It happens to the best of us. We’ve had the same basic Thanksgiving Menu for years – turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, roasted sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. You may have created “healthier” versions of your favorites over the years and from time to time you might even throw in a kale salad or add a roasted vegetable platter, but we all have those staples that we look forward to. As soon as you’ve settled in to your menu, you get the call. Did you know? Your cousin is vegan, Grandma is trying the gluten free thing and Uncle Bob is watching his full film

Your first instinct is to let this overwhelm you – don’t worry! The best thing to do is not to overthink things! Most people on a vegan or gluten free diet know how to navigate food. Just follow these simple guidelines, and turn this curveball into a home run! download movie Teleios

1. Keep it simple by making easy, real food side dishes.
Green Beans with almonds, roasted root vegetables, and mashed potatoes with butter and garlic are a good place to start.

2. Keep your recipes handy so guests can check for ingredients or allergens.
Your guests with food allergies or restrictions will know how to navigate the table. Don’t stress yourself out trying to remember every ingredient! Just keep the recipes on hand in case someone asks.

3. For the Gluten Free Guest:

Use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken gravy.
Be mindful of flour and cross contamination, which can happen both in the kitchen and at the dinner table.
At dinner, let your gluten free guests serve themselves first, that way you don’t have to worry.
4. For the Vegans at your Table:
There are two things to be careful of using for vegans – chicken broth and dairy.
Just substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and you’re done!
Swap butter with a vegan margarine like Earth Balance, or use olive oil.
If you normally put cheese or sour cream in your mashed potatoes, just take a few scoops out before you add the dairy.
5. Sweet Potatoes are always welcome at the Thanksgiving Table!
Keep everyone happy with this simple gluten free and vegan side dish. Mash baked sweet potatoes with a little cinnamon and ginger, top with pecans, drizzle with maple syrup and bake for a few minutes.