I hope you enjoyed the new format of my food talk and cooking show, Beyond the Plate. What’s different is I added close-ups of the food so you could better follow along as I prepared a few Thanksgiving menu ideas in the kitchen that will be sure to satisfy you and your family without leaving you in a food coma or with that all too familiar feeling of regret. For those who missed last week’s Thanksgiving episode, the replay can be found here.
My goal is to support you by sharing how it’s possible to enjoy the holidays without feeling overwhelmed and resorting to comfort foods that will set you back as you head into the new year. With a little preparation, we can set ourselves up for success as we navigate the upcoming indulgent holidays. As a result, your new year can start off with a bang. To view the full recipes, keep reading.
Enjoy, be well, and have an amazing Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones,
Delicata Squash Salad with Arugula, Pistachio, Pomegranate and Honey Goat Cheese
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra olive oil to roast the Delicata squash
½ cup shelled pistachios
½ medium Delicata squash, sliced into thin circles
6 cups wild baby arugula
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
Small log of Honey Goat Chevre (you can substitute with a vegan alternative)
- Heat oven at 350F.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place Delicata squash slices on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Himalayan salt. Bake till the edges are crisp and even slightly burned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Whisk together Dijon mustard and lemon juice.
- Add Olive oil and whisk again.
- Toss arugula with 4 tablespoons dressing just before serving and place on a serving platter.
- Arrange the baked Delicata squash on around the edge of the serving platter.
- Place the tossed arugula in the center of the squash and top the arugula with the pistachios, pomegranate and crumbled goat cheese.
Substitute watercress for arugula, walnuts for pistachio, pink grapefruit wedges (peeled and membrane removed) for the Delicata squash and cranberries for pomegranate seeds.
Wild Rice with Chestnuts and Dried Cherries
2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (use more if you desire)
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
2 cups wild rice blend (I use 1 cup of the blend and 1 cup of Wild rice)
4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup vacuum packed or jarred roasted chestnuts, chopped
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
Himalayan salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a shallow pot over medium heat and add the onion. Allow to cook for about 3 – 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for another 3 – 5 minutes.
- Add the rice blend and continue to cook and stir for about 2 minutes till the rice is coated in the oil and vegetables.
- Add the stock, salt and pepper.
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Stir in the chopped chestnuts and cherries.
- Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Can be served as a side dish or loosely stuffed into a turkey.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary and thyme.
Thyme Infused Zucchini, Red Pepper and Mushroom Medley
3 or more tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I use Paesano organic olive oil)
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, chopped (I like elephant garlic)
1 organic red Bell pepper, chopped
Punnet (Box) of Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped (not too small)
2 – 3 medium Shitake mushroom, chopped
2 – 3 medium zucchini, chopped (not too small)
Himalayan salt and pepper
- Wash and prepare all vegetables as suggested.
- Heat 1 or more tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the shallot and garlic and allow to cook for about 3 – 5 minutes.
- Add the red pepper and continue to cook for about 3 – 5 minutes.
- Add more oil to the pan, and add in the mushrooms and zucchini.
- Season with thyme, Himalayan salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook till vegetables are tender but not soft.
Coconut oil or other cooking spray
½ cup butter, melted (I use Kerrigold or you can substitute with a plant-based butter)
3 tablespoons Lakanto maple flavored monk fruit syrup
3 large organic eggs
1 ½ cups almond flour
½ cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
½ tsp Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Coat a 8 – 9” baking pan generously with coconut oil cooking spray.
- Beat together melted butter, eggs and monk fruit syrup.
- Add in all other ingredients and beat gently till a smooth batter.
- Pour into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until browned and the top feels firm to touch.
Cut into squares and serve with a thyme infused butter. You can sweeten the butter slightly with the Monk fruit syrup.
Baked Pears with Nutmeg Coconut Cream
6 large organic firm (but ripe) Bosc pears, peeled
1 cup dry marsala wine
1 cup monk fruit sugar
2/3 cup water
1 stick cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Stand the pears in a large oven safe baking dish.
- Pour the wine over the pears.
- Sprinkle with monk fruit sugar.
- Pour water into the dish and add in the cinnamon stick.
- Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the pears are soft, basting every 20 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold, with the sauce poured over.
Top with whipped heavy cream or coconut cream and a dusting of nutmeg
Pecan Crusted Pumpkin Pie
2 cups pecans (you can substitute with any tree nut)
1 tablespoon monk fruit sugar
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (you can substitute with a plant-based butter), melted
1 cup monk fruit sugar
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
3 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
1 can organic pumpkin puree
1 can organic heavy cream (I use Let’s Do Organic)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Spray a 9″ pie pan with coconut oil cooking spray.
- Place the nuts, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
- Add the butter and pulse until fully combined.
- Press the prepared nut mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Let cool.
- Raise the oven temperature to 425F.
- In a large bowl, blend together the monk fruit sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- Beat in the eggs and the pumpkin puree.
- Stir in the heavy cream.
- Pour the filling into the shell and bake the pie for 35 minutes or more on a baking sheet in the lower third of the oven for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 350F and bake the pie for about 45 – 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the pie cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
Serve with whipped cream or Native Forest coconut cream.