Wednesday, November 14, 2012

a Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Holiday Feast

I love planning Holiday menus!  I love for them to be grounded with traditional family favorites and then accented with new recipes making their debut.  Here is a possible menu for a Thanksgiving Feast that is free of all wheat and dairy, but loaded with flavor and delight!! 
These are the kind of recipes that make me thankful that we eat 'free!
(Links will be added as recipes are posted!)
1.  First and foremost, a turkey.  I suppose this is my "tradition-rut" in which I am happily stuck.  I have eaten ham and other meats for Thanksgiving, but I readily admit that turkey is my first holiday preference.  I am not queen of roasting a turkey, but we still manage just fine and can I say that I loooooooove leftovers!  Oh.  And gravy.  Please take the time to make a turkey gravy!
(Imagine here a photo of a lovely roasted, golden, juicy and tender turkey...)
2.  Next up, potatoes of some sort.  I have been through the whole gamut of dairy free mashed potatoes, and there is nothing wrong with traditional mashed potatoes.   But this year, I think I am aiming in a whole new direction:  Smashed Potatoes.  Drizzled with turkey gravy, either gold or red potatoes would be yummy!
3.  Stuffing is a true holiday tradition.  I have never stuffed the turkey itself, but have always done the side dish route.  I came up with this Rice Stuffing several years ago, and we love it!
4.  Green Beans fall into the "Traditional Family Holiday Fare" category.  We always have green beans of some sort.  But this year, instead of a "cream of" green bean casserole or Rustic Green Beans, I am thinking that green beans drizzled with a bit of olive oil and toasted almonds sounds just right! 
5.  Of course, there always needs to be at least one snack-able dish while dinner is prepared. Usually a veggie tray is available, but I would add this Cranberry Salsa as a top-notch snacking option. It is bright and pungent with just enough heat and sweet to make it truly unique.
6.  And then the salads!  Bring on the freshness!  My grandmother's Overnight Floret Salad is my absolute favorite.  It is definitely on the list!
7.  I recently discovered this Apple Cabbage Slaw, and it is such a refreshing and light Fall harvest salad.  It made the cut for sure.
8.  Applesauce!  Remember when the Pickles and I put up applesauce for the winter?  Well, what more appropriate time than Thanksgiving itself to break out our first jar!

9.  My sister tweaked this Cranberry Relish recipe to eliminate the sugar and instead use honey from my parents' bees.  I never knew that making Cranberry Relish was so ridiculously simple!  The flavor...impeccable.  Her recipe converted me from a "All-Things-Cranberry-Avoider" to a "Sneaker-of-Relish-from-the-Fridge." 

10.  After such a bountiful feast, there is not much room left for dessert!  But I will say that this time of year, a Pumpkin Pie does hit the spot.  And the fun thing about Pumpkin Pie is that you can even bake it crust-less!  Honestly, I will probably bake my Pumpkin Pie with Butternut Squash harvested from our garden this Fall.  If it's your style, top your pie with Cashew Cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg!
(Photo coming soon, hopefully!)
11.  If you want another dessert, what about an Apple Crisp?  That is truly a harvest-time dessert treat!
There you have it.  My 'free Holiday Menu.  And these are only the start!  There are so many more foods that we can eat and enjoy!

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