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Friday, November 25, 2011

A Successful, Healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving (recipes included!!)

I hope that everyone had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

I know that the holidays can be very stressful, and often times that stress is exasperated when you have food allergies, and/or eat a non-traditional diet, like myself.  With practice and patience, in time the holidays do become easier.  One thing I did this year was order food from one of my favorite vegan eateries-- this way no one had to worry about making food a particular way for me, and I did not have to ask a million questions about what is in every item of food :)

So, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my future in-laws at my fiancĂ©'s  father's house, where we all contributed some delicious cuisine! 

Our first course was my fiancé's (now famous) Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (which he made vegan for me :)

3 lbs. Butternut Squash
1 lbs. Sweet Potato
2 Granny Smith Apples
2 Sweet Onions
4 large carrots
4oz. Butter (Earth Balance Vegan Butter)
1/2 c. coconut milk
6 pints of vegetable broth
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp, nutmeg
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Dice and toss apples, potatoes, carrots, squash, garlic and ginger.
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees, for about 45-50 minutes or until tender.
Remove from the oven and puree squash mixture with broth and 1 c. of water.
Transfer to a medium sauce pan or crock pot and simmer over medium heat.

Next, we had a Beet, Fennel, and Fig Salad with Cranberry-Sage dressing- contributed by yours truly :)
Beet, Fennel, and Fig Salad:
(found in Shape Magazine, November 2011 issue)

For the Dressing:
4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped shallots
1 c. fresh cranberries
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. fresh sage
1/3 c. water
1 tbs. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt

For the Salad:
1 lb. beets
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and halved
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. raw pecans
8 oz. baby arugula
6 fresh figs, cut into wedges
And then of course, turkey and stuffing galore! 
For the main course, I ordered food to save myself time and stress, from Good Karma Cafe in Red Bank.  For just $40 I got a huge stuffed acorn squash- which was out of this world! And three sides: Sweet potatoes, Mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. The best part: I have leftovers!! 

For dessert, my future sister in law made Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream and Coconut Whip Cream.  I also had a slice of Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie from Good Karma.

Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream:
14 oz. can + 1 c. coconut milk
2 tbs. arrowroot powder
1 can pumpkin puree
2tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. brown sugar (or agave)
1 tbs. vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk arrowroot with 1/2 c. milk and set aside.
In a small sauce pan over low heat mix milk, pumpkin, spice, and sugar.
Put the heat on medium and cook  until just about to boil.
Remove from heat and add arrowroot mix and vanilla.
Chill for a couple of hours and put in ice cream machine.
Serve with Coconut Whip Cream (see below)

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream:

1 can of full fat Coconut milk in the fridge over night-- do not shake can!
Scoop out the top half, it is a white solid
Add confectioner sugar and vanilla and whip

*The bottom half of the can is fat free coconut milk (can be used for ice cream)
And of course, the Little Princess, Avery, had her Thanksgiving Dinner:
Wild Rice
Steamed String Beans
Mashed butternut squash
and a tiny treat of Turkey :)
= One happy Maltese!

Enjoy the long weekend, and take time for some self care to escape the chaos!

With Gratitude, Love, and Health <3

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