Hosting Thanksgiving can be stressful and overwhelming for anyone but add in food allergies and sensitivies, kids and vegetarians and it can seem impossible. It sounds crazy to most, but us allergy moms deal with this craziness every day at every meal. Planning ahead and creative substitutions can go a long way to making your Thanksgiving a memorable and delicious meal for everyone.
The first thing I do is find out what my guests can and cannot eat. My Thanksgiving guests have food allergies to eggs and dairy, 1 with life-threatening allergy to all nuts, 3 with sensitivities to gluten, 1 with diverticulitis and 1 vegetarian. And my husband is 1/2 Swedish and wants some meatballs. Phew! It sounds a little daunting, but my menu below is pretty traditional and simple. With a few creative substitutions, it will be delicious and no one will miss a thing.
Thanksgiving Menu 2014
- Salad with fresh greens, oranges and cranberries (my kids grew the greens special for the dinner)
- Pasture-raised heritage Turkey brined, spatchcocked and roasted
- Turkey gravy thickened with roasted vegetables instead of flour
- Swedish meatballs with no eggs or breadcrumbs, but a little ground bacon to help bind them
- Vegetarian meatballs
- Vegetarian mushroom gravy
- Roasted squash cornbread – vegan and gluten free
- Lingonberry sauce (instead of cranberry)
- Grandma’s dressing (will contain regular bread, but will be vegetarian)
- Roasted asparagus or brussel sprouts
- Garlic Mashed potatoes – no butter or cream, I’ll substitute coconut milk and broth
- Grandma’s pumpkin pie – with all the dairy and eggs and gluten, but hey it’s Grandmas!
- Little apple pies – gluten free and vegan
- Coconut whipped cream
So that’s it. I’ll make some it ahead of time and it should be a great time. Can’t wait to play cards and hang out with everyone. We’ll post pictures of our meal to Instagram.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from our family to yours.