With Thanksgiving coming up in a week(!), I’ve been thinking about our dinner menu. Since it’s just us four celebrating here in Memphis, I’m hoping to prepare small amounts of our favorite dishes to avoid having too many leftovers! As I typically follow a Paleo lifestyle, I tweak most recipes to make them work for all of us when possible – and Thanksgiving is no exception.
Since I’ve been avoiding dairy and grains for two years now, it’s gotten easier to know which ingredients make a good substitute for these recipe staples. Not to mention, it’s so easy to find great recipes on Pinterest that fit my Paleo lifestyle! I thought I would share some of the recipes I’m eyeing for this Thanksgiving in case you’re looking for Paleo (or just dairy-free/gluten-free) alternatives, too.
Thanksgiving Meal Fit for a Paleo Lifestyle
- Roasted Turkey Breast – We really like buying just the boneless turkey breast since it’s just two adults and two kids (who barely eat anything!) – bonus points for it being easy to prep! The last one we had, I made in our slow cooker and it couldn’t have been easier.
- Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole – I made this last year and it was super delicious! My husband loves the traditional sweet potato casserole (with flour, brown sugar, butter) but he said this one was good, too.
- Broccoli Casserole (recipe below!) – This is my mom’s creation and we always have it during the holidays. When I stopped eating dairy, I had to experiment with alternative ingredients and it’s just as yummy! Note, this is technically not Paleo, as it has vegan ‘cheese’ but still better for you than most.
- Riced Cauliflower Stuffing with Sausage + Apples – You can make pretty much anything with riced cauliflower, so it’s no surprise you can do stuffing with it too! Personally, a stuffing dish with apples and sausage is my favorite Thanksgiving side, but I like to avoid grains/gluten as much as possible, so I’m going to give the cauliflower version a try this year.
- Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac + ‘Cheese’ – If I can snag a package of cauliflower gnocchi at Trader Joe’s this week before it sells out (story of my life!), I’m going to throw together a healthier mac and cheese that’s gluten-free and dairy-free (using nutritional yeast and/or Daiya vegan cheese). This is not necessarily Paleo, either (because of the cheese) but fits my dietary needs while still allowing me to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dish. Here’s a ‘cheese’ sauce recipe.
- Mashed Potatoes – We don’t eat a whole lot of white potatoes over here, but we definitely will have some on Thanksgiving! I really like putting ghee and canned coconut milk in mine to make them extra creamy.
- Paleo Cranberry Sauce – I’m the only one who eats this, so I can make this however I want, right? 😉 Love how simple this recipe is!
- Paleo Pumpkin Pie – I love all things pumpkin and so does my husband. If he had his way, he would definitely make this America’s Test Kitchen Pumpkin Pie (he’s already made one this fall…), but I’m going to give a Paleo recipe a shot this year!
To be honest, I’m not at all for deprivation, so I don’t mind loosening up my diet a bit around the holidays. However, I’ve really learned how certain foods make my body feel and most of the time, I find it worthwhile to avoid things like dairy and gluten. Fortunately, it gets easier and easier to find Paleo-friendly substitutes so I can still make my favorite recipes to fit my Paleo lifestyle. And don’t forget the red wine – a holiday staple!