Episode 50: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Did you see us on TV???

Our local NBC station, KPRC-Houston, came to our kitchen to film a Thanksgiving Special about cooking a Healthy Thanksgiving! 

Find the recipes below

AND

Watch our Simply Seasonal Thanksgiving Episode too! 

In true Simply Seasonal form, we wanted to express how much we love this traditional celebration of seasonal fall foods that we share in gratitude with family and friends. 🙏 

In these episodes, we show you healthy swaps for 9 recipes (oh yeah you get them all) using real whole foods and explain why going back to basics is the best thing you can do for your health.

This meal is everything you need to balance, heal and thrive this time of year!

Now, if Thanksgiving brings up memories of feeling sick and bloated 🤢 it’s time to clean it up and go back to basics.

When you stick to quality fresh ingredients, not out of a box or can, you will walk away feeling satisfied and guilt free.

No sick and bloated feelings here! 🙌 Watch both episodes to learn more!

Join Cara + Megan in Episode 50 of Simply Seasonal:

  • Keeping Thanksgiving a nourishing healing meal by keeping to seasonal and traditional foods. 
  • Why overeating is OK on this holiday 
  • How we keep our classic Thanksgiving dinner clean and wholesome and avoid processed food

Balance, heal, thrive,
Cara + Megan

If you find this episode helpful, please share with your friends.



Herb roasted Turkey

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Investing in a pasture raised turkey is better for your health, the environment and supports local farmers. Plus it cooks faster! Don’t sweat the extra cost, you will get many meals from this bird especially if you make turkey soup and bone broth afterwards. Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
Brine the turkey 1-2 days before cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 pasture raised turkey, 9-12 lbs.
  • 2 Tbl kosher salt
  • 5 Tbl grass fed butter, room temperature
  • 3 Tbl fresh chopped herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • Extra stems of rosemary, sage and thyme for stuffing
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 apple, quartered

Directions

  1. Brine the turkey 1-2 days ahead of time- Remove any gizzards, rinse and dry turkey, place in a large pot. Rub down thoroughly with kosher salt. Get under the skin to apply salt directly on breast meat. Keep turkey in the pot uncovered in fridge for 1-2 days.
  2. Prepare the turkey day of cooking- Allow turkey to get to room temperature. Do not rinse!
  3. In a small bowl, mix the chopped fresh herbs into the butter creating a paste. Using hands, rub the butter all over the turkey including under the skin where available.
  4. Stuff the cavity with herbs, lemon, onion and apple. Tie the legs together with baking string.
  5. Roast in a 325 degree oven uncovered, for 8-10 minutes per lb. When temperature reads 165 with meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast meat, it is done.
  6. Remove from oven. Let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Canned cranberry sauce is packed with High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup. Instead make these fresh cranberries with apples and maple syrup to sweeten. We want them to stay a bit sour. The sour flavor helps with digestion and balances the flavors on your dinner plate. Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz. bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 apple (any kind), peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water or apple cider
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 star anise

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot. Place on stove over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
  3. After about 15 minutes, the cranberries will begin to “pop” and break open
  4. Stir occasionally and let cook down for total of 20-30 minutes until cranberries are turned into sauce. You may take the back of a spoon and press any cranberries that haven’t broken open.
  5. Remove the star anise. Serve warm, cold or room temperature.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
We kept our mashed potatoes basic as not to steal the show. Feel free to add caramelized onions or roasted garlic for extra flare.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. gold potaotes, skin on, cut into quarters or sixths
  • 4 Tbl grass fed butter
  • sea salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a pot with a pinch of salt and fill with water, enough to fully cover potatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
  3. Test the softness. When a fork can smoothly insert into potato (about 15 minutes), drain well and return back to hot pan.
  4. With potato masher, smash the potatoes to desired texture. Add butter,s ea salt (about 3 tsp) and pepper to taste.
  5. Potatoes will take a good amount of seasoning. Add just enough to bring out flavor, being careful not to add too much to taste salty.

Browned Butter Sage Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
Baking the sweet potatoes concentrates and sweetens them so there is no need for additional sweetener.

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 4 Tbl grass fed butter
  • 1 Tbl chopped fresh sage
  • sea salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375. Place potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up). Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt.Bake until fork tender. Baking time will vary 40-60 min depending on size of potatoes.
  2. While potatoes are baking, prepare the butter. Heat butter in a small saucepot or skillet over medium heat, swirling occasionally until the butter turns a golden brown and it takes on a nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn. Remove the butter from the heat and stir in sage, it will boil. Gently swirl the sage in the butter until it stops bubbling and set aside until your potatoes are ready. If you wait too long and your butter starts to reharden, you can just heat it gently over low heat until it is liquid again.
  3. Once potatoes are done, let cool until able to handle. Scrape the “meat” into a bowl, discarding the skins.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mash potatoes to desired consistency while incorporating the sage butter. We like to get these nice and smooth. May even use a hand blender or immersion blender to whip.
  6. Transfer to serving bowl. Option to garnish with pecans and/or pumpkin seeds.

Holiday Brussel Sprout Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
Sprinkle the Brussel sprouts with a couple pinches of salt and massage for 2-3 minutes. This actually “cooks” the Brussel sprouts making it easier for the body to digest and prevents the cruciferous veggie from inhibiting iodine uptake in the thyroid. In other words, raw cruciferous will inhibit iodine uptake, but once it’s cooked with heat or salt, this no longer happens- great for anyone treating or preventing a thyroid condition!

