Non GMO Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Nov 25, 2013 by

dinner plate

Green beans, gluten free garlic toast, turkey with Pacific Foods organic cranberries, rutabagas, and yummy quinoa stuffing


Naturally Kristi is back for a day here and there. Today I am so excited to share my Non GMO Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dinner.

Since we enjoy Thanksgiving with our respective families, away from our home, I like to prepare an early Thanksgiving meal. This gets us into the spirit and it gives me food to bring with us to supplement our dietary needs.

Our meal was fabulous and we were able to share with impromptu family guests. It was perfect.

I apologize for my lousy photos. First of all, I am not much of a photographer and I also had guests in the kitchen as I was preparing the meal, so I couldn’t focus on photos. You get the point and the food was delicious!





Several months ago, I was lucky enough to win a medium size Big Green Egg ceramic grill. We never took the time to put it together, so it was finally the time on Sunday.

I purchased a fresh organic turkey from Costco. In my area, the price was $2.79/pound. This was half the price I paid last year for a fresh turkey from the farmer’s market. I felt a little guilty not supporting my local farmers for my holiday turkey, but it was wonderful to not have to pay the high price from last year.

My husband put the grill together, while my son picked up some apple and cherry smoking chips.

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I washed and dried my 14# turkey. I would have loved to brine the bird, but didn’t plan ahead.

I applied the following rub from the How Sweet It Is blog:


3 TB organic brown sugar
1 1/2 TB smoked paprika
1 1/2 TSP chili powder
1 1/2 TSP garlic powder
1 1/2 TSP sea salt
1 1/2 TSP black pepper
1 TSP onion powder
1/2 TSP ground cumin
6 TB organic butter, melted

Combine all ingredients, except butter.Rub all the butter, covering entire turkey and under skin if you are savvy enough to separate it (I have trouble with that step!)
Spread the rub all over the bird (and under the skin, if you are able)
Put in disposable pan, with 2 cups organic chicken broth and some chunks of celery and onion.
If you have a rack, it might be good to put it on the rack. I cooked breast side down. It worked OK,
but seemed to get the breast meat a bit charred, so maybe next time I will do it the other way.
You can also roast your turkey in the oven.

Since this was our first time smoking with our Big Green Egg, I am not going to offer any direction, as we are still learning. We used 2 cups of a combination of apple and cherry chips for smoking (soaked for one hour)

We smoked the turkey for 2 1/2 hours keeping the temp between 250-300 degrees.
Since the turkey was organic, we were shooting for removing when internal temp was around 155 but it ended up being closer to 165 degrees. Still learning!

The turkey was AMAZING!!


Before smoking; rubbed and ready to go


Smoked and ready to enjoy


I made a Cider Bourbon gravy from How Sweet It is blog. It was OK, but not my favorite. Check it out and give it a try. I may have made a mistake while making it as I was chatting on the phone 🙂


Cider bourbon gravy

I also make mashed rutabagas (love them) and steamed green beans. But, my favorite thing I tried was Quinoa Stuffing. Yum, Yum! I am planning to make it again on Thanksgiving! Thank you to my friend Mary for sharing the recipe.


Quinoa stuffing; terrible picture, I know, but delicious

Quinoa Stuffing

1 cup organic celery, finely chopped1 cup organic onion, finely chopped
1 cup organic carrots, finely chopped
2 TB organic butter
1 cup organic quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups organic chicken broth (can also use vegetable broth)
1 cup cooked organic pork sausage (optional, but it really enhanced the dish)
1 1/2 TSP dried thyme (to taste)
1 1/2 TSP dried sage (to taste)
1/2 TSP black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

Saute celery, onions, and carrots in melted butter until tender. Add cooked sausage and spices and mix well for a 1-2 minutes. Add broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once all broth is absorbed, fluff with fork. Makes about 8 one cup servings.
I put the finished stuffing in the oven on 275 degrees to keep warm while the rest of the meal finished, it worked well. You could definitely make this ahead and keep warm in a crock pot or low temp oven. So good!








