Here's a sneak peek into how we celebrate giving thanks at phoodmoose. This post is a two-parter - the food side and the emotional side of the season. A two-for-one for you!
So, we’re talking about fall cooking. It’s really my favorite time of the year with all the slow cooker recipes. Yes, I said slow cooker and not Crock Pot… which is BRAND of slow cookers. Here are a few things you can cook in any brand of slow cooker.
First and foremost,… our hands-down favorite and quite possibly easiest recipe is home-made broth. It seriously couldn’t be easier. Throw in a small roasting chicken, throw in some veggies… or I like to save the scraps of all my onions, carrots, celery, garlic, etc… throw them in with a splash of ACV and a good amount of salt and turn on low for 24 hours.
When it’s finished, you not only have flavorful broth, but also poached chicken to use however. Pour the broth into silicon molds, freeze and then pop into a freezer safe back to use when you need to.
Heather wrote a blog post a while back for slow cooking (and pressure cooking) your pumpkin. Use it in pies, oatmeal, dog food or just a great side dish.
My world-famous chili can also be made in the slow cooker… just be sure to brown the meat first or it will be kinda sad in the finished project. That goes for any meat you use in a slow cooker recipe. Be sure to either use the browning/sauté feature of your electric slow cooker, or cook it separately, then add to your pot. It not only adds a depth of flavor, but also a nice color to the finished product. I promise, if you skip this step, you will miss it.
For snacking, we’ve been making our gluten free Chex mix in the slow cooker forever. This will be an upcoming recipe - Are you hungry yet?
Ok, so we’re not actually going to talk about how to cook a turkey or the merits of brining said turkey or even when to put your side dishes in the oven so everything is finished at the same time. You can get all that info on the Food Network.
Now we will address the emotional side of this time of year.
This time of is fraught with things to make you crazy. Food temptations around every corner to derail the best laid plans of a healthy diet. A LOT of family time, which, for some, can mean a lot of deflecting. Or just the added chaos of travel and guests/being a guest can make even the biggest extrovert looking to head for the hills.
So we want to give you a few more things to help you get thru the next few weeks feeling sane and happy on January 1st.
First and foremost. Make time for yourself. Yes, we realize that could be hard, but you MUST do it. Its non-negotiable. Even if that’s just a 15 minute walk around the block or 10 minute hot shower. Take a few minutes away from all the crazy and just breathe. Refer to this post for some tips on how to add a little mindfulness to your day. It could mean the difference between letting that comment from your cousin about your hair roll right off you… or you could demolish a whole pie so as not to scream at her.
On that note… if it’s a store-bought pie… don’t eat it anyway. It’s not that good. Before you eat random stuff, take a beat and think, is this worth it? Save your energy for special things that are homemade. If it’s that tin of mail-order cookies, take a pass. If its your grandma’s annual Pizzelles that she ONLY makes at Christmas, go ahead and have one… maybe even 2. Enjoy it. Savor it. Know that she made them with love. Then move on.
And… if you DID eat the eh pie. It’s OK. Accept it and move on. It doesn’t have to mean that all your health-minded goals are out the window and you might as well eat "all the things" until New Years. Just acknowledge it. Do not assign the event a pass/fail. You’re not wrong in having pie. You just had pie. Now the rest of your life can continue with the very next choice you make. Even if it is wearing those red, glitter, thigh-high boots to Mom’s Christmas dinner.
However, if you’re gluten intolerant, diary intolerant, or anything else intolerant. DO NOT let anyone guilt you into eating something you shouldn’t eat or just choose not to. That “made with love… just for you… it’s the holidays.... live a little… one bite won’t kill you” stuff is not fair and you do not have to cave in.
If you’ve already explained, at length, about the reasons you abstain and they don’t seem to get it. Just tell them, flat out, those ingredients make you sick, and leave it at that. Not many people want to push after that. And if they do… you can always borrow our “and a little bit of cocaine won’t hurt me, either?” comment. That ALWAYS shuts things down.
And as a last-ditch effort, if they just won’t let up and its someone you don’t see often… take a cookie, piece of pie, whatever… excuse yourself and throw it away. It just might be the easiest option.
On a happier note… if you’re any of those intolerant eaters we mentioned above, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your childhood favorites. There are PLENTY of REAL food people on the interwebs that can help you transform that old recipe into a new favorite.
Here are a few of our favorite resources for wonder options of holiday foods for special dietary needs.
Food Network Thanksgiving: https://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving
Elana Amsterdam from Elana’s Pantry http://www.elanaspantry.com/
Danielle Walker from Against All Grain http://againstallgrain.com/
Melissa Joulwan, author of the Wel Fed cookbooks http://www.meljoulwan.com/
Toni Dash from Boulder Locavore http://boulderlocavore.com/
Michele Tam from Nom Nom Paleo http://nomnompaleo.com/
Diane Sanfilippo https://balancedbites.com
We are so thankful for you and wish you an amazing holiday season! Be REAL!