Eating clean—ditching processed foods in favor of whole, natural, nutrient-dense options—isn’t something you associate with Thanksgiving what with the Funion-topped casseroles and abundance of dessert. Well, maybe you do, only it’s after the fact, and used as heavy duty damage control once the mother of all binges has taken place. But what if you could marry the two together? Your Thanksgiving feast can still include clean eats—and taste great.
Ivy Larson, five-time author and founder of Clean Cuisine, proves it with these three seasonal superfood sides to help you stay on course this Thanksgiving. Serve these up on Thursday and you’re bound to have a feast worthy of thanks. Oh, and you don’t have to feel bad about taking seconds either. Happy eating.
Ingredients • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 6 cloves garlic, finely sliced, divided • ½ cup organic vegetable stock • ½ pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped • Unrefined sea salt, to taste • White pepper, to taste • 1½ cups raw pecans • 1 cup finely chopped onion • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (strip the leaves from the stem) • 2 cups cooked quinoa • 1 tablespoon organic pastured butter • 1 organic, pastured egg, lightly beaten • ¾ cup dry white wine • ¾ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. 2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Add half of the garlic and cook until soft, but not golden. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale, and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside to cool. 3. Add cooled, cooked kale and pecans to a food processor; pulse several times until pecans are chopped and kale is shredded (the mixture should be chunky). 4. In a separate saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; add the onion and remaining garlic; sauté 2-3 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and continue cooking until onion is caramelized, approximately 3 to 4 more minutes. Stir in the pecan-kale mixture. 5. Transfer the onion-kale-pecan mixture to a large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of oil and melted butter. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Add the egg and wine, and toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Garnish with pomegranate seeds just before serving.
Note: This dish can serve as a veggie-only side, just nix the quinoa.
Ingredients • ½ cup raw cashews (preferably soaked in water for 1 to 2 hours) • 1 cup water • 4 cups organic vegetable broth • 1 can (15 ounces) organic pumpkin • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 1 Spanish onion, chopped • 3 stalks celery, chopped • 5 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 teaspoons cumin • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (seeds removed), chopped • Unrefined sea salt, to taste • Juice from 2 whole limes • Pumpkin seeds, for garnish
1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, add the cashews and water; process until smooth and creamy. Add in the pumpkin puree and vegetable broth, and process again until ingredients are well-blended. Set "pumpkin cream" aside. 2. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic; sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, or until onions and celery are translucent. Add the cumin, chopped chipotle peppers, and season with salt to taste. Pour in the "pumpkin cream" and use a handheld stick blender to process until smooth and creamy. 3. Simmer soup over low heat for 15 minutes. Squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds before serving.
Healthy Gingerbread Spice Cake with Butternut Squash Puree
Ingredients • ¼ cup melted extra virgin coconut oil, plus more for wiping pan • 2 cups biodynamic whole wheat flour or Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten free flour • ¼ cup flaxseeds • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • ¼ teaspoon allspice • ¼ teaspoon unrefined sea salt • ½ cup coconut palm sugar • 1 organic, pastured egg • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen butternut squash puree, thawed (or 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree) • ½ cup organic coconut milk • ¼ cup molasses • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with extra virgin coconut oil. 2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, flaxseeds, baking soda, fresh ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt; set aside. 3. In a high-speed blender, add the sugar, coconut oil and egg; process until smooth and creamy. Add the butternut squash puree, coconut milk, molasses and vanilla extract and process again until ingredients are well-blended. Add wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients, and mix until smooth. 4. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack in the center of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in the pan before turning the cake out onto a rack to cool completely.