gluten-free holidays vegetarian

Almost Time (+ A Few More Thanksgiving Recipes)

25 November 2014

Thanksgiving menu planning, plus a few recipes for naturally flourless and vegetarian recipes for your holiday meal.

Confession: my head has not truly been in the Thanksgiving game this year. Part of it’s the weather – sun for days, temps in the 70s -, part of it’s the whole living not in America, and part of it’s just my hard-won philosophy of taking days as they come and one at a time. So I don’t think too terribly far ahead, and as any cook worth her/his salt knows this is pretty near impossible to do when it comes to the biggest U.S.-cooking holiday of the year. Still, it’s time. Today it’s gloomy and rainy – hurrah! – and we went to the coolest little market/marche yesterday morning to stock up on beautiful produce and turkey (photos to come on Wednesday). We’ve invited a few friends coming to sup with us on Thursday and a couple more for drinks during the afternoon. I think I’m finally getting into it a little bit.

Thus far my menu is as follows. I debated including a few more complicated dishes but decided to go with simple and vegetable-heavy, mostly because when you cook here it really depends on what you can find at the market, and as this often fluctuates it’s impossible to get every ingredient you might want exactly when you want it. I.e.: be flexible. And anyway when the produce is this fresh and delicious you don’t need to fancy it up too much.

1. Cheese/crackers/hummus

2. Sweet potato-coconut soup, buttermilk biscuits

3. Roast turkey breast with lemon, sage, and white wine
Vegetarian gravy
Mashed potatoes with roasted mushrooms
Roast cauliflower + green beans
Arugula salad
Cornbread stuffing
(Dried) cranberry sauce
Leek risotto (vegetarian main course; not made by me)

4. Pumpkin pie
Persimmon pound cake
Caramelized apple + caramel ice cream

I’m planning to make this a gluten-free/naturally flourless meal and actually most of the components of it are naturally flourless. Today I’ll post a few more of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that I’ve adapted to be gluten-free with just a small substitution here and there of naturally flourless whole grain flour for all-purpose. I’ve come to really, really enjoy the subtle flavor difference brought by naturally whole grain flours and try to choose those that complement the other flavors in the dish (for example oat flour in the pumpkin pie crust brings a lovely, slightly nutty, wholesome note to bolster the creamy pumpkin).

As these things go, that menu seems fairly simple and manageable to me. It’s far less ambitious than some years – and I think that’s a positive. I’ll still be logging a fair amount of time in the kitchen but the table (hopefully) won’t be groaning under an over-abundance of food. For once I think there will be just enough, maybe with a few leftovers, but nothing crazy. This makes me feel good.

I’m including my favorite recipe for vegetarian gravy here, as well as one for (naturally flourless) cornbread and the dark horse, a cranberry sauce made from dried cranberries (I didn’t think it would work either but …). Tomorrow I will bake my pie and my cake and feel thankful I have the ingredients and the time to do so. Thanksgiving for me is a bit about quiet reflection and how better to engage in that than through cooking?

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving holiday and a peaceful weekend to follow.

  • Helen SPiridakis 25 November 2014 at 9:36 am

    Great post!!!! Can’t believe that cranberry offering….how did you come to it? Hope it is cold on Thursday so you can have a pretend CA Thanksgiving! Menu looks scrumptious….enjoy! Photos are so good!

  • nicole 25 November 2014 at 8:24 am

    test!