Sunday, December 7, 2014

Catering a Thanksgiving Meal for Multiple Diets

This past week was Thanksgiving, and ever since the very first year in our house we have hosted the meal. We invite both sets of parents over and our siblings. There have been good years, and not so good years, but overall, it is always a great meal and times spent with family. This year was definitely the best one yet!

First, I need to admit that I have a little bit of a control problem. It's hard for me to let go of things. This being said, every year, I plan the menu and usually cook almost everything. There are certain ways I like things done and it is just easier when I do them myself (yes, I know I have a problem).

In the past, we tried to do it all on our own and prepare all the food on the day of our big meal. This year I finally realized that's just silly. Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving, so why not cook and prepare almost all the sides the day before? Genius! I wish I had thought of this sooner. The only things we cooked on the day of our meal was the Turkey (duh), stuffing (I didn't cook), mashed potatoes (not the best reheated), and broccoli (I didn't cook). By cooking a majority of the dishes the day before, I was actually able to relax and enjoy the day.

Another thing I struggled with a family meal is finding a balance of menu items that appeals to everyone's tastes and dietary needs. As you may know, I follow the paleo lifestyle with some AIP modification, and my sister is a pescetarian. It was important to find a way to have all the traditional holiday foods while including many options for my sister and me to eat. Last year, I went a little overboard with the menu and made everything for my dietary needs. Let's just say, it didn't go over to well. This time around, I realized it was ok to include things on the menu for others that I might not eat myself. I decided, why not make many options where everyone can find something they like?

Here is the menu I used for our Thanksgiving meal:

Update November 18, 2015

I am beyond excited to share two amazing resources to help you plan your holiday meals.

First, if you are looking for AIP recipes for your Thanksgiving or holiday meal, Bre'anna from He Won't Know It's Paleo, has put together a fabulous e-cookbook! For only $4.99, you can get this e-cookbook and be ready to enjoy holiday favorites and impress your family with delicious dishes. The holiday e-cookbook includes:

  • Simple Turkey and Gravy
  • Prime Rib au Jus
  • Honey Ham
  • Dressing
  • Pumpkin Pancakes and Waffles
  • Squash Casserole
  • Carrot Casserole
  • Spiced Pudding with Rum Cajeta
  • Baklava Bites
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • ...and more!

Buy Now

Second, is this absolutely gorgeous books of AIP & Paleo Holiday Sweet Treats by the talented Lauren Vein of Sweet Treats. For only $3.99, this e-book contains 14 recipes ranging from cookies, to cakes, to custards, to pies, to sauces, to a couple more savory options. Because AIP is not meant to last forever, three of the recipes feature reintroductions.

Here's a sneak peek of a few my favorites:

  • Gingersnaps
  • Shortbread Cookies
  • Pumpkin Macaroons
  • Orange Spice Panna Cota
  • Chocolate Peppermint Pot de Creme (Paleo)
  • Cranberry Cake with Orange Honey Sauce
  • Pear Galette with Maple Caramel Sauce

Buy Now


  1. I have to say, I'd just eaten before I read your blog but you've made me hungry again! I love the idea of the cranberry and tangerine relish, and I don't think there is one of the sides that I wouldn't enjoy. It's a really well blended menu, and one that can be enjoyed by guests who don't follow the paleo lifestyle.

    Teri Harris @ Caiger And Co. Catering

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