Native American Heritage Day Feast – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, + Plant Based

photo from Sonya Kamoz

I want to start off this holiday recipe compilation with two disclaimers. 1. I do not believe in traditional Thanksgiving and therefore, I prefer to honor Native Americans during this holiday instead. I did my best to combine common Thanksgiving comfort foods with recipes that pay homage to Native Americans. 2. I cannot eat due to my chronic illness. So all of these recipes are either ones I’ve made before I became chronically ill, recipes I’ve found online with rave reviews, or recipes I’ve developed through experimentation that have been given the stamp of approval by friends and family. Even though I can’t eat, I have a passion for cooking. It’s my unique way to connect with food.

I know how challenging holidays can be when you have severe dietary restrictions. Three of the most common being gluten free, dairy free, and plant based. I’ve developed 10 recipes that combine comfort, nostalgia, and new traditions. Some recipes have been slightly altered from family recipes and others are ones I’ve learned from Native chefs. I hope you’ll give a few of these dishes a chance at your holiday table this year!

Decadent Mac and Cheese

photo from Daiya


1 box Daiya Cheddar Mac n Cheeze

1 box Daiya White Cheddar Mac n Cheeze

1 bag Daiya Cheddar and Mozzarella Shreds

1 bag Daiya Parmesan Shreds

6 slices Daiya Smoked Gouda

1 container Daiya Roasted Garlic & Herbs Cream Cheeze

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Onion powder

1 tsp Garlic powder

1 tsp Black pepper

1 tsp Salt


1. Get a large pot of salted water boiling.

2. Prep a 9×9 casserole dish or something of similar size by using oil or butter to grease the bottom and sides.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. Cook the elbow pasta according to box instructions.

5. Once pasta is cooked and drained, add in both cheeze sauce packets (they’re liquid) as well as half of the bag of cheddar & mozzarella shreds and half of the bag of parmesan shreds. Give this a good stir.

6. As the cheese is incorporating, add in the cream cheese for extra creaminess. Also add in all the seasonings and herbs to taste.

7. After the cheese sauce mixture and pasta are well mixed, pour into your casserole dish. Even out the mac and cheese across the dish.

8. On top of the mac and cheese, sprinkle the remaining cheddar & mozzarella shreds and parmesan shreds. Cut the smoked gouda slices into fine pieces and sprinkle on top as the final layer. Do not mix!

9. Put the dish in the oven and let the cheese get bubbly and brown (should be 20-25 minutes). Once it’s melted to your liking, take out and enjoy!

French Onion Mashed Potatoes

photo from How Sweet Eats


6 tbsp Vegan butter

4 Yellow, sweet onions thinly sliced

Pinch of salt

5 lbs Russet or yukon gold potatoes, washed and peeled

12 tbsp Vegan butter

1 & 1/2 cups Silk heavy whipping cream

8 oz Chao Creamy Original Cheese grated

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper


1. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions with a big pinch of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, so the onions begin to cook down. After 10 to 15 minutes, reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and caramelly, about 45 to 60 more minutes. Continue to cook until your desired caramelization is reached.

2. Wash, peel and chop your potatoes. Place them in a large bowl and cover them with cold ice water. Slice the potatoes in half or in quarters, depending on the size. You want the potato chunks to all roughly be the same size and not too small.

3. Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water over medium heat. Season the water with a big pinch of salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil, then boil until they are fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. (If your potato chunks are smaller, check after 10 minutes.)

4. While the potatoes are boiling, heat the butter and cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the mixture is warmed through.

5. Drain the potatoes well and place them back in the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to begin mashing the potatoes into the consistency you enjoy. Mash in half of the butter and cream mixture and 1 teaspoon salt. At this point, if you want to use a hand mixer, now is the time. You don’t want to over mix! Keep it on low speed and move it around the bowl constantly, just for a minute or two, breaking up any larger chunks that didn’t mash. Stir in the rest of the milk and butter mixture. Stir in the gruyere cheese. Mix slowly, allowing the cheese to melt. Stir in half of the caramelized onions.

6. Serve the potatoes with the rest of the caramelized onions on top.

Fried Cornbread

photo from Delish


1 & 1/2 cup Yellow cornmeal

1 cup Gluten free flour

1 tbsp White sugar

1 tbsp Baking powder

3/4 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Almond milk (plus some lemon juice to create “buttermilk”)

2 Eggs (Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer)

6 tbsp Vegan butter, melted

1/4 cup Vegetable oil, for frying

Vegan butter at room temperature for serving


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, until just combined.

3. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Spoon about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cornbread batter into pan, spread into an circle, about a scant ½-inch thick. When little bubbles appear, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip and continue cooking until both sides are lightly golden, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Adjust heat to medium-low if pan gets too hot. Repeat with remaining batter and oil.

Three Sisters Dish (hominy, beans, winter squash)

photo from Delish


1 large Squash (butternut, acorn, etc)

2 tbsp Olive oil, divided

1/4 cup Pure maple syrup

2 bunches Kale

5 cups Hominy (canned and drained is easiest)

4 cups Black beans (canned and drained is easiest)

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Garlic powder

2 Green onions, thinly sliced

1 cup Toasted sunflower seeds


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut squash in half, clean out seeds, and cut into 1” cubes. Place on a sheet pan, toss with 1 tablespoon oil, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Toss with maple syrup and set aside.

