Catering an Organic, Gluten-Free, & Dairy-Free Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving break, I was able to go home to Florida and it was so nice to take a break from the cold weather. It was also great to spend time with my family and eat some yummy food. I had a delicious and filling Thanksgiving, but the festivities continued the next day. On Friday, my mom’s catering company, Kitchen Divas, had a post-Thanksgiving catering job and I helped her out. All of the food had to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and organic, so the menu was different from your typical Thanksgiving meal. I helped her prepare some of the food, and it was so nice to spend some time with my mom.

One of the things I helped her make was quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes. The recipe serves 8 and for it you need:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. butter substitute like Earth Balance
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups kale, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper

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My mom baked the sweet potatoes in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until fork tender. I made the filling by cooking the quinoa in the vegetable broth. You put both over medium-low heat and once they begin to boil, you put a lid on the pot and reduce the heat until all of the liquid is absorbed.  While that cooked, I sautéed the onion in the butter and olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft. Then you add in the kale, almonds, and cranberries and sauté them until the kale is soft,  which is about 3 minutes. Once that is done, add in the finished quinoa to the frying pan and mix together. (Recipe and instructions from Leslie Durso)

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I also helped her make pomegranate poached pears with orange cashew butter. My mom did the pears while I made the orange cashew butter. For it, you need:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup clementine orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (vegan) or honey
  • 1 tablespoon water

Begin by soaking the cashews in a bowl of water for 1 hour. Next you place the drained cashew nuts, orange juice, honey and water in a blender and blend until completely smooth. My mom and I thought it needed some more orange taste in it, so we grated some clementines into it as well. You then refrigerate it until it’s ready to be served. (Recipe and instructions from Jeanette’s Healthy Living)

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Lastly, I helped her with dessert. She made a gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate cake, and everybody at the party kept saying how it tasted just like regular chocolate cake! I made the chocolate ganache to go on top. In a pot over boiling water, I melted baker’s chocolate and soy creamer. Once melted, I spread it all on top of the cake.

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Although most people don’t think of having their Thanksgiving meals all organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free, everybody at the party said the food was delicious. Beside that, I had lots of fun getting to cook with my mom again and help her out. Although I’m nowhere near the chef she is, I hope to one day be.

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