Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Leftovers (can be even better than the main event!)

Sorry, this was supposed to be posted the other day. WordPress and I had a fight. I lost… lost most of my post that is. I tried to click ‘save draft’ and it sent me to a screen that said, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Well, I thought I did, but now I’m not so sure… and gone.

Well, we had expected to have more leftovers. After all, 4 people, 2 turkeys (24lbs total), 4 big sides… that’s a lot of food person. Overall, we did pretty good. My parents took home half of the leftovers.

turkey carving my dad and the husband carving the turkeys

In our family, Turkey Tomato Soup is a newer tradition almost as big as the Thanksgiving dinner itself. My mom has been making it for several years now. It’s a great way to use up that last bit of turkey.

turkeytomatosoup

Thursday night, I threw the carcass in pot and made some nourishing bone broth to use in my soup. Once it cooled, I removed a bit of the fat layer. You can tell if you have good broth if it gels when its cold (gelatin is released from the bones). Homemade broth is really good for your digestive system.

turkeytomatosoup1

If you have the time and patience, you can gather quite a bit more meat by picking the bones of the carcass. Sometimes I feel like it, sometimes I don’t…

I suggest if you still have some leftover turkey, throw it in some soup. If not, you can always use chicken from next week!!

turkeytomatosoup2

TURKEY TOMATO SOUP

3C turkey chopped (or more if you have it!)
2cans (14oz) tomatoes (dices, stewed or combo – SCD legal if necessary)
1can tomato paste
2-4C chicken/turkey stock
1can Cannelloni beans (white kidney)
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
1lb baby carrots
1 large onion diced (2C)
1C chopped celery
4TBSP butter
1TBSP basil
1tsp parsley
sea salt/pepper to taste
splash red wine
cheddar cheese (optional)

In a heavy bottomed pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions and celery and salt/pepper to taste. Cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add garlic and tomato paste, stir well and heat through. Next, add stock, 2cans tomatoes, basil, parsley and splash of red wine. Bring to simmer and add carrots and meat. Cook for 45mins. Add beans, check salt/pepper flavoring and cook for another 15 mins. Serve topped with cheese if desired, crackers if you can!

turkeytomatosoup4

This is a great meal to make for leftovers/lunches throughout the week, as it reheats really well. Also, it can be done in the slow cooker. If you use frozen sliced carrots, you can reduce your cooking time by almost half (cook 20-25mins, add beans and cook 10-15). I used whole baby carrots because that’s what I had and was too lazy to chop them smaller.

turkeytomatosoup3

My mom and I have a conversation about tomato paste every year about this time. It usually goes something like – Why does the recipe only call for 2oz of tomato paste, when the cans only come in 6oz size? Do they expect me to freeze the left over paste and actually remember to get it out later? Fat chance… What a waste! – So, needless to say, we’ve started using the entire can. Feel free to use 2oz and save the rest for another recipe. The extra paste deepens the tomato flavor and we really like it.

Also, red wine… I know they say you should use a wine you would drink. I haven’t been drinking much lately, let alone red wine. I’ve found that Pompeian Burgandy cooking wine works great for our tastes. Go ahead, roll your eyes, shake your head… I don’t care. Use what works for you!

Enjoy!

Our Semi-SCD Thanksgiving Menu

Well, it looks like its going to be a small Thanksgiving for us this year. The husband and my dad both have to work Friday and my sister and her husband will be staying with his family this year…

My mom and I hashed out the menu this week. So, we both have our shopping lists and assumed responsibilities. The husband naturally had his requirements for fried turkey… Since I can’t eat fried foods, we will also be roasting a turkey!

Two turkeys for four people should provided for sufficient amounts of leftovers. My mom and I love making turkey soup/stews and casseroles (those recipes will follow soon).

cranberry sauce chicken

We decided to go with regular mashed potatoes (instead of Garlic Mashed Cauliflower) so that everyone else has a couple reasons to use gravy. My mom will make her famous dressing (for some reason, I’m not a fan – never have been). Now i have an excuse as it’s made with a lot of bread.

Curried Carrot Souffle
image courtesy of Family Circle magazine

As a substitute for sweet potatoes, there will be a new recipe for carrot souffle. I found it this week in a magazine and will have to modify it slightly for SCD legalities (and to drop the curry). Also, we will be modifying green bean casserole on the fly Thursday to be SCD legal. I will post the modified recipes!

pecan pie plated

So here it is, our Thanksgiving menu!

Fried Turkey
Roasted Turkey (see also Roasted Chicken)
-with Brown butter and fried sage Au Jus
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Carrot Souffle (original recipe Family Circle magazine)
Fresh Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry-Orange Sauce with honey (see my recipe here)
Pecan Pie (SCD legal of course – see my recipe here)
Pumpkin Pie

I hope you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!
I will post some really good leftover recipes after turkey day. Stay tuned…

“Mock”sgiving – Cranberry-Orange Sauce

We never, ever, had homemade cranberry sauce at our table growing up. I think I remember the can-shaped jelly slices alternated with pineapple slices… I can only remember eating the pineapple.

cranberry ingredients

When we were planning our first Thanksgiving, the husband insisted on cranberry sauce. Once we understood each other, I realized he wanted a dish made-from-scratch. So, off I went to Google Search.

