My Thanksgiving Menu!
For those of you who missed my Clean Thanksgiving cooking demo at Natural Grocers, you haven't totally missed out! I am sharing my entire menu for this special holiday. I usually try a new recipe each year for kicks, but because we're having such a small gathering, I am sticking with the basics! Not only do I think Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to share love with your family by cooking them a lovely meal, I also think it's an equally fabulous opportunity to think about what you are grateful for...or what you should start being grateful for. Read more to see the recipes for all of my holiday menu items! Also, take a look at this scary article to see what you're REALLY missing by eating a clean Thanksgiving! Hint: it's not flavor.
I prefer to make a larger batch of this to insure I have some left over! The sweetness and the thickener you choose is all about personal preference. Not only is opting for a homemade sauce wise, but choosing alternatives to sugar and corn starch/ syrup essential in improving the quality of this staple! Coming from a can, it can be one of the worst inflammatory things you could consume, but eating this version actually makes it a de-flaming, antioxidant-rich food! I used to like it super sweet- similar to what you get from a can, but now I prefer one that's a little more tart. So, it's all about tasting and tweaking (which is honestly why I don't have an exact recipe). The recipe below will yield one Mason jar full.
- 2 bags whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 orange and/or lemon
- xylitol, stevia, erythritol, or lakanto, to taste preference (I use 1/2 cup xylitol and 1 tsp stevia) OR, for a delicious/ unique version, approx. 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown coconut sugar.
- arrow root powder, tapioca flour, and/or Bulletproof Collagelatin. (Approx 1 tbsp)
1. Add cranberries and approx 3-4 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to med.
2. After approx. 5 minutes, reduce to med-low heat. Add sweetener of choice.
3. Slowly add thickener (if needed), while stirring frequently to avoid clumps. 4. Once the berries have busted open and entire mixture has turned to “cranberry” color, add juice from one lemon and/or an orange for added tang and to preserve freshness.
5. Keep on low heat until you reach your desired consistency. Add more thickener and/or water, if needed.
6. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
*Pretty serving suggestion: after placing sauce in a serving bowl, garnish with orange or lemon zest.
My dad’s grandma used to make oyster dressing so, I will usually bake half of this recipe with added oysters and the other half in its own baking dish without oysters. If your family likes to add sausage or any other seasonings/ vegetables, go for it!
- 1 ½ cups millet
- 2 cartons of chicken broth, Imagine brand
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 3 scallions, chop and use all
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 leek stem, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- ¼ tsp powdered ginger
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1. Rinse millet in a fine strainer.
2. Put one container of broth and millet in pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add tight fitting lid.
3. Cook for 20-25 minutes, regularly checking and stirring. Keep adding broth to avoid millet getting dry. (Your goal is to get the millet very soft with very little texture.)
4. While millet is cooking, melt 1 tbsp of ghee in a large skillet. Add scallion, onion, leek, celery, herbs, and salt. (all veggies equal approx. 3 cups.) Sauté on med heat.
5. Once mixture is tender, add additional 1 tbsp of ghee and garlic, (and approx 1/4 cup water, if needed).
6. Once garlic turns transparent, add vegetable mixture to cooked millet and stir. Taste and tweak to your preference before the next step!
7. Add entire mixture to baking dish and smooth out evenly. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes, or until top is crisp and golden brown. If using two baking dishes, cook for approx. 20 minutes.
NANNY’S NOODLES (A RE-VAMPED FAMILY RECIPE)
- 2 containers of chicken broth, Imagine brand
- 2 boxes of Annie Chun’s brown rice pad thai noodles
- 2-4 tsp pink or sea salt, to taste
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 chicken legs
- 2 cups of water or additional broth, for more flavor
1. Fill pot with both containers of chicken broth and chicken legs.
2. Bring broth to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low, place tight fitting lid on pot, and cook until chicken is cooked through (easy to scrape off bone with a fork.)
3. Once chicken is cooked through, remove chicken legs (refrigerate until cool), and add noodles, salt, and extra broth and/or water to same pot and reduce heat to medium-low.
4. Once chicken has cooled, remove chicken from the bone.
5. Allow noodles to absorb all broth, until noodles appear plump and turn opaque.
7. Add chicken, pepper, and mix. Add extra water or broth, as needed. (Most likely, you will be adding throughout process.)
