If there's one thing that I am grateful for, it's considerate people. Thinking of others is a gift that some people naturally have. But in this increasingly self-involved world, consideration can be hard to come by. If you will be having any vegetarian, or gluten-free guests this Thanksgiving – consider serving some recipes for the family that cater to their dietary needs.
I am not saying that your entire meal should be developed based on one or two people, but it isn't that difficult to make sure there are options for friends and family that allow them to enjoy the holiday. I, fortunately, can eat pretty much anything. However, I recall attending a dinner where a vegetarian friend was expected to just eat the salad and the potatoes because meat was the main dish. It didn't seem fair.
So, should a hostess go crazy cooking two separate meals, or is it possible to have a simple option, or to ask the person in advance what they could make for them? At least warn the guest to eat before coming if you cannot (or will not) accommodate them.
Rather than my staying on the soapbox, how about some easy ways to prepare that vegetarian or gluten-free dinner for Thanksgiving. There is an abundance of recipes for the family that everyone will enjoy, here's one we like.
This tasty dish can be prepared as a main item for your vegetarian guests, but also serves as a great addition for anyone – and it's not the same-old, expected turkey-day item.
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (from Health magazine) serves 6
6 medium red bell peppers
1 tsp olive oil
¾ cup finely chopped shallots
4 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup fresh parsley
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 Tbs dry sherry
1 ½ tsp ancho chili powder
2 ½ cups hot cooked brown rice
1 cup tomato juice
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Cut off tops of peppers, discard seeds and membranes. Cook peppers in boiling water 5 minutes; drain.
Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes until tender. Add mushrooms, sauté 4 minutes. Add parsley, almonds, sherry and chili powder and sauté 3 minutes. Add rice, tomato juice, black pepper, garlic powder, and salt; sauté 3 minutes. Spoon ¾ cup rice mixture into each bell pepper. Top each pepper with 2 tsp of cheese. Place stuffed peppers in a 13×9 baking dish; bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
This one may be a bit easier. For the most part, you can prepare some of the traditional recipes – you just need to be certain that you are using gluten-free ingredients. Pay attention to the bread, the flour, and the chicken broth – there are GF products out there you can use. Beware, there are many items you may not know contain gluten. Do a little research, or better yet – ask your GF guests what products they use to insure no one feels horrible after the meal.
A little consideration goes a long way to creating Thanksgiving recipes for the family that everyone will be thankful for.