All the recipes required a lot of sugar. But, since I didn’t know any better at the time, I followed the instructions. Not bad tasting, but that amount of sugar these days would probably kill me.

cranberry cooking

I can definitely tell my tastes are changing. I find now that honey adds more to the depth of flavor than just sugary sweetness and am really enjoying using honey instead of refined sugar.

If you haven’t splurged on some ‘varietal honeys’, you should really consider it. When bees produce honey from one certain flower, the flavor becomes very distinctive. We highly recommend Sourwood honey. According to the folks at Savannah Bee Company, Sourwood has the lowest glucose content of all the mono-flower honeys. It is the only honey that can actually age and improve in flavor. Also, due to the low sugar content, it does not crystallize (well, at least not for 40-50 years).

If you’re ever in Savannah, stop and see them. They offer free tastings, body care products and are full of information. You can purchase all their products online and I’ve seen some honey in Fresh Market stores.

cranberry sauce chicken

CRANBERRY-ORANGE SAUCE
makes about 2 cups

12oz package cranberries
1C orange juice
1/2C water
1/2C – 2/3C Honey (amount depends on preference of tartness)
1/4tsp sea salt

Rinse and sort cranberries – pull out bad ones. Combine all ingredients in sauce pan. Cover and cook on medium-high for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover once the “popping” stops and reduce to desired thickness. Serve warm or cold.

cranberry chicken plated

This is an easy recipe to make the day before and allow you to reduce the ‘day of’ cooking. I served this over chicken and it was delicious – hopefully the turkey will be as good!

Enjoy!

“Mock”-sgiving: SCD Pecan Pie!!

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”
-Hunter S. Thompson

Still trying to get ready for Thanksgiving.

I’ve been mulling over some thoughts on an SCD pecan pie for a couple weeks now. I found a couple recipes via Google search, but had some personal issues with the amount of honey they require (some up to 1  1/2C!). With my hypoglycemic issues, its important not to cause BIG spikes in my blood sugar. Second, honey can be a bit intense and over powering. It is pecan pie after all.

The husband and I like LARA bars. They are made entirely of fruit and nuts and the only prepackaged food I’ve found that fits into the SCD (lemon is my favorite!). The primary ingredient in most of the bars is dates. That got me thinking…

Could we incorporate dates into the filling and reduce the honey?

As it turns out – Yes, we can! It’s not the simplest recipe, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

I got the recipe for the pie crust from my new cookbook, Grain-Free Gourmet. It works well – reminiscent of a graham cracker crust. I think next time I’d make some small changes, but I’ll write about that when/if I actually do it.

First things first: Soaking nuts. It is really important to prepare foods to increase your ability to digest them. By soaking raw nuts, you remove a majority of the tannins and decrease the phytates and inhibiting enzymes that can cause digestive distress. Plus, it makes them taste so much better.

They will stay good for 2-3 days after soaking. If you plan to prepare a large quantity, I’d recommend that you also dry them after soaking.

SOAKED NUTS
Nourishing Traditions (Fallon) – link in Resources

1C nuts (in this case Pecans)
2C filtered water
1/2tsp sea salt (see post on sea salt here.)

Combine ingredients in jar, shake well and leave on counter overnight. Drain and rinse well. Refrigerate for 2-3 days or dehydrate at 105degrees for 10-12 hours.

PIE CRUST
Grain-Free Gourmet (Bager & Lass, 2010)

Makes 1 9″ pie crust
1 1/2C almond flour
3TBSP butter (cold, cut in pieces)
2TBSP honey [I only used 1TBSP]
1/8tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300degrees. Combine all ingredients. Using pastry cutter or food processor, cut in butter or pulse until it begins to form a ball. Place dough ball between 2 pieces of plastic wrap/parchment and roll out to 11″ round. Place on sheet pan and refrigerate for minimum of 15mins. Remove from fridge and peel off one side of plastic wrap. Working quickly, invert pastry round into pie plate and peel off remaining plastic. Patch any holes. Dock crust with a fork. Bake for 10 to 15mins until it just starts to brown. Set aside.

pie crust doughpie crust rolledpie crust panpie crust dockedpie crust bakeddates and honeydates and eggsdates and pecanspie crust filled

PECAN PIE 

1C pitted dates (heaping)
1 1/4C filtered water
1/2C honey
3TBSP butter
3 eggs – lightly beaten
1/2tsp vanilla
1tsp salt
2C soaked pecans (roughly chopped)

Combine dates and water in saucepan and soak for 1hour.
Turn heat on medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20mins with lid on. (optional: remove some of the floating skins, not necessary, they just bothered me). Pour into blender (be careful, it is hot after all) and puree until smooth. Return to sauce pan and add honey. Bring mixture back to a simmer – stirring constantly – for 5 mins. Remove from heat, add butter and stir to combine. Set aside until mixture is cool to the touch and has thickened. Add eggs, vanilla and salt to date/honey mixture – stir to combine then add in pecans. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake at 300degrees for 40 to 50mins. When you shake the pie pan the mixture should barely shake/jiggle in the center. Remove from oven and cool.

and the finished pie! ta-daa!

pecan pie plated

The husband, who is not usually a huge fan of pecan pie, loves it! Give it a try. Please let me know what you think!!!

