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Upside Down Cherry Cheesecake Parfait

October 9, 2011
A man in Phoenix called his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and said, “I’m sorry son, Your mother and I are getting a divorce.”
“What?!? What happened?” the son yelled.
We’re fighting all the time,” the father said. “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.”
Frantic, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. “Like heck they’re getting divorced,” she shouted, “I’ll take care of this.”
She called Phoenix immediately, and screamed at her father, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do ANYTHING until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a single thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?!” and she hung up.
The man hung up his phone and turned to his wife. “Okay,” he said, “they’re both coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.” ;)
It’s Thanksgiving weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!! (don’t worry Americans, you’ll get your turn!)
For most people, Thanksgiving is centred around a very traditional meal: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and pie! So what’s a celiac vegan to do, especially if they’ve been invited to dinner at someone else’s house? Anyone who follows a gluten free diet knows that there is a certain amount of anxiety that comes with going to someone else’s house for a meal. Gluten is in almost everything, so if your host is not familiar with the GF diet, the likelihood of gluten contamination is high. So I have some holiday meal survival tips, as well as a yummy dessert recipe to share with you!
Pre-meal Planning:
1- Call your host a week or so in advance. Ask what is going to be served. If there are sauces that have gluten/dairy/meat in them, ask that your vegetables, potatoes, or salad be put aside before those are added. I have found that hosts are thankful that I ask, because they usually know of my allergies and they have been worrying themselves that there won’t be anything there for me. Bring your own salad dressing.
2- Offer to bring a dish; something that you know that you can eat and will enjoy and that you can share with everyone else as well. 
3- If there won’t be much that you can eat, have something small before you leave. I try to have a serving of protein, as I know that I likely won’t be able to have any at the meal (unless the dish that I am bringing is a protein…but usually its a side!)
This Thanksgiving, my family is having dinner at my older sister’s house. She’s always really thoughful in making sure that there are lots of things that I can eat. I’ve never been a fan of the whole turkey/stuffing type of meal anyways, so I don’t really try to find dishes that are substitutes for those foods (no fake turkey here!) I just eat what I like! Tonight I am bringing an appetizer of fresh, raw seasonal vegetables with a healthy dip.
But I wanted to share with you another recipe that is really great for bringing to parties when you want to have something sweet for yourself, that non-vegans will love as well! It’s a dessert recipe for an Upside Down Cherry Cheesecake Parfait.

Upside Down Cherry Cheesecake Parfait:
(recipe makes two parfaits)
To make the ‘cheesecake’ cream part of the parfait:
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. GF vanilla extract
1/2 cup filtered water
Put all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until creamy. Pour 3/4 cup of ‘cheesecake’ cream into each parfait cup or small dessert glass. (I usually refridgerate until cold). 
For the crust, crumble a gluten free/vegan cookie on top of the cream in each parfait. I use  this cookie recipe.  
Top with fresh cherries or cherry pie filling, then garnish with soy whipped cream. Serve cold!
Question of the day: what are you most thankful for?
For me, its definately my family. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing fam! In addition to my immediate family, I have two adorable nieces and one more of the way; spending time with them brings me a lot of joy, so I am especially thankful for them!

 (family photo, from left: my younger sis, ME, my Mom, my younger brother, Juliet and Anabelle (nieces), my older sister Christy, her husband, and my Dad!) Love you guys!
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashlee permalink
    October 25, 2011 10:30 pm

    Where do you buy coconut oil?

    • October 25, 2011 10:51 pm

      You can buy it at most health food stores! I also saw it at Winners on Robson once! But not all Coconut Oil is created equal. Just check the ingredients to make sure it is 100%!!

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