Gravy Soaker Rolls

Gravy Soaker Rolls

Here’s another one of my Thanksgiving staples: gravy-soaker rolls.   These rolls come out with a crisp exterior and a soft center, and the egg wash makes all the difference for presentation.

There are better rolls for just eating on their own, but these are perfect for soaking up gravy, butter, or mopping up your plate! Bonus: they make great rolls for turkey sliders with Thanksgiving leftovers!  When my mother-in-law mentioned that these rolls reminded her of ones she had when she was younger, I couldn’t not bring them to the annual festivities.

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Maple Pecan Camambert

I always bring the sweet potatoes to my in laws’ Thanksgiving. I bring the sweet potatoes to my family’s Thanksgiving. And Friendsgiving #1. And #2. If I had a work potluck, I’d bring it to that! This year I needed to change it up. That doesn’t mean I’m not making my sweet potatoes for the family (no worries, dad!), but it does mean that I wanted to add something new to my repertoire.

I tried this recipe out at a small Friendsgiving last Friday, where my husband and I may have eaten it more than the guests! [Pro-tip: know your audience. Don’t bring a sweet cheese appetizer when some guests have a lactose thing or a diet thing or gestational diabetes – oops!] But Facebook demanded it, and it’s too good to not share. (Also, it’s easy! I love easy.)

You can also make this with brie, but the Camembert was the winner by far.

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Vinegar Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry

Not your everyday stir fry, adding a touch of vinegar to a stir fry can really brighten and change the personality of the dish.  Also, by using tamari instead of soy sauce, this dish becomes safer for the gluten-sensitive! Soy sauce is made from fermented soy beans, and so is tamari. However, tamari is produced with no (or sometimes little) wheat and more soybeans. Tamari is also often thicker and darker.

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble

Gluten-/Grain-free Sweet Potato Casserole | Hold the Lemon

I love having a dish that is excitedly requested and expected as a contribution for Thanksgiving dinner, and for me that dish is the sweet potato casserole. This year, I made it four times!  I changed up my traditional recipe to use coconut flour instead of regular white flour so that it would be gluten-free and grain-free, and it was as delicious as ever. Arguably, more so! Granted, it’s still chock full of refined sugars and has full-fat dairy.

I always start with oven roasted sweet potatoes for this recipe, which is the true hero of this dish’s flavor. I recommend roasting your sweet potatoes the day before, or plan to do so a couple hours before starting the dish, so they will be cool and ready to be scooped and mashed. To roast sweet potatoes, poke holes in the sweet potatoes and bake on a foil-lined baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes to an hour.  The key for smooth mashing is to make sure your sweet potatoes are super tender. Discard the skins and only use the delicious insides for the mash.

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Pumpkin Muffins (Paleo)

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins | Hold the Lemon

As the weather here in New England intermittently begins to feel decidedly like winter (today there’s a high of 59 degrees F, but just a couple days ago the high was 32!), I find myself holding on to the last vestiges of Fall.  With all of the Thanksgiving dinner food coming tomorrow, here is an easy recipe for a make-ahead small breakfast to get you going the day of before the big meal, or easily grab a muffin or two the day after when you just don’t want to cook.

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Five pieces for a not-boring salad

Five pieces to a non-boring salad | Hold the Lemon

For many people, salads are diet food from the kind of diet that leaves you pushing your fork around your plate searching for the good stuff.  And salads to some are also seen as just the pile of vegetables covered in dressing used as a side dish. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Salads can be exciting! They can be a main meal! They can be an easy way to get creative with food! When my friend Dan asked me for quick tips on what to get at the store for his salads, I was inspired by all of the possibilities. Where do you start? What makes a good salad?  It’s just not lettuce, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and dressing, right? Right!

Perhaps it’s easier to think of a salad as having five components: greens, protein, crunch, sweets, and good oils/fats. Let’s try this.

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Dinner: Primal Chicken Fingers and Creamy Curry Spinach

Paleo Chicken Fingers and Curried Spinach | Hold the Lemon

I generally tend to stay away from ‘faking’ my way through food I “can’t” have because despite “healthy” ingredients, sometimes those substitute dishes can end up being notably unhealthy. For example, restaurant salads or gluten-free baked goods that often have higher calories and even empty calories because of the add-ons to make them more appealing or the substitutions that bring more to the table than the original does.

That said, they are great for occasional indulgences. Like, this fried chicken recipe I based on one I found in in Primal Cravings: Your favorite foods made Paleo by Megan McCullough Keatley and Brandon Keatley.  I put the creamy curry spinach recipe also found in this book on the side of this meal, so that makes it healthier right? Probably not after I added the coconut milk to it. But, oh yeah, it was good.

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Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto | Hold the Lemon

When my friend Erin gave me and my husband garlic scapes, I admit, I didn’t know what to expect!  But despite not using them before, they weren’t intimidating at all. Garlic scapes are the stalk of the garlic plant, and they have a prominent but not overpowering garlic flavor.

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Mixed Berry Crumble with Macadamia-Almond Topping (Paleo)

Paleo Berry Crumble with Macadamia Almond Topping | Hold the Lemon

The first day of summer is a little less than a month away, but I’m a little impatient this year. I’ve decided that it’s summer now. And summer means grilled meats, salads, and berries! This was a berry day. It was also a dessert day. It was a good decision.

I received nothing but rave reviews for this dessert! Even with no added sugar to the filling, it was perfectly sweet. Finely chopping the macadamias is key to have a flavorful evenly seasoned crust.

My dairy-eating friends loved this as a topping for their ice cream. I’m sure I could have put it on some coconut or banana ice cream and be just as pleased!

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Brussels Sprout Chips

Sometimes you just need a little green crunch. A spin-off from kale chips, I first made these after preparing the Dinner Menu: Sage Chicken Thighs, Brussels Sprouts, and Sweet Potato. I reserved the clean leaves from cutting and prepping the Brussels sprouts, and I waited until the pan drippings from the chicken thighs were cooled.  Delicious easy snack if you enjoy these little cabbages.

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