Saturday, November 26, 2011

Real Food Thanksgiving - Side Dishes - Sweet Potatoes

My Mom's favorite side dish is my Boston Market Style Sweet Potatoes. These are a healthier version that are great for dessert as well as during the main meal. They are really yams but we still call them sweet potatoes(: If you make these they are sure to please and you'll never eat the ones from Boston Market again!

Healthier Boston Market Style Sweet Potatoes

6 cups mashed organic yams(about 6 potatoes)
3/4 cup rapadura or sucanat 
1/2 cup organic cream
1/2 cup melted, organic butter
2 pastured eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp organic cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cups natural marshmallows-completely optional-they taste awesome without them(can be homemade or from stores like Whole Foods)
-You could also use organic marshmallow fluff from Toonie Moonie.

Rub olive oil, butter, or coconut oil on the outside of the washed and dried yams. Bake them in a preheated 400 degree oven for 60-70 minutes until tender. Allow to cool enough to handle and peel the skins off. Place the insides into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add rapadura or sucanat, cream, butter, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt into the yams and mix well. Pour the mixture into a buttered 13"x9" baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Pour marshmallows into yams and swirl until melted. Sprinkle with a little rapadura or sucanat and serve. 

Yum! All this talking about food is making me want Thanksgiving dinner all over again!


A Real Food Thanksgiving - Side Dishes - Green Beans with Mustard & Thyme

While the turkey is the staple at our table, the sides are what everyone piles onto their plates. It's important to me that I make all side dishes with organic, fresh ingredients. Nothing comes from a can and nothing is processed. My sister's favorite dish is the Green Beans with Mustard and Thyme. I cannot stand green bean casserole. It actually grosses me out so when I found this recipe 13 years ago, it became a tradition at every holiday meal. This is one that we make all year long and not just on holidays.

Green Beans with Mustard and Thyme
adapted from Bon Appetit's November 1999 issue

4 pounds fresh, organic green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup organic butter
3 tbs fresh organic thyme, chopped
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp garlic salt or 1 tsp garlic powder & 1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds, freshly toasted

Blanch trimmed green beans in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain and place into an ice bath and cool completely. This can be done the day prior to cooking. Wrap in cloths or paper towels and place into resealable bags into the refrigerator. 
Melt 1/4 cup butter into each of two heavy skillets or cook in two batches in the same skillet. Whisk 1 tbs thyme, 1 tbs mustard, and 1 tsp of garlic salt(or 1/2 tsp garlic powder & 1/2 tsp sea salt) into butter in each skillet. Add half the beans to each skillet and toss until heated through, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with pepper. Transfer to large bowl and sprinkle with slivered almonds and remaining thyme. 

You'll love this dish and so will your kids!


A Real Food Thanksgiving - The Turkey

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love cooking up a wonderful meal and spending three days doing it. I've had the privilege of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the past 13 years, first for my husband and some of the single soldiers from his unit when we were stationed in Germany and now for my family here in the States. Here is the main attraction, the turkey.

Mustard-Rubbed Roast Turkey With Mushroom Gravy
adapted from Bon Appetit's Nov. 1999 issue

With this recipe, start out with a pastured, organic turkey. We purchased ours from our farm co-op. 

For the turkey:
1 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 cup organic butter
2 tbs freshly grated lemon peel
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh organic flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbs fresh organic thyme, chopped

1 tbs fresh organic sage, chopped

1 15-16 pound organic, pastured turkey
2 cups chicken stock

One to two days prior to Thanksgiving, coarsely puree first 7 ingredients in a food processor or blender. I used my BlendTec. Reserve 1/2 cup mustard mixture in a bowl; cover and chill.
Remove giblets and reserve. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast, legs, and thighs to loosen skin. You may need to cut small slits into the skin to do this. Using you hand, spread 1 cup of the mixture under the skin over the breast, legs, and thighs. Spread remaining mixture inside the main cavity. Place turkey into the roasting pan and slide pan into a plastic trash bag. Close the bag and place into the refrigerator for at least one day and up to two days.
On Thanksgiving, position rack in botton third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Remove the pan from the bag and spread remaining mustard mixture all over the turkey. Tuck the wing tips under and tie legs loosely together with kitchen twine. Roast for 2 hours. Baste with 1/2 cups chicken stock. Continue to roast (about 15 minutes per pound) until turkey is brown and thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees, basting frequently with remaining 1 1/2 cups stock and pan juices.  Cover with roasting pan lid or loosely tent with foil if browning too quickly. Remove from oven and let sit, loosely covered for 30 minutes.

For Gravy:
1 pound white and baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 1/4 cups chicken or turkey stock
1/2 cup organic whipping cream
2 tbs organic cornstarch

Pour pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat, reserving 2 tbs. Heat 2 tbs turkey fat in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Add enough broth to pan juices to measure 3 1/2 cups. Add to mushrooms along with cream. Boil 8 minutes to blend flavors. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 chicken stock in a small bowl and mix into gravy. Continue to boil until gravy thickens, about 1 minute. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve over turkey.