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A Paleo Thanksgiving

Holiday meals and family members present a challenge when following a Paleo diet. As Thanksgiving approaches, sticking to your Paleo principles doesn't have to add more stress to your plate.

Instead of seeing Thanksgiving as a chance to choose non-Paleo foods, try to see it as a celebration! After all, if you consider the food available to both the Native Americans and Pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving, it resembled the Paleo Diet much more than the "traditional" Thanksgiving meal!

Thanksgiving should be filled with warmth, community and delicious food and you CAN celebrate with food that continues to nourish your body without giving up flavor or decadence.

The internet is filled with Paleo-friendly Thanksgiving recipes to keep you on the right path during this notoriously un-Paleo holiday. To make it a little simpler than that, we have pulled together a meal plan that we think everybody’s going to love. From hearty vegetable side dishes inspired by traditional holiday fare to creatively tasty pies, nobody is even going to notice that the store-bought (processed grain filled) dinner rolls are missing. These are the only recipes you need to host a perfectly Paleo Thanksgiving.

When planning your Paleo Thanksgiving, it is important to remember timing is everything. Create a schedule to make your dinner as successful and stress-free as possible:

  • A few days before the meal, start shopping for ingredients and decorations.
  • If your turkey is frozen, begin to defrost it in the refrigerator at least three days in advance.
  • Prepare the pie and set the table for guests one day ahead of time. If any dishes have multiple components, these can also be prepared at this time.
  • Depending on its size, the turkey could be placed in the oven up to five hours before dinner, while side dishes can be prepared an hour prior to meal time

Meals with no prep and fuss – order from this week’s menu here >>>>>>>

The Meal

The Appetizers

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus: Shockingly, once you get down to business, you’ll realize that so many “normal” Thanksgiving foods are Paleo already (or almost). This appetizer is a crowd-pleaser any day of the week.

Stuffed Mini Portobello Mushrooms: At Thanksgiving, make-ahead apps are a must. Easy and “cheesy” these are packed with fresh parsley, mint, and sun-dried tomatoes. Each little morsel is loaded with tons of savory and naturally sweet flavor.

Salads

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad: Toasted hazelnuts, pomegranate and oranges make this just about the most seasonal salad we ever did see. Although it is called a “Christmas salad” but we think it will do brilliantly for either holiday.

Celeriac Slaw: This salad is as easy as making a regular coleslaw but instead of using cabbage, it utilizes using crunchy, creamy celeriac. Add a little crispy pancetta, sweet apple and toasted pine nuts, and this humble slaw is taken to the next level.

Kale Salad: If you don’t have time to assemble something complicated on the big day, a no-frills massaged kale salad dressed with this cranberry vinaigrette will keep things festive with tart cranberries, shallots, thyme and honey for sweetness. Kale salads hold up pretty well, so you can even dress it earlier in the day.

The Bird

Easy Brined Turkey and Stuffing: No dry turkey with Chef Pete’s fail-proof recipe. Although it will require you begin prep as day ahead, the method is simple and your taste buds will thank you with moistness and a flavor profile bound for greatness!

Umami Gravy: The power of porcini mushrooms, fish sauce and quality meat juice does wonders for this amazing gravy recipe.

The Sides

Cranberry Chutney: Official Thanksgiving guidelines indicate that it’s not Thanksgiving without the cranberries.

Fluffy Mashed Cauliflower: Although we know that you can have potatoes on your Paleo diet, this fluffy mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic will stand in for mashed potatoes without the extra carbohydrates. You can make the classic version or jazz it up with spices, herbs or whatever you like best.

Green Bean Casserole: Again, you simply cannot have Thanksgiving without certain  classic dishes, and that includes a rich and creamy green bean casserole that tastes like it’s terrible for you, but really isn’t.

Grapefruit + Thyme Glazed Root Vegetables: Beets, sweet potatoes with a kick of citrus result in pure deliciousness.

Creamed Spinach: This super rich, really delicious, traditional side dish can be made Paleo friendly and dairy-free. Be thankful.

Roasted Broccolini: Broccolini has an amazing, almost sweet flavor that needs little more that a light roasting to really shine.

The Pies

Apple Pie: A little extra effort, but definitely worth it! You will find it hard to believe this is grain-free!!

Maple Spiced Pumpkin Pie: The crust is made with a blend of almond and tapioca flours and the filling is sweetened with maple syrup rather than sugar. Rest assured, you will struggle not to eat this pie before the main event. Stay strong.

Chocolate Pecan Pie: Just, YES.

Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream: If you like your pie(s) a la mode, or simply want an alternative post-turkey indulgence, you’re going to need this ice cream recipe made without dairy and refined sugar.

Although Thanksgiving may look and feel a little (or a whole lot) different this year, it can still be a time to slow down, reflect on all we do have, be thankful for the little things and enjoy a delicious meal – however that may look for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Michal Ofer is a wellness and digestion expert and nutrition coach. She is focused on assisting clients to take control of their health and happiness through the sustainable food and lifestyle choices that best support them. Through strengthening the body from the inside out, her clients are able to reach new heights of health, happiness and wellness. Michal obtained her Professional Training and Certificate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She has a further studied through the University of Colorado (Boulder) and Stanford University and is a Certified 21 Day Sugar Detox Coach. Michal has also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences and a Master Life Coach Certification. For further information and to connect with Michal visit her website at www.michalofer.com