MALIBU, Calif. -- It's hard enough getting a hot dinner on the table, but what if you have to cater to various food challenges?
"I'm sure at your Thanksgiving table you're going to have somebody with Celiac, gluten free, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian," said food scientist Lela Buttery, owner of Another Kind of Sunrise.
Buttery said a good place to start is fresh foods, not frozen. A grass fed bird makes for a moist and flavorful fowl.
She says turkeys in the U.S. may be frozen up to three years and feels a brine Heritage bird is best. She stuffs hers with thyme rosemary, sage olive oil garlic and onion.
Someone on the Paleo diet can do pretty well at Thanksgiving. But imagine designing a dish with someone who has allergies of dairy, eggs, wheat, soy and nuts. That can be pretty challenging.
Buttery found Japanese yams at the Santa Monica farmer's market for a delicious, easy vegan dish.
"I just bake them and mash them with coconut cream," Buttery explained.
The dish has no coconut flavor and you can add salt pepper rosemary to taste.
Pete Servold of Pete's Paleo follows the Paleo diet plan, but said his roasted veggie dish doesn't need a disclaimer.
"You just make roasted vegetables and good flavors and afterwards you can say, 'And oh by the way that was Paleo.' Sweet potatoes Brussels sprouts some toasted pecans and fresh chives and we're going to toss it with a little Balsamic vinegar," Servold said.
When it's time for dessert, creating gluten free goodies that taste good can take some doing.
"My friend was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and her birthday was coming up and I had to make her a cake," Sasha Crescentini said.
Crescentini and her mother started Bakeology ,a gluten free baking company.
Their pumpkin pie is on a bed of smashed, pressed gluten free cookie bites.
The filling is organic pumpkin, arrow root starch, spices, cane sugar, vanilla and coconut milk that binds it all together.
No matter what your food preference, keep it common sense.
"Portion control is key and also the more vegetables you can add the better it's going to be," said dietitian Patricia Bannan.
Japanese Yams and vegan gravy by Lela Buttery of Another Kind of Sunrise
15-20 medium Japanese Heirloom Yams
2- 8oz cans coconut cream (16oz coconut milk can be a substitute)
1/2 tsp salt/pepper to taste
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
Pre-heat oven 400 degree F.
Wash and place the yams on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 min turning the potato after 20 min.
Let potatoes cool (this can be done in advance)
Peel the potatoes and place into a stand-up mixer with coconut cream and seasoning. Blend until desired smoothness.
1/2 cup Turkey drippings (or 1/4 cup coconut or avocado oil)
2 tablespoon cassava flour or arrow root powder
1 qt turkey stock or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan heat drippings or plant fat until melted. Incorporate flour until a paste is formed. Slowly add stock melting paste into stock as a thickening process while constantly whisking. Allow to simmer and thicken.
Sweet Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts and Pecans by Pete Servold of Pete's Paleo
(serves 6 as a side)
3 lbs. Sweet potatoes, small dice
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, blanched and shocked
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 T Extra virgin olive oil
2 T Aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste throughout cooking
Turn oven to 385F. Bring two quarts of salted water to a boil. (use about 1 T salt) While water is coming to a boil, peel and small dice your sweet potatoes, then add Brussels sprouts to boiling water. Blanch for 3-4 minutes then drain and shock sprouts in an ice bath.
Cut Brussels sprouts into quarters and keep the leaves that fall off as well. Toss sweet potatoes and Brussels in most of the olive oil. Reserve about a 1/3 to dress when finished. Spread evenly on a sheet tray, use two if necessary and season with salt and pepper.
Roast vegetables at 385F for 25 minutes then turn up to 425F for final 20 minutes, totaling 45 minutes cooking time, approx. The key here is lots of golden brown delicious flavor, so if it needs a little more time to get the color leave it be.
Remove from oven, and scrape all the veggies off and into a serving bowl. Toss with remaining olive oil, aged balsamic and pecans. Serve with fresh chives as a garnish, if you do eat dairy a little goat cheese is really great on this as well.
GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN PIE W/ PECAN STREUSEL by BAKEOLOGY
What you'll need:
1 1/2 bags of Bakeology Snickerdoodles OR other gluten free cookie
1 9 inch pie tin
What you'll need:
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin pure
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp arrowroot starch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup full fat coconut milk
Pecan Streusel Topping
What you'll need:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp gluten-free flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put 1 1/2 bags of *Snickerdoodle Cookie Bites in a food processor Break down for approx 1 min, until crumbs are fine. Use a measuring cup to press the crumbs into a low, 9 inch pie tin until firm (may take 5-10 minutes to get a really solid crust).
Freeze for at least 10 minutes (until filling is ready to be poured in). Mix together pumpkin puree, cane sugar, arrowroot, spices & salt until well combined, and lump-free. Add vanilla and coconut milk & mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then turn down to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30 more minutes. Then prepare the streusel by mixing all ingredients together (works best when you mix with your hands). Take out pie from oven & top with pecan streusel
mixture then bake for 20-25 minutes more.
Let cool completely, then refrigerate for at least a few hours.
*other GF cookies may be used in a pinch.
Thanksgiving recipes: Vegan, gluten free, Paleo and food allergy dishes