Thanksgiving it a time to celebrate all that we are thankful for: family, friends, good health and good old fashion paleo food! Last weekend I celebrated my first Thanksgiving of the year with my amazing college family…. potluck style. I roasted my first turkey ever and managed to stay away from burning it… it’s a MIRACLE!!! I am the only one of my friends who lives, eats, and breathes paleo, so when I sent out the invite for a Thanksgiving potluck party I wasn’t expecting it to be all paleo. With the amazing group of friends I have made at school they all respected my way of life and all cooked paleo dishes. With the exception of mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls
I was in charge of the turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. All my recipes came from Sarah’s Thanksgiving blog last year, with a few of my own twists thrown in here and there.
My posts are all about getting the best deal for your paleo meal, so even though these recipes are not my own, I can tell you how much it costs to cook a Thanksgiving meal for 15 hungry college students while not breaking the bank!
12 lb turkey
Day before brine your turkey in:
2 cup water
2 cups kosher salt,
2 cups good whisky (optional)
¾ cup organic raw honey
Mix all the ingredients together. Make sure your turkey it defrosted and that you remove the giblets and rinse your bird. Put the turkey in a large pot and pour your brine over your turkey. Put a lid on it and keep refrigerated for at least 24 hours. Making sure to take your bird out of the refrigerator at least an hour before the cooking process so it is at room temperature when you cook it the next day.
Prep your turkey:
4 tbls grass fed butter at room temp
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and Thyme (I personally used dried thyme because I couldn’t find fresh thyme)
Juice from 1 orange
Mix all the ingredients together.
Preheat oven to 400. Wash and dry the turkey with paper towels. Place the turkey in your roaster breast side up. Pull back the skin from the breast and in between the skin and the meat, place the butter, rosemary, thyme and orange juice mixture. Save some of the butter mixture to rub on the top of the bird too. Sprinkle the entire bird with sea salt and pepper. Cover and roast for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 and cook for an additional 20 minutes per pound, uncovering the bird for the last 30 minutes to brown the turkey. Remove and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. Make sure you use a meat thermometer to ensure that your turkey is done!
Total cost: $16
Cost per-person: $1.07
BBQ Bacon Wrapped Persimmons- made by Matthew Schupp
4 fuyu persimmons
8 pieces on bacon
5 skewers sticks
Cut persimmons into 8ths; cut pieces of bacon in half, wrap around persimmon slices and skewer (fit as many as you can on one stick). Put foil down on the BBQ so the bacon grease doesn’t catch on fire (learned that the hard way). Once the bacon is fully cooked take off the BBQ let them cool a little and remove from the sticks and put on your serving platter.
Total cost: $7
Cost per person: $ 0.48
Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1 bag of small yams from Trader Joe’s (about 4 large yams from the grocery store if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s where you live)
2 tbls grassfed butter
1 tbls raw organic honey
1 tbls cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 350 line a cookie sheet with foil. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into cubes. Toss in melted grassfed butter honey and cinnamon. Spread them out evenly on the lined cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
Total cost: $5
Cost per person: $0.33
Green Beans – made by Alessandra Cappello
1 bag of French green beans (from Trader Joes, if buying then in bulk, about 1-2 pounds)
3 cloves of chopped garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
Salt and pepper to taste
Break the ends of the green beans off and rinse them. Once cleaned put them in a large pot fill with water until the green beans are covered, add a pinch of salt for flavor. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes, until al dente (firm, yet tender). Drain the water and toss the green beans in garlic, evoo, salt and pepper.
Total cost: $2
Cost per person: $0.13
Mix Green Salad- made by Nicole Fillinger
1 bag of mixed greens
½ cup sliced almonds
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Oil and balsamic dressing (as much as you see fit, salt and pepper to taste)
Rinse green, tomatoes and apple. Core and cut up apple. In a large bowl put the greens, tomatoes almonds, apples and toss in dressing.
Total cost: $7.39
Cost per person: $0.49
Cranberry Sauce-Sarah’s Everyday Paleo Recipe with a few twists, made by Evan Garfeild
1 lb Cranberries (about 4 cups)
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
½ tbls cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger
2 tbls organic raw honey (if you like your sauce tangy and a little sour leave out, it is just as delicious!)
In a large soup pot add the cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon, and ginger and bring to a slow boil. Once all the cranberries have popped add in honey and simmer, stirring often until the sauce becomes thick, about 10-15 minutes. Pour your sauce into serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. (you can either serve warm or cold)
Total cost: $ 6.50
Cost per person: $ 0.43
Everyday Paleo Pumpkin Pie
1 sugar pumpkin
1tbls pumpkin pie spice
½ cup hazelnuts
1 cup pecans
4 tablespoons melted organic grass fed butter
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350. Place the nuts in a food processor and process until the nuts are flour like or almond meal like consistency. Pour into a small mixing bowl, add the butter and salt and mix into a thick dough. Using your hands, spread evenly into a pie pan and back for 10 minutes.
Note: buy your nuts in bulk it is cheaper this way!!!
1 – 14oz can of organic pumpkin puree (nothing added, just pumpkin) à [I made my own pumpkin puree by roasting 1 sugar pumpkin and adding in 1 tbls of pumpkin pie spice.. I will include the instruction below if you want to do it this way]
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
½ cup raw organic honey
½ cup coconut milk
While the crust is in the oven, whisk all of the pie filling ingredients together. Pour into the curst that has been baked for 10 minutes, return to the oven and bake for and additional 45 minutes
Roasted Sugar Pumpkin: preheat oven to 350. Cut your sugar pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Place the pumpkins in a glass baking dish cut side down and add about a cup of water bake for 45-60 minutes. Scoop out the inside of the pumpkin into a food processor and blend until smooth (add a tablespoon of warm water if it doesn’t smooth out) once pureed add in pumpkin pie spice mix well.
Total cost: $11
Cost per person: $0.73
The grand total for the whole thanksgiving meal is: $54.89
That’s a whopping $3.66 per person!!! Now that is a price we can all be thankful for this thanksgiving year This price includes only the major item’s bought for the dinner, this doesn’t include items that I keep on hand at all times, such as grass fed butter, oil, spices and eggs.
I want to end my post with a BIG thank you to all my friends for sharing all their wonderful recipes. The paleo potluck thanksgiving party was a blast and wouldn’t have been possible without all of you I am thankful for having such amazing friends that I am proud to call family
Happy Holidays Everyone!!