Thanksgiving has always been on one of my most favorite holidays to celebrate! Not only do I see it as the kick-off of the holiday season, but it’s also one of my most cherished days of the year. My parents have always hosted this holiday, which meant that we prepped for days in anticipation of having our family over to feed them an abundant amount of food and share in each other’s company.
Prep for this day meant going to multiple grocery stores, having the dining room set far earlier than it needed to be, and multiple days of chopping, roasting and baking. My mom really does have it down to a science so that the day runs as smoothly as possible.
Hosting about 25-32 people for dinner and even more for dessert means that Thanksgiving at our house truly is an undertaking, but we love it. The house smells delicious, the Thanksgiving Day parade is on, and we are all bustling to lend a hand before our guests arrive.
As a traditional Italian family, we start our meal with a variety of antipasto including dried meats, cheeses and olives. We then move on to the pasta course, which in recent years has been baked ziti. Once we clear those dishes, we finally get to feast on the staple items that make up most Thanksgiving meals. We have the turkey, gravy, sweet potato pie, brussels sprouts, stuffed mushrooms, corn casserole, my Nonna’s famous stuffing… and the list goes on. Honestly, the best part about hosting Thanksgiving is enjoying the leftovers; which is why we don’t mind cooking in bulk!
For the past few years I have tried to recreate those oh-so-comforting Thanksgiving flavors for my own plate. This way I can indulge in a way that my body won’t take days to digest while battling a headache. Some of the things on my family’s table are naturally gluten free, so I have made recipes for the foods that I know I will be craving but should steer clear of. Because my digestive issues are more along the lines of food intolerances and not food allergies, I’ve found prepping beforehand helps me to push away the temptation of noncompliant dishes. I usually make enough for myself to last a few days so I can join in on the leftover dinners we have following Thanksgiving. This year, I plan on making a larger portion than usual because more and more of my family is seeing the benefits of Paleo and I know they will want a serving for themselves. The more the merrier!
Take a look at what’s sure to be on my table this year: