thanksgiving recipe round up

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Thank you!!

Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring, sharing, and for exploring new ideas, new recipes, and new ways to nourish yourself and the ones you love.

This has been one hell of a year so far, and I can’t wait to see how it wraps up. I wouldn’t be loving this experience nearly as much if I didn’t have such amazing people following, reading, commenting on, and sharing my posts. I am truly so thankful for every person that takes time to read what I write. The writing might not always be profound, the recipes might sometimes be a work in progress (as am I), but I am enjoying the ride and learning right along with you. Because of you guys, my passion for this blog and the content I put out grows every single day. Each time someone comes to me saying he or she made a recipe, my heart literally grows (cheesy, I know, but true).

When you take a recipe from my blog and make it for the people you love, you’re providing nourishment that goes far beyond the nutrients on the plate; you are nourishing body, heart, and soul, and you are fostering relationships that will continue to grow in health, wellness, and love.

Anyone who is new to this lifestyle (because it’s not a diet, but a lifestyle), thank you for taking the leap. Whether it’s a grain free cookie or a liver paté, you are making a change, and it’s a change in the right direction. You are taking authority over your life. You are caring about yourself. And that care will radiate out to the people you come into contact with.

Thank you for being here. For reading along. And for loving yourself. I can’t wait to see where things go from here (hint: BIG changes are coming at the start of 2014, so stay tuned).

To my readers, thank you. I think about you each and every day, and I pour my heart and soul into each recipe, each ranting blog post, and each countless hour spent searching for the answers. I love this stuff, and cheesy as it may be, I love you.

In that spirit of love, I bring to you a Thanksgiving Recipe Round Up, featuring a labor of love that brings to you 8 delicious recipes, and recipe work that spans the past 2 months. Tons of recipe testing. So many trips to Whole Foods and Farmers Market. And, honestly, so much fun.

So thank you for giving me a reason to cook, a reason to taste, and a reason to keep on keeping on. Cheers!

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THANKSGIVING RECIPE ROUND UP

  • Servings: enough to fill a house with love
  • Difficulty: easy when made with family and friends
  • Print

First up, the TURKEY!

  • HERE is a great turkey buying guide! If you’re late to the game, Whole Foods can come in to save the day (I fervently recommend going with a pastured, heirloom turkey – your body, local farmer, and planet will thank you).
  • No turkey is worth slaving over without the most amazing TURKEY BRINE. I am not trying to change something that has already been mastered so I suggest the brine made by the beautiful and talented Danielle Walker from Against All Grain. Her recipe was actually inspired by THIS recipe from the always reliable Martha Stewart.

Next up is the stuffing, that traditional favorite that I used to just hate. It’s been revamped, renewed, and made WILD.

  • HERE is my recipe for bacon wild mushroom stuffing.
  • The glutenous bread of your typical celery filled stuffing (gag) is replaced by wild rice, plenty of bacon, and so much flavor!

And what’s Thanksgiving without mash and gravy to douse your turkey in?

  • HERE is my recipe for delicious cauli-mash and gravy!
  • If you want to go with real potatoes, HERE is a recipe from Bon appétit (so simple and so good for you folks who are good with dairy and white potatoes).

Four words. Brussles. Bacon. Apples. Pecans.

  • HERE is my bacon apple nut brussies recipe. The apple flavor bursts with bacony goodness, and the pecans provide the perfect nutty crunch. You haven’t had brussels sprouts like these before.
  • Now, go knock some socks off this Thanksgiving!

Yes, temperatures are dropping, but salad is still on the menu. Trust me on this one.

  • HERE is my autumn arugula salad, complete with roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, maple candied walnuts, goat cheese, and a super simple pomegranate dressing.
  • Salads aren’t just for summer anymore!

Now, step away from the can. It’s time for some homemade cranberry sauce.

  • For something to be called a “sauce” it can’t plop out of a can in one giant tubular shape.
  • Avoid the tubes of processed jelly by finding my gelatin rich cranberry sauce HERE.

And because there will always be family members who demand rolls at any holiday feast, I have included some delicious, fluffy biscuits for your tasting pleasure.

  • HERE is my recipe for salt butter biscuits, guaranteed to make everyone happy.
  • Oh and because butter should be highlighted in every holiday meal (or every meal, for that matter), these are the perfect vessel for melty, delicious butter.

And now for the star of the show…. DESSERT!

