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What’s For *Thanksgiving* Dinner

20 J00000011UTC 2011

This year Thanksgiving will be a quiet affair. No traveling, no hosting a dozen friends and relatives. Without the relative chaos, I’m not sure what to do. I feel like I should be frantic with cleaning, packing or preparations– but instead I’m writing, doing homework and watching a movie. The turkey is already bought and I am sifting through delicious recipes to send on to you. I’d say it’s a good way to wrap up November.

So, what’s on our table this year– other than turkey? (Ours, by the way, will be a happy bird from a happy farm.) Everything on the menu has to do with real food– as clean, simple and toxin-free as possible. We won’t be churning our own butter, plucking our own bird or picking our own coconuts for oil, but we’re trying to steer clear of as many boxes and bags as possible. These recipes can all be done gluten, dairy and soy free. Skip the cornbread if you can’t do corn. Remember, greens and salads are always welcome additions on Thanksgiving tables– more green, less brown! Herbs and spices, as well as healthy fats like olive oil and seasonal fruits like pears and pomegranates are fantastic ways to decorate and flavor traditional dishes while amping up the nutritional value.

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

2 pounds Yukon gold or Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks and rinsed
1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup milk or coconut milk, warmed
6-8 tablespoons organic unsalted butter or coconut oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Chives or garlic optional

Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well and return to pot. Add (garlic), milk and butter and mash until almost smooth or slightly chunky. Season with salt,  pepper and (chives) and serve.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, recipe from Whole Foods Market

3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook bacon in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add sprouts, salt and pepper to the skillet and toss until combined. Place skillet in oven and roast until sprouts are deep golden brown, crispy outside and tender inside, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a serving dish and toss with bacon, walnuts and thyme.

My husband loves stuffing. I can do without wet  bread, but we’re going for it anyhow. I’m making gluten free cornbread for the base. He’s coming up with the trimmings– I’m hoping for herbs, pears, cranberries and apples.

Gluten Free Cornbread from Gluten Free 101 by Carol Fenster

1 ¼ cup cornmeal

1 cup GF flour blend (1 ½ c sorghum flour, 1 ½ c potato starch, 1 c tapioca flour, ½ c corn, almond, garbanzo OR chestnut flour—mix)

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp sea salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup whole, almond or coconut milk

1/3 cup grapeseed or coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350. Spray iron skillet with olive oil spray. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (cornmeal through salt). Make a well in the center.

In another bowl, beat eggs, milk and oil with a whisk till well blended.

Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture, stirring with wood spoon till just moist. Batter will be consistency of thick cake batter.

Bake 25 to 30 min or till top is firm and edges are light brown. Let this dry out in cubes for dressing.

Real Cranberry Sauce

One bag of berries, water, agave nectar (start small and add to your taste) and orange pieces and rind from 1-2 oranges– boiled on the stove till the cranberries pop and begin to gel. Simple.

Pumpkin Pie

See my previous two posts for pumpkin pie and why not to use Cool Whip. We’ll be using the real-deal whipping cream, flavored with a touch of vanilla extract.

Have yourself a Happy Thanksgiving. Be good to yourself, your guests, your body and your stress level this holiday season. Your health will thank you.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. malia permalink
    20 J00000011UTC 2011 8:24 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    ps. I LOVE brussel sprouts with bacon. And to think I used to hate brussel sprouts…

  2. 20 J00000011UTC 2011 8:58 pm

    Having Brussels sprouts at your house inspired me!

  3. 20 J00000011UTC 2011 9:17 pm

    you better believe there will be sausage in that stuffing…trimmings? Yup, from a pig.

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