I have an ongoing debate in my mind about using recipes. Sometimes I’d rather just use good ingredients and good cooking principles.
But this is an artifact of having cooked for family and friends for some time. It is also related to the fact that I am in possession of a rather large cookbook collection. It is from using good recipes that we learn to use good ingredients and good cooking principles. These days, it is only for certain novel or complicated dishes that I actually use a recipe. But it is not uncommon for me to crack open one or several cookbooks at once, spread across our table to get inspiration for any one dish that I want to prepare. I pick and choose elements from various recipes and combine them into something I will really like.
This Thanksgiving I'm going back to the books, albeit books like Pinterest and websites, as well as my trusty cookbooks. This because I plan a Paleo Thanksgiving dinner. Numerous foods of the season lend themselves to the Paleo approach to eating. For instance, squash, as featured recently in another Food Friday post HERE. This is because squash is a complex carbohydrate which is nutrient rich. Along with sweet potatoes, it is the healthy eater’s white potato.
What makes a Paleo approach is tailoring foods to fit optimal human nutrition and metabolism. Not only does Paleo avoid foods such as simple processed carbohydrates like sugar and flour, it also avoids foods with harmful components, be they artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and anti nutrients like alcohol and caffeine.
Enough about the don’ts. What’s on the menu ? Turkey, venison, elk, and oftentimes salmon. Squash will be paired with cooked fruits, dried fruits, toasted nutrient rich nuts, and healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil. Vegetables will come in grand combinations, such as brussels sprouts, with bacon, nuts, and pomegranate arils. (Scrabble word there…arils) And of course, faux potatoes made from cauliflower. Cranberry sauce will make it onto the menu, but this year paired not only with orange, but with applesauce for sweetness. I include wild rice stuffing, which I have featured before HERE.
Pies must be made. This year I am intent on learning the nut crust. We always have pumpkin, and two flavors of fruit, one of which is cherry. There will be a little sweetener involved, perhaps agave with a lower glycemic index, and coconut cream to top.
Beverages will be Pellegrino, and new this year, Kombucha, which to me is as delightful as Champagne, but with health benefits. Afterwards, we will make looseleaf organic Earl Grey Decaf, and french press water process decaf from freshly ground coffees. Coffees can be served with chocolate and coconut cream, and teas with lemon wedges and cream.
That is my vision. Check out my Paleo album on Pinterest HERE if you like. I thank you for letting me incorporate my planning here in your blog post, but this is the way a great meal starts. Happy Thanksgiving Week.