Here we are Thanksgiving eve, the kick off of the holiday season. The celebration of all we have to be grateful for. With this celebration comes lots of YUMMY eats, and with those yummy eats comes a boatload of calories.
I read this morning the average person consumes 2,000-3,000 calories during Thanksgiving dinner. YIKES! Can you just imagine the stress that puts on our lovely bodies?
I am gratsful for many things but one of the things at the top of my list is having REAL food. It has honestly changed my life and not sure where I would be without it.
With that said I want to share with you my REAL food Thanksgiving feast (actually my NEW YEARS feast Thanksgiving style) along with my recipes and resources.
We began by roasting our Apple Cider Brined Turkey. Our turkey was a local free-range bird that happily resided at The Orchard at Old Homestead. The brining recipe I used came along with my bird (purchased the apple cider at pick up too). The recipe was kind of messy when all was said and done but left the bird pretty juicy, so minus the mess, good stuff. I used bacon fat to brown up the outside although I did not have quite enough to cover the rear. (This was my first turkey cooking experience and with the help of the hubs we got'r done:)
Grain Free Stuffing
This came from probably my favorite gluten free cooking site, Elana's Pantry. Not knowing where to start I think I pretty much copied her recipe exact except I had no dried cranberries and substituted raisins. And ohhhh it was DELICIOUS especially with some fresh cranberries on top:) http://www.elanaspantry.com/cranberry-apple-stuffing/.
Mashed Cauliflower and Gravy
1 Head cauliflower
1/3 stick organic no salt butter
1/4 cup organic heavy whipping cream
seasalt to taste
Steam cauliflower until fork tender (about 9 minutes). Place in stainless steal bowl covered until just before ready to eat. This kept them hot, fresh and a bit more tender until ready to whip. Use hand held mixer, add butter and cream. Mix until desired consistancy. Add fresh garlic, salt and pepper to taste.Gluten Free
Herbs of choice
seasalt and pepper to taste
Heat turkey dripping right in roaster pan (or move to a sauce pan). Slowly add in 1 tablespoon arrowroot with a hand whip. This process takes a while and you DO NOT want to add in too much arrowroot because it thickens fast and will then have a globby consistancy. Depending on how much you have of the drippings slowly add arrowroot until just under your desired consistancy. I then added about a 3/4 cup of dried parsley, oregano and basil mixed and topped with salt and pepper to taste. I yielded about 2 cups of gravy when done. NOTE* Will be thickened up pretty good by the next day so I whipped in some leftover chicken broth I had in the fridge.
Roasted Green Beans
2 pounds fresh green beans (vine end snapped off)
Penzy's Forward Seasoning
Place cleaned beans in tin pan or on sprayed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil (butter flavored grapeseed oil or coconut oil work well too) Generously sprinkle seasoning on. Cover and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes or until fragrant. We love roasting veggies and you can pretty much use any variety or combination of choice. Just remember different veggies will take different times. Using the sense of smell usually works out best to know when done. If you smell them they are done:)
~1 bag fresh cranberries
~1 medium apple grated (i had gala on hand)
~organic black cherry juice (could use whatever you have on hand)
In a sauce pan simmer the fresh cranberries on low in 1/4 cup black cherry juice (only because that is what I had but turned out very nice). When the cranberries were just reaching the chunky but juicy stage I added in the grated apple. I like my cranberries somewhat chunky so stirred about 5 more minutes to blend in and soften apple. I added 1 T fresh local honey to sweeten and 1 t cinnamon. Gave everything a good final stir, moved to container and refridgerated until dinner. YUM!
This concludes my rendition of a REAL food feast. Everything was incredibly delicious, yet another reason to check out what REAL food has to offer. I did make a few changes from the recipes according to what I had stocked in my kitchen. Another great benefit to eating REAL you can easily mix and match ingredients and ideas.Well no matter whats is on your plate tomorrow make it a great day. Be thankful and don't forget that to thank that special temple we call "our body!"
Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!