Ah, Thanksgiving…a holiday filled with family and friends…and a lot of really unhealthy food. What more could you want in one day? Lots of “fun” conversations with a side of guilt. Sounds lovely! If eating healthy is important to you, then this day tends to be a day of both fun and trepidation as you try to eat as healthy as possible. Fried turkey? Um, okay. Heavy gravy? Well, why not. Sweet potato casserole with extra marshmallows, hold the sweet potato? Sure! A slab of grandma’s pumpkin pie? Um….No, no, and no!!!! Even if you’re not hosting dinner, you can always bring something along that you can eat and not feel guilty…or sick afterwards. Here are 5 delicious healthy Thanksgiving recipes that will make you love Thanksgiving and extremely popular with your family. All of these recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free (though the roasted artichoke dip can be made with Parmesan), and rather low in fat and calories, making them a guilt-free tasty addition to the Thanksgiving staples.
Roasted Artichoke Dip – This is not the cheese laden, greasy dip that is served so often at parties. Serve this healthy alternative with crudites and/or gluten-free crackers and you’ll have a healthy appetizer to get the night started on the right foot.
- 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14 oz.) package frozen artichokes, thawed
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons of dried basil
- 2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese or cheese alternative
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet, combine 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the artichokes and toss to coat. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Remove from the heat and place the skillet, uncovered, in the oven.
- Bake until the artichoke are tender and lightly browned (about 30-45 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Place the roasted artichokes in a food processor and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the remaining oil, and the thyme, basil and Parmesan/cheese alternative. Process until thoroughly blended. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve immediately.
Decadent Paleo-Friendly Butternut Squash – This is a great substitute for Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 pounds of butternut squash
- 3 Tablespoons of water
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon of coconut oil
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons of coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
- a pinch of ground cloves
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup of pecan halves, chopped
Directions: (this may seem like a lot of steps, but it’s actually really easy)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Place the squash cut-side down on the baking sheet and sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of water onto the paper around the squash.
- Peel the skin off the garlic and wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil.
- Put the baking sheet of squash and the foil packet of garlic in the oven.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the squash is tender. Set both aside until they’re cool enough to handle (about 15-20 minutes).
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
- When the squash is cool, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl of a food processor.
- Separate the garlic cloves and squeeze the roasted pulp into the bowl with the squash.
- Process the mixture to a smooth puree. Then, add the coconut oil, coconut milk, salt and spices. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl. Scrape the puree mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in the beaten egg with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Grease the inside of a 3-cup casserole dish with coconut oil and then add the squash puree. Top with chopped pecans and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are a little bubbly and the top is golden brown.
Paleo Pan-Roased Brussel Sprouts
- 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1 pound of Brussel sprouts (washed, tough outer leaves removed, cut in half)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons raw pistachios
- 2 Tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add brussel sprouts and lightly brown, stirring occasionally to prevent burning (about 15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and pistachios the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
- 2 Tablespoons of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups of finely diced white onion
- 2 Tablespoons of minced sage
- 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
- 3 cups of unsweetened almond milk
- 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 3 Tablespoons of Earth Balance or other vegan butter
- 1 1/4 cups of fine polenta meal
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a heavy bottom shallow cast iron pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and onions and saute until caramelized. Add minced sage and stir well.
- Add vegetable stock, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and vegan butter. Turn to low heat and bring to a simmer.
- Slowly, while constantly whisking, add the dry polenta, pouring in an even stream. Continue to whisk to keep the consistency smooth, while cooking.
- Once the polenta has reached a fair thickness (porridge consistency) continue to keep on low heat and cook until the corn meal has softened (about 10-12 minutes). Stir frequently and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat and serve.
- 1 Tablespoon of Earth Balance, or other vegan butter
- 1 1/2 cups of chanterelle mushrooms, loosely packed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons of minced chives
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter (be careful not to burn it).
- Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is almost dry (about 4 minutes).
- Gently stir in the chives, season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from the heat.