2. De-stem and thinly slice kale. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil. Add greens and cook until wilted, 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Add roasted squash, hominy, and beans to skillet with greens and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and garlic powder, and cook until all ingredients are warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Spoon mixture into serving bowls and top with green onions and sunflower seeds.

Roasted Sweet Carrots

photo from Diethood


2 lbs Carrots

4 tbsp Vegan butter

1 tbsp Black Garlic seasoning

1 tbsp Maple syrup

1/4 cup Brown sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

Optional: Fresh parsley for garnish


1. Preheat your oven to 450° and prep a baking sheet. Peel your carrots and cut them in half. Then slice each piece down the middle, creating “fry” like carrots.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave and then mix in the black garlic, maple syrup, brown sugar and salt.

3. Line your carrots up on the baking sheet and generously cover each carrot in the butter and sugar mixture.

4. Roast the carrots in the oven for 10 minutes. Take them out to flip and stick them back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

5. Once your carrots are done, remove from the oven and add the fresh parsley on top.

Sweet Potato Casserole

photo from Candy Potato


4 cups Large sweet potatoes

1/2 cup Packed brown sugar

8 tbsp Vegan butter, melted

1 tsp Vanilla extract (optional)

1/2 cup Almond or Oat milk

2 Eggs (Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer)

1/2 tsp Salt

For Topping:

1 cup Packed brown sugar

1/2 cup Gluten free flour

4 tbsp Vegan butter, melted

1 cup Pecans, chopped (optional)

2 & 1/2 cup Mini marshmallows


1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9×13

2. In a large bowl, stir together sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, eggs, and salt until smooth. Pour into prepared dish.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and butter until it clumps. Stir in pecans (optional), then spread evenly over potatoes. Top with marshmallows.

4. Bake until cooked through and golden, about 30 minutes.

Cranberry Sauce

photo from Sugar Spun Run


2/3 cup White sugar

1/3 cup Packed brown sugar

1/3 cup Water

2/3 cup Orange juice

12 oz cranberries, rinsed


1. Combine sugars, water, and orange juice in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until sugars are dissolved, and bring to a boil.

2. Add cranberries and return to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook cranberries, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes or until all or most berries have burst and the mixture is slightly reduced. The longer you cook your cranberries the thicker your mixture will be, but it will also thicken up after standing.

4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.

5. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.


photo from Epicurious


1/4 cup Olive oil

1 small Yellow onion, finely diced

2 stalks Celery, thinly sliced

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Onion powder

1/2 tsp Dried sage

3 tbsp Fresh thyme, chopped

1 tbsp Fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp Black pepper

1 loaf Gluten free bakery white bread, cubed

2 cups Vegetable broth


1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease a 10-inch square baking dish.

2. Preheat a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and celery in the olive oil with a pinch of salt until onion is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the onion powder, sage, thyme, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, and several dashes of pepper and turn off the heat.

3. Put the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked vegetable mixture and toss to thoroughly coat. Pour in the vegetable broth, ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. The bread should be moist but not soggy, so you may not need to add all the broth.

4. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before serving.

Vegan Turkey

photo from The Edgy Veg


3 cups Vegetable broth

1 tbsp Nutritional yeast

2 tsp Poultry seasoning

2 tsp Onion powder

20 drops Liquid smoke

4 -20 oz cans Young green jackfruit with seeds and hard heart removed

4 tbsp tapioca starch

2 tbsp silken tofu

2 tbsp water

24 sheets Round rice paper

1 cup mushroom gravy


1. To start making the vegan turkey, in a medium-size pot, whisk together vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, poultry seasoning, onion powder, and liquid smoke.

2. Add jackfruit, and bring to a boil. Stirring constantly.

3. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for another 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pot from heat and set aside.

5. In a small blender or bowl with a whisk, whip together tapioca starch and silken tofu.

6. Add water 1 tsp at a time as needed (only if you feel that it is too dry).

7. Add to the jackfruit mixture 1 tbsp at a time and mix until it starts to come together.

8. Fill a shallow bowl with warm water and soften the rice paper by soaking each sheet for about 30 seconds. Remove the rice paper from the bowl and place the rice paper on a flat surface and using a sharp knife, cut in half. Place 2-3 tbsp of the jackfruit mixture onto the rice paper.

9. Place wings on a lined baking sheet and broil for 8-12 minutes, turning every 2 minutes until they are lightly charred on all sides. Serve with mushroom gravy.

Easy Apple Crisp

photo from Carolanne Monteleone


4 jars Apple pie filling

1/2 box Gluten Free yellow or white cake mix

1 cup Oats

1 stick Vegan butter

1 tbsp Pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc)


1. Preheat your oven to 350°.

2. Dump all 4 jars of apple filling into a ceramic casserole dish or other non-stick baking dish and smooth out so that it’s even.

3. Generously coat the top of the apples with gluten free yellow box cake mix but DO NOT mix it! Add oats mixed with pie spices on top of the cake mix and again, DO NOT mix!

4. Cut your butter into small pads and place them across the whole dish. Try to cover as much of the top with butter as you can (make sure the pads are thin and not too thick though).

5. Stick the dish into the oven for about 30 minutes or until it gets bubbly and golden.

I hope you’ve found some new recipes to try out. Have a happy holiday season!