Thanksgiving is coming up but I'm still not sure what we're doing this year. We definitely won't be celebrating with our big extended family like we do most years, but some kind of celebration is in order because it's been a tough year and we have so much to be thankful for.
This is just our second Thanksgiving living with Meniere's disease. Last year, my husband packed a sad dinner to eat at my parents' Thanksgiving party while everybody around him ate all his usual Thanksgiving favorites. We had two kids under 3, life was a little bit messy, and we were still figuring out how to cook and eat without salt. This year has been insane by any measure, but in terms of our family life, it's actually been more stable. Our kids are just a little older and we've got a better handle on how to manage Meniere's disease. So this year, I'm determined to make a salt-free Thanksgiving meal that's more than just plain vegetables and rice. It may not be traditional (probably won't have a turkey or gravy) but it will be something we can all share and enjoy together as a family.
Here are some low sodium options we may have on Thanksgiving:
1) Some kind of protein
No turkey for us this year because we may just be 2 adults, and I don't love turkey unless it's brined. So we'll probably opt for some kind of roasted chicken, maybe this garlic thyme chicken, or this paprika cinnamon roast chicken. Or maybe we'll just skip the poultry altogether and eat meatballs.
2) Hot sides
If I can get fresh green beans, we'll definitely have roasted green beans with toasted pine nuts. They're so low in sodium and so satisfying. I'm on the fence about macaroni and cheese. I love it but I think I might opt for this broccoli pasta because it's going to be a carb/calorie/cholesterol heavy day already so maybe we don't need that creamy cheese. There's also brown butter butternut squash, which I think I'll make if we go with the paprika cinnamon chicken.
3) A salad
If I make the butternut squash, then we'll definitely need to go with the arugula butternut squash salad. But otherwise, I think it'll be the apple fennel pomegranate slaw. Either way, there will be pomegranates because they are my favorite.
I could skip the bread but the kids love these soft milk rolls so we might have to make a batch for them. If I'm feeling like something more savory, it'll definitely be the pepper Swiss boule. For something a little different, I might make a mushroom Swiss pizza and cut it into small square pieces and call it a bread-y appetizer.
We're definitely having pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. After many, many pumpkin pie experiments in the past couple months, I've decided this gluten free pumpkin pie is my favorite low sodium option. If we somehow get sick of pumpkin pie in the next two weeks, we could always go with apple crisp and fresh whipped cream. Not a bad backup.
That's what I'm thinking for now. We may end up just tossing tradition aside entirely and eating low sodium dumplings or a grilled lemongrass noodle salad for Thanksgiving! With pumpkin pie, of course.