Giving Thanks For Clean Eats

I was totally doing my makeup before i went to the gym and I remembered this dream I had blah blah blah we don’t care about your recipe blog life story bullcrap. Thanksgiving is no reason to eat like garbage! EAT CLEAN!!

Here are the goodies!

Grandberry Sauce (because cranberry sauce is laaaaaaaaaame!)

2c fresh/frozen cranberries

1c orange juice (100% juice)

1/4t salt

1/4c honey (optional for extra sweetness)

Zest of one orange

2-3 whole cloves

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring orange juice to a simmer and reduce by half. Add cranberries and remaining ingredients, and allow berries to break down, releasing their juices. Simmer on low 10 min, stirring occasionally. Set aside to come to room temp then refrigerate. Sauce will thicken.

Roast Sweet Taters with bourbon maple glaze

2-6 sweet potatoes (depending on number of guests) peeled and cut into 2” chunks

Salt and pepper

2T melted butter

1T cinnamon

Glaze:

1c 100% maple syrup

½c organic brown sugar (optional)

4T butter or ghee

1t salt

¼ c bourbon

Preheat oven to 400. Mix cinnamon and melted butter together then toss sweet potato chunks in it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Roast sweet potatoes (in batches if needed to give chunks enough room to crisp up) on a nonstick, high heat pan for 20 min. Toss and continue to roast for another 20min.

In the meantime, make the glaze sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Add in the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT bourbon. Reduce by a third stirring often, about 10min. Add bourbon and continue to cook another 5min. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Mixture will thicken.  Drizzle over sweet potatoes as desired.

Dairy-free* creamy mashed taters

6-8 Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1 1/2” chunks (peeling not necessary)

1/2 can full fat coconut milk

4T butter or ghee

Salt and Pepper

2T garlic powder (or more if desired...I like a LOT of garlic flavor so I add more)

*1/4c parm cheese here optional but not necessary (I’ve made it both ways and both are delicious but if you’re going strictly dairy free, omit)

Boil potato chunks in salty water till soft with a fork.  Drain, set aside. In same pot, return to low heat and melt butter. Add half of coconut milk and return potatoes to pot. Turn off the heat. Begin to mash. BY HAND!! Add remaining milk and continue mashing until desired consistency is reached. Add salt, pepper and garlic pepper to taste. Add parm cheese last if you want. Mix thoroughly with spatula.

Grain free Pie crust (courtesy paleomazing.com)

2 1/4c (otto’s) Cassava flour

1/8t salt

3/4c COLD butter -OR- vegetable shortening (but it must be cold)

12-13T ice water

Mix flour and salt together with a whisk. Cut butter/shortening into flour till it makes pea sized bits. You can save time by pulsing small cubes of butter with the flour in a food processor just BE CAREFUL not to over pulse! Otherwise do by hand. Once the butter is fully cut into flour, add water one T at a time until it forms a dough ball. Cut the large dough ball in half and wrap in plastic wrap to refrigerate for 30-45min. Remember this dough is gluten free so the nice elastic proteins that are in wheat flour are not present so when you roll out your dough balls, it may be slightly crumbly. Be gentle with it and piece it together as needed. Roll into a round and gently place in your pie dish. Other round will be used to top your pie or as a second pie crust.

Apple filling

4-5 baking apples (honeycrisp, granny smith or pink lady)

2T Lemon juice

1t salt

1T cinnamon or apple pie spices of choice

1/4c organic brown sugar, maple sugar or sucanat

4T butter, divided

1 egg beaten (optional)

Peel and slice apples into ¼” slices. Toss in lemon juice and 2T melted butter. Mix salt, sugar and spices together. Toss apples in mixture. Dump mixture in pie crust. Cut remaining 2T butter into small chunks and sprinkle over top of fruit so it melts into pie. Top with remaining pie crust with cutouts or lattice. Brush crust with beaten egg OR more melted butter. Butter will brown and make more crispy, egg will brown slightly and make crust shiny. Bake at 400 for 1 hour

Cherry filling

1/2c balsamic vinegar

2 bags of frozen tart cherries (or 4 cups pitted fresh cherries)

1/8t salt

1/4c honey (optional)

1/4c quick cooking tapioca

Reduce vinegar over low medium heat in small sauce pan until reduced by half 5-10min. Add cherries, salt and honey if desired (the honey is if you like sweet. Frankly, I’ve made this pie a dozen or more times and the fruit doesn’t need it but it’s there if you like).  Cook over medium heat for about 10min till cherries start to break down. Remove from heat and add tapioca. Allow to sit and cool completely. Mixture should be the consistency of loose jelly. Pour into pie crust and top with second crust with cutouts or lattice. Bake at 375 for 1hour.

And there ya have it folks! 3 sides and 2 pies that are clean eats and guaranteed to be a big hit at your holiday feast!

Other tricks include:

-Corn bread stuffing/dressing is a gluten free alternative to traditional. Make it from scratch, not the box stuff.

-Green bean casserole does not require the canned concentrated soup mix. Tapioca or cassava flour is great for making a grain free roux, then just add some salt and mushrooms. Reduce to desired thickness and mix into your green beans as normal. Skip the soy sauce. You don’t need it!

-Lots of gluten free or  grain free options out there now for rolls. If you absolutely must have the real deal, make from scratch or just limit yourself to one. Better yet, make a deal with yourself that instead of a roll you’ll have a small extra piece of your clean eats pie!

-The turkey doesn’t need to be addressed for obvious reasons. But roasting or smoking your bird (imo) is much much better than frying. But i understand it’s a very personal, subjective thing and everyone has their traditions.

-Pick your battles with things like dairy and gluten bomb sides and appetizers, sugary desserts and holiday booze. Moderation is key! Stay hydrated and keep moving! THe more sedentary you are, the more miserable you’ll feel. Go for a walk after the meal and invite some family members you’d like to catch up with. Or go alone and enjoy the quiet time.

I promise I’m not trying to pick apart your holiday and pee in your Thanksgiving cornflakes. I am just suggesting that you take it easy and be kind to your body. Enjoy your holiday and all the traditional treats that come with it but you don’t have to sabotage your goals or your off season training.

 

Carrie Giordano