Recipes: Holiday Recipes

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1. Wild Mushroom Turkey Gravy - (Strict)
2. Sausage and Herb Stuffing (Liberal)
3. Cranberry Relish (Liberal)
4. Chestnut Soup (Strict)
5. Pumpkin Pie (Liberal)
6. Thanksgiving Carrots (Liberal)
7. Claudia's Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes
8. Cranberry Sauce (Liberal)
9. Mushroom Sausage Stuffing (Liberal)
10. Chestnut Cream (Liberal)
11. Butternut Squash - Faux Sweet Potatoes (Liberal)

1. Wild Mushroom Turkey Gravy - (Strict)
Here's the perfect way to use those juices and drippings from your next roasted turkey. There's more than one way to thicken a sauce or gravy. Since flour and cornstarch are out when you're eating low-carb, a classic French cream reduction is in order. This rich sauce is complemented by the hearty taste of the mushrooms, and it's a great accompaniment to anyone's Thanksgiving turkey!

2 cups defatted turkey juices from turkey roasting pan or homemade turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, rinsed, stemmed and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Bring the juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce by half. Add the cream and cook until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, and sherry and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and almost dry, about 6 minutes.

Combine the mushrooms with reduced gravy and season with salt and pepper. Reheat, if necessary, and stir in the vinegar. Transfer to a gravy boat and keep warm until serving. top

2. Sausage and Herb Stuffing (Liberal)
3/4 pound turkey sausage (you may use pork breakfast sausage)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 eggs
2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Equipment: 8 by 8-inch square baking dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove sausage from casing and crumble it into a pan over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until browned. Drain fat if necessary. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Using a spoon, mix in the sausage mixture and all the remaining ingredients. Pour the stuffing into the baking dish and bake until hot and browned, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately. top

3. Cranberry Relish - (Liberal)
1 cup sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)
1 cup water
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 teaspoon orange zest

Combine sugar substitute and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cranberries and orange zest and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. top

4. Chestnut Soup (Strict)
First Course (makes about 6 cups)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finally chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 flat leaf parsley springs
2 whole cloves
1 Bay leaf
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 14 -15 oz jar peeled, cooked whole chestnuts, crumbled 3 CUPS
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Melt butter in a 3 quart heavy saucepan over low heat, and then stir in celery, carrot and onion. Cover surface of vegetables with a buttered round of wax paper or parchment (buttered side down) and cover pan with lid, then sweat vegetables 15 minutes (to soften). Wrap parsley, cloves, and bay leaf in cheesecloth and tie into a bundle with string to make a bouquet garni. Discard buttered paper from vegetables, add broth and bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Add chestnuts and Madeira and simmer, covered, 3 minutes. Puree soup in small batches (4 or 5) in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a 3-4 quart heavy saucepan. Stir in cream, pepper, and salt to taste and reheat soup over moderate heat stirring occasionally. Note: This soup can be made 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered. From Gourmet Magazine top

5. Pumpkin Pie (Liberal)
1 can Libby's Pumpkin (15oz)
10 packs Splenda (more or less to your taste)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 medium eggs
1 tsp Allspice or Pumpkin pie spice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until blended. Spoon into muffin cups or small oven safe dishes. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes. Makes 12. They'll be light and fluffy when first out of the oven, and then probably collapse like a punctured souffle. Store in the refrigerator. top

6. Thanksgiving Carrots (Liberal)
(Carrots are not allowed on the strict diet)

Cook sliced carrots the way you usually do and toss with a spoonful of butter and a spoonful of sugar free maple syrup. top

7. Claudia's Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes
My mom does a rice stuffing. What I did was chop very finely a head of cauliflower and then added an equal amount of chopped water chestnuts. This became my rice. I added pine nuts and chopped celery, and you can chop mushrooms too. Mom's secret ingredients are: a dollop of bacon grease and bread crumbs--I used smashed pork rinds. Then seasoning to taste: sage, salt and pepper. I baked it inside the turkey as usual and I honestly thought it was as good as rice. You can use other nuts for the pine nuts, of course, I would use walnuts or pecans.

