Thanksgiving recipes? Difficulty: recently removed gallbladder
November 16, 2017 9:00 PM   Subscribe

We're used to creating Thanksgiving dinners that accommodate a wide number of dietary issues, but this year presents a challenge we're not quite prepared for: one of our guests had their gallbladder removed a few weeks ago. Do you have any yummy, ultra-low-fat recipes for just such a scenario?

Bonus points if it doesn't include corn products or distilled vinegar/white vinegar (made from corn) as I am allergic.
posted by rednikki to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
I would prepare for your guest a stuffed squash.

Preheat oven to ~450 F. Slice a delicata, acorn, or other winter pumpkin, in half and scoop out seeds. Poke holes in the skin and Place face down in a shallow baking pan filled with an inch or so of water. Bake for ~30 min or until just soft but not browned.

While squash is baking, cook a few cups wild rice. Cook diced onions in a pan of shallow water with garlic and fresh parsley until onions are translucent. Mix onion mixture with rice, add dried cranberries or dried apricots or diced apples. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and dried sage.

Remove squash, flip over, and stuff the centers with rice mixture. Place back in oven and cook for 15 more minutes or until squash is lightly browned. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey.

You can make lots of vegetarian thanksgiving food similarly, just sub the fat/oil with water. Avoid nuts or other fatty foods.
posted by shalom at 9:30 PM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh, two last notes:

Sprinkle beets with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, and steam. Yum!

Always a good rule of thumb: Ask your guest specifically what he can or cannot eat.
posted by shalom at 9:35 PM on November 16, 2017

Steamed green beans don't need anything but salt and pepper.

Roasted rutabaga is splendid. Mashed rutabaga is also splendid, although I usually do it with whole milk, but you can totally do it with skim milk or no milk whatsoever, it'll just be lacking a bit in creaminess. Rutabaga has a much stronger, more peppery flavor than potatoes, so it's more okay on its own or with just salt & pepper.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:51 PM on November 16, 2017

Do ask what they can have, as a lot of people have wildly differing tolerances after GB surgery.

But if you want to augment your planned menu with a few minimal-fat dishes, you can do a winter slaw with a light vinaigrette, beans (my family always has black-eyed peas, but lentils are also good, or white beans), root veg/winter squash roasted in just a smidge of olive oil and salt, light steamed green veg or high-heat-roasted broccoli/cauliflower/zucchini. If you're making mashed potatoes, don't make them inherently loaded with cream and cheese. Make your stuffing and turkey as normal. It'll be okay.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:53 PM on November 16, 2017

Totally seconding the stuffed squash for a main dish. An old friend used to stuff it with cornbread stuffing with dried cranberries and cherries in it. I used to do it with spicy, gingery curried rice. Both can be vegan and are low in any kind of fat, the rice more so.

Or - not regularly part of Thanksgiving, but something made with a low-fat fish for protein?

For sides:

Roasted halved Brussels sprouts, tossed before roasting with salt, pepper, garlic powder, copious smoked paprika and a little olive oil. (I don't think they'd work with no oil, but it doesn't have to be a lot.) The exact same thing done with cauliflower is also fantastic, but don't mix them because they have different cooking times.

Steamed or pan-cooked green beans with chopped garlic, lemon and shredded basil.

A raw vegetable slaw if you happen to have a good grater or spiralizer. I have both and have done this with carrots and beets with lime juice, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro and no fat at all; with butternut squash (actually lovely raw if it's finely shredded) and some stuff that I think included cilantro and pepitas; with radishes and apples and fennel...the possibilities are endless and these don't need fat unless you want it for flavor or if you make a pesto or something.

A roasted garlic spread with lemon and pepper and parsley - good with olive oil, likely fine without if you roast the garlic in a way that it gets steamed. Mash it all up, put it on potatoes/bread/crackers/a spoon.

Dessert: Cranberry and clementine sorbet, which I made from scratch once for a party, or a commercially available equivalent.
posted by centrifugal at 11:48 PM on November 16, 2017

Yes, do ask if they have any dietary restrictions. I went out for pizza 48 hours after surgery with no ill effect whatsoever, and have eaten a normal diet since. Most of the people I know (maybe half a dozen) who have had their gallbladder removed don't have any special dietary needs, other than not eating a ton of greasy food all at once.
posted by pipeski at 12:35 AM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

We always have my grandma's slaw at thanksgiving, and it doesn't have any fat. It's more of a quick-pickled cabbage relish, I guess.

Grate a small white cabbage, carrot, and onion together (one of each) into a non-reactive (non-metal) bowl. Boil together a cup of water, a cup of vinegar, a cup of sugar (though I use much less! 1/2 cup at most. My gran uses Splenda sweetener since my grandad became diabletic), a tablespoon of mustard seeds, half a tablespoon of turmeric, half a tablespoon of celery seed, and a tablespoon of salt. Pour the boiling mixture over the grated vegetables and keep in in the fridge until you're ready to eat. Serve with a slotted spoon.

You may know this already but if a recipe calls for distilled or white vinegar, you don't have to use it! I use cider vinegar in the recipe above, though my gran uses white vinegar. I use cider vinegar for everything, with the exception of the rice vinegar that I use for sushi.
posted by cilantro at 1:44 AM on November 17, 2017

I'm confused as to why you believe your guest has to eat ultra-low-fat? The great thing about having my gallbladder removed was that I was finally able to eat fatty foods again.

A shrimp ring is delightful at parties and is low fat.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:11 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Crock Pot Turkey Thighs

2 or 3 turkey thighs, skin and excess fat removed
3 medium carrots, cut in 2” pieces
3 or 4 medium potatoes, cut in half
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 package onion soup mix

Sprinkle about 1/3 of the soup mix in the bottom of the crock pot. Place the meat on top, then the carrots and potatoes. Add the cranberry sauce, and sprinkle the rest of the soup mix on top. Cover and cool on low 7 to 8 hours.
posted by Dolley at 6:24 AM on November 17, 2017

Sweet potatoes properly done do not need any added fat. (I say this as a fat fan and someone highly skeptical of most diet food.)

-scrub garnet yams, wrap in foil, LONG-roast them in oven, like 2-3 hrs. let cool. slip skins off.
-mash the pulp (with all the caramel juice that has exuded into the foil of course) with some orange juice concentrate or lemon juice; nutmeg, a little vanilla and salt. Sometimes I skip the vanilla and use garlic salt instead of regular salt. Either way is delicious. A hand-mash will have some fibers in it; you can Cuisinart it if you want it smooth.

Nobody will miss the fat, promise. If they are fine w more sugar, feel free to top w marshmallows and roast; marshmallows are nonfat.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:42 AM on November 17, 2017

Hi folks, just jumping in here to say that while many people who have had their gallbladder removed may be fine with fat, my friend has been having some significant issues.
posted by rednikki at 7:50 AM on November 17, 2017

I've been on low-fat diet for gall bladder issues for 10+(?) years.

One of my favorite tricks for something that tastes ultra-rich but is low-fat is using cauliflower "cream."

Here is a recipe/article from Serious Eats for cauliflower creamed spinach.

I also have a recipe for a (cauliflower) creamy vegetable soup that is always a huge hit. It's long, so I don't want to post it here but can memail if you want it.
posted by slipthought at 8:10 AM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

SkinnyTaste has a Thanksgiving recipe selection that might be worth browsing. Not everything of hers is necessarily low-fat but most of her recipes have nutritional information included, so you can check fat grams per serving.
posted by slipthought at 2:05 PM on November 17, 2017

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