October in Edmonton is so beautiful with the leaves decorating every trail. The temperatures are changing for the colder, but Thanksgiving always brings an undeniable warmth and I look forward to celebrating the holiday with my family and friends.
It’s a time to be thankful, a time to remember and to embrace those who enrich our lives.
Gratitude is such a powerful emotion that can make your life better in so many ways. Practising gratitude is without a doubt the best and most simple way to become a happier person. Greater happiness is associated with decreased bodily response to stress, including lower cortisol, better immune system, better cardiovascular function, and improved sleep.
So why not keep the “gratitude train” going throughout the year by starting up a gratitude jar?
Over the year, write down anything that happens to you that you are grateful for. By the end of the year, your jar should be full and you will be able to read through everything you put into your jar and look back at the amazing year.
You could even empty that jar and make it a tradition to read them every Thanksgiving! I bet you will discover that you have a ton to be grateful for!
Are you looking for Thanksgiving side dishes?
The turkey might be the main event, but the right side dishes always make the Thanksgiving holiday dinner spread especially memorable. I’m sharing with you a few of my favorite super side dishes. Enjoy!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 ounces mushrooms preferably Shiitake or Crimini
- 2 cups fresh peas out of the shell or frozen if not in season
- 1 1⁄2 cup broth. Homemade is best or buy organic.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium to large head of cauliflower cut into small florets
- RISOTTO BROTH
- 1⁄2 cup broth (same as above)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon unprocessed salt
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder/flour
Make it Like So
- FOR THE SAUTE:
- Pour olive oil into a large skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until it begins to soften. Add mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften. Add the peas, and cook until they just barely begin to soften.
- While these are cooking, prepare the cauliflower.
- FOR THE CAULIFLOWER RISOTTO
- Place small florets into a large food processor and process until they are rice-sized pieces. Place the “riced” cauliflower into the skillet and add 1 cup broth. Cover and cook over medium heat until soft, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Meanwhile prepare the risotto broth. Stir together
- FOR THE RISOTTO BROTH
- In a small bowl, add the broth, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, nutritional yeast, and arrowroot powder. Stir well.
- Cook and Serve. Pour risotto broth over the cauliflower in the skillet. Stir it in, cover and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick, until cauliflower is al-dente, about the texture of rice, 5 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook or it will be mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with basil or Italian curly-leaf parsley.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinced in a fine sieve
- 1⁄4 cup golden or sultana raisins
- 1 19 oz can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled feta
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup toasted walnuts
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1⁄4 tsp curry powder
Make it Like So
- Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions.
- Once cooked, place into a wide salad bowl and add raisins as it cools. The raisins will plump up as they absorb any excess moisture.
- Add chickpeas, parsley, feta and apple.
- Prepare dressing and shake all the ingredients in a jar.
- Drizzle quinoa salad with dressing and mix.
- Sprinkle quinoa salad with toasted walnuts right before serving.
- 8 cups baby arugula salad mix
- 1 pear, sliced lengthwise
- 1 avocado, sliced lengthwise
- 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1⁄2 cup currants
- 1⁄4 red onion, sliced thinly
- BASIC HERB VINAIGRETTE
- 1⁄3 cup flax, hemp, or olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
Make it Like So
- Prepare a large serving platter. Fill the center with the arugula mix. Line the outside edges of the plate with alternating slices of pear and avocado.
- Sprinkle the walnuts, currants, and red onion over the middle.
- Prepare Basic Herb Vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a mason jar and shake.
- Drizzle the salad with Basic Herb Vinaigrette.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 onions onions
- 1⁄2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 tsp curry powder
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups large butternut squash (chopped into bite sized pieces) or frozen
- 2 cups sweet potatoes (chopped into bite sized pieces)
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp allspice
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 head cauliflower (chopped)
- 1 16oz can of coconut milk
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
Make it Like So
- Add oil to large Dutch oven or cast iron pot on high heat and saute the onions and green beans for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, salt, thyme, allspice, black pepper and curry powder to the saute and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Combine the butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and green onions to the saute and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock (or water) and cover the vegetables and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, cover the pot and lower to a simmer for about 30 minutes.