Tips for a Healthy, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Meal (Menu + Recipes!)
Worried that your Thanksgiving meal will take you off track with your health goals? To prevent holiday indulgences from burdening your digestive system, support the gut daily with the healthy bacteria found in InnergyBiotic.
You’ve heard what the analysts say: Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year. It’s a time of year when everyone gets together to share a meal and give thanks for what they have. Yet, how many of us dream of turkey, and all the fixings?
Yes, it’s the king of all holiday meals, and if you’re concerned about the gut health of you and your family, what do you do when all the rules of healthy eating fly out the window on Thanksgiving?
If you want to attempt to eat healthier that day, here are some ideas from the BE team to do just that:
- Bring a healthy dish or two of your own if you’re visiting relatives. Chances are, the home baked turkey you eat is relatively healthy, so bringing a side dish or two (like our Curry Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” – see recipe, below) is a great way to add some delicious side dishes to the main meal. Another favorite of ours is Red Slaw, sure to be a hit any time of year!
- Host your own healthy Thanksgiving meal. With a few inventive recipes, you can host a healthy Thanksgiving that actually tastes delicious to your relatives who may not be health nuts. Invite them to bring their favorite side dishes so that everyone will be happy. Remember, the turkey is the main event, so you’ve got that covered. Aunt Susie can bring the sweet potatoes, Uncle Jim can bring the pies and your sister can make her famous garlic-dill mashed potatoes. Now you have all the bases covered!
- Some of you, who have already healed your inner ecosystem, may choose to indulge in the mainstream holiday fare and if you choose to do that, just remember to bring your favorite probiotic liquid and some Assist Dairy & Protein Digestive Enzymes. Both of these will help you digest your meal and help you avoid the fatigue and bloat typical of the post-Thanksgiving fare experience. There’s nothing wrong with indulging occasionally, just make sure you are feeling in tip top health if you do choose to indulge…and have a plan to get back on track afterwards.
Creating Your Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
If you want to create a delicious, Body Ecology-style Thanksgiving meal, here are some guidelines:
- Body Ecology Principles:
- 80/20 Rule – 80% of your plate should be vegetables and 20% should be turkey (the animal protein).
- Food combining – To food combine properly, your meal should include only non-starchy vegetables and no grains, since these foods do not combine well with animal protein (your turkey). Yes, that means you’d pass on the spuds, rice and sweet potatoes…but, we’ve provided you with a delicious mock mashed potatoes recipe below, so you can enjoy the taste of mashed potatoes with your turkey.
- Turkey – The best turkey would be organic and hormone free. And remember, overcooked protein is difficult for your body to digest and creates toxins in your body. So the most important tip is to make sure you DON’T overcook your turkey! How do you do that? Spatchcock it! Spatchcocking is a specific type of butterflying technique. When a turkey is spatchcocked, it’s cooked flat, so it cooks evenly, and cooks in less than half the time (80 minutes for a 12-14 lb. turkey!). Just make sure you keep an eye on it! You also get a much juicier protein and crispier skin since the skin is up top when cooked. See our recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey below.
- Vegetables – Focus on non-starchy vegetables (like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, red peppers, onions, kale, collards, zucchini, summer squash and lettuce), cultured vegetables and sea vegetables. A salad of Romaine lettuce with the Hijiki (or Arame) with onions and carrots recipe from The Body Ecology Diet is a tasty option for thyroid-boosting sea vegetables.
- Drinks and Dessert – You can make a delicious Thanksgiving dessert with Stevia to satisfy your sweet tooth without the health dangers of sugar. The “vice cream” dessert recipe below is crowd pleasers any time of year.
- You can also use Stevia to sweeten your tea and probiotic liquids. Or for an after-dinner sweet and sour beverage treat, try InnergyBiotic on its own or as a sweeter cocktail (recipe below). It will help you digest your food and give you energy while the others are loosening their belts and dozing in front of the TV.
- Body Ecology Principles:
Delicious Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes
With all these tasty choices for your Thanksgiving meal, you can rest assured that you can enjoy this holiday season and still stick to your health goals. The recipes below may just make your friends and family believers in healthy food as a delicious way to treat your body!
Thanksgiving Turkey – Spatchcocked!
By Chef Matt Stanczak
- Good meat thermometer
- Broiler pan or sheet tray
- Wire mesh rack (it’s preferable to have a wire mesh rack that fits into the sheet tray so the turkey can sit on the rack and the vegetables and drippings can go below on the sheet tray or broiler pan)
- Chef’s knife or poultry shears
- 2 medium sized pots
- Fine mesh strainer
Ingredients for Turkey:
- One local farm-fresh organic turkey (12-14 lbs.)
- 2+ Tbsp either organic raw butter, ghee or extra virgin olive oil (use enough to rub all over the turkey)
- 3 large onions
- 3 large carrots
- 3 stalks of celery
- Celtic Sea Salt
- Black pepper
Ingredients for Gravy:
For those on Stage 1 of the BE diet, you may want to use this very sparingly.
