Hello and Happy Holidays to everyone. My name is Anna Midolo and I am a Registered Nutritional Consultant and Holistic Chef. I am very pleased to be working with Dr. Gannage at 300 Main Street in Markham, Ontario and it has been a pleasure meeting and working with the wonderful families at the clinic who are dealing with GCSF Dietary requirements. My GCSF (Gluten Casein Soy Free) Diet journey began approximately 20 years ago in an effort to help my eldest son Adrian with his health issues. At the time my husband and I noticed that certain foods, namely breads and dairy products, really triggered Adrian's behaviour in a negative way, and that after eating these foods he would also suffer grandmal seizures. Thus, we sought nutritional advice and I decided to go back to Nutrition School and through diet modification, namely a GCSF Diet, we have seen Adrian make great strides in his behaviour, language, social skills and overall well being and health. In working with many families that are on the GCSF Diet. I know that the Holidays can be a very challenging time. However, I am here to say that the Holidays can be enjoyed and you can still savour many of your favourite foods be making some simple, creative and healthy changes to many of your festive favourites. For example, I am including a wonderful recipe for Festive Turkey with a delicious rice based stuffing that is sure to please everyone. Also a simple tip....... remember that when you are baking Holiday goodies you can use rice flour, gluten free flour, nut flours and coconut flour in place of wheat flour and that you can use Stevia in place of sugar. If a recipe calls for butter you can use olive oil or ghee in its place and you can use applesauce instead of eggs. It is also possible to substitute eggs with ground flax seed and water or with mashed ripe banana. I hope that you enjoy the Festive Turkey Recipe and that your Holidays are Merry and Bright. I look forward to meeting more of the parents and families in the New Year to continue to work together in creating a healthy, healing and happy kitchen for all.
Best Holiday Wishes
AnnaFestive Turkey with Wild Rice and Herb Stuffing: Ingredients:
- Please read entire recipe before shopping or beginning.
- 12-15 lb fresh organic, or free-range turkey (do not use self-basting turkey)
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup diced celery, about 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms (optional)
- 1 medium green apple, diced about 1/4 inch pieces
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 6 dried apricots, coarsely chopped (sulfate free)
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 TBS chopped fresh sage (or 2 tsp dried sage)
- 3 TBS chopped fresh thyme (or 1 TBS dried thyme)
- 1/2 TBS fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup + 1 TBS chicken broth (home made or organic brand )
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Optional: cook liver for 10 minutes with gravy ingredients, remove from heat, chop and add to stuffing mixture.
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 large carrots, chopped in large pieces
- 2 medium onions, cut into large pieces
- 2 celery sticks, cut into large pieces
- 1/3 cup Gluten Free flour mixed with water
- 1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
- 2 TBS chopped fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme)
- salt and black pepper
- *optional 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- Serves: minimum of 8
- Bring 3-1/2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. While water is coming to a boil, rinse the wild rice under running water in a strainer. When water is boiling add both wild and brown rice, cover, turn heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes, until tender. Do not overcook. You will most likely have excess water when rice is cooked properly. Put cooked rice in a strainer and drain out excess water. Set aside in a large enough bowl to mix everything together.
- Heat 1 TBS chicken broth in a large stainless steel skillet. Saute onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in bowl and season with salt and pepper.Always stuff the turkey just before roasting, never ahead of time, to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Have the stuffing hot and pack it loosely in the body cavity.
- Rinse turkey well inside and out. Pat dry. (If you had to buy a frozen turkey, make sure it is completely thawed.)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and put the oven rack on the bottom shelf. Right before roasting the turkey, stuff it loosely with the stuffing.
- Cut about 18 inches of heavy kitchen twine. Truss the turkey by binding the legs together.
- Place turkey breast side up on a flat or V-shaped rack in roasting pan. Make sure you use a rack inside the roasting pan. Otherwise the skin may stick to the pan and tear. Add a cup of chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. Roast breast side up, basting about every 30 minutes with the pan juices for about 2-1/2 hours for a 12-15 lb turkey.
5. Check the breast for doneness by inserting an instant reading thermometer at the thickest part of the breast toward the neck. This will give you an idea how much longer the turkey will need to cook. It should read about 125°F (52°C) at this point. When the thermometer reads between 1657deg;F and 170°F (74-77°C) in the thickest part of the thigh the turkey is perfectly done. Check the stuffing by inserting the thermometer into the center of the cavity. The stuffing should read 165°F (74°C) to be done. If it has not reached this temperature, you will have to remove it from the turkey and finish cooking it in a baking pan on its own. It's important the stuffing reaches this temperature to be safe to eat. Check the thighs for doneness. Remove your turkey to a platter, but don't carve it for at least 20 minutes. Gravy:
- Simmer all the ingredients( except gluten free flour), thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper for about 1 hour on medium heat.
- Strain and discard solids. Heat 1/4 cup broth in a stainless steel skillet. Whisk in flour a little at a time to incorporate. Using a wire whisk, add the rest of the broth a little at a time on low heat. Keep whisking to avoid lumps until all the liquid is incorporated.
- Add rosemary and cook for another 20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Season with chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.
- AND ENJOY!!!!
The holiday preparations, parties and treats are upon us. Afterwards, there are many weeks of cold days. If you're not careful you may find at the end of 4 months that you've gained 15 pounds or more. Heck, some may gain that by New Year's Day. Here are some tips to help avoid the extra pounds.
DISCIPLINE AROUND FOOD Learn to say no, particularly when out at social gatherings, to foods that you know are blacklisted. Your friends may respect and try to emulate you. Each year some may even join you - soon you'll have a circle of friends that has developed healthy dietary habits together. Don't slide into consecutive days of poor food choices. If one day or night your diet (and alcohol consumption) takes a bad turn, be especially good for the next three. Make it a priority to focus on many servings of salad each day after the overindulgence, before the next party arrives, and drink lots of water too. Plan some activities that don't focus on food.
FIND COMFORT IN FRIENDS AND FAMILY, NOT FOOD. If it's a lonely time for you, due to loss or other reasons, make a point to make contact with special people (or bury the hatchet with someone you've been at odds with). Go beyond small talk and make an honest attempt at connection. Otherwise, loneliness leads to overeating, usually of the starchy, refined carb, sugary foods that can add the pounds and drain your energy.
REDUCE THE STRESS LOAD Stress can lead to more eating, and also causes hormone imbalances that result in weight gain. Ask for help - do pot luck dinner rather than the whole thing if you're hosting. Ask the kids for their participation.If shopping is a bother, try your hand on-line rather than stressing to find a parking space and rushing through the crowded malls. Delivery to your door of gifts you've intended for others can make a big difference toward allowing more quality time with friends and family.It certainly helps to plan ahead and not risk adrenal overload as you're hurried to meet the December 25th deadline.
ACTIVATE, DON'T HIBERNATE Remember, it's a long winter. Don't hibernate with unhealthy snacks - activate with healthy exercise. We should all bundle up and get out there, choose a parking spot further away from the entrance, take the stairs, chase the kids in the snow, steer clear of hours in cyberspace or video-gaming. Tis the season to spend time with friends, volunteer yourself to those in need, exchange gifts, and connect spiritually. So go ahead and give like Santa - just try to avoid looking like him. Take some of the focus off food. And have fun! After all, it's meant to be a wonderful time of year!!