You may have family or friends visiting for the holidays who follow special diets. If you plan ahead and with just a few ingredients changes, many of the Thanksgiving recipes can be adapted to meet the needs of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and low carb diets. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Everyone.
Vegan Gravy (or Regular or Gluten-Free)
Kitchen Bouquet is a browning sauce that you can find in the grocery store next to the A1 and Worcestershire Sauce. It helps to add a brown color to the gravy. There are several brands of browning sauce available, but I use this one. Since 2006 this vegan sauce has been gluten-free. It is made from a base of carrots, cabbage, turnips, parsnips, celery and onion.
You can use this same recipe for everyone by make a second batch and using chicken broth in the second batch for regular diets. To make this gravy Gluten-Free, use gluten-free cornstarch to thicken the gravy. Gluten-free gravy also works for low carb dieters.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
2 heaping tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper and dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet, optional
Warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Cook until the mushrooms are soft and brown, and most of their liquid is evaporated.
Stir in the flour with a whisk and reduce heat to low. Cook for another minute or two.
Slowly add the vegetable broth while whisking to reduce clumps. Then add in the salt, pepper and thyme and whisk again.
Stir in the Kitchen Bouquet, if using.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to stir until it reaches the desired thickness, about 5-10 minutes.
Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing
To make this recipe gluten-free use cornbread instead of Italian bread in the recipe. The gluten-free cornbread recipe is below.
8 cups Italian bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, diced
2 large ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 tablespoon dried poultry seasoning
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken broth
Place the bread cubes into a very large bowl and set aside. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and the sausage.
Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon or spatula, until light brown, about 5 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bowl of cubed bread.
In the fat left in the pan, sauté the onions, celery and garlic until the onions are just beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the thyme, sage, salt and peppers, cook 1 minute and, then, add the mixture to the cubed bread.
Add the broth to the bread mixture; stir until well combined.
Place the stuffing in a large baking dish and bake in the oven for the last hour that the turkey cooks.
This can be made several days ahead.
2 cups (264 g) coarsely ground yellow cornmeal (gluten-free)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
4 tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch square or round pan, and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the cornmeal, salt, baking soda and baking powder, and whisk to combine well.
In separate bowl, mix the egg, butter, buttermilk and honey, and whisk to combine well.
Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top, golden brown around the edges, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely and cut up into cubes.
Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffing
3 cups sourdough wheat bread (made without dairy or eggs) cut into cubes
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
1 leek white part only, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 large rib celery finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable stock
Chopped fresh parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until all moisture has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
Add sage and continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms are well browned, about 5 minutes longer.
Add leek, celery, garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add parsley, and chopped pecans.
Add stock to the bread cubes and fold in the cooked vegetables until evenly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture to a greased baking dish cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake with the turkey until hot throughout, about 30 minutes.
Remove foil and continue baking until golden brown and crisp on top, about 10 minutes longer.
Vegan Stuffed Squash
Serve this dish instead of turkey for your vegan or vegetarian dinners.
To make this recipe for non-vegans, add a ½ cup of cooked lean ground pork to the stuffing.
Directions for preparing the squash:
Cut a thin slice off from the top & bottom of one acorn squash (just enough to leave a flat edge, so the squash can stand up on both ends).
Cut the squash in half, horizontally, so you have two bowl shapes. Scoop out the membranes and seeds and discard.
Place the squash in a baking dish cut-side up. Brush the inside with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Roast the squash for about 30 minutes.
Combine the following:
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons diced celery
1/4 cup diced, peeled pear
1/4 cup diced, peeled apple
2 tablespoons fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup cooked brown rice
Place the filling mixture in the partially cooked squash halves. Place the filled squash in the oven and bake 20 minutes.
Easy Vegan or Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
The pumpkin filling can be used for either pie.
Pat-in-the-Pan Vegan Crust
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
Vegan Pie Filling Directions
Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Whisk together the oil and water, then pour over the dry ingredients.
Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened. Pat the dough across the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan and up the sides.
A flat-bottomed measuring cup can help make the bottom even. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers, and flute the top.
Chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Pat-in-the-Pan Gluten-Free Crust
1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil (or alternative oil)
5 tablespoons cold milk (or cold plant milk)
Gluten-Free Pie Crust Directions
Mix together the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
Blend oil and milk together in a separate bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine.
Place dough into a 9 inch pie plate and press the dough firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
Place the pie crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add all the pie filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust and bake for about 60 minutes.
The crust should be golden brown and the filling should still be set.
Remove the pie from the oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set overnight.
Low-Carb Pumpkin Pie
2¼ cups almond flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sugar substitute (1:1 with sugar)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup 1:1 sugar substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together all the crust ingredients until a dough forms.
Press the dough into 9-inch pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Whisk together the beaten eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, spices and sweetener. Mix well.
Add the heavy cream until fully combined.
Pour into pie crust and bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick (or knife) inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.