Thanksgiving Menu

I love big family meal get togethers. I cherish holidays with meaning. It is truly a blessing to be able to gather together and enjoy good, nourishing food with a family.

This year, I will be using (and some re-using) the following recipes for our day of Thanks:

Pear Cider Herbed Stuffing (using sprouted bread)

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Spice Brined Turkey

Green Italian Salad

Garlicy Green Beans

Praline Topped Squash (using this recipe for inspiration, but using sucanat, sprouted flour, and pastured dairy and eggs)

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Deviled Eggs

And for dessert my mom is bringing:

Pumpkin Pie

Vanilla Trifle Cake (coconut flour cake – using honey instead of agave, with pudding layered in with fresh berries and dark chocolate chunks)

Chocolate Truffle Cake

On Friday, we will be making canolis, an Italian family tradition. This will be my first time making them. My sweet Sicilian grandmother usually makes them. We also usually had lasagna with our Thanksgiving meal; but I think we will have to make that tradition for the day after from now on; to be enjoyed more fully.

Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be grateful for.

Creamy Salmon Pasta

I intended to make baked salmon with roasted potatoes tonight, but the kids insisted that we have pasta. I caved. So, still wanting to use the salmon, I went with this last minute concoction. It was a quick, one pot meal. I appreciate those.

Creamy Salmon Pasta

Serves 10-12 people

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of brown rice pasta (we use Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 cans wild-caught salmon
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups real cream
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 package of frozen peas
  • Real salt, and Herbamare to taste

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta according to directions, with at least 2 Tablespoons of real salt in the water.
  2. Open all packages and cans.
  3. After straining pasta, pour back into its pot.
  4. Add salmon, cream, milk, garlic (minced), and peas.
  5. Mix well on a low heat.
  6. Add Herbamare and Real Salt to taste.
  7. Serve immediately with some fresh parmesan or romano cheese on top, fresh garden salad and you’re good to go.

This meal takes all of 30 minutes to put together start to finish. Enjoy! For more nourishing recipes, check out the Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania.

Updated Sprouted Grain Bread

As I have mentioned before, I use this recipe from Urban Homemakers for a sprouted grain bread recipe. I recently decided to try playing around with it a little. The major adjustment I made today was to swap out half of the water in grinding the berries with milk. The difference is incredible. My bread is sitting on the counter rising higher then it ever has. Here is a reprint of the linked recipe, and also multiplied to make 4 loaves. (I usually do 8 loaves each week – and use 1 of them for rolls, and 1 for pizza crust.)

Sprouted Grain Bread – 4 loaves

Ingredients: Dry

  • 6 cups sprouted flour (I use white hard wheat)
  • 2.5 Tablespoons of real salt
  • 1 cup of Vital Wheat gluten/Vitamin C
Proof Yeast:
  • 4 Tablespoons Saf Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sucanat
  • 3/4 cup very warm water
Ingredients: Wet in Blendtec or Food Processor
(Must do 2 batches of the following:)
  • 4 cups sprouted berries (I use spelt or red hard wheat)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup real milk
Method:
  1. Put all dry ingredients into your mixer bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, proof the yeast with the water and sugar. Let it sit while you do the wet berries.
  3. Process the wet berries ingredients in the Blendtec on the “Grind Grain” setting for 25-30 seconds or until completely pulverized into a very wet dough. Pour the wet dough into the mixer with the dry ingredients. Repeat the process for the wet berries again and pour contents into the mixer again.
  4. Add the proofed, spongy yeast mixture into the mixer.
  5. Using your dough hook, or in the Bosch, mix the dough for about 10 minutes on a low to medium setting.
  6. After 10 minutes, touch the dough. If it is very sticky, add a little sprouted flour until the dough does not stick to your fingers. There is just a fine line between very sticky dough, and slightly sticky dough. You’ll get the hang of it the more you do it.
  7. Take dough out and divide into 4 even balls. Roll out for each loaf. Place in a very well greased bread pan.
  8. Cover with a fine cloth, and let it sit a few hours to rise.
  9. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 55-60 minutes.
  10. Nothing like hot bread out of the oven! Enjoy with some real butter.
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Banana Muffins

Breakfasts were starting to all look alike around here. So, I thought it would be nice for a change. I started filtering through some of my favorite blogs for breakfast ideas. I came across a breakfast carnival at The Nourishing Gourmet and several other good ideas. I wrote a few down for the weekly menu plan to try out. Today, I tried this recipe for sprouted banana muffins by Cheeseslave. It originally calls for 3-4 bananas and also is for bread, not muffins. So, I adapted it slightly to fit my needs. Coincidentally, a regular recipe for banana muffins looks almost the same as the sprouted one. And they turned out great! You couldn’t really tell it was sprouted grain. This is great news if you’re in the swapping out AP flour for sprouted flour. Looks like I will be just using regular recipes for quick breads and subbing out the flours (among other unhealthy ingredients).

Here is the exact measurements I used for these muffins. It made about 11 muffins. Normally I would double or triple, but on a crash test, I just wanted to be sure it would turn out.

