The Low Carb Thanksgiving Update

As I write this, Thanksgiving is just exactly a week away. I've been busy writing a Fat Fast cookbook, and finished just two days ago. I figured I'd better run over here and say something about Thanksgiving, fast!

The nice thing about having written for fifteen years or so is that I have a backlog of work to fall back on. I've written quite a lot about Thanksgiving in the past -- here's last year's menu, and an article I wrote about
planning for the holiday. Oh, and here's one abouthow to say no to pushy family members who are trying to get you to eat stuff you don't want.

But what I've been thinking about today is that one of the interesting things about Thanksgiving, food-wise, is that so much of it is about vegetables. Think about it -- yes, the turkey is the centerpiece, and I have one thawing in the garage fridge even as I type. But other than that? Thanksgiving dinner is about green beans and sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Glazed carrots show up on many tables, and while I can make excellent stuffing with no bread at all -- see that article about planning for last year's Thanksgiving -- stuffing would lose its distinctive stuffing-y savor without onions and celery. My mom always served celery hearts and olives in a cut glass dish.

Even the traditional Thanksgiving dessert is made from a vegetable. Well, okay, pumpkins are technically a fruit, but who really considers them one? They're squash, and anyone who doesn't have a degree in botany considers squash a vegetable.

This gives us a golden opportunity for a bountiful feast that doesn't harm our health. Yes, you'd do better to have pureed cauliflower than mashed potatoes*, and if you're going to indulge in sweet potatoes, I'd recommend you not coat them with Karo Syrup or dot them with mini-marshmallows.** And I certainly would suggest you serve your green beans with butter-toasted slivered almonds instead of cream of mushroom soup and canned onion rings, ugh. They're not only better for you that way, they taste better.

But because of all that produce, it takes very little thought and planning to create a feast that will please everyone without jacking blood sugar to the sky.

It's also just kind of charming to think that there's a day of the year when people who can go weeks without eating a single vegetable other than the lettuce and tomato on their burgers are just thrilled to see all those vegetable dishes. Why can't Americans do that year 'round?

* I assume you've all tried Fauxtatoes, aka pureed cauliflower; I like it best with some cream cheese melted in along with the butter. But while writing 500 Paleo Recipes I tried pureed celery root (aka celeriac), and discovered it was at least as good as, and maybe better than, Fauxtatoes. The texture is remarkably like mashed potatoes. I'm considering pureeing cauliflower and celery root together.

** If you really must glaze sweet potatoes, have you considered the virtues of sugar-free pancake syrup or sugar-free imitation honey? That pancake syrup is wonderful in the pumpkin pie, too.

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