Yes: you and your family can enjoy nearly all traditional Thanksgiving recipes while staying on course on your Wheat Belly lifestyle. Here are some recipes that incorporate Wheat Belly principles.
It means that you will replace cheesecake or pie crusts with ground walnuts, pecans, or almonds. It means that you will thicken gravies with benign ingredients such as coconut milk, pureed squash, or cream. It means that you choose benign natural sweeteners such as stevia, monkfruit, allulose, or erythritol. It means that you should feel free to eat the skin and dark meat on turkey, or spread butter over grain-free muffins liberally without any concern for calories. It means that you sacrifice nothing in taste.
But the end-result is that you and your friends and family can cruise through a rich, delicious, and satisfying Thanksgiving holiday without gaining weight, without developing the metabolic disaster that people eating conventional dinners experience, are less likely to experience the emotional fireworks that sometimes develop when families convene over holidays. In other words, you are more likely to have a wonderful holiday. Include some L. reuteri yogurt (or as Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing or other salad dressing or on top of a slice of pie) that boosts oxytocin and thereby feelings of warmth, well-being, empathy, and connectedness and, who knows, you might all like each other better, too!
And keep in mind what I call the Wheat Belly one-way street: While other people can eat and enjoy Wheat Belly-compliant dishes without a problem, you cannot enjoy their wheat/grain-containing food without triggering unhealthy effects, most commonly diarrhea, bloating, emotional lability, and skin rashes, sometimes worse. It means that, if you are preparing dinner, you can make EVERY dish Wheat Belly-compliant and everybody can safely enjoy every dish.
Cauliflower Mushroom Dressing
This dressing is heavier than the usual bread-based dressing or stuffing. Because it contains meat, it should not be stuffed into the turkey to cook, as this will not ensure a sufficiently high temperature. While this works best as a two-step process–-stove top to oven–-if time-pressed, you could just cook on the stove top a bit longer.
Makes 8 servings
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 pound pork sausage, preferably loose ground
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
8 ounces Portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 head cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 green pepper, chopped
4 ounce can/jar roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground tarragon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring approximately 12 ounces water to a boil in sauce pan. Toss in porcini mushrooms and turn heat down to maintain below boiling. Stir every couple of minutes for 20 minutes.
In deep sauce pan, saute sausage (if encased, remove from casing) in 1 tablespoon olive oil, along with celery and onions, until sausage cooked. Drain excess oil. Place sauce pan back on low heat. Break cauliflower into small florets and add to sausage mix. Toss in drained porcini mushrooms along with approximately 4 ounces of the porcini broth (save remainder of broth to make gravy; below), remainder of olive oil, green pepper, roasted red pepper, Portabella mushrooms, flaxseed. Add onion powder, sage, thyme, tarragon, salt and black pepper and stir.
Transfer to baking dish and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes.
If you follow the recipe for Cauliflower Mushroom Dressing (above), you should have around 8 ounces of porcini mushroom broth left over. This adds a wonderful mushroomy-meaty flavor to the gravy, a deeper character not usually found in standard gravies. Thickness is obtained without wheat, cornstarch, or other carbohydrate-rich thickener by use of coconut milk.
Because the quantity of drippings obtained will vary widely, depending on the size of your turkey, ingredient quantities are not specified. Rely on taste as you prepare your gravy to gauge ingredient quantity.
Heat drippings in the roasting pan or poured into a sauce pan on stove at low-heat. Pour in coconut milk slowly, stirring, until desired color is achieved. Gravy should be opaque, rather than translucent.
Add onion powder, garlic powder, and sea salt to taste.
Pumpkin pie is one of those fixtures of Thanksgiving dinner that, when recreated without wheat, can be enjoyed without worry. No worries over weight gain, increased blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure. No leg edema, abdominal cramps or diarrhea. No depression, moodiness, or crabbiness–except that aimed at your weird brother-in-law who keeps on licking his fingers after touching everything.
The pumpkin puree poses only a slight potential carbohydrate challenge. The entire pie contains 36 grams carbohydrates; if divided into 8 pieces, that yields 4.5 grams carbohydrate per slice–a tolerable level for most people. Heck, even two pieces yields about the same carbohydrate load as half an apple.
Makes 8 servings
1 1/4 cups ground walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
4 ounces butter or coconut oil, melted
2 cups pumpkin puree
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Sweetener equivalent to 3/4 cup sugar (e.g., 3 tablespoons Virtue Sweetener)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In large bowl, mix together ground walnuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. In small bowl, whisk eggs and add butter or coconut oil. Pour liquid mix into dry mix and blend by hand thoroughly.
Grease a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil or other oil. Transfer mix to the pie pan and spread evenly along bottom and up sides. If mixture is too thin, place in refrigerator for several minutes to thicken. For ease of spreading, use a large metal spoon heated under running hot water. Set aside.
In another large bowl, combine pumpkin, cream cheese, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly by hand. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sweetener and continue to blend by hand.
Pour pumpkin mix into pie crust. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick or knife withdraws nearly dry. Optionally, sprinkle additional nutmeg and/or cinnamon, top with whipped cream or coconut milk.