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WWYD - new diet and hosting Thanksgiving

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We have been avoiding the major 8 food allergens since July. I'm hosting Thanksgiving for dh's side, they've never brought dishes with them. I've hosted it before though and there are certain dishes they look forward to that we no longer eat. Do I just make more of what I would serve if it were just our family? We've had guests for dinner and no one has noticed that they just ate a meal free of those ingredients. They will likely ask if I made or am serving such and such. Those of you on special diets who host, how do you handle this type of situation?


It would depend on how much you like to cook and how they would respond to a request to bring food.


I would ask if they didn't mind and/or I didn't like to cook.


Since I like to cook, I would cook up a bunch of stuff--rice stuffing and regular stuffing, for example.


I would think you could make potatoes and gravy with substitutions and no one would notice.


If you need ideas for alt. food, let me know, I've made them in the past, although this year I will be stuck eating pigeon and millet or something along those lines.

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If something were an absolute extended-family favorite, I might make it--but I wouldn't eat it.

My mom makes a meat stuffing for the turkey, and mashed carrot and turnip. The meat stuffing (which is basically hamburger ground together with several of the organs, celery, and onion, fried in butter) is a heart attack waiting to happen. The carrot and turnip stinks to high heaven and tastes incredibly gross.

When she comes, we let her make those. It just means TG to her.


Sigh. When she's gone, I will probably make them in her memory.

But I won't eat the carrot and turnip.:D


So in your circumstance, where it's more of an allergy-related thing, I might choose ONE "special" thing, but not make more than that.


Now, if it was mashed potatoes that you are leaving out, well...:D

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We eat paleo, and I don't use wheat/gluten in my kitchen.

For a meal like Thanksgiving, I'd let people know ahead of time what we'll be making.

Example: turkey and gravy, two vegetable dishes, green salad, and a paleo-friendly pumpkin pie.

Then I'd invite them to bring anything that they'd miss, like bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, or a "real" dessert.

Edited by jplain
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I would go ahead and make them some of their favorites. Thanksgiving is all about the food-:lol: You don't have to eat it, but unless it's a contact allergy, I would go ahead and make it. I like to have something for everyone, and I would make something different for someone w/ an allergy, as well as the standby favorites.

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Firstly I think my family would know about my food restrictions, so they might offer to bring things. But if not, I'd probably enlist the help of DH and DD11, and cook food suitable for ourselves, and plenty of the food I know my guests will like. If they don't finish it, they can take it home with them :D

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I'm slowly heading down the path of vegetarianism, but I still plan on making a turkey for Thanksgiving. Just because I'm changing does not mean those that I am cooking for are changing.


In your situation, I would make a minimum amount of 2-3 dishes the family is expecting to have. Some other things I'd do with a twist. Instead of bread (or cornbread) stuffing, I'm planning on an apple walnut stuffing. It is still stuffing, but now it is different.


I'd also practice comments like, "How nice of you to notice," and "Please pass the bean dip," for those family members who want to complain about the changes.

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dude, you do not know what a family fight is until you don't serve the right stuff at Thanksgiving!! :lol:


Seriously, I would think it was a very odd choice for someone in my family to host Thanksgiving, and then not have traditional Thanksgiving food. I would at least want some warning, so that I could make and bring a dish or two if I chose. Or, y'know, stay home ;)


You said that you've had people to dinner, and they haven't said anything, but keep a few things in mind:


*hopefully, most grown guests know that it's rude to say stuff like, "dang, that was weird, are you on a diet?"


*this is THANKSGIVING, not just any ol' dinner; it's about the food, yes, but it's also about tradition


So, what are the 8 major food allergens, and what do you plan to serve (for your own family)?

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Oh, please share your paleo friendly pumkin pie recipe, along with anyone else out there who has a pumpkin recipe free of wheat, egg, soy, milk, and nuts.
Unfortunately, the paleo pumpkin pie has nuts and eggs in it: link. But it is really good, though much less sweet than a traditional pumpkin pie. The only change I make is to eliminate the salt in the crust.


However, we were dairy- and egg-free before we went paleo, and there is a fantastic vegan pumpkin pie recipe in the cookbook La Dolce Vegan. It is still good without the topping, and/or you could omit the nuts and make a topping with soy-free Earth Balance, sugar, cinnamon, and a little rice flour. I used to make it with a vegan, gluten-free frozen pie crust that I used to buy at Whole Foods. For the "milk," I used either rice milk or coconut milk. Rice milk has a more neutral taste. If you're avoiding corn, you can sub in 2 T plus 2 t arrowroot powder for the cornstarch.


For topping:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons vegan margarine

1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped


For filling:

14 ounces unsweetened pumpkin puree

1/2 cup "milk"

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


9-inch pie crust


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, margarine and walnuts. Set aside. In a food processor, blend together all of the filling ingredients until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle topping evenly over top and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve at room temperature.



Note: Don't worry that this pie won't look ready when you first take it out of the oven - it sets as it cools.

Edited by jplain
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Our extended family is a mixed bag of celiacs and non-celiacs. We have family dinner every 6 weeks with 16 people plus anyone else who happens to be hanging around. My BIL and MIL cook for the celiac people and my SIL and myself cook for everybody else. It works out fine. We all know who has cooked what and have a wonderful array of foods.

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