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My family has always been very traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving. Traditional in the American sense—we have a roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, green beans and whatnot. We also have our own traditions. Meaning, we have the same items at the table every year. We always have my great grandmother’s scalloped potatoes and we have plenty of appetizers. No matter the creative ideas for appetizers or side dishes we might have, you can bet your bottom dollar that the same ones will adorn our table year after year.

The holidays are comforting, as is family and the routine dishes we enjoy. However, generations grow older and changes happen. It’s inevitable—a new dish will someday find a place next to the turkey. There are two of us in the family that are now gluten-free. My cousin and I adopted the diet after becoming aware of our thyroid issues many years ago. I remember we both had a holiday or two in the beginning where we accidentally ate a dish that we didn’t know wasn’t gluten-free. It’s been an uphill battle ever since.

For me, the hardest holiday food to part with has been stuffing. I’m the girl that reheats leftover stuffing the day after Thanksgiving instead of making a turkey sandwich. It has always been my favorite. Enter, gluten-free cornbread stuffing. My grandmother usually makes a traditional stuffing with stale white bright. I could have gone the gluten-free white bread route, but it wasn’t the same, so I had to go the other direction. I made this recipe a few days ago (for the sake of the picture) and I’ve been eating it for lunch ever since. I’ll make it again for Thanksgiving and I’ll have no problem eating those leftovers, too.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
Photo by Rachel Bratene

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing Recipe


• 1 pan prepared gluten-free cornbread (I used a mix. You can substitute regular cornbread here. Prepare the day before.)
• 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 12-ounce pork breakfast sausage (I used a gluten-free sausage.)
• 1 yellow onion, diced small
• 2 celery sticks, diced small
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, removed from the stem and chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 eggs, slightly beaten
• 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
• 1 cup fresh cranberries
• Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Dice day-old cornbread into medium-sized cubes and lay out on a baking sheet.

3. Sprinkle walnuts around cornbread and bake for 20 minutes, or until cornbread starts to brown.

4. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.

5. In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil together. Add sausage and, when it begins to brown, add onion and celery.

6. Cook just until onion becomes tender, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool completely.

7. In a large bowl, mix cooled cornbread mixture and cooled sausage mixture with remaining ingredients. Generously season with salt and pepper.

8. Spoon cornbread mixture into a glass baking dish (I used a 9-by-9) and cover with foil.

9. Bake for 35 minutes.

10. Remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes.

Malorie Davis

Malorie Davis is a classically trained chef, holistic nutrition counselor, wife, and mother. She created the True American Diet and has a passion for natural homemaking. Malorie offers up recipes and nutrition tips on her new blog Malorie Davis Nutrition, as well as online nutrition counseling services.


Me like eat healthy food!

A paleo diet is far from just a meal plan—when taken seriously, it’s a way of life. Though you don’t have to let your grammar devolve, there is evidence that adopting a more primal lifestyle could be a healthy option for you.

When starting out (or continuing) with a lifestyle changing diet, it can be difficult to find the support and inspiration you need. Whether you’re just starting to think about what being paleo means, or are a seasoned cave person on the hunt for fresh and tasty recipes, the following blogs are 10 of the best paleo blogs out there (though there are way more than just 10!).

 Paleo Leap

1.  Paleo Leap

This blog has resources for people at all stages of paleo, with fun recipes, news articles, lifestyle and life tips ranging from fitness ideas to money saving tips to how to stay on track when you eat out at a restaurant


Civilized Caveman Cooking

2. Civilized Caveman Cooking

This blog was written by the NYT best-selling co-author of The Paleo Kitchen, a retired marine who spent years struggling with eating disorders and fitness obsessions, who found happiness and food peace with the paleo diet. His blog has hundreds of delicious recipes organized by meal, and a whole section for the crock-pot.


Rubies and Radishes

3. Radishes and Rubies

Written by the Californian author of The Paleo Slow Cooker, this blog offers tons of tasty recipes and lovely photography—just browsing through will make you hungry! This is a good website for beginners at the lifestyle, with straight-forward and understandable guidelines and tips to eating a little healthier every day.


