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Holidays, Celebrations and Days Ending in “Y”


When we truly live the Wheat Belly lifestyle we make our health a priority EVERYDAY – no matter what the holiday, which celebration we are attending or what excuse we make to go off plan… my favorite is “it’s a day ending in Y”. There will always be excuses if you continue to allow them to get in the way of your health success.  So first and foremost – NO MORE EXCUSES!

Another key to success is planning ahead.  Make a plan for what food you will have, bring with you, etc.  There is a compliant swap out for most recipes!  Do the work before the event to ensure that you have foods available that will keep your progress moving forward.  Remember everyone can eat the foods that we eat, what we call the Wheat Belly One Way Street, but we can’t eat the SAD (Standard American Diet) foods without ill affects.  Share our foods with EVERYONE!

You have power and control over one person and one person only – that is YOU!  You make a choice with each bite, each meal and each day.  What are you choosing: health or further hurt?  Your health and well being are worth making the healthy choice!  Start you planning now with these compliant holiday ideas:

Cauliflower Mushroom Dressing (Stuffing)

This dressing is heavier than the usual bread-based dressing or stuffing. Because it contains meat, it should not be stuffed into the turkey to cook, as this will not ensure a sufficiently high temperature. While this works best as a two-step process–-stove top to oven–-if time-pressed, you could just cook on the stove top a bit longer. 8 servings

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 pound pork sausage, preferably loose ground
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
8 ounces Portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 head cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 green pepper, chopped
4 ounce can/jar roasted red peppers
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground tarragon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring approximately 12 ounces water to a boil in sauce pan. Toss in porcini mushrooms and turn heat down to maintain below boiling. Stir every couple of minutes for 20 minutes.

In deep sauce pan, saute sausage (if encased, remove from casing) in 1 tablespoon olive oil, along with celery and onions, until sausage cooked. Drain excess oil. Place sauce pan back on low heat. Break cauliflower into small florets and add to sausage mix. Toss in drained porcini mushrooms along with approximately 4 ounces of the porcini broth (save remainder of broth to make gravy; below), remainder of olive oil, green pepper, roasted red pepper, Portabella mushrooms, flaxseed. Add onion powder, sage, thyme, tarragon, salt and black pepper and stir.  Transfer to baking dish and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes.

All-Purpose Baking Mix 

4 cups almond meal/flour
1 cup ground golden flaxseed
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground psyllium seed (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal/flour, flaxseed, coconut flour, baking soda, and psyllium seed (if desired). Store in an airtight container, preferably in the refrigerator.  Makes 5 cups

Dressing/Stuffing (from Wheat Free Market Recipes)


1 cup All Purpose Baking Mix (see recipe above)
1-1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8X8 inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl blend baking mix, sage, thyme and salt. Then add egg, butter and milk. Stir well then transfer to prepared pan, being sure to spread batter out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes then remove bread from oven and cut into 1 inch cubes.

Place bread cubes back in the oven for 10-15 minutes and then turn off oven and allow bread to harden overnight.  If not drying out bread overnight, lower heat to 325 degrees and bake bread cubes for 20-30 minutes or until bread has dried out.  Serves 6

Dressing Prep:

2 tablespoons bacon fat or salted butter
½ bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
¼ plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked meat (turkey, chicken or sausage)
1 cup chicken stock
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9X5 loaf pan and set aside.

To a medium skillet add fat, chopped vegetables and salt. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and stir in cooked meat and dried bread cubes.

Add stock and poultry seasoning. Stir well allowing the bread cubes to soak up the stock. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Stir in egg.

Pour dressing into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top has hardened or the desired consistency of dressing has been achieved.

Turkey Gravy

If you follow the recipe for Cauliflower Mushroom Dressing (above), you should have around 8 ounces of porcini mushroom broth left over. This adds a wonderful mushroomy-meaty flavor to the gravy, a deeper character not usually found in standard gravies. Thickness is obtained without wheat, cornstarch, or other carbohydrate-rich thickener by use of coconut milk.

Because the quantity of drippings obtained will vary widely, depending on the size of your turkey, ingredient quantities are not specified. Rely on taste as you prepare your gravy to gauge ingredient quantity.

Turkey drippings
Coconut milk
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Sea salt

Heat drippings in the roasting pan or poured into a sauce pan on stove at low-heat. Pour in coconut milk slowly, stirring, until desired color is achieved. Gravy should be opaque, rather than translucent.  Add onion powder, garlic powder, and sea salt to taste.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound loose sausage meat
2½ cups beef broth
½ can (13.6 ounces) coconut milk or cream
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
Dash ground black pepper

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté sausage, breaking up as it browns. Cook until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink.

Turn heat up to medium to high and pour in beef broth. Heat just short of boiling, then turn down to low heat. Pour in coconut milk and stir in well. Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

Better than Mashed Potatoes (from the Wheat Belly Cookbook)

While potatoes, of course, contain none of the Evil Grain, they have problems all their own, including the potential for causing extreme blood sugar rises. Many potatoes sold today are also genetically modified, introducing a whole new level of uncertainty.  So here is how to recreate the taste and feel of mashed potatoes that are every bit as god as–no, better than!–the dish made with potatoes, but with none of the worries.

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place a steamer basket in a large pot with 2-inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Place the cauliflower in the basket and steam for 20 minutes, or until very soft.

Remove from the heat and drain. In a blender or food processor, combine the cauliflower, cream cheese, butter, and salt. Blend or process until smooth.


