Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner when everyone has dietary restriction

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner when everyone has dietary restriction

We hear it so often from family members - Oh, our family had Thanksgiving dinner and I was not able to enjoy it as none of the food my sister cooked was gluten-free or vegan - I always know upfront that I have to bring my own food to the dinner... 

When we hear this we feel very sad, shouldn't at least our own family care about us? What we need or want? Do they even know us?

This year we wanted to share some Thanksgiving Recipes that can work for everyone and especially INCLUDE people with dietary restriction.

Seeing it from the other side as the host and cook; Accommodating others’ restrictions can also be irritating — particularly when people who claim to be on a restrictive diet indulge in dessert with supposedly taboo ingredients. In todays world we should be able and allowed to say something. You get invited to your friends family Thanksgiving dinner, you accept politely and mentioned that you have certain restrictions due to your a vegan, have celiac, have  irritated bowl movement, or whatever else it may be. Your friends should have the curtsy to ask what works and what does not - if they don't know already, and pass it on to their parents to let them know. 

Nobody should be ashamed of healing plant-based, eating low-carb and avoiding sugars due to Type 2 pre-diabetes. The reason is 1 in 6 children (age 12-18) are affected by it. That's 96 million American adults. People with Celiac diseases have terrible pains the they after they eat the wrong foods, and why would the host want to do that to them? Be kind, be upfront, and communicate.

Instead of trying to make unique dishes to accommodate everyone, look for dishes that can be easily adapted to suit your guests’ needs. Make dishes just about anyone can eat, like steamed green beans, mushroom gravy, roasted Brussels sprouts, and baked sweet potatoes with sides of candied pecans, brown sugar, and butter that guests can add on their own. Sets aside small portions for those who with food allergies before adding the offending ingredients. “For example, separate some boiled potatoes before adding the butter or milk, for dairy allergy; sweet potatoes can be set aside before the nuts are added, for a nut allergy.”

There are many ways to do this - best communicate with people who join the party.

We want to share some vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free Thanksgiving Recipes that work well for the table - and if someone has allergies we show you how to substitute. 

1. Maple Glazed Heirloom Carrots with Lemon Cashew Cream

Carrots Glazed Vegan, GF


  • 1.5 lbs heirloom organic carrotswashed but not peeled (I used a potato brush to give them a good scrub)
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (substitute with allulose syrup)
  • 2 Tbsp pistachios coarsely chopped (leave out if nut allergies and add fresh thyme instead )


  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked 2-3 hours or overnight (substitute with coconut cream or make it thicker by adding arrowroot (cornstarch like)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup filtered water

Find the recipe and Instructions here

2. Plant-Powered Butternut Squash Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie Vegan + GF


Creamy Sunflower Lentils

  • 1 cup dry blue (French) Lentils
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper + more to taste

Cider Glazed Carrots & Mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 julienned carrots
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 pound mixed oyster mushrooms, foot removed
  • 2 tablespoons sauerkraut or kimchi juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground + more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (discard the woody stem)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (discard the woody stem)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

Coconut Creamed Butternut Squash

  • 3 Small Butternut Squash (~2 1/3 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil / ghee / buttery coconut oil / (up to your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground + more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 pound vegetarian goat cheddar or vegan cheddar cheese like daiya

Find the recipe and Instructions here

3. Roast

Chef Ani can show you how to make a vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving Roast... actually we are going to try that this year ourselves and we are excited about it.

Click the link to Chef  Ani,s Roast

Gluten Free Vegan Turkey Roast


4. Fall Panzanella Salad

Gluten-Free Vegan Salad


  • 2cups golden beets, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ½ cups fennel bulb, thinly sliced (reserve 1 Tbsp. fennel fronds)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • Pinchof black pepper
  • cups crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bunch lacinto (dinosaur) kale, stems removed
  • 1 gala apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • tsp. sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut nectar
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Full Recipe and Instructions here

5. Sugar-Free Keto Cranberry Sauce

Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce


  • 12 oz Cranberries
  • 1 cup Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Allulose Blend or pure Allulose Powder
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Orange zest (optional; add more if you like more orange flavor)
  • 1/2  tsp Vanilla extract

Full recipe and Instructions here

6. Portobello Steak with lemon Basil Aioli

Portobello Steak with lemon Basil Aioli


  • 4 large portobello caps
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Thrive Culinary Algae Oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup plant-based mayo (or plain yogurt or 1 small avocado)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest + juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste

Full Recipe and Instructions here

And What's For Dessert?

Vegan, GF, Soy-Free Apple Cinnamon Pie Filled Donuts

Apple Cinnamon Pie

We hope you can enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner as Host or as a Guest

Love, PB