Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Meat-Free (but not Taste-Free!) Thanksgiving - Sweet Potato Casserole

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, family will soon be knocking on your door, children will be coming home from school, and new significant others will be introduced.

 This is such a joyous time, but more often than not, the stress of making dinner and having everyone feel welcome in your home becomes overwhelming. It can only become more stressful when you discover that one or more of your guests are following a specific and restrictive diet such as, gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan, and lactose intolerance. Well let's give thanks because, Market Street has your solution!

Over the next couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, we will be giving you all the recipes you will need to pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner that pleases everyone - even the one's with super-sensitive taste buds!

You'll get a main dish, stuffing, rolls (yes, rolls!), and a delicious sweet potato casserole, all made with ingredients that you recognize and can be found in our aisles on any day of the week.

Now, when cooking for a restricted diet, it is important to keep in mind that there is no substitution for the real thing. When you are accustomed to a 24-hour roasted marinated Butterball turkey, a tofurkey (tofu shaped like a turkey) is not going to satisfy your taste buds, and nothing is going to beat those homemade biscuits that grandma used to make every year, especially when you are going gluten free!

So think of this Thanksgiving as an adventure to try new things and break out of tradition, because after all, the most important thing is that everyone is together, right?

So, let's get started! The easiest thing to please everyone's diet is the sweet potato casserole. Why? Well first, it's naturally gluten free (yes!), and the only things you need to modify are the dairy products. This version of the recipe is made without marshmallows because they contain gelatin, an animal protein that vegetarians and vegans try and avoid.

You need:
-4 sweet potatoes, medium size
-1 cup Silk Original soy milk
-1/2 cup pecans
-3 T brown sugar, separated (1 T and 2T)
-1/4 tsp cinnamon, divided in half

For the topping:
-3 1/2 c organic powder sugar                                                                                          
-2 T organic granulated sugar
-3 T oil
-3 T hot water

*TIP: Sugar is not vegan! It is whitened using bone char, so using Organic sugar is a better, vegan-friendly option!

Place peeled and cubed potatoes in a pot and fill water until all of the potatoes are covered. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 20-30 minutes

In the mean time, take 1/2 cup of pecans in a small bowl. Add 1/8 tsp of cinnamon and 1T brown sugar. Mix and set aside.

When the potatoes are fork tender, mash sweet potatoes with potato masher (or a fork will do if you don't have one) and transfer into bowl for mixing

Add soy milk, brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix.

Add mixture into the casserole dish and top with the sugared pecans. Bake at 375for 20 minutes

Make sure you sift the powder sugar before you measure it! If not, it can throw off your measurements!

Mix sugar, oil, and vanilla on medium speed. Slowly add water until desired consistency of icing is reached.

Top icing mixture on casserole and place back in oven for another 10-15 minutes

Voila! Easy sweet potato casserole! See, this Thanksgiving isn't that hard! ;)

Written by: Allison Cleary, TWU Dietetic Intern.

Allison is currently in the Master's program and dietetic internship at Texas Woman's University, and will graduate in May of 2015. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, running, playing ultimate Frisbee and catching up with her friends and family.

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