One of my favorite things to do is to cook and bake during the holidays. Since becoming gluten free over eight years ago and most recently grain free too, I’ve taken it as a personal challenge to still enjoy the things I love, despite my food allergies. Being gluten free or making healthier choices doesn’t have to mean you sacrifice all the foods you love. Our Healthy Thanksgiving Menu below proves it:
I could easily (and sometimes do) fill up on appetizers alone. These are my favorite appetizers that I usually either make ahead of time or prepare while I’m cooking the rest of the meal, so we can nibble and nosh on healthy delights all day!
2. Cauliflower Tater Tots by I Breathe I’m Hungry. Tater tots (and really anything potato) are my weakness, but they’re really not great for you. I was on a quest several years ago to find a good replacement, and that’s when this recipe walked into my life. You’re welcome, fellow tater tot lovers!
3. Gluten Free Charcuterie Board: This is always a crowd favorite whenever I whip one of these out … and no one knows it’s filled with healthy, gluten-free things. It can be our little secret! 😉 I love the way Steph Gaudreau from Health From the Inside Out categorizes and outlines exactly what to look for in the grocery store so your board can be just as beautiful (and of course delicious).
4. Mini Caprese Salad Bites: You can make these super mini on toothpicks or larger on kabobs like Mira from Cooking LSL does. Either way, this is such an easy, gorgeous and tasty way to present a caprese salad. This is one of my holiday go-tos, and I always have people asking me to bring them again!
5. Chocolate dipped clementines with sea salt: Fall and oranges are synonymous, and this remains one of my family’s favorite recipes we make each holiday season. Simple, kid friendly prep allows even my 4 year old to happily help! Thanks to The Comfort of Cooking for the simple recipe and beautiful photo!
Traditional wholesome holiday meals … YUM! My mouth is watering as I compile these recipes because year after year, they remain our family favorites. I might switch out an ingredient here and there, but these are the sides we happily stuff ourselves with! (We have turkey and ham usually too, but I don’t have any recipes to share there. We usually buy a smoked organic ham from Trader Joe’s and pre-cooked turkey from a local restaurant.)
1. Brussel sprout, quinoa and cranberry salad: Not only is this salad beautiful and colorful, but it is so delicious! We’re big brussel fans, and this is always a big hit! I like to add crumbled goat cheese to this as well because … why not! Thanks to Gimme Me Some Oven for the recipe and for sharing how to properly cut brussel sprouts because that game isn’t always easy!
2. Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce: Set it and forget it (and work on making a million other things?!) … yes, please! This recipe is my very favorite for fresh cranberry sauce because it’s easy, so good and not too sweet. I use half of what the recipe calls for in sugar and swap to coconut sugar, plus all organic ingredients, and it tastes clean and good. I like my cranberry sauce tart, but if you do not, then definitely follow the recipe as indicated. Oh, and don’t skip the sugar like I did a few years ago, trying to be a martyr. That was a bad (and hilarious after the fact) idea.
3. Sweet Potato Casserole: Another family favorite is this sweet potato casserole from Hungry Hobby. Not too sweet and with just the right amount of crunch, even your pickiest eaters will delight in this dish.
4. Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Okay, Okay … so these aren’t healthy … at all. But they are gluten free and technically keto and so damn good! 😆 I make an exact version of The Striped Spatula‘s mashed potatoes in my Instant Pot, and I enjoy a very healthy helping of them.
5. Gluten Free Mac n Cheese: Just when you thought your days of homemade, creamy mac n cheese were behind you as a gluten free person, BAM! I present you probably the best mac n cheese you’ve ever had, even as a “gluten person,” as my 4 year old says. No joke! I use Banza’s chickpea pasta, which is high in protein, and almond flour instead of rice flour. Otherwise, this recipe from A Girl Worth Saving is to die for!
6. Gluten Free Biscuits: This recipe from Eat or Drink is such a good one, and these biscuits are gluten free, dairy free and grain free! Otto’s Cassava Flour really is the very best … I worked with them earlier this year and and kind of have forgotten what gluten free limitations were like thanks to their flour. It’s so good, and these biscuits taste pretty close to the real deal!
We do only a little bit of dessert in our family because we’re usually happily filled from everything else. But what’s a holiday without a little something sweet to eat?!
- Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies: Enough said with the title alone. Yum! These brownies are so yummy and easy to make thanks to Gluten Free Baking.
2. Gluten Free Blackberry Cheesecake: This layered cheesecake is straight from a dream! It’s not overly complicated but definitely not as easy on all my other recipes. Worth every step though (and very simple to make ahead). Plus the author, Sugar Free Sprinkles, offers several ways to cut the sugar if you prefer. SO GOOD!
That’s our Healthy and Gluten Free Thanksgiving Menu! Now that your tummy is probably rumbling too, tell me what your favorite holiday dish is … and if you’ve found a way to make it healthy.