Thanksgiving

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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.

Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

For the past three Novembers, cooking for Thanksgiving has been very last minute and a lot harder. I was reluctant to even get into the holiday spirit until December 1st.

I’ll tell you why, and I’ll also tell you why this year is different. But first, the recipe to look forward to at the end of this post:

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Have you ever heard of this little thing called NaNoWriMo? It’s short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s true, I am an aspiring novelist. I have been since I was in middle school, although practicality and life always got in the way of trying to achieve my dream.

Then I heard of this NaNoWriMo thing: a non-profit organization that challenges you to write an entire novel in November. 50,000 words that is. In thirty days.

The first year I heard of it I thought maybe I’d give it a shot. I toyed with the idea. I wrote down some stories that had been fighting for recognition in the back of my mind. 

But I never went through with it. Maybe I was just focused on other things. 

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

The year after that, 2012, I put my foot down. I was going to do it. But when I picked my story and sat down to write, I had a huge wake up call. Writing 50,000 words is hard. Writing them well is even harder. I had an embarrassing collection of 25,000 words by the end of the month.

But last year, that was when I finally did it. I wrote 50,000 words, adding to my previous attempt at the same story for a total of 78,000 words. I had written a novel. Check one box off the bucket list.

The problem was, it was absolutely horrible. I spent the next year going back to it again and again, editing and editing and trying to make it readable.

I don’t regret all this time spent editing. It was a major learning experience. Because this year when November came around, I found my writing to be majorly improved. 

Not only have I written 45,000 words before Thanksgiving, but I’ve also kept my apartment clean, gotten into the holiday spirit, and have even kept up a regular social schedule, along with posting blog entries and doing my day job. To be so much more improved has been a huge confidence booster. It is true that hard work pays off. 

I’m looking at a really great story right now, one that I am not reluctant to share unedited. One that I am in love with. And here I am comfortably posting another recipe, with Thanksgiving only days away. 

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

I just want to say to follow your dreams. It’s going to be hard. There are going to be things in the way. And maybe you won’t get it on the first go. But keep trying. Eventually, practice may not make perfect, but it will get you farther than you ever thought possible, even in your darkest moments of despair. Three years ago, writing a novel was a daunting task. But now? 50,000 words in a month? No biggie. I got this.

And just to prove it, here’s a deliciously thick and fluffy smoothie with a tart, creamy finish, made from the Thanksgiving dinner ingredients you already have in your kitchen, to help get you into the holiday spirit, too. 

Happy NaNoWriMo! Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup raw cranberries, rinsed and drained
  2. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  3. 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  4. 1/4 cup walnuts
  5. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  6. dash allspice
  7. dash cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Sweeten with maple syrup to taste.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/
Pumpkin Cranberry Smoothie from dontmissdairy.com

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnut Crumble

Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnut Crumble from dontmissdairy.com
This is the favorite dish for our Thanksgiving meal! It’s sweet, creamy, and delicious, yet completely dairy- and gluten-free.

Instead of milk and butter, this recipe calls for sweet vanilla soy milk and your favorite dairy free butter alternative such as Smart Balance Light or Earth Balance spread.

While we had a very small Thanksgiving get-together this year, I still made a full casserole of this recipe. We were determined to have lots of leftovers!

I adapted this recipe from Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole on allrecipes.com. I hope it becomes a holiday favorite for your family!

Sweet Potato Casserole from dontmissdairy.com

Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnut Crumble
Serves 12
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Casserole
  1. 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 2 eggs, beaten
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 4 tablespoons Smart Balance Light, softened
  6. 1/2 cup Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping
  1. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons Smart Balance, melted
  3. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put cubed sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer over medium low heat until tender. Use a fork to test softness after 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, Smart Balance, soy milk, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle the crumbled walnuts evenly over the sweet potato mixture. Add melted butter on top, and then sprinkle with brown sugar.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
Adapted from Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnut Crumble from dontmissdairy.com

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Flavorful Dairy-Free, Fat-Free Mashed Potatoes

Dairy free, fat free mashed potatoes from dontmissdairy.com

(Updated from post previously published on November 18, 2012)

Healthy mashed potatoes here! This is my go-to mashed potatoes recipe that I make for Thanksgiving every year. You won’t believe how flavorful this dish is, considering that it’s vegan, gluten free, dairy free, fat free, and low sodium. Heavenly!

Dairy free, fat free mashed potatoes from dontmissdairy.com

Right after mashing, adding the chives.

Did you know that russet potatoes are practically fat free? Mashed potatoes are often so fattening because of the ton of butter and milk added to them. Okay, okay, I know all about carbs, but it’s Thanksgiving!

And if you must eat mashed potatoes, why not make them as healthy as possible, without sacrificing taste? 

I’ve tried this recipe using chicken and vegetable stock. I always end up adding some sea salt, but it doesn’t need much. If you’d like to keep this dish vegan, stick with vegetable stock. Here’s a great tip: save some of the stock you drain in the refrigerator, and add to the potatoes for reheating.

You can try adding some other herbs to this as well. I have a lovely pot full of fragrant chives, which is why they are featured in this dish. But you could also try fresh parsley or maybe thyme? Please let me know if you do and how it turns out! The chives keep well, even through re-heating.
Dairy free, fat free mashed potatoes

Flavorful Dairy-Free, Fat-Free Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. Unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
  3. 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  5. 1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, pour stock over peeled, cubed potatoes until just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Try testing with a fork for softness. The potato cube should break apart easily.
  3. Drain, but reserve the broth.
  4. With a hand masher or electric mixer, mash potatoes with 1/4 to 1/2 cup reserved broth, adding a little at a time. Be careful not to overdo it, or the potatoes could be too moist. Stop adding broth at desired consistency.
  5. Stir in chives, salt, and pepper.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Dairy free, fat free mashed potatoes from dontmissdairy.com

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