Thanksgiving yummies!

What is your method of dealing with our holiday of Blessings that center around food?
I usually portion the "bad for me" foods to a small spoonful so I can taste them. I allow myself bigger spoonfuls for the proteins and veggies.
I really have to watch that cranberry sauce though. I love it too much!

I generally have a good solid plan for BG control but on holidays I just let the chips fall, lots of extra insulin, enjoy my family and I try to make some plans that include some exercise. I can't say that holiday meals are my toughest challenge, there a treat for me so if my BG is not so perfect I'm just going to take my lumps and enjoy the day.

I've posted the before but it probably warrants a repost.

The tip is to use almond bread to make dressing for your turkey. Low carb but not low fat:)I got it from member Gerri.

Gerri's recipe follows......

I make the almond bread a day before so it drys out some. Or, you can cut into pieces & bake it in a low oven after it's cooked to dry it more.

Almond Bread-- 16 net grams for the entire recipe because it has 17 grams of fiber.

1.5 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
(Optional for using for stuffing--1/2 tsp liquid Splenda I use Fiberfit from carbs).

Preheat oven to 325.

Put all ingredients in a blender & blend until smooth.
Pour batter into a well greased baking dish.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. It won't brown.
Let cool before removing from pan.

Sautee a small amount of onion in butter until soft. Add whatever herbs you like--sage, parsley, thyme, chives, along with freshly ground pepper & garlic. If you like mushrooms, they're a good addition. So are pecans. Add the crumbled almond bread & mix well. If it looks too dry for your taste, add a little chicken broth.

You may not need to chicken broth for what's going into the turkey, but may want to add broth & salt to stuffing that's being cooked outside the turkey.

You can make about any type of cornbread dressing substituting the almond bread for the cornbread, I make mine with sausage and leave out the vanilla and sweetener.

My biggest challenge in avoiding the bad stuff is if I have the munchies. So I try to fill up on turkey, gravy and veggies first, then I have spoonfuls of the decadent stuff, but I usually end up eating only a bite or two of each. Pie is my downfall! Or as my BG would put it, my uprising!

Thank you!

I enjoy the turkey and low carb vegetables. I may eat a small amount of pie,diet soda, then go out and play with the dog for exercise. Plus help clean up. It can be a tough day some years. Nancy

Being vegetarian to me is harder than being a Type 1 in terms of things of things I can't eat. I generally don't accept invitations unless they are from people I know will have things I can eat. (Either because they make them specifically for me or because that is their own inclination to have lots of healthy and tasty vegetarian options.) Desserts don't tempt me - after 20 years without eating sugar it just doesn't "call to me". I'm also not that devoted to holidays where I can make it "just another day" if I don't have specific plans. Last year my 65th birthday came on Thanksgiving Day so I was treated to dinner at a lovely vegetarian restaurant. This year I'll just be hanging out at home in the woods enjoying the Fall colors. I'm going to Guatemala for Christmas and that is treat enough for me to look forward to!

Having spent too many years feeling deprived either as a vegetarian, a non-sugar eater or a PWD I've learned to choose my holiday sites, bring something I can eat, or stay at home and enjoy my own company and cooking! I also when I'm away from home sometimes do as John describes and just bolus and check accordingly. Going nuts however is just not something I choose to do anymore as I just don't enjoy feeling overly full or the consequences in BG.

I have decided to pick my priorities. It is not about food for me, but making the memories and enjoying the people I am around. I will take what I can eat as well as plenty to share.

If we can, I think a break is good as long as there can be control. :-)

Good Plan!

That is true! There are dishes from my family that I have loved throughout the ages.

Oh yes, Moon---I still use many of Gerri's recipes!

Good question. And important. I have developed or discovered lo-carb replacements for all my favorites.

Stuffing: HOLIDAY STUFFING: 2013 Thanksgiving---Nailed it
Low Carb version by Judith in Portland from TuDiabetes

Enough for a 24 lb. bird

1.5 pkgs WASA flatbread crackers, Whole Grain version, broken into pieces.
1-1.5 lbs butter, melted
½ to 1 cup chicken broth (I like Pacific foods organic, but any will do)
Lots of garlic and shallots, to taste.
Celery and Mushrooms also great, to taste.
Whatever else you usually like in your stuffing.
Whatever herbs you usually like in your stuffing:
I like Herbs de Provence, Coriander, Tarragon, Basil

We break up the Wasas the night before in a big bowl.
Melt the butter.
Sauté garlic, shallots, etc in more butter in separate pan.
I add herbs at each stage, in each pan so they get spread around throughout.
Toss it all together in the big bowl of Wasas, stirring thoroughly. I usually do it with my hands as it cools.

