The Healthy – Paleo – Grain Free Thanksgiving Meal
Hosting a healthy and delicious Thanksgiving meal for your friends or family can be pretty simple and stress free, though it does require some work. To make things easier, here’s a menu plan with recipes so you can make most of the dishes in the days before. Then, on Thanksgiving, you just have to cook the turkey, roast some veggies and re-heat the dishes you’ve made. Happy Healthy, Paleo, Grain Free Thanksgiving!
Prepare by quartering an onion and a lemon and placing inside the cavity before tying. Then, rub butter on the outside and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Brown at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes to seal in the juices. Then, roast according to the instructions for the size bird.
Grain Free Stuffing
This stuffing is better outside the bird, and can easily be prepared a day or two ahead of time and reheated in a 9×13 baking dish to save time on Thanksgiving Day. The leftovers can actually be breaded in coconut flour and pan-fried to make a “bread” for leftover turkey sandwiches.
- 2 large turnips (not sure how big they normally are, but mine weighed about 2 lbs each, so 4 lbs total)
- 3 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 3 large onions
- 5 large ribs of celery (or about 1 medium sized head)
- 1 package of fresh button mushrooms
- 1 apple
- 1 pound of sage pork sausage (optional)
- 2-3 teaspoons or more garlic powder (to taste)
- 2-3 teaspoons sage powder or more (to taste)
- About 1 teaspoon each of Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt or more (to taste)
- ½ cup of oil for cooking: tallow, lard, ghee, coconut oil, etc. (just no vegetable oils)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel turnips and sweet potatoes and cut into small (1/2 inch) cubes
- Grease 2 large baking sheets with oil and evenly spread the turnips and sweet potatoes on them (Depending on the size of your baking sheets, it may take another baking sheet or a couple rounds to fit them all)
- Sprinkle with some of the garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, turmeric, pepper and salt and toss with your hands.
- Put into oven and bake for about an hour until they are soft and starting to brown… toss a few times to brown evenly.
- While those are cooking … in a large skillet (or Wok) brown the sausage if you are using it.
- Finely dice the onions, and celery and add to the pan once the sausage has cooked. You might need to add more oil.
- Dice the mushrooms and peel and dice the apple and add once the onions/celery have started to soften.
- Continue cooking until all are cooked and add more of the above spices to your taste.
- Once turnips and sweet potatoes are done, mix with the sausage/onion/celery/apple/mushroom combination and continue mixing until well incorporated and starting to clump together.
- Transfer to a greased 9×19 baking dish and warm in oven if serving immediately or put in fridge, covered.
- For reheating: 30 minutes, covered @350 degrees.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This is another Thanksgiving classic that many people love. Some families prefer plain baked sweet potatoes with lots of butter and Himalayan salt, but some people prefer the marshmallow dredged version…
That being said, here’s a healthier version that will be a hit. The “marshmallow” topping also makes a great cake icing on coconut flour cakes for kid’s birthdays. This is still pretty high on the starch, and shouldn’t be eaten every day, but it is definitely a healthier alternative to the high-fructose corn syrup marshmallow version.
You can also leave off the marshmallows completely, or reduce the amount of Gelatin in this marshmallow recipe to 3 Tablespoons to make a marshmallow fluff topping.
- 5 egg whites
- ⅔ cup honey
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- dash of vanilla
- 6-8 sweet potatoes, baked until soft
- ¼ cup butter or coconut oil
- dash of salt
- Bake the sweet potatoes until soft.
- Once slightly cooled, mash the sweet potatoes with butter and salt.
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil and fill with mashed sweet potatoes.
- In a double boiler or small pan with water and a glass bowl on top, whip the egg whites with a hand blender until fluffy.
- Add honey and turn on heat.
- Use a whisk to whip the egg white and honey mix as it heats. Whisk for about 20 minutes (or less) until it thickens.
- It will start to take on the consistency of melted marshmallows… when it is thick enough, spread over the sweet potatoes and put in the oven under broil for a minute or two to brown.
- Serve plain or with toasted pecans on top.
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Desert – Pumpkin Pie
If your family considers pumpkin pie a part of the Thanksgiving feast, consider this healthier option this year!
- For Crust-
- 1 cup of almonds or pecans, finely ground in blender until flour like (or almond flour)
- 3 TBSP of coconut oil plus some to grease pie pan
- 1 egg
- Cinnamon powder (1/4-1/2 tsp or to taste)
- For Filling-
- 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin (nothing added) or approx 2 cups of homemade pureed pumpkin with excess liquid drained
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup of honey (or to taste) – can substitute stevia, but the honey actually helps it hold better
- 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spices or about 2 teaspoons cinnamon and ¼ tsp each of cloves, ginger and nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla
- coconut milk to thin (no more than about ⅓ cup)
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Grease pie pan with coconut oil and mix crust ingredients by hand in a medium sized bowl.
- Press crust into bottom and sides of pie pan and put in the oven while making the filling.
- In the same bowl (no need for extra dishes!) combine the filling ingredients (except coconut milk) and mix using an immersion blender. If you don’t have one of these, use a regular blender or food processor. A hand-mixer will not get it as smooth! It should be smooth and spreadable, but not really pourable. Add coconut milk if needed to thin slightly.
- After 10-15 minutes, remove the crust as it barely starts to brown.
- Pour/smooth the filling over the crust and return to oven for about an hour or until center is no longer jiggly. Will set more as it cooks.
- Top with coconut cream or whipped heavy cream and some chopped pecans.