Traditional nutritional feasting

by Christina on November 28, 2011

I’m back on night shifts and busy being nocturnal, but thankfully my sister 1) made an incredible vegetarian thanksgiving dinner, and 2) was willing to write it all up for us. As you may know if you’ve read this blog before, my sister Jen knows much more about nutrition than I ever learned in medical school.

We searched our favorite food blogs far and wide to come up with a vegetarian and mostly gluten-free menu, and one that our parents would happily eat. (I’m especially grateful for the leftovers which I now get to munch on for my midnight snacks!)


Traditional Nutritional Thanksgiving Feast

By Jenny Palmer

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. In fact, you need to know nothing else to be vibrantly healthy. That’s it. Eat real, whole food as it comes from the earth.” ~Dr. Mark Hyman

Parent's first thanksgiving in SF and our pre-feast trip up to Twin Peaks to build up our appetites.

One thing I am particularly grateful for is my family’s appreciation for plant-based, healthy food. We’ve had vegetarian Thanksgivings for the past few years, and this year we stepped it up some more with this nutrient-dense, whole foods, but otherwise traditional Thanksgiving feast. Here was our menu:

  • Mom’s taco dip: refried beans, sour cream, salsa, avocado, scallions, tomatoes, cheddar cheese.

(Palmer family essential appetizer for all occasions...)

  • Spinach salad with pomegranates, raw milk gorgonzola, pine nuts, apples & balsamic vinaigrette:
  • Celebration Roast: Quite salty, but otherwise excellent. It’s definitely my favorite turkey substitute, but if I had more time, I’d like to make my own, like this walnut-lentil loaf.

Slightly salty but still good

  • Cranberry sauce: It was very exciting to make cranberry sauce from scratch for the first time! I basically followed the instructions in the link, except I used apples instead of pears, and I used some stevia and agave for sweetener instead of coconut sugar.  I really liked this, especially compared to the stuff that comes out of a can.
  • Gluten-free stuffing: My mom made this using a gluten-free stuffing mix from Whole Foods. She added in fresh thyme and celery, which made it totally awesome.

And of course, dessert:

  • Paleo Walnut Crust Pumpkin Pie: I loved making and sampling the crust, which is basically just walnut butter made from raw walnuts in my Vitamix. There’s also some baking soda and salt. And for a little extra sweetness, I added a couple Medjool dates. Yum!  The filling was pretty good, too. I made it using pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin I had cooked a week or so ago. The only problem was that the crust got burned. Next time, I won’t cook the crust so much before adding the filling.

What new recipes did you try this year?! We’re starting to collect ideas for Christmas…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

elise December 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm

thanks girl! glad you liked it 🙂

also, thats a great quote. your sister sounds awesome. i know youre in agreement with me on this, but i SOOO wish MDs got more education on nutrition. i get really excited when i discover people like you who are trying to change this. keep it up!

ps so jealous of your bay area photos. hoping to get (back) up there eventually too…


Christina December 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Thanks, Elise!! I love your blog – such an inspiration for me to bring healthier food to work 🙂 I hope you move to the bay area too — and can we please work at the same hospital and lobby for better hospital food?!


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