And just like that Thanksgiving was here. We are incredibly fortunate as my husband and I’s may be far from our families, they are close to each other. This made our long awaited ten day, Southern Thanksgiving tour much easier. Less care time and more face time. It still left room for lots of traveling stories (one captured at the end of this post).
As we created new memories on old traditions, new dishes came to the table. No one messes with the green bean casserole. We love it just the way it is. My mom made these delicious avocado deviled egg with an egg bar. Avocado + Bacon = Love . I couldn’t leave the mac and cheese alone this year. Since gluten free is the name of our game, it would seem a simple pasta switch out is all one needs. Not really. I do have my fav ancient grain gluten free pasta; however, I wasn’t taking chances with crunchy or sticky. Yes it happens alot with the g free pasta. Ew. I opted with a caulimac that is creamy and more bacon. This “side dish” started out as a main dish with some veggies. Then I was in love. It made its Thanksgiving debut. The best part of this relationship- easy. Put it together. Bake or crock. Stir and done.
Gouda and Bacon Caulimac
⚠️ Warning ⚠️ Addictive
Serves 6-8 as a main dish
Ingredients and Prep
36 oz of frozen cauliflower
2 8 oz of Neufchâtel cream cheese, cut into cubes
3 8 oz of Gouda cheese, cubed
1 16 oz package of bacon (cooked and cut)
1. Take one baking dish (size) throw in frozen cauliflower
2. Throw in cubed cream cheese and Gouda
3. Bake on 375 for 15-20 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir. Add bacon on top
5. Cook for 15-20 minutes until melted and bubbling. Stir again
1. Dumped it all together in 7 quart slow cooker or crock pot
2. Cook on high for 2-3 hours and stir half way between
You know it’s done when all the cheeses are melted together and a bubbly personality.
Make your food relationship deliciously easy with out skipping out on the nutrition you need.
As my love affair with all things spicy cools off, I have to find ways to live in between. I am between my love of food relationship exploration and the need for it not to kill my stomach. Creole food is one of those perplexing situations for me. About a year ago on a pinning spree I took on gumbo and LOVE it. I love the earthy and fiery flavors with the simple base. Recently, a more palatable version found my bowl as tweaking to remove shellfish allergy and reduce reflux triggers. This reworking of a Creole icon reduces the spice, lowers fat content, and switches to a low acid tomato. Make your shopping list, grab your pots, and find the zydeco music. It’s time to channel that not so spicy but spiced up food encounter.
Ingredients and Prep
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of all purpose flour or all purpose gluten free flour
2 garlic cloves diced
1 tsp of Creole Seasoning (cayenne will do in a pinch)
1/4 cup of fresh parsley (1 tbsp dried parsley can be substituted)
1/2 red bell pepper diced
2 stalks of celery sliced
1 lb of chicken cooked and diced
oz of smoked turkey sausage (if you can handle the spicy go for chicken andouille sausage)
2 cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth
9 ounces of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Optional add ins: crawfish or shellfish
Roux: this mystical beast is the wonderment base. The key is to never leave it alone and constantly stir.
Heat skillet to medium heat then add in oil. Gentle stir in flour with a whisk and keep stirring. The goal is a medium to medium dark brown. Once you reach the desired color, give your arm a break and head to step 2.
Add in: garlic, red bell pepper, celery, and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes
Add in broth, meat, and spices
Simmer on low for about an hour
How you address or dress this dish when it’s done is up to you. The classic is with rice. We went for corn polenta (pictured), but it’s up to you and any idea you dream of. Classics like this have staying power as it carries tradition, memories, and iconic flavors. It doesn’t mean you can’t mess around a little in your food relationship.
You know who we are. We are those who constantly ask what is in that and say we can’t eat that. There was a time in my life where I had just the one food allergy. It was glorious. Along the way I have built a nice collection of allergies that completely altered my diet, care routine, and trust. It affects everything. And its nothing compared to my stepson who has bakers dozens of food and environmental allergies. Then we have intolerances of the ridiculous kind that might as well be allergies. We are well stocked in antihistamines.
We DO NOT wish to be these people.
At Holiday functions we must be these people. On Halloween our children will say thank you politely and bring their bags home to meticulously inspected. It kinda sucks the fun out of it. Except for parent taxes. If you have food allergies then you are our people. I have hard learned suggestions for those holiday gatherings for us. If you do not have food allergies then having your meals picked apart is as annoying for you as us. Sorry. I have some hard learned suggestions on how to handle us in these gatherings.
Holiday Gatherings with Food Allergies
For the food allergy people-
Ask. Ask. Ask and apologize once for inconvenience it might cause. It’s just being polite but not apologetic for doing what you must to survive. Ask what is being served, if their are alternatives (don’t expect it), etc. You give kindness in your situation, usually your host reciprocates it.
Plan ahead. When you can, bring food. My bag, my kids’s bags, and travel bags have food that accommodate our allergies. It is your and our responsibility to be sure you have what you need and work within your food issues, not someone’s else. You can always ASK (see number one), but ultimately it is up to you. Our families and friends are great at working with us.
Be proactive and offer a dish or two that you know you can eat and share. It is helpful to you and your host.
Get ingredient list and read labels. Ahead of time when possible and if available.
Have a medical plan and supplies in case of an oops or emergency. Know where the nearest hospital is and be well stocked. Epi pens only buy you time and you may need more than one pen to make it.
For the non- food allergy people
Please do not be insulted by our questions. We have to ask. To survive. It is not a reflection on your cooking skills (we haven’t eaten it yet) or hosting skills. I’m sure you are lovely.
Please do not take offense if we bring food or offer to bring a dish. We are trying to help you help us. It’s really awkward when we can’t eat anything or just the one thing.
Please be gracious as our bruised ego has to be meticulous in ingredients. We are trying not to use our number five.
A little goes a long way when our food allergy people are prepared and our non-food allergy people are accommodating. It can be enjoyable with flexibility and understanding on both sides.
Namaste and Share for Foodies of All Types
Upcoming: tackling food icons and hoping not to completely %*#*! it up. Vegan hacks are not just for vegans. Then whatever inspiration is thrown at me. 🤣😜🙏