Here are a few of our favorite Healthy Thanksgiving menu recipes.
You will want to quarter an onion and a lemon and place inside the cavity before tying. Rub olive oil on the outside and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. And brown at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes to seal in the juices. Then, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast according to the instructions for the size bird. It’s that easy!
Gluten – Free Stuffing
This recipe is a great way to add some extra veggies to the meal and try some delicious root vegetables. Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes flavored with apples, celery, and onions and hints of sage and thyme give it the traditional taste of stuffing without gluten or artificial ingredients.
This grain-free stuffing is better when cooked outside the bird, and can easily be prepared a day or two ahead of time and reheated in a 9×13 baking dish to save time on Thanksgiving Day. The leftovers can actually be breaded in coconut flour and pan-fried to make a “bread” for leftover turkey sandwiches.
2 large turnips (not sure how big they normally are, but mine weighed about 2 lbs each, so 4 lbs total)
3 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes
3 large onions
5 large ribs of celery (or about 1 medium sized head)
1 package of fresh button mushrooms
1 pound of sage pork sausage (optional)
2-3 teaspoons or more garlic powder (to taste)
2-3 teaspoons sage powder or more (to taste)
About 1 teaspoon each of Rosemary, Thyme, and Oregano
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons of salt or more (to taste)
1/2 cup of oil for cooking: tallow, lard, ghee, coconut oil, etc. (just no vegetable oils)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel turnips and sweet potatoes and cut into small (1/2 inch) cubes
Grease 2 large baking sheets with oil and evenly spread the turnips and sweet potatoes on them (Depending on the size of your baking sheets, it may take another baking sheet or a couple rounds to fit them all)
Sprinkle with some of the garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, turmeric, pepper and salt and toss with your hands.
Put into oven and bake for about an hour until they are soft and starting to brown… toss a few times to brown evenly.
While those are cooking … in a large skillet (or Wok) brown the sausage if you are using it.
Finely dice the onions, and celery and add to the pan once the sausage has cooked. You might need to add more oil.
Dice the mushrooms and peel and dice the apple and add once the onions/celery have started to soften.
Continue cooking until all are cooked and add more of the above spices to your taste.
Once turnips and sweet potatoes are done, mix with the sausage/onion/celery/apple/mushroom combination and continue mixing until well incorporated and starting to clump together.
Transfer to a greased 9×19 baking dish and warm in the oven if serving immediately or put in the fridge, covered.
For reheating: 30 minutes, covered at 350 degrees.
yield 8 -10
Green Bean Casserole
Green beans topped with a homemade (real) cream sauce and topped with pan-fried onions in a coconut flour batter. This recipe has all the flavor (and more) of the traditional version without the mystery-soup-in-a-can. It is a little time intensive to make but is worth the effort. It can be made ahead and reheated.
2-3 medium onions, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of coconut milk
2-3 tablespoons of coconut flour
1/2 cup coconut oil or tallow for frying (I use tallow)
Healthy Cream of Mushroom Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil or ghee
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 of onion mix above
8-10 mushrooms, finely diced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 egg yolks
coconut milk or water to thin
5 cans of cut or French style green beans (can also use fresh or 2-3 bags of frozen, or 2-3 pounds of fresh just heat first to remove extra liquid)
Thinly slice all the onions, separate, and put in medium bowl.
Add the two eggs and the coconut milk and mix well until evenly incorporated.
Add coconut flour and mix by hand until evenly coated (note: may use slightly more or less depending on your brand of coconut flour.)
Put coconut oil (or tallow) in a large skillet and turn on medium-high heat.
When hot, add the coated onions and evenly brown, turning occasionally.
When browned, remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt ghee and saute mushrooms until starting to brown, then add coconut milk.
Whisk in egg yolks and spices and about 1/3 of the onion topping mixture and continue stirring until the yolks begin to cook and the mixture thickens.
Add extra milk or water if needed to thin (only a few tablespoons might be needed).
Drain green beans and pour into a 9×13 baking dish.
Pour the cream mixture over and mix well until incorporated.
Top with onion mixture and heat at 325 in the oven until topping starts to crisp (but not burn!) and green beans are heated.
yield 8 -10
Sweet Potato Casserole (Gluten-Free)
At our house, we much prefer sweet potatoes baked and topped with real butter and sea salt, but if you like the marshmallow-topped version, this is a good alternative. It is topped with a homemade egg and honey-based “marshmallow” that is very similar in taste and texture. You can also leave off the marshmallows completely, or reduce the amount of Gelatin in this marshmallow recipe to 3 Tablespoons to make a marshmallow fluff topping.
