Holiday meals are sacred. There are traditions to uphold and many mouths to feed. Over the years the traditions may change to accommodate the changing of the guard, however the heart remains the same; sharing a meal surrounded by the people you love (for better or worse, by choice or by default).
Many of these traditions involve rich foods, food which bring comfort and are filled with memories as thick as grandmas gravy.
I can't participate in these traditions, (shout out to food allergies) which has taught me to have a measure of grace for inflexible family members. More importantly, I think, is that I am learning to let myself off the hook and enjoy the process of starting my own traditions.
A clean Christmas dinner is far easier than you may think, here is what I did for a friends feast the other evening.
CHRISTMAS DINNER 2.0
What you will need for the roast chicken:
1 whole organic chicken
1 package fresh rosemary 2 tbsp chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp corse sea salt divided
1 tsp black pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
Pat your chicken dry with paper towel, take 1.5 tbsp salt and pack it onto the chicken skin.
Combine chopped rosemary, garlic, remaining salt, pepper, and olive oil together. Lift the chicken skin by making an incision by the legs, stuff your herb mixture between the skin and the flesh.
Place the chicken into your cast iron, squeeze the lemon over too and stuff the rind into the cavity. Add a few sprigs of Rosemary to the cavity as well. TRUSS the chicken.
Place in the oven. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes (or until the skin begins to brown) lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
While you roast your chicken prepare your sides. I opted for mashed potatoes, roast butternut squash, and green beans. Here is what you should do:
Peel and de-seed the squash. Chop into 1 inch chunks, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until soft.
Once the squash is in the oven snap your beans. Peel your potatoes and cut them into 2 inch chunks. Place the beans and potatoes in water, boil until soft (usually 5-10minutes depending) the beans should be a little crunchy so I usually do less time.
In a separate pan, sauté some chopped onion in butter or coconut oil. Add in some raw pumpkin seeds for a quick toast if you have them.
Drain the beans and toss with onion, sea salt and black pepper.
Drain the potatoes. Add 4-6 tbsp butter, 1/4-1/2 cup milk (I used nondairy products for this) 1-2 cloves of garlic chopped and lightly sautéed, salt and black pepper. All done to preferred texture and taste.
Remove some of the pan drippings from the chicken into a small sauce pan. Add a 1/4-1/2 cup water and 1 tbsp potato starch, whisk together over low heat until smooth and creamy (gravy, ta-da!), add more pan drippings or water as needed.
Obviously there are a million ways you could go! Roast Brussels, a simple arugula salad with lemon and olive oil, sweet potato wedges, or savory quinoa salad.
We also can't forget dessert! What would the holidays be without a little treat?!? Pumpkin pie with coconut whip cream, mint chocolate fudge bars, raw chocolate, or chocolate mint chia pudding (or pumpkin pie chia pudding) are all worthy options.
No matter what the holidays may bring, food coma should not be one of them. Enjoy your time my friends! May your week be full of love, joy, peace, and light.