 Chris Kresser

4. Chris Kresser

This blog is written by a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, paleo nutrition, and integrative medicine, and the author of Your Personal Paleo Code. This blog will give you the science and nutrition backing to start taking paleo seriously. This is a great resource for finding educated solutions to many health problems, including thyroid disorders, heartburn, and gut health.


 Cave Girl in the City

5. Cave Girl in the City

Kenzie gives us a fun and fresh look at a paleo life, balancing food, fitness and fashion. Her blog has tons of yummy recipes, as well as useful Paleo pointers and tricks, kitchen hacks, themed paleo menus, and some personal style tips.


 Mark's Daily Apple

6. Mark’s Daily Apple

Mark Sisson (with the help of Grok the caveman) have outlined a Primal Blueprint, meant to change the “diet” mindset to a lifestyle mindset. His blog focuses less on recipes and meal plans, and more on living, exercising, sleeping well and trying to LGN (look good naked).



7. PaleOMG

This oft-cited blog is written by Juli, a CrossFit coach based in Denver who loves good food and tough exercises. She co-wrote the Paleo Kitchen with George Bryant from Civilized Caveman Cooking, and also wrote OMG. That’s Paleo?. Her recipes are fun and delicious, and each has a story with a little… personal flair.


The Domestic Man

8. The Domestic Man

This blog was written by Russ Crandall, author of The Ancestral Table, who has been struggling with a rare autoimmune disease since he had a stroke when he was 24, and underwent a serious heart operation at 26. Paleo diet is not a cure for Russ, but has helped him recover his health enough to live a normal life and get off some of his medications. His recipes look delicious and often have some international inspiration.


 The Spunky Coconut

9. The Spunky Coconut

This mother of 2 has quite a sweet-tooth, and has found delicious and less-bad-for-you recipes, written in her cookbooks, Dairy-Free Ice Cream and The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook. If you want to introduce paleo ideas into your diet, but arent’ quite ready to give up baked treats and desserts, this is the place to go. She also has a ton of delicious main meals, soups, stews, and veggies.


Nom Nom Paleo

10. Nom Nom Paleo

This blog is adorable. Follow along with a cartoon Michelle Tam as she shows you what to buy, how to plan a meal, and how to prepare awesome paleo meals. Michelle is also a NYT best-selling author of NomNom Paleo: Food for Humans. Every paleo person should check out a few of her “nomtastic” recipes.


 The Paleo Mom

11. Paleo Mom

In case you’re starting to sense a trend, I like bloggers who have written cookbooks—they seem pretty legit to me. Here’s another NYT best-selling author of the series The Paleo Approach. Sarah’s approach to paleo is one of holistic healing—food can reverse the effects of autoimmune diseases (like cancer). Her blog has recipes galore, as well as a guide to living paleo, and insight into autoimmune problems you may not even know you have. Bonus, she also has a whole section of paleo foods for kids.


 Primal Palate

12. Primal Palate

this website not only has wonderful recipes, but it is a community hub for paleo people. You can upload your own recipes, read about the latest foodie news, and find a hundred books on the paleo diet. They also have an e-newsletter that will deliver new recipes to your inbox every week.


Cupcakes to Crossfit

13. Cupcakes to Crossfit

This husband/wife duo embarked on a paleo diet together, trying to find a middle ground between eating cupcakes all day and doing crossfit. This blog offers delicious recipes, vibrant photography, and fun infographics.


Everyday Paleo

14. Everyday Paleo

This is a classic, as far as paleo books and blogs go. Sarah Fragoso wrote best selling Everyday Paleo, with an intro by Robb Wolf, the father of paleo diet. On her site, you’ll find a ton of great recipes that are simple and tasty enough to prepare and eat every day, as well as her podcast and video workshops.


Bravo for Paleo

15. Bravo for Paleo

Studying pre-med, cooking and writing on the side, Monica is a fresh new face on the paleo scene. She offers delicious recipes for all types and time constraints, as well as foods for special occasions.