Ingredients

    Shiitake Bacon
  • 1 lb Shiitake mushrooms, destemmed and sliced 1/4 inch
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • Maple Pecans
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Sprinkle smoked paprika
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 lbs Brussel sprouts, thinly sliced in food processor
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs shallot, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs real maple syrup
  • 1 tbs avocado oil
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a sheet pan and cover with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, add the mushrooms with soy sauce and avocado oil. Mix together. The mushrooms will quickly soak it up but continue tossing and add a little bit more soy sauce if they look too dry, however you shouldn’t have any excess liquid in the bowl. Then lay the mushrooms on the parchment covered sheet pan and spread out evenly. Place in the oven and cook for 20 mins or until thin and crispy like bacon (the burn bits taste just like bacon so it’s ok if a little crispy).
  3. On another parchment lined sheet pan, evenly spread out the pecans and evenly drizzle them with maple syrup. The sprinkle with smoked paprika. Place in the oven for 15-20mins keeping a close eye on them. They will bubble up which is a sign that they are “candying”. When they cool you should be able to break them apart and chop them if desired.
  4. In a salad bowl, add the sliced Brussel sprouts and massage with a couple pinches of salt (with your hands) for 2-3 minutes.
  5. For the dressing, whisk together shallots, lemon, dijon, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Dressing should come together and look creamy.
  6. To assemble the salad, toss the dressing with the sprouts. Then add the shiitake bacon, candied pecans, and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy this beautiful fall salad!

Artisanal Stuffing

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
Treat yourself to a beautiful artisanal sourdough bread made with quality ingredients! And, if you or your guest is gluten free, find a great gluten free bread and follow the same recipe- they will love you!

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf artisanal sourdough bread, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbs butter (plus 2 tbs for later)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 full stalk of celery, sliced 1/4 inch
  • 2-3 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 inch
  • 2 tsp dried garlic powder
  • 2 tbs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 tbs fresh sage, chopped
  • 2-3 cups pasture raised chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place fresh bread cubes on a large sheet tray (or two) and let them dehydrate in the oven for 20 mins or until dry and hard like a crouton. Remove and set aside, and increase the oven temp to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat add 2 tbs of butter. Add in the onions and a pinch of salt and let them sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the celery and carrots and let them sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add another 2 tbs of butter and add the dried garlic. Toss everything together. Then add the fresh thyme and sage.
  4. Now, turn the heat to low and add the dried bread. Carefully toss bread with the carrots, onion, and celery.
  5. Carefully drizzle the chicken broth over the top of bread. Each piece of bread should get some broth (otherwise it will remain hard). Cover with tinfoil and add skillet to the 350 oven. Let it cook for 20 mins, then remove the tinfoil for the last 10 minutes of cooking to crisp the top.
  6. Enjoy warm and serve in skillet garnished with fresh parsley.

Green Bean Amandine

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
Replace your green bean casserole made with “cream of chemical soup” with this simple, fast, and delicious dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb green beans, de-stemmed
  • 2 tbs grass fed butter
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 lemon, zested

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter. Once melted add the green beans and salt, let them sauté for 2-3 mins tossing often.
  2. Then add the sliced almonds. Toss and combine them for about 1 minute.
  3. Finally add the fresh lemon zest. Toss together and turn off the heat. Serve warm with another garnish of fresh lemon zest on top.

Oat Pumpkin Crumble

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
This pumpkin crumble is divine! Made with no refined sugar and it’s gluten free! It’s so delicious, if you don’t finish it that night it’s perfect for breakfast too!

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 5 tbs grass fed butter, diced
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (take the thick cream off the top of a full fat can of coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Prepare a pie dish by greasing it with butter, set aside.
  2. For the crust, in a medium mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients together: almond flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and whisk to combine. Then add the maple syrup and butter. Using your hands, gently combine ingredients together until it forms a dough. Press the crust into the pie dish and set aside.
  3. For the pumpkin filling, add all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat ingredients together until combined.
  4. Pour the pumpkin filling over the crust in the pie pan. Place in the oven to bake for 20 mins uncovered. After 20 mins, cover with tinfoil, and continue baking for 40 more mins. Remove and let cool. Scoop a big spoonful onto each plate and serve warm.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Simple Tip: “Always cook with Seasonal foods to balance, heal, and thrive!” xoxo Cara + Megan
This NO BAKE pumpkin pie is sweetened only with dates. It’s gluten free, dairy free, egg free! Yet, everyone will love it.

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 cup almonds (or pecans)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbl golden raisins
  • 7 medjool dates, pitted
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 15 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch ground clove
  • 1/4 cup melted unrefined coconut oil

Directions

  1. Prepare a pie dish by greasing it with coconut oil, set aside.
  2. For the crust, in a food processor, add almonds and coconut. Process until a flour consistency forms. Add the raisins, and the dates one by one while processing. It’s done when the textures is sticky and a bit oily. Transfer mixture into greased pie pan and press evenly to mold into the pie form and up the sides. Place in freezer to set while mixing filling.
  3. For the pumpkin filling- In a Vitamix or food processor add all the ingredients except for coconut oil. Beat ingredients together until combined. Use tamper if using vitamix. Add coconut oil at last to combine.
  4. Spread pumpkin filling into the crust evenly. Garnish with sliced almonds or pecans and store in refrigerator.
  5. Serve cold or room temperature.

If you enjoyed this recipe we would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and be sure to share with family and friends.

xoxo

Megan + Cara

Balance, heal, thrive,
Cara + Megan

7 thoughts on “Episode 50: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

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