Happy first day of November, everyone!! You know what that means…out with the Christmas decorations and red cups at Starbucks! Kidding. That was dripping with sarcasm, if you didn’t catch it. Seriously why are people SO OBSESSED with getting out all the Christmas decorations in September/October? Isn’t part of the fun of the Christmas season that it’s only for a month during the year? Maybe that’s just me, but I’m really not a huge fan of seeing Christmas decorations in August…yikes.
ANYWAY. What I meant to get into was Thanksgiving!! November rolls around and everyone’s like omtheholidaysarestartingnow give me aaaaalll the Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes ASAP and crap I haven’t started my holiday gift buying and omg here go aaaallll the treats to my waistline, right? At least, that’s what’s on most people’s minds at this time of year, from what I gather.
First: DON’T FREAK THE EFF OUT. It will be okay. I have pleeeenty of healthy (but freaking delicious) holiday recipes already on the blog here, and so many coming up for you guys this month! Back in 2012 when I started dabbling in Paleoish eating, I started changing over everything at our Thanksgiving table to be gluten-free, dairy-free, the like. Because I was cooking, and that’s what I wanted to eat. Did anyone complain? NOPE.Do you really think they’re going to say, “um, no thanks, I won’t eat that stuffing/pie/fill-in-the-blank gorgeous thing you made because there’s no gluten in it.” HA. Even my grandfather, who prides himself on only eating white wonder bread, processed american “cheese” and “traditional” american staples like that, loves my Paleo Carrot Soufflé, Butternut Squash Stuffing, and Primal Palate’s Famous Apple Crisp.
The important thing to note is: no one else in my family eats paleo/paleo-ish. So don’t freak out about being the only one who “eats this way” when you’re approaching holiday celebrations centered around food. Heck, none of them is even gluten-free or has any dietary restrictions. Can you say black sheep in the family?? *raises hand* yep, thats’s me! But that doesn’t mean you have to feel left out. On the contrary, do your research and find some Really. Freaking. Delicious. holiday-themed recipes (erm hellooo, like the ones on this blog!) that will blow their minds and will make them totally forget the junk they’re missing in your dishes!
Oh, you have people that absolutely refuse not to have their precious grandmother’s stuffing/rolls that come out of the can/etc. On Thanksgiving? Totally fine – but tell them they have to either bring it or make it themselves. Is it that unreasonable to say that you’re not going to take the time to make something you won’t even be eating? A little tough love never hurt anybody.
So speaking of those deeeelicious recipes, here’s the first of many coming at you this month: Cranberry-Balsamic Braised Butternut Squash! This would be great to make for Thanksgiving, but I love making it any day of the week!
Pro tip: buy pre-cut butternut squash. It’ll save you sooooo much frustrating hacking up those huge squashes, ha!
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- ½-inch knob ginger, minced (about 1 tsp minced)
- 1 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed*
- 1½ cups fresh cranberries
- ¼ c apple cider (substitute: homemade broth)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- Zest from 1 medium orange
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
- Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat (make sure you have a tight-fitting lid to go with the pan). Once hot, add the oil and ginger.
- When the spice becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds), add the squash, cranberries, and apple cider. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Add in the 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.
- Cook, shaking the pan occasionally and stirring every few minutes, until all the liquid is evaporated and the squash has begun to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat back down to low and cook until the squash is as browned and crisp as you like.
- Season with 1 tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, then garnish with fresh chopped rosemary and orange zest.
What are your family’s traditional holiday recipes? Check out more healthy holiday inspiration on #MyHolidayTradish!
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Whole Foods. More healthy holiday recipes to come!!