A Thanksgiving Menu

Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October and is probably my new favorite holiday. As a kid I never liked traditional fall foods like pumpkin pie, stuffing, and sweet potatoes but now I can’t get enough! I wanted to share here what my 2010 Thanksgiving meal looked like. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato & apple casserole, green beans, carrots, with gravy and cranberry sauce on the side and pumpkin pie for dessert.


I ordered the free-range turkey (raised on a small farm) through a local meat shop. It was about 18 lbs and thankfully fit into my roasting pan. Every year I keep telling myself I need to buy some string but always forget. We tried to pin the cavity closed but it all fell open while it was cooking. This actually led to a nice browning of the stuffing which was delicious. The only thing I do to prep the turkey is stuff it and pour melted butter over top. I always cook it covered until done then brown it with the lid off for about 30 minutes.


The recipe I used is Beth’s recipe for Oven Baked Stuffing but I left out the water and stuffed the turkey with it instead. As the bread in the stuffing, I made a pan of almond flour brownies and dehydrated them for a couple hours so they would hold together. I would think using an almond flour or coconut flour loaf in any regular stuffing recipe would work. The nut base makes it a great complimentary flavour to the turkey.


For gravy I just took the pan drippings, added some sautéed onions, and blended until mostly smooth. Really, that is all you have to do for delicious gravy! You can add water if you don’t have much liquid left in your roasting pan, but I had at least 2 cups.

Cranberry Sauce

I made this the day before and it turned out nicely jelled. One package of fresh cranberries, 1 tbsp lemon juice and honey to taste. I put the cranberries in a pot with just enough water so they wouldn’t burn. Once they softened up I mashed them with a potato masher. I let it simmer for about 15 minutes then added the lemon juice and honey. Then I just let it simmer until it was thick and very dark. It looked black on the bottom and was stuck to the pot, but it tasted perfect.

Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

This was a last minute decision to make something with sweet potato. While these are not SCD-legal, it is one of the first foods I’ve added back in and have been eating for a few months with no problems. Candied sweet potatoes are a common side dish, but I wanted something simple with no marshmallows. I boiled the sweet potatoes whole, then peeled the skin off and sliced them. I peeled, cored and sliced some apples. In a casserole dish, I put a layer of sweet potato, a layer of apples, sprinkled some cinnamon on top and then repeated with another layer. I spooned honey generously over the dish and dotted with lots of butter. I baked it at 350F for close to an hour, until the apples were soft and the top was nicely browned. This turned out wonderfully. I plan on trying it with butternut squash as an SCD-legal version and I’m sure it will turn out. The sweetness of apples blends really well with root vegetables. I’ll take a good picture of it and post the full recipe once I test it out. Update: here’s the recipe!

Carrots and Green Beans

Nothing special here, I just steamed carrots and green beans then added a ton of butter and some sea salt. Any excuse to have more butter!

Pumpkin Pie

I used Beth’s Pumpkin Pie recipe which I made last year for the first time and loved. I didn’t bother with a crust and just baked this filling in a pie plate on its own. It was delicious. Even the non-SCDers loved it and asked for more. I guess I should be giving thanks to Beth for her wonderful recipes!

Whipped Cream

I am dairy-free right now, but since I was having tons of butter in my other dishes I figured whipped cream would be a nice treat. Heal Balance Live has a great SCD Whipped Cream recipe. Cultured yogurt cream will still whip like regular cream and you just need to add a bit of honey to get the sweetness back.

Turkey Broth

After dinner I put the turkey carcass into a big stockpot on the stove with about 7 liters of water. I let it simmer overnight and in the morning it was a wonderful dark brown rich broth. I got about 6 liters out of the first batch, then added more water to simmer the bones a second time. I expect the second batch to be a bit less rich, so I added some vegetable scraps for some extra flavor and nutrients.

Maybe I’m getting used to cooking a lot, but it seemed easier this year to prepare all this food. That and my family made for wonderful guests who brought other pies, fresh bread and even a Chinese noodle dish. I also made regular mashed potatoes for everyone else, and some mashed sweet potato in case the casserole didn’t turn out. We had tons of food leftover!

Check out Mrs Ed’s Research and Recipes for more SCD Holiday ideas!


