Episode 374: Thanksgiving Dinner Rapid Fire

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By Stacy Toth and Sarah Ballantyne, Stacy Toth, and Sarah Ballantyne. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Hey listeners! It's episode 374, and the middle of October. (0:41)

Stacy and Sarah are here to talk about Thanksgiving.

Yes, Halloween hasn't happened yet, but this year don't put off planning.

Stacy sent out Thanksgiving invitations to her guests two weeks ago.

Before Stacy and Sarah dive into this episode, a shout out to this week's sponsor.

Butcher Box is very relevant to this episode, but Sarah could share on her love of Butcher Box anytime.

They deliver grass-fed beef, heritage breed pasture-raised pork, as well as organic chicken.

Everything is non-GMO verified, hormone-free, it's all top quality and it is delivered right to your door on a subscription basis.

With Butcher Box, you can either build your own box or have them pick and assemble a box based on what is in supply.

Sarah has add-on's thrown into her box, based on monthly price specials.

Butcher Box has awesome pastured turkey.

Stacy ordered both Butcher Box's ham and turkey last year and cannot recommend them enough.

If are you listening before November 17, 2019, new subscribers can receive a whole turkey in their first box. This is a huge value!

After November 17, 2019, new subscribers to Butcher Box can redeem an offer for $15 off + free bacon.

No code required. Just use this link: https://www.butcherbox.com/thepaleoview/

The Turkey

Stacy and Sarah have a bunch of questions from social media on the subject of Thanksgiving. (6:33)

They are going to rapid-fire Q&A these, and set the Thanksgiving spirit.

First question, how do you each cook your turkeys?

Stacy and Matt actually cook more than one turkey because they have a lot of guests.

Hosting is kind of Matt and Stacy's thing, so know that her responses are more for large gatherings as opposed to groups of 6.

Stacy's sister gets a free turkey through work every year, which she gives to Matt and Stacy. This turkey is typically fried.

The turkey that Matt and Stacy purchase via Butcher Box is roasted.

Turkey, in particular, is really susceptible to terribly raised farming practices if you are not buying humanely, sustainably raised turkey.

For many farmers, turkey is a commodity with a high demand once a year.

Turkeys are often fed the worst food so that they are fattened up quickly.

We as consumers tell the market what we want. If more of us purchase sustainably raised turkeys, it tells the farmers that it is worth their time and money.

Stacy and Matt wrote a book called Beyond Bacon that covers the importance of eating nose to tail, so this is a topic that really matters to her and is relevant to all the animals we consume.

They do brine the turkey that they roast, and the one that is fried does not get a brine.

Sarah has smoked a turkey before, which she did brine first.

Since a turkey is typically between 10 to 30 pounds, she feels like there is an intimidation factor to it.

However, it is actually really no more challenging than roasting a chicken.

If you are cooking it without stuffing, it is actually really straightforward.

Most of Sarah's work that goes into cooking any Thanksgiving dinner is centered on the sides, the turkey is the most hands-off part of the menu.

When deep-frying a turkey, you want to be comfortable around a fryer and know what to expect.

Roasting a turkey though is so straightforward.

Put something flavorful on the skin, even if it is just salt, put it in the oven and cook for twenty minutes per pound.

A pastured turkey can cook in as little as fifteen minutes per pound.

Sarah suggests throwing in a meat thermometer so that you know when it is perfectly cooked.

Stacy emphasized the importance of a meat thermometer, and you can even purchase a basic one.

You want to put the thermometer in the breast of the turkey and not up against the bone.

Sarah puts stuffing in her bird, Stacy does not.

Matt and Stacy make a side for their stuffing, as they do have a vegan guest at their Thanksgiving and make those accommodations in their menu.

The Sides

Matt and Stacy are able to make a lot of things vegan-friendly. (15:48)

They make a pork-based stuffing that they really like, and then they make a separate stuffing that is bready based, using a vegan bread and vegetable stock.

The pork-based stuffing recipe can be found here.

Sarah makes her mom's stuffing recipe using chopped green plantain in place of bread crumbs. The greener the plantain, the better.

Stuffing is prepped in the bird, dressing is prepped outside of the bird. Matt and Stacy make a dressing.

Question two, what are your go-to sides?

Stacy asks each of her guests what is one dish they would like at their Thanksgiving feast.

Matt and Stacy structure it so that partners get one request, as opposed to two requests.

Their roasted vegetable platter, drizzled with balsamic over top, is one of the most popular dishes they make.

This is a point of pride for Stacy, that her family comes requesting vegetables.

The recipe for this vegetable platter can be found here.

Stacy has a lot of family members who are not gluten-free, so she usually purchases gluten-free bread options for them from a bakery so that she doesn't have to worry about that.

There are always lots of desserty requests.

They often buy their pies from a bakery, and then make Sarah's pumpkin pie recipe as a custard.

Green bean casserole is another favorite.

Matt and Stacy's trick to their sweet potato casserole is to roast pineapples and bananas and then blend those in with the sweet potato.

Last year Stacy fell in love with Smashmallow and used their Cinnamon Churro to top their casserole.

Sarah is going to try it this year with Sweet Apricity's Pumpkin Spice Marshmallow.

On her website, Sarah has a recipe for an eggplant and wild mushroom-based stuffing. It has the texture and flavor of a traditional stuffing.

You could make it as a dressing by just adding more broth.

Sarah often has roasted Brussel sprouts, a steamed vegetable, a salad, and some kind of root vegetable mash.

Stacy and Sarah both blend the liver into the gravy to add more nutrients to their meal.

Your turkey will have all the parts, so you just use those to add those to the broth.

On a broader scale, rethink Thanksgiving.

Instead of trying to recreate standard American foods, reimagine flavorful delicious foods that you love.

A great example is this biscuit recipe that Matt and Stacy came up with.

Being invited to a meal like this can be a stepping stone into rethinking what healthy eating means.

All their guests are really happy with a delicious meal, and the gluten-free desserts are purchased from a bakery and equally enjoyed as well.

When Stacy was first planning Thanksgiving from a Paleo mindset, they utilized Pinterest to inspire how to reimagine the traditional dishes.

The AIP Guest

Question 3, I have been invited to a holiday dinner at my soon be in-laws. How do I navigate my AIP dietary needs without offending? (30:19)

For Stacy personally, she doesn't expect someone else to bend their meal for her.

Stacy would always be very upfront with her family about how excited the family was to come and spend the holiday with them.

She would then be honest and say that she is working on her health and not able to eat a lot of things right now.

Her approach was to bring her own food and to reiterate to her hosts to not feel like they needed to cater to her, but she wanted to give them a heads up.

Sarah handles these types of situations by offering to bring a recipe that is AIP friendly that she can share with everyone but is kind of like a meal itself.

She will also bring a dessert, offering to bring two to three things that she can eat and share with others.

If you don't feel like you have the ability to make a delicious dessert that would please everybody then bring some Sweet Apricity caramels for yourself and don't worry about it.

The day is about spending time with one another and enjoying company with our friends.

Food brings us together in these social situations, so don't let it divide you.

Use the Turkey Carcass

Question 4, what can I do with my turkey carcass? (35:20)

Make so much broth that you have to freeze it.

Matt and Stacy make turkey soup with the first round of broth, when the carcass still has the bits and pieces of meat on the bone.

It is not as intense of a broth because the bones aren't cooked as long so that the meat doesn't go bad.

They then take the carcass and do a second round broth prep in the Instant Pot.

Stacy reminded listeners when you are making broth, do not add vegetables in the beginning.

Go back and listen to these podcast episodes on broth (part 1, part 2 and part 3).

If you are making good broth, you are just adding enough water for the bones to be covered and then cooking for multiple rounds.

If you want to add aromatics do it at the very end.

Sarah would do a 36 to 48-hour broth on the stovetop, which is her preferred way to make broth.

The smell of broth cooking makes Sarah think of fall.

Leftovers & Pets

Question 5, is it safe to give pets bits of turkey or other leftovers? (39:45)

Generally, meat bits are pretty safe. If they are use to a raw diet you could give them the giblets cut up into small pieces.

If they are not use to a raw diet, you could give them the cooked version.

Cats don't tolerate vegetables that well, but dogs can tolerate a little bit.

