This was our first year hosting Thanksgiving & we hope to host many more in the future. We were lucky to be joined my by parents, Geoff's parents, and my cousin.
My parents drove down from North Carolina and were able to visit friends on the way down to break up the drive. It was a treat to have them come down and I think they enjoyed the Florida sunshine :)
The men were on turkey duty outside and my mom and I prepped and cooked in our kitchen. Yes I said kitchen. I can't wait to share the progress with you soon.
Up first was a quinoa & red rice stuffing. It contained regular quinoa, red quinoa, red rice, onion, celery, veggie broth, dried cranberries and spices. We cooked the grains separately while we sauteed the vegetables and seasoning in another pot. We combined the two, added veggie broth and cranberries, and rewarmed in the oven. Simple.
Up next was Dr Furhmans Nutty Green Bean Casserole. I signed up to do Dr Fuhrman's 6 Week Holiday Challenge and while partaking in this challenge they send you daily recipes. This was one that I made a few adjustments to. The recipe called for the use of almonds but I switched it up and used cashews. If you sign up for the challenge you can see the recipe. I don't think I have ever had the green bean casserole from the can before but I can imagine this tasted a million times better.
But back to the challenge. The holidays are a tough time for everyone to stay on track, even for us "vegan, exercising types" and I knew I needed more motivation than having to fit in my jeans. The challenge is simple and provides you with a list of what you need to do:
- Eat a large salad daily As much as I love salad, I tend to let lettuce go bad in the fridge.
- Enjoy a generous serving of steamed greens with mushrooms and onions daily I am making sure that this is included in my meal planning.
- Satisfy my sweet tooth with 3 fruits a day This is easy in the summer when its hot out but not as easy in the winter.
- Have at least one fulfilling serving of beans a day Thank goodness I love hummus & bean soups.
- Avoid white flour Being gluten sensitive, I do not eat white flour but I am including the substitutes as well.
- Avoid sugars and artificial sweeteners I gave up sugar cold turkey years ago as well as artificial sweeteners but my weakness is agave, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup.
- Use oils sparingly This has been huge for me for the past few months. I love me some EVOO & coconut oil. I have reduce my oil consumption by about 90%. This has been accomplished by sauteing in veggie broth, buying EVOO in a spray bottle, and subbing in avocado or nuts. I am actually 100% our of EVVO right now (but I do have a container of coconut oil, shhhh....)
- I will not allow peer pressure or tempting foods to derail me from my health goals I love my family & friends and we do love our wine...
- I will not compromise my health to please others.
- I will set an example of health-mindedness for those around me.
Even if I do not get a 100% daily, it is enough to steer me in the right direction.
It is not Thanksgiving in my world without some sort of Brussels sprouts. I adore them. Years past I have made a mustard dressing and tossed them with thinly sliced sauteed Brussels. This year I took a recipe that Momma Pink String made a few months ago. Sans recipe I knew I wanted to make it again. All that was used was halved Brussels sprouts, chopped granny smith apples, a few splashes of apple cider vinegar, EVOO, and S&P. I then roasted on a baking sheet until browned.
I will admit that I do not like cooked carrots. Its a texture thing. I will eat raw carrots until I turn orange but cooked carrots do not excite me. These carrots were roasted with tangerine juice, EVOO, and S&P and finished with a squeeze of honey.
Geoff fried a turkey and smoked a turkey and Momma Pink String made gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing & pies.
Bill was the official turkey carver and then it was time to eat.
Did I mention that while all of this was going on, my dad brought wine for us to sample for our wedding. This may be the reason I was sound asleep by 7:30pm.
My mom took this picture so we don't have a complete group shot but that is my cousin sitting next to me. To be 21 and still in college...
I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving spent with family & friends! I am so excited for Christmas now but before Christmas comes Geoff's birthday :)
.live creatively well.