It's Almost Turkey Time!


Thanksgiving is a day I look forward to all year long because the main focus of the day is really, really good food...not presents like most other holidays.  In my book, food is the present.

Seeing as Turkey Day is ever so close, I wanted to share recipes that I have found over the course of my very important research :-).  I hope these will inspire you to put a spin on the classics and welcome new and delicious flavors to your Thanksgiving tables!

Growing up I was never too involved in the food preparation, I just showed up at my Grandma's and voila, a gorgeous feast was before me!  But the past 5 years, I have been acutely more aware about the preparation for this special meal, especially when I stopped eating gluten and dairy.  I could no longer show up at a family gathering and put whatever I desired on my plate.  If I wanted to eat the Thanksgiving classics such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, veggie casseroles and of course PIE, then I was to be in charge of my own dishes.  I think this is where my food obsessed self was born!  Because I was forced to create dishes that were "Erika friendly," I began doing a lot of self-educating.  During this process the wonderful, diverse world of food opened up to me!

Every year since, I have spent the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving pouring over holiday themed food magazines and food blogs, gathering all of the scrumptious looking recipes free of gluten and dairy!  Many people think that because I can't eat bread or cow based products, that there is nothing left for me to eat.  But this is simply not true.  It is because of my intolerances to these foods that my eyes have been opened up to the thousands of incredible recipes that are out there.  I am forced to be more creative with my cooking but I don't see this as a problem, I see it as an opportunity.

Cornbread Stuffing 
Cornbread is a great substitute for white bread in any stuffing recipe!  In my opinion, it's even better!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Soup for Thanksgiving may seem nontraditional, but hey it's good to mix it up!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Capers, Walnuts and Anchovies
Brussel sprouts are given a whole new personality with these added ingredients!  I can't wait to try this recipe!

Slow-cooked Tuscan Kale 

I eat kale regularly but I usually just sautee it with a little olive oil, throw some balsamic on it and call it good!  But this recipe takes kale to a whole new level and I'm sure this would convert any leafy green  hater into a leafy green lover...

Hasselback Potatoes with Spinach Cashew Pesto

The first thing that intrigued me about this recipe was how cool the finished product looks!  Imagine serving your guests this on Thanksgiving?!  I bet this would be great with sweet potatoes/yams as well.

Mashed Root Vegetables With Bacon Vinaigrette

Bacon Vinaigrette?!  Yup.  Sounds totally and completely delicious, enough said

Cauliflower with Melted Onions and Mustard Seeds

Even though I haven't made this dish yet, I can imagine that the melted onions totally steal the show in this recipe!  YUM!

Enough of these savory dishes!  Now it's time for the best brainstorming of all...dessert brainstorming!!

Maple Pumpkin Pie

So I will admit, pie is not my favorite of all desserts.  BUT pumpkin on the other hand, is definitely one of my favorite flavors, especially when combined with maple syrup.  This pie looks devine!

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Coconut Vanilla Icing and Roasted Hazelnuts

This recipe is from one of my favorite food bloggers.  She is extremely creative and uses all plant based ingredients.  I've actually made this cake before and let me tell you it was so so SO good.  No one even knew that it was free of gluten and dairy!

Gluten-Free Ginger Lemon Bars

These bars look so soft and chewy!  This recipe calls for butter but could easily be substituted with coconut oil!

Hopefully these recipes are just the inspiration you need to prepare a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for you and your family!

Personally I cannot wait to get in the kitchen and start making a huge mess :-)  Cheers to the holidays!


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