Tag Archives: turkey

My Dairy-Free Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and if you’re like me you’re probably trying to figure out what you’re making for dinner. A year ago at this time I was scrambling to figure out how I could keep a traditional and delicious Thanksgiving with a newborn and without dairy or soy. And you know what? I pulled it off! Some of these are so good that they’re finding their way onto our table again this year, even without dietary restrictions (except for my 1-year-old).

If you’ve got a dinner guest with dietary restrictions, or if you’re facing some yourself this year, here’s my dairy-free (and, of course, other-allergen-free) menu from last year. All photos are courtesy of the original blogs.

W-SFirst off, here’s my secret to the most flavorful turkey every year, regardless of how you prepare it: Williams-Sonoma dry brine. All you do is rub it on the turkey Wednesday night, keep it covered overnight in the fridge, then rinse off the brine just before you prep it for cooking. It adds the flavor and tenderness of a brine without the mess or time, and has never ever failed me. It’s dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, clean, and paleo. Just make sure you reduce the salt in your recipe.

slow-cooker-turkey3We had a small gathering last year, so a turkey breast was just the right size for us, and this Slow Cooker Turkey with No-Fuss Gravy from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe made it easy, delicious, and kept my oven clear for the sides since I was the only one cooking. And the gravy? Easily the easiest and tastiest I’ve ever made in my life. Because of the saltiness of the dry brine, I didn’t add any salt and used the no-salt-added chicken broth. I made it dairy-free by using Earth Balance buttery stick instead of the butter; you could easily make this gluten-free with rice flour or another fine-grain gluten-free flour, or make it clean with whole-wheat pastry flour. We’re expecting a crowd at this year’s dinner; this is so good I’m seriously considering making this turkey breast in addition to the whole turkey in the oven, if I can get home from my Turkey Trot in time.

stuffingMy family’s generations-old super-secret stuffing recipe is…. doctored Pepperidge Farm stuffing. (Shhhhh.) But the soy additives weren’t going to work last year, so I was going to have to make it from scratch. I used this America’s Test Kitchen Easy Stuffing Recipe, with a Whole Foods bakery dairy- and soy-free sandwich bread and Earth Balance buttery stick. Now, I’m going to be honest: Earth Balance does not brown like butter does. But it was delicious nonetheless.

I made my mashed potatoes smoother with a bit of Earth Balance, some chicken broth, and a touch of unsweetened almond milk. I don’t have a recipe for that; I just kind of added and tasted until the taste and texture was right. And anyway, with that slow cooker gravy, who cares what the potatoes tasted like on their own?!

sweetpotatocasserolevegan-2335Now these sweet potatoes are definitely staying on my table for years to come. Saweet! Potato Casserole with a Crunchy Nut Crumble from Oh She Glows is vegan (and thus dairy-free), gluten-free, soy-free, clean, and so incredibly delicious that I was actually a little disappointed that everyone else liked it so much because I seriously could’ve eaten the whole pan on my own. Now, just in case you think I’m exaggerating, my husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, and he’s instantly suspicious of anything with a “healthy” buzzword like “vegan” or “paleo”–and he asked for seconds. If I had a double oven, I’d be making two of these this year. Now, if I remember right, I increased the amount of maple in the crumble, but I don’t recall by how much. Just taste and adjust as needed.

2011pumpkinpieFinally, the pumpkin pie. I’ve posted a milkless pumpkin pie of my Grandmother’s, but–no offense to her–I could never get the texture quite the way I liked it. This Dairy-Free Soy-Free Pumpkin Pie keeps the silky texture we’re used to, but amps up the flavor with the sweetness of coconut milk and a touch more spice than you see on the back of the Libby’s can. Sorry Grandmother–this is my new go-to pumpkin pie. I made the crust from my previously posted pumpkin pie recipe using canola oil to keep it soy-free; there are lots of great gluten-free crust recipes out there if that’s what you need. Top it with So Delicious CoCoWhip topping and you’ll be in Heaven. (I challenge you not to eat the CocoWhip with a spoon after your company has left…)

What are your plans this Thanksgiving? Are any of these or other allergen-friendly recipes going to be on your menu this year?

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Low-key Thanksgiving redux.

So yes, it’s been a little while since I last posted. My time was occupied with caring for a sick Munchkin, many trips to & phone calls with doctors, not sleeping, & changing about a month’s worth of diapers in less than a week.

Oh, & my birthday happened in there somewhere… My Husband The Pyromaniac made a candle bonfire on my birthday pie.

Between all that & the fact that it was 85 stinkin’ degrees outside, Thanksgiving kind of snuck up on me this year. Fortunately it was just us & 2 homesick missionaries from our church who’ll eat anything, so I didn’t have to worry about impressing anyone.

For starters, I nixed the whole turkey in favor of a turkey breast that weighed roughly what The Munchkin did at birth. (For the record, with just 4 adults & a Munchkin, we still had leftovers.) Thanks to this little miracle I discovered last year, all I needed to do was rub the turkey the night before for the most moist & flavorful turkey (breast) I’ve ever made. Additionally, cooking less bird meant less time in the oven, which meant less chance of the juices scorching. This made for the easiest gravy I’ve ever made: no tweaking or seasoning necessary!

I was able to get away without cooking anything until nearly 2pm that day, thanks to My Husband The Pie Man, who baked 2 of his best pies to date — pumpkin & berry — while we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & The Munchkin sobbed that she wanted to go again this year.

We maximized space & oven time in The Tiniest Kitchen Ever by making bread in the breadmaker. Cardinal sin? Maybe. But it was easy & tasted good.

For stuffing, we used a closely-guarded family recipe: doctored-up Pepperidge Farm. (Why do you think it’s so closely guarded?) All I did was follow the directions on the package & add a few shakes each dried basil & thyme to the onion & celery.

Finally, the one new recipe I did try this year. I made these mashed potatoes. I didn’t bother to read the “don’t use lowfat milk” part of the recipe until the stores were closed & we were ready to start, so I went ahead with the 2% — I rationalized that most people boil their potatoes in water anyway, so any added flavor would be a bonus — & they did just fine. But I think The Munchkin’s favorite part was using one of my birthday presents, matching mommy- & Munchkin-sized potato scrubber gloves, to prep them.

The end result? A low-key, delicious Thanksgiving dinner with almost ZERO stress! Best. Holiday. Ever.

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Thanksgiving leftover makeover: Giada’s Curried Chicken (or Turkey) Sandwiches

These sandwiches are amazing.

Versatile. With chicken: great for summer picnics. With turkey: the most delicious day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich you’ve ever had.

A hit with everyone who’s tried them. Even professed curry haters have come back for more!

Still not convinced? They have bacon in them.

Now that I have your attention, I sincerely hope you give these a try this November 25th. Your family won’t give those cold-turkey-&-cranberry sandwiches a second thought.

They come from Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook Giada’s Kitchen. My version makes a few of the ingredients a little more pantry-friendly (like subbing bacon for pancetta & ground ginger for fresh), because we have to buy enough crazy ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner!

  • 8 oz. thinly sliced bacon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. yellow curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • about 4 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
  • up to 8 ciabatta rolls (or, if you keep forgetting you’re not in New York anymore & they don’t sell ciabatta on every corner in Florida, these delightful French hamburber buns!)
  1. Cook bacon until crispy & set aside. I nuke mine between double layers of paper towels for a minute a slice.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the mayo, curry powder, lime juice, honey, & ginger.
  3. Add chicken; stir to coat.
  4. Just before serving, crumble bacon into the mixture & stir just until incorporated.
  5. Slice rolls in half & spoon chicken mixture onto rolls.
Tidy Mom

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