Posts Tagged: Holiday Side Dishes

Cauliflower-Parsnip Mash

Those of us in the Paleo world know about the controversy that is whether or not to include white potatoes into one’s diet. On the one hand, they are a delicious, nutrient dense whole food. A fabulous starchy tuber in fact! Unprocessed, versatile and satisfying. And yet, they sit quite high on the glycemic index and as someone who has chosen to try and stick to a Paleo diet because I’m pre-diabetic … then obviously I am going to avoid sugar spiking foods.

I’m especially NOT going to deny myself of delicious foods however, when it comes to any holiday spread I might be hosting this time of year. I double especially love surprising my doubting guests when it comes to Paleo food substitutions. Because they’re definitely not all a win. (Sad face apple pie.)

why cauliflower
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock with nary a Buzzfeed food video or heady list touting the many wondrous virtues of eating cauliflower (instead of carbs) crossing your path, then I’m sorry. This is one of those rare times you’ve been missing out on what the internet has to toss your way. Cauliflower is a splendiferous thing indeed. I’ve tried it out in bread, soup and to make faux ‘cauli-rice’ and pizza crust already. Perhaps you’ve already been served, or have tried mashed cauliflower as a mashed potato substitute. It’s pretty good (no, it doesn’t taste exactly the same so let’s just lay that inquisition to rest), but I’ve found that the addition of parsnips really adds the taste a texture needed to make it a damn good combo of a sub needed to mimic the cloudy peaks of buttery, creamy goodness that is mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is a part of the cabbage family, which means it’s a vegetable and we know that vegetables are a good thing, yes? Particularly rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, cauliflower also has a significant amount of vitamin K, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium! As if all of that weren’t enough, noshing on cauliflower also gives you a good dose of sulfur. And until I read Mark Sisson’s article on why eating sulfur-rich foods is a grand idea, I had no clue about why I should care about that either.  It’s a damn good, eye-opening article about vegetables in general!

why parsnips copy
Pumped up with various B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K, parsnips and turnips are a great source of trace minerals, including manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc! While they may be moderately high in natural sugars, parsnips are also comprised of both soluble and insoluble fiber. (Which slows the body’s digestion of carbs and prevents a spike in blood sugar and makes food easier to digest!) When accompanied with the cauliflower, one really is bestowed with the great satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes without the dense insulin spike.

vs. blender I’m straight up gonna tell you that using a blender will issue you a gluey mass. Which you might be going for if you wanted to make a vegan cheese sauce sub; say for mac and cheese. But that’s not the texture we’re going for here. I myself am a fan of the rustic hand-held mashing or using a food processor.

Simple Paleo Mashed Alternative: Cauliflower, Parsnip and Turnip Mash
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
What You'll Need
  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 5-6 tbsp. grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1¼ tsp. pink sea salt
How You Do
  1. Remove the cauliflower florets from their bases of stems and leaves. Wash and add to a water-filled pot, along with your washed, peeled and chopped parsnips and turnip.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until all is tender.
  3. (You can cook the veg in two separate pots if you don't have a big enough one.)
  4. Drain the cauliflower, turnips and parsnips into a colander and topple them all into a food processor (or back into the pot if you are hand-mashing.)
  5. Add the butter and whizz/mash until well creamed! If you like it rustic then by hand is the best way to go.
  6. Season with sea salt to taste, eat it, love it and gloat all about it.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon, Lemon and Asiago

The only thing that makes the coming of winter acceptable is Autumn. It encapsulates everything comfortable. Soothing. It’s the time of year where us women bust out the knee socks and boots with pleasure. Tights and chunky knit sweaters are welcomed with glee.

As is the craft beer, fresh, warm baked bread, hot stews and holiday gatherings. So much about this time of year for me has always revolved around harvest, canning food, feasting with friends and family. Revelling in the spirit of gratitude and solstice. Come New Years however … the pounds from all of those indulgences would be hard to ignore and the inevitable New Years resolutions would start to float around in my head. (No matter how much I tried to say I didn’t believe in them.) I know I’m not alone in this. I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone this Autumn and embrace all that I love about this season without forgetting to revel in the care of my body and health too.

Our eating habits, exercise routine and stress levels lay the foundation for how we feel. So this year I’m sharing all of my favourite Autumnal recipe makeovers. Over the past couple of years I’ve attempted trying to make healthier versions of the indulgent savoury dishes and sweet treats that come with the feasting, the ceremony … the gathering in gratitude and solstice that many of us do over the next few months. Regardless of our varying beliefs. There have been a few hits and misses. All I’m going to say is that one has to respect the power of coconut flour. And the science of baking. We’ll leave it at that for today because I’m sharing one of my easier, fave savoury side dishes that pleases everyone come the holidays …

PicMonkey Collage

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacons, Lemon and Asiago
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8
What You'll Need
  • 2 - 4 pounds (depending on how many you have at your holiday table!) small brussels sprouts (each about 1 inch in diameter), trimmed, halved through root end
  • 1½ (double if using more brussles sporouts) cups diced bacon
  • Juice of 1 lemon, (double if using more brussles sporouts)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ (or more) cup of grated asiago cheese (or parm, or nutritional yeast if wanting it vegan)
  • 1 tbsp. (or more) real maple syrup (the dark stuff)
  • Optional: 1 cup of shaved almonds
How You Do
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss brussels sprouts in medium to large bowl with bacon, lemon juice, zest, maple and optional shaved almonds.
  2. Toss and spread brussels sprouts onto a parchment lined baking sheet in single layer.
  3. Roast brussels sprouts until tender and beginning to brown, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes.
  4. Transfer to bowl, sprinkle with the grated asiago (parm or NOOSH) and serve.
  5. You can also do this dish in a crock pot on slow for 4 hours, which I typically do for Xmas, as oven space is scant.

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