Thanksgiving Dinner Trial

I had a random thought a couple of weeks ago: what am I going to eat for Thanksgiving dinner?  One of the big things I always look forward to is the stuffing.  Not just stuffing, but stuffing that is drowned in gravy.  Really, it’s not thanksgiving unless your whole plate (minus anything sweet) is drowned in gravy 🙂  So,

  • Step 1, find a grainless stuffing recipe if possible.
  • Step 2, figure out a way to have sweet potatoes that are not covered in marshmallows and packed in brown sugar underneath the marshmallows.  It makes me think that people don’t actually want to taste the sweet potato itself when they’re prepared that way, although I am guilty of indulging in them every year.
  • Step 3, maybe some cranberry sauce that is not made sweetened with white sugar?  The whole idea of the cranberry cause coming out of a can in that mold, along with the aluminum flavor that always stuck with it in my opinion, just isn’t too tempting anymore.
  • Final step, find some guinea pigs to sample all of these new recipes so that I can either get a thumbs up or down as to whether any of it should ever be made again.

This was not too difficult.  I needed help figuring out how to start a blog, and my sister-in-law agreed to help, so I pay her back by inviting her and her husband to be my guinea pigs, along with my husband. When all was said and done our menu included the following (start at the chicken and move clockwise around the plate):

Paleo thanksgiving dinner

1.) Baked chicken, either plain, with Franks Red Hot sauce (for the guys), or spicy jerk sauce

2.) Baked sweet potatoes with butter, honey, and cinnamon

3.) Grainless stuffing

4.) Spiced cranberry sauce

5.) Steamed broccoli (grown in my husband’s garden earlier this year, then frozen)

There isn’t a specific recipe for the chicken.  I just didn’t want turkey, and since I was making 3 new side dishes I wanted something easy for the meat.  Add whatever spices and sauce, and bake until it’s done.

For the sweet potatoes, again, I just kind of threw together some items that I thought would form a nice “glaze” without overpowering the taste of the potatoes.  I used melted butter, honey, and cinnamon and drizzled this over cubed sweet potatoes.  They cooked at 375 degrees for ~25-30 min.

The grainless stuffing: the most questionable to me as to how it would taste, as I had never cooked with parsnips before.  The key with eating this is that you cannot compare it to regular stuffing as far as flavor and texture, otherwise you will be disappointed.  I think it was said at dinner something to the effect of “If you hadn’t called it stuffing I wouldn’t have guessed that’s what it was, but it’s good anyways.”  I found the recipe at:

Spiced cranberry sauce:  It smelled like a heavenly candle while cooking on the stove.  I had never cooked with fresh ginger before, so it added a bit of uncertainty.  Plus I didn’t plan this out so well.  It is supposed to sit for 6 hours prior to serving; I started making it maybe 3 hours before dinner?  Needless to say it ended up in the freezer for a short time to help it solidify, but we ate it after ~2 hours of sitting/cooling and it was still good.  It seemed like it got a little spicier and more tart after sitting in the fridge overnight.  I found the recipe for this at:

Everyone gave the dinner a positive review, and the next day all of the guinea pigs were still alive.  The best thing about it, after eating everything on the plate pictured above, I did not feel overstuffed or miserable in any way.  It only left me thinking, now what’s for dessert?  🙂  Maybe that’s for a future post…


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