It is possible to make a primal and delicious holiday meal that everyone will enjoy. Here is your fool-proof menu…
Your Guide To Cooking A Primal Holiday Meal Everyone Will Love
The holiday season is upon us, yippie! Statistics have shown that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds during the holiday season. EEK! While it is nice to cut loose a little and enjoy the holiday spirit, it should not be an excuse to eat and drink like it is your last day on earth. It is possible to make a primal and delicious holiday meal that everyone will enjoy. Here is your fool-proof menu…
Find a good protein source; whether you are making turkey, steak, fish, etc. it does not matter. I usually choose two to ensure all guests are happy and aim to purchase organic, 100% grass-fed meat products and wild (not farmed) fish. You can season your meat with any herbs, salt, pepper, and BUTTER!! Yes, you can use butter! Kerrygold (or any butter made from pasture-raised animals) is your best choice – you can find it at any supermarket, even at Costco.
Instead of making mashed potatoes I opt for sweet potatoes. You can mash them exactly like regular potatoes. You can also make cauliflower mash. See both recipes below. If you are trying to stay primal but know that some guests will be upset by not seeing their favorite mashed potatoes, make both and promise yourself to eat the primal option.
(scale this recipe for the number of people being served)
- 4-6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or coconut milk)
- 1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and cut sweet potatoes, and place in a large soup pot filled with water.
- Bring water to boil, and boil sweet potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes.
- Drain sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl, or kitchen aid mixer.
- With an electric( or hand mixer, the hand being the more ‘primal’ option), mash the sweet potatoes on low to keep from getting lumpy and “glue-like.”
- Continue to mash while adding coconut oil, almond milk, and maple syrup.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
Once again, there might be guests who just insist on having regular stuffing, in which case make both. I found this awesome recipe on Primal Palate and plan on making it for Christmas!
- 1 Grain-Free Sandwich Bread, whole loaf, cubed (Mikey’s Paleo Sandwich Bread)
- 2 head Celery, 2 hearts, chopped
- 1 Vidalia Onion, chopped
- 16 oz white, raw Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 cup Champagne, you can use more or less depending on how much liquid your veggies have produced
- 2 Pastured Eggs, whisked
- Preheat your oven to bake at 350 degrees. Liberally grease a 9×12 inch casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, pulse the celery (one chopped heart at a time) until it’s roughly chopped (some will be fine, and some will be rough, this is okay).
- Pour the celery into a large pot on the stove.
- Pulse the onion in your high-speed blender until it also is roughly chopped (again this will be a mix of finely chopped and roughly chopped onion).
- Pour the onion into the pot with the celery. Add your tablespoon of butter, and saute over medium heat until the onion and celery have softened slightly. Turn the temperature down to low.
- Add the mushrooms to the blender and pulse. It’s best to do the mushrooms in smaller batches because they will have a more consistent size. Once the mushrooms are chopped, add them to the celery and onion, and stir to combine.
- Turn the burner back up to medium heat, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the champagne to the pot and saute for about 1 minute, then turn the burner off.
- Gently stir the cubed bread into the stuffing mixture. The bread will soften from the heat and liquid in the pot, so you want to almost fold it
- Add the whisked eggs to the mixture and stir gently to combine.
- Pour your stuffing into the prepared casserole dish, and bake on the middle rack, uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Veggies should make up the vast majority of your dinner plate. I really overdo the vegetables, but I always feel like the more the merrier. I roast all my veggies and will typically make asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms but anything you like works. I recommend at least three options for guests and make sure at least one is green.
- Set your oven to 350 degrees on convection roast or bake depending on your oven Lightly drizzle your vegetables with olive oil or butter (your choice)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toss every 20 minutes
- Roast until soft or lightly caramelized
Last but not least, dessert. I am typically not a fan of “primal” dessert substitutes or any so-called “healthy” unhealthy food substitutes, but on a holiday, when you know you will want to indulge a little, it is 100% the preferred choice. Here are two awesome primal dessert recipes to serve.
Pecan Pie (my personal fav)
- 2 cups almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unrefined coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1¼ cup pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and adjust rack to lower-middle position.
- Put flour and salt in a food processor. Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Press dough into 9-inch pie dish. Chill in refrigerator while making the filling.
- Heat maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until syrup reaches 225 degrees, mine took almost exactly 10 minutes. While syrup is simmering, place coconut sugar and butter or ghee in a medium mixing bowl. As soon as the syrup reaches 225 degrees, immediately pour it over the sugar and butter. Let the mix sit for 1 minute and then whisk together. Add eggs, vanilla, and sea salt and whisk (the mixture might look a little grainy).
- Pour filling mixture into the prepared pie crust and top with pecans. Cover crust with a pie shield or foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The filling will be slightly less set in the center than the edges, and it might puff up in the middle a little, but will set as it cools.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Serving size = 1/16th of pie – recipe makes 16 servings
266 calories, 17g fat, 2.1g fiber, 5.5g protein
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Feed Santa right!)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 7 tablespoons natural creamy almond butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste for added flavor
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt + more for sprinkling
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the flaxseed meal or egg and water in a small bowl and mix together. Let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
- Using a large mixing bowl, add your flax egg and add the coconut oil, coconut sugar, almond butter and vanilla extract. Mix by hand until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and kosher salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Add the semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips and mix using a rubber spatula. Use a cookie scoop and scoop out tablespoon sized cookie dough balls and place on the baking sheet. Gently press down (just slightly) with your hands. I baked 12 cookies on one baking sheet. The cookies do not spread.
- Bake for about 12 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on kosher salt or sea salt if desired. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy some of these primal recipes this holiday season!
About the Author
Jourdan Brown is a Certified Primal Health Coach and Group Exercise Instructor. She also manages the Front Desk and the Cycling programs at Fitness Incentive.