The Paleo Thanksgiving Conundrum

"paleo thanksgiving conundrum"Thanksgiving is without a doubt my favorite food holiday and I will admit the reason is all about “the big three”: stuffing, mashed potatoes, pie.  Yes, Thanksgiving sits in direct opposition to my desire for a  grain free, low carb Paleo diet. So, with 2 more grocery shopping days left, I must face down the Paleo Thanksgiving conundrum: find some recipes that are so delicious that we won’t miss the beloved old standards or decide that one day out of the year won’t matter and just cheat! (Judge me, go ahead and judge me)

Now, of course part of MY Thanksgiving conundrum is that I should have personally tested out some recipes before now. There are plenty of  specific Paleo Thanksgiving recipes available on line as well as many Paleo recipes that are suitable for Thanksgiving. However, I think the very thought of replacing my beloved cornbread sausage stuffing recipe (actually The Silver Palate Cookbook’s beloved cornbread sausage stuffing recipe) put me into complete denial mode. The mode that leads you to wait until the past minute before making menu decisions. So, I have sifted through dozens of Palo Thanksgiving recipes and have identified some possibilities based upon how they looked, “sounded” and past experiences with the recipe authors.

So here is my list of the best Paleo Thanksgiving “replacement” recipes for the “big three”, by category:

Paleo Stuffing Recipes

Paleo Potato Recipes

Sweet potatoes as we all know are acceptably Paleo; it is the white, mashed potatoes with gravy that presents the real Thanksgiving challenge. However, I have included some sweet potato recipes that insure their Paleo-ness as well as some faux mashed potato alternatives.

  • Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Maple Pecans The Healthy Foodie has a recipe for Candied Maple Pecans that sounds super easy and super goodI eat a lot of sweet potatoes as part of my everyday Paleo diet but I think that the candied maple pecans in this recipe will dress up my ordinary sweet potatoes in some Thanksgiving-go-to-meeting yumminess. Besides, I love pecans! Maybe no one will miss the marshmallows.
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary If you like your sweet potatoes to have a sweet and savory balance, this recipe from Paleo Leap may be just the ticket. Sweet potatoes, rosemary, garlic, salt and your choice of “fat”….that’s it!
  • Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Since making the Paleo leap, I have come to love cauliflower in a way that I never would have thought possible. It’s a little crazy I know, but I always have cauliflower on hand and put it in all kinds of recipes that aren’t actually about cauliflower. Since this post is about Thanksgiving, I will leave it at that for now. There are a variety of cauliflower mashed potato recipes but this one from Nom Nom Paleo starts with the words “make ahead” and for Thanksgiving, those words are always helpful in a recipe. And I have actually made this one before. Nom Nom Paleo is a great resource!
  • Herb Whipped Parsnips Some call the parsnip “the other mashed potato” and there are many parsnip and potato recipes so this Herb Whipped Parsnip recipe from Meatified seemed like a possible mashed potato substitute. With a choice of coconut oil or bacon fat, how could you go wrong?
  • Easy Paleo Gravy  Gravy? Indeed! I liked this one for two reasons: it said easy and I always find making gravy anything but, plus it uses cauliflower. I love cauliflower!

Paleo Pie Recipes

  • Coconut Flour Pie Crust Whether you are thinking pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie or any other traditional Thanksgiving pie, if you want Paleo compliant you need to confront the crust. There seem to be two basic alternatives to flour pie crusts: coconut flour or almond flour. The Coconut Mama seemed like a good resource for a coconut pie crust. Added bonus, she also has a recipe for pumpkin pie.
  • Paleo Pie Crust Elana’s Pantry is my go to place for Paleo recipes and her Paleo pie crust is made with almond flour. She also has recipes for Paleo pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie, banana cream pie, and chocolate cream pie that use her almond flour pie crust and are all Paleo Thanksgiving appropriate.
  • Pumpkin Pie From Paleo Leap comes a delicious sounding pumpkin pie recipe that uses pecans and hazelnuts to make a crust. If you are doing a lot of Paleo baking, this might be a great change of pace from almond flour.
  • Paleo Apple Pie If looks could kill, this pie looks like a killer! This Zen Belly Catering apple pie recipe uses almond flour and arrowroot powder to make both a top and bottom. I usually make either pumpkin or pecan pie for Thanksgiving but this pie looks so good, I may have to add it to the menu.

So, these are the Paleo Thanksgiving recipes that I will choose from. How about you?





Author: Marianne Richmond

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