Some Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas (and our 2014 Hybrid Thanksgiving Dinner Menu)

Its less than week before Thanksgiving.

LESS than a week. As in 5 days.

Five. Days.

Months ago, I decided that this Thanksgiving was the Thanksgiving I was going to head; I was going to be the master planner this year.



Not that I don’t have things under control, because I definitely do (Ummmm except I haven’t decided on how to cook the turkey in entirety yet. No. Big. Deal.), but its just a lot to think about and coordinate considering that I am flying to Tampa and have to make several trips to the grocery store (Everyone always has to make several trips to the grocery store to fight over the last can of pumpkin puree, right? Right.), and actually prepare the food. Oh, and I think the last headcount I got was for 11 people.

Now, I know 11 people for a major holiday probably doesn’t sound like a whole lot to most of you guys, but my family is so spread out (California, Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, and counting…) that over the past 10 years, I think we’ve had an average of maybe 4.5 people for most major holidays. And 4.5 people is not difficult to cook for, because that’s essentially the proportions I cook for regularly. (Christopher pretty much eats as much as 4 people [not kidding]. I don’t know why he is so skinny, but dear lord, life is not fair.)

A challenge I’ve already faced when trying to plan for this Thanksgiving was trying to strike a balance of paleo dishes and nonpaleo dishes. Although I’m an avid fan of the paleo lifestyle, and I am more than happy to share with anyone who asks, I definitely don’t push it on anyone, and I definitely do not want to spring a Paleo Thanksgiving on unsuspecting dinner guests. That would just be cruel. Delicious, but cruel. Singing the praises of a paleo lifestyle are never ending, but perhaps a holiday that celebrates gluttony is neither the time nor the place.

On the upside, I've outlined the menu, and created a grocery shopping excel spreadsheet with coordinated tabs by the area of where the product is found in the grocery store. OCD at its finest, folks. 

I’m sharing my menu with you all as a way to illustrate a way to plan a hybrid paleo and nonpaleo meal. I tried to choose paleo recipes that are not only tasty, but beloved by people who are also nonpaleo. I included links to all the recipes, whether they are from South of Vanilla, or not, so if you’re searching for some dishes serve, make sure to check them out. Some of these posts are also scheduled to be posted in the next week, so stay tuned for those. Enjoy!

2014 Hybrid Thanksgiving Menu


  • Sweet n’ Savory Bacon-Wrapped Dates (Paleo)
  • Brie with Pears and Apples (nonpaleo, technically)(annnd…. no recipe for this one. Just have a nice, high quality brie with some sliced apples and pears)
  • Home-baked Rosemary French Bread with Garlic-Chive Butter (nonpaleo)






Cinnamon-Sage Sweet Potatoes

Cinnamon-Sage Sweet Potatoes

Sweet n' Savory Bacon Wrapped Dates

Sweet n' Savory Bacon Wrapped Dates

Cranberry Sauce   

Cranberry Sauce


Kale Salad

Kale Salad