Other good resources to check out:

Paleo Magazine 

Paleo Magazine – helpful Paleo 101 resources, Paleo Radio, Paleo TV, general paleo community hub


Ultimate Paleo Guide 

Ultimate Paleo Guide – more paleo blogs, food lists, recipes, meal plans, and more


Institute for the Psychology of Eating 

Institute for the Psychology of Eating – A List of 50 More Paleo Blogs


I love Chai. The sweet, the spice, the warm milk (in a chai latte)…it’s all the happy feelings of fall in a perfect little bundle of warm drink. Unfortunately, most cups of chai that you buy at a coffee shop, or pre-made packages of chai latte mix you could buy at the grocery store, are loaded with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and just a bunch of things you don’t need in your cup of tea.

Here's an alternative: Let’s make our own chai!

Chai (Starbucks image) 

Making Your Own Chai

A bit of background: Masala chai is a combination of many spices, black tea, milk and (if you so desire) sweetener. Though these spices and flavors vary across the globe, “masala” means “mixed spice” in Hindi, where this variation of tea originates. (Also, note, “chai” is a variation of the Chinese word for tea, “cha,” but was culturally preferred unadulterated. Most of what we consider simply “chai” today is in fact Indian spiced Masala chai). The result is beautiful and harmonious drink that will warm you from your fingers to your toes.

In terms of health, tea has been drunk since the 3rd century in China for medicinal purposes. WebMD also supports that black tea, dried fermented tea leaves, has been shown to protect the lungs and may also reduce the risk of stroke. Masala chai also packs in a lot of antioxidants and goodness from the spices you are using, many of which can be used on their own for their potent aroma-therapeutic and anti-inflammatory benefits.

There are some different types of chai we could make. A normal chai tea bag will make a basic spiced tea; in fact, you could divide these spices into six equal parts and store them in tea bags, if you wanted to. But chai concentrate is what you want for a chai latte (my favorite!). Think of it as the espresso of chai. Then the chai concentrate (mixed beforehand with the following recipe) can be brewed directly with the milk of your choice.

The spices for chai are best when prepared fresh, meaning, using the whole dried spices, then toasting them together to release maximum flavor, and then steeped whole. But we don’t always have time for that. This recipe will work as well with any ground spices you may have in your cupboard. The following recipe indicates the amount of whole spice needed,

This masala chai concentrate recipe will ensure your steaming cup of masala chai is just moments away from brightening up your fall afternoon.

 Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate (PrairieHomestead)

Masala Chai Tea Concentrate

Yield: About 1 quart chai concentrate

What You’ll Need:
*All spices and tea can be found in your local grocery store or natural-food store

• 6 cups water
• Sauce pan
• Strainer (or reusable (muslin) tea bag if you don’t want to fish for your spices afterwards)
• 1/4 cup raw sugar or honey, or natural sweetener of your choice
• 2- to 3-inch fresh ginger, sliced
• 5 cinnamon sticks
• 1 teaspoon peppercorns
• 2 vanilla beans
• 3 star anise
• 15 cloves
• 5 allspice (optional)• 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds
• 5 black tea bags, or about 10 grams (1/2 ounce) loose leaf plain black tea
• Milk of your choice (dairy, almond, soy, even sweetened condensed milk all work well)

 Spices for Chai (PrairieHomestead)


1. In a medium pot, bring the water and sweetener to a boil and simmer until the sweetener is fully dissolved.

2. Add all of the spices, and continue to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

3. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the tea bags, and let them steep for 10 minutes. Then strain out the spices and tea bags. Store your chai tea concentrate in the fridge, it will last for several weeks

4. To serve, mix the chai tea concentrate 1:1 with milk. Gently heat in a small saucepan until it reaches the desired temperature. Pour into your favorite mug, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from The Prairie Homestead


• Use a few tablespoons of organic sweetened condensed milk instead of milk and sugar

• Use green tea, or a mix of black and green tea

• Use coconut milk for a Thai version, spiced with anise, tamarind and cardamom. *Add a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk as well for best results

• Create your own “Masala,” or mix of spices. Many recipes include whole black, pink, or green peppercorns, almonds, saffron, fennel seeds, and/or rose hips, and some even have unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolaty version. You could even try adding orange peels, apple slices, or apple juice for a fruity take.

Taylor Nutting is an editorial assistant at Mother Earth Living, who loves to find new ways (especially if it involves cooking!) to live a healthy and happy life.


