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Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

I've put together an amazing feast of flavours for you this Thanksgiving, from appetizers, to mains and delectable desserts.
Oct 4, 2018 | Joy McCarthy

Every Thanksgiving is special for the McJordan's because we get to see most of our family. On Saturday, we always have the McCarthy dinner that my mom hosts in Cambridge and then we visit my in-laws in Aurora for a big feast on Sunday evening! Both feasts are epic and because my extended family loves nourishing and delicious food too, there's something for everyone. Then on Monday, which is a stat holiday in Canada, we rest because there's no work or school. 

This has been pretty much the same routine since our first Thanksgiving together in 2011 (per the photo).

The recipe I'm bringing to my mom's is a recipe from my third cookbook, which I can't share just yet but in the meantime, I have put together an amazing feast of flavours for you in this post, from appetizers, to a main course and delectable desserts, like my brand new dessert, Pumpkin Spice Cake! 

Pumpkin Spice Cake

All my recipes are gluten-free and refined sugar-free with a few that are also grain-free and dairy-free ) so there is truly something for everyone. I know it can be tough when you're the one hosting Thanksgiving for a large number of people with allergies, food sensitivities, likes and dislikes, so I've put together a pretty diverse set of recipes. The only recipe I don't have on the blog yet is turkey. I definitely eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but I haven't personally made one in years. In the meantime, I hope the recipe inspiration below inspires your meal this weekend.


Almond Rosemary Flatbread with Sweet Potato Hummus

I love to make use of produce when it's in season because that means it's usually more delicious, nutrient-dense and cheaper since it can be locally sourced! Sweet potato is one of those foods that is in season right now in October and did you know, it makes the most delicious hummus? ! Combined with the Almond Rosemary Flatbread, this appy has Thanksgiving written all over it. It's warming, grounding, comforting and delicious! Get the recipe.

This recipe is: gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.

Beet cashew dip

beet dip

Beets are another vegetable that's in season this time of year, one of my favourite root veggies. Lucky for us, there are a lot of veggies in season including broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and brussel sprouts. You will love the creaminess the cashews bring to this recipe. You can serve it up with your favourite gluten-free crackers, cucumber slices or any other kind of veggie sticks. This recipe is super key over Thanksgiving weekend because that's when people tend to indulge more in the food and drinks department and since beets are super liver-loving, plus packed with fiber your digestion will thank you and you'll be able to process and eliminate toxins more efficiently! Get the recipe.

This recipe is: gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.

Mains & Sides

Sticky Carrots

I can still remember the first time I made these, I kept saying to Walker, "These are the best carrots I've ever had in my life" (haha!). But seriously, they are the BEST EVER! I cooked them in ghee which is the pure butter fat (aka clarified butter), meaning it doesn't contain the dairy protein that makes butter hard to digest. It's SO delicious and is packed with a whole whack of nutrients.


I'm sure you already know how nourishing carrots are for your eyes since they're loaded with phytonutrients but they are also great for bone health! But aside from all of that goodness, they are just so incredibly flavourful with the fresh thyme and garlic; they truly are the greatest addition to your Thanksgiving feast! Get the recipe. 

This recipe is: gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free (I would say it's dairy-free friendly even though it contains ghee!)

Pretty In Pink Quinoa Bowl

The problem with typical Thanksgiving food like white mashed potatoes and stuffing is that it's super easy to load up on them, but they aren't very nutrient-rich. Instead, they just leave you feeling full and probably quite tired too. That's why I love swapping in a colourful quinoa salad like this Pretty In Pink Quinoa salad instead! You can throw a ton of nourishing veggies into it, including beets, carrots and mung bean sprouts. It's a great way to spruce up the typical beige-looking Thanksgiving plate. 

That reminds me of one of Vienna's favourite books "No More Beige Food" because the book explores cuisines from around the world to encourage little eaters to expand their horizon beyond bland beige food. I hope that Vienna's love for this book will stay with her for life and she will continue to enjoy lots of colourful foods :). Get the recipe.

This recipe is: gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

If there ever was a dish to sum up Thanksgiving, this is it! Squash is in abundance at the farmer's market right now so it's a great time to make some delicious recipes with it! This Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash is jam packed with so much flavour and nutrients. It's an easy way to incorporate a ton of vegetables because it compliments the dish so beautifully. Both quinoa and acorn squash are rich in fiber too so it will help to fill you up and prevent you from overeating (which can be easy to do over Thanksgiving when there is no shortage of food!). Get the recipe.

This recipe is: gluten-free and refined sugar-free.

Rustic Kale & Sundried Tomato Savoury Galette

It's always a good time to have a galette! I'm not kidding. I think I could find any excuse to make a galette. Breakfast? Galette! Dessert? Galette! Thanksgiving dinner? Galette! What I love about galettes is that it's such a simple recipe that can be transformed to adopt any flavour. My Rustic Kale & Sundried Tomato Galette is perfect for Thanksgiving because it's warming, savoury and grounding. I definitely wouldn't be upset about enjoying galette leftovers for breakfast after Thanksgiving dinner LOL. Can you tell I'm obsessed? Get the recipe. 

This recipe is: gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.

Delectable Desserts

Mini Apple Tarts

If you still have apples leftover from apple picking this year, this is the perfect recipe to make! I love eating food exactly when it's in season because it's the most nutritious. Apples are rich in quercetin which helps to boost the immune system, ward off sickness and lower inflammation. With all of the flu bugs floating around this time of year, it's necessary to eat plenty of immune boosting superfoods


If you plan on making the galette I shared above, making these Mini Apple Tarts will be super easy because the crust recipe is based on the galette crust, with a slight touch of natural sweetness. It's so versatile and I love that the crust is gluten-free and grain-free so it can be enjoyed by many people, despite their dietary needs or preferences. And if you're not into desserts, then make this{{reflink type=blog id=22057 title=Cinnamon Almond Butter }}as a dipping for apples!{{reflink type=blog id=27255 title= Get the recipe. }}

This recipe is: gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.

Strawberry Basil Galette

I mean, are you surprised? LOL. Sweet galettes are just as delicious as savoury galettes! This Strawberry Basil Galette tasted exactly like strawberry pie except without all of the refined sugar that's often found in strawberry pie. This recipe isn't on the blog, but I've shared it on Instagram if you wanted to make it.

The best part about galettes is that you can have fun with them! Once you've made your crust, you can really top it with whatever you wish. I recommend doing so, based on the season, like I did with this Peach Galette when peaches were in season! Get the recipe.

This recipe is: gluten-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Do I have any pumpkin spice lovers out there? If that sounds like you, you will LOVE this Pumpkin Spice Cake! This is a new recipe on my blog and I just know you will adore it. It's the perfect dessert to cap off your Thanksgiving dinner because it's nice and fluffy and not heavy at all. You'll want to make sure you leave room for this because on its own, its a great source of healthy fats and protein and can be filling. You can either top it with coconut whipped cream or with coconut milk ice cream, like I did!

This recipe is: gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.

Want more detox-friendly dessert recipes? Download my free guide!

I hope this roundup has inspired you to make your Thanksgiving feast more joyous so you can still enjoy delicious food and come out of the weekend feeling your best!

Happy Thanksgiving, my joyous friends! I am so grateful that you are part of this community and I hope you have the most wonderful, relaxing weekend!

The McJordans xo

What are some of your favourite foods to enjoy over Thanksgiving?

Oct 4, 2018 BY Joy McCarthy
Nicole   •   October 8, 2018

Hi Joy! Thank you so much for your recipes. You and Walker seem like such a lovely couple - may I ask how / where you two met? Happy Thanksgiving!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 9, 2018

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