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Thanksgiving Plan and Prep

This was my 2015 Thanksgiving menu:

  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Cranapple sauce
  • Lemon-scented broccoli
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Bread stuffing
  • Nana’s rice stuffing
  • Mashed butternut squash
  • Garden salad
  • Apple crisp


  • Make the cranapple sauce
  • Cook the rice and make the mashed potatoes for rice stuffing
  • Wash the sweet potatoes, let dry completely, wrap each one in foil


  • Chop the veggies and bread for the bread stuffing
  • Roast and mash the butternut squash
  • Mix the crisp topping (dry ingredients only) for apple crisp
  • Cut the broccoli florets


  • 9:30 – Turkey in oven (cook time for 13.5 lb bird, 3 hrs 15 min at 325)
  • 10:30 – Make the garden salad, cover and put in fridge
  • 11:00 – Slice apples for crisp
  • 11:30 – Put sweet potatoes in oven for 1 hour 15 min
  • 12:00 – Warm lemon, evoo, shallot, honey for broccoli
  • 12:45 – Remove turkey and sweet potatoes, increase oven to 350
  • 12:45 – Put stuffings in oven, bake 30 min
  • 1:00 – Put broccoli in microwave to steam, add lemon drizzle
  • 1:05 – Make gravy
  • 1:10 – Reheat butternut squash in microwave
  • 1:15 – Remove stuffings from oven, carve turkey
  • 1:30 – Dinner!
  • after meal – assemble apple crisp, bake



About the recipes

I started blogging back in 2001, before it was even called blogging. After deleting various iterations of my personal blog I finally took my recipes to their own place so they never get lost in the shuffle. As a former bodybuilder the earliest recipes reflect the way I ate back then: lots of low fat food, oats, and lean meat. I keep them here because there are still a lot of people who read them and that’s fine, I’m not here to judge how anyone eats. You’ll find that my newest recipes reflect a Paleo / Primal lifestyle, which is how I’ve been eating for almost two years. I feel phenomenal but, again, I’m not here to convert anyone. I’m just sharing food that I love. There are also a few family recipes thrown in that include plenty of flour, sugar or pasta, but I feel like it’s important to keep those, too, even if I rarely or never eat them again. Whether you obsess over macronutrients and calories (been there!) or are looking for grain free, dairy free, soy free meals (got ’em!) I hope you find something you like!

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup

The first time I made this I ate it like a soup and then realized that it was very similar to the sauce that comes with my favorite thai dish which is usually listed on the menu as just “red curry”. I ditch the rice that it comes with and usually serve mine over mashed sweet potato (try it!) The second time I made this I added chicken and vegetables and ate it like thai takeout – it was delicious both ways!

Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup or Thai Pumpkin Red Curry (Paleo)

1 can pumpkin puree
1 can’s-worth of chicken stock/broth
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons red curry paste (I like 3)
1  tablespoon lime juice
1/2 can coconut milk

Add everything except the lime juice and coconut milk to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice, remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk. Enjoy as a soup or with  chicken and vegetables. I like to add a squirt of Sriracha as well!

Bolognese (Paleo)

I was watching the Food Network and someone was making a bolognese sauce and I decided I needed to do that, immediately! I like my bolognese really thick so it’s a meal in itself since I don’t serve it over pasta. I mean, you COULD serve it over pasta, but I chose not to. I chose to serve mine over chicken instead. Haha! Meat sauce on meat!


2 strips bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb grass fed ground beef
6-10 oz tomato paste
1 cup water (or more, based on need)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 Tbsp parsley
salt, pepper, red pepper flake to taste
4 chicken legs (optional)

Render the bacon in a large pan. Set aside and add a little olive oil then saute all the veggies. Once tender but not browned add the ground beef and cook through. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil then lower heat. Add more water if it gets too thick. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the chicken legs and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, then remove the chicken legs, shred the meat and add to the sauce (or to the bottom of your bowl and spoon the sauce on top). Chop the bacon and add to the sauce.

Serve in a bowl as is or with pasta or rice.


Garlic Ginger Chicken (Paleo)

After landing at the airport in the afternoon I still managed to go home and unload my loot, head to the grocery store, do some cooking, and pull together paperwork for a meeting tomorrow. This garlic ginger chicken was an easy and delicious reward for my exhaustion!

Garlic Ginger Chicken
adapted from Food Lover’s Primal Palate

1 package chicken thighs (6 or 8 thighs)
1 Tbs minced ginger
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 cup Bragg’s Aminos (or soy sauce)
2 Tbs unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425. In a sauce pan melt the butter then add ginger, garlic, fish sauce, aminos. Allow the mixture to come to a bubble and allow to bubble while stirring for a minute or two. Remove from heat.

Place chicken in a baking dish, pour sauce over and bake 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

(note: the original recipe calls for seasoning the chicken itself with salt and pepper, which I almost always do. I did that and it came out much too salty. I would omit – the sauce has plenty of salt to season and flavor the chicken.)

Pumpkin Sausage Soup (Paleo)

Still the season for soup and pumpkin, so why not make pumpkin soup! This turned out delicious – I got 6 hardy servings out of it. I’m hoping I have the willpower to freeze at least one serving but we’ll see if I devour all before I get a chance.

Pumpkin Sausage Soup
from West Coast Strength and Conditioning

2 cans pumpkin (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
~1 cup chopped mushrooms (I omitted because I don’t care for mushrooms)
1 onion, diced
1-1.25lb bulk sausage (I used 1 lb)
4 cups chicken broth
2tbs grass-fed butter (or coconut oil, or olive oil if you don’t do dairy)
Oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes (about a teaspoon of each)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup coconut milk

Melt the butter in a soup pan over medium heat.
Add mushrooms and cook until nice and brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add diced onion to the pot, and cook until translucent and soft.
Add sausage to the pot, and cook until nicely browned, stirring and breaking it apart with a wooden spoon.
Once the sausage is thoroughly cooked, add the pumpkin and broth to the pot and stir well, stirring in the  spices at this point as well.
Simmer for about 20 minutes, making sure to stir frequently.
Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk, serve, and enjoy!

Raw Granola Recipe

I was experimenting and trying to create a snack bar but ended up with something that didn’t hold in bar form but clumped enough to be a perfect granola. Also, it tastes absolutely delicious so who cares you eat it by hand or spoon, right?

Raw Granola Recipe

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped dried plums (aka prunes)
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp raw almond butter
3 Tbsp agave nectar (could use honey as well)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Toss the oats, prunes, and walnuts with cinnamon and salt. Add the almond butter, agave nectar and olive oil. Add to a baking dish and press down. Put in the fridge to set for at least an hour.

Crumble over yogurt, ice cream, or eat plain.

For six servings:

329 calories
17.5 g fat
40 g carbs
4.2 g fiber
7.5 g protein

Personal Blog

Hi All!
I hope you enjoy the recipes! If you want to read about my random musings you can find me at
July 2018
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