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For most of the last 5 years we’ve had Thanksgiving at our house, just the four of us. As much as I love getting together with family and friends for a big feast, it just feels nice sometimes to have a much more low key affair. And as Celiacs, it also makes it MUCH easier to eat the way we want and/or need to, without having to inconvenience anyone or worry about whether someone used flour in the gravy, etc. This equals lower stress, and don’t we all need that during the holidays?
Even though we are by ourselves, I still want to have a fantastic dinner for my family. We get the dining room all set up for a fancy dinner (most days it’s my “photography studio”), we break out the nice plates and napkins, and I cook all day long. One plus out of this is that I make enough for us to eat several dinners and lunches from it, so it’s like scramble scramble cook on Thanksgiving and then “ahhhh, relax” the next few days.
Our Paleo Thanksgiving
We’ve been pretty successful at keeping our Thanksgiving feast 100% Paleo, and even though it’s a feast borne of a restricted diet, it still tastes absolutely amazing. We also don’t feel disgusting and ill for days after, which is another major plus. You’ll notice a lot of these are recipes from Jeni Hulet of The Urban Poser, and that’s because we first had a grain-free Thanksgiving when we were on the GAPS diet back in 2011. Back then she had these recipes that were also GAPS-compliant on her website and we fell in love with them – being creatures of habit and tradition, they’ve stayed with us each year.
So what do we eat? Here’s the Spring Family Thanksgiving Menu:
Paleo Thanksgiving Main Dishes
Roast Turkey – we don't have any particular recipe we follow. My husband just chooses one a few days before, but it usually involves brining the turkey for 24 hours and cooking it in the oven
Homemade Gravy – (pan drippings from the turkey, 1/2 cup white wine, a bit of chicken stock if needed, and 1 tbsp of arrowroot flour – all whisked and then cooked together in a saucepan until thick)
Paleo Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Sweet Potato Casserole – (4-5 roasted mashed sweet potatoes with about a tbs of ghee, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp salt and placed in a large casserole dish) with Urban Poser’s Homemade Marshmallows on top
Paleo Bread Dressing (I call it Stuffing) from Paleo Eats by Kelly Bejelly – this is AMAZING. Seriously. We always double it so we can have leftovers.
Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Pistachios – this is a fun twist on a healthier dish in the feast
Cranberry Sauce – this is just a bag of fresh cranberries, the zest and juice of one orange, and honey – all simmered in a saucepan for about 30 min. Sometimes I get frisky and add a can of pineapple chunks too
Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Loaf by Urban Poser – this one is a crowd pleaser as well. We've brought this to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at friends' and family's houses and they've all asked for the recipe after
Paleo Thanksgiving Dessert:
Chocolate Pecan Pie by Elana Amsterdam is one of our favorite pies ever. TIP: do NOT use bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate for this pie. I messed up once when we were at my sis-in-laws house and grabbed the unsweetened chocolate bars by mistake in the grocery store and wow, bitter pie. Not good!
We also have my Paleo Sweet Potato Pie, which has quickly become our other fave pie and definitely ahead of pumpkin pie
What’s on your Thanksgiving menu?