So, whatcha doin? Did everyone survive Thanksgiving and are you skidding into the Main Event (I’m not talking about Festivus) with a smile on your face and holiday cheer coming out of your ears? I’ve been working hard all year on being more mindful and present, and yet the Saturday after Thanksgiving (the Day of Reckoning with the Many Bins of Christmas Decorations) found me in a nasty surly funk. It started with a clogged vacuum cleaner (can’t I even have a clean house?) progressed to feeling overwhelmed with Stuff (multiple bins of decorations and no place to put everything), and there was a Final Straw that pushed me over the edge. And what, you ask, was that Final Straw? Well, less than one week later, I can’t even remember what it was. I just know that I lost it. So, obviously whatever it was just wasn’t worth it. And maybe that statement should be the punchline to most of my problems.
Anywho, I am doing my darnedest to be a better me. My latest find has been hot yoga. I can thank (or blame? ) a friend for that introduction. Yoga is something I had been wanting to take up for quite awhile, so my arm didn’t need much twisting. I think the combination of mindful focus, body awareness, challenge, oh, and the fact that you’re so stinkin’ hot and dripping wet with sweat that all the fight is drained out of you, leads to a certain calm. My monkey-mind chatter temporarily leaves the building because it is so disgusted with the slicker than a greased seal sweatiness. Oh, and did I mention it is sweaty? Really, I did? Regardless, I enjoy it.
But here’s what you really want, some recipes. Well I’ve been cooking up a bit of a storm the past month. We’ve entertained or brought food to potlucks many times recently, and I’ve found several great recipes.
First, here’s a great one for a roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa and dried cranberry salad. Before I give you the link, I warn you, this is from Thug Kitchen. I love Thug Kitchen. The combo of thuginess and healthy cooking is pure gold. But if you are offended by bad language, don’t go there. You’ve been warned! Don’t complain to me! Here’s the link: http://thugkitchen.com/post/66979503286/get-that-soupy-green-bean-shit-outta-here-cmon
Two great desserts are up next. Pumpkin mousse and brownie tart: http://melomeals.blogspot.com/2010/11/frugal-thanksgiving-recipes-part-3.html I’d recommend making it in a springform pan. And sweet potato chocolate spice cake. I have made this twice, and it is delicious. The second time I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking mix in place of the “regular” flour, and I omitted the baking soda. I did not use the caffix… I think that mostly is to darken the color. I prefered the cake with the gluten free mix, it baked more evenly and firmed up (the wheat flour version was yummy but kind of mushy). Here’s the recipe: http://anunrefinedvegan.com/2013/11/05/chocolate-sweet-potato-spice-cake/
Ok, what’s next… mmmm, how about some of the recipes I made for Thanksgiving? First off, the cranberry sauce. You simply cannot eat that icky ribbed from the can jelly stuff. Ick. It offends the senses. Plus it can’t be good for you. I made this recipe: http://iamahoneybee.com/2012/11/13/orange-cranberry-sauce/ With a few changes. I cut it in half (there were just 5 of us), I didn’t use the vanilla bean, and instead of using 1 cup of sugar as the recipe suggested, I used 2/3 cup of xylitol. Not familiar with xylitol? Check it out. I got kind of concerned halfway through making the sauce that it wouldn’t gel without cane sugar, but it worked! Oh, and when you make your own cranberry sauce–which is super easy–make sure to use a large pot. It will boil and foam up and if it spills over onto your stove, you will have one big mess to clean. Trust me.
What else, what else…oh, I know. This was my favorite thing I made on Thanksgiving, plus my kids wouldn’t touch it so I got to gobble up most of it myself. Roasted Delicata Squash and Cauliflower with Spinach. I started with this recipe: http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=656746 Of course I don’t know what Wegman’s basting oil is (heck I don’t know what Wegman’s is… we certainly don’t have it where I live). So I prepped my squash as advised here: http://www.theroadtothegoodlife.com/2013/11/recipe-non-traditional-squash-sidedish.html I threw my squash slices (you don’t peel it! you eat the peel! Trust me!), my cut up cauliflower, a little olive oil, and a tiny pinch of sea salt and pepper into a big ziploc bag and mushed it around a bit, then threw it on a baking sheet and roasted it. Because some of the reviewers of the original recipe said that the spinach didn’t really wilt, I put my spinach in my serving dish with a small amount of water, and microwaved it for a minute. I drained out the water and then threw in my roasted veggies.
I also made this green bean and white bean dish: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/haricots-verts-and-white-beans-with-shallot-vinaigrette?crlt.pid=camp.VgAXebsvtL59 But I used canned beans, shhhh! I used this sweet potato and cinnamon recipe: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/11/26/3-course-vegan-and-gluten-free-holiday-menu-step-by-step/ But I roasted the sweet potatoes (I’m really not that big of a rebel, I just often fail to read recipes carefully). And for dessert, this vegan pumpkin pie: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/vegan-pumpkin-pecan-pie?crlt_pid=camp.ee2vuy59ilk6 If you make it, be sure to buy SILKEN tofu. It is sold in a box, not refrigerated, and I had to go to a health food store to find it–though some grocery stores may stock it. This was a big hit–kids liked it a lot, asked for seconds. Of course they did not know it had tofu in it.
And they never will.