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Great Finds Friday: Costco Product Excitement

Oct 11, 2013 by

I was very excited about my trip to Costco on Wednesday. They had many new organic and NON GMO products at the Maplewood, MN store. Maybe they are at your local Costco too!

Organic Bananas (not sure on the price, but I have never seen organic bananas there before; in 3# bunches.)

Organic frozen blackberries for $9.99.

Namaste 5# gluten free flour…Non GMO and no potato flour for $8.99.

Organic Honey Crisp Apples $14.99


KerryGold Butter is back! $6.79


Nature’s Earthly Choice Quinoa pasta…gluten free and Non GMO!
Seriously, this is the BEST gluten free pasta I have ever tried. $6.69 for 2.2#


Cubed organic butternut squash is back! So convenient and delicious at $3.99


I saw this tuna and have heard good things about Wild Harvest Tuna.
I am looking forward to trying it. $14.99 for 6 cans


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October is Non-GMO Month

Oct 10, 2013 by

Non-GMO-Month-2013-Logo-300x149 I celebrate eating NON GMO everyday and I am observing that more people are understanding the importance everyday. Try to think about your food choices this month! I challenge you.

A little story from this week. I went to a catered function on Monday. I called ahead and the restaurant said that the prime rib was the best gluten free choice. I asked for a side of broccoli, since I can’t eat the potato. So, within 15-30 minutes of eating the meat, the whole left side of my body was in pain. It was so strange that it was only on the left side. I felt very achy. The feeling got worse throughout the night. Since I don’t normally get those aches & pains anymore, it seemed so intense to me. I found out the au jus had msg in it. I think that is the culprit. Watch what you eat, it can really have an impact on how your body feels.

If you are interested in learning more about GMO’s, this article is a good summary and also includes a download of a digital guide to GMO’s. Remember, knowledge + action = POWER! Why You Should Care about GMOs

Have a great day!


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Trader Joe’s Tuesday

Jul 30, 2013 by

Today you get a two-fer on Trader Joe’s Tuesday; the summer joys of organic cherries and non gmo sweet corn.

Last night for dinner, we enjoyed two summer favorites courtesy of Trader Joes.

I was excited to see organic cherries yesterday while shopping. They were priced at $4.99/pound. They were delicious and there is nothing more summer-like than grilling chicken on the grill and eating cherries and spitting the pits off the deck (not that I was doing that, really!)

Trader Joe's organic cherries    Trader Joe's organic cherries


I am really struggling with the presence of gmo sweet corn now. I believe that is all they sell at WalMart now.

Trader Joe’s sells non gmo sweet corn for $.49/ear. It was sweet and delicious!

sweet corn



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Meal Monday: Stir Fry

Jul 29, 2013 by

Meal Monday’s recipe is for a quick stir fry; it is a delicious quick, healthy meal and the perfect way to use your readily available garden veggies.

stir fry

Last week while my family was away, I prepared quick meals for myself. One of my favorites was a stir fry using the organic vegetables from my garden. Since my garden is small and things are coming available at different times and there isn’t enough to feed my whole family, it worked perfect to use my little harvests every couple of days.


I don’t have an exact recipe; that is a the beauty of a stir fry, you can use whatever you have on hand.

First, chop up your veggies and get everything ready…stir fry moves fast and you need to be prepared. If you are using meat, either cook it quick in the pan before stir frying or use leftovers from the fridge/freezer.

stir fry veggies

Next, I like to get my skillet or wok nice an hot with either olive or grapeseed oil. Saute the onions and carrots; I like to throw in some chopped garlic towards the end. When those veggies are getting softer, throw in the rest of the veggies that don’t take as long to cook. I like to add some chicken broth or even water to the pan to get a little steam going. Keep the veggies moving to cook evenly. When they are getting close to being to your liking; throw in the meat and add whatever sauce you like. I used San-J Teriyaki…it is gluten free and non-gmo. Keep stir frying until everything is hot and cooked to your desired tenderness. Enjoy by itself or over cooked rice or quinoa. Delicious and nutritious!

stir fry


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