I have been following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since January 2008 to recover from Celiac disease. As part of the diet, I don't eat grains, sugar or potatoes and prepare all my meals from scratch.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m looking forward to the holidays this year, in our new home and close to my family. My mom has started following the SCD recently, so I will be making many SCD friendly courses for our Thanksgiving next month. Thank you for the inspiring ideas… SCD can be very delicious if you are flexible and welcome the opportunity to improvise and experiment. 🙂

  2. Your Thanksgiving meal looks fabulous, I am going to try the sweet potato/apple casserole when we are celebrating in the US. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. that cranberry sauce looks amazing, i may make that this year! i made one with lime juice and orange zest last year. also passing on your gravy trick to my mother. she swears every year struggling to thicken the stuff with flour (which i don’t eat) so i’m left with a dry bird haha.

  4. I know a trick that will let you use less sweetener in cranberry sauce! (It also works for berry pie fillings.) While you’re cooking down the cranberries, add a teensy-tiny little bit of baking soda. It will cut down the tartness so you don’t have to add as much sugar! I tried it last year and it works really well!

  5. Your recipe for sweet potatoe and apple casserole sounds divine, i will be trying it tomorrow,thank you for an excellant idea

  6. @Julie Thanks! I have been inspired over the years by others as well. I love seeing what people make for special occasions.

    @Melissa I have never enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as I do now on SCD. I think making everything from scratch, and using basic ingredients and simple recipes makes it more enjoyable.

    @Karen I hope you enjoy it! Everyone here liked it.

    @melissa @ the delicate place You can always have two gravies, one traditional thickened with flour, and one thickened with some onion. You can even add some dark meat pureed to thicken it more, or finely ground almond flour.

    @Jessie Oh thanks! I will have to try that next time.

    @Joan Smye Hope you enjoy it!

  7. Hi Kat,
    Wow, this is a gold mine! I’ve been looking a way to primalize a Thanksgiving dinner for a while now. Alas, I found this too late 😛

    It’s funny but I’ve seen your blog a year ago when I was struggling to find an adequate diet to help me with PCOS, skin problems, indigestion and so much more. I remember it intrigued but I ended up dismissing it because I wasn’t sure an SCD diet was relevant to me.
    Now I’m on Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint diet and I’m pretty much set in my ways (it’s hard to call it a diet at all, without a nervous twitch). I’ve learned so much, it’s even hard to imagine how confused I was the first time I read your blog.

    Anyway, you kinda remind me of myself (down to the struggle of tweaking your diet and the attraction to Asian men :P) so I’ll have to scour through your blog once more.

    And I don’t know if you’re still doing the no-dairy thing, but my acne is incredibly persistent and nothing dairy can touch my lips if I want my skin to look mildly clear. You should really keep at it, and make ghee, because butter is tasty and ghee is almost tastier! :]

  8. @Ally Next year I’ll post a reminder link to this before Canadian Thanksgiving for anyone who is looking for ideas.

    I came to find SCD first but was pretty surprised when I started finding all sorts of diets similar to it. Primal, GAPS, Weston Price, Low Carb, they each have different approaches that tend to attract different types of people. I’m glad I found this, and happy you’ve had some improvements too!

    I’m still no dairy at all for most days. I did make ghee, but I still count that as dairy. My acne didn’t clear up completely but is getting better. I have had a couple of dairy cheats the past few weekends, but plan on being dairy-free now until Christmas time. It’s mostly for hormonal problems I’m hoping it will help.

    Hope we can keep in touch! I’m checking the MDA forums every now and then too.

  9. HELP!!! Beth’s Pumpkin Pie recipe doesn’t have a link on her webpage so there is no access to the recipe. I need a GOOD pumpkin pie recipe. Please help!

  10. @Karen The recipe is available in her e-book. I will be trying my own pumpkin pie recipe this week and will post that up if it turns out well. It will be based on the Pumpkin Pie Pudding recipe I have up.

    @B-L I had about 2-3tbsp of minced onion for 1 cup of stock/drippings. It wasn’t super thick but it tasted great. You could add a bit more onion to make it thicker.

  11. Lovely Spread! I am already looking forward to hosting ThanksGiving Dinner this year in the house we are just about to finally sign the papers on and buy. I will be using some of your recipes too! Thanks so much for posting!

  12. omg. thanks a ton for the gravy idea. it was amazing, and everyone loved it. i’ll never go back to flour!

  13. What an impressive amount of information you have pulled together! This will be a real asset to the Chapter. Cheers for you!

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