Thanksgiving means something different to everyone. Some people like the holiday because they get a chance to eat a homecooked meal, some people enjoy the time off of work and some people enjoy getting together with their family.
Thanksgiving for me is usually just another day that doesn’t really feel any different than any other day. The only difference is that I either have to cook a large meal or travel a lot of miles to the home of someone else who has cooked a large meal. When I was a kid I remember going to my Aunt Brenda’s house and when she sliced block cheese she would let my sister and I eat large amounts before dinner, that was a good memory. I also remember playing football at her house with the whole family, it was a lot of fun tackling everyone.
I can’t say that I ever really enjoyed a Thanksgiving day or experienced a memorable one that became a cherished memory or tradition. Although I do have a few memories here and there of different places that I have spent Thanksgiving.
I will always remember the time that I cooked for a crowd of around 20 people and answered the age-old saying that my mom has always asked me, who died and left you in charge?
Well, that someone was a cousin of my husband and when he died it kind of ruined Thanksgiving for my husbands family. His grandmother didn’t take on the cooking like she usually did that year and I offered to cook for everyone although I had a galley style kitchen with no dining room. It was memorable only because it was so awkward trying to find somewhere for everyone to sit and trying to dodge the constant offers of help when I knew that there was no room in my kitchen for a helper.
Other than that I remember a couple of years ago heading out to Terre Haute, Indiana to spend Thanksgiving at my dad’s house. That sticks out in my Thanksgiving memory bank because I was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet due to my recent diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis and was not really able to eat anything. Apparently traditional Thanksgiving food is not exactly the definition of health so that has inspired me to compile a list of delicious yet Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Foods that everyone can enjoy!
When you have a houseful of people over for dinner, it can be hard to make a special dish for everyone. That’s why creating gluten-free versions of traditional Thanksgiving foods is a great idea.
This Thanksgiving Turkey Fruit Tray will be a crowd pleaser and most diets allow fruit so it seems like a safe snack to have out for your Thanksgiving guests to enjoy.
Another thing to keep in mind when preparing Thanksgiving foods is simplicity. You will have everyone and their mother trying to strong-arm their way into your kitchen so if you are like me and try to avoid letting people who are known for not washing their hands regularly into your kitchen, stick with a quick dish like this Fast and Easy Creamed Spinach, that way you can say no thank you to the dirty-handed kitchen invaders with confidence!
Another way to get people out of your kitchen to serve an appetizer that requires them to sit down at the table like this Curried Acorn Squash Cream Soup. Serve it to your guests and slip out of the room unnoticed so you can get back to cooking in peace, this should allow you at least another 15 minutes of avoiding small talk.
Another prompt for those happy helpers is the cleanup after dinner. If you serve a delicious dessert like this Vegan Pumpkin Pie, they will be so busy stuffing their faces after the meal that you can load your own dishwasher, the right way.
Another delicious soup to serve on Thanksgiving is this Butternut Squash Soup, it not only sounds delicious but looks so good, too!
If you have a large family coming over with lots of kids who for some ungodly reason want to make as much noise as possible while trying to destroy your house in one afternoon, make plenty of this White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge. A lot of people think avoiding the sugar is the best way to get these kids to behave but I call BS on that, give them an unlimited supply.
Their parents won’t know because they are too busy trying their best not to watch their kids and eventually the sugar crash will happen. You will now be able to plop them on a couch with the Thanksgiving Day Parade and get back to those little house destroyers not being your problem again…ahh finally something to be grateful for!
If you are feeling bad about contributing to the diabetes diagnosis that is in their future, don’t sweat it. Cinnamon is a natural way to reduce glucose levels so serve up this Cinnamon Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes and clear your conscience.
If you are a fan of Jim Gaffigan, you probably know already that bacon makes everything better. You can even add it to brussel sprouts and I bet more people will reach for it than usual because just the words brussell sprouts bring out a negative reaction in people but if you serve Bacon Wrapped Brussell Sprouts with Balsamic Mayo Dip, your guests will actually give it a try and probably love it!
If you want to serve something that sounds cool, you have to make this Pan-Fried Butternut Squash with Garam Masala, plus it really looks tasty! That ought to shut up the people who always have to say something about how someone else cooked some amazing meal that you obviously are not good enough to cook for whatever reason. You know the type, the people who never actually host Thanksgiving at their house but they always have something to say about the free meal you prepare for them.
There is one part of Thanksgiving that you don’t want to mess up despite that nagging voice in the back of your head that tells you to just serve these ungrateful people crappy food so they don’t come back. The turkey!
Well, traditionally that is the most important part of the Thanksgiving meal but these days there are so many people who go out of their way to be different that this may not be the case anymore. The main meal is probably a bowl of twigs or something that identifies as a bowl of twigs or whatever but this Roasted Turkey recipe will be a hit no matter how many easily offended people show up at your home.
This recipe has both the fancy title and bacon, you can’t go wrong with this Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Balsamic Reduction recipe.
Another Thanksgiving staple is the stuffing but most recipes are packed with grains that a lot of us cannot tolerate in our diet so try this Grain Free Stuffing and please everyone at your home this Thanksgiving.
Another twist on a traditional side dish is this Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Honey Walnuts and boy does it look good!
I love the looks of this Oven Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussel Sprout Salad!
If those kids are still breaking things in your house while their useless parents are spreading their nonsense in the other room, throw a few of these White Chocolate Cranberry Fudge desserts at them. If you are really lucky their parents will be so mad about how much sugar they took in at your home that they may throw a fit in front of everyone, which gives us all some insight on where their terrible children got it from, and then never come back to your humble abode again. Ahh something else to be thankful for!
One more quick way to make Thanksgiving easier is to use your crockpot or slow cooker, whatever you call it. This SCD Crockpot Apple Cobbler is like having someone helping out in your kitchen without having to actually have someone in your kitchen. just dump your ingredients in and let it do the rest of the work, plus it makes your house smell amazing!
What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving? Do you just go through the motions because that is expected of you or does it actually mean something more to you?