All Your Fav Thanksgiving Recipes... Healthified in this post

In the spirit of Thanks+Giving...

I've put together a tasty menu of Turkey Day dishes I've served + can recommend.

You won't find any addictive chemicals, preservatives or MSG in these recipes. Nor will you find gluten, dairy, corn, soy, excess sweetener, excess carbs, excess (bad) fats. 

From my table to yours, here's to a healthier, guilt-free Thanksgiving menu -- so that this year, your Black Friday can be free of Food Hangovers and violent shoppers.

Happy Thanks+Giving!


YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:  GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE  

 now replaced by...

GERMAN GREEN BEANS
with bacon + vinegar

Serves 12

  • 3-4 pounds green beans
  • 12-16 oz (1 package) bacon, chopped
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • Pan drippings (reserved bacon fat tastes best, otherwise can use olive oil, butter or ghee, to taste)
  •  ½+ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt + pepper, to suit your needs + taste

Dice bacon + onions. Fry together on stovetop over medium heat. Meanwhile, steam green beans.

When done, use a large pot or crockpot to stir together cooked bacon, onions, pan drippings/fat + beans. Add salt, pepper + vinegar to to suit your needs + taste

Keeps well on low/warm in crockpot, which also works well for easy transport and reserving oven space. 


YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:   BOXED STUFFING MIX

now replaced by... 

WILD RICE STUFFING
with apples, cranberries + pecans

Serves 12-16 (makes about 8 cups)

Advanced prep NOTE: The cooked grains will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen. The stuffing benefits from being made a day ahead.

  • 1 ½ cups wild rice
  • ¾ cup short-grain brown rice
  • 6 cups vegetable stock or water
  • Sea salt, to suit your needs + taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, lard, coconut oil, or bacon fat
  • 2 apples, cored and cut in 1/2-inch chunks
  • ½ cup raw, lightly toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage (fresh is best)
  • (optional) ½ cup dried cranberries, sugar-free or naturally sweetened

Combine the wild rice with 4 1/2 cups stock or water in one saucepan and the brown rice with 1 1/2 cups stock or water in another smaller saucepan. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the brown rice for 35 to 40 minutes, until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat, place a clean kitchen towel over the pot and return the lid. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Simmer the wild rice for 40 to 50 minutes, until the grains have begun to splay. Drain through a strainer if there is liquid in the pot, and return to the pot. Place a clean kitchen towel over the pot and return the lid. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

While the grains are cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and a generous pinch of salt, and continue to cook until the onion is completely tender, another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, until it is fragrant, another 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooked grains and stir together.

Return the skillet to the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Add the healthy fat, and when the foam subsides add the apples. Cook, stirring or tossing in the pan, until lightly colored, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl with the grains. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a lightly oiled baking dish and cover with foil. Warm the stuffing in a 325-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.


or try this variation...   

CRANBERRY APPLE STUFFING    

Serves 8-12

  •  ½ cup dried cranberries (sugar-free or naturally sweetened)  ***Soak dried cranberries in chicken broth for 1-2 hours
  • ½ cup organic broth/stock (chicken, beef, or veggie)
  •  ¼ cup butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  •  1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 medium granny smith apples, cored and chopped into 1 inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 loaf paleo or gluten-free bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1+ tsp sea salt, to suit your needs + taste

 Advance prep note: Soak dried cranberries in chicken broth for 1-2 hours

  1. Bake bread cubes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 350°
  2. Cool bread cubes for 20 minutes after removing from oven.
  3. Heat fat/oil in a large skillet, over medium heat.
  4. Saute onion until soft, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add celery and saute for 10 more minutes.
  6. Add apple +  parsley and saute for 3 minutes, until apples just begin to soften.
  7. Transfer veggie mixture to a large bowl.
  8. Add bread cubes to veggie mixture.
  9. Whisk eggs + salt into cranberry-chicken broth mixture.
  10. Add to bread/veggie stuffing, tossing to combine.
  11. Transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  12. Bake at 350° uncovered until cooked and browned on top, about 40 minutes.
  13. Let stand 10-15 minutes, then serve.

YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:   CANNED CRANBERRY SAUCE

now replaced by... 

FRESH CRANBERRY SAUCE
with ginger + cinnamon

Serves 12-16

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • honey, maple syrup, or your choice of sweetener, to suit your needs + taste

Melt coconut oil in a large, wide skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in ground cinnamon + ginger. Let simmer for 1 minute.

Add cranberries. Cook till most cranberries “pop” and soften into a near gel. Stir frequently. Add honey or sweetener, to suit your needs + taste.


YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:   INSTANT MASHED POTATOES

 now replaced by...

