A Healthy Thanksgiving Day Menu

Earlier this fall, I asked my followers on Facebook what I could help them with this holiday season. Healthy Thanksgiving recipes as well as inquires about what I planned on cooking for my Thanksgiving dinner were amongst the suggestions. Since I am spending Thanksgiving in Washington, D.C. with my in-laws this year, I decided to have a mock Thanksgiving dinner last weekend to try out my version of a healthy and delicious Thanksgiving menu.

Starting with the Roasted Turkey, I used this Rosemary-Apple recipe. I realize this is for chicken and I did in fact use a chicken rather than a turkey because it was just my husband and me for this mock Thanksgiving and it is more practical. This recipe will be delightful for your turkey and you just have to increase the measurements based on how large the turkey is. The only alteration I made to this recipe was replacing the grapeseed oil with melted raw butter. It turned out so tender and juicy and the balsamic glaze added such a nice flavor to this dish.

What would turkey be without an amazing Stuffing to compliment it? I used this Stuffing recipe and my husband raved about it. I lightly toasted half cinnamon raisin bread and half plain sprouted grain bread (both Ezekiel 4:9 ) and added a few tablespoons of raisins as well. I did not use the chicken liver that this recipe calls for; I just omitted that part and it still turned out delicious. You can easily use this to stuff your turkey or do what I did and just bake it alongside the turkey.

I then made the Gravy by using a recipe I found on gluten-free girl’s blog. It did require quite a bit of whisking but it was so worth it. If you and your family are big into leftovers, I recommend doubling this batch. I have a gravy lover at home, so the gravy was pretty much gone by the time second helpings were served.

After that, I made Mashed Potatoes. For the majority of the year I make mashed cauliflower as a low carbohydrate substitute for mashed potatoes but this is my husband’s favorite dish and for this occasion, it had to be the real thing. You can use half and half or almond milk, I recommend whipping up a quick and creamy cashew milk to make it a dairy-free option that still tastes like the classic recipe. Just soak a cup of cashew nuts in water over night then rinse and blend with ¾ cup cold water until smooth.

 I’m not a huge fan of the classic Green Bean Casserole dish so I opted for an alternative Green Bean dish recipe that turned out really great and was easy to make; taking less than ten minutes to throw together.  I replaced the dried cranberries with fresh pomegranate seeds to give it a sweet crunch. I also toasted the pecan pieces for about five minutes before mixing them into the dish; this just makes the flavor stand out more. I did search for healthier versions of the classic green bean casserole recipe but the ones I found were either too time consuming or not much healthier than the original. If you happen to find an holistic version of the recipe, I’d love to see it and share with others!

I also made a side of Cranberry Sauce which turned out to be my favorite dish of all. I used only ¼ cup of honey instead of the recommended ½ cup and I also squeezed only about ½ cup fresh orange juice and just filled in with ½ cup water. I made this earlier in the day and had it chill while I cooked the other dishes. This sauce had the perfect ratio of tart and sweet.

Lastly I made the classic dessert, Pumpkin Pie. My husband said the crust was the most flavorful he’s ever tasted and in his opinion this dish was the front runner of the night. It’s simple to make and is also Paleo Diet approved. I made whipped cream to top it off by beating a ½ pint of heavy whipping cream with 6 drops of vanilla stevia until it was light and fluffy.

There are millions of Thanksgiving recipes at your disposal. I carefully selected recipes that I knew would be nourishing to the body, satisfying to the taste-buds and simple enough to make without spending your entire day cooking in the kitchen. Throughout the next few weeks, I will be posting additional recipes and tips for Thanksgiving on Facebook. Be sure to keep a look out for them!

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