dairy, and eggs can be avoided too if needed. It looks like this makes HUGE amount, so I’ll probably cut it in half because I know there will already be two or more other kinds of stuffing on the table. Therefore I might just stick to the cornbread – I’m sure it will still be just as good.
Everyone I know seems to be die-hard gravy OR cranberry sauce. To me, turkey on Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce would be a huge shame. Since I won’t be able to partake in the cranberry sauce being served (hello, sugar) I’m definitely going to bring my own. But, in attempt to make something a little different for the holiday table – something that others will want to try as well – I’ve bookmarked Simply Healthy Family’s Spiced Cranberry Chutney with Apricots, Cherries and Pecans. Unlike most chutneys that are full of sugar, this recipe is sweetened with apple cider and pomegranate juice.
Where’s my green veggie you ask? My mother-in-law offered to make something that I’d be able to eat as well. Recently she stole a recipe from Whole Foods for a warm kale salad with cranberries and onions, dressed in a citrus-y vinaigrette. I don’t have the recipe, but I promise, it’s a winner.
Finally, I gotta have dessert. No way I’m missing out on that! I don’t have a recipe yet, but I’m craving a pumpkin tart in a cinnamon-spiced chocolate-almond crust. I’ll likely be sweetening my pie filling with maple syrup (in place of sugar) and coconut milk (instead of cream or milk.) I’m hoping this will be a hit at our holiday, no matter how stuffed everyone is from what always seems to be the biggest feast I’ve ever seen.
It’s a tough call between that and my Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread Pudding with Maple Crème Anglaise , created especially for Clean Eating Magazine. Not to brag, but I’m really proud of that one. It turned out rich and decadent, and you actually get a very generous portion for a relatively small amount of calories and fat. Alright, you caught me. I’m bragging. I have no shame – this dessert is really, really good. Of course, I made it well before I knew I’d be giving up wheat, dairy and sugar for the holiday, but that’s really not a problem. The recipe is already dairy-free and sugar-free, and can easily be made gluten-free by substituting gluten-free sandwich bread or baguette (either of which are pretty easy to find these days in a regular grocery store, I promise!). I’ve used almond milk, but if you can’t do nuts, feel free to substitute low-fat milk (if you can do dairy) or another non-dairy milk, like soy or coconut milk.
As you can (hopefully) see, there are plenty of options out there for those with dietary restrictions or allergies, and they don’t have to require much more work or a ton of hard-to-find ingredients that you won’t use again. Personally, I’m really excited for the Thanksgiving dinner I’ve picked out for myself. I hope that whatever you are eating on Thursday leaves you nourished, happy, and thankful for all of the delicious offerings out there, no matter what dietary path you’re walking right now.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays for 11/22/2011, on Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.