6 Simple Sides for Thanksgiving Dinner

When it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner everybody LOVES simple!

You already have a huge task in front of you!

The act of shuffling pan after pan in and out of the oven, adjusting temp times and cook times - all around a ham and a turkey is just TOO MUCH!

Here are 6 Simple Sides that will compliment your Nourished With Nature Pasture Raised Turkey, Ham or Leg of Lamb.

These fresh new ideas are of course in addition to your family’s favorites: mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. Mmmmm….it just isn’t Thanksgiving without those staples at my table!

These are easy side dishes that can be prepped ahead of time and don’t require dirtying 5 pans, 3 bowls and the Kitchenaide. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!

Pick one or add them all!

Here we go:

  1. Crusty Artisan Bread

  2. Herb Roasted Tri-Colored Carrots

  3. Holiday Honeycrisp Salad

  4. Herb Roasted Delicata Squash

  5. Fall Fruit Salad

  6. Garlic Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Crusty Artisan Bread

 Photo Credit: The Comfort of Cooking

Photo Credit: The Comfort of Cooking

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

  • 1 Tbsp lard, olive oil or butter

  • Dutch oven or any large oven safe bowl with lid

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl stir together the flour, yeast and salt. Stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy but cohesive dough. The less you “work” it the more soft fluffy air pockets will form.

  2. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for 8-24 hours. Dough will bubble up and rise.

  3. After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place your Dutch Oven, uncovered, into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

  4. While your Dutch Oven preheats, turn dough onto a well floured surface. With floured hands form the dough into a ball. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest.

  5. After 30 minutes are up, carefully remove the Dutch Oven. Add a Tbsp of lard to coat the bottom of the dish to prevent sticking. With floured hands place the bread dough in it.

  6. Replace cover and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove cover and bake an additional 7-15 minutes more, until your bread is golden brown.

  7. Carefully remove bread to a cutting board and allow to cool before slicing and slathering with pastured butter.


Herb Roasted Tri Colored Carrots

 Photo Credit by Avery Cooks

Photo Credit by Avery Cooks

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

  • 2 Tbsp pastured pork lard or olive oil

  • 3 tsp fresh rosemary chopped

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme

  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste

  • 1 tsp pepper, or to taste

  • 2-3 tsp fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup.

  2. Add carrots to baking dish and drizzle olive oil over them evenly.

  3. Add salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary and toss gently with your hands to evenly coat the carrots.

  4. Arrange the carrots in a flat layer and bake for 30-35 minutes or until they are lightly carmelized and fork tender. Stir and flip halfway through baking.

  5. Once they reach your desired doneness, pull out of the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and drizzle with lemon juice, and you’re done!


Holiday Honeycrisp Salad

 Photo Credit: Five Heart Home

Photo Credit: Five Heart Home

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 3 medium apples (honey crisp or fuji)

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 12 oz salad greens (spring mix, baby spinach, arugula, baby romaine or any combo of your favorites)

  • 1 cup pecan halves toasted or candied

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries

  • 4 oz crumbles blue cheese

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider

  • 2 Tbsp honey

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Start with preparing the dressing. Combine all ingredients into a mason jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously until everything is combined. Set aside.

  2. Place apple slices and juice of 1/2 lemon in a large bowl, mix to evenly coat apples

  3. In a large salad bowl, layer salad greens, apple slices, pecans, dried cranberries and blue cheese. Just before serving dress with desired amount of dressing and toss until evenly coated.


Herb Roasted Delicata Squash

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Ingredients

  • 2 Delicata squash sliced into 1/2” slices

  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme pulled from the stems

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 Tbsp pastured pork lard or olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper, or to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  2. Toss all ingredients together on a sheet pan lined with tin foil (delicata, herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper). Spread the squash out to be just a single layer.

  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until soft and slightly golden.

  4. Serve warm!


Fall Fruit Salad

 Photo Credit Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Photo Credit Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15 ounces EACH) mandarin oranges, drained

  • 1 large Bartlett pear, diced

  • 2 small apples (fuji or gala), thinly sliced

  • 5 kiwis, peeled, sliced, and halved

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds

  • 2 whole pomegranates or 1 container (4.3oz) POM POMs Pomegranate Seeds

  • Fresh mint, optional

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the drained mandarin oranges, the diced Bartlett pear, the thinly sliced apples, and the peeled, sliced, and halved kiwis. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, and poppyseeds. Pour over the salad and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Remove and top with the pomegranate seeds and fresh (chopped) mint if desired. Serve immediately.

