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It’s hard to look forward to the holidays when you have to think about what you can and cannot eat. So every year, we here at Dr. Arthritis try to collect our favorite seasonal dishes to share for the upcoming holidays.

This thanksgiving, we’ve selected a collection of traditional Thanksgiving fare that is easy to prepare (read: easy on the joints) and is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients so you can celebrate pain-free.

If you’d like to take on the task of prepping everything yourself, don’t worry—these recipes are simple, straightforward, and are fairly easy on the joints. But holidays are best spent with loved ones. So we encourage you to get friends and family involved in the whole cooking process.

Spiced Carrots, Garlic Green Beans, and Maple Roasted Beets Appetizer Platter

Here’s an arthritis-friendly Thanksgiving starter that won’t sacrifice flavor and will definitely impress–

Carrots are commonly referred to as nature’s natural energy food, green beans contain loads of beta-carotene and omega 3s that help fight inflammation, and beets offer lots of natural sugar and sweetness to your platter.

Check out our recipe below:

Spiced Carrots

1 dozen whole carrots, rinsed thoroughly, peeled, with the tops removed

¼ cup of olive oil

1 tbsp of red wine vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

¼ tsp cinnamon, ground

A pinch of cayenne pepper


Whisk all ingredients (except the carrots together) in a small bowl. Drizzle the mixture on your carrots and toss until all pieces are thoroughly coated.

Arrange carefully on one side of a large baking sheet.

Garlic Green Beans

1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed

2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced


Toss green beans in a bowl with the olive oil and minced garlic.

Arrange carefully on one side of a large baking sheet.

Maple Roasted Beets

1 bunch of red beets, rinsed

2 tbsps of olive oil

1 tbsp of maple syrup

A pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste

Tin foil—big enough to create a small packet for the beets


Create a small packet using the tin foil to place the red beets in. Whisk together the olive oil and the maple syrup and drizzle the mixture over the beets. Sprinkle salt and pepper.

Arrange carefully on one side of a large baking sheet along with the other sides to be cooked.

Roasting instructions:

In a preheated oven, bake the entire baking tray with the beets, beans, and carrots for 30-45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and tender to the touch.

For the beets, once cooked—remove the foil packet and allow to cool. Peel skin carefully and chop into bite-sized pieces.

The Main Dish: Baked Herbed Turkey Breast

This recipe uses white meat, instead of dark, and is roasted with known anti-inflammatory fruits and herbs to create a distinct flavor profile.

1 whole bone-in turkey breast

1 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1 tbsp sage, finely chopped

2 tsps salt

1 tsp balck pepper

1 tbsp butter, room temperature

2 tbsps olive oil

1 lemon—juiced

1 orange—juiced

1 cup vegetable stock


  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2.  Place turkey in a roasting pan (skin side up) and place on a baking rack.
  3.  In a small bowl, mix together the herbs, salt and pepper, butter, lemon and orange juice, and olive oil. Whisk together until you form a paste.
  4.  Rub the mixture all over the turkey breast—including underneath the skin.
  5.  Take the vegetable stock and pour into the bottom of the roasting pan.
  6.  Allow the turkey to bake for around 1 and a half to 2 hours or until meat is cooked through and the skin is lightly crisp and thoroughly browned.
  7. Once done, remove the turkey from the oven. Wrap tightly with tin foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Once ready, slice the turkey breast carefully and drizzle with the drippings accumulated from baking.

Side Dish Selections

What is a Thanksgiving feast without some choice sides? Here are two recipes that made it to the top of our holiday menu this year.

Broccoli Mashed Potatoes

A healthier spin on a Thanksgiving staple made with potatoes and fortified with broccoli.

4 medium-sized white potatoes

1 small head of broccoli, chopped into small pieces

1 tbsp of butter (can be replaced with ghee or coconut oil if preferred)

2 tbsps of ricotta cheese (can be replaced with cottage cheese)

½ tsp of dried dill

A pinch of sea salt and pepper


  1. Boil potatoes over high heat and cook until for tender.
  2. Once cooked,  add the broccoli into the pot and let it cook for an additional minute. Allow the broccoli florets to turn a bright green before draining.
  3. Place both the potatoes and the broccoli in a large bowl and mash until smooth—if you’re enlisting the help of friends and family, this might be a good task to delegate. Otherwise, you can also choose to use a blender or food processor.
  4. Once smooth, add in the butter and cheese. Keep mixing and mashing until everything is well incorporated.
  5. Finish off with the dill and salt and pepper.

Shredded Red Cabbage

A known ingredient that is loaded with antioxidants, braising this holiday staple is a great addition to any holiday meal.

1 small red cabbage, remove the core and sliced thinly

1 small white onion, sliced thinly

2 cups apple cider

1 cup water

2 cups red wine vinegar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1 small apple, remove the core and sliced thinly

A pinch of sea salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Toss all ingredients, except the apple, in a large baking dish or dutch oven pot and cover  tightly. Mix well and allow the mixture to bake for around an hour.
  3. Remove the dish from the oven and add apples.
  4. Bake for another hour or until the cabbage is very tender and the apples have dissolved into the mixture.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Be sure to watch out for our next post–we’ll be sharing arthritis-friendly dessert recipes you can try for Thanksgiving 2018.

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