  • We will start with the results of months of labor (labor of love)… my finally perfected PUMPKIN PIE!
  • And if that isn’t enough, and you want to add a twist to the old favorite, I have created a uniquely delicious, totally original APPLE BUTTER PUMPKIN PIE. Yum.
  • And HERE is the link to apple butter, which can be used a spread on all of your favorite pumpkin baked goods or pancakes, as a flavor-filled addition to your chai tea, or even as a great pairing for a perfectly grilled pork chop.

Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays. And happy every day. Cheers and love <3

thanksgiving gravy and mash

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Alright, here it is, the final Thanksgiving recipe post of 2014. Stay tuned for a recipe roundup of all the recipes I have created for this year’s feast, just in time for you to wow your family by bringing an amazing dish that no one will know is actually nutrient dense and good for the heart, body, and soul.

What is Thanksgiving without gravy and mash? According to my family, it’s not Thanksgiving (and I get it), so I went to work this weekend to create the perfect gravy and mash, with my husband’s  help, of course, because this is his jam. We will most likely also have regular potatoes (which my husband has perfected), but I don’t particularly like white potatoes, and because I am not training too much right now as I continue to heal, white potatoes just aren’t really on the menu for me. The cool thing is that my family can’t even really tell the difference. This cauli-mash is thick, creamy, and so flavorful. The nutmeg adds a really delicious flavor profile, that makes it stand out from the plethora of cauli-mash recipes out there.

Now, the gravy has been a labor of love from my husband and I over the past couple years. I have never liked gravy (probably because I was a tofurky eating vegetarian for so many years… gag), but I LOVE this gravy. The paleo-friendly flour makes the perfect savory texture, and the flavors from the turkey innards make the most delicious gravy ever, that just so happens to be loaded with nutrients too!

So here you go, the final pieces of the 2014 Thanksgiving puzzle! Enjoy this mash and gravy and know that I am so thankful for every person that looks at this blog. Please continue to share, like, comment and cook!

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Paleo Thanksgiving Gravy (GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: overnight
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • insides of your turkey
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 TB heavy cream (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-3 TB of tapioca of arrowroot flour (either will work)

WHAT YOU DO:

  • The day before (before you put your turkey in its brine), take the stuff from the center of the turkey (neck, gizzard, and organ meats)* and put them in a pot with the water over low heat
  • let this cook with a tight lid all night and all day long, until 30 minutes before you are ready to serve
  • once you are ready to prep your gravy, remove the insides and discard
  • add a dash of cream to the remaining liquid and add salt and pepper to taste
  • continually stirring, sift in the flour 1 tsp at a time until desired thickness is acheived
  • serve with your mash and smile, knowing you’re getting all kinds of nutrients in, along with tons of flavor!

*If you buy a turkey from Walmart, you probably won’t get these essential turkey parts, and if you do, they won’t be nutrient dense power houses that you will get from a pastured bird. Find a local farmer or order a bird from your local Whole Foods! {/recipe]

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Thanksgiving Cauli-Mash (GF, NF)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, stem and florets chopped
  • 1 cup turkey stock (from gravy recipe)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1-2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 TB raw heavy cream (or coconut cream)
  • 3 TB grass fed butter or ghee (I used paleo butter)

WHAT YOU DO:

  • put cauli, stock, pepper, salt, garlic, and nutmeg in a medium sized saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil
  • reduce heat to medium and cover
  • cook for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and easily mashed with a fork (add more stock if everything dries up and your cauliflower is not yet tender)
  • remove cauli from any excess stock (reserve any leftover stock to use with the rest for your gravy)
  • pour all contents into a food processor along with cream and butter, and pulse until desired texture is reached
  • plate, create a crater in the middle of your serving, and fill with delicious gravy
  • ENJOY with your thanksgiving dinner (or anytime really)

apple butter pumpkin pie

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Earlier this month, I posted what I believed (and still believe) to be my perfect pumpkin pie. Today, I bring to you a new unique twist on that traditional favorite. I love pumpkin pie. I mean truly, deeply love it. Is that weird? So after finally coming up with a delicious pumpkin pie recipe, I started to wonder how I could add a twist to this old favorite to bring a unique new flavor to the creamy pumpkin goodness.

Inspiration came easily during our weekly farmers market trip on Sunday, where the most beautiful, flavorful apples were the stars of the morning. After bringing home too many fresh picked organic apples than two people could eat in a week, I knew I wanted to use those beauties in a new way. I decided to make some apple butter; this was a good decision. The creamy texture of butter with all the flavors of apple and this season’s star spices… now, that is hard to beat.

The butter turned out to have the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and I new I had to put it to use in a way that would highlight this delectable spread as the star, rather than an accompaniment (which it also great as). Next thing I knew, the pumpkin apple butter pie was born, and with it a new love for apples that I never thought possible (this coming from the girl who, up until this week, thought figs were really the only fruit worth eating). In fact, it ended up being so delicious that it has earned a spot the menu for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, right alongside the predecessor perfect pumpkin pie.

So here you have it… creamy, buttery pumpkin apple butter pie. Enjoy!

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Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie (GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • THIS CRUST from the paleo partridge… I tried to create my own, but I honestly think there is no possible way to beat the flaky perfection of this crust. Trust me.
  • 1 cups fresh roasted organic pumpkin*
  • 1 cup paleo apple butter
  • 1/3 cup packed blonde coconut sugar
  • 2 TB pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup raw whipping cream OR the cream** from 2 cans of full fat coconut milk
  • 4 pastured eggs

*You can sub 1 (15 oz) can of organic pumpkin purée, but I recommend roasting your own pumpkin because it’s just. so. good.

**JUST the cream. Put your cans in the fridge for at least an hour before opening (do not shake) and then use a spoon to scoop the cream out (should come to just over 1 cup)

WHAT TO DO:

  • make your crust using THIS recipe, and then make your filling while it cools
  • set your oven to 400 degrees
  • blend pumpkin, coconut sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a food processor or Vitamix until smooth
  • move mixture to a pot set to low heat and stir until warm
  • now add in your apple butter and stir until all combined
  • if you are using coconut milk, use a hand mixer to blend the coconut cream until thick and extra creamy, about 1 min (raw cream needs no whipping)
  • add your cream to the pumpkin apple mixture and stir until combined and creamy
  • continue stirring over heat until you see some bubbles (but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t caramelize)
  • in a medium bowl, whip your eggs until combined
  • add pumpkin mixture to eggs and stir with a spatula until combined
  • pour pumpkin filling into your crust until full (you will probably have leftovers, which is great because now you can make some pumpkin apple butter pudding in a small glass ramekin)*
  • bake your pie for 20 minutes or until only the very center jiggles when you gently shake the pie
  • let the pie cool for at least an hour then pop it in the fridge
  • ENJOY!! We had ours with some of my homemade paleo vanilla ice cream

*cook any leftover filling in a glass ramekin for the same amount of time as the pie. Keep this for a delicious snack! I top it with organic whole milk yogurt and walnut butter that I get from our Farmers Market, and it’s sooooo good (see below).

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It’s almost Thanksgiving! Today, I am so thankful for pie, family, football, and pie. Enjoy!

paleo apple butter

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This stuff is good. But don’t take my word for it, just make it and see. Who doesn’t love anything with butter in the name? While there isn’t actually butter in this apple butter, it does provide the most delectable, buttery texture for spreading on all your favorite foods. May I suggest spreading it on pancakes, sconesmuffins, my new favorite pumpkin apple butter pie, or even a perfectly grilled pastured pork chop? Yum.

This season demands apple picking, and if you can’t pick your own, farmers market is the place to go to find the most flavorful, healthful apples anywhere. Do your research, find the best apple farmer, and load up! I only have one request, please don’t make this from store bought, conventional apples. You’ll be doing your body and tastebuds a disservice. Get out apple picking or shake hands with a local apple farmer.

‘Tis the season!

So here you are… Deliciously sweet, tactfully tart paleo apple butter for your tasting pleasure…

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Paleo Apple Butter GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 6 organic apples (the apple guy at farmers market suggested braeburn, and you always listen to the apple guy when it comes to apples)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • sprinkle of ground cloves
  • 3 TB coconut sugar (more for sweeter butter, and less for less more tartness)*

*you can omit the sugar and make the butter sugar free too

WHAT YOU DO:

  • wash, peel, and chop your apples
  • add all of your ingredients to a pot over medium heat, and bring to a simmer
  • reduce to low heat, put the lid on, and cook for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes
  • puree the apples with an immersion blender or put everything into a blender, puree, and then return to the pot
  • taste and adjust the spices and sugar if needed
  • cook on low with the lid slightly ajar for another hour or so, stirring frequently until the apple butter is nice and thick and buttery
  • Store in a glass jar in the fridge
  • ENJOY! Great as a spread for pancakes, scones, or muffins. Great as an accompaniment to a delicious pork chop. Or fantastic as a delicious ingredient in a pumpkin apple butter pie 

The countdown continues! Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone. Again, I am so thankful for all of you.