A Thanksgiving menu.

I’ve been meaning to write a long, detailed, photo-heavy post about all of the glorious dishes I plan to make for our Thanksgiving dinner.

But here we are, 4 days before the big turkey day and that post is yet to be written and time is a-tick-tick-tocking away.

I had the best of intentions and that should count for something, right?

So, how about a shorter post with zero pictures and a nice mashup between recipes and links to recipes that are close enough to my favorites?


I had a baby shower this morning (I swear, I know so many pregnant women!) so J and the girls picked up our heritage turkey from Hunter Cattle at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market. The market itself will be running through the spring but according to my husband, the vendors and selection was fewer courtesy of some inland frost. Regardless, he picked up our 9 pound beaut of a bird and she’s currently making herself comfy in the deep freeze for a few days.

I’ve gone back and forth about having a dairy- and gluten-free Thanksgiving meal. We won’t be traveling for the holiday so I’ll be cooking for just our family of four so it’s possible to do an entire meal with these dietary restrictions. But it’s Thanksgiving and arguably the holiday most associated with food and their traditions.

With the exception of one dish, our meal will be dairy-free because of B’s dairy allergy. But for one day (and the three days following with all of the leftovers), I’m okay with B having a bit of gluten since that isn’t an allergy. We tried a gluten-free dressing (of the stuffing/bread – not salad – variety) last night and while it tasted okay, it wasn’t great. If I’m going to spend hours preparing a meal, I want it to be the real thing. So, gluten is on the table for Thursday.

Here’s our Thanksgiving menu – recipes at the end of the post:

  • TurkeyThis is a great overview of why I prefer heritage and farm-raised turkeys over your typical grocery store Butterball. Know where your meat is coming from. She’ll be oiled and stuffed with all sorts of delicious rosemary and thyme.
  • Mashed potatoes – Made with your typical russet potato, original almond milk and coconut butter. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Sautéed green beans with almonds – I start with about 3 cups of fresh and snapped green beans. Sauté with coconut oil, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), salt and pepper for a few minutes and then add about 1/2 a cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Cover and let simmer until soft. Remove lid and cook off any remaining liquid before serving. Toss in 1/4 c. slivered almonds.
  • The Dressing – This deserves a formal title because in my holiday lineup, the dressing reigns supreme. Because we cook it outside of the turkey, it’s considered dressing instead of stuffing. While I have you here solidly in the middle of a bullet point and rather tucked away, I have a confession. I’ve lost my husband’s absolute favorite dressing recipe. I made it two years ago and tried to cover my bottom last year by cooking from memory but it wasn’t the same. So I need to do some serious research in the next few days to try to save face. This recipe has the same solid basis but I’ll add thyme and two or three fresh rosemary sprigs. To make it dairy-free, I’ll be subbing coconut butter for the regular butter. I’ll get my bread cubes from the bakery on Tuesday so they’ll have a day or two to stale.
  • Cranberry-nut muffins – this is a recipe (found at the bottom of the post) from J’s childhood and courtesy of his mother. While I wasn’t a fan the first few years we were together, this little fellas have grown on me. The tartness from the cranberries tasted wonderful against the sweetness of the muffin. This recipe is about has fat- and gluten-filled as they come but it IS dairy-free. Small victories!
  • Candied sweet potatoesA traditional way to use the plethora of sweet potatoes we still have courtesy of our CSA.
  • Sour cream lima beans – Don’t let the name fool you; this dish (recipe below) is ah-ma-zing. Delicious! This is one my favorite of Grandma Irene’s recipes. I’m only on the fence about making it because a.) it’s not dairy-free and b.) it makes a 9×13 dish and that’s a lot of buttery, creamy, sweet goodness for just our little family. But it’s so delicious – I can’t resist!

That’s our main menu. I’m still on the fence about dessert. While I love pumpkin pie – who doesn’t?! – B definitely couldn’t partake because of the condensed milk. But, most generic pie crusts are dairy-free to cut costs, so a pie is still an option.  I’m thinking about a yummy, deep-dish, crumb-topped apply pie made with coconut butter, perhaps?

My stomach is rumbling. After writing a post like this, I definitely need to get a post-dinner snack.

What is on your Thanksgiving Day menu? Are you cooking or joining in with family and friends? Traveling or staying home? Who has a delicious and dairy-free dessert recipe to share?

Cranberry-Nut Muffins

– 2 c. flour ( 1 c. whole wheat, 1 c. all-purpose)
– 1 c. sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 2 tsp orange zest
– 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ginger
– 1/2 c. Crisco
– 3/4 c. orange juice
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1 1/2 c. cranberries, chopped
– 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (original recipe calls for nuts but I prefer pecans)

Combine dry ingredients, nuts and berries. Blend in Crisco. Add liquid ingredients. Either liberally grease muffin tin with additional Crisco or line muffin tin with aluminum liners and fill tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. 

Sour Cream Lima Beans

– 1 pound of dry lima beans, cooked per bag’s directions
– 3/4 c. butter
– 3/4 c. brown sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp dry mustard
– 1 tbsp molasses
– 1/2 to 3/4 a pint of sour cream

Cook lima beans per the instructions on the bag. Add the butter to hot beans, let melt. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and dry mustard. Put beans in a 9×13 baking dish, add brown sugar mixture. Fold in sour cream and gently mix in molasses. Bake uncovered at 350° for 40-60 minutes or until top bubbles and begins to lightly brown. 


3 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving menu.

  1. It sounds like a GREAT line-up! Don’t discount the gluten-free dressing quite yet! I made this last year and didn’t tell ANYONE that it was gluten free. Every single person who ate it was singing its praises and asking for the recipe. Imagine my pride when I told them it was grain-free. I spruced it up a bit by adding some bacon to the top. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. Give it a serious think. It’s delish and will knock your socks off. http://realsustenance.com/rosemary-sage-stuffing-paleo-style-grainglutendairysoycorn-free/

      • We love it here. I love that there are seasons and that the leaves change colors. The high is going to be 43 on Saturday. I can’t wait to break out my mittens and a fuzzy hat. 🙂 Make sure you make the stuffing for Christmas! It’s delish. And the website “Real Sustenance” has some AMAZING dairy/gluten free recipes that aren’t necessarily grain free. The owner has Hashimoto’s Disease so she has to eat a certain way. I completely forgot about her site when you asked me for good places to find G-Free recipes. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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