Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Best Thanksgiving Cranberries Ever, invented by my Mom

My absolute FAVORITE thing to eat at Thanksgiving, maybe even more than turkey, is my Mom’s cranberries! They have been a staple at Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. Throughout the years she has tweaked it here and there, and has evolved into the ultimate most delicious cranberry recipe that ever was invented in the history of the world. I may be a little biased, but once you try them I think you will agree!
If anything, promise me you’ll never eat cranberries out of a can!
The final recipe tweak came last year, my first Thanksgiving eating Paleo, where my mom went out of her way to make an almost entirely Paleo feast so I could enjoy Thanksgiving during my first 30 Day Paleo Challenge. (yes, she’s really awesome like that) This is the recipe that stuck, I hope you enjoy!
By the way, this recipe is stupid easy, and if made the day before even BETTER because all the ingredients get to love up on each other and marinate and create bliss for your taste buds while you sleep.
12 oz bag of whole fresh cranberries (readily available this time of year but frozen/thawed will work fine too)
1 orange
1 large granny smith apple
½ cup of chopped walnuts
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup beet sugar
  1.  Using a food processor, pulse half of the bag of cranberries until they are chopped into small pieces. Place into a large bowl. Repeat with the rest of the bag and add to bowl.
  2.  Zest the entire orange over the bowl into the cranberries, then peel the orange and whizz in the food processor until completely liquefied/pulpy. Pour into bowl.
  3. Peel and chop the granny smith apple into small cubes. Place into bowl.
  4. Add walnuts, maple syrup, and beet sugar to bowl. Stir to combine.
  5. Cover and marinate in fridge for at least two hours, but up to a day ahead of time.
Enjoy! (I usually eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day until it’s all gone)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

One of the quintessential Thanksgiving side dishes is mashed potatoes. While I love those for a special occasion, I prefer mashed cauliflower on a regular basis. This recipe would be a perfect Paleo replacement on turkey day or whenever you are craving some serious comfort food. The soft, creamy texture is a perfect partner to turkey, and it can be made a day ahead of time as it reheats very well.

I have tried various versions of mashed cauliflower before, and this method is by far my favorite. By roasting them before pureeing, the flavors are much more complex than if just steaming.

2 heads of cauliflower, chopped into even sized florets
2 cloves of garlic
3 Tbl ghee
1 Tbl onion powder
1 cup of vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Fresh chives to garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Place the cauliflower florets and garlic on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and season liberally with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes, until cauliflower is soft, tossing the cauliflower a few times while baking.
  2. In a large pot, add the ghee, onion powder, and vegetable broth. Add the cauliflower and garlic once cooked and use an immersion blender to puree. (If you don't have an immersion blender, a food processor or blender will work, just blend in small batches at a time)
  3. Garnish with fresh chopped chives, and additional salt and pepper if needed

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sausage, Kale and, Pear Stuffed Acorn Squash

This week and next, I will be posting some Paleo options that can be incorporated into your Thanksgiving feasts.

This can be scaled based on how many people you need this for. This recipe is for 8 people. For Thanksgiving, it may be better to find smaller acorn squashes so everyone can have their own individual half.

2 large acorn squash, or 4 small
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 links hot Italian sausage, casings removed
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches of kale, tough stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1 Bartlett pear, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil over the cut side (or ¼ tablespoon over each if you use 4 smaller squash) and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet, and roast for about 20 to 35 minutes, until slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork. (The time will be less for smaller squashes; test with a fork after 20 minutes; if the fork doesn’t go all the way through, cook a bit longer.) source
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage, breaking up large pieces with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to a bowl.
  3. Rinse kale in water and remove the stems, tear into small pieces and place into a large bowl. Give the kale a quick massage to break down the fibers
  4. Reheat skillet and add garlic, raisins, and pears. Cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add kale. Cook until kale wilts and is almost completely cooked, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add sausage back into the skillet and stir to combine.
  6. Spoon sausage mixture generously into the squash halves and serve immediately source


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Paleo Spiced Banana Bread

Maybe it's because my new loaf pan is just so darn cute, or the fact that my fiance constantly asks me to make them, but I just can't get enough of Paleo breads these days! I've already posted Pumpkin Bread and Halloween Bread, now it's time for Banana Bread! Expect to see a few more variations throughout the cold-weather season, cause there is something just so comforting about these breads to me!

Can I also take a moment to talk about my kitchen assistant, Minnie!?  She was the most adorable banana I have ever seen for Halloween this year! (no Minnie's were harmed in the making of this banana bread)

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 really ripe bananas (mashed well)
2 tbsp honey
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Small dash of ginger powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, add the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, stir to combine.
  5. Fill batter into coconut-oil greased loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes
adaped from this recipe


Friday, November 2, 2012

Slowcooker Sweet Potato Beef Stew

It is not a secret that I love my slow cooker! I had a lot of leftover veggies from my Harvest Stew, and decided to try something a little different with beef stew meat. I was sure to write down everything that I put in my crock pot so if it turned out yummy, I would have accurate measurements of what I used.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and continued prayers go out to the Sandy victims. The American Red Cross has set up an easy way to help if interested.

2 lbs beef stew meat
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups orange pepper, chopped (approx 2 peppers)
1 medium white onion, diced
1 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 qt low sodium beef broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbl ghee (or fat of choice)

  1. Heat a medium-large skillet and add ghee to pan
  2. Season beef liberally with salt and pepper
  3. Place the browned beef and liquid in the crock pot
  4. Add all other ingredients and spices
  5. Mix to combine
  6. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste