Friday, November 28, 2014

Farmer's Market-inspired Thanksgiving

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving everyone!

I am so sorry this post is going up so late tonight. We drove back from dear old Dallas today and it was a long and arduous trip. I'm exhausted! So I'm hammering out this post real quick before it's too late!

I made an absolutely fabulous (if I do say so myself) Farmer's Market-inspired Thanksgiving meal this year and I wanted to share with you what I did. My family is full of health-nuts, but even those who aren't into green eats might be able to glean a recipe or two from this spread.

Here's what my plate looked like:

Can we say om nom nom? I can say it, and I did say it, a lot, throughout the afternoon's festivities. :)

Click the jump for more food pr0n and some recipes. :)

I have to admit, I cheated on the turkey. I wanted a breast only (there were seven of us and most of us aren't big meat eaters, so I knew a whole lot of leftovers would probably just go to waste). But I didn't know how to make a turkey breast well, so we just used a pre-seasoned (Cajun-style!) breast and I followed the instructions on the package. It was moist and flavorful and amazing. :)

One of my favorite dishes was the "green bean casserole":

Fresh Green Beans with Cranberries and Almonds

1 pound of fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1 cup craisins, reconstituted for about 30 minutes in very hot water
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot.
2. Saute the green beans in the olive oil for about 10-15 minutes, or until they're bright green and still a bit crispy.
3. Toss the beans with the craisins and almonds, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

Couldn't be easier!

Next came the savory garlic mashed sweet potatoes:

Mashed Garlic Sweet Potatoes

4-5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
4 quarts of water with copious salt
4 Tbsp. cold salted butter
1 cup original (unsweetened) almond milk
LOTS of garlic, minced finely
salt and pepper

1. Boil the potatoes in the salted water over high heat until tender (about 20 minutes at a rolling boil).
2. Drain the sweet potatoes in a colander, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Mash the hell out of them, adding the butter and milk a little at a time until you have a good creamy consistency.
4. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.

The cornbread muffins came from a box...but they were awesome! And also crumbly!

This was actually my favorite. This cranberry sauce was special. SUPER special. It has no added refined sugar. And it was. So. Good.

Naturally-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

2 bags of whole cranberries (12 oz each)
2 cups REAL maple syrup (it has to be the real stuff)
2 cups 100% apple juice (no sugar added)
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt

1. Heat all of the above ingredients together over medium-high heat in a saucepan until the cranberries start popping.
2. As the cranberries pop, use a spatula to crush them into the sauce.
3. Once the sauce has thickened a bit, take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
4. Store in a plastic container in the fridge for a few hours, but overnight would be best.

This salad was NUTS. I could eat it every single day.

Spinach Salad with Chickpeas, Pears, and Quinoa

1 large package of fresh baby spinach
2 cups whole pecans, toasted with cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a nonstick skillet for 10 minutes
3 green pears, diced
1 can chickpeas
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. real maple syrup

1. It's a salad. Mix all the above stuff together. It's awesome. :)

I accidentally made WAY too much quinoa for that salad, so the rest of it got served up with the rest of the meal, with some salt, pepper, and garlic stirred into it:

These Brussels sprouts were made almost exactly the way I made them before...and they were everybody's favorite part of the meal!! I was REALLY excited about that. They were so freaking good y'all.

It was a beautiful meal and I had a wonderful time with my small but happy family.

I hope everybody had a fantastic holiday! See you next week with more devilish handmades. :)


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