This hearty dish has all the health benefits of acorn squash, rich in Vitamin C, Potassium and Magnesium, and all the warm scents of fall or winter, with a touch of exotic flare. This will leave you satisfied, and your home smelling wonderful. It’s also gluten free, and easily adapted to vegan dietary preferences.

 Stuffed Squash from Prevention RD

Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Serves: 4 to 5 people


• 4 servings cooked brown rice *prepare beforehand
• 2 acorn squash
• 1 pound grass-fed beef
• 1 large onion
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic
• 1 large bell pepper or equivalent
• Spices to taste: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon curry, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, dash of cayenne pepper, dash of cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 cup raisins or cranberries


1. Prepare rice.

2. Cut squash in half with checkered slices and de-seed. Then roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

3. While squash is cooking, brown ground beef. Add onions and garlic, to brown; peppers and any other vegetables; salt and spices; until fragrant; and raisins last.

4. Combine beef mixture and rice, then add more spices or salt if needed.

5. When squash is cooked and tender, add a heaping ladle-ful of beef and rice mixture to the hollow of the squash. It’s okay if some spills out—it adds to the charm!

6. Serve hot, and enjoy!


• Chop up an apple, sauté with onions and peppers

• Add more vegetables: peas, carrots, spinach

• Add some nuts: toasted pine nuts or pistachios add a nice nutty flair

• Mix up the meat: Make with sausage, chicken or bits of bacon

• Chop up squash and mix together with other ingredients for a “one-pot” meal

Recipe by Taylor Nutting, an editorial assistant at Mother Earth Living and cooking experiment enthusiast who loves to try new ways to live a healthy and happy life.


This delightfully filling soup is warm and inviting, a little spicy, a little sweet and a lot delicious. Butternut squash in itself is high in vitamin A (1 cup has almost 300 percent of your daily recommendation!), vitamin C, potassium and fiber, so this healthy dish will warm you up and keep you satisfied.

 Bowl of Squash Soup

Time: 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours

Serves: 4 to 6 people


• 32 fluid ounces (1 container) chicken or vegetable broth; or apple juice for very sweet soup (vegan variation)
• 1 large butternut squash
• 1 large onion, chopped*
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic
• 1 apple, chopped*
• 1 large carrot, chopped*
• Spices to taste: 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper

*This soup will be puréed, so the pieces don’t have to be finely diced. A rough chop is fine, though the smaller the carrots especially are chopped, the faster they will cook. I once grated the carrot into my soup as it was cooking, which worked well.

1.  Roast butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half and face down on  baking sheet, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender.

2.  Sauté onions and garlic. Add chopped apple and spice to taste (use about half of your measured spices, and the rest will be added to the broth)

3.  When squash is cooked and tender, carefully (squash will be HOT), peel skin, chop squash into chunks. Then add to soup pot with broth and chopped carrots, followed by onions, apple, spice mixture.

4.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, and add additional spices as it cooks to taste, until fragrant.

5.  Using an immersion blender (or regular blender in reasonable batches), carefully blend together ingredients. If you want a squash stew instead of soup, don't blend as thoroughly.

6.  Garnish with a dollop of cinnamon crème fraîche, or sour cream, or apple slices, or cinnamon, or cilantro, or parsley, or bacon; and serve hot.


• For vegan variation, use apple juice instead of chicken broth.
• Stir in half a cup of milk or cream when blending to make a cream of butternut squash soup.
• Add more vegetables (like spinach, kale, peppers) for an even better veggie boost, or chickpeas for added protein.

Looking for more? Find more delicious Soup and Stew Recipes on our collection page!

Recipe from Taylor Nutting, an editorial assistant at Mother Earth Living and cooking experiment enthusiast who loves to find new ways (especially if it involves cooking!) to live a healthy and happy life.


Harvest season is upon us, and one of autumn’s most beloved harvestable foods is the pumpkin. This infamous orange gourd tastes great in just about everything, from savory meals to desserts. Best of all, it has numerous health benefits. It’s rich in fiber, which can slow digestion; it’s high in vitamin A, boosting eye health; improves immunity; can help you achieve younger-looking skin with its high beta-carotene content; and may even lower cancer risk. If you love all things pumpkin, try these six delicious fall pumpkin recipes.


