Our holiday menu is fairly traditional: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and several vegetable side dishes – and cranberry sauce, or course.  When you are shopping for your holiday meal, choose organic ingredients, and grass-fed or pasture-raised meats, as much as possible to limit the work your body needs to do digest and detoxify after eating. You may be able to get organic meat and vegetables at your local farmers’ market.


Traditional Side dishes

A Year of Slow Cooking – Perfect Homemade Stuffing 

This is now our go-to stuffing recipe – or maybe its a dressing recipe since it isn’t stuffed in a bird (read more about that naming debate here). This recipes calls for gluten-free bread, but you could substitute regular bread if you prefer. I like this recipe because it can be cooked separately which is more convenient since you don’t have to prepare it when you are getting the turkey ready. Making the stuffing separate can also speed up the cooking process because you don’t need to cook the stuffed turkey as long. If you want to try something different, I suggest this gluten-free quinoa stuffing with lots of seasonal flavours from Patricia Eales.

Nourishing Meals – How to Make Gluten-Free Gravy

If you are new to gluten-free eating, it is important to know how to flavour and thicken gravy without flour and seasoning mix with gluten.  Here’s a recipe to help you out.

Nourishing Meals – Cane Sugar-free cranberry sauce

I know in some families having the log of cranberry sauce that looks like it came right of the can is a tradition, but if you want to try something different here’s an easy recipe to make your own. This recipe is sweetened with orange juice and agave or coconut nectar. If you want to make a version with even less sugar, try this pear and cranberry sauce or this applesauce with cranberries.



A Year of Slow Cooking – The Very Best Brussel Spouts, Ever

Don’t bother with the frozen Brussel Sprouts; they are the reason that kids hate Brussel Sprouts. Fresh Brussel Sprouts can be expensive, but it is worth it to buy a few pounds for this recipe. If you have oven space, or you don’t have a slow cooker, try them roasted in the oven.

Gluten-free Goddess –  Maple Roasted Acorn Squash (and stuffed squash)

We don’t usually have space for anymore veggie dishes, but these would be delicious additions to any meal. If you don’t have them with your holiday meal, try them on a cold winter night for a cosy dinner.

Canadian Living – Sweet Potato and Carrot Crisp

My mom has been making this recipe for years. She originally got it from a friend, but it seems to be basically the same as this recipe. The orange colour, the orange juice and the parsley bringing some lightness to a holiday meal.  This casserole can be made ahead of time.  You can substitute oil for the melted butter and use gluten-free breadcrumb, if you choose.  Here’s another sweet potato mash recipe from Oh She Glows using maple syrup and cinnamon. Yum!

Wellness Mama – Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes

If you are looking for an alternative to mashed potatoes that is lower in carbohydrates (keto-friendly and paleo) and higher in nutrients, try mashed cauliflower. Be sure to add the spices to add some flavour to cauliflower.  This roasted whole cauliflower gives a dramatic alternative. 

Paleo Grubs – Zucchini Fritters

Adding more vegetables to a meal is a great way to help you include variety and balance. These light, tasty vegetable fritters would make a tasty appetizer or side dish. Topped with a mayonnaise sauce with fresh herbs, they would definitely be a hit.


Soups and Salads

Oh She Glows – The Best Shredded Kale Salad

If you can’t get through a day without kale, here’s a salad for you. The cranberries and roasted pecans help to give it a holiday flavour. 

Nourishing Meals – Harvest Vegetable Soup

We don’t usually have soup with our holiday meals, but I enjoy this thick vegetable soup during the winter. It is nice around the holidays because it is full of vegetables, which sometimes get missed during holiday meals.

Fuel Your Intention – Creamy Non-dairy Butternut Squash Soup

This looks like another holiday soup idea. I like creamy soups in the winter.  They warm you from the inside and they add colour to any meal. Here’s a Spice Pumpkin Soup recipe  and a green kale soup, both from Nourishing Meals, and a green monster soup from Oh She Glows.



A Year of Slow Cooking – Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

I love making this soup with leftover turkey and homemade broth. We don’t eat wild rice very often, so this soup is a special treat. The balsamic vinegar gives the soup a great flavour and the added spinach ensures you get some greens!  

Nourishing Meals – How to make turkey stock

If you end up with a turkey carcass after the holidays, you might not know what to do with it.  I remember watching my mom make stock after holiday dinners, but I was never quite sure how to go about it myself.  So, here’s a great recipe.  You can also make it right in your slow cooker or in your Instant Pot.

Gluten-free Goddess – Turkey and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

This is one of my favourite leftover meals. It is great when you are tired of the holiday flavours and you are looking for something completely different, but you still have food to use up. The green chilis, pineapple and salsa will get you out of your leftover rut.  When I’m in a hurry, I just layer the tortillas with the meat and vegetables (like lasagna) rather than filling each tortilla. This recipe is also good with frozen turkey, or you can substitute black beans for a vegetarian meal.


Vegan and Vegetarian Options

While we include meat in our holiday dinners, not everyone does. Here are some vegan whole food holiday recipes from Oh She Glows and some recipes from Gluten-free Goddess.  Many of these recipes would also make lovely side dishes for any holiday meal.

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