Planning a paleo Thanksgiving? Not sure what feed your cousin who eats gluten free on turkey day? I’ve got you covered.
One more advantage to being Canadian (besides the fact I can blissfully ignore the American political scene): I can celebrate Thanksgiving, create some new dishes, and have plenty of time to share the recipes with my American friends. So now you, my south-of-the-border beloved, can grace your Thanksgiving table with any of these if you like.
Since I’ve chosen to stay mostly grain free and dairy free, these recipes all fit the bill. Of course there was a turkey, I’m not going to bother posting much about that, as there’s no shortage of turkey guides out there. Let’s get right to the side dishes, where things really get interesting. And of course, dessert! This menu is perfect if you have 6-8 people to serve.
I consider this one my biggest triumph of the day. I was honestly worried that without bread, stuffing wasn’t going to be possible. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making a grain free loaf of “bread” to cube up….I just decided to go with other ingredients to get the flavor balance I wanted. I have to say, it came out great. It was my personal favorite on the table and it was happily devoured by all 6 people at our feast. I think it’s key to get fresh sage and thyme, it makes a big difference when the fresh herbs are the major flavor source in the dish. Also, use a BIG skillet or pot or it won’t all fit!400 g sausage of your choosing (I used Italian turkey sausage) 300 g white mushrooms, chopped 1 bunch celery (about 10 large ribs) chopped 1 yellow onion, chopped 2 large apples, chopped 30 fresh sage leaves, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the sausage from casings and chop it very finely. Place it in the skillet and cook, breaking up with a spatula or wooden spoon.
2. Add mushrooms, onion and celery and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until celery is tender but not mushy. Turn off heat. There will be some liquid in the bottom of the skillet or pot, and you’ll want to leave it behind and scoop out the solid stuff with a slotted spoon into a 13 x 9 baking dish. (Alternately, if you have a lid you can put the lid on slightly ajar and tilt the pot over your sink to drain the liquid first, then dump the sausage and veggies into the baking dish. Your pick, just get rid of the liquid.)
3. Add the chopped apple, sage, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the baking dish and stir well to mix everything. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until it’s done to your liking. You can also put the oven at 425 to get it done a bit faster, it’s flexible on the temp and time. You just want the apples to be tender and the whole thing to have a bit of color to the top. (The photo is before baking).
Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary and Olive Oil
This rainbow dish is simply stunning, as well as being delicious. I’ve listed the weights as purchased, they would be slightly less after trimming.You can get away with fresh or dried rosemary in this recipe, but if you use dried, mince it with a chefs knife first. No one likes what resembles pine needles in their veggies. Big pieces of dry rosemary are a pet peeve of mine. You’ll need two cookie sheets for this recipe, but you can easily halve it. We had leftovers after feeding 6 people. Not that I mind, I’ll get to enjoy those for a few meals!400 g beets (without tops) 400 g parsnips 450 g carrots 1 large turnip 1 yellow onion 3 tablespoon olive oil Dried or fresh rosemary Seasoned salt Black pepper 1. Preheat oven to 425. Cut the tops off beets and cut in half. Place flat side down, and slice about 1/3 inch thick. Place in a big mixing bowl. 2. Cut ends off parsnips and carrots, and cut into 4 or 5 inch long strips. I do this by halving it lengthwise and placing each side flat side down, then cutting into the right size pieces. (Don’t get too crazy about it, they can be bigger or smaller or triangles. Take it easy, it’s just food.) Add them to the mixing bowl. 3. Cut the top off the turnip. Slice it and cut the slices into sticks about the same size as your carrot and parsnip pieces. Add to mixing bowl. 4. Halve the onion and cut the onion into slices. You got it, in the bowl too. 5. Add the oil to the veggies and tos/stir to coat. Then, spread the veggies out on two cookie sheets. Sprinkle liberally with rosemary. Sprinkle lightly with seasoned salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes and then check for doneness by stabbing with a fork. The carrots were the last ones to get tender in my batch, so I recommend checking a carrot. Serves 8
Baby Pumpkins Stuffed with Pear, Walnuts and Cinnamon
Okay, they aren’t actually baby pumpkins, but these baseball sized kuri squash were too adorable to pass up. You could use any similarly-sized winter squash. These were a hit with everyone, and Roland chose these as his personal favorite of the feast. I made 8, and I’m glad I did, so we have a couple to enjoy with leftovers. All 6 people ate one, and not a bite was left on anyone’s plate. For something a little different, you could use apples/pecans instead of the pears/walnuts. You can prepare these and wrap them in foil 1-2 days ahead of time and then simply bake before your feast.4 small squash such as red kuri or buttercup squash (approx baseball or softball sized) 2 large pears, chopped 30 g raisins 60 g walnut, chopped 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 tsp cinnamon (bonus points if you have Saigon cinnamon, my fave) 4 tsp butter
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each squash in half through the stem and scoop out the seeds.
2. Chop the pears, and combine them in a mixing bowl with the raisins, walnuts, salt and cinnamon. Spoon the filling into the squash halves. Place 1/2 tsp of butter on top of the filling, and sprinkle with a bit of additional cinnamon. Wrap each squash half in foil.
3. Bake for 60 minutes or until squash is soft.
Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest
You can technically make cranberry sauce with nothing but cranberries, water and sugar/sweetener. And it will be tasty. But to elevate your cranberry condiment to a whole different level, try this version. It’s not so different that it will weird anyone out. The orange flavor and hint of spice really make it pop. You can make this one or two days beforehand, so it’s one less thing to do on Turkey Day. Piled on some hot roasted bird, it’s divine. If you run out of turkey leftovers, use it on pork chops too.4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries 1 cup water 1 cup Splenda (or other sweetener equal to 1 cup sugar) Zest of one orange 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp ground ginger 1. Combine cranberries and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, and turn heat down to low. Simmer 10 minutes or until all the berries pop. Stir in remaining ingredients. Allow to cool, and refrigerate until serving time.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is as traditional as you can get for Thanksgiving. I don’t have a pie pan. I would not be stopped by such a detail. A springform pan will do! I did however need quite a bit of crust for the pan I have, since it’s quite a bit larger than a pie plate. If you have a standard pie plate you’ll only need half of the crust recipe.Crust: 2 cups almond flour 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter or coconut oil 1/4 cup Splenda granulated (or other sweetener equal to 1/4 cup sugar) 1/8 tsp salt Filling: 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin 2/3 cup Splenda granulated (or other sweetener equal to 2/3 cup sugar) 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ginger 1/8 tsp cloves 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp nutmeg 3 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend. Press evenly into bottom and sides of a pie plate (or springform pan).
2. Combine all the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Pour into crust and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted 2 inches from the edge comes out clean. It might still look a little loose in the middle, but it will firm as it cools. Serve at room temperature, but refrigerate leftovers.