Pork Rind Stuffing

1 3-4-ounce bag plain pork rinds, lightly crushed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 can chicken broth
1/2 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter

Cook the onions and celery in the butter until tender. Toss with the crushed pork rinds. Pour the beaten egg over the rinds and toss lightly. Add up to 1/2 can of broth until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Can be used inside the bird or baked separately in a baking dish.

Better Than Bread Stuffing

1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sausage (about 2 links or 1/2 package Jimmy Dean Sausage - I used hot)
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon white pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

Cut the cauliflower in corn-sized pieces and steam it until it's soft but not mushy. Set aside. Saute the butter, sausage, chopped mushrooms, diced celery, diced onion, and chopped garlic until soft. Add the shredded cheese, eggs, white pepper, salt, dried parsley, sage, hot pepper flakes. Toss well to combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Spoon the entire mix into a casserole. Flatten the surface with the back of large spoon. Bake in oven while roasting your meat. (I do it by itself in a 350 oven until it's hot and the cheese melts. Let the casserole stand while you get the rest of the dinner ready. top

8. Cranberry Sauce (Liberal)
Here's a simple recipe for cranberry sauce that literally takes 15 minutes to make. My kids can't tell it from the regular stuff.

1 bag (12 oz) of cranberries. (I cut the little stem part off of each with a tiny paring knife. The recipe doesn't say you have to, though.)
1 cup water
1 cup Splenda

Combine the water and splenda in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When it boils, drop in the cranberries and boil gently until the mixture is the desired consistency. The cranberries pop open. Remove from heat and let cool. You can grate in a little orange peel or put in two drops of orange extract if you like that added. To get smooth cranberry sauce you pour the mixture into a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl. Push the mixture through with the back of a spoon. top

9. Mushroom Sausage Stuffing (Liberal)
(can be used to stuff poultry or vegetables)

4 onions, thinly sliced
2-4 T. olive oil
4 c. coarsely chopped mushrooms (use your favorites)
1/2 c. dry white wine
2 T. butter
2 lbs. spicy sugar-free turkey sausage meat, removed from casings
1 bunch fresh tarragon, leaves only
Salt and pepper

Saute the onions in olive oil over medium-low heat until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until crisp on the edges, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high and add the wine. Let the wine cook off for a couple of minutes, then lower the heat and simmer with the mushrooms and onions for another 10 minutes. Stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a large skillet, brown the sausage. When cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes, add to the mushroom mixture along with the tarragon and combine thoroughly. Fill the cavity of turkey just as you would with any other stuffing. You can also use this recipe as a side dish or to stuff vegetables. top

10. Chestnut Cream (Liberal)
(A nice condiment with roast turkey. Sounds and tastes fancy, but isn't)

2 cans whole chestnuts (drained)
1/2 cup sugar free chicken broth
1/2 cup milk *
1/4 heavy cream
3 tablespoons Brandy
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Splenda (can double this if you like it sweeter)

Put all the ingredients except brandy in a blender or food processor and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and stir in brandy. Add salt and pepper, splenda to taste. Heat slightly in microwave. Should be slightly warm, not boiling hot.
*Cannot use regular milk - see recipe for milk/cream top

11. Butternut Squash - Faux Sweet Potatoes (Liberal)

serves 4

1 butternut squash
Sugar free maple syrup
Coarsely chopped walnuts

Cleave a butternut squash in quarters or whatever smaller pieces you can manage with a big knife. Then, put in steamer or in a pot with about 2 inches of water, or in the microwave and steam until a knife easily pierces the skin. Cook with the skin side up. Let squash cool. (You can do this a day or two ahead, also, which will leave you with about 10 minutes prep time on the day)

Peel the butternut squash and cut into sweet potato sized pieces. Arrange the pieces in a glass baking dish in one layer, or as close to one layer as you can get.

Pour over sugar-free maple syrup, putting about a teaspoon full on each piece. Then sprinkle with walnuts and top with pats of butter. Put under the broiler or in a hot oven until everything is melted and gooey.

This year I am going to whip some heavy cream with sugar-free marshmallow syrup to taste. Then you could put a dot on each serving when you serve it, or have it on the side on the buffet or table. top

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