Seasonal Quickbread: ZUCCHINI BREAD
Low-carb adaptation by Judith in Portland from TuDiabetes

3 Eggs
1 Cup Oil
2 Cups Splenda or stevia equivalent
2 Cups peeled and grated zucchini
3 Tsp vanilla (I always add extra, being a vanilla “junkie”)
3 Cups almond flour
1 Tsp baking soda
¼ Tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tsp cinnamon
(1 cup chopped nuts if desired)
2 Egg Whites, beaten stiff

Lightly beat eggs.
Add and mix well: oil, sweetener, zucchini, vanilla
Mix dry ingredients together and add to wet. Mix well.
Fold in 2 beaten egg whites.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Makes 2 loaves.
While there are a lot of variables in size of loaf pan and slice size, I don’t think it’s more than 3-4 carbs per slice.

If you like it cake-like, gobble it up first day. If you like it dense and very moist, it’s better the second day!

Cranberry Sauce: I follow the recipe on the bag of Stahlbush Island farms cranberries (it works fine with other organic frozen labels): 10 OZ frozen cranberries; 1/3 cup water; 1/3 cup sugar substitute (since I don't use it but once/year, I use Splenda because it is easy, but there are many other options---equivalencies is what you need to look at, plus your sweet tooth quotient!). Heat sugar substitute and water to a simmer, dump in frozen cranberries and simmer until desired thickness. I always make a double recipe and we have taken to always having some of this on hand nearly year-round. It's a great condiment for everything from poultry to pork and beef.

From the Ya Sure Yabetcha Kitchens

I adapted this by melding 2 old recipes---my mother’s and one from the mother of a friend. The nut flours can get heavy, so adding the 2 extra beaten egg whites helps with that.....

3 cups hazelnut flour (Bob’s Red Mill). A bit under a whole bag.
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Sweetener equivalent to 2 cups of sugar (Splenda or stevia)
2 eggs separated + 2 more egg whites
1-3/4 cup almond milk or heavy cream or a mix of the two
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I double that—love vanilla!)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 pound walnuts, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Whole walnuts for Garnish, if desired.

1--Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch tube pan (like an angel food cake pan). I’ve also thought it might work in two loaf pans, like a sweetbread.
2--Measure flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Combine butter, sweetener and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with almond milk/cream blend, ending with flour mixture. Add extracts and beat well. Stir in chopped walnuts.
3--Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until very stiff. Fold egg whites into batter. If it feels too, too stiff add some more almond milk and/or cream. But it is supposed to be a thick batter.
4--Pour/spoon batter into pan. Bake 65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes---Little longer in my Mom’s oven. About 63 minutes in my oven.
5--Garnish with whole walnuts. Gets better sitting overnight, though I can’t usually wait.

When I was making this for my 89-year-old Mom, we were trying to pour more calories into her frail body and served it with whip cream (with added stevia and vanilla). It was curl-your-teeth-rich!

Desert II: Ya Sure Yabetcha Cheesecake
My Mom was an original contributor to the first Betty Crocker Cookbook back in the 50s. She traded recipes back and forth and at 89 can’t remember the source on this one or who she developed it with. She can’t do much in the kitchen anymore and so each time I go back to Minnesota to care for her I adapt one or two of her old recipes so that I can enjoy them with her. This one was a major success.

Recipe called for a ring mold, but I couldn’t find Mom’s so I used her large pie plate---one of those that’s a little deeper and has a fluted edge----this makes a big cheesecake! Greased it well with butter.

Gerri’s crust: Stir up 2 cups finely ground pecans or almonds or walnuts--I used pecans-- and 5 TBSP melted butter. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10” at 350. Keep an eye on it as it can burn all of a sudden.

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese---best to soften first!
Sweetener equivalent to 1 cup sugar---I used Splenda only because I don't bake very often
3 TBSP almond flour (or other nut flour, I’m sure)
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 TBSP vanilla (I tossed in extra as I’m a vanilla freak!)
Fresh berries for top, or other sweet treat. Raspberries were great.

With electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar and flour, adding eggs one at a time. It will be stiff at first but “Perseverance furthers and the superior woman triumphs” (that’s the I Ching--hah!). Blend in sour cream and vanilla. Pour over crust. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 250. Continue baking for 1 hour. I think it took just a few minutes longer. Let settle and cool a bit. Chill in the fridge. Add fresh berries before serving. If it’s not rich enough for you---hah!---I’m sure it would be great with a dollop of sour cream or whip cream on top, too! Makes a whole bunch of servings! I actually figured out the very negligible carbs, but can’t find the #s. It’s very, very few. Sorry about that.

Vegies: I usually enjoy the basics like broccoli or asparagus. If you are a creamed peas and onions fan, or green bean casserole: There are lots of lo-carb white sauce recipes online now, as well as mushroom soups. These use heavy cream, in general, for instance.

Oh, one of my favorite seasonal sweet treats is this Snickerdoodle recipe that I adapted:
Adapted by Judith in Portland to be very low carb
Original from the website

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening (I used all butter)
1 ½ cups Splenda or stevia equivalent
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (I’m a vanilla “junkie” and double that!)
2 ¾ cups almond flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp non-liquid sugar substitute
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400◦ F
Cream butter, shortening (or all butter!), 1 ½ cups sugar substitute, eggs, vanilla.
Blend in flour, cream of tartar,, soda and salt.
Shape dough by rounded teaspoons into balls.
Mix the powdered sugar substitute and cinnamon together.
Roll the balls in this mixture.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until set but not too hard. I like them still soft and take them out early as they will keep cooking for a minute or two.

Makes a couple dozen and if you like to indulge in eating the dough, it’s great.
One or two carbs per cookie----enjoy!

We also use one of many recipes for mashed cauliflower/garlic/cheese substitute for potatoes. It's delicious, but it took us 3 years to get the balance right for our taste buds.....Oh and for a pumpkin or sweet potato pie---use Gerri's pecan crust (ref above in cheesecake recipe), a sugar substitute and almond flour and heavy cream, if required!

I wallow in holiday food feasts now, just like I did before my dx with The D 7 years ago! Never feel deprived. OH---and all of these things I have fixed for non-diabetic family members----they never know the difference!.....Be well and have fun with no guilt!...All bright blessings for our holiday feasts, whatever they celebrate!...Judith in Portland

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Thanks Judith and Badmoon for these recipes, I've screen saved them all to try at some point. I make the cranberry sauce with stevia now and I have made low carb pumpkin pies and cheese cake. I usually skip potatoes and stuffing or I have a very small amount and bolus accordingly. I'm pretty much gluten free now but I still cheat sometimes with things like this. I use almond flour, hazelnut flour and chia seeds for the crusts etc. I have to try those snicker doodle cookies they sound great! I hardly ever eat cookies anymore.

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I don't really consider any sort of food bad for me. Not balancing insulin is bad for me. I usually figure a "party bolus" for the appetizer round and a "dinner bolus" for the main event and if I overdo the insulin, I'll have some pie at the end of it. I'm running the Turkey Trot 5K in town too, which will hopefully help "pregame" for the festivities.

As someone else said, holidays are no longer about the food, but the people I'm with. I'm a T2 using diet alone to control my BG. I don't taste anything I shouldn't eat - I've got a good enough food memory. :)

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I thought I’d bring this topic back, as it has some recipes that look pretty good for those watching carbs, like Gerri’s stuffing and @Judith_in_Portland 's wasa stuffing & a few others.


@meee…Ever since I got Gerri’s pecan crust recipe, I’ve been meaning to try a basic pumpkin pie. Do you have a favorite recipe that’s low carb?..

@Bonnie10…I’ve been controlling with diet and exercise only for 8 years. These recipes I’ve adapted don’t give me a spike of any kind. Especially if I take a lovely little walk around the neighborhood after dinner…We are all different, but you might experiment with some of them…Blessings…

@Judith_in_Portland Judith,

for my crust I mix equal parts hazelnut, almond and walnut flour with 1 stick butter, sometimes I cook the crust a bit for about 15 minutes on a medium heat. Then for the filling I use organic pureed pumpkin, add various spices like allspice and a little brandy, 1 cup heavy cream and 3 eggs, 1 teas salt, 1 teas vanilla & sweeten with sweet leaf stevia, mix that up and then bake for about 1.5 hours or so. I looked at online recipes and adjusted them a bit. I used to make pumpkin pie before D with totally fresh pumpkin but I don’t have the energy anymore for that now. For a topping I use cream and or nuts.

This one looks good: