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text reads: my 2019 holiday menu

My 2019 Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is only one week away … are you ready?? I love to cook, so this is one of my favorite times of year—when I get to spend the WHOLE day in the kitchen getting creative, and then showcase how clean, whole, organic foods taste even better than many of the traditional holiday foods we all grew up eating (no canned cream of mushroom soup at this table!).

I know many of you are making major life changes when it comes to the way you eat, and the holidays can be super challenging when you’re trying to be more conscious of what you put in your body (or what you don’t). So to aid in your planning, I decided to share my FULL 2019 (whole, real, organic) holiday menu!

I’ve got grain-free, dairy-free, vegan, and (of course) gluten-free options at my table this year, so there’s something on the menu for everyone. And even if you aren’t hosting a holiday dinner at your home, you can plan to bring one (or more) of the dishes below so that you can be sure you have something delicious to munch on, regardless of what your hosts decide to serve (may I suggest the Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cinnamon Icing or the Grain-free “Cornbread” Stuffing with Sausage?!).

However you celebrate, I hope you have a fabulous holiday, and if you do decide to try one of my recipes, please let me know in the comments!!

Appetizers

Sweet Potato Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 & 1 / 2 pounds), peeled, cut into large pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Avocado oil (for drizzling)
  • 3 tablespoons pure tahini
  • 1 & 1 / 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Variety of organic veggies for dipping: carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli

Instructions:

Place a rack in the upper third of oven and preheat to 375°. Scatter sweet potato and garlic across a parchment-lined baking sheet, generously drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Roast, tossing halfway through, until garlic is golden brown and sweet potato is tender and browned in a few spots, 40–45 minutes.

Let vegetables cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Add tahini and 1 & 1 / 2 tsp. salt and squeeze in juice from lime; pulse to incorporate. With motor running, gradually add 1 cup water. Mixture should be the consistency of hummus; add a little more water if needed. Taste and add salt if needed. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Hummus can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

Main Courses

Herbed Butter Roast Turkey

(makes 6 to 8 servings)

Ingredients:

For the Turkey:

  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 fresh, organic 10-13 pound turkey, cleaned, washed, and patted dry
  • 2 oranges, cut in half
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 2 bunches thyme
  • 2 bunches rosemary
  • 2 bunches sage
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced into 2-inch thick pieces
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 bunches of carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Turkey bone broth
  • Herbed Butter Mixture (see recipe below)

For the Herbed Butter:

  • 8 tablespoons softened organic, grass-fed butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Lift turkey out of the brine, rinse with cold water and dry with paper towels. Slide a small rubber spatula between the skin and the meat to separate them. Insert half of the herbed butter mixture under the skin and spread evenly. Rub the remaining butter mixture on the outside of the skin and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme leaves. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity.

Stuff the cavity with two halves of an orange, ½ lemon, 3 cloves garlic, bunches of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage, and 2 slices of onion. Stuff the neck cavity with 2 cloves garlic and ½ lemon. Stuff sage leaves and 2 cloves garlic underneath skin of breast. Tie the legs together with cooking twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey. Place cut carrots, rest of onion, 4 cloves of garlic, and remaining herbs and orange in the bottom of a large roasting dish. Toss with coconut oil/butter and salt. Add 1 cup stock. Set turkey on top.

Place turkey in oven for 10 minutes, then without opening the door, turn down the temperature to 325F and roast for 30 minutes more. Baste with juices from the bottom of the pan every 15 minutes, roasting for a total of nearly 3 hours, or until the juices run clear when turkey is cut between the leg and the thigh (until internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees.)

The turkey should be loosely covered with foil for part of the cooking time to help retain moisture. The foil should be removed for the last 45 minutes or so of cooking so the skin can be beautifully browned and crisp by the time the turkey is done. If juices run low, baste with turkey bone broth.

Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Reserve drippings and onions for gravy, if desired.

Roasting Times At 350F:

Begin to check for doneness 30 minutes before the suggested cooking time.

8-12 lbs 2.5-3.5 hours
12-16 lbs 3-4 hours
16-20 lbs 4-5 hours

Pastured birds often cook a little faster than conventional turkeys, so monitor closely with a meat thermometer. The thickest part of the thigh should reach 165F.

Lentil Quinoa Loaf (vegan & gluten-free)

Ingredients:

Loaf:

  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 & 1 / 4 cups of water
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots thinly sliced or grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup raisins (add less for less sweet)
  • 2 tbsp chia seed meal
  • 1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce (or use 1/2 tsp of tamarind paste, a tsp of molasses, vinegar and 1/2 tsp ground mustard to make soy-free)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp organic, ketchup (with no high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1-2 Tbsp tamari or use coconut aminos to make soy free
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 to 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground gf oats or gf breadcrumbs

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup organic, ketchup (with no high fructose corn syrup)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (or use a 1/2 tsp of tamarind paste, a tsp of molasses, vinegar and 1/2 tsp ground mustard to make soy-free)

Instructions:

Combine lentils, bay leaf and water in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Wash the quinoa, add to the pan, partially cover and continue to cook until both are very tender and easily mashed (You want to slightly overcook the lentils). Stir after 10 minutes so they don’t stick to the pan. Total 10 to 15 mins. Drain any excess water, remove bay leaf and transfer to a bowl.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno and cook for 5 minutes. or until translucent. Add celery, carrots, thyme, oregano, and mix well. Cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add raisins and mix. Cook for 2 minutes. Take off heat.

Add the cooked veggies and flax meal to the bowl and mix in. Mash the mixture using a potato masher or hands, so that at least half the lentils and quinoa get well mashed. (you still want some whole lentils). Add in the sauces, tahini, nutritional yeast, fennel seeds and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add more sauces, herbs, and salt if needed.

Add breadcrumbs or coarsely ground oats and mix in. (To check if the mixture is the right consistency, make a burger patty. If the mixture is too sticky or pasty, add more breadcrumbs. If it is too crumbly and doesn’t stick easily, add some wet ingredients or a flax egg)

Prepare the loaf pan with parchment-lined with parchment edges over the pan. Medium bread loaf pan(8.5 by 4.75 inch). Press the mixture into the pan. Pack well and even it out. Make the glaze and spread over the top of the loaf.

Cover the loaf with foil and bake at 375 degrees / 190ºc for 25 to 30 minutes. Bake uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes. Then let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes: To make the loaf less crumbly, cook the lentils really well. then mash them really well. Larger veggies or lentils in the mixture will make the loaf crumbly. Use finely chopped veggies. Add only enough breadcrumbs to make the mixture like a soft somewhat wet dough and not dry.

Sides

Spinach Salad with Cherries & Pistachios

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 / 2 cup pistachios (roasted and salted)
  • 1/ 2 cup dried unsweetened cherries

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Instructions:

In a large salad bowl, toss together spinach, pistachios and cherries. In a jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, mustard and shake well. Drizzle dressing over salad. Toss and serve.

Grain-free “Cornbread” Stuffing with Sausage

Ingredients:

For the Cornbread:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 / 4 cup maple syrup
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup plain, whole coconut yogurt or dairy-free buttermilk (1 tbsp ACV in 1 cup of coconut milk, let sit for 10 min)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F and adjust rack to middle position of oven. Put butter/ghee in cast iron skillet. Place in the oven while you prepare the batter. Whisk almond flour, coconut flour baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and coconut yogurt/buttermilk together.

Remove the skillet from the oven, make sure the entire bottom and sides are coated with oil and then pour the remaining oil in the batter. Pour wet mixture into flour mixture and gently fold all ingredients together. Pour cornbread batter into the baking dish and spread out evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

For the Stuffing:

  • 1 pound organic, pastured pork sausage (pastured and organic preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons organic, grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup apple, cored and diced (optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe grain-free cornbread (see recipe above), cut into cubes and left uncovered overnight to dry
  • 1 cup chicken stock (homemade preferred)
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Cook pork over medium heat in a large skillet, using the back of a wooden spoon to break the pork into small pieces. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl. Melt butter along with any leftover fat from the ground pork in the skillet. Add onion, celery, carrots, and apple. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are just turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into the bowl with the pork. Add dried and cubed cornbread to vegetable and pork mixture. Whisk chicken stock and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour over cornbread mixture and gently toss until all ingredients are wet. Pour into an 11 x 7 – inch baking dish. Bake uncovered until hot and crusty, for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve.

Gluten-Free Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp organic, grass-fed ghee or butter
  • 1 cup medium or coarse organic, heirloom, non-GMO ground cornmeal (make sure to get a high quality one, not the fine powdery stuff)
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 / 4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 / 4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy buttermilk, room temperature (to make non-dairy buttermilk, add 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of non-dairy milk of choice. Stir well and wait 10 minutes until incorporating into recipe.)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put ghee or butter in a 9-10-inch cast-iron skillet and place on middle rack in oven until melted. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, almond meal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. In batches, alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk until well combined. Stir in pecans. When ghee or butter has melted in skillet, carefully remove from oven. Making sure skillet is evenly coated, pour excess oil into batter. Mix until evenly incorporated. Pour batter into skillet and place skillet on middle oven rack. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cornbread to cool in skillet for at least 10 minutes, then invert and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Apple Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squash
  • boiling water
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 / 2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons grass fed butter

Instructions:

Cut squash in half and with a spoon, remove pulp and seeds. In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish place squash cut-side down. Pour ¼-inch boiling water into baking dish. Place dish in oven and bake squash for 30 minutes at 350°. In a large bowl, combine apples, cranberries, cinnamon and butter to make stuffing. Remove squash from the oven after 30 minutes. Turn halves over and stuff the center of each squash half with apple mixture. Return to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes (or longer) until squash and apples are tender.

Desserts

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cinnamon Icing

Ingredients:

For the Pumpkin Cake Bars:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 / 2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 & 1 / 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon cloves

For the Cinnamon Icing:

  • 1 / 4 cup coconut butter
  • 1 / 4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 / 4 cup maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, add all the cake ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into an 8×8 oven-safe baking dish (I suspect you could squeeze 12 cupcakes out of this recipe if you use a muffin tin). Bake until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and use either your mixing blade attachment or a whisk to beat the ingredients until fluffy.

Once the cake has cooled, cut it into 9 squares and remove from the pan. Now … if the cake isn’t completely, 100%, no-doubt-in-your-mind cool, you are not allowed to proceed.

I’m telling you, if your cake isn’t cool, the icing will just slide right off into a pile of goopiness and all will be wasted. If you haven’t experienced the disaster that comes from not heeded the above warning, you only need to try it one time to learn.

Use a small spatula or a spoon and drizzle the frosting over the top of the (COOL) cake. Store in the fridge. The icing will harden, just let it come to room temp if you like it soft.

Pumpkin Pie (with vegan & gluten-free options)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin
  • 1 cup coconut milk fat (from 2 cans)
  • 1 / 3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 / 2cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 Paleo Pie Crust or 1 Nut-Free Egg-Free Pie Crust (see below for recipes)

Instructions:

Place pumpkin on a plate and set aside. In a medium pot, melt coconut milk fat and coconut oil until liquefied. Stir in pumpkin and maple syrup until mixture is very warm. Transfer mixture to a Vitamix and puree on high speed until very smooth. Blend in vanilla stevia, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Transfer mixture into your chosen pie crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Serve.

Paleo Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted, or salted grass fed butter (cold)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions:

Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly. Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball; add spices. Press dough into a 9-inch glass pie dish. Fill with pumpkin pie filling. Bake at 350°F for 8-12 minutes.

Nut-Free Egg-Free Pie Crust (vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 / 4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 / 8 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 / 2 cup palm shortening
  • 1 / 4 cup maple syrup

Instructions:

In a food processor combine arrowroot, coconut flour, and salt. Pulse in shortening and maple syrup until dough forms. Press dough into a 9-inch glass pie dish. Fill with pumpkin pie filling. Bake at 350°F for 13-18 minutes, until golden. Cool and serve.



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