Thanksgiving Food Plan

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I wanted to share how I approach this food centered holiday.  I usually end up doing a lot of cooking, making myself a mini-Thanksgiving, but since my family has two turkey celebrations to attend and I love leftovers, having a lot of food is a good thing.  Going to big gatherings full of delicious butter laden food can be hard when you are on an allergy diet so have a plan, bring yourself something delicious to eat so you don’t feel deprived and enjoy the holiday!

My Dairy-Soy Free Thanksgiving Plan:

1.    Inquire about safe items in advance:  I check with my family to see how some things are prepared.

–  I can usually eat turkey and cranberry sauce.  I make sure the turkey wasn’t injected with things or covered in butter for cooking.

–  I don’t ask people to change recipes for me but since it is family, I don’t mind asking for a few little favors.  I have my mom put some of the boiled potatoes to the side that I will mash with some chicken stock when I get there.   She often will leave a cooked vegetable like green beans in a dish for me to season myself.

(I do want to note that my family has been awesome at trying new recipes to accommodate this crazy diet so there is more I can eat at family gatherings.  Very very grateful for their patience and kindness!)

2.   Bring safe side dishes:    People seem to be uncomfortable if I have little on my plate plus it is nice to have a balanced meal.   Some dishes I bring to share and some are just small butter free versions of the usual fare that I bring to add to my plate.  Here are a few ideas:

– Potatoes mashed with some butter replacer and chicken stock or just chicken stock

– This amazing butternut squash recipe from Ina Garten.  Super easy and delicious. Definitely one I’m bringing to share.

– Sweet Potatoes mashed with cinnamon, honey and either butter replacer or vegetable stock.

-Bread/Rolls –  Last year I made a rosemary loaf a day or two ahead to bring and share.

-Salad – My favorite salad is this apple cranberry salad  (go easy on the onion) but recently I experimented with a fall salad of romaine, apples, cranberries, pecans and an apple cider vinaigrette which was tasty.

-Last year when I could still eat one brand of store-bought bread, I made stuffing by sautéing onion and celery in olive oil, seasoning pieces of bread with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and using a blend of chicken stock and eggs as the binder/moisture.  I baked it in the oven until it was 160 degrees (so the eggs were cooked).  Pretty tasty.

3.  Bring a lively libation  – If you can’t have all the fun foods, sometimes it is nice to have something fun to drink.  Wine, cocktails, mocktails or just something you don’t normally let yourself have.   Sparkling juices are a favorite of mine this time of the year.

–   Try our family favorite:  Cranberry Spritzer :  Place ice in a glass, pour cranberry juice in about 2/3 way up, add a few good splashes of tonic or 7-up, squeeze in several wedges of lime, place limes in the glass and stir gently.  I like tonic because it adds more limey flavor and is bubblier but 7-up makes it sweeter.

4.    Don’t Forget Dessert:

– Last year I brought a homemade Lemon Chiffon Cake (I made some notes here)

–  I’ve also made Dairy-Soy Free Pumpkin Pie – I use a canola oil crust recipe (will try to get this up this week)  and make the pumpkin pie according to these directions except I replace the evaporated milk with evaporated rice milk that I made:   Pour double the amount of milk you need in a saucepan and boil it down. So start with 24 ounces of rice milk and boil until you have 12 ounces. Cool and use in your recipe

–   This year I am bringing Apple Crumble Pie.  I am trying to get this one written up to share this week.

– Pie sidekicks – I am going to try making my coconut whipped cream  and add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to jazz it up or I might try to get ahold of something called Healthy Top. If you’ve tried this whipped cream substitute I’d love to hear from you.   Recently I also  made some coconut milk ice cream and added lots of cinnamon to the batter before churning/freezing.  I think that will go really well with pie.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!!

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