12 Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes

12 Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes

With Thanksgiving (aka the National Insulin Coma day) right around the corner, you might be living with a paralyzing fear.

Part of that fear is likely owed to some awkward conversations you will have with family: Why aren't you married? Why are you married to him? Why do you wear those funny looking toe shoes? Oh you do Crossfit? I go to Planet Fitness, so that's pretty much the same thing, right?

On and on it goes. And while those conversations are certainly terrifying, you're likely stricken with fear because you know that Thanksgiving begins a 6 week stretch in which Americans gain somewhere between 2 and 7 pounds on average (depends on the survey you read).

Not you though, not this year. Nope. Not happening. 

But failing to plan is planning to fail. You need a GPS system for navigating the maze of pancreas crushing treats. 

Well, we've collected our favorite recipes from around the web and have them here for you.


Main Dishes

1. Bad Ass Roasted Turkey 

For the most part, the main dishes aren't that tough. I do not like turkey personally. I think it's largely a gravy or cranberry delivery system, but this recipe is one I actually enjoy.

I think you will too (but I don't really know you, so...)

2. Easy Glazed Ham

If you're saying to yourself, "But I just go over to Honey Baked," you've just earned a timeout.

Glazing your own ham is super easy and super delicious. This recipe even features some chipotle flakes to cut the sweetness. Highly, highly recommended.

3. Ground Lamb and Ham Stuffed Tomatoes

I do not care that this is not a traditional Thanksgiving dish because I want to eat this and I want to eat this now.

Whipping up a batch of these and toting them along will make you a much bigger hit at your family gathering than that store-bought pumpkin pie everyone has to drown in whipped cream just to taste it.

Side Dishes

1. Roasted Butternut Stuffing

Where do you fall on the stuffing/dressing debate? Actually, don't answer that: it's best not to talk politics on the holidays.

This delightful side dish features sausage, apples, and cranberries and is always a hit. Make double the servings because this one doesn't last long.

2. Paleo Mashed Potatoes

There's this whole debate about whether white potatoes are paleo or not. Frankly, I don't really care. I'm not so dogmatic about it that I'm going to pass up something like mashed potatoes made right.

This recipe uses Yukon Gold potatoes and I'm all the way in on that.

3. Candied Sweet Potatoes

Paleo Running Momma coming through in a big way yet again (seriously, if you haven't read her stuff, you should). 

I'm a giant fan of sweet potatoes in general and this is a fantastic preperation.

4. Mashed Cauliflower

Alright, I can tell you're still all huffy and puffy about the mashed potato thing.

Let me offer this recipe as an olive branch. Subbing in cauliflower for potatoes is a long-time favorite of the ancestral health movement. This recipe is a garlic herb version and is spectacular.

5. Paleo Dinner Rolls

I tried to make this once, and couldn't get it right. It tasted OK. 

I think the recipe is very good, but I am no baker. I'm more of a short order cook. I combine ingredients in hot pans and season them until which time they enter my face. Baking is too precise a discipline for a chimp like me.

You though, you can be better than I. And you CAN have dinner rolls.

Paleo Desserts

It's your favorite time of the day. Time for coffee (or port, or scotch) and something delicious.

1. Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Besides the noble turkey (fun fact: Benjamin Franklin wanted this to be our national bird. For one day of the year, it kind of is), there is no other mascot of Thanksgiving than pumpkin pie.

I love it, you love it, we all love it.

With this recipe, we can eat it and not completely hate ourselves.

2. Paleo Apple Pie

"What's more American than apple pie?" the saying goes.

Only thing I can think of is eating an apple pie while riding on the back of a bald eagle on your way to a baseball game.

If you can't do all the rest, the pie will do.

3. Paleo Pecan Pie

My grandmother makes a killer pecan pie. It isn't paleo and the recipe above isn't hers (sorry Grand!).

It is a very delicious version however, which just a light texture difference as far as I can tell.

4. Paleo Sweet Potato Pie

This one is dangerous. I could go into a dark place to get my hands on one of these.

Luckily, the recipe is also pretty simple and somehow, despite resembling baking, I manage to not completely destroy it. These are seriously impossible good.

**A note on the desserts**

Just because they are paleo, doesn't necessarily make them "healthy." They can still have a lot of carbs or calories you weren't counting on. All you are really doing is ensuring better ingredients. Just be sure to still have a little self-control.

So there you go! 12 recipes for a better Thanksgiving feast that won't end in self-loathing.

From all of us here at Athletessence, we wish you and yours a joyous holiday.

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