Thanksgiving this year, our third away from the United States, will involve an overpriced turkey imported from France, lots of roasted and sauteed vegetables, butternut squash risotto, and two pumpkin pies plus a pumpkin-chocolate cake. I’m trying to keep things simple yet traditional, with plenty of vegetarian and naturally gluten-free options (actually, the only non-vegetarian item on the menu is the turkey!). With two small ones in the house my time is limited and in truth I like keeping things as streamlined as possible. I’m eliminating the appetizers this year – do we really need them when there will be the large meal to follow? – and focusing on the vegetables. We’ll start with a carrot-coconut soup, then dig in to roast turkey, cornbread-cranberry stuffing, vegetarian gravy, kale and corn, roasted sweet potatoes, a spinach salad, mashed potatoes, and homemade risotto. Pumpkin desserts will finish off the meal.
Thanksgiving morning will begin with my usual pre-feasting run and will continue with plenty of hot coffee and a batch of gently warmed persimmon muffins (recipe below). If all goes well I’ll have prepared the bulk of the more time-consuming items in advance and so will only have the bird and vegetable sides to accomplish.
I’m including links to some of my favorite Thanksgiving posts here as not much has changed in my approach over the years. I’d like to mention that my most successful and enjoyable holiday meals result from not overthinking it — if you have a good variety of vegetable dishes, anchored by the turkey and a nice vegetarian main your table will not so much groan as exhale in pleasure. This is also my plug for the ebook I published last year: Gather: Recipes for a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, available on amazon.
Last year’s menu and a delightful persimmon cake.
Some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Naturally gluten-free Thanksgiving desserts.
More vegetarian main dishes.
Cheers to a delicious holiday, wherever and however you celebrate.
[print_this]Persimmon Muffins, adapted from A Sweet Spoonful
Yes! Two weeks in a row of muffin recipes but I can’t resist. ’tis the season after all.
Makes 12 muffins.
1 3/4 cups (210g) whole spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup (25g) rolled oats
1/3 cup (45g) almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup (150g) brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup (250g) persimmon puree
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: 1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
Heat the oven to 375 F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with papers).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Fold in the persimmon puree. Whisk in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture gently, being careful not to overmix, then stir in the walnuts if using.
Fill the muffin cups nearly to the top. Place muffins in the oven and bake until the tops are golden brown and feel firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing muffins from the tin. Serve warm or room temperature. Muffins will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.[/print_this]