Delicious and super easy weeknight dinner

Sorry, this was supposed to be posted last night, but I fell asleep sitting up with my computer in my lap…

Last week felt really long. Heck, it was long. I put in way too much overtime, delivered a couple challenging prosthetics, was a speaker for a physical therapy continuing education course sponsored by my office and worked as an OT both Saturday and Sunday (I hate public speaking, but that’s a whole other post).

I had planned to cook an actual meal last week; but, with all the late nights, it just didn’t happen. Need-less-to-say, I ate a lot of scrambled eggs. Who wants to see a post on that…?

In an effort to utilize what food was already in my apartment, I made my favorite go-to meal. Roast chicken and vegetables, yum. Again, I was craving something starchy… enter butternut squash.

It can be so hard to cook for 1. When I’m away from home I find I cook for 4 and have great leftovers for lunch all week.

I have really come to like squash! My mom never thought she’d see the day I’d eat cooked vegetables, but here it is!

My favorite part about this meal is how simple and versatile it is. I use this recipe for roasting whole chickens or just parts, as seen below (even my Thanksgiving turkey gets a close variation). It works great for all of them (just adjust your cooking times!).

If you use option 2, feel free to add additional chopped herbs or fresh garlic to your taste. I’ve used both rosemary and parsley before and it’s fantastic. Fresh garlic can work well too, but I find it burns too quickly if on top of the chicken.

Don’t get too jealous of my fancy dinner-ware. I save my best paper china for my photo-ops…

dinnerandlunch

ROAST CHICKEN

3-4 lbs chicken (with skin and bones)
2TBSP butter
1TBSP coconut oil
1tsp garlic powder
Salt/pepper to taste

There are two ways to do this. I usually base my decision on how dirty I feel like getting my hands and how many pieces I’m doing – whole bird, option 2; 8 thighs, option 1.

Option 1: Melt butter and coconut oil and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with salt/pepper and garlic.

Option 2: Combine softened butter and coconut oil and all seasonings. Separate skin from chicken by running fingers between skin and meat. Fill cavities under skin with seasoned butter mix.

Once chicken is prepared, bake at 350degrees until internal temperature reaches 165degrees. (Roughly: chicken thighs 30-40mins; whole bird 75-90mins).

roasted squash

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

1-2pound butternut squash
1TBSP butter
1TBSP coconut oil
Salt/pepper to taste

Peel and dice butternut squash. Melt butter and oil and pour over squash. Season with salt/pepper. Bake at 350degrees for 30-40mins. Use spatula to toss/rotate pieces every 10-15mins to keep from burning. Make sure to use a sheet pan with at least a little side edge – the squash can put out a bit of water.
Enjoy!

“Mock”-sgiving: Garlic and Onion Mashed Cauliflower

Right after we got married, my husband and I hosted my family for the Thanksgiving weekend. I was so nervous about getting everything right. I actually cooked a small mock Thanksgiving dinner in October to test my abilities. Looking back, I don’t know why I was really worried, my mom and I are usually in the kitchen together the entire time. We had a blast – as usual.

Recently, we started talking about holiday plans. I found myself getting discouraged about the upcoming holiday season. I kept thinking about how much I was going to miss my favorite holiday dishes. Of those recipes, 90% of them seem to fall on the SCD illegal list… Then I thought, lets turn it around – what a great time to find some new recipes and maybe introduce my family to some different dishes! So over the next few weeks, I’m going to be slowly trying new recipes to add to the Thanksgiving spread!

My mom found this one and passed it along. As usual, I forgot to take a picture until after we’d already dug in. So, if it looks like I tried to mound it again, I did. I’m gonna get better with the photo thing; its just gonna take time. I did not change much to this recipe at all. We are big cheese fans in our house. I did add a little Romano cheese to the blender to incorporate the flavor throughout. If you are following Paleo, just leave out the cheese. Also, I did not have coconut cream, so I substituted butter. You can’t go wrong with butter. This is a great side dish, quite inexpensive and could be my mashed potato substitute for Thanksgiving.

CAULIFLOWER MASH by kellymarie.yoder
CAULIFLOWER MASH, a photo by kellymarie.yoder on Flickr.

GARLIC AND ONION MASHED CAULIFLOWER

1 tbsp coconut creamer (or butter)
1 tsp salt
16 oz cauliflower
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic
5 oz onions

Cut cauliflower (florets and top portion of stalk-peeled if preferred) into similar sized pieces, roughly chop onion and peeled garlic. Add all 3 ingredients to steamer basket. Steam for 6-8 minutes or until very tender. Drain all water and put all ingredients into food processor. Process until smooth. Serve immediately. Top with grated cheese or paprika (optional).

Enjoy!