Tag Archives: low carbohydrate

Our Paleo Thanksgiving Revisited!

Thanksgiving Dinner!

As it’s a week before the big Turkey Day 2012, I wanted to share our Thanksgiving post from last year. I hadn’t really started posting recipes regularly so some of you may have missed it. Since we will be traveling to Illinois to see my family this year I won’t be cooking, but I hope you give some of these recipes a try as they were fantastic. I’ve left my original content here and added a few new comments (in italics) and pictures to some of the recipes.

This is Dr. Carrie. Dr. Court usually writes these posts but I thought it might be interesting to switch it up. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving I thought it might be fun to share our menu. Normally, I don’t get the opportunity to cook on the holidays as we usually travel to be with either my family or his, but this year we decided not to go anywhere. As some of you know we eat mostly meat, eggs, vegetables and low glycemic fruit which means we try not to eat a lot of grains, sugar or processed food. I guess you could say we eat a Paleolithic diet which he has posted about in the past (see Why Eat a Paleolithic Diet?). We aren’t strictly Paleo as we do include some dairy in the form of cheese, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and for me cream in my coffee.

Now, I grew up in a fantastic Midwestern, Standard American Diet family and it is sacrilege to not have pumpkin pie and stuffing to go with your marshmallow sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce from a can and green bean casserole. So, you can see my conundrum when it comes to preparing my own Thanksgiving dinner. Do I make the traditional dinner and call it a cheat day? But then what do we do with all of those leftovers? I mean we’re only 2 people. Or do I stick to my principles and make a “healthy” meal that’s just meat and veggies and have some fruit for dessert? Boring….that’s what we eat every day! (This year I do plan to make the Brussel Sprouts and Bacon to take to my big family dinner…they’re so good they’ll never suspect it came from a Paleo cookbook!)

I did what every American does…I Googled it! I wanted to see if there were recipes for Paleo versions of traditional Thanksgiving fare. Thanks to the Crossfitters who endorse the Paleo diet there are now tons of recipes online. I was amazed at what I found including an entire Paleo menu. I am not ashamed to admit that I am using most of the recipes from the first website I came across but how could I pass up Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey, Beef Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie! If you want to see the complete menu, visit PaleoDiet Lifestyle.

After one click I had most of my menu complete. I still needed a yam recipe. I turned to my favorite Paleo recipe source EverydayPaleo.com. If you receive our email newsletter, you’ve heard me rave about Sarah Fragoso’s book Everyday Paleo. I love her recipes. They are super easy and sooooo tasty! I found a recipe for Paleo Holiday Yams right away. Of course that’s not the only recipe of hers I’m using. I made one from the book called Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon a few weeks ago and wanted to have it again. I also really wanted to try a recipe she calls “meat candy” aka Sausage Stuffed Dates for an appetizer. (I made these already. I tried to resist but they kept calling my name…they are AMAZING!)

Here is our complete Thanksgiving menu (pics below):

Appetizer:

  • Sausage Stuffed Dates

Dinner:

  • Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey
  • Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing
  • Paleo Holiday Yams
  • Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon
  • Cranberry Sauce

Dessert:

  • Pumpkin Pie with coconut milk ice cream!

We’ll let you know how it all turns out. So far, so good! The Sausage Stuffed Dates are a winner but I haven’t tried anything else. I have to save something for tomorrow. We have a lot of food to eat so it’s a good thing we’re going to Turkey Torcher at KDR Fitness tomorrow morning. (I’m bummed to miss the Turkey Torcher this year. It was a blast last year and a great way to kick of Thanksgiving Day! I think there are only 2 spots left but you should contact KDR Fitness if you are local and interested in participating.)

Your family might appreciate one of these recipes at your next holiday dinner! I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner be it Paleo or Traditional.

In the spirit of the season we are so Thankful for each and every one of our blog readers and patients. Your questions, comments and feedback are always appreciated and welcomed.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sausage Stuffed Dates

I’ve made these little gems a number of time since last Thanksgiving. They’ve become a requested appetizer for get togethers! This was the large version but you can also make a smaller one bite version that’s just as addictive! (Sausage isn’t something that we recommend you eat a lot of as it typically has a lot of preservatives, but it’s fine to have once in a while especially if you buy an organic, preservative free version.)

Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey

While the mushrooms on this turkey turned out a little crispy it tasted fantastic! I think I left it uncovered a bit too long.

Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing

This stuffing was so good that I’d make it as a meal! I’m glad I revisited this post so that I can do that! The texture is close to regular stuffing but a little different. Now in my family they usually make dressing, so the texture is quite different from that but it has all the right flavors!

Paleo Holiday Yams

These were yummy and reminded me of traditional holiday yams. With on a 1/4 cup of maple syrup they were sweet! You could probably just drizzle a little on there or leave it off entirely if you wanted.

Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon

I’ve also made these a number of times since last year! They’re tasty! I’m making them for my family for Thanksgiving this year.

(P.S. I’m also making my family Paleo Breakfast Bread and Chunky Apple Muffins to have at my baby shower…don’t tell! I don’t think they ever know they taste so good!)

Cranberry Sauce

Some how I forgot to take a picture of the cranberry sauce. It was good but of all the things I made last year I would tweak this recipe a bit. It was really tart. I would maybe take the maple syrup out of the yams and add it to the Cranberry Sauce.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Oh, now this was a hard one. I love pumpkin pie! My family loves my pumpkin pies and my grandfather used to request my pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Now that’s a big deal because my grandmother was an amazing cook! So, when it came to pumpkin pie it was hard to decide if I’d try something new or stick to the traditional. I ended up trying something new and was not disappointed! It was really good. It’s a little different but all the flavor that I love was there!

I encourage you to give one or all of these recipes a try for your Thanksgiving Dinner next week.  I think you and your family will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious they are and how great you feel when you’re not loaded down with all that bread and sugar. I know we felt great last year!

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Roasted Cabbage

Roasted Cabbage

Just in time for a fall…another recipe from pinterest….I wasn’t kidding when I said it was addicting. This is a super easy side to make for two reasons 1) you probably have all ingredient for the marinade already 2) it takes minutes to throw together. As we’ve have an abundance of cabbage in our CSA lately, we’ve had this several times. It’s a great way to use the “other half” of a cabbage. I find that when using cabbage I rarely use the whole thing and then I need to find something to do with the rest. This has become a “go to” for using up cabbage. For the two of us we’ll have a wedge a piece but for a larger family you could cut the wedges in half and serve another veggie with it. I didn’t change anything from the original recipe I saw online. However, I’ve made it using soy sauce instead of Worcestershire and I’ve left the lemon out when we didn’t have any on hand and it was still tasty! I also think you could play around and add different spices to change it up a bit. The original blogger talks about making it on the grill but I’ve never tried it that way.

Let me know if you come up with another variation!

Roasted Cabbage

Ingredients for marinade

 

1 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp real bacon bits (I used 2 strips of crispy bacon for half a cabbage)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Cabbage Quartered

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper (more or less to taste)

1 Medium Head of Cabbage quartered

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Mix the olive oil, bacon bits, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to make the marinade.

Marinade with Bacon

Prepare the cabbage. Rinse it under water and remove any yucky loose leaves. Cut into quarters.

Lay each wedge on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to wrap it up in. Spoon about 2 tbsp of the marinade on top making sure to get it in all the nooks and crannies.

Spoon marinade on top and wrap up.

Wrap each wedge and bake for 20-30 minutes for crunchy cabbage and 30-45 for a softer cabbage. (We’ve done it both ways!)

 

Note: To make a whole head of cabbage I would double the recipe above. The amount above is what I’ve used for a half a cabbage.

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Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower Bread

Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower Bread

You probably remember my post from a few weeks back with the Cauliflower Pizza Crust. It was a raging success! Thank you for all the feedback! And, thank goodness for Pinterest!

I f you were like us, you might have had some cauliflower leftover. I had also pinned a  recipe for this cheesy garlic bread.  I have to say, I don’t know which one we liked more…the pizza or the garlic bread! They were both amazing but I’m leaning toward the bread. I just felt sooo bad, but I wasn’t being. I really felt like I was eating cheesy bread sticks when I dipped them in the leftover pizza sauce.  They were also really good cold and leftover! (I know, it’s crazy and I’d say it’s just because I’m pregnant but Dr. Court thought so too!) The recipe is almost identical to the pizza crust. I didn’t change a thing from the recipe I from Mom, What’s for Dinner?

Give it a try and let us know which one YOU like better!

 

Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower Bread

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp crushed garlic

1/2 tsp garlic salt

olive oil

 

For Topping:

2 tablespoons softened salted butter

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

*Optional Marinara sauce for dipping  (I highly recommend this…we used leftover pizza sauce.)

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Chop the cauliflower florets into chunks and steam them in a steamer or on the stove until slightly soft for 15 minutes. Place in a ricer or grate.

One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

 

To Make the “Bread”:

Prepare your baking stone or sheet by spreading a small amount of olive oil on it and top with parchment paper. (I also, highly recommend using the parchment paper. It made it so much easier as it didn’t stick or burn.)

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg, Parmesan and Mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir.

Transfer to the baking stone or sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a large rectangle.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven.

Mix 2 TBSP butter and garlic in a small bowl and.spread the butter and garlic mixture over baked cauliflower bread and top with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses.

Place back in the 450 degree oven until all cheese is melted.

Slice and Serve!

We had this with the Garlic Dill Chicken recipe from last week and it was fabulous!

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Garlic Dill Chicken

My sister-in-law reminded me of this recipe. It was given to her by my mother and at this point I don’t think she remembers where it came from originally. It’s super easy and full of flavor. My sister-in-law made a few adjustments to the original recipe and those are the ones I’ll share with you.

She substituted the sour cream in this recipe for Greek yogurt. I have to admit that I rarely use sour cream for anything anymore. I almost always use Greek yogurt as we always have it on hand, it has more protein and it tastes great on anything that you would use sour cream. For example, we use it on sweet potatoes, taco salads sans shell, as a topping for chili, you name it. If you would use sour cream, we use Greek yogurt in its place. Anyway, it’s great in this recipe. While I used chicken for this recipe you could also use fish and it would be just as excellent.

Garlic Dill Chicken

Ingredients for Garlic Dill Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

½ tsp Garlic powder

1 Tbsp Dill weed (I used fresh dill from our CSA that I had dried)

¼ tsp Black pepper

Salt to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl mix together mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, garlic powder, dill weed, black pepper and salt.

Coat the chicken breasts with the mixture and place in a 9×13 pan.

Coat with mixture and place in pan.

Bake covered for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the chicken. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted and slightly browned and chicken breasts are cooked through.

Sprinkle the chicken with Parmesan cheese.

ENJOY!

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Yummy Cooked Apples

Spartan Apples from Poverty Lane Orchard

Fall is here! The temperature is dropping, the leaves are turning and pumpkins and apples are ready for picking. Recently I picked up a bag of Spartan apples at our local Poverty Lane Orchard. When I was shopping for them I had a recipe in mind that my mom used to make when we were kids. I’m not sure it’s a recipe in so much as it’s one of those things that you just throw together. Come to find out my mom’s used to make it and her mom’s mom also made these yummy cooked apples. So who knows how long it’s been in the family or how many times it’s changed. I, of course, had to put my own spin on it and try to make it fit our eating plan a little better. The original called for sugar which I knew I would omit as I figured it wouldn’t really need it. I was right! With the addition of some raisins it’s perfectly sweet on its own.

Now, I tried to dress the apples up a little more by making some candied toasted walnuts to top it. If I hadn’t burnt them they would have been a great addition. However, they ended up tasting a little like burnt popcorn which took away from the amazing apples we opted not to use them.

Additionally, pouring a little organic heavy cream over the apples is another great option.

These cooked apples taste like fall, plus they make the house smell amazing as they cook! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! I know I’ll be making another batch very soon!

Cooked Apples

8 small apples, peeled and sliced (you could use more small apples as they cook down considerably)

Peeled Sliced Apples

¼ c. raisins

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp cinnamon

Other Ingredients

Melt the 2 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Melted Butter

Add the peeled, sliced apples, raisins and cinnamon to the pan. Stir to coat them with the butter cinnamon.

Stir to coat apples with butter, cinnamon and raisins.

Let them cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the apples are soft and just starting to fall apart. You don’t want them to get too mushy and turn to applesauce.

Cooked Apples

Remove from heat and serve warm either by themselves or with a little heavy cream. (You could top them with a small scoop of organic vanilla bean ice cream if you were so inclined….hey even we have a little ice cream as a treat once in a while….just not every day or week for that matter!!!!)

