It was my first time to celebrate a gluten-free Thanksgiving
and it wasn’t even in the comfort of my own family. John, my boyfriend at the time (now husband!) invited me to his family’s farm to celebrate the collective day of thanks. I was in deep smit, so of course I agreed. But after I said yes, I realized how awkward things could get. I just started eating gluten-free as a way to manage my fibromyalgia and chronic migraines and it was really helping. I had no desire to fall off the wagon, but I didn’t want to be a burden!
I packed a few foods I could eat and just prayed there would be something else I could nibble on while I was there. To my shock, John’s sister surprised me and brought gluten-free ingredients to make my own special feast. It was filled with delicious veggies, quinoa stuffing and REAL whipped cream. We even made a gluten-free pumpkin pie for dessert. I was in heaven and felt so loved.
This year, I wanted to make something for you! If you have changed to a gluten-free or grain-free lifestyle to manage illness or simply to be healthier, I want to celebrate you and share my favorite grain-free “stuffing”. I wish I could make it for you in person, but pictures will have to suffice.
This Sweet Potato Hash in Maple Glazed Acorn Squash will make you forget about any bread-based stuffing from the past. It’s savory and sweet, with the perfect blend of tastes and textures. Sweet Potato Hash is full of delicious veggies and will leave you and your family begging for seconds. I hope you enjoy it!
Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday season,
Sweet Potato Hash in Maple Glazed Acorn Squash
serves 8 as a side
4 medium-large sweet potatoes
1-2 Tbsp. refined coconut oil or butter, melted
5 slices bacon, preferably nitrate-free, foraged pork (can sub beef or turkey bacon if you don’t eat pork)
1 tart large apple (ie. Granny Smith)
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup cranberries (fresh or dried), chopped
1/3-1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 sprigs thyme, stems removed, chopped
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. turmeric
4 Acorn Squash
maple syrup, preferably Grade B
Preheat oven to 400F.
Wash the acorn squash and slice in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and pulp. In a baking dish, arrange acorn squash, flesh-side up and add water about 1-2 inches deep in the pan (Keeps squash from burning).
Melt some butter and drizzle over squash flesh. Then drizzle maple syrup over the squash flesh. Add a small pat of butter in the middle of each squash. Bake at 400F until fork tender.
Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Dice the potatoes into 1 in. cubes. In a bowl, coat the sweet potato cubes with melted coconut oil or butter. Arrange on a baking sheet and put them in the oven along with the squash. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
While the squash and sweet potatoes cook, fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until the bacon is crispy. Once crisp, set bacon aside on a plate. Discard all but 2 tbsp. of bacon grease from the pan.
After 20 minutes of baking, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, but let the acorn squash continue to cook until fork tender.
Transfer the sweet potatoes to the bacon-greased skillet. Add in the celery, green onions, apple, thyme, cinnamon and turmeric. Saute the vegetables over medium heat until soft.
Once the vegetables are softened, remove from heat and add chopped cranberries and pecans.
Once the acorn squash is ready, pour off the butter/maple syrup liquid that has settled in the pits of the squash into the sauteed vegetable mixture.
Arrange the squash on a platter and spoon the sauteed vegetables into the pits of the acorn squash. Serve warm.
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