Banana Muffins – with sprouted flour 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c butter, melted
  • 1/4 c honey or maple syrup
  • several drops Vanilla Stevia
  • 1 tsp baking soda – aluminum free
  • 1/2 tsp real salt
  • 2 eggs, pastured and local
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 c sprouted flour (I use red wheat, spelt, or white hard wheat normally)
Method:
  1. Melt butter in saucepan. Add honey or syrup to it when melted.
  2. Mash bananas and add eggs, salt, stevia, and soda. Mix well.
  3. Add in flour to egg mixture. Stir until incorporated.
  4. Pour and mix in the butter mixture. Stir it good.
  5. Oven should be preheated to 350 degrees.
  6. Line stainless steel muffin pans with non-bleached muffin papers, or grease the pan.
  7. Spoon in 1/3 cup into each muffin holder.
  8. Sprinkle a little sucanat or rapadura if you like.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes.
  10. Enjoy with some fresh poached eggs and real butter.

 

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Chai Pumpkin Cookies

Tonight I am hosting another health workshop. I love doing these. I find it refreshing to gather with like-minded women, and share our experiences on this natural living journey. As with any non-main stream group, we tend to connect in close-knit communities, where we gain wisdom, insight, and courage to do what we have felt to do.

And with the gathering, comes some good food. Sharing healthy snacks and treats at these workshops is fun. It helps others see that eating healthy can be delicious, frugal, and not overly time-consuming. Plus it motivates me to find a new, seasonal recipe to try out. This particular recipe calls for a couple of ingredients you can make yourself and save some money – pureed pumpkin, almond flour, sprouted flour, and powdered sugar. Pureed pumpkin is easy to do in a blender – just add a little bit of milk or water in the process. Almond flour is also a snap – I use blanched sliced almonds in the Blentec on the “Grind Grain” setting. I’ll have to do a tutorial on sprouted flour, but it is so much cheaper to make your own at $.50 a lb as compared to $4-6 a lb. I used evaporated cane juice for the powdered sugar, though you can also you sucanat or rapadura. I put a little over 2 cups of sugar in the Blendtec on “Grind Grain” and it makes about 4 cups of powdered sugar.I will be using the rest of that powdered sugar for a pumpkin cheesecake. Love cheesecake. But we’re on to cookies today, so here it is:

Chai Pumpkin Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups sprouted flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 2 cups sucanat
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 dropper of vanilla stevia
Icing:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tb milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp of each: nutmeg, cardamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger
  • 1 Tb melted butter
Method:
  1. Blend butter and sugars until well combined.
  2. Add eggs, pumpkin. Mix well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it good.
  4. Bake in the oven on a cookie sheet for 15-17 minutes.
  5. While the cookies are baking, you can make the frosting – melt the butter in a saucepan over the stove (please don’t use a microwave!).
  6. Add spices to powdered sugar and mix them well.
  7. Then add the butter and milk to the powdered sugar and stir slowly until combined well.
  8. Knife a little icing over each cookie once they’re cooled. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea and some good friends.
For more nourishing recipes check out Fresh Bites, and The Healthy Home Economist.
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Homemade Vanilla Extract

I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make this. It takes all of 5-10 minutes, depending on how much you’re wanting to make. I make a half gallon size; that seems to last us most of the year. Though it takes up to 6 months to fully extract the flavor from the beans, you can start using the extract after 4 weeks. Just keep checking it for intensity of flavor as the days go by.

What you will need: 

1 half gallon glass jar with lid

24 vanilla beans

8 cups of rum (the cheapest one you can get is fine)

small sharp knife

What you need to do:

1. Slit the vanilla beans one at a time length wise. Open them up (like a book). Scoop out the “caviar” inside.

2. Put the caviar and bean inside the glass jar as you go.

3. When all beans are in the jar, fill to the 8 cup mark with rum.

4. Put the lid on and shake it good.

5. Place in a dark, cool place in your kitchen and every so often (whenever you remember) give it a good shake.

6. After about 4-6 weeks, taste it and perhaps begin using it in recipes.

7. By 6 months it is completely done, and can be strained and bottled.

Enjoy, or share with a friend for the holidays. For some great nourishing recipes check out Real Food Wednesday on Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Chili

I love the fall. The cooler weather, the crunch of leaves under foot, pumpkins, apple orchards, and of course soup.

Soup comes with the changing of the seasons and I just love it. I was in the mood for something simple, yet hearty. I also have a few small squashes on hand from our local CSA that I have been wanting to use up. Last week, I had soaked and cooked an extra batch of adzuki beans, knowing I could use them in some savory dish. Frugal, nutritious and delicious – does it get any better?

Chili

Serves over 9 people

Ingredients:

2 quarts of homemade tomato juice/sauce (the waterier the better)

1 small onion, chopped

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb grassfed beef

3 cups soaked, cooked adzuki beans (or any bean you have on hand)

1 small squash (I used a delicata variety), peeled and cubed

2-3 cups vegetable pulp (I used leftovers from juicing carrots, celery and apples) – optional

spices to taste – oregano, real salt, cayenne pepper, and chili pepper

Toppings – Homemade soured cream, or raw smoked cheddar cheese, shredded

Method:

1. Brown beef in a large stock pot.

2. Add tomato sauce and stir.

3. Add onion, garlic, squash, beans, pulp and spices (remember that hot spices get “hotter” the longer they’re in the pot) .

4. Taste and add salt to taste.

5. Simmer all day or for at least 1 hour to meld flavors.

6. Serve with toppings, a fresh salad, and perhaps even some sprouted rolls. Enjoy!

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