CLASSIC MASHED "FAUX-TATOES”

makes 4 cups

  • 2 heads cauliflower, washed + cut in large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee, or bacon fat
  • sea salt + pepper, to suit your needs + taste

Steam the cauliflower pieces until very tender. Puree cauliflower in a food processor. Addin fat, salt + pepper, to suit your needs + taste.

Warms easily + well in oven at 350° for 20ish minutes.

 

or try this variation...

CROCKPOT MASHED
“faux-tatoes”    

Makes 4 cups 

  • Enough salted water or organic broth/stock (chicken, beef, or veggie) to cover approx 2” of bottom of crockpot
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, cut into florets
  •  2 medium turnips, peeled + chopped
  • 1 slice lemon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup organic broth/stock (chicken, beef, or veggie)
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives
  • sea salt and pepper, to suit your needs + taste
  • 1 tbsp butter, ghee or bacon fat

Place about 2” of water/broth at bottom of a 6 quart crockpot. Add the cauliflower and turnips as they’re prepped, then lemon. Cover + cook on medium heat for 6-8 hours or until soft. Drain and transfer to food processor and puree until very smooth. Add broth, chives, seasoning + healthy fat. Serve and enjoy!


YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:   PACKET GRAVY

 now replaced by...

HERBED GRAVY!

  • 1 quart organic broth/stock (chicken, beef, or veggie)
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pan drippings from turkey (or sub in butter, ghee or better yet, bacon fat)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • sea salt + pepper, to suit your needs + taste

While turkey is cooking --

In a medium saucepan, heat stock, onions + garlic to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until onions and garlic are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat when done (ok to let it cool).

Stir turkey pan drippings into saucepan mixture. Transfer mixture to vitamix or food processor. Add in salt, pepper + thyme and blend until smooth.

Reheat in saucepan, as necessary.


YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:  AU GRATIN POTATOES

 now replaced by...

SAVORY BUTTERNUT SQUASH
with garlic, thyme + rosemary

Serves 10-12

  • 3-4 butternut squash
  • 3 tbsp dried or fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 3 tsp dried or fresh thyme leaves
  • sea salt + pepper, to suit your needs + taste
  • 3 tbsp butter, ghee, coconut oil or bacon fat
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cube (1 ½ inch pieces) squash. Mince garlic + chop herbs (if fresh).

In a large bowl, mix fat, herbs, garlic, sea salt + pepper with fork. Add squash to bowl and toss in herb mixture.

Spread in 9x13 baking pan (or if you need more room, on a parchment-lined baking sheet). Bake in oven for 20 minutes, then use spatula to flip + stir. Return to oven for another 20-30 minutes. Done when soft and fork can be easily inserted.


YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:  LOADED MARSHMALLOW CANDIED YAMS (FROM A CAN)

 now replaced by...

EXTRA SWEET POTATOES
with cinnamon, coconut + pecans

Serves 10

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 3 onions, sliced in thin, half-rings
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

Optional garnishes:

  • Raw pecans
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Coconut flakes
  • Honey, maple syrup or sweetener

In a large fry pan (cast-iron preferred!) melt coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in cinnamon + ginger. Let spices warm for 1 minute.

Add in sweet potatoes + onions, stirring to coat. Fry, stirring often. Done when soft/fork is easily inserted.

As a "dessert" option, serve in small bowls, with desired garnishes. 

(We think the mixture tastes even better -- with an almost naturally caramelized flavor -- when served cold from refrigerator the next day!) 


YOUR OLD THANKSGIVING TRADITION:  STORE-BOUGHT PUMPKIN PIE + COOL WHIP

 now replaced by...

PUMP-KING PIE
with coconut cream + pecans

 Serves: 8

Crust

  •  1 cup of almonds or pecans, finely ground in food processor until flour-like (or use almond flour)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil + extra to grease pie pan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 

Filling

  • 1 (15 ounce) can of pure pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of honey, syrup, stevia, or your choice of healthy sweetener  (honey holds well)
  • 1 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice ( 2 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp each of cloves, ginger + nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla
  • coconut milk to thin (no more than about ½ cup)

Garnish + Topping

  • Cream from can of cold coconut milk
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts

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 10-15 minutes till brown.

In meantime, combine the filling ingredients (except coconut milk) and mix using an immersion blender, regular blender or a few quick, short pulses in food processor. Mixture should be smooth + spreadable, but not too soupy. Add coconut milk if needed to thin slightly.

Spoon + smooth filling into crust. Bake 50+ minutes until center is not jiggly. Will set as it cooks + cools

Top with cream from canned coconut milk + chopped nuts.