Thanks and Giving: Recipes for a Nourishing Holiday

Thanks and Giving: Recipes for a Nourishing Holiday

A Healthy Spin on a Few Thanksgiving Classics

Over the years, I've been inspired to recreate some of the traditional Thanksgiving foods from my childhood, using organic, local and wild ingredients. I want to share those recipes with you here!

I love creating meals using ingredients that still feel close to the Earth, and still carry that Earth energy within. I realized I have the opportunity to recreate these dishes I've grown to love. We don't have to stick to the 1950s canned versions of the dishes we knew as kids. We can find ways to prepare this meal so that we may be nourished instead of just stuffed!

It's more labor intensive to cook from scratch, but also it requires more awareness, more intention, which is a wonderful thing. It becomes a practice, and the act of preparation infuses the food with life, love and gratitude. And that's what we get to eat; that's what we're nourished by - the energy and vibration infused in the food through the act of cooking.

Even if you don't have the best ingredients or biggest variety available to you, if you infuse what you do have with love, that's what makes it tastes so incredible, and what will truly fill us up.

This year, I invite you to create new traditions; traditions that really feed you, and reconnect you to that wild nature.

Wild Rice Pilaf or Stuffing

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • Place dried fruit in bowl and cover with bourbon overnight
  • 1-2 tart cooking apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped or 6-8 shallots chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine apples, onions, garlic and celery in a skillet with the butter. Cook the mixture over moderate heat, until the celery is tender and the onions are soft.

Stir in:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley minced
  • 1 cup dry roasted walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup of raw long grain brown rice
  • 1 cup of raw wild rice

Sautée for 2-3 minutes and add 4 cups of chicken stock or 4 cups water and 1 herbed bouillon cube. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add dried fruit and continue to cook for 25 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

For a classic stuffing, place the rice mixture in the cavity of a turkey before roasting. Both the stuffing and the bird should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Sweet Potatoes with Balsamic Vinegar Drizzle

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch rounds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram leaves

Preheat the oven to 400.

Place sweet potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain potatoes.

Combine syrup and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 4 minutes or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Remove from heat; Whisk in butter and pepper.

Oil Baking dish with avocado oil. Arrange potatoes in a shingle pattern in the dish. Top with syrup mixture. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and marjoram. Bake at 400 for 4 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Remove from over. Spoon sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Garlicky Green Bean Casserole with Wild Mushroom Sauce

For the Garlicky Green Beans:

  • ½ pound string beans washed and tips removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot sliced thin

Blanch the string beans in water for 3 minutes, then chill and drain. Saute garlic and shallots in olive oil for about two minutes and stir in the green beans. Do not over cook the beans. 

For the Wild Mushroom Sauce:

  • 7 tablespoons of butter, ghee or olive oil 
  • 4-5 cups mushrooms (buy locally grown or gather wild mushrooms if you can to add a taste of the wild!), sliced
  • 2/3 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, add more if too thick
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or dairy free nut milk, heated
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry
  • 1 cup of almonds, roasted and chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Saute in butter, ghee, or oil leeks, and celery until tender. Add the mushrooms and dried thyme, continuing to saute until mushrooms are soft. Sprinkle with flour and stir well to cover.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth ( or vegetable broth) until it thickens

Then slowly add cream or nut milk.

Last blend in the sherry.

When thick, stir the  garlicky green beans into the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.Add the sprigs of fresh thyme. Top with almonds, and bake for 20-25 minutes.