Grain Free Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup & A Holiday Note
Since there's too many Thanksgiving recipes out there to compete with, I decided to share some thoughts on how to make your holiday healthier & happier, instead. The two go hand in hand, remember?
I'm sharing a few of my favorite "Thanksgiving themed" dishes that you can bring to your table, as well as a special reminder about the Holiday season and how important it is to relax, take a step back, and enjoy the holiday for what it is meant to be -- being thankful.
The holidays are a time of happiness, joy, and good food, but can also be highly stressful, overwhelming and for some, lonely! But, focusing on Thanksgiving here for the moment, it should be a time to take a moment to reflect on your fall season, your year, and your life. It should be a time to reflect on all that you have going for you and all that you have been given and have worked for. We live such taxing daily lives, always on the go and always doing and wanting more more more.
This time of the year is the perfect time to just sit back and be thankful for what you do have already. Coming into the season of giving and receiving gifts, we often forget about how many gifts we already have. Sounds cliché, but it's true. We have so much to be thankful for, just being alive and breathing! So yeah, the best way to calm down before we head into the busy month of December is to take time now to be grateful for our perfectly imperfect lives.
In spirit of this, I've been writing down 10 things every couple days or so that I'm grateful for. I've noted everything, big & small. From deliciously scented candles, to my family, to coffee, to pursuing my passions, to the country I live in, however screwed up it may be. Especially since the election time, I've really taken a step back to be grateful for my life, my family, my friends, and myself. I've realized how grateful I've been to grow up in a country where I've had the freedom to be who I want to be and to pursue my dreams. While I'm not convinced this will dramatically change over the next four years, the elections have definitely put it all into perspective for me as a young women with entrepreneurial aspirations.
And in recognizing the countless people, things, places and experiences I have to be grateful for, it made me realize how much we all take for granted on a daily basis. For example, just having a roof over my head, access to pretty much any food or drink I want, whenever, and the support and comfort of an unreal family is not something everyone in America, or the world, has or could even imagine having. In short, we're extremely extremely extremely fortunate for the lives we live. And the second we realize that, the second we start seeing our lives as truly a miracle, the more and more unbelievable they come. It's the power of perspective and optimism.
So, with that, I challenge you to take this week to just step back and view your world in a different way. Set an intention of gratitude. Instead of stressing over feeding the family, or the work you have to finish before the break or long weekend, or whatever it is that's stressing you, take a moment to jot down 10 things your grateful for. Big or small, they're all important.
ANYWAY, I also want to share with you some things I would love to have at my Thanksgiving dinner table, if I were doing a proper one. Sad face.
As you know, I dig squashes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and basically every vegetable on the Earth. Except peas. Hard no. No need for peas, no need.
So here are some of The No Grainer's Favorite Thanksgiving Themed Dishes:
Roasted Cinnamon, Citrus, & Cranberry Butternut Squash
Woah, that's a lot of Cs. Anyway, this one is super easy and simple to whip up. It's sweet, zesty and so comforting. It has a few of my favorite foods, spices and fruits so its guaranteed to be good for you. Here's how to whip it up
- Slice the butternut squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and chop into medium-sized chunks. I keep the skin on because I eat the skin on nearly every fruit & vegetable, edible or not. Place in a medium sized bowl.
- Melt some coconut oil or ghee, and pour over the squash chunks, mixing with a spoon to evenly cover.
- Sprinkle lots of cinnamon over the squash, and a pinch of salt and a pinch of dried ginger. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon over the squash.
- Add the whole cranberries to the bowl to soak up the juices and spices.
- Mix it all thoroughly, spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25 minutes at 200C/375F.
Super simple & easy -- you don't even need a full recipe! Play with whatever amounts of spice you like, there's no way to screw this one up!
Another recipe I'm loving is my Superfood Cranberry Sauce. Definitely add this one to your table. If you have a trained, health-freak palate like me and your guests will be okay with some tang, leave the recipe as is. For the majority of the population, add a few tablespoons or so of honey to please all.
Looking for a way to use up that leftover mashed squash? My Paleo Butternut Squash bread may be the best way the day after Thanksgiving!
For sweet potatoes, defo time to change up the boring old mash and roast them up. You'll know by now I'm a huge fan of roasted sweet potatoes over mash, so whip some of these up if you want to jazz things up. Check out my favorite ways to cook with sweet potatoes for more ideas!
And lastly, sometimes some roasted veg just does the trick at the Thanksgiving table. If you know you can't eliminate the mashed potatoes and stuffing (not saying you should) try adding in more green veg to the menu! I love roasted veg, here's how I do it!
Above all, remember that no matter what you put on your table, healthy or not, the most important thing is to be happy and to radiate happiness toward whoever you spend the day with. Healthy is more than just substituting foods, it's about finding happiness in the foods you have created with and shared with loved ones.
Wishing all a joyful, gratitude filled holiday to all in the US!