(above: Butternut Squash Lasagna–G-F and Vegan–scroll down for recipe)
A small buffet for six or eight is great fun –so few dishes!– and here’s one that will go down well with gluten eating carnivores as well as those who follow gluten-free and vegan lifestyles. Pass out recipes — or have folks find their own — and make it an easy day for the host.
While I am neither vegan nor on a gluten-free diet, I do often eat Vegan Before Six a la Mark Bittman and boast a daughter-in-law who for the most part eats gluten-free. The idea of a holiday menu that suits both profiles was a challenge I simply had to take because whenever I publish a recipe that is both gluten-free and vegan, I seem to have a really good number of new folks interested. That means I’m interested, too.
So let me know what you think if you try the recipes or maybe just take one or two to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner so that you can eat without wondering whether or not there’s __________ in that casserole. Naturally many of the recipes can be used for ONLY vegan meals or ONLY gluten-free meals and you can adjust those ingredients accordingly. For instance, if you’re not a vegan, you might add grated Parmesan cheese to the lasagna or if you’re not gluten-free, you might use traditional lasagna noodles. And so on. Now on to the meal I so hope you enjoy…………
While the meal gets organized, start with music (here’s a prior Thanksgiving’s music post of mine), sparkling wine (Gruet from New Mexico is inexpensive and charming; please do drink American wines for Thanksgiving) and a gorgeous platter of vegetables, olives, dips, crackers (try Mary’s Gone Crackers.) Check wine and any other purchased food labels; most wines will be fine gluten-free options, but you might want to read up on that right HERE. Don’t eat too much because hopefully someone’s made one of my favorite soups for the very first course…
Go around the table (or the living room seats–wherever) and let each guest offer something for which they’re thankful if you’re not in the habit of grace before meals. Offer a toast to those healthy thoughts….thanksgiving is good for the body and soul.
FIRST COURSE SOUPS Wine: Oregon or Washington Riesling (not too sweet…)
There are 3 soups from which to choose. I love them all. Choose which best suits your other menu choices.
Naturally you might have some bread with these soups if someone’s brought some….Bread sticks or crackers would be nice, too–and not so filling.
Spicy Cream of Pumpkin Soup with Peanuts — 6 first course servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced*
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 1 each: celery stalk and carrot, minced
- 4 fresh sage leaves, minced or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Hot sauce to taste
- 2 cups pureed pumpkin (15-ounce can will work)
- 4 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup rice milk
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
Heat the oil and garlic for one minute over medium-low heat. Add vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper; season with 3 drops of hot sauce. Raise heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender — about 10 minutes. Add pumpkin and broth; bring to boil. Lower to simmer and cook another 10 or 15 minutes.
Stir in milk and heat through. Optional: purée using an immersion blender or carefully in batches in the blender or food processor. Taste; adjust seasonings. Serve hot garnished with peanuts.
*If you have a food processor, use it to mince all of the vegetables at once. Continue reading