We all know that getting a Thanksgiving meal together is A LOT of work! It is made even harder when you adhere to a real foods diet. Add in dietary restrictions and Thanksgiving can become extremely overwhelming. As much as Thanksgiving is about the feast it is more about the blessings . This Thursday is here to give us time to pause and focus on all the many things we are thankful for. In holidays past I spent so much time in the kitchen that I did not actually have time to spend with the people I am most grateful for! In order to have time with my family on Thanksgiving this year I have been working on ways to simplify the meal. If you are looking for ideas on how to do Thanksgiving GAPS/AIP style “drama free” maybe my plans for Thursday can help you.
The beauty of GAPS is that, during the first few stages, you more or less make all foods the same way. So turkey would be made the same way as chicken: as meat stock. The beauty of this for anyone preparing for Thanksgiving is that the turkey can be made ahead of time, stored in stock, and simply warmed up on Thursday. The stock will keep the meat moist and full of flavor. Making it a day or two ahead of time significantly cuts back on time spent in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day.
Stuffing is one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgivings Day meal. The problem is traditional stuffing calls for a number of ingredients that we can not have on the GAPS intro diet such as celery and bread. Thankfully, with my GAPS-style mirepoix I can adapt any number of AIP stuffing recipes and enjoy stuffing once again!
Mirepoix for GAPS
- 2 cups Onions- diced
- 1 cup Carrots- diced
- 1 cup Cellery Root- diced
- After dicing your ingredients place in a pan.
- Cover your vegetables with stock.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Use as a base for any number of your favorite recipes.
The beauty of mirepoix in it’s various forms (such as soffritto) are used in a number of dishes from all over the world. With minor changes, you can use this as a base for food from India, to France to Thailand.
I will be adding the turkey stock I just made, rosemary, thyme, garlic, sage, a variety of mushrooms, and sausage to my mirepoix and baking it in the oven to create a delicious GAPS-friendly stuffing.
You can not have a Thanksgiving dinner without gravy and gravy could not be easier to make! Since you already have stock on hand 😉 you can have gravy in around 10 minutes. You simply add your stock to your pot and simmer it for about 10 minutes or until it has reduced by 1/2. If you have drippings from cooking your turkey add those in. If you want it even thicker, stir in some gelatin after you have bloomed it in cold water. Once you pull it off the heat you can stir in butter, ghee, or bacon fat for added flavor. Salt to taste and serve.
Our one “cheat” this holiday season is going to be cranberry sauce. It is my Little Jedi’s absolute favorite and I have to be honest, I am looking forward to it as well!
- 1/3 cup Water
- 12 oz Cranberries- fresh
- 1/4-1/2 cup Honey
- 1 Orange- zest
- 1/2 Orange- juiced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Place cranberries and water in a pan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer until the cranberries start popping.
- Smash the cranberries.
- Turn off the heat.
- Stir in orange zest and orange juice.
- Mix in nut if using them.
- Add in honey to taste.
- Serve warm or make ahead and refrigerate to serve cold.
I LOVE mashed potatoes! They are creamy, fluffy, and savory which equals amazing in my book! Unfortunately, potatoes are a no-go on GAPS and AIP. Fortunately, there are a number of mashed potato alternatives that are equally as amazing!
I will be simmering cauliflower in the turkey stock with garlic. I then will puree the cauliflower, garlic, salt, and marrow from cooking beef bones to make a creamy and delicious garlic mashed cauliflower.
I am sure we will come up with a few other side dishes to enjoy, but that covers the basics! I am excited to be able to get some of the cooking done ahead of time so I can spend Thanksgiving day playing with my family! Plus, I have all the components needed to make turkey soup with the leftovers! What are you going to be enjoying for your Thanksgiving feast? What do you do to make it a little easier? I look forward to hearing from you!