1 cup shredded cheddar (or other) cheese
2 cups almond meal/flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
4 ounces butter, melted (or other oil, e.g., extra-light olive, coconut, walnut)

Preheat oven to 325° F.  In food chopper or processor, pulse shredded cheese to finer, granular consistency.  Pour cheese into large bowl, then add almond meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs and butter or oil and mix thoroughly to yield thick dough.  Spoon out dough into 10 or so ¾-inch thick mounds onto a parchment paper-lined baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and toothpick withdraws dry.

Cheddar “Corn” Bread (from Wheat Free Market Recipes)

1 cup  All-Purpose Baking Mix (see recipe above)
2 large eggs
¼ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon compliant sweetener (optional)
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (approximately 1 cup)
½ tablespoon butter for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Also place 8 inch cast iron skillet in oven to preheat. Allow skillet to preheat 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl add baking mix, eggs, sour cream, sweetener (optional), butter and cheese. Blend until all ingredients have been incorporated

Carefully remove pan from oven and add the reserved butter to the pan. Pour batter into the hot skillet. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the top of the bread begins to brown.

Note: An 8 inch cake pan can also be used. Do not preheat the cake pan but allow a few more minutes for cooking time.

Muffins: Lube the wells of a muffin tin with butter or use muffin liners. Using a ¼ cup scoop, divide batter into muffin tins. Bake until muffin tops begin to brown, approximately 18-22 minutes.  Serves 8

Acorn Squash Au-Gratin (from Wheat Free Market Recipes)

2 cups sliced acorn squash
1 onion, sliced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup milk or almond or coconut milk
1 tablespoon butter (omit butter and double coconut oil if dairy-free)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons All Purpose Baking Mix (see recipe above)
½ cup cheddar cheese (omit if dairy-free)
5 slices bacon, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange squash in baking dish and layer onions over squash. Salt and pepper to taste.  In a small stovetop pot gently heat milk, butter, coconut oil and baking mix. Add cheese to pot and heat until melted.  Pour heated milk mixture over squash and onions. Top with bacon. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes to brown the top to desired level of browning.  Serves: 6

Cranberry Sauce

Here’s a zesty version of traditional cranberry sauce, minus the sugar. The orange, cinnamon, and other spices, along with the crunch of walnuts, make this one of my favorite holiday side dishes.

There are 31.5 grams total “net” carbohydrates in the entire recipe, or 5.25 grams per serving. To further reduce carbs, you can leave out the orange juice and use more zest.

1 cup water
12 ounces fresh whole cranberries
1/4 cup Virtue Sweetener (or other natural sweetener equivalent to 1 cup sugar)
1 tablespoon orange zest + juice of half an orange
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

In small to medium saucepan, bring water to boil. Turn heat down and add cranberries. Cover and cook at low-heat for 10 minutes or until all cranberries have popped. Stir in sweetener. Remove from heat.

Stir in orange zest and juice, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Transfer mixture to bowl, cool, and serve.  Makes 6 servings

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Apple, cranberry, and cinnamon: the perfect combination of tastes and scents for winter holidays!

I took a bit of carbohydrate liberties with this recipe. The entire recipe yields a delicious cheesecake-like crumble with 59 “net” grams carbohydrates (total carbs – fiber); divided among 10 slices, that’s 5.9 grams net carbs per serving. (To reduce carbohydrates, the molasses in the crumble is optional, reducing total carbohydrate by 11 grams.)

Always taste your batter to test sweetness, since sweeteners vary in sweetness from brand to brand and your individual sensitivity to sweetness depends on how long you’ve been wheat-free. (The longer you’ve been wheat-free, the less sweetness you desire.)

Crust and crumble topping
3 cups almond meal
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1/4 cup Virtue Sweetener (or other sweetener equivalent to 1 cup sugar)
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon molasses
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Dash sea salt

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Virtue Sweetener (or other sweetener equivalent to ½ cup sugar)
1 Granny Smith apple (or other variety)
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350° F.  In large bowl, combine almond meal, butter, sweetener, cinnamon, molasses, vanilla, salt and mix.

Grease a 9½-inch tart or pie pan. Using approximately 1 cup of the almond meal mixture, form a thin bottom crust with your hands or spoon. (Dip hands or spoon in water to smooth more easily.)

In another medium-sized bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, and sweetener and mix with spoon or mixer at low-speed. Pour into tart or pie pan.

Core apple and slice into very thin sections. Arrange in circles around the edge of the cream cheese mixture, working inwards. Distribute cranberries over top, then sprinkle cinnamon over entire mixture.

Gently layer remaining almond meal crumble evenly over top. Bake for 30 minutes or until topping lightly browned.  Makes 10 servings

Berry Pastry:

  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Place the mozzarella and cream cheese in a medium size microwaveable bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute, stir and then cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the almond flour and beaten egg.
  4. Let the dough cool slightly, then knead until smooth. Add a little extra almond flour if the dough is too sticky, then knead again.
  5. Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper.  Roll thin and cut into circle shapes (I used an upside down bowl). Fill with cream cheese and berries, can add compliant sweeteners if you wish, fold in half and press edges closed. Bake on parchment paper at 425 for 12 minutes.  Drizzle with melted cream cheese, heavy whipping cream and compliant sweetener.




Don’t forget to check out the many recipes in the Wheat Belly books and in the:

Wheat Belly 30 Minute or Less Cookbook

These Wheat Belly food swaps will allow you to have a safe and healthy holiday without weight gain, without the agony of wheat/grain re-exposure, and without rises in blood sugar. 

Happy HEALTHY Holidays, everyone!



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