Cooked Apples with Heavy Cream

Cooked Apples

8 small apples, peeled and sliced (you could use more small apples as they cook down considerably)

¼ c. raisins

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp cinnamon

Melt the 2 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the peeled, sliced apples, raisins and cinnamon to the pan. Stir to coat them with the butter cinnamon. Let them cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the apples are soft and just starting to fall apart. You don’t want them to get too mushy and turn to applesauce. Remove from heat and serve warm either by themselves or with a little heavy cream. (You could top them with a small scoop of organic vanilla bean ice cream if you were so inclined….hey even we have a little ice cream as a treat once in a while….just not every day or week for that matter!!!!)

Candied Toasted Walnuts

1 cup of coarsely chopped halved walnuts

1 Tbsp melted butter

½ tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp of maple syrup

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine melted butter, maple syrup and cinnamon in a bowl. Add walnuts and toss until coated.

Place walnuts on a baking sheet and place in oven for about 5-8 minutes. Make sure you watch them closely and turn them a time or two. They will go from perfectly toasted to burnt in no time! Top the apples with some walnuts. (Again, these are a treat for us. I don’t make them every time I make the apples.)

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Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

Again, I saw this on pinterest.com but it reminded me of a something my used to make when I was growing up. My mom’s version was yellow squash, onion, salt and pepper and cheese and poppy seeds. It was also delicious and as I’m typing this I realize I haven’t made it in a while will have to! Back to this Cheesy Zucchini Bake. It really is super easy and delicious. I’ve made it a few times and I think the version I’m going to show you is my favorite. It even tastes great leftover the next day.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

Ingredients you’ll need!

2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices (I used 1 large zucchini and 1 ½ medium yellow squash)
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
½ cup chopped fresh basil (or less, depending on how much you like the flavor of basil)
1 thinly sliced shallot
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese but another white cheese like Swiss would be good too

1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (I would use a little less if you only have the very finely grated Parmesan from a can)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Grease the pan with a leftover butter wrapper.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with olive oil or use a leftover butter wrapper to grease the pan.  Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices.  Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop.  Slice shallot.

Combine the ingredients.

Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced shallots, dried thyme, garlic powder, ½ cup of mozzarella and ½ cup of coarsely grated Parmesan and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.

When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.  Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked.  Serve hot.

Serve hot and enjoy!

P.S. This goes amazingly well with the meatloaf from the Everyday Paleo cookbook. This meatloaf recipe is by far my absolute favorite! It’s fantastic! So good in fact, I would make it every week! 🙂

P.P. S. If you haven’t seen or heard by now Sarah Fragoso has a new cookbook out. Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook with brand new recipes! Check it out too.

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I saw this on pinterest.com and knew that I had to try it. Who doesn’t love pizza? However, we all know that it’s not very good for us. First of all, the crust is made from wheat which we try to limit as it’s very pro-inflammatory and can be the cause of major food sensitivities for millions of people. There is often not enough protein on a slice nor are there enough vegetables.  As you know, we recommend eating protein and veggies and/or fruit at each meal about every 3 (+/- a half hour) hours. That makes pizza a treat to be eaten during one of our “cheat” meals. The problem for me is that when I have a “cheat” meal I tend to feel bloated and gross for a few days after which isn’t fun. When I saw this I thought it could be the answer to my problem.

It was! It tastes soooo good! It gives you all the flavor of pizza without all the bad stuff. Plus, I get to control the quality and quantity of toppings that I put on it. Personally, I love a pizza loaded with meat and veggies but that’s hard to come by at most pizza places never mind that you never know where their ingredients have come from. A bonus is that this isn’t hard to make. Seriously…not hard at all!

It would be a great recipe to make with kids as it’s healthy and fascinating to see how cauliflower becomes crust! They could make their own individual pies with the toppings of their choice. The recipe makes more than enough for multiple batches.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust – original recipe from Eat. Drink. Smile.

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)

pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*

To “Rice” the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will purée it. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.

Note from Eat. Drink. Smile. for those that don’ t have a microwave:

You can steam the florets on the stove before ricing them. The texture/consistency won’t be the same (It will be more like a purée) but it still works fine once you mix all the ingredients together! I know because I’ve tried it that way too!

One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Use a leftover butter wrapper to grease the cookie sheet. (When I get out a new stick of butter I freeze the wrappers for occasions such as this.)

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9″ round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning. (The mixture should be about a half-inch thick. Mine was a little thin and burned at the edges.)

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

Enjoy!

*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes. For our pizza I used roasted chicken leftover, tomatoes, basil, green onions, olives, and pizza cheese. I also used an organic pizza sauce. The options are really only limited to your imagination.

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