I feel really good about how our Thanksgiving dinner turned out. And to know I fed my family a gluten-free, sugar-free and low-carb dinner makes it even better. The center of the meal was the turkey. We ordered this from Whole Foods a week before, it was pre-brined so all I needed to do was roast it. Everything else, I prepared, including freshly grinding almond flour for the stuffing and dinner rolls as well as homemade mushroom soup for the green beans. My family enjoys a traditional meal, as you can see, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, cranberries, dinner rolls with butter. Last year my sister made roasted carrots and they were a hit, so they were added to the menu this year. I made three desserts, pumpkin pie, Bavarian apple cheesecake and at the last-minute chocolate mousse.
Let's Talk Turkey!
Last year I purchased a 22-qt roaster oven and I love it. No messing or fussing with the bird! Baste the turkey with butter or olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, fill the cavity with herbs and in the roaster it goes. Roast at 450°F for 30 minutes and then turn the heat down to 325°F until bird reaches an internal (thigh) temp of 165°F. I use a probe oven thermometer, where the digital display sits on the counter. This is important as you do not want to lift the lid to check the bird. My experience has been the bird self-bastes (as long as you don't open the cover) and is done faster than in the oven. Our 20 lb. turkey was done in about 3 1/2 hours. Once done, turn the roaster off, take the lid off and let sit for 15 minutes, or until the roaster has cooled off enough to lift the bird out without burning yourself.
Next Up, Potatoes, Caulitatoes
Here is the trick to delicious low-carb potatoes, use cauliflower AND potatoes. Per serving this adds ONLY <4g of carbohydrates, it's worth it for what it adds in mouth feel and flavor. I typically use 1 medium-sized Yukon Gold potato per head of cauliflower. Then doctor the taters up with parmesan cheese, cream cheese, Celtic sea salt & garlic powder.
I cannot tell you how much I love our pressure cooker, it makes steaming up cauliflower and potatoes a breeze. I can steam a whole head of cauliflower in 3 minutes, potatoes in 5 minutes, whiz it up in the VitaMix and you've got potatoes, super fast and easy. For Thanksgiving, as you can see, I used the Crockpot to keep them warm. I pureed two heads of cauliflower and then mashed the potatoes along with one extra head of cauliflower with a potato masher. I like a little texture. To this I added five ounces of parmesan cheese and 8 oz. cream cheese, salt & garlic powder to taste. These are wonderful alone or topped with gravy, which by the way is just the pan drippings whisked with about a 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum.
Stuffing or Dressing You Decide
I tweaked the recipe a bit based on feedback from others. I used fresh ground pork breakfast sausage seasoned with sage, salt and pepper. I made the bread cubes with half almond flour and half hazelnut flour and then added sage, onion powder and garlic powder to them. I did not add any additional butter or bake with eggs and stock. The dressing was simply a mix of sausage, seasoned bread cubes, onion, celery and Fuji apples. I seasoned it up with just a touch of poultry seasoning and a sprinkle more of sage. The oven was used to keep it warm, but baking not necessary.
Mushroom and Bacon Green Beans
The only thing to come out of a can, the french cut green beans. I did however make the mushroom soup with all fresh ingredients, including mushrooms, onion, garlic, bacon, cream and chicken broth. I plan to make the soup again just to eat as it was amazing.
I “loosely” followed this recipe for the soup, making changes. I wanted it thicker so used cream instead of almond milk, about 1/3 c not a whole cup. I used xanthan gum to thicken, instead of coconut flour. Finally I added about a pound of crumbled bacon.
I mixed 5 cans of green beans with half of the soup recipe (it was really thick) and put it in a slow cooker to keep warm. This would make a fantastic winter meal with added protein like turkey or chicken.
Cranberries & Rosemary Onion Dinner Rolls
I am gonna send you to my friend Peggy's blog for the dinner roll recipe. I followed her recipe without any tweaks to the ingredients. I baked the rolls in muffin tins, liberally sprayed with non-cook spray. I made one test batch and found they stuck, but with a little coaxing they came out unscathed. The remaining batches I really sprayed the muffin tins. They smelled wonderful, however we found the rosemary and onion flavor to be faint. I used fresh chopped rosemary and onion powder.
Cranberry sauce is so simple to make. 12 oz. of fresh cranberries, 1 c. of water, 1 tsp. orange extract, 1/8 tsp. stevia and 3 Tbsp. xylitol. All goes in a shallow pot (the cranberries splatter and pop), bring to a boil, mashing the cranberries with the back of a large spoon, once all berries have popped, reduce heat and let simmer until thick. This makes a wonderful jelly or cheesecake topping as well!
What veggie isn't wonderful roasted? Another easy side dish, carrots, washed, peeled and cut to uniform size. Covered with olive oil and Celtic sea salt and roasted in the oven at 400°F for 45 minutes. I did not get a picture of the cooked carrots, which I am bummed about as they were beautiful. They were last in the oven, everyone had arrived and we figured by the time we all sat down, said grace and went around the table saying what we are thankful for, they would be done. Well they were done, however, by then the camera was put away and the food was being passed around the table. If you noticed my Thanksgiving plate from yesterday, you will see there are no carrots on my plate. That's because that picture was taken the day after Thanksgiving and there were no carrots left.