Make it a Paleo Thanksgiving

I totally wanted to have this post up about a week ago, but unfortunately got infected with the plague and was sick and dying for a week. Im not longer sick, or dying, so here we go!

Last post, I wrote about some of the challenges faced during the holidays. The main point is to make good choices when you can, and leave the shame and guilt behind so that you can move forward the next day. Bam.

So today, I wanted to share some recipes with you guys. None of these are my own. The lovely and beautiful Jessica has outlined an entire Thanksgiving menu. 2011 marked my first Paleo Thanksgiving, and my family was totally cool about incorporating some of these dishes into the dinner so there was something for everyone. Of course during the actual dinner, I got the usual jokes from family members. My one cousin asked, Hey, can I get you a drink? What do you Paleo people drink? Dinosaur blood? Har har har.

My mother and I lovingly made all of the Paleo dishes for dinner, and let me tell you, they went fast. All of the non Paleo foods had tons of leftovers. But my food? Not a single morsel was left behind! These recipes are super delicious, nutritious, and scrumptious. There is no guilt, no need to worry about whats actually in it (which is such a nice relief, for once!), and you can feel completely satisfied after your meal while everyone else is bloated and unbuttoning their pants after eating all the gut irritating gluten!(Seriously, why doesnt everyone just wear elastic waist pants?)

So, here are a couple recipes that I made from the recipe list. This is from her previous post, but she just posted a new guide for this year so be sure to check that out on her blog, as well!

Stuffing

1 lb mild Italian pork or chicken sausage, casing removed (I used chicken sausages from my local butcher)

4 ½ cups mushrooms, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

6 celery stalks, diced

4 carrots, diced

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon diced fresh sage

½ tsp minced fresh thyme leaves

½ cup dried cherries, finely chopped

½ cup slivered almonds

½ tablespoon garlic powder

4 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a large soup pot, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add the sausage and brown. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, chicken broth, cherries, almonds, sage, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the veggies begin to absorb the chicken broth. Transfer to a large glass baking dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Paleo Holiday Yams

5 large yams, peeled and cut into 2 inch rounds

2 small apples, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons organic grassfed butter

1 cup chopped pecans

Cook the yams in a pressure cooker for 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, move the cooked yams to a large mixing bowl. To the yams, add the apples, butter, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup and mix well. Spread the yam mixture evenly into a 11×7 glass baking dish. Top with pecans and bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

***When I make this recipe, I just wash the yams, poke holes in them, and put them on a piece of foil in the oven for over an hour, or until a fork goes straight through them! I dont have a pressure cooker! Once they are done, I peel, add the other ingredients, mix it all, then bake!***

Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

2 ½ cups broccoli florets, finely chopped

1 ½ cups of cauliflower, finely chopped

1 shallot finely chopped

2 eggs

1/3 cup coconut milk

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

4 garlic cloves, minced

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the shallots, broccoli and cauliflower. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour the egg/coconut milk mixture over the broccoli, cauliflower and shallots and mix well. Bake in an 11’ round glass baking dish, covered at 350 for 45 minutes.

Cranberry Sauce

4 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup unfiltered apple juice

Juice from 1 orange

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons raw organic honey (make it 4 tablespoons if you like a sweeter sauce)

In a large soup pot add the cranberries, water, apple juice, and orange juice and bring to a boil. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and honey and simmer, stirring often until the cranberries are broken down and the sauce becomes thick, about 10-15 minutes.

***This is a bit tart, because there is not much sugar. Which is cool with me, because I like things tart, and cranberries are naturally tart anyway!***

This is from my first Paleo Thanksgiving! I devoured that plate of food!

Here are a few other links to check out for recipe ideas:

Lastly, here are some tips Ive picked up as the years go on:

Arrowroot is a really awesome thickening agent. In soups, or gravies, this is awesome. Its obviously gluten and grain free, and does the job of what flour usually does in these dishes.
Remember, a lot of side dishes will be friendly for everyone. Im talking about all the yummy vegetables! Dont forget those!
If some ignorant family member offers you dinosaur blood to drink, say yes. In other words, roll with the punches when people make fun of your weird diet.
This one only requires two words: elastic waist.
Enjoy the time with family and friends and have a great time celebrating togetherness.
Also, if youre one of those Black Friday people (which is slowly becoming Black Thursday), just promise me to shop locally and avoid big businesses! Ya know, when you shop locally, most of the money spent actually stays local. Meaning, your dollars will take you a lot further if spent on small business, rather than the greedy big corporations. Just think about it!

And there you have it!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and keep these recipes in mind for the entire holiday season! Let me know how it goes!

Stay tuned, Im not done yet!