How to low-carbify Thanksgiving

Posted by Bonnie

Ok. Thanksgiving. It just passed for those in the USA and we celebrated in October in Canada. There is just no hope of a traditional Thanksgiving feast if you’re low carb – especially on the Atkins 20 which is closest to how we eat. Turkey? Check. Stuffing? Nope. Sweet potato? Nope. Regular mashed potato? Nope. Cranberry sauce? Nope? Gravy? Nope. Pumpkin flavored anything? Nope. I could go on.

So – What did we eat on thanksgiving? Well, while it was certainly not the feast above, we had a super delicious dinner of turkey, low carb stuffing, Caesar salad and faux-tatoes. Seriously… Give these recipes a try, even this Christmas! If you eat like this all of 2018 you can afford the real deal next Thanksgiving!

Turkey:

This was the first year I prepared the turkey upside down. Yup, upside down. I got the idea from this recipe.  I wanted to try this because I am really not a fan of turkey breast and was hoping to make it as moist as possible. Since there was no stuffing in the bird, nothing really held moisture like in traditional turkey cooking. The idea here is, place 1/2 lb butter in the turkey cavity and because it is breast side down when the butter melts it soaks into the breast. I’m not going to rehash the recipe here, because I wasn’t a huge fan. I didn’t find that the turkey was THAT much more moist than cooking breast side up, and I missed the crispy golden skin on top (which was really soggy and not at all golden). BUT – It is worth checking out anyway because it has loads of positive reviews, so I’m sure it just comes down to personal preference.

Stuffing:

Oh yeah. This is the stuff. And it has exactly no bread in it. This is far from a new concept to low-carbers, but if you haven’t had breadless stuffing before the initial reaction is probably something like, “so you’re serving an empty bowl?” The basis of the stuffing in cauliflower which is chopped into stuffing sized pieces and the traditional stuffing flavors are built around it. Cauliflower acts like a flavor sponge and the fresh herbs really lend an authentic feel. We made this recipe up after reading a few more complicated ones online and were inspired by stuffing recipes of our delicious carb past.

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • salt / pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped sage
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable, if you would like to keep it meat free)chopped orange carrots celery and red onion on a stone countertop in a kitchen

Directions

  1. In a large pan heat 3 tbs butter over medium heat and add onion carrot and celery. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.  
  2. Add 2 tbs butter and cauliflower, seasoning with your salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about another 8 minutes.chopped carrots celery and red onion in a saute pan on an electric stove
  3. Add parsley, rosemary, and sage. Pour the chicken stock over the pan contents and stir well. Simmer on medium low heat until all of the liquid is absorbed.chopped orange carrots celery red onion cauliflower and mushrooms in a saute pan simmering in chicken stock thyme rosemary and sage on an electric stove
  4. Serve immediately, or place into an oven safe dish and bake uncovered at a low heat to keep warm until serving.stuffing with no meat made from chopped vegetables orange carrots cauliflower mushrooms celery red onion and herbs thyme sage and rosemary in a serving dishon a stone countertop

 

Faux-tatoes may be ‘faux’ but they are super delicious. I make these all the time and have even tricked a few dinner guests into asking what my secret for light and flavorful potatoes is. The secret? No secret. Cauliflower!

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs each chopped basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic and savory
    • Or, use a dried Italian seasoning mix
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • cheese (I used smoked cheddar but have also used shaved parmesan and shredded cheddar cheese)

Directions

  1. Wash and chop your cauliflower into florets
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, reduce heat to medium and add florets. Cook until the thickest parts are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add butter to a sauté pan and bring to medium heat.
  4. Add mushrooms and onion, cooking until tender. mushrooms and red onion cooking in butter
  5. Drain the pot of water and use either an immersion blender or potato masher to blend the cauliflower.
  6. Keep blending until smooth and then add your herbs and cream. Blend.
  7. Stir your onions and mushrooms into the pureed cauliflower.faux mashed potatoes in a red serving dish on a stone countertop
  8. Add the cheese. If you use cheese cut from a brick like I did, it is good to place the mixture in an oven safe dish before layering on your cheese. Then you can place it under the broiler for a couple minutes before serving. If you use a shredded or shaved cheese you could just stir this into the dish and serve immediately.melted cheese on mashed potatoes in a red baking dish on a stone countertop

These dishes are both SUPER delicious as leftovers too – I reheated mine on the stovetop and YUM.

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