Thanksgiving is a day away. But today is my Favorite Holiday of all. Today, my husband Doug and I celebrate nine years together. So, even though I’ve got like two million gallons of gratitude running through my veins, I’ve got to make this blog quick so that I can go cuddle with the love of all my lifetimes.
We moved across the country last month, and were welcomed to Los Angeles by an amazing group of loving friends—both old and new. The abundance of love and support that we have experienced has been beyond my expectations. Two of our best buds shared their home with us for two weeks, an old man (and I mean old) carried huge palm trees up to our apartment for us, friends offered their car when ours died, people gave us beds to sleep on, the teachers and parents at Dougie’s new school have been EXTREMELY warm and flexible, the administration at my new school have been EXTREMELY accommodating, we’ve been invited out, greeted on the street, and given daily reminders that we have definitely moved to the right place.
Sure, there is a ghostly spirit residing in our apartment. Probably more than one. But thank goodness for the message I received from one them last week. As Doug and I sat atop my massage table (the closest thing we had to a couch) eating a delish kale salad – I looked over and saw my grandfather, Papa Joe, sitting in the corner of our living room. He passed a year ago, but I see him once in a while. This time he showed me a vivid scene from my father’s childhood. He showed me how he lifted my dad from bed and got all the kids into the car during the middle of the night because there was a gas leak in the house. I sat staring at Papa, and Doug sat staring at me. All I could do was laugh though. I couldn’t really tell him that I saw Papa. And I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop laughing.
Soon, Doug was infected with laughter and we were both literally rolling on the floor – when it hit me. Dougie had been awfully calm and sleepy that night, which was unlike him. We couldn’t stop laughing and I was feeling really dizzy and confused. THERE WAS A GAS LEAK IN OUR APARTMENT.
I don’t know exactly how we escaped that because I was so weak and delirious that we took forever to actually get out the door. But, as soon as I realized what Papa was trying to tell me, I said “We have a gas leak. Get Dougie.” And we got out. In a blur — but we got out.
Thank You Papa you continue to protect and fill me with love even from your new world.
So, I’m alive. And living in a sunny new place where it’s super easy to find friendly smiles and gluten free treats. I’m sure you can understand my gratitude.
So, now it’s time to pass along this goodness to you.
In honor of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season I am offering tons of gifts of love.
The holidays tend to be times that many of us dread. There’s the relatives, the expectation for present buying, and the food. Oh the food! Why do the holidays seem to carry this negative food vibe with them? Either we feel tempted to eat what is bad for us, we over eat, we try to satisfy too many people, or if you’re like me – we struggle to find what we can eat in the midst of the sugar-filled, double-stuffed, deep-fried frenzy.
Either way, the holidays are a time when balance is key and money is most often saved for others. I don’t know many people who treat themselves this season, but perhaps if we did – we’d all be much happier and healthier.
I’d love for your holidays to be as peaceful and relaxing as mine have recently been.
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And Finally, The Recipes!
Here are some of the things on our menu this year. Many of them are inspired by traditional recipes that my family always had at Thanksgiving.
Everything is or can be made Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Nut Free, and sometimes Raw.
Green Bean Corn Casserole (can be raw/semi-raw or cooked)
1 1lb green beans
2 lbs corn
1 large onion sliced very thin
1-2 cloves garlic chopped
½ cup cranberry juice
1/2 – 1 cup flax meal
Juice of ½-1 lemon
Olive oil, oregano, sage, thyme, sea salt, to taste
Marinate green beans, onions and garlic in glass or clay baking dish with lemon juice, cranberry juice, olive oil and the spices. Let sit for up to 1 day. Blend 1 lb of corn in your blender with ½ cup of flax meal. Mix green bean mixture with corn/flax in casserole dish. Add the 1 lb whole pieces of corn. Taste and add more spices to your liking. Top casserole dish with more flax meal and then bake at 100-200 until warm and crisp. I do it for about 4 hours.
Cranberry Salad: (raw or semi raw)
2 lbs raw cranberries
2-3 stalks celery chopped fine
1 cup walnuts chopped
2 cups pineapple chunks
Water and agar agar to make gelatin
Lakanto or xylitol
Fill a pretty glass pie dish with whole cranberries and sprinkle with sweetener of choice (stevia, lakanto, xylitol etc.) I use aprox. 1 cup of lakanto. Use potato masher or fork to break them open a bit. Add a splash of lemon juice or water and let marinate for a few hours in the fridge. Add chopped celery, walnuts and pineapple to your cranberry mixture and mix well. Blend 1 lb cranberries and add enough water to create a juice. Boil that cranberry juice and follow directions on agar agar (seaweed) pkg. to make into gelatin. Pour the warm cranberry juice over your cranberry salad and let sit until firm.
For an all raw version, just stir in some cultured coconut meat pudding and forget the agar agar.
For an extra treat you can add cultured coconut pudding, raw cream, tofutti cream cheese to the mix. It’s delish either way!
I also like to add ginger!
Butternut Squash/Quinoa stuffing (cooked)
2 lbs butternut squash cubed (buy already cubed at stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods)
2 bunches kale chopped
4 cups cooked quinoa
4 stalks celery chopped
2 cloves garlic
Sage, thyme, poultry seasonings, sea salt, pepper
Coconut oil for sautéing
Saute’ onions, garlic, celery, squash until almost caramelized. Add kale and sauté just a minute longer. Add all of your seasonings (you can use any seasonings you would use in your traditional stuffing) add cooked quinoa. Spread thin layer onto long baking dish and bake at 300 until toasty. YUM!
Cherry Crisp and Raw Mint Ice Cream
Crisp (Raw or cooked)
This dessert can be made with green apples, berries or cherries. I am using cherries
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chia seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup hemp seeds
1 cup soaked goji berries
1-2 cups almonds
Cherries (or fruit of choice)
Lakanto, pumpkin pie spices, pinch sea salt,
Optional: dates are optional (may be too sweet)
Coconut oil for blending
Soak cherries, gojis, and any fruits in a bit of kefir overnight. Blend all of the dry ingredients with a bit of coconut oil. Mix the fruit with your dry ingredients and add spices and sweetener. Bake or dehydrate until crisp. I bake at low temp for about an hour.
Variations: to satisfy a crowd you can add all kinds of nuts and some raw honey to this. YUM!
Peppermint Ice Cream (Raw)
3 Cups Coconut Milk (meat and water from a couple young Thai coconuts) you can used canned coconut milk as transition.
¼ cup lakanto sweetener or Zero sweetener from Whole Foods (xylitol or stevia can also be used)
2 Teaspoons Peppermint Extract (or a handful of mint leaves.
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
Blend all ingredients in a vita-mix or high speed blender for about 1-2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker (according to the manufacturer’s directions). It should be done in about 20-25 minutes, or until it looks like it’s really thick. Or you can freeze in a freezer safe container and put back in the blender to make it creamy before you eat it.
Variations: add any extract for the flavor you like.
Happy Holidays Friends