*Technique Tip: If you are using whole pomegranates remove the seeds by cutting in half horizontally. Hold the pomegranate upside down in your hand, skin facing up and whack it with a large wooden spoon or spatula. This will knock out the seeds into your hand then fall into the bowl. It’s a bit messy but works really well!


Garlic Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

 Photo Credit: Apple of my Eye

Photo Credit: Apple of my Eye

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Brussel sprouts cut in half

  • 3 garlic cloves, diced

  • 2.5 Tbsp pastured pork lard or olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  2. Place Brussel sprouts on a baking sheet and sprinkle with diced garlic, salt and pepper

  3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with your hands to coat evenly

  4. Roast for 20-25 minutes until throughly cooked and leaves begin to get crispy brown

  5. Remove from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over them and enjoy!


So there you have it! Six simple side dishes that will compliment your Thanksgiving dinner!

These are all sides I have made and taste tested so they have my stamp of approval!

Now can spend more time enjoying your families and less time worrying about what you are going to cook!

Remember to stop by our farm store for Pastured Pork Lard which is a delicious and healthy substitute for other cooking oils.

We also have Pasture-Raised Hams and Grass-Fed Leg of Lamb that would make excellent centerpieces for your Holiday Feast if you didn’t get your turkey reserved from us in time.

Leave me a COMMENT below, which one are you going to make this year?

Many Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

Healthy Homemade Mayonnaise

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Recipe adapted from our friend Mollie Vacco.

This DIY Mayonaise is healthy and delicious too!  It's one of the easiest condiments to make from home!

It will help you eliminate one more item in your diet that may be full of yuk and help you on your clean eating journey.

I love it when I know what I'm eating, and when you make your own you know that all the ingredients are safe.

We are big on no corn and no soy in our animal feeds and soybean oil is used in SO MANY condiments.  Soy is a hormone disrupter, not good for the endocrine system, so kick it out of your life! 

Ingredients:

  • 4 Nourished With Nature Pastured Egg Yolks

  • 1/2 cup Organic Olive Oil

  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard (optional)

  • Pinch of Natural Trace Mineral Salt (Redmond Sea Salt)

Instructions:

  1. Combine egg yolks, vinegar and dijon mustard with an immersion blender or whisk and pulse once.

  2. Slowly add in olive oil. VERY slowly, start with a drop or two, then a light stream while blending until it is all incorporated.

  3. Taste and salt a pinch at a time.

  4. Store in a mason jar in the fridge. With our farm fresh eggs this mayo can last up to 2 weeks.

  5. Enjoy!

Are you going to give it a try?

Tell what Nourished With Nature meats you're pairing it with in the comments below.

3 Pastured Egg Recipes You Need

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Breakfast, lunch, and dessert with pastured eggs!

Eggs are the perfect protein, a powerhouse of nutrition.  Eggs from chickens who live on pasture are loaded with Vitamin A, D, K2 and E, folate, biotin, iron, zinc, and selenium.  Egg yolks are also a wonderful source of good cholesterol and choline.  

Choline is especially important for developing the nervous system in fetuses and through early childhood.  It contributes to being able to focus on more than one thing at a time, which EVERY MOM NEEDS!

Bottom line...they are a superfood!

In fact, our pastured egg yolks are one of my kids' first solid foods, that's how highly I value them!  I boil them for a couple minutes until the yolk is warm but still runny and dash some Natural Trace Mineral Salt on them and voila!

One fun fact...did you know that the yolk is everything a baby chick needs nutritionally to develop while in the shell?  I used to think that the yolk WAS the chick, but it's not.  It's the amazing source of nutrition and building blocks needed to create a tiny chicken, hence it's an amazing food for us too!

So here are a few of my FAVORITE ways to cook our Non-GMO Pastured Eggs:

FLUFFY SCRAMBLED EGGS

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs per person you're cooking for
  • 1/4 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp Kerrygold butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I love sharp cheddar)

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a shallow frying pan
  2. In a bowl whisk together your eggs, yogurt or sour cream, salt and pepper
  3. Pour into the pan with the melted butter and using a rubber spatula mix the eggs together with the butter, fluffing them as they cook.
  4. When cooked to your liking (I like mine firm but not dry) sprinkle with shredded cheese
  5. Done!
  6. Serve alongside of sourdough bread and Nourished With Nature's Ham!

You can also get creative and add sauteed veggies, ham or breakfast sausage from our farm store to your scramble! 

