Holiday feasting the perfect Paleo way

paleo diet

Photo Credit: azimavu Flickr via Compfight cc

With seasonal feasts like Christmas, New Years and Easter, you need to plan your holiday menus in advance. If you and your family follow a Paleo diet it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on sumptuous feasts.

What is the Paleo Diet?

In case you haven’t caught on yet, the Paleo diet (also known as the caveman diet) is one in which you eat as our ancestors did back in Paleolithic times. That means cutting out cereals, pasta, candies, and processed foods. You can eat plenty of fruit, nuts, vegetables, meats, and fish. According to Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet, this diet is more in-keeping with the evolutionary influences that led to the genetic makeup we have today. The diet is said to have a number of benefits including:

  • It’s free of unhealthy additives, preservatives and chemicals.
  • You will be eating a healthy balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
  • It eases the pressure off your glycemic load.
  • Because there is a high intake of protein you should feel full longer between meals.
  • You will enjoy anti-inflammatory benefits from fruit, vegetables and nuts.

Many people who have switched to the Paleo diet find that they feel healthier and, due to the limited menu choices, they also maintain a healthier weight.

The Perfect Paleo Holiday Feasts

Unfortunately, because most holiday events are centered around food, it can often bring out the worst in people, especially those who have a tendency to overindulge. Because the Paleo diet is full of healthy options, adopting this menu for holiday feasts means that you can enjoy a delectable meal and know that it is very wholesome.

Paleo Appetizers

Bacon-wrapped Squash Pieces

Ingredients

3 medium squash

5 pieces of bacon

1 tsp salt

2 tsp olive oil

Black pepper to taste

Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 450°F with a rack in the top third. Peel, slice and dice the squash and toss it in a bowl with the salt, pepper and olive oil. Slice in half lengthwise and wrap bacon around the squash, securing with a toothpick. Roast until the bacon is crisp, (15-20 minutes).

Delicious Dinners

Wild Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey

Ingredients

12lb turkey

½ cup chicken stock

½ cup BBQ sauce (sugar free)

Ground thyme (dried)

Marjoram, rosemary and, sage, (freshly chopped)

Garlic powder

Wild Mushroom Butter

1 ¼ cups wild mushrooms (shiitake, morel, chanterelle, black trumpet and porcini)

¼ lb. clarified butter (room temperature)

1 tsp white wine

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450 F. Grind mushrooms and mix with butter. Stir in wine. Take the clean turkey and place in a large roasting pan. Slice the skin in several placed and stuff with mushroom mix. Rub herb mix and garlic liberally over the bird. Spread the remaining mushroom butter on the surface. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Reduce the heat to 350 F and cook for 18 minutes per pound, basting after every 20 minutes. If you wish your bird to have a crispy skin, remove the foil an hour before cooking time ends. When done, remove the bird from the oven and place on a clean tray. To prepare sauce, mix BBQ sauce and chicken stock in a small pan on medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove. Serve immediately.

Don’t forget to add plenty of sides like celery, walnut and apple stuffing, rosemary roasted potatoes, crab stuffed mushrooms, honey glazed carrots, paleo turkey gravy, roasted sweet potatoes with cranberries, cauliflower, turnip mash, and of course, don’t forget the cranberry sauce.

Scrumptious Dessert

It you want a delicious dessert, all you need is paleo pumpkin recipes. Here is a mouthwatering pumpkin dessert, a treat to remember.

No-bake Pumpkin Tartlets

Crust Ingredients

1 cup walnuts

¼ cup coconut (shredded)

2 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)

Filling Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin (pureed)

¼ cup almond milk

¾ cup dates (pitted)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp ginger (ground)

Preparation

Place eight parchment cups in a muffin tin. Prepare crust by pulsing all ingredients in a food processor. Spoon the dough into the bottom of the parchment cups. Press down gently to form a crust. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Allow to set in the fridge for 4-6 hours.

As you can see, it’s not difficult to plan a healthy Paleo menu. But the most important thing is that you have a happy holiday with your loved ones.

Eleanor Potter is a Mom who works as a fitness instructor and is passionate about cooking up delicious, healthy meals for her family and friends. She shares all of this in her articles which appear all over the web.

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