Nom Nom Paleo

Giving Thanks

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’Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except for me, because I had to don my trusty hospital scrubs and start another week of graveyard shifts.

Giving Thanks by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But don’t feel badly for me. I have so much to be thankful for, including:

Giving Thanks by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

  • Date nights! This week, Henry and I took a much-needed breather over dinner at Ad Hoc in Yountville. There, we tucked into a platter of Ad Hoc’s famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken for the first time in several years (!). Unlike our pre-Paleo forays to Ad Hoc, we ordered  the gluten-free version this time. No, it’s not Paleo, but I’m happy to report that the crispy, tender chicken was just as mind-blowingly delicious as before.

Even better: our new friend Ruben at Ad Hoc decided that a copy of our book had to be displayed above the bar.

Giving Thanks by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After a few of the staffers spotted it and flipped through it, one came over to ask me: “So what exactly is Paleo?”

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Forky Friday: Nomtastic Thanksgiving Roundup!

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Forky Friday: Thanksgiving Smorgasbord by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Today’s Forky Friday is all about getting you ready for Turkey Day!

Yes, I know Thanksgiving’s still days away, but it’s not too early to get crackin’—especially if your frozen turkey still needs to be thawed. Besides, the weekend’s the perfect time to get a head start on the ginormous feast you’ll be devouring come Thursday. Ideally, you can prep most of your sides beforehand so you can focus on the turkey on Thanksgiving.

Forky Friday: Thanksgiving Smorgasbord by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Me? I’ll be reporting to work at the hospital on Thursday night, so I’ll miss the holiday fun—but you can still enjoy the nomtastic Turkey Day menu I put together for you!

To recap, here are the festive autumn dishes you should prepare (or strong-arm your friends and family into making for you):

Butterflied Big Bird (Spatchcocked Thanksgiving Turkey)

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Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Citrus Dressing

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Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce

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Roasted Garlic Autumn Mash

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Umami Gravy

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Paleo Pumpkin, Coconut, & Maple Custard Cups

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But that’s not all! If you head over to my Recipe Index, you’ll find LOADS of other free recipes that are perfect for your Paleo Thanksgiving. Here are just some of ’em:

Brussels Sprouts Chips

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Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

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Pressure Cooker Braised Kale and Carrots

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Roasted Broccoli With Crispy Prosciutto & Balsamic Vinegar

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

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Umami Gravy

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Okay, gang: Thanksgiving’s just one week away, so here’s Part 5 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! Just tuning in? I’ve already got you covered for turkeyBrussels sprouts, cran-cherry sauce, and mash—and today, I present to you: a flavor-packed, make-ahead Umami Gravy! 

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Yep, this is a rich, thick gravy that you can pour on EVERYTHING. I love my Easy Paleo Herb Gravy and my Slow Cooker Roast Chicken & Gravy, but this recipe’s the one you break out for company. 

Traditionalists may scoff because there are no turkey pan drippings in this gravy, but by using bone broth or rich chicken stock, you can minimize your game-time kitchen chaos by making this gravy a couple of days before Thanksgiving. You simply reheat it just before you go into Feast Mode. (I don’t know about you, but this lady hates frantically cooking against the clock.) 

Plus, this gravy is packed with carefully selected ingredients that boost umami: savory bone broth, tomato paste, dried and fresh mushrooms, and fish sauce. Once all these flavorful ingredients have simmered, simply purée everything together and voila! Thick gravy! 

Umami Gravy by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Umami Gravy keeps in the fridge for several days, and is a great item to keep in the freezer for everyday meals. Just cook up your favorite quick-cooking protein and simmer it in this fantastic gravy. 

Ready for the recipe?

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Roasted Garlic Autumn Root Vegetable Mash

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It’s Part 4 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! (If you’re just tuning in, go check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3!)

Roasted Garlic Autumn Mash by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn’t be complete without a generous serving of mashed root vegetables. And while mashed potatoes will always have a special place in my heart, I’ve come to prefer this Autumn Mash as a comforting, colorful alternative because: (A) it tastes better, and (B) it’s so much prettier. (After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?)

Longtime readers of my blog might recognize this recipe as an adaptation of an old favorite—but the secret ingredient in this new version is buttery, mellow roasted garlic, which adds warmth and richness to this mildly sweet vegetable side. Best of all, this dish doesn’t just taste fab, it also keeps fantastically. Make a batch a couple of days ahead of time, and reheat it when you’re ready to feast. Minimizing the muss ‘n fuss (or is it fuss ‘n muss?) on Turkey Day is always a good thing.

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Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce

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It’s Part 3 of my Nomtastic Thanksgiving series! (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you’ve just joined the cooking party!)

Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Sweet and sour is one of my favorite flavor combinations. It perfectly describes my personality. And although I never tried cranberry sauce until I began attending the annual Thanksgiving potluck at my in-laws’, I fell hard for it right away. It didn’t matter if I got a dry piece of turkey breast; a dollop of tangy cranberry sauce would make it all better. But sadly, once I started eating Paleo, I had to skip the cranberry sauce altogether. After all, I knew that most recipes are sweetened with LOADS of white sugar.

But this year, I was determined to come up with a Paleo-friendly version of cranberry sauce—one inspired by the cranberry-cherry-apple juice blends from my childhood. By themselves, cranberries can be unpalatably bitter and sour. But by adding an equal amount of cherries and simmering the fruit in apple juice, I was able to counter the mouth-puckering tartness of the cranberries with some natural sweetness. Prefer a sweeter sauce? Just a touch of honey will do the trick. And if you make this Cran-Cherry Sauce a day ahead and allow the flavors to meld further, it tastes even better.

Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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