 

SUMMERTIME DEVILED EGGS
 

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Any BBQ or family gathering isn't complete until somebody shows up with the Deviled Eggs!

In our family it was a tradition my grandmother started, then my mother taught me to love them and now I'm sharing our family recipe with you!

One tip to seemlessly peeling beautiful hard-boiled eggs is to ask your farmer for eggs that are two or more weeks old.  This gives the bloom time to shrink away from the shell a tiny bit and separate without taking chunks of white with it as you peel.

You don't even want to know how old grocery store eggs are.  Two weeks is still VERY fresh compared to what you find there.

So here you go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen Nourished With Nature Pastured Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Healthy Homemade Mayo
  • 4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sweet zucchini pickle relish (also a homemade family recipe)
  • fresh chives (to garnish)

Instructions:

  1. Using a colander, steam eggs over boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Submerge the eggs into an ice bath for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Peel (watch this happen seamlessly).
  4. slice your eggs in half and remove the yolk into a bowl.
  5. Combine yolks, mayo, mustard, relish, salt, and pepper.
  6. Mix it all together and taste test.
  7. Using a frosting piping bag or just a ziplock baggie with the end cut off pipe the yolk mixture into your egg halves.
  8. Garnish with chopped chives (you could also use paprika).
  9. Enjoy!

Grab a couple for your own plate before you set it out at the potluck because after all that work you wouldn't want to miss out on enjoying them!  I assure you, they'll go FAST!

Visit our farm store to pick up fresh pastured eggs.

 

HEALTHY MAPLE ORANGE Creme Brulee

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole raw milk
  • 1 cup heavy raw cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (can substitute for honey or rapadura)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 drops Orange Vitality Essential Oil from Young Living

Instructions:

  1. Warm milk and cream gently over a low flame.
  2. Meanwhile, beat maple syrup (or honey/rapadura) with egg yolks.
  3. Slowly add milk and cream mixture to eggs, beating constantly.
  4. Blend in Vanilla and Orange Essential Oil
  5. Pour through a fine sieve to remove any bigger pieces of egg yolk.
  6. Pour into individually buttered ramekins or custard cups.
  7. Place in a 9 x 13 pan of hot water and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean.
  8. Chill well and enjoy as a dessert or for breakfast!
 Vanilla, Maple Syrup, Milk and Orange Essential Oil

Vanilla, Maple Syrup, Milk and Orange Essential Oil

 Buttered ramekins

Buttered ramekins

 Pour custard mix into buttered ramekins

Pour custard mix into buttered ramekins

 Custards ready to bake in dish of hot water

Custards ready to bake in dish of hot water

Visit our farm store on Saturdays to stock up on Pastured GMO Free Eggs, we would love to know your favorite way to cook with them!

Cutting Up A Whole Chicken in 5 Easy Steps

When we first started raising meat birds I found myself stuck in the mindset of needing to cook the whole bird and IF I had a recipe that needed only breast meat...I would go buy it!  

Crazy!

We sell our broiler chickens whole, and I realized that sometimes you don't know how to use it any other way.  But you can!  Here is our how to cut up a whole chicken guide because education is power after all! 

Usually, the best chicken breast I can find in SOME stores is Organic.  It's not corn and soy free, it's not pastured so you're missing out on all the vitamins and minerals that the chicken gets from grass, and it's not necessarily local.

When you have perfectly good breast meat right here, WHY go buy it?

For me, it was a lack of know how!  I didn't feel confident, and I decided I'm probably not the only one...hence this little tutorial.

Now I do several birds in one day so that I can stockpile breast meat, wings or thighs and save time when I'm ready to cook dinner.

Confident.  Capable.  Knowledgeable.

Important skills when you are the woman of the house!

I don't know if it's just the homesteader woman in me or what, but I like knowing how to do it ALL!

I really appreciate my husband and the duties he covers on a daily basis.  I also like knowing how to shoot a gun, run the skid steer, manage the chores and cut up a chicken.

Benefits of Knowing How To Cut Up a Whole Chicken

  •  Your meals can be more customizable
  • One less trip to the grocery store 
  • You don't have to compromise on quality
  • You have the carcass and bones to make nutritious healing bone broth.
  • You feel like SUPERWOMAN! (or a manly man)

5 Easy Steps To Cutting Up A Whole Chicken

1.     Thaw the bird at room temp for up to 24 hours before.  If it thaws quickly, put it in the fridge until you are ready to do the cutting.

2.     Find yourself a sharp SHARP knife.  I like Cutco knives and like using a nonserrated knife for this job.  A sharp knife will make this job a breeze.

