Gluten-Free Thanksgiving 2.0

I can’t believe that it’s already been over a year since I changed my eating habits. I apologize in advance for this pun, but I literally went “cold turkey,” off of gluten and dairy all in one day with no setbacks since.

That decision was made Nov. 1, 2014, so my plans for hosting my first Thanksgiving were already underway. I had to think of ways to serve a traditional meal that wouldn’t derail my nascent healthy-eating efforts. Last year you may have seen my report of my successful gluten free and dairy free Thanksgiving. If you think about it, Thanksgiving is actually a great meal to make gluten-free. It is potentially a really healthy and light meal; people just tend to go about it the wrong way. Protein is at the center, and the side dishes are plant based. Stuffing is the part that would contain gluten, and gravy is the usual culprit to contain dairy, but more about that later. My first foray into hosting a healthy Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, so this year I’m ready to take it to a whole new level by incorporating some vegan recipes and venturing into less traditional, but still earthy, Thanksgiving recipes. My parents, who will be visiting from the East Coast, have given me the go ahead. In fact, my mom actually thought of the dessert…

Before I reveal the menu, it’s worth mentioning that my yoga teacher training program has reawakened my commitment to minimizing waste. The key to the success of this year’s Thanksgiving meal, even more than the healthy theme, will be the portion sizes. I need to remind myself that we will only be 5 people, maybe 6, so we really don’t need that much food to express thanks together! I don’t mind if there’s a few days of leftovers, but the key is for nothing to go to waste.

Here’s the plan:


Alex's devilishly delish paleo deviled eggs

Alex’s devilishly delish paleo deviled eggs

Alex is bringing deviled eggs sans mayo like last year. They were awesome and so scrumptious topped with chives!


Instead of having nine thousand appetizers, we’ll have just the deviled eggs, and my mom asked me to learn how to make a butternut squash soup. I’ve started the research, and even though I like to make it up as I go along, I’ll start here with this fun-looking blender recipe I found by the Simple Veganista for roasted butternut squash soup. PS I STILL don’t have a Vitamix, but my reliable Ninja will suffice for blending the roasted veggies.


We’ll make the smallest possible turkey filled with wild rice stuffing. I will adapt this recipe from Epicuriuos. My friend Susan Colb, the best chef in the entire world, gave me the idea to start there. We still need to research a healthy gravy, but worst case scenario we’ll just use the natural juices form the bird and derive flavor from the celery and carrots we’ll throw in there.



I recently made lime curry brussels sprouts for a Thanksgiving test-run. I also had a side of lightly sauteed sliced mushrooms on hand, and the flavors meshed so well that I eventually mixed the mushrooms in with the brussels sprouts when I went to eat them. I garnished the sprouts with shredded ginger and cilantro. For Thanksgiving, I say keep the cilantro but skip the ginger. The ginger was too strong of a flavor for a garnish. You need:

chopped brussels sprouts (20 heads)
1 large clove chopped garlic
2 tbsp wheat free tamari (soy sauce, from Whole Foods)
2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
5 small chopped cilantro leaves for tiny garnish

Roast at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for my excellent oven. It never burns anything!

I’ll also make a roasted red curry cauliflower and try my hand for the first time at mashed celery root instead of traditional mashed potatoes. My friend Liz gave me this idea. I already bought the celery root bunches! So excited!


Out of the blue, my mom texted me and said she wanted me to try to make a chocolate beetroot cake from scratch! Not kidding, I seriously had been thinking the exact same thing. Wish me luck— I’ve decided to come up with my own recipe from scratch. I’ve had a few successful forays so far into vegan baking, and I’m excited to see what I come up with. It’s going to be gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, and scrumptrilescent! I can’t wait to show you what I come up with!

If you’re worried that pumpkin seems to be missing, don’t worry. We’ll be eating my favorite pumpkin bread recipe all week, topped with a dusting of pecans, to keep us fed and focused as we cook!

I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll drive my family crazy as I carefully photograph their plates to document our culinary adventures!


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7 Comments on “Gluten-Free Thanksgiving 2.0”

  1. Bulldog Travels November 23, 2015 at 18:14 #

    Have a wonderful thanksgiving!

  2. Bulldog Travels November 23, 2015 at 18:15 #

    We still need to get together and meet in Napa! I was thinking about you while driving through yesterday. It’s so pretty there in the fall.

  3. Lisa Young November 24, 2015 at 06:12 #

    Very nice post Marisa! I’m excited to hear the testimonials after the meal 🙂

  4. Martha LaValette November 29, 2015 at 16:46 #

    Everything was delicious!

    • Marisa LaValette November 30, 2015 at 08:45 #

      Mom, you’re so patient! Thanks for playing along with my “revisions” to a traditional Thanksgiving menu. xoxo


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