Do you really want to spend all day cooking on a holiday? With this easy paleo Thanksgiving dinner too, you can have your turkey and eat it too.
What is a paleo Thanksgiving dinner?
The paleo diet includes foods that man ate prior to modern agriculture. Therefore, no grains or dairy products.
Thankfully, this simplifies your Thanksgiving dinner incredibly.
Paleo Thanksgiving means no:
- stuffing made with wheat bread or cornbread
- gravy thickened with flour
- green bean casserole with onions fried in flour
- mashed potatoes with milk, cream, or butter
- candied sweet potatoes with butter and marshmallows since those are processed
Coincidentally, all of the items above require a significant amount of labor.
What are you supposed to eat?
- free range, organic meats
- potatoes cooked with healthy oils
- vegetables galore
The result in an incredibly easy meal to put together.
Why is this a special holiday meal?
Let’s be real. Do you really eat fresh turkey besides Thanksgiving day?
Yes, you eat turkey sandwiches all the time.
But most grocery stores don’t even sell fresh turkey unless it’s Thanksgiving.
Even though this meal is just turkey and vegetables, it’s fresh turkey for Thanksgiving (or Christmas).
There’s no way 2 people can consume a whole turkey, so you just get 2 turkey wings.
Since we will have no flour thickened gravy, the trick to getting the most flavor out of these wings is to season them overnight with salt and pepper.
Also, if you don’t cover them with plastic wrap, the skin will dry out in the fridge, so it will get even crispier in the oven.
The next day, you can separate them into the drummettes and wing tips before cooking.
Rub with a little bit of oil, so they get nice and brown.
Cooking on a baking rack would be ideal if you have one. (Clearly, I do not.)
Even without one, the underside of the turkey is not terribly soggy, since we dried out the skin overnight.
I also used a free range bird that has not been injected with any solution that drips out during cooking.
Bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 degrees F.
Roasted Delicata Squash
Did you know that delicata squash is the easiest squash to cut?
You need a pumpkin for fall dinners, and this is it.
Get the recipe for easy roasted delicata squash here.
Cook in the oven while the turkey wings are a roasting.
Purple Mashed Potatoes
Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn’t be the same without mashed potatoes, would it?
Instead of traditional white potatoes, these sweet purple ones will make your Thanksgiving dinner much more festive.
Eat the rainbow!
Get the recipe for purple mashed potatoes made with coconut milk here.
Sauteed Swiss Chard
Here is California, swiss chard is abundant. I know someone who quit her CSA because she kept getting chard every week and got sick of it.
Nevertheless, we like swiss chard because it stays green after it’s cooked.
To cook 1 bunch of chard:
- Chop the chard into 2″ sections
- Wash thoroughly
- Spin dry if possible, to remove excess water
- Heat a large pan to medium heat
- Add 1-2 Tb of extra virgin olive oil
- Saute 2 cloves of minced garlic for about 30 seconds
- Add the chard and salt to taste
- Cook for 3-5 minutes until the thickest part of the stem is tender.
- Cover the pot until ready to serve
- You can rewarm but gently reheating over the stove and stirring so it doesn’t stick.
Pomegranate Seeds for garnish
Pomegranate seeds are like edible jewels. Their bright, ruby color glistens and gives every dish a come hither kind of look.
Gently remove the seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate and crown your Thanksgiving plate with these gems.
Tips to make it better @home
- Season the turkey overnight with salt and pepper to get the most flavor out of your turkey. Leave it uncovered, so the skin dries out and gets extra crispy in the oven.
- If you have a seasoning salt, such as poultry seasoning, use that instead of salt and pepper.
- Cook the delicata squash and on the 2nd rack in the oven with the turkey.
- Prep the turkey, squash, swiss chard, and pomegranate seeds the night before to save time on the big day.
- If you really want to get ahead, make the mashed purple potatoes the day before, and reheat the day of.
- No matter how your Thanksgiving dinner turns out, don’t forget to say thanks and be grateful for the meal that you have.
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