If you are use to making pet food, you would simply use the same formulas.

If you are not, you would use it as an addition to your normal purchased dog/cat food.

The turkey broth, unseasoned, is great for your pets.

The same things that are toxic, like chocolate, are still toxic so avoid those.

Stacy again wanted to reiterate that if you are not blending your liver and giblets into your gravy, your animals will love that.

Poultry bones are not ok to give your pets.

However, you can give them the cartilage.

The Leftovers

Stacy and Sarah's feelings around dark and white turkey meat. (44:03)

A mayo-based turkey salad recipe is one of Stacy's favorite ways to put the leftover white meat to good use.

There is also a Thai dish that Matt and Stacy love to create with their leftover turkey meat.

Sarah likes to freeze one meal worth of leftovers for the four of them.

They then pull that meal out of the freezer at a later time when they can appreciate all those flavors again.

Staying On Plan

Last question, how do you each stay on the wagon during the holiday season? (47:37)

Stacy simply knows what is not going to make her feel good and she doesn't eat those things.

While she has talked about this before, you are choosing this lifestyle because it helps you feel your best.

If you decide that you are going to eat things that you might not normally eat on Thanksgiving, examine your health goals and plan accordingly.

If you don't yet know what foods make you feel good or bad, maybe a holiday isn't the right day to test those foods.

Sarah's site has great resources on how to eliminate and reintroduce to test how different foods make you feel.

Now is a great time to explore these questions, so that as the holiday approaches you can eat in a way that feels right for your holiday enjoyment and well-being.

Don't treat from now until New Year's Day as a free for all.

Stacy's mindset is not that she can't eat something, it's that she doesn't choose to eat something.

You are in charge of your health is a powerful mindset.

The mindset piece for Sarah is how do you define, 'on the wagon'?

It is much easier to navigate this season allowing and choosing some indulgences while keeping on the right side of the line of 'what is going to wreck me'.

If you have been on this health journey for a while and understand your body, this is an easier process to tackle.

You ultimately need to understand, what are the foods that are going to make me ill? What are the foods that are going to wreck me?

Also, what foods are going to give me a side effect that is tolerable?

Sarah also recommends having a strong knowledge of what your body needs to thrive.

How do these needs shift around stress, sleep and activity levels?

When you understand your body really well, it is a question of avoiding wrecking ourselves with foods that we know just don't work for us.

It stops being a diet at that point, and it starts being a choice on how you eat to support yourself. And it starts being an actual lifestyle.

It is hard to get to that point if you have been Paleo for two months and this is your first holiday season.

It takes time to experiment and learn what works best for you.

Sarah has to work hard to maintain nutrient density throughout the holiday season.

You will reach the point of knowing what works for you as an individual, but you have to give yourself time to experiment and observe.

Sarah encourages those who are new to this lifestyle to not try to muscle your way through staying on the wagon during the holidays.

Instead, think of this season as a way to understand your body better and think of it in terms of what you have learned so far.

Think of this as the journey of understanding yourself and knowing what is important to you when it comes to supporting your lifelong health.

Sometimes the food is really secondary, and what is actually impacting our health in this season is less sleep, alcohol consumption, stress increases, etc.

Focusing on keeping the lifestyle stuff actually helps the diet part.

Think of it as a journey, not on the wagon and off the wagon.

Think of this season in the most positive framework possible.

Closing Thoughts

Stacy loved Sarah's wrap up, and the amazing points she emphasized. (58:08)

Remember, taking your probiotics when you are surrounded by extra sugar is very helpful.

Stacy and Sarah both prefer Thrive Probiotics.

If you are not current Butcher Box subscribers, take advantage of the amazing free turkey offer.

Visit this link for more information.

Thank you so much for listening! And thank you to Butcher Box for sponsoring this show!

Stacy and Sarah will be back again next week with a very science-heavy topic that Sarah has been working on for a few weeks.

If you have questions that you would like to submit, feel free to use the contact forms on both Stacy and Sarah's sites of their social media channels.

Be sure to share this show with someone who you think could benefit from these tips.

And of course, leaving a review on iTunes is a great way to ensure that others find out about this show. (1:00:52)

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