5 egg whites
2/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of vanilla
6-8 sweet potatoes, baked until soft
1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil
dash of salt
Bake the sweet potatoes until soft.
Once slightly cooled, mash the sweet potatoes with ghee and salt.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil and fill with mashed sweet potatoes.
In a double boiler or small pan with water and a glass bowl on top, whip the egg whites with a hand blender until fluffy.
Add honey and turn on the heat.
Use a whisk to whip the egg white and honey mix as it heats. Whisk for about 20 minutes (or less) until it thickens.
It will start to take on the consistency of melted marshmallows… when it is thick enough, spread over the sweet potatoes and put in the oven under broil for a minute or two to brown.
Serve plain or with toasted pecans on top.
prep cook total
If you love potatoes, by all means, indulge, but we love this much lower carb cauliflower version that uses pureed cauliflower and all the seasonings of regular mashed potatoes for a delicious substitute. Did you know that when prepared correctly, mashed cauliflower has a very similar texture to mashed potatoes, not to mention a sweet and buttery taste?
1-2 heads of fresh cauliflower, roughly chopped into uniform, large pieces (or 1-2 bags of frozen)
4 TBSP ghee
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other spices to taste
Bring a couple quarts of water to a boil in a large pot or pan.
Add cauliflower and cook until tender. (I suppose you could also use a microwave, but I’ve never tried since we don’t have one and don’t use them!)
Drain well. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a large bowl and add ghee.
Use an immersion blender or hand mixer to blend until smooth and creamy. This is the most important step … chunks of cauliflower are a giveaway!
Serve warm. Top with fresh chopped parsley or chives for a nice garnish!
Option for Instant Pot:
Wash and quarter cauliflower, remove leaves and stem.
Add steamer/trivet basket to Instant Pot along with 1 cup water. Add cauliflower pieces.
Set to manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
Manually vent/release pressure. Open, drain, and remove inner basket.
Gently squeeze any remaining liquid out of cauliflower and return to pot.
Add other ingredients and whip until creamy.
prep cook total
Sugarless Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Most homemade cranberry sauce recipes call for a lot of sugar… enough to classify cranberry sauce as a dessert and not a side dish. For those who haven’t tried them, plain cranberries are very tart, so I wasn’t sure how much it would be possible to reduce the sugar and still have an enjoyable sauce, but unrefined natural sweeteners (honey) and delicious fruits filled in the gaps.
This recipe still has more natural sugars than we normally eat, but is a much healthier option to the ones that actually contain refined sugar and is a delicious treat for Thanksgiving dinner.
2 bags of fresh cranberries (they are usually 12-ounce bags, so about 24 ounces)
3/4 cup pineapple juice or orange juice (I recommend pineapple!)
1/2 cup of applesauce (no sugar added)
1/2 cup of water
juice and zest of one orange
3-4 Tablespoons of honey or to taste (optional)
Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
Reduce to a simmer and pour the juice and zest over the cranberry mixture.
Simmer 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.
Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before serving.
NOTE: This is not as sweet as store versions! Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice and applesauce but you can add more honey or stevia to taste if needed.
prep cook total
Grain Free Pumpkin Pie
A gluten-free (and dairy-optional) version of the classic pumpkin pie that uses natural sweeteners! Get all the flavor without the junk.
1 cup of almonds or pecans, finely ground in blender until flour-like (or almond flour)
3 TBSP of coconut oil plus some to grease pie pan
Cinnamon powder (1/4-1/2 tsp or to taste)
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin (nothing added) or approx 2 cups of homemade pureed pumpkin with excess liquid drained
1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup (or to taste) – can substitute stevia, but the honey actually helps it hold better
1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spices or about 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/4 tsp each of cloves, ginger, and nutmeg
1 teaspoon natural vanilla
coconut milk to thin (no more than about 1/3 cup)
Preheat oven to 325.
Grease pie pan with coconut oil and mix crust ingredients by hand in a medium-sized bowl.
Press crust into bottom and sides of pie pan and put in the oven while making the filling.
In the same bowl (no need for extra dishes!) combine the filling ingredients (except coconut milk) and mix using an immersion blender. If you don’t have one of these, use a regular blender or food processor. A hand-mixer will not get it as smooth! It should be smooth and spreadable, but not really pourable. Add coconut milk if needed to thin slightly.
After 10-15 minutes, remove the crust as it barely starts to brown.
Pour/smooth the filling over the crust and return to oven for about an hour or until center is no longer jiggly. Will set more as it cooks.
Top with coconut cream or whipped heavy cream and some chopped pecans.
prep cook total
yield 6 -8
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