Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Happy and Healthy Holiday Feast

Last night I walked to the French Market to buy some grass-fed beef for dinner so my husband's appetite would be more satisfied after having vegetable soup the night before. I prepared a broccoli beef stir fry with brown rice and it was delicious. I will be sure to share that recipe too.

While at the French Market I was excited to find a Turkey that suited my needs for the upcoming Thanksgiving feast. Many people are not aware that most frozen turkeys are processed with additives, preservatives, and a flour based broth that is not gluten-free. While that is damaging to someone with a gluten intolerance it is just not healthy for anyone to eat a bird with all that extra stuff. So planning a healthy and gluten-free thanksgiving starts with selecting the right bird. Look for a turkey that is free range, with no pesticides or hormones, and no flour based broth. Here are some Brands to look for:

Empire Kosher, Plainville Farms, and Bell & Evans. My turkey came from an Amish Farm in Illinois

The way you decide to cook your turkey is based on individual preferences and family traditions, there are so many ways to do it and I don't believe there is one right way. You can create a rub and bast your turkey while it roasts in the oven, you can brine your Turkey, you can stuff it, and you can even deep fry it (careful with fires!). The important part is not how you do it but what ingredients you are going to use. I like to simply rub my turkey with unrefined organic extra-virgin olive oil and desired herbs like rosemary and thyme. I also like to save the neck and giblets to make a turkey broth for my stuffing as well as gravy. I then roast my turkey in the oven at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound usually about 3-4 hours depending on how big the bird is.

Turkey gravy
Use the drippings from the cooked turkey and turkey broth from the turkey neck
Add the drippings and broth to a pan
In a separate bowl mix together 1 cup cold water and 1/4 cup gluten-free potato or bean flour until lumps are gone.
Add mixture to the pan with drippings and whisk one medium high heat until sauce thickens
Add kosher or sea salt and pepper.

The next dish on the menu is the cornbread stuffing and it is not only gluten-free but dairy free as well, not to mention mouth watering! I start off by making my own cornbread the night before.
Bake in cupcake pans or 8x8 pan at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

1 cup organic polenta
1 cup organic corn flour (masa harina)
1 cup organic brown rice flour
1 teas. kosher or sea salt
1 teas. baking soda
1 cup organic almond milk
1/2 cup organic butter
1/2 cup raw honey
1 organic egg

Cornbread Stuffing
gluten-free cornbread
1 chopped organic onion
2 cups organic chopped celery
Chopped turkey giblets (boiled)
1 Tbs. kosher or sea salt
1 Tbs. ground pepper
1 Tbs dried sage
4 beaten organic eggs
2 Tbs. unrefined olive oil
2 Tbs organic butter
4 cups turkey stock (made from boiled turkey neck and giblets)

Stuffing Preparation
Saute the chopped onion and celery in olive oil and butter for about 5 minutes
Add the chopped turkey giblets (optional)
Saute for about 5 more minutes
Add salt, pepper, and sage
Add crumpled cornbread
Add beaten eggs
Add turkey broth
Mix well
Transfer to baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees until it turns a golden brown on top.

Let's get to the mash potatoes. They are not only easy to make but they are a taste bud pleaser as well. You won't be disappointed! I prefer the red potatoes and I always leave the skin on because that is where all the nutrients are. All you need is:

12 organic red potatoes
1 container organic sour cream
(read the label to make sure it is gluten free, dairy-free options are available)
1/2 cup organic butter
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Boil potatoes in a large pot until soft
Drain the water
Add sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and mash away!

Don't forget your favorite vegetable for a side dish

I like to roast brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Don't worry, I have not forgotten about dessert and I love pumpkin pie but after trying my mother-in-law's sweet potato pie, I was sold. If you still prefer a pumpkin pie it won't hurt to have both.

Sweet Potato Pie

3 organic sweet potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1/2 cup melted organic butter
1 cup agave nectar
2 beaten organic eggs
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 teas. nutmeg
1 Tbs. vanilla

I have used a gluten-free pie crust I found at Whole Foods market, although I want to attempt to make my own crust because nothing tastes quite as good when you make it yourself.

Bake for 80 minutes at 350 degrees.

I can't wait to enjoy this delicious feast and I hope you do as well! It is important that we all enjoy food when celebrating good times or holidays and chances are if you do not have a food allergy or intolerance you probably know someone who does.


  1. Rebecca I love your recipes and all your healty tips to eating better! Love you sister you have helped me with food so much.

  2. Thanks Rachel! I have always loved reading your blog, it makes me laugh when you share the things that Sydney and Blake say and do.

  3. Hey Rebecca,

    Congrats on the new blog. This stuff looks great. Cant wait for thanksgiving! Im getting hungry just thinking about it.

  4. Thanks Ali, I can't wait for our Thanksgiving feast either, this weekend we need to plan our menu and as Sherri said, "have some fun!"

  5. Thanks for dinner the other night. Beef stir fry was awesome! Will forward this to friends.

  6. Your welcome Sherri, our Thanksgiving feast is going to be bomb with Ali's brined turkey and my fixin's!

  7. ma kettle says ... Now that I've got to try, I'm always looking for something more healthy and delicious too.