Sunday, November 5, 2017

Gluten Free for the Holidays and Turkey-less

 


Crisp and nippy weather, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, fireplace roaring, and the aroma of a roasting turkey filling the home. That was then; plant-based and gluten-free for me is now.



Growing up, my mother always set the table brilliantly for Thanksgiving with her best china, her treasured crystal, and beautiful orange linen napkins that complemented her pristine white freshly ironed tablecloth. Our extended table was set for 18. ( yes, she had that many dishes and crystal)



Our main centerpiece was traditionally a huge cornucopia basket filled with farm fresh local Jersey apples and red grapes accompanied by two small centerpieces of filled with seasonal flowers.


Thanksgiving Then
My mother's traditional Thanksgiving meal bragged a huge banquet of Thanksgiving family recipes which included appetizers, soup, turkey, stuffing, gravy, winter squashes, mashed potatoes, salad, Brussels sprouts, green bean and onion ring casserole, pumpkin and apple pies.

Passing on the tradition 
As my mother became a senior, it was too much for her to host and handle the cooking, set up, serving, and cleaning up that hosting involved. Consequently the tradition was passed on to me the vegetarian, her one and only child. (she had me at age 42)

I shared my mother's love of cooking, her passion for entertaining and her talent for bringing family and friends together.

The Problem 

The problem was in my mid  twenties, I decided to become a vegetarian. As a result I refused to kill a turkey and have some poor defenseless bird roasting in my kitchen oven for the better part of the morning and then lay on a platter dead on my holiday table.

I Hosted Thanksgiving Without a Turkey


For starters, a turkey-less Thanksgiving did not go over well with my father, the meat eater, who had been a butcher most of his adult life! My mother was willing, my husband was used to it, my other relatives were skeptical and everyone who came was genuinely disappointed. After all, they looked forward to their Thanksgiving Turkey tradition all year long. 

Despite making a fabulous meal- everyone expected and wanted turkey.

What did I make for an Un Traditional plant-based Thanksgiving?
Delicious appetizers, soup, vegetable sides using winter squashes, stuffing and vegan gravy, and green beans. Except for the turkey everything else was the same, and I made a vegan entree which people liked but didn't replace the turkey.

If you, a family member, or a guest has special dietary needs, click on the link for some recipes that are gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based and kosher parve. There may be some sides that you can make.

If you are looking for gluten free and vegan ideas ( even if just for the soup, appetizers or sides) have a look at the list of recipes that I published last year with a comprehensive list of 
my gluten free and vegan Thanksgiving recipes.

                   My Gluten Free and Vegan Thanksgiving recipes.





20 comments:

  1. I can so relate and remember family reactions, when I did my first vegan meal over 35 years ago. Now, I do a vegan Thanksgiving with people who are plant-based. I feel grateful and happy I'm saving a turkey. Happy Holidays and be well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy,
      I still get together with family but they make their turkey and I make and eat the sides! It works
      It would be fun to get together with others who share the same eating habits! How great would that be!!

      Delete
  2. While we are not fully vegetarian, I do love mostly plant based meals...I was vegetarian in my 20's...I do make a point of saving a turkey on thanksgiving. In fact, we seldom eat any turkey. This year we are making mushroom strudel with butternut squash fritters, stuffing balls, salad and pumpkin pie cupcakes. Holidays are most special because of family gathering for a fun day, and the food will be delicious too! We always have fun planning different meals for holidays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That mushroom strudel sounds delicious as well as the squash fritters.. I agree that the most special part of the holiday is being together with family and friends.

      Delete
  3. Alternative recipes aren't for everyone, but, you shared a great experience with them! I would love you to share this at Smell Good Sunday https://jaytriedandtrue.blogspot.com/2017/11/smell-good-sunday-38.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jay,
    Thank you for the invite for your Sunday Linky- I'll be over to check it out..

    ReplyDelete
  5. my partner is the meat eater and he views anything without meat with disgust , he gets annoyed when i cook veggie and if he complains i get a jar of fake bacon crispies out and toss them over everything , the silence is deafening...lol

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you - this is great! We have had vegan guests for the last several years, and I am always at a loss for what to make! This solves my problem :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! I am sure that you can find a few recipes in this round up that the vegans will love and so will everyone else.

      Delete
  7. I am not vegan but definitely enjoy some new gluten free recipes! Thanks for sharing at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from www.thisautoimmunelife.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roseann,
      I'm enjoying Blogger's Pit Stop as I find interesting posts that I don't find on other parties. Vegan recipes make great sides for everyone

      Delete
  8. that is quite a problem to decide what to serve and why. We have those that are meat lovers as well as veggie lovers in our family. Thanks for sharing your thoughts
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angie,
      I find that if there is a turkey - everything else can be vegan and no one complains.. but I don't do Turkey at my house - so my son and daughter in law host it.

      Delete
  9. It just goes to show it's not all about the Turkey! #MMBC

    ReplyDelete
  10. It sounds like you had some challenges with the guest, Judee but you handled them beautifully. Your menu and recipes for a meat free Thanksgiving sound amazing. Sharing this post on The Hearth and Soul Link Party Facebook page. Thank you so much for sharing it. Hope to see you at the party again this week, and that you have a lovely week!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your childhood sounds a lot like mine! You've come up with some great alternatives for no turkey! Me, I still gotta have some of that bird. lol! Of course, if I was your guest I would love it and never even miss the turkey! :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #ThursdayFavoriteThings this week. Visit me at https://www.marilynstreats.com on thursday morning and to see your feature and grab your badge! All hosts choose their own features from the comments left on their blog so be sure to return to my blog for your badge. I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds like you had a great menu - even without the traditional bird! Thanks for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your awesome post has been featured on Full Plate Thursday,458. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are appreciated. I love knowing who is stopping by to read my posts! Have a great day.

Printfriendly