In the coming weeks, we’ll see countless articles pop up describing how we can stay fit and healthy during this holiday season. My single piece of advice? Eat real food. All the early-morning workouts and glasses of water won’t cure a belly filled with non-foods like preservatives, stabilizers, and flavorings found in most store-bought pre-made foods. Read your labels, or better yet, don't buy food with labels at all - buy whole fresh ingredients.
Can you indulge in your mom’s famous homemade cookies? Sure, enjoy a few. Store-bought cookies that someone brought into the office? Skip. Classic mashed potatoes, prepared with organic potatoes and organic grass-fed cream? Go for it. Mystery-ingredient casserole that contains canned soup and something that once resembled an onion? Pass.
At The Wildflower Chef, we’re not about depriving ourselves, especially not on a holiday centered around food. Just make the best ingredient choices that you can, no excuses. Your body knows how to handle real food and a few indulgent meals won’t tip the scale for you.
If you’re making classic apple pie, use organic flour, butter, and sugar - for bonus points, try and use only locally grown apples. If you’re preparing turkey, buy it from a responsible source such as Kimberton Whole Foods or Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. If you don’t have time to prepare every part of your meal, outsource some of the work to us! We’re offering ready-to-eat sides to compliment your Thanksgiving meal. As always, it is our promise to deliver wholesome food, made from scratch with organic ingredients. (We can accommodate special dietary needs, like gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-sodium, too!) Email Chef Emily to preorder.
Here are a few healthy recipes to get you into the Thanksgiving spirit that are quick enough to prepare on a busy weeknight:
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the olive oil, honey, rosemary, salt, and black pepper with the sweet potato in a large bowl. Transfer potatoes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes.
Whipped Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Follow your favorite mashed potato recipe, but replace half of the potatoes with cauliflower to lighten up this dish. (You may need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe to account for the added moisture from the cauliflower.) Try serving these with the Vegan Mushroom Gravy, below.
Vegan Mushroom Gravy:
Recipe from Whole Foods Market
- 2 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, such as porcini, cremini or shiitake, trimmed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup Merlot or other spicy red wine
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent. Add 1/4 cup of the broth to the pan to prevent onion from burning. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until they release their liquid and become tender. Stir in garlic, rosemary and thyme and continue to cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add wine and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 2 cups broth and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together tamari, yeast and cornstarch to form a thick paste. Add mixture to the skillet, whisking constantly to make sure paste dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add pepper and serve gravy hot.
How do you stay healthy during the season of food? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.