Okay, boys and girls, Thanksgiving is coming up in six short weeks, and I need a great menu. My man ain't Paleo, not by a long shot, and I don't want to get stuck making bready dressing/stuffing or pie crust as I usually do.
Let's post some fantastic Thanksgiving recipes so that we can please the SAD folk in our lives and still keep on plan.
I'm looking for appetizers, side dishes, and desserts. The turkey is, of course, paleo! Wooot! Maybe some stuffing ideas, too.
It would be so awesome to make a spread of deliciousness and to stay on plan!
Last Thanksgiving I had a stuffing made out of nuts (cashews, and some others I'm forgetting) & fruits (dates, plums, etc). I think I found the recipe either on marksdailyapple.com or linked to it from one of his Thanksgiving posts. e.g. http://www.recipesource.com/fgv/stuffing/00/rec0046.html
We had the gravy made using the pan drippings and thickened with cream.
We had a roasted root vegetable hash - celery root, turnip, carrot, parsnip, etc. Idea taken from here with a number of other good suggestions: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-thanksgiving-recipes/
Sweet potatoes, of course.
That's probably enough to get you started :)
Last year we used Thanksgiving as our 20%. We just made sure to keep everything gluten-free. so rice pasta for macaroni, gf cornbread stuffing, gravy thickened with cream, a coconut spiced sweet potato (whole foods recipe, minus the sugar and marshmallows), collards and other veg. Truth be told no one knew it was gluten free, sugar free. My inlaws still rave about that meal.
Last thanksgiving we used the normal pumpkin pie recipe, but made a "primal" crust that I first found at http://www.sonofgrok.com/2009/02/time-for-cheesecake/
I was really worried that the lack of sugar in the crust would just taste wrong, but it was excellent! (Even my dessert-loving husband agreed!) There's of course still a ton of sugar in the filling, but at least this makes it grain-free, and if you're brave you could try reducing the sugar in the filling. (P.S. I didn't really like the cheesecake from the link above, but we've used the crust with our own cheesecake variations as well. yum!)
YOu could also put a tad of rice in the stuffing to make it a bit more traditional. Mix in other paleo ingredients to keep the carb level lower. This is one time I like to also make mashed potatoes, with lots of parmesan, cream, and butter of course! Other than that, I find many thanksgiving recipes to be rather paleo naturally. Cranberries might need a bit of Stevia to bring down the tartness. Someone here once mentioned chopped apples fried gently with cinammon and butter. That stuff is easy and totally delicious as a side dish or snack. Turkey of course is very paleo and even better deep fried in lard to prevent dryness.
instead of making pumpkin pie, i'm going to make pumpkin panna cotta or mousse. either one will have dairy, but the panna cotta is cream-heavy, rather than milky, and i have access to grass-fed, low-pasturized cream, which is outrageously good.
yes, there's some sugar. but the portions will be small.
I haven't tried this recipe for a sweet potato gratin yet, but I have my eyeball on it as a substitute for the usual marshmallowed yams.
Cook's Illustrated has a simple delicious mashed sweet potato recipe that is paleo if you eat dairy. Here's a blog who copied it down (I think the original has a pinch of sugar but you probably won't miss it unless you're weaning relatives off candied yams with marshmallows):
Here's the intro page on the CI website (you have to pay to see the actual recipe):
It's the Nov. 2002 issue. For Thanksgiving I usually make the maple orange version (You just add a splash of real maple syrup and the juice and rind of one orange instead of the water). If you're into less-traditional flavors you should be able to figure out the ingredients in the other variations they have suggested.
And make mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes of course! Again, if you do dairy, use heavy cream, butter and even cream cheese and sour cream to make it really deluxe.
Non-paleo folks respond well to broccoli or cauliflower and cheese too.
I made this last year and it was a hit: Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (Chang Style):
It's a simplified version of this:
Mmmm. Can't wait for T-Day now...
Being new to this I am also thinking about how to approach Thanksgiving meal. I have taken out nightshades as well.
First to buy a gluten free turkey, since the solutions they put in many turkeys are not gluten free. I would love to buy range free and grass fed but way too expensive. I have been trying to experiment with gravy and tried coconut flour last night but didn't seem to thicken??? Need to experiment more.
Sweet potatoes with coconut manna and make your own pumpkin pie spices like 1/4 t ginger 1/8 t all spice 1/8 t nutmeg 1/2 t. cinnamon
Brussel sprouts with coconut manna or maybe bacon.
Spinach Salad with eggs, green onions, and maybe some bacon with olive oil and lemon and garlic.
Maybe make a stuffing with pork sausage, nuts, eggs, sauteed celery, onion and mushrooms.
Not sure about pumpkin pie. Use crushed nuts for crust like maybe pine nuts. Is it possible to condense down almond milk for pie recipe? Not sure about that one.
One thing we have done in the past is have a seafood type Christmas since we live PNW and still relatively easy to track down. A feast of clams, mussels, prawns and crab and oysters. I figure that these will become scarcer down the road and enjoy it while you can. We also have had geoduck fritters too. Add garlic and green onions to the water to boil the shellfish. Two years ago my husband showed up with shellfish allergy like his mother later in life so we had to cancel that since. But it sure was fun.
I will be visiting, and not cooking unfortunately. If I were cooking I would make an apple crumble for dessert, with almond flour and coconut flakes or nuts for the crumble part. With some homemade vanilla ice cream (stevia not sugar) on top? Then just the usual turkey and veggies. But I would probably do mashed potatoes, just with lots of butter!
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