Give Thanks!

It seems like just yesterday it was Halloween, and here it is Thanksgiving already! I am sure we can all name several things we are thankful for: friends, family, good health, work, etc. I am especially thankful for being able to do what I love--helping people improve their health through nutrition. My own health struggles were a blessing in disguise to help me truly relate to the challenges my patients have gone/are going through.

Life is good! Let's give thanks every day not just today!

When it comes to making a dish for the Thanksgiving celebration (or any celebration for that matter), I just cannot bring myself to make junk! I like using wholesome ingredients that have some nutritional value. Here are two recipes I made for this holiday celebration.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad (101cookbooks.com), serves 4

  • 3 cups of pumpkin (or other winter squash), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 12 shallots or 3 medium red onions (peeled and quartered)
  • 2 cup cooked wild rice

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the pumpkin in a generous splash of olive oil with a couple pinches of salt. Spread out on a baking sheet. Toss the shallots with a bit of olive oil, pinches of salt, and spread out on to a separate baking sheet. Roast both for 45 minutes or until squash is brown and caramelized. Flip them once or twice along the way.

In the meantime, make the dressing. Puree the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and honey in a blender or food processor until creamy. You may need to add a few tablespoons of warm water to thin the dressing a bit. Stir in the cilantro, saving just a bit to garnish the final plate later. Add a touch of salt, to taste. 

In a large bowl, toss the wild rice with a large dollop of the dressing. Add the onions. Gently toss once or twice. Turn the rice and onions out on to a platter and top with the roasted squash. Finish with another drizzle of dressing and top with remaining cilantro. 

3-Ingredient Paleo Cranberry Sauce, (cookeatpaleo.com), serves 4-6

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  •  ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  •  ½ cup honey

Combine cranberries, orange juice, and honey in sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat, until berries pop and sauce thickens, about 10 - 15 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.