Many look forward to Thanksgiving for its roasted turkey and creamy mashed potatoes. But for those with dietary restrictions, feeling out of the loop can lead to a blue holiday.
If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, know that most of the traditional staples are already vegan and gluten free, like cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, and green beans. If you simply omit milk products like butter and cream, mashed potatoes and stuffing can easily be made vegan.
If you’re going to be a guest this Thanksgiving, call ahead and kindly let your host know about your dietary restrictions. Likewise, part of being a thoughtful host is to actively inquire about your guests’ needs and preferences.
Check out our favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and Happy Thanksgiving from the CUI.
Think outside the turkey. Adding a unique vegetable dish to your dinner will not only add a unique touch to your Thanksgiving dinner, but you’ll satisfy a vegan too. If you’re vegan, politely request butter-and-milk-free mashed potatoes. If your host knows ahead of time your dietary restrictions, he or she will be way more likely to accommodate your needs.
Stuffed Portobello mushrooms
Courtesy of CU Independent writer Rebecca Bratburd
6 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and gills removed
4 ripe tomatoes
½ bunch of spinach
¼ cup dairy-free cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Slice tomatoes, chop spinach & mince garlic.
3. Brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil.
4. Fill mushrooms with spinach, garlic and dairy-free cheese and top with a slice of tomato.
5. Bake mushrooms for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mushroom becomes juicy.
Caramelized Butternut Squash
Courtesy of Food.com (modified by CUI to be vegan)
2 medium butternut squash
6-8 tablespoons vegan butter or spread
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 ½ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
½-1 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut off the ends of each butternut squash and discard.
3. Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise.
4. Using a spoon, remove the seeds.
5. Cut the squash into 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cubes (large and uniform is best), and place them on a baking sheet.
6. Add the melted vegan butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
7. With clean hands, toss all of the ingredients together and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet.
8. Roast for 45 minutes to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize.
9. Turn the squash while roasting a few times with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly.
Many Thanksgiving recipes are naturally gluten-free. Cooks can take it a step further to please their gluten-free friends by preparing traditionally gluten-laden foods like stuffing and pie without gluten. Gluten-free doesn’t mean sacrificing taste—it’s just another way to make Thanksgiving healthier.
Courtesy of Whole Foods
6 cups gluten-free bread cubes or 1 package Gluten Free Bakehouse stuffing cubes, already toasted
2 shallots, minced
2 onions, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter
2 teaspoons dried sage
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup gluten-free chicken broth
4 tablespoons parsley
1. Toast bread cubes carefully in a preheated 300 degrees F oven for 20 minutes or until dried, stirring occasionally to promote even browning. If using Gluten Free Bakehouse stuffing cubes, skip this toasting step.
2. Sauté shallots, onions, celery and carrots in butter until they are soft and onions begin to caramelize. Add sage, thyme, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add wine and continue cooking over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half.
3. In a large bowl, mix sautéed vegetables with bread cubes, chicken broth and parsley. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees F.
4. Add finely diced sausage or bacon bits to the sautéed vegetables, if you like, or toss in diced chestnuts, apples or raisins.
Vegan & Gluten-free Pumpkin Pie
Courtesy of About.com
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup milk or soy milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 9 inch gluten-free pie crust
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Add all ingredients together. Mix slowly at medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Pour into 9-inch gluten-free pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F. Bake another 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rebecca Bratburd at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org.