Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wheat-free, Low Carb Thanksgiving

Many people, when they hear that I am eating low-carb and wheat free, have commented, "That's awfully restrictive, isn't it?" Of course, I don't see it that way mostly because I feel so good on this diet. I see it as an opportunity to be creative and try new things. One such challenge is the traditional Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner. There's no problem with the turkey. I can eat as much of that as I want. But for years I made my mother's recipe for a bread stuffing that was the highlight of the meal, but now I have to avoid wheat. And then there are mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, cranberry bread, butternut squash, and of course pumpkin or pecan pie, all of which are very high in carbs. What to do?

Last year and again this year I will make a wild rice/brown rice stuffing with mushrooms and almonds that I got from the Internet and which is very good. As long as I use the same seasonings as my mother did, it tastes very similar to hers. Mashed cauliflower or celeriac can substitute for the mashed potatoes. After all, the potatoes are only a vehicle for the gravy. It's the gravy that matters, right? And said gravy will be thickened with corn starch. I will make my own low-carb cranberry sauce from the Eades's The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook. And instead of cranberry bread, I have adapted a recipe from an old cookbook I bought on Nantucket many years ago called, From the Galleys of Nantucket. (I have the 1983 version.) The recipe is called Apple Pudding and here is my adaptation:

1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons corn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup tart apples, diced
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

Mix apples, cranberries, and pecans. Spread out in a greased pie dish. In a separate bowl mix honey and egg, add corn flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Pour over the fruit and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

One year I forgot the vanilla and so sprinkled the top with cinnamon and ground nutmeg before baking. It was fantastic! Now I do both. This satisfies me as a dessert so much that I don't miss the pie. But as it stands, this recipe is wheat-free but not low-carb. So I am planning to eliminate the honey and use stevia powder instead. I just have to find some substitute for the liquid that the honey would provide. Or maybe I will just dilute the honey. This will be an experiment.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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