- 2 Tbsp raw butter or ghee
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp gluten-free sprouted flour (millet, buckwheat, quinoa)
- the other 1/3 of the vegetables used for the turkey
- 6-10 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 quart and a half of chicken stock
- Celtic Sea Salt
- Black pepper
- If you’re working with a frozen turkey, make sure you’ve allowed enough time to let it defrost thoroughly in the fridge. This can take anywhere from 3 days to a week depending on the size.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Use the middle rack for even cooking.
- Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and then cut the back bone out either with a chef’s knife or poultry shears.
- Lay the turkey flat on your cutting board (skin side up) and press down on both breasts to flatten it out.
- Rinse the whole turkey, drying with paper towels. Make sure the turkey is dry – that’s how it will get a nice deep brown color and crisp-up evenly.
- Chop and then scatter 2/3rd’s of the vegetables (carrots, onions, celery) on the broiler pan/sheet tray with some olive oil. Save the other 1/3 of the vegetables for the gravy.
- Put the rack on top of the pan/tray, and lay your turkey on the wire mesh rack (if you’re NOT using a rack, then put the turkey on the broiler pan/sheet tray).
- Rub the turkey with the raw butter (make sure you soften or melt it for easy application), ghee or extra virgin olive oil – enough to rub all over turkey.
- Sprinkle the sea salt and pepper all over the bird.
- Place your turkey in the oven. No basting required! While it’s cooking, you can work on your gravy.
- Gluten-Free Gravy
- Cut up the neck, giblets and back bone. In one medium sized pot on high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil, and then throw in your parts. Cook until they’re lightly browned (around 5 minutes).
- You can add the 1/3’s of the vegetables that you saved – cook until they begin to soften and brown (around 5 minutes).
- Then add chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to make thicker.
- And if you want an even thicker gravy, in a separate medium sized pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter or ghee with a flour (millet, buckwheat, quinoa) and whisk constantly until it’s golden brown (color may vary) with no lumps.
- Then add a steady stream of the broth mixture to the butter/ghee/flour mixture. Bring it all to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper, and then put through a fine mesh strainer.
- Once the breast registers 150 degrees, and the thighs register 165 degrees (which takes about 80 minutes), your bird should be done.
- You can then add in the drippings and the 2/3’s of vegetables that have been cooking with the turkey to your gravy. Or, you can use the roasted vegetables as a side dish.
- Let your turkey cool for a minimum of 20 minutes before carving – if you let it rest for up to an hour, cover it with foil.
Curry Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”
This is a variation of the Curry Cauliflower sauce from The Body Ecology Diet. One of our Certified Body Ecology coaches accidentally learned that this makes a delicious mashed potato substitute! Your guests will like it so much that they won’t care that they aren’t eating spuds…and better yet, since all of these ingredients combine well with your Thanksgiving turkey, everyone will digest much better!
- 1 – 2 Tbsp organic, unrefined coconut oil, ghee or butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 tsp ginger root, grated
- 1 Tbsp curry powder or to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- ¼ cup water
- Celtic sea salt, Herbamare or Trocomare to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
Sauté onion, garlic, ginger root, curry powder,and cayenne in oil or ghee. Add cauliflower and water. Simmer or pressure cook until tender. Add sea salt and lemon juice.
Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp creamy white mustard (check out The Natural Taste brand)
- 2 Tbsp Lakanto natural sweetner
- 1 tsp tamari (San J is wheat-free, low sodium)
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 Lbs. Brussels sprouts, cut thru core and quartered
Whisk first five ingredients together in medium size bowl. Toss in Brussels sprouts and evenly coat them well. Spread sprouts evenly over a baking sheet and roast until core is tender (approximately 25 minutes). Rotate pan midway thru and stir Brussels sprouts a bit.
Creamy Kale Soup
By Gina LaVerde, author + nutritional coach
- 2 bunches chopped kale leaves
- 1 bunch chopped collard greens
- 1 large chopped butternut squash
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp Celtic sea salt
- Coconut oil to taste
- Water for boiling
Add kale, collards, garlic and squash to a 4 qt pot. Cover with water and boil. Reduce heat and add herbs, nutmeg and sea salt. Simmer for 5-10 minutes then turn off heat. Add a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Next, use an immersion blender to puree your soup or add soup to your high-speed blender to make creamy. Enjoy this with a side of cultured vegetables for optimum health and mineral absorption. This is a delicious, mineral rich soup that is also low in oxalates.
Gingery, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free All-Natural “Vice Cream”
This is a delicious treat that food combines well with your Thanksgiving meal.
- 2 cups coconut meat
- 2 cups cashews (soaked only 4 hours)
- 4 Tbsp vanilla extract (organic and alcohol free preferred)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup water (or simmer a ginger bag and make a tea)
- ¼ cup xylitol
- 4 drops Body Ecology’s Stevia Liquid Concentrate
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp. sea salt
In blender puree all ingredients together. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. (variation: use teas like peppermint or ginger instead of water.)
Donna’s Favorite Non-Alcoholic After-Dinner Drink