For those of us dieting through holidays can be hard, this is the first in our series of surviving the holidays and treats you can bring to indulge!
1. Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squashes, cut in half with seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups chopped Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted pecans
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place acorn squash halves on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes; cover and set aside. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the oil and saute apples, shallots, celery, carrots and garlic until tender. Add quinoa, pecans, thyme, salt and pepper to the skillet; mix thoroughly. Stuff each side of the squash with 1/2 cup mixture and bake in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes until heated through.
Nutritional Analysis: Serving size 1/2 squash
- Calories 267
- Total fat 10 g
- Saturated fat 1 g
- Trans fat 0 g
- Monounsaturated fat 5 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 284 mg
- Total carbohydrate 44 g
- Dietary fiber 8 g
- Total sugars 11 g
- Protein 5 g
2. Grain Free Stuffing
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 15 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 12 stale grain free biscuits, broken into small pieces (see recipe below)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (substitute with coconut milk for Paleo or Gaps)
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon coarse Celtic sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Biscuits:
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour or meal
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons grain-free baking powder (see above)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoons
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (I prefer a canned coconut milk such as Native Forest . It's much thicker than the milk found in a carton and also contains less preservatives)
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir occasionally until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add sage and stir for about 30 seconds. Remove skillet from the heat. Add biscuit pieces. Whisk together egg, cream and chicken stock, then pour over biscuit mixture. Season with salt and pepper and stir until incorporated. Pour stuffing into a buttered 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until golden brown.
- For the Biscuits:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position. Place almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse, 8-10 times until mixture looks like wet sand with pea-size clumps of butter. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the milk and water. The mixture should be tacky, but not loose or runny. If it's too loose, stir in a tablespoon more of almond flour.
- Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough and place each dough mound on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough. Using your fingers, press gently on the tops of the dough mounds to flatten them just a little. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.
To get these ready for the dressing:
- Cool biscuits, cut each in half lengthwise and leave out on the counter overnight. (or toast in a 300 degree F oven for 15 minutes until dried out).
1.Choco-coco Pecan Cookies
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp Xanthan gum (a must!)
1 cup flaked coconut
- Beat brown sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour blend, pecans cocoa, baking soda and xanthan gum in small bowl until well blended. Add to butter mixture, blending until stiff dough is formed.
- Sprinkle coconut on work surface. Divide dough into four pieces. Shape each piece into log about 1 ½ in diameter; roll in coconut flakes until thickly coated. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 weeks. (For longer storage, freeze up to 6 weeks).
- Preheat oven to 350F. Cut rolls into approximately 1/8 inch. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Makes about 6 dozen
2. PALEO CHOCOLATE CHIP BACON COOKIES (NO SUGAR!!)
For the cookies
- 3 cups almond flour (288 grams)
- 2/3 cup tapioca flour (81 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate soda)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 egg
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 dark chocolate chips
For the bacon
- 5 thick slices bacon (if you’re in the UK, you’ll want to use streaky bacon – not the thick rashers because they won’t crisp up as easily)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or sugar substitute of your choice
- First things first: prep your bacon. Preheat the oven to 400F/205C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place your bacon in a small bowl and pour the maple over it, mixing around to coat the bacon. I find the easiest way to get an even coating is to just use my fingers to spread the maple. Once they are all evenly covered, spread the bacon out flat on the baking tray and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes is up, flip the bacon over and cook an additional 5 minutes on the other side. Remove from the oven after it’s cooked, but leave the bacon on the trays to cool. They will crisp up on the tray which gives the cookies a nice little crunch.
- On to the cookies! Lower the oven temperature to 375F/190C.
- In a medium sized bowl mix together your dry ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, mix together your wet ingredients until fully mixed. Once your wet mixture is thoroughly mixed, pour the contents into your dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- At this point, your bacon should be cooled enough to handle. Cut the bacon into chocolate chip sized chunks.
- After you’ve cut everything up, add the bacon bits and the chocolate chips to the cookie dough. If you’d like, you can save a little bacon pieces to push into your rolled cookie doug balls for baking.
- Roll your dough into 1 inch balls and place a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven. If you’re oven is like mine, you may need to flip the sheet around about halfway through cooking. If you like a flatter cookie, using the back of a spoon, press each cookie down to spread them out slightly.This is the step where I should tell you to wait until the cookies cool before eating, but who does that?
Cynthia Preston, ND