We are creatures of habits, and I love tradition. My fondest childhood memories are of the traditions built around the holidays, and just like many of you, many of those memories are centered around food. Once I learned that I could never make my mom's dressing taste as good as hers, as well as the reason we all always feel so tired after a Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to start some new traditions. (There is a debate that the tiredness comes from the tryptophan in the turkey, but regardless of how much truth there is to the tryptophan theory, I know 100% that a major contributing factor to the sleepiness is the reaction your body has to the high-carbohydrate (and way too much of it) meal most of us indulge in on Turkey day.)
Therefore, we will be having the same menu for the 6th year in the row at the Cheatham house, and I couldn't be more excited! If you need some ideas for some healthier options, give these a try! They are all fairly simple, require few ingredients, and will leave your guests saying "THAT'S PALEO?!?!?"
- Turkey...of course, with a Paleo Herb Gravy. Full disclosure, I had messed this gravy up as many times as I have made it successfully. I have had to resort to adding a bit of almond flour to thicken it up a bit at times. I believe my lack of gravy-making ability is genetic, as my Mom was always teased about her lumpy gravy;) When this gravy works, it has good flavor and adds moisture to anything needing it.
- Coconut-Almond Green Beans -One of the first paleo dishes I ever learned how to cook. If you are new to paleo and need a vegetable to convince others that paleo food CAN actually taste good, including the kiddos, this is a great one!
- Caramelized Onion & Sausage Stuffing - You will freak out a little at the amount of onions in this recipe, and therefore will be tempted to not make this one...which will be a huge mistake! This "stuffing" is awesome! This recipe is the one that will take the most effort, but it will be worth it. I have found over the years that prepping the sweet potatoes the night before will save time and precious oven space on Thursday. You could even make this entire dish the day before, as I swear it only gets better the days after as leftovers.
- Whole9 approved Cranberry Sauce - I don't typically like cranberry sauce, or whatever that gelled stuff is that comes out in one solid blob with the lines from the can still on it.... but I WILL eat this one!
- Dinner Rolls - Yes, that says dinner rolls. Paleo dinner rolls though, of course! This is another item you can prep the dough for days before and freeze the dough. Just thaw it out when needed and follow baking instructions. I also brush a little melted ghee with some garlic powder mixed in when I pull them out of the oven for a little more flavor. You will want to make a bunch of these too, as they will go fast!
- Pumpkin Pie - I use coconut oil instead of the butter for the crust, which means the crust takes some patience, but the nuts add some more depth to the overall flavor of the pumpkin pie. LOVE the hint of ginger in this pie! This link actually has the recipe as well as a cooking demo video for extra help.
And the best part??? These dishes don't leave you in a food coma!
But...when planning your dinner, remember to NOT stress about the food, but focus on the friends and family that you have the opportunity to spend the day with, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!