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Last year at this time I was sad, tired, overweight and addicted to carbohydrates. I remember Thanksgivings of the past. I remember feeling tired and bloated having eaten a huge platter of mostly carbohydrates. And my feet ached so badly throughout the day! Not to mention my lower back ached from standing for such a long time cooking. It was difficult keeping up with all the cooking and cleaning that goes along with making many side dishes for a Thanksgiving dinner.
For years and years I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and however much I wanted. And slowly grew larger. It was my worst fear… the thought of gaining weight and gaining weight and gaining weight until I weighed three or four hundred pounds. Thank God I found GAPS, which has been the answer for me.
After all that I've learned, I can't imagine going to back to eat the way I did one year ago. It would be stupidity!
This year, it was so much different. I had energy to last throughout the day, and my feet were just fine. They were tired and a little achy at the end of the day, but considering I'd been on my feet most of the day, I think that's to be expected.
So here's what I ended up making:
The following recipes can be found in the Heart of Cooking Thanksgiving Allergen-Free And Limited Diet Menu Planner*
- Coconut Bread Stuffing
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- Butternut Squash and Apples
- Pumpkin Bars with Cashew Date Frosting (if you use Natural Value Coconut Milk with no additives it is GAPS legal)
- Pumpkin Pie
- Coconut Whipped Cream
I pulled out my holiday dinnerware, which is a cute snowman set that my Mother-in-law gave me about five years ago. I just loved this set when I saw it, and she'd found it at a thrift store!
I personally was very pleased with the entire meal. I did a lot of snacking through the day so I wasn't hungry when we sat down to eat our meal. I did take a small spoonful of most everything. So different than Thanksgivings in the past, when I would pig out and feel so uncomfortable after eating.
Not having that compulsion to stuff myself is like a miracle to me. It was something I'd done all my life, and I'd tried to curb the ravenous eating, but I just couldn't seem to conquer it.
If you read my blog regularly, you may recall that we were going to have a New York Strip Holiday Roast. Well, my husband came home with one that was too small to even consider cooking for my family. If there isn't a huge piece of meat it's distressing, so there was no point in even making the roast he brought home. So I opted for the pork loin. The white part of the meat was dry, but the dark meat (very little of it) was heavenly. I will definitely make this recipe again.
The faux-tatoes came out great as usual.
The onion mushroom gravy was so close to mushroom soup that I'm going to have to write up the recipe and share here at the blog. No weirdo thickeners! Just onions, cauliflower and mushrooms, and of course some butter and salt. Delicious.
The Coconut Bread Dressing was perfect, once I baked the loaf of bread correctly! It turned out bread-like and worked nicely for the stuffing. I also did not include the apples in the Coconut Bread Dressing. I guess at this point I could share my version of the recipe if not for the fact that it contains illegals!
I didn't have the spice cardamom that the Spiced Cranberry Sauce called for, and I added about a teaspoon of lemon juice. Don't ask me why, I just did.
The butternut squash and apples were not a big hit. I liked them, but I also took the recipe one step further and pureed the mixture. As a result, I did not make Pioneer Woman's Butternut Squash Puree recipe.
The Pumpkin Bars were great, and are GAPs legal. The Cashew Date Frosting is as long as you use coconut milk that has no additives. I used an 8×8 pan and sliced the bars into 9 squares, then sliced each square into four squares so ended up with 36 pieces. I put the frosting into a sandwich bag, took off the corner and made a fancy little topping and called them Pumpkin Bites.
I almost cried when I tasted the Whipped Coconut Cream with a bite of pumpkin pie. It's been so long since I had whipped cream… it was just heavenly.
I didn't get around to making the Green Bean Casserole.
I have to say I was very pleased with the Allergy Free Menu Planner, and feel it was well worth the $5.95 that I paid for it.
If you would like to buy your own copy, please click here: Allergy Free Thanksgiving Menu Planner.
In spite of the few cheats, I didn't veer far from GAPS. I was very pleased with the meal, and I think my family was okay with it as well. My husband said it was very good, and my youngest son said it turned out good in spite of not using any thickeners or sugar.
How was your Thanksgiving? Did you stay on GAPS?