Arlene's Cuisine

Editor’s note: This column originally ran Nov. 21, 2018. 

Junior’s gone vegan, Aunt Suzie’s gluten-free, Grandma’s off dairy and Grandpa’s watching carbs. What’s a Thanksgiving hostess to do?

I’ve wondered about this, not just for Thanksgiving but for any occasion of getting friends together. Among my friends I have gluten-free, vegan, celiac, diabetic, lactose-intolerant and of course allergies or dislike of strawberries, watermelon and nuts.

As people become more aware of what they’re eating, it seems like everyone is customizing their food preferences. Others are looking at labels – organic, no high-fructose corn syrup, no GMOs, etc. It’s sure not like getting friends together was  in the “good old days” when people ate what was served.

Today’s suggestions and recipes come from kosher.com, a go-to online community for quality kosher cooking and conversation that offers an assortment of dishes for your Thanksgiving dinner. If you don’t see something the suits your needs here, you can go to the website and search for gluten-free, dairy-free or whatever your needs might be.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to find some of the brand name ingredients locally but I’ve included them to credit the recipe source as well as the names of those who developed the recipes.

Caramelized Pumpkin Salad is a fall salad that is meatless and gluten-free. Chestnut Chicken is paleo friendly. Gluten-free cornbread can be served as is or used in stuffing. To make it dairy-free, just swap out the milk for unsweetened almond milk. Flourless Pumpkin Pie is good for gluten-free guests.

Another tasty meatless Thanksgiving dish is a pumpkin, with the insides buttered and covered with a cinnamon and brown sugar mixture and then stuffed with bread or cornbread stuffing. Bake until the pumpkin is tender.

Caramelized 

Pumpkin Salad 

from Rivky Kielman

(gluten free)

1½ pounds pumpkin or squash of your choice, sliced

Gefen honey for drizzling

1 (8-ounce) bag spring mixed greens

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup shelled pistachios

Dressing:

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1½ tablespoons Haddar Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Gefen honey

2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 2 cubes Gefen Frozen Garlic

1 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup extra-light Bartenura Olive Oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Marinate:

Combine the first eight dressing ingredients in a measuring cup. Remove half a cup for the dressing and set aside the rest for a marinade. Whisk the olive oil, salt and pepper into the dressing. Place the pumpkin slices in a zip-close bag with the marinade. Marinate for 1 hour, turning the bag occasionally.

Roast:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it. Remove the pumpkin slices from the marinade and lay on the baking sheet. Discard remaining marinade. Drizzle the slices with honey and roast uncovered for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over the pumpkin slices. Assemble the salad, arranging lettuce, onion, roasted pumpkin and pistachios in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.

Chestnut Chicken 

from Chala Frishman

(Gluten free and paleo)

1-2 (5.2-ounce bags) Gelen Roasted and Peeled Chestnuts (or prepare them yourself – see note.)

2 large Spanish onions, sliced

6 to 8 chicken quarters, skin on

1 teaspoon Tuscanini Sea Salt

1 teaspoon paprika

Prepare the chicken: Place onions, chicken and spices in an oven bag in a roasting pan. Sprinkle in whole chestnuts and close the bag. Cut three slits in the bag and place pan in the oven. Bake at 400 degrees until a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees – about 60 to 90 minutes.

Alternatively, you can prepare the chestnuts yourself and bake them. Buy 2 to 3 cups of raw chestnuts. On the flat side of the chestnut, use a paring knife and score and X in it. This allows the steam to escape. Otherwise the chestnuts will explode. Place chestnuts on a baking tray, separated so they don’t layer on top of each other. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until skin separates and they are easy to peel. Be careful peeling. They are very hot. Discard skins and you should have about 2 cups of chestnuts.

Gluten-free Cornbread 

from Blends By Orly

1¼ cups Blends By Orly Sydney Blend (gluten free)

¾ cup cornmeal

¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoons Haddar Baking Powder (1 teaspoon for Salida’s elevation)

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch round or square pan. Combine Sydney Blend, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix to combine. Stir in milk, oil and beaten egg until all ingredients are evenly incorporated and batter is thick. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Best served warm with honey.

Flourless Pumpkin Pie 

from Rachel Goodman

Crust:

10 Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup rolled oats (use gluten free if needed)

¾ cup pecans, raw unsalted

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon Gefen Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt

Filling:

15 ounces pumpkin puree

11 Medjool dates

2 eggs

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon Gefen Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Haddar Baking Powder (½ teaspoon for Salida’s elevation)

Topping: (optional)

Heavy cream whipped

Chopped pecans

Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place dates, oats, pecans, oil, vanilla and salt in a food processor. Blend until it can stick together (1 to 2 minutes.)

Press mixture into a lined 8-by-8-inch baking pan until it spreads evenly. Bake for 5 minutes (no longer as this burns easily). Remove  from oven and set aside.

Prepare the filling: Wipe the food processor clean and place dates and pumpkin in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and baking powder. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture over the crust and spread evenly. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut into 16 bars. Place a dollop of unsweetened heavy cream onto each bar and sprinkle with chopped pecans.