I remember the first time I hosted a holiday dinner. I made a green bean casserole with Cheese Whiz, canned cream of mushroom soup, and a can of French’s fried onion rings, among other culinary delights. It was a “family recipe.” Ha! (Yes, this really was the way my grandmother made her green bean casserole.)
This year, I’m not hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but I am cooking it. My mother and I are in charge of making all the side dishes and desserts. My brother and sister-in-law will be roasting a turkey. These days, I am blessed that we’re all on the same page when it comes to eating Real Food. We’ll be eating grain-free dishes, using healthy traditional fats instead of industrially-made modern cooking oils, and opting for natural sweeteners over refined sugar.
Since I know many of you are in the same boat as me, I thought I’d share this little collection of holiday recipes with you. Hope you enjoy!
Slow-roasted Pastured Turkey
If you’re new to cooking with pastured or wild turkeys, you need to check out this tutorial on how to slow-roast your turkey from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen.
Store-bought, conventional turkey (even of the organic, all-natural varieties sold at stores like Whole Foods) is usually up to 40% brine solution by weight. So, barring a kitchen disaster, these birds will almost always come out moist.
But a pastured or wild turkey won’t give you that much wiggle-room for failure unless you brine it yourself, so slow-roasting is an absolute must!
Homestyle Grain-Free Stuffing
I ate this gorgeous and delightful grain-free Homestyle Stuffing in an after-Thanksgiving feast last year hosted by Heather of Mommypotamus. Now that her little family moved all the way to Tennessee, I have a feeling our only face to face time will be at each year’s Wise Traditions conference. But in the meantime, I can enjoy her fabulous recipes and think of her.
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Bacon & Swiss
All I can say is this. For most of my youth, I thought I hated sweet potatoes. That’s because the only time we ever ate them was at the holidays, and they were always served up in sickly sweet side dishes. It was only as an adult when I ate my first savory sweet potato fries, that I realized how delightful these babies can be. So, if you want to include sweet potatoes in your Thanksgiving feast, but want them to be deliciously savory, why not try out this Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Bacon & Swiss?
Creamed Spinach Souffle
This Creamed Spinach Souffle is a creative and beautiful way to serve up leafy greens for your holiday feast. Thanks go to Megan Keatley of Health Bent for sharing her recipe here!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Nothing beats this Homemade Cranberry Sauce from Mommypotamus. Nothing. (Particularly if you go for the oranges & honey option.) You will love it! And it’s surprisingly easy.
Instead of pumpkin pie, we’ll be indulging in this grain-free Pumpkin Custard shared by Jenny of Nourished Kitchen. Full of nutrient-dense egg yolks from pastured hens, cream from grass-fed cows, and the tiniest hint of a naturally-evaporated sugar, this pumpkin custard is rich in the essential vitamins & fats your body needs to stay healthy while being just sweet enough to pass as a dessert.
(photo credits: turkey by Nourished Kitchen, stuffing & cranberry sauce by Mommypotamus, spinach souffle by Health Bent, pumpkin custard by vsimon)
I was already planning on making the sweet potato recipe (I did an orange and ginger sweet potato recipe last year, but who can pass up one with bacon in it?
Not me!) Now I have to wrestle the veggies away from my sister in law so I can make the spinach souffle. It looks divine. I want smell-o-vison on my computer.
Bacon really does it for me, too!
[email protected] says
Awww, I will be thinking of you too while I whip up your sweet potato casserole! Just picked up the best sweet potatoes we’ve ever tasted at the farmers market – sooo excited! Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!
Sweet! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. 🙂
Dawn @ peelingbacktheonionlayers.com says
Kristen, this is beautiful and inspiring. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Thank you! You too. 🙂
Thanks for the recipes! I might try out the stuffing one…do you know if the herb amounts listed are for dried or fresh?
I use dry herbs in it, and it comes out delicious!
we used 5 of these recipes with success! Thanks so much for making my recipe gathering easy:) everything was a hit! (sadly the glass bowl that i was using as a double boiler shattered and filled the custard with glass shards so desert was a no-go…. but we’ve had it before and it’s lovely:)
Patricia Walker via Facebook says
Michelle Jasinski, in case there is anything you could use. 🙂
Michelle Jasinski via Facebook says
Awww thank you Patty!