A Nutritious Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other large family holiday meals are all too often an excuse for out-of-control eating. Surrounded by loved ones and the traditional family dynamics that go with, we tend to turn to the comfort foods of our youth, which are generally laden with sugar and refined flour.

This Thanksgiving menu is meant to meet the needs of those who eat gluten free, dairy free, and non-meat eaters alike. I’ve made an effort to choose dishes that I know are healthy and delicious and feel “special” enough for the day, but that don’t contain things I wouldn’t normally eat.

Organic free-range turkey: I only buy organic free-range poultry, as it’s better for the environment, the bird, and my body. We roast the turkey simply, by creating a compound of Miyoko’s vegan butter and minced fresh herbs that we insert between the skin and the meat.

Gluten free cornbread stuffing: Technically, this is dressing, since we don’t put it inside the turkey. It’s a simple stuffing, made with gluten free cornbread, eggs, organic free range chicken broth, onions, celery, and herbs.

Sweet potato casserole with crunchy nut crumble topping: this is a bit of a splurge, even though it’s vegan, gluten-free and no refined sugars.  http://ohsheglows.com/2014/11/04/saweet-potato-casserole-with-a-crunchy-nut-crumble-vegan-gf/

Broccoli. Simply steamed. Just plain and yummy.

Low-sugar cranberry sauce: just fresh cranberries, juice + zest of an orange, and a little maple syrup to taste. People rave about how tart and delicious this is; it really cuts through all the other heavy rich dishes.

Roasted delicata squash salad with arugula, pomegranate seeds and feta: Sometimes I swap in goat cheese. Woo!  https://cookieandkate.com/roasted-delicata-squash-pomegranate-arugula-salad/

For our vegetarians, we love acorn squash with cranberry apple quinoa. Because this is a little too sweet, I use only the apple juice (omitting the orange juice), and just dried cranberries (omitting the dried apple.) I also use pecans instead of almonds. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/acorn-squash-cranberry-apple-quinoa

And finally, dairy-free pumpkin pie with a coconut crusthttp://allergyfreemenuplanners.com/2009/11/20/allergen-free-pumpkin-pie-recipe-gluten-free-grain-free-nut-free-sugar-free-dairy-free/

Wishing you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

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