Thanks and Giving and Turkey. Sounds like a season of gratitude and fullness to me.
Clients in for Nutrition Response Testing in the past few weeks have been asking for recipes and direction around cooking real food for their holiday menus, so I thought I’d put together a quick post.
Being grain free doesn’t mean a holiday meal with zero joy and fulfillment. It doesn’t mean a lack of flavor or homemade baked sweets. Think of it newly. Look at it newly. And put these resources to good use for a delicious, hearty, satisfying grain-free Thanksgiving table.
In full disclosure, I haven’t tried all these recipes yet. Though they all come from reputable sources, meaning, I have tried recipes from these people before and have always liked them.
Grain-Free Thanksgiving Menu
Turkey — Naturally grain free, so not much I need to say here!
Mashed Potatoes — Naturally grain free, so you’re good there too.
Gravy — Use arrowroot powder to thicken instead of flour.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cinnamon Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries — Look at the gorgeous colors and textures here!
Paleo Pumpkin Sweet Potato Custard — Now my absolute favorite Sweet Potato Custard recipe comes from the Nourishing Meals cookbook, and I can’t find it online to share with you here though I will say this recipe looks like a close second.
Squash — Here’s my easy method for cooking squash in the slow cooker, which means you don’t need to reserve a spot in the oven for it. We all know that’s prime real estate!
Grain-Free Thanksgiving Desserts
Mini Caramel Pecan Tarts — My mom would be a huge fan of these as she loves all things pecans. The Texanerin blogger always turns out great food so I know this one will be a hit!
3 Tips for Success
- Prep what you can ahead of time. So much of our lost time (and subsequent burned items on the stove) is from not having everything prepped that could be. So chop/slice/marinade/sift/grind/roast ahead of time. For the record, ahead of time typically means days (not just hours) before your event. If you have taken the time to do the prep, it will free you up to enjoy the cooking on your celebration day.
- Cook for everyone. I’m that person for our family. I will make or bring something to most family functions that everyone can eat. This means I am mindful of not only what my immediate family needs to focus on for food intolerances, but that I’m reaching out to support the needs of others as well. And I know what you’re thinking — I too felt like nobody will want to try my food because the ingredients are weird (e.g., REAL). Guess what? At least one person asks for the recipe every time I bring something. Must be doing something right!
- Enroll your kiddos. There are plenty of tasks they can handle. My girls are teens and can do most everything in the kitchen now. When they were younger I found simple tasks for them to get them accustomed to participating in the prep of our meals. Not only was this a great every day task but it has shaped them into super able humans in the kitchen. They know where things are, they know what goes with what in terms of flavors, they aren’t afraid to try recipes that would seem intimidating to me due to a long ingredient list or a particular cooking method I don’t like. Bottom line: my girls are kitchen rock stars because of having mastered little tasks such as: peeling vegetables, slicing fruit, juicing lemons and limes, shredding cheese or nutmeg, slicing and serving pieces of food, chopping with age appropriate tools, and then of course the cleaning up of washing/drying dishes or loading/unloading the dishwasher.
Hosting (or cooking for) a grain-free Thanksgiving will be easier for you with these resources, tips, and recipes. Looking for more nutrition guidance? Check out our personalized nutrition coaching.