Just around this time of year I start to get super excited about planning and preparing KETO food for the holidays - the whole big deal of it - man, it is just awesome (in a good way)! Okay admittedly I like a lot of nerdy, weird projects that somehow give me huge fulfillment and self gratification - colour me odd in that respect. But to be honest, just like everybody else the holidays represent a time I can indulge myself in deliciousness, and I can share goodies with all those I love, while showing off some pretty cool eats! Holidays give me an excuse to try new recipes, wow the diners at my tables, coworkers, or neighbours and create a culinary experience soooooo easily that underlies a beautiful memory - or a crappy experience who ever knows with holidays - but nonetheless everyone will eat well!
So my household is made up of carnivores, vegetarians, pescatarians, those who fast, those who do not, you name it we’ve got it! More fun! So being super smart about planning helps me streamline my menus and make everybody happy at the same time (food wise I mean here folks, not talking about world peace). I have to deal with chocolate lovers, coffee lovers, cinnamon lovers - so when choosing flavours like that I make sure to be inclusive and offer variety. When you plan for holidays, and are dealing with the diversity of family and guests, and the eating habits of gourmets, foodies, gourmands, and just plain picky eaters, modularity and options are king, but you don't want to triple your work either! So think smart and plan accordingly - so for example our KETO Thanksgiving Feast, and yes I do mean FEAST - is so amazingly decadently rich and delicious, and so well thought out anyone who walks through the door to join us at the table will be wowed, satisfied, and asking for a doggie bag to take home for later! Proven and tested my friends - here is a sample
Appetizers - these take an average of 15 minute to prep - so max 1 hr - for 4 options! Sweet and all perfectly KETO!
Two - vegetarian (olives of all types, hearts of palm, marinated mushrooms, with peppy vinaigrette, and blue cheese stuffed celery.
Two carnivore - baked brie with bacon and raspberry sauce, baked sausage stuffed mushrooms
With cocktails - mixed drinks based in distilled alcohol and sugar free mixers including
- Vodka on the rocks with a twist
- KETO Cosmo
- KETO Gin & Tonic
- KETO Rum and Coke
- KETO Lime in the COCONUT
- And so many others
Huge roasted turkey stuffed with roasted celery, mushrooms, peppers, garlic cloves
Vegetarian option - TOFURKEY roast cooked similarly
Sides for everyone - no matter what eating style.
- KETO stuffing with meat
- KETO stuffing vegetarian style
- Mashed buttery turnip
- Mashed buttery cauliflower (yes people will eat both!)
- Roasted asparagus with olive oil and garlic
- Mixed green salad with choices of dressings
KETO dinner Rolls and butter
KETO Cranberry raspberry jellied sauce
KETO Pumpkin Pie
KETO Chocolate Silk Pie
Yes, I told you it is a feast for the eyes, for the soul and the stomach - and feeds the family quite happily with leftovers for days if not a week! The truth and the trick of this thing is just planning and dividing up the work ahead of time, so when it comes down to the day itself there are just a few tasks left! I want to sit down with my family and friends and enjoy the meal, not worry about last minute prep, so I make sure to plan it that way! See below for the strategy and why it is super fun to do! Not kidding!
Presentation, Presentation, Presentation!
Food is not just about eating - we all love to see a beautiful display with lots of choices so it is great to take the time to figure out how everything will look together. It can be fancy or plain, chic or traditional but when I take a little time to make everything beautiful I get a real kick out of the final picture. I challenge myself every year - how can I really make things taste and look special and each year I get a little better at it! Why not - life is short and you know what - we are worth it! Think about a pretty tablecloth, or placemats, cloth napkins or pretty paper ones - gorgeous stuff can be had for pennies at the local dollar store! Do it up and have fun. To help support those eating with us that are portion control conscious we make an effort to make choices simpler - i.e. individual ice cream scoops of stuffing instead of a bowl, you can do the same with small plates of side dishes if you wish and have room, pats of butter pre-sliced and piled on a plate, pre-divided pie slices, you get it. The whole experience of the feast is to enjoy old favourites and to add new things to try and taste too - so we always chat about this as part of the meal and its fun. An adventure in eating. From a keto standpoint i always have butter coffee for breakfast and then make it my business to taste everything thing I want from the buffet from appetizers to dessert, but just not full portions of everything - I actually could not possibly eat all that, keto food is so superbly rich! But I do not deprive myself of anything - then after dinner I organize a walk and encourage everyone to join me...and I even get some physical activity in! Moderation in all things baby - that's the way to go! Life is to be enjoyed!
Planning, prep and execution - the easy way!
We have the whole Thanksgiving feast down to a science and are waiting eagerly to start the process. We start picking up some items like olives etc. ahead of schedule when they are on sale and stocking them to be ready. We plan out a few tasks like baking keto bread for stuffing weeks ahead and freezing it to save a step later on. Peeling and or chopping veggies and things like that can be done ahead with things stored in zip lock bags at the ready for when cooking begins in earnest. Pies can be made the week before. You get it - if you want the “project plan” for this meal just ask or join us for the Pre - Thanksgiving Come Cook with Us session on October 30th - we will show and tell how to do it all!
Best advice when it comes to planning the holidays keto style - is stop trying for perfection and just do it - and make it fun! Each time you will learn something new and the art of holiday planning is really in the magic of the very personal gift you give everyone you feed that day. It's awesome!
Share Share Share - and inspire others
Take pictures of you making your holiday meals and share share share the process - the fun - the flubs with me, and with your social media groups! Please #ketosuperheroes and will share your pics as well. Your fun, energy, creativity, and willingness to share your experience will inspire others. Reach out for details and for help - let us help you make your KETO holidays a blast!
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