Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Can you believe that Christmas will be here in a week?! Wow. This whole fall and holiday season has really flown by, but it’s been a fun one! Today, I’m sharing some of my FAVORITE Paleo recipes for the holidays with you! Five years ago, I started the Autoimmune Paleo Diet to hopefully get my Autoimmune Disease into remission, and it worked like magic! Ever since, I have been doing the regular Paleo diet to keep things in check. My body and my gut feel so much better when I stick to it. I did have a stint in plant-based as many of you know, but I was struggling with the starchy proteins and my doctors thought it was best to return to Paleo. So, here I am! That’s why I want to share some of my go-to recipes that have brought me that nostalgic holiday feeling, despite being free from so many things that are often in our classic Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites!
Have you guys ever had those store-bought Bob Evan’s Mashed Potatoes? I think they were on Oprah’s list of favorite things, haha! We used to get them and cheat by microwaving them for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Lol. Time gets tight and sometimes you gotta fake it til you make it, right? Well, we have long since given up processed, store-bought foods like this and make everything from scratch ourselves. Good news is, since it’s Paleo, there are very few ingredients, and it’s surprisingly very simple and easy to make! These cauliflower mashed “potatoes” taste just like the Bob Evans mashed potatoes! In fact, some people like them even better! I found this Rosemary & Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” recipe on Pinterest from The Cookie Rookie! There are no potatoes in this recipe, but you’ll be totally shocked at how much it tastes like potatoes! This photo is from The Rookie Cookie and her recipe can be found here.
*** NOTE: When using this recipe, I do not use butter or cream cheese. I substitute Kite Hill Almond Cream Cheese for the cream cheese, and I use Beyond Balance vegan butter in place of the butter, and they turn out beautifully!
Everyone loves brussel sprouts! Who knew this little vegetable would become so trendy!? But seriously, they are so delicious. If you haven’t re-tried them in your adulthood with a good recipe, you’re missing out! I’m not a fan of steamed brussels, but roasted, sauteed, or fried are insanely good! This recipe is roasted and I’ll share my quick recipe that I do as well. But, if you’re looking for a brussel sprout recipe with a lot of different flavors, I love this one by Bravo for Paleo! She is a Paleo food blogger and has great recipes to share. This Brussel Sprout Salad has dijon mustard, pecans, apple cider vinegar, and raisins to really amp up all of the seasonal notes! This is Monica’s photo and you can find this recipe here. It’s been a big hit at my holiday dinners! The flavors really mesh well together.
***ALTERNATIVELY: I like to make a simple brussel sprout recipe. Here is how I typically do them that’s quicker but still so delicious!
CRISPY BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS:
- 1 Bag of Brussel Sprouts, washed, ends trimmed, and halved
- Avocado Oil – I love Primal Kitchen’s
- Sea Salt
- Organic Garlic Powder or Minced Garlic
- Organic Balsamic Vinegar
- Optional Bacon – chopped up into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Arrange your brussel sprouts (and optional bacon) on a baking sheet evenly.
- Drizzle a generous amount of avocado oil over them
- Sprinkle salt and garlic on top
- Drizzle a generous amount of Balsamic Vinegar over top
- Put your baking tray in the oven and set a timer for 20-25 minutes. It works well if you flip them in between, but not totally necessary. Keep an eye out because ovens vary. You want them to be brown and crispy but not completely charred.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy!
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH:
I eat this recipe probably every other day, no joke! It’s so delicious and is such a great little side full of sweet flavor! It’s a nice addition to almost any meal, it’s low in carbs, and has lots of nutrients. Win, win! Here’s how I make it:
- 1 Butternut Squash cut into small cubes, or pre-cut butternut squash cubes (this is the way to go in my opinion)
- Avocado Oil
- Organic Ground Cinnamon
- Organic Garlic Powder or Minced Garlic
- Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Arrange your butternut squash cubes on a baking tray.
- Drizzle with a generous amount of Avocado Oil.
- Sprinkle Cinnamon, Salt, and Garlic over top.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
So simple, yet so delicious!
We used to eat cranberry sauce from a can, but making it fresh is so much more fun, healthy, and tasty! This recipe from Cook Eeat Paleo only has three simple ingredients: cranberries, orange juice, and honey or maple syrup. This is Lisa’s photo and you can find the quick and easy recipe here. It tastes delicious on turkey, with stuffing, and I’m sure it’d be amazing on ham, too!
PALEO PUMPKIN PIE:
This is a real crowd pleaser! Everyone likes this pumpkin pie recipe no matter what diet they’re on! I’ve been making this for five years now and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. It’s soooo easy and simple, but it tastes like a lot of effort went into it. This recipe and photo are also from Cook Eat Paleo. That’s a great account to follow for amazing Paleo dishes! You can find this recipe here.
***NOTE: I use coconut oil in place of butter or ghee for this and it works beautifully!
ZUCCHINI BREAD OR MUFFINS:
This zucchini bread recipe is also an absolute favorite of everyone! It’s honestly very hard to tell the difference between this and real zucchini bread! This recipe and photo are by the amazing Danielle Walker of Against All Grain (a MUST follow!). I’ve been making this for five years now as well and it never gets old! It tastes amazing just on its and that’s how I typically eat it, but you could add vegan butter like Earth Balance if you wanted to. I love to make this recipe both ways, as bread and as muffins. But, it’s easier in my opinion to do as muffins for the holidays because everyone can easily pass them around or send them home as leftovers with little mess. You can find this delicious recipe here.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE BROWNIES:
Because everyone needs brownies no matter what diet you are on! LOL. These brownies are made in a blender! So simple. They do have a slight banana taste to them because they are sweetened by the bananas. So, if you have an adverse taste to things with banana, these probably aren’t for you, but I love them! They’re very fudgy and rich, so you get that chocolatey flavor you’re craving, but you don’t overeat on these because they are pretty rich. This photo and recipe is from Delicious Obsessions and you can find the recipe here.
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE:
This Paleo sweet potato casserole puts all the rest to shame! It’s seriously incredible! I could eat it as dessert. It’s covered in pecans and really gives you that nostalgic holiday feeling! This recipe and photo are by Cupcakes OMG. Such a cute blog name! You can find the recipe here.
Alright guys, that’s a wrap on my favorite Paleo holiday dishes and desserts! I hope this might make your holiday feast feel a little more comfortable if you are following the Paleo diet, or a gluten, dairy, or grain free diet for the first time this year. Or, if you have been Paleo for years but are looking for some new ideas, I hope this sparked some inspo for you! If you try anything, please leave me a comment below. Thanks so much for reading and I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas!