If you struggle with a health issue that you know does better when you are eating clean, the holidays can feel discouraging. You might be thinking of all the foods you “can’t” eat and feeling sad that you’re missing out. You might also feel that your “limitations” around what you can’t eat steals the joy of the holiday experience.

What if I told you that there are tons of yummy holiday dishes out there that can meet the requirements of most dietary restrictions? 

In fact, did you know that Thanksgiving dinner can be healthy? 

When I realized I was gluten sensitive, as a family we got busy thinking outside the box on what we could try cooking that was gluten free. It was worth it to me and my family to keep gluten out of our diets because we saw how much of a positive impact being gluten free was on our health.

Here are a few recipes for you to try that are delicious, holiday savvy, and honors your health condition.

Beet, Apple, Cranberry Salad

Modified by Dr. Lexi Lain from Cynthia Lair’s Whole Food’s Cooking Class

  • 1 raw beet, grated
  • 2-3 raw carrots, grated
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt 
  • Spiced Candied Walnuts 

Mix all ingredients into a salad bowl and serve immediately or cold.

GF/DF Green Bean Casserole

Why should we sacrifice one of the best dishes on the table because of food sensitivities? Sure you might have to make it from scratch but who knows, you might discover you like it much better

Making the Cream of Mushroom Soup 3 tbsp Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil

2 yellow onions diced

4-6 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 lbs of fresh cremini mushrooms. Feeling adventurous? Add some shiitake mushrooms. 

4 tsps fresh Thyme chopped

4 tbsp nutmeg

1/2 cup red or white wine of choice

4 cups vegetable broth

Orrington Farms Vegan Beef Broth Seasoning – 2 tbsp

6 -12 tablespoons chickpea flour

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. cup of heavy cream alternative (2/3 cups of milk alternative + 1/3 cup of olive oil)

Fresh parsley and Thyme

Heat oil and the saute’ onions until soft. Then add the mushrooms and saute’ until their juices are released. Then add the garlic, Thyme, and nutmeg. Stir. Add the wine and stir, letting it cook for 3 minutes or so. Sprinkle in the chickpea flour using a sieve and then add the vegetable broth. Mix until flour is evenly dispersed and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce health and allow to simmer. While simmering, add salt, pepper, and Orrington Farms Vegan Beef Broth Seasoning. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally until thickening. Reduce heat and add cream alternative. Mix in fresh parsley and Thyme.

Green Beans

1-2 large bags of Green beans, washed and trimmed

2 tbsp avocado or coconut oil

2 yellow onions

2-3 garlic cloves crushed

Fresh Thyme, salt, and pepper.

Wash and trim green beans. Depending on how many people come to your Thanksgiving, will depend on how many green beans to buy but I usually buy 1-2 large bags of green beans. Steam until bright green but still a little crunchy.

Meanwhile, in a pan, place avocado or coconut oil in a pan and saute’ 2 yellow onions. Add fresh Thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

In a baking pan, add green beans, sauteed onions, and cream of mushroom soup. Stir and bake in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes. You may add gluten free fried onions and bake for another 5 minutes.

Vegan Butternut Squash Pudding

This is for those who never loved pie but are still wanting a nice sweet after dinner dessert. This not only tastes amazing but it’s sneaking in a vegetable, too! ENJOY!

1 large butternut squash. *You can buy butternut squash cubes

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling 

½ cup coconut cream* (see note) 

¼ cup maple syrup 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

¼ teaspoon nutmeg 

¼ teaspoon ginger 

⅛ teaspoon sea salt 

2 to 6 tablespoons almond milk, if necessary, to blend 

  Optional toppings: coconut cream, chocolate shavings, toasted walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the Butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Take a cooking brush and spread the ingredients all along the surface of the butternut squash. It will pool where the seeds were. That’s ok.
  3. If you buy butternut squash cubes, arrange the squash cubes on the baking sheet and toss with just a little bit of olive oil. 
  4. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender. (Note: the squash does not need to be golden brown, just very soft).
  5. Scoop squash out and into a blender or transfer the squash cubes to a blender and add the coconut cream, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding almond milk, if necessary, to reach a blendable consistency. Taste and adjust the sweetness and spices to your liking.
    1. Optional: you may add cocoa powder to make a chocolate pudding
  6. Transfer to ramekins or bowls and chill 4 hours or overnight. Serve with desired toppings.