Thanksgiving is a time meant for celebrating the good things in life and spending time with the ones that you love. It is also notoriously known as being the start date of numerous dinners, parties, and get togethers in celebration of the holidays that result in additional weight gain at the end of the year. As more people are taking a stronger interest in their health and nutrition, some classic Thanksgiving dishes may have to excluded because of their low nutritional value. That doesn’t mean you can’t find delicious and healthy alternatives to your favorite dishes. The paleo diet is a very popular diet that is generally easy to follow and very healthy. The idea of the diet is to eat from the natural bounty of the earth and avoid processed foods, like the paleolithic man. Whether you swear by paleo or have friends and family that do, having some paleo-friendly options available this Thanksgiving can help to keep guests happy and waistline slim.
Here are a couple of recipes that you can use to substitute some of your favorite recipes that aren’t allowed on the Paleo diet.
Sub Mashed Cauliflower for Mashed Potatoes
Due to the starchy consistency of white potatoes, they are not permitted on the Paleo diet, though this is up for debate. If you want to get a similar taste and texture, using cauliflower is an easy, yummy substitute. Here is a Paleo- recipe for mashed cauliflower.
- 4 cups of chopped cauliflower
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk (optional)
- 1 clove minced garlic (optional)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Makes 2 servings
- Get a large pot of water and set it on medium heat to boil
- Once the water is boiling, open your bag of cauliflower and add to water. If you prefer you can also steam the cauliflower if you like. Boil or steam cauliflower until soft, around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the steam basket if you chose to steam and transfer the cooked cauliflower into a food processor or blender. If you chose to boil the cauliflower, remove with a slotted spoon and put into a blender of food processor.
- Blend for a few seconds until the cauliflower is chopped up into small pieces and then add in butter, buttermilk for a really creamy consistency, the garlic clove for a little extra flavor, and then a pinch of pepper and sea salt to taste. Blend until you have a smooth consistency. Transfer to a bowl and you are ready to serve!
No Thanksgiving is complete without dressing, otherwise known as stuffing. It is as much as a Thanksgiving staple as the turkey. On the paleo diet, however, bread using grains is strictly forbidden, forcing most paleo followers to do without on Turkey Day. Fortunately, there are some creative paleo cooks out there that have concocted a delicious, paleo stuffing. Here are recipes for a savory stuffing and a sweet stuffing. If you are looking for a simple stuffing recipe, this flourless, meat based stuffing will not make you miss the bread at all!
- 1 pound ground pork *
- 2 cups diced red onion
- 2 cups diced green bell pepper
- 2 packs of button mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons rosemary,
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- 2 tablespoons sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp anise
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- toasted almond slivers (optional)
*For those that have dietary restrictions due to religious reasons and can’t eat pork, you can substitute with ground turkey.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- On a stove, heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Place the vegetables into the skillet and cook until tender.
- Mix the ground meat and spices in a large bowl until it is a homogenous mixture.
- Put the meat mixture into the skillet and heat until lightly browned.
- Remove from heat.
- Place the contents of the skillet into a oven safe dish and put into the oven. Allow to cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the meat is cooked all the way through. You can also place the mixture into the cavity of the turkey for a true stuffing.
- Take out the mixture and allow to cool before serving. Add on some toasted almond slivers as a garnish if you wish.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make your Thanksgiving dinner more Paleo friendly. If you are looking for more ideas there are several blogs dedicated to the Paleo lifestyle which regularly post recipes. Now you can enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner without the guilt :D