Thanksgiving offers many fine memories but one you don’t want to have is how much weight you gained by eating the wrong foods.

In past years, I’ve celebrated with family and the menu has included serving turkey, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and string beans. All of these are consistent with our Ancestral Diet. Of course we’re going to forgo the bread and butter at the table and stick with the leaner cuts of meat.

So I’m watching out for the mashed potatoes and stuffing because that is where the empty carbs start to pile up. A plateful of either will spike the insulin levels, drive up triglycerides, and turn this potentially healthy meal into a metabolic disaster.

I’m bringing my own super-healthy versions of mashed potatoes and stuffing – complete with all the taste we enjoy but without the carbs. This is a Thanksgiving recipe any caveman would appreciate.

The mashed potatoes are easy to replicate: just steam and puree cauliflower florets for a low-carb, highly nutritious dish with a taste and texture amazingly similar to mashed potatoes.

Stuffing is a little harder to replicate: what do you do with a dish that starts as a loaf of bread? I found a dish similar to traditional stuffing that makes a great accompaniment to turkey and doesn’t contain even an ounce of empty carbohydrates. The recipe below is a baked mix of lean protein, nuts, fruit and vegetables that will pass for stuffing or as a standalone dish after the holidays. If you decide to go with the ground beef option, be sure to purchase grass-fed ground beef, the leanest you can find. Grass-fed beef is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect beneficial for many conditions including heart disease. If you are watching your cholesterol closely, I would go with tofu as a meat substitute, as the soy protein actually works to lower your bad cholesterol.

So enjoy the holiday, and remember that if you make the right food choices you can pack on the food without packing on the pounds.

Caveman Thanksgiving Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

INGREDIENTS

  • Two heads of cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into large florets
  • An entire head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Coconut milk
  • Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Set some water to boil in a steamer pot
  • Add the cauliflower florets, garlic, and pepper to taste
  • Steam for 10-15m or until tender
  • Mash by hand or transfer to food processor and puree to desired consistency, adding coconut milk as needed
  • Plate and serve

Thanksgiving Turkey Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef, tofu (extra firm, drained, and crumbled), chicken or turkey
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Poultry mix (rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram, very finely chopped)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  • In a large pan, sauté your choice of protein and celery in a little olive oil for about 3 minutes
  • Add the diced apple and onion and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the fresh herbs or poultry mix, minced garlic, walnuts and season with pepper. Mix well
  • Put the mixture in a baking dish and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven.