Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vegan (Gluten Free) Thanksgiving and Holiday Menu Ideas (Week 3)

Yesterday I talked about rest and self-care being a focus of this week's 52 Weeks Til the Best Version of Me lifestyle overhaul I've instituted. I am still feeling fired up. This time of year really lends itself to reflection and going within. It isn't conducive for major physical changes. It's freezing and snowing out... fresh foods seem to be "out of season", but rest assured you can have give your body and brain some "rest" by telling yourself that this holiday season (both Thanksgiving and Christmas) you will focus on plant-based, fresh foods for consumption. At least for part of your holiday meal plans. 

Here I have complied some pretty great looking recipes from around the web to have in one convenient location for you. I let Kennedy choose the holiday menu this year (and every year) so we will be having some different things than usual, but I will be making a few of these items as well.

Vegan Pie Recipes
Vegan Sweet Potato Pie 
Via The Witchy Kitchen
In my family, there are two schools of Thanksgiving pie-eaters: pumpkin pie lovers and die-hard sweet potato devotees. While I’ve always been a pumpkin pie fanatic, this sweet potato pie, served in a pecan and oat crust, could be a gamechanger.
With a sweet crust and tart filling, this recipes gives the best of both worlds. Also, it can easily be made gluten-free by substituting the quick oats with gluten-free oats.
Vegan Cookie Pie 
Via Natural Papa
This pie is basically just a gigantic vegan chocolate chip cookie. Enough said.
Vegan Caramel Apple Pie 
Via Healthy. Happy. Life.
I hate apple pie. And so did the woman who made this apple pie. But then she tasted this apple pie, and now she LOVES apple pie! That’s how good this recipe is. We’re nearing the end of apple season, so go grab some Galas (or go pick your own) and get to cooking!
These vegan (and gluten-free!) pumpkin pie squares are made with a graham-cracker crust and topped off with whipped coconut cream. It’s official: I’m drooling.

Key Tips for a Safe and Delicious

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free 

Holiday Season

If you're new to gluten-free living here's a Gluten-Free Diet Cheat Sheet to print out and keep handy. Because gluten is devious. Label reading is a must.

Marinades, broth, soy sauce, and bouillon may use wheat or barley in flavors and seasonings. Although I urge you to check your turkey for gluten-free status, most I've seen are safe- if you avoid the seasoning or gravy packet.

Bottom line?

Know your bird. Know your source. And know your ingredients, Dollface.

For thickening gravy, whisk in a tablespoon or two of sweet rice flour. Or make an arrowroot starch slurry. {Potato flour is another choice- but be careful you don't add too much and end up with gooey gravy you have to almost slice to serve}

For a non-dairy sub in pumpkin, squash and sweet potato recipes try using coconut milk- it's creamy and delicious (full fat tastes best). If you can't do coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk works beautifully. {Rice milk is rather thin. Hemp milk is an acquired taste and may be too grassy for the uninitiated.}

Another tasty non-dairy vegan choice is orange juice or apple cider. Cook carrots or cubes of winter squash with a splash of orange juice or apple cider for a lovely vegan flavor boost. Drizzle a touch of pure maple syrup.

For creamy mashed potatoes that are dairy-free I use a combo of light and fruity extra virgin olive oil and my favorite gluten-free vegan buttery spread. For creaminess, whip in some warm non-dairy milk- coconut, soy, and nut milks all work. A light gluten-free broth works, too. The trick is don't beat the potatoes to death until they're gluey (what did a potato ever do to you? Be kind).

For a dairy-free vegan butter sub in baking, my new favorite fat is organic coconut oil. I love the texture and subtle coconut flavor.

Hate coconut oil? Try organic expeller pressed canola oil or grape seed oil (both have very neutral flavor). Any of these work well in muffins, quick breads, bread, cookie bars and cakes. When one half to one cup butter is called for in a recipe, these oils will usually work- though I typically start with a little less than the amount of butter called for and see how the batter looks.

For a vegan butter substitute in pastry and gluten-free pie crust recipes I'd choose Earth Balance sticks, Spectrum Organic Shortening or organic coconut oil.

For stuffing, simply follow your favorite recipe and substitute toasted cubes of gluten-free cornbread, corn muffins, or a loaf of store-bought gluten-free white bread. Or try my personal favorite stuffing recipe- Cornbread Stuffing with Curried Apples and Cranberries.

For a crunchy bread crumb topping, try my Crunchy Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs (process toasted gluten-free waffles into perfect golden crumbs- they make a delicious topping that can be quite the conversation starter- waffles? Really?). And no, a (true) waffle is not sweet.

For a gluten-free mac and cheese try my Kicked Up Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe or my dairy-free Baked Mac and Cheese or my totally from scratch Cheesy Uncheese Mac and Cheese (fab for vegan guests).

For a classic cookie crumb pie crust use Midel's Gluten-Free Gingersnaps or Pamela's cookies (Lemon or Ginger or Chocolate, depending upon the filling) processed into crumbs. I use Joy of Cooking's classic cookie/cracker crumb recipe and simply substitute with gluten-free cookies. For a butter replacement, try organic coconut oil, a good tasting vegan spread like Earth Balance.

Raw Pie Recipes
There is no way you could possibly feel guilty about eating a slice (or even two) of this scrumptious fruit and nut-filled pie. It’s pretty much a Lara bar in pie form, so it’s bound to be amazing.
Raw Pumpkin Pie 
Via The Rawtarian
This raw pumpkin pie, made with a mixed-nut crust, is basically a traditional pumpkin pie served frozen rather than baked. Interesting, huh?
Raw Strawberry Pie 
Via Plant Powered Kitchen
This strawberry pie, packed with strawberries, dates, cashews, walnut and pecans, is sure to satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth.
Cookie dough is my kryptonite. Add in brownie goodness, like this recipe does, and my mind is officially blown. Not only is this recipe raw, it’s also Paleo-friendly, gluten-free and vegan! OMG.
This berry-and-chia-pudding pie is super healthy and it’s insanely simple to make!
I sincerely hope that your meal plans include veg/vegan options for yourself and your family.... the animals and the planet :)


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