The very first Thanksgiving I had after my allergies decided to go insane was pretty awful. I was down to less than ten foods, trying to figure out what to eat, and really came up with nothing all that palatable.
Although admittedly, the next Thanksgiving was more emotionally upsetting, what with being exposed to one of my allergens by my ex (just a whiff), to help prove to me that it was all psychosomatic. Yeah, that one didn't work too well, just made me sick the entire holiday, sigh.
But, anyway, back to foods. There are some AMAZING recipes for Thanksgiving foods you can make with substitutions. Awesome ones. If they help you, awesome. And I mean that - I'm all about the food porn here. I love seeing other people enjoy food, even if it's not something I'm likely to try myself (see the similarity here? Food porn - it truly is).
But if you are like I was, you may have so few foods that you just don't even know where to start. It's overwhelming. So, for those like me, here's some things that might help a little bit for Thanksgiving foods when you have very little you can have. I don't know if these will help anyone, but I hope that they may be of use for some.
1. In place of Mashed Potatoes, try any mashed root vegetable. Any of 'em. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, celery root, whatever...although radishes, you might need to play with. I haven't tried those ones.
- If you can have a fat, then a mashed, boiled root vegetable, salt, and a fat can be lovely. If you can render beef fat, or another animal fat, it adds an amazing flavor to root vegetable mash, yum.
- If you can add in chopped herbs, that can help a lot with any odd flavors you are not used to, so I'd recommend that too. Something sour is often a really nice addition for stronger tasting root veggies (there's a reason potatoes and sour cream are popular, right?)
- If you have pretty much nothing but a root veggie, with no flavorings, roasting them rather than boiling can add more flavor too them, and sweet them up. If you rub them with oil first, that helps, but it's not required.
2. This sweet potato recipe I came up during 'the dark times,' uses sweet potato and home squeezed citrus juice, and we have used it as a main dish or as a dessert. It's lovely, and this from someone who doesn't like sweet potato at all. http://learningtocookalloveragain.blogspot.com/2014/08/citrus-mashed-sweet-potato.html
3. Meat - does not matter whether you can have hamburger or turkey or chops, just get some meat cooked in a way you can eat. And then try to see what you can do to put over it like gravy. Just a little water mixed with juices from the pan? Great.
- Some roasted veggies that you blend up in the blender and use as a sauce? Also great.
- Or whatever fruit you can eat, if any - can it be cooked? Can it be mashed or blended up? These also make some great sauces for meat, and makes it feel a little LESS like it's the same meat you have to eat almost every day because you don't have a lot of choices.
4. Protein that's not meat - are grains more the thing you can eat? Or beans?
- Something that can be fun and a little different for grains is to make a very thick porridge, pour it into a bread pan, and put it in the fridge. When it's solid and cold, pull it out and cut it into fry-shaped sizes. Then fry these in oil for polenta fries, millet fries, whatever. Crispy on the outside and very soft and creamy on the inside. For beans, you can try bean patties, roasted beans, mashed beans with veggies on top, or veggies with beans on top. Stuffed bean patties is something we've tried, with very thick homemade refried beans, and it's...well, ok, its a work in progress. But I think it can be done, still!
5. Dessert - This one is the hardest, but it pretty much comes down to: what do you have that you can add sweet to? And what can you eat that IS sweet. This latter part has proven to be most important for me, as it is a pretty small list, in my case. And the thing is, if it's sweet? Figure out how to use that sucker for a dessert. It's apples, then juice them and use the juice as as sweetener, or condense it and make it even sweeter. Cook it and blend it up. chop it to bits and use it. Doesn't matter what it is, add that sweet thing to something it tastes good with, and yee ha, it's dessert.
For nearly a year, I had one dessert - pecans and honey. I could have both of those, almost no fruit, and the honey I could only have a tiny bit without reacting, same with the pecans. I tell you, that was the best damn desert in the world for that year!
I wish you all the best, and hope that you can find some amazing foods this year!!