Pumpkin Carrot Cake Cupcakes

If you’ve got a hankering for carrot cake, indulge in this sweet treat by pairing it with pumpkin pie spice. This twist on the classic carrot cake recipe is loaded with veggies, fruits and nuts. It also uses a tofu cream “cheese” frosting, although you can certainly use the real thing if that suits your tastes better.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I hope you saved those seeds from the pumpkin you carved last week. This delicious and super simple recipe makes a roasting pan filled with sweet-tasting pumpkin seeds. The blog post also includes a link to a recipe for spicy pumpkin seeds.

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte

The seasonal drink that has everyone most excited for scarves and boots, this pumpkin spice latte recipe is organic, dairy-free and sugar-free. Use coconut milk and stevia to create a PSL that’s delicious and nutritious.

Pumpkin Pie

A Thanksgiving classic, this pumpkin pie recipe features a jazzy cookie crust as well as a rich topping.

Pumpkin Scones with Cranberries

Brighten up your brunch with this seasonal favorite. Stuffed with pumpkin and cranberries, this crumbly scone is both sweet and savory.

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Butternut squash, another seasonal favorite, pairs especially well with pumpkin. This low-fat soup is filled with heart-healthy antioxidants, carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Have fun with the presentation by serving the slightly sweet concoction in miniature pumpkins—your guests will love it!


I’ve had a hankering for carrot cake for a few weeks now. I was too busy baking pumpkin this and spiced that to cure the craving. The other day, I held open the pantry door and stared at probably 10 cans of pumpkin purée and my ever-growing collection of alternate flours, along with the other dry goods on the shelf. Seeking inspiration from all of my friends in the cabinet, I began to dream about the carrot cake again. I love its hearty garden-filled cake and would gladly indulge in cream cheese frosting anytime.

Day dreaming away, I took a second glance at the row of canned pumpkin. “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?” I’ve been making pumpkin versions of everything else in the world, why not carrot cake? And just like that, the spirit of fall was still alive and a pumpkin carrot cake was born.

Still riding on my grain-free wagon, I made a flourless version. It’s also gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free. I used a tofu cream “cheese” for the frosting, which is amazingly similar to regular cream cheese. If you steer clear of soy, your favorite cashew cheese recipe would work just fine. And of course, traditional cream cheese frosting would pair well if you prefer. I load my carrot cake up with a hefty amount of veggies, fruits and nuts, but you can substitute or add in anything you’d like. Carrot cake is really a “kitchen sink” kind of thing. That’s what I love about it.

Pumpkin Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe 

Pumpkin Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

For the cake:

• 3/4 cup coconut flour
• 3/4 cup almond flour
• 5 small (or 3 large) carrots, peeled, grated
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1 cup shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup pumpkin purée
• 1 cup Grade B maple syrup
• 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained well
• 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
• 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 5 eggs

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with papers or grease with coconut oil.

2. Sift the coconut and almond flours into a large bowl.

3. Add the grated carrots, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, shredded coconut, raisins and walnuts, and mix with a fork to thoroughly combine. Set aside.  

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, pineapple, ginger, coconut oil, vanilla and eggs.

5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a spatula until combined.

6. Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to divide the batter into the cupcake pan. The batter should fill each tin to the top.

7. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

Note: If you’d like to bake a cake instead, grease two cake pans with coconut oil and divide the batter evenly. Bake for 1 hour.

For the frosting:

• 8 ounces tofu cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
• 1/4 cup raw honey
• Pinch ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup almond milk

1. Using an electric mixer, whip all ingredients together until smooth. Should only take 30 seconds to 1 minute.

2. Frost the cupcakes after they are completely cooled. Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Carrot Cupcakes Aerial

Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes
Photos by Rachael Bratene

Malorie DavisMalorie Davis is a classically trained chef, holistic nutrition counselor, wife and mother. She created the True American Diet and has a passion for natural homemaking. Malorie offers up recipes and nutrition tips on her new blog, Malorie Davis Nutrition, as well as online nutrition counseling services.

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