SIMPLE MILLS ARTISAN ROLLS
This is one of the items that you really don’t have to think much! Simply follow the simple instructions on box!
ORGANIC, LOCAL TURKEY
This is a clean dish already! Just be mindful that your poultry seasoning is pure, organic is best.
- 4-5 lbs red-skin potatoes
- 1 stick grass-fed butter
- approx. ¾ cup almond milk or broth, to add moisture
- approx. 3 tsp of sea or pink salt
- 1-2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1-2 tsp pepper
1. Wash potatoes thoroughly before boiling. Peel skins, if desired.
2. Chop in 1 inch cubes. Add to large pot with about a ½ gallon of water and bring to boil.
3. Add butter. Cover and cook on medium-low until potatoes soften.
4. Once potatoes can be easily stabbed with fork or knife, mash with “masher” or spoon. (If you want a creamier consistency, you can also use food processor when recipe is complete.)
5. Continue to cook on low heat until all water is absorbed. Add almond milk, broth, and/or water to keep moist*.
6. Salt and pepper, as desired.
*Almond milk will give you a creamier consistency & broth will add more flavor- you can always do a little bit of both.
- juice from turkey
- brown rice flour
1. Once your turkey is cooked, drain the juice/ drippings from the baking dish and add to a skillet.
2. Bring to a simmer and slowly add brown rice flour until desired thickness. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste.
- 1 bunch of fresh green beans
- 1-2 Tbsp of ghee or olive oil
- sea or pink salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
1. Wash and remove both ends of green beans.
2. Add green beans to a skillet set on medium heat, with melted ghee and approx. ¼ cup of water.
3. Sauté until green beans are tender and water has evaporated. Season to taste.
* If your stove-top is full, this can always be taken care of in the oven! Simply place ingredients in a casserole dish or baking sheet and cook at 375 for approx. 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout.
The key to this recipe is seeing what is used to replace your typical “classic” ingredients, most of which are equal swaps! So, when you’re looking at your pie recipes, this pie is a great example of how easy it is to use healthier alternatives. The only swap that isn’t an equal measurement is the flour. When it calls for 1 cup of baking flour, replace it with approx. ¾ gluten-free flour, with ¼ arrow root powder or tapioca powder/flour. (Unless you purchased a pre-mixed gluten-free option. This swap is only necessary if you're using a whole grain flour like pure brown rice, millet, or buckwheat flour.)
- 12 tbsp cold organic butter
- 2 ½ cups brown rice flour
- ½ cup arrow root powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup organic palm oil shortening (Nutivia has a responsibly sourced option that doesn't harm the orangutan's natural habitat)
- 6-8 tbsp of cold water
- one 15 oz. can of organic pumpkin puree
- 3 eggs beaten
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ½ cup brown coconut sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
(or replace top 3 seasonings with 1 ½ tsp of pumpkin pie spice)
- dash of salt
1. With pastry cutter in food processor (or electric hand beater), blend the butter, shortening, flour, and salt until mealy/ crumbly.
2. Add 4 tbsp of ice water, work with hands until dough comes together. Add more water, if needed.
3. Roll out to ¼-inch thick. Carefully lay in 9” pie tin. Trim the edges leaving around 1/4 of an inch around and fold to create the crust.
4. Prebake the crust at 375 for 15 minutes, topped with foil.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well blended.
3. Pour in pie crust and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until pumpkin custard is set.
4. Refrigerate until cooled before serving.
DAIRY-FREE/ SUGAR-FREE WHIPPED CREAM
- 2 cups pure coconut cream, Thai Kitchen brand
- optional: a little bit of stevia, add to taste preference
1. Place coconut milk in a covered container in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours)
2. Remove from fridge and dump in bowl. Mix with electric beater or stand mixer with the whisk attachment until it doubles in volume.
3. Put back in covered container and let set for at least 2 hours before serving.
SUGAR-FREE WHIPPED CREAM
- 1 cup raw organic cream
- 1 - 2 Tbsp xylitol or Lakanto
1. Combine cream and sweetener. (Taste mixture to determine level of sweetness)
2. Using electric mixer, whip at highest speed until stiff peaks form (approximately 3 minutes) .
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