3.     Remove the wing by cutting at the joint.  You shouldn't have to slice through bone if you find the joint and slip your knife right in between the ball and socket.  Start where the wing joins the body of the bird, make your cut.  Next cut the drumstick from the wing.  Finally cut the wing tip off.  Separate these into 3 different piles: wings, drumsticks, wing tips.

4.     Remove the thigh and drumstick.  Start with the breast of the bird facing up.  Cut through the skin closest to the bird's body so that you can fold the leg out exposing the hip joint.  Look for the ball and socket again and cut the thigh off.  Next, find the joint between the drumstick and thigh and make a cut there too.  Repeat on the other side. The drumstick and thigh are considered the dark meat.

5.     Remove breast meat.  Find the breastbone and cut on one side or the other.  When you come to wishbone you can point your knife straight down and press, chopping through this tiny little Y shaped bone.  Remove it from your breast meat.  You can also choose to remove the cutlet, which is the thin mini breast on the backside of the main breast, or leave it on.  Repeat on the other side.  This is your white meat.

Voila! That's it!  This super easy process will give you every cut of chicken you need!

How to get pastured chickens

If you're looking for healthy and delicious chickens we would love to have you out to our farm!  We have chickens in stock now but we may run out soon.  We raise them only once a year when grass conditions are premium and June will be the next time they are available.

Click here for our farm store hours

Sexy Pork Chops

Valentine's Day is coming up!

While I do feel like Valentine's Day is a fairly insignificant holiday I will say I don't mind being treated special on February 14th!  I don't feel like Valentine's Day is the only day to show loved ones they matter, it also doesn't hurt to have the day set aside and make a little extra effort, right?

Early on in my marriage (and mind you it's only been 7 years), I expected flowers and chocolates, a card and a dinner out on the town.  I think our culture built that expectation up for me.  As the years have gone by I put less and less importance on the predictable chocolates, flowers, dinners out and truly enjoy just feeling special!

This brings up a great point-LOVE LANGUAGES.

We all show love and receive love in different unique ways.  It can be different for everyone, and so I think it's a fun and valid topic to bring up.

Real quickly, the 5 LOVE LANGUAGES are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts

You can take your own quiz to find out your primary love language here

At our house, going out for dinner on Valentines Day isn’t very practical.  Pretty busy night for babysitters. Not too excited about the wait times and hustle at a fancy restaurant.  Also, not too excited about dropping lots of cash for a dinner where I’m paying for the experience and atmosphere versus the quality of the food.

Most restaurants aren’t going to be serving organically fed, non-GMO, pastured Pork Chops finished on acorns!

So this year we are having a special Valentines Dinner at HOME with this tasty Pork Chop Recipe!

It’s so delicious and simple!

You won’t have a gut ache afterward and you don’t have to compromise your clean eating!

If you do choose to hit the town on Feb 14th, you can cook these chops up easily on another day too!

No hard feelings if you LOVE to go out on Valentines Day, go for it!

Just the name makes them special for the month of February!

SEXY PORK CHOPS

Ingredients:

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  •  4 Nourished With Nature Acorn Finished Pork Chops
  • Redmond salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • zest of one lemon (Can substitute Lemon Essential Oil by Young Living)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Directions:

1.     Pull the pork chops out of the freezer about 12 hours before you plan to cook and let thaw at room temperature.  In a pinch, you can submerge them in hot water but NEVER microwave them.

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2.     Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper to taste, on both sides

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3.     Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium/high heat.  Cook chops for 3-5 minutes each side until nicely browned and cooked through.

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4.     Transfer to serving platter and cover to keep warm

5.     Add garlic to the fat left over from cooking the chops and cook stirring constantly until garlic is fragrant about 30 seconds.

6.     Add wine and broth. Increase heat to high.  Cook scraping the browned bits from the bottom until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds, about 5 minutes.

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7.     Remove the pan from heat, stir in the lemon zest or oil, lemon juice, and herbs.  Test the sauce, add a little more salt and pepper if needed.

8.     I put my sauce in a gravy boat and poured over the chops while everything was hot!

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I served my sexy pork chops alongside steamed green beans and sweet potato fries but you could do mashed potatoes or wild rice too!

Stop by our farm store before Valentine’s Day to get your Pastured Pork Chops!

Make sure to serve this delightful dinner at home with a twist of your spouse’s preferred LOVE LANGUAGE!

Yours Naturally,

Julia

PS-Comment below and tell me what is your primary love language?  Is it the same as your spouse’s?