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A CK friendly Thanksgiving

With the holidays upon us, many give up on a diet friendly Thanksgiving and start thinking "oh, I'll just start after the holidays." But honestly, "just because it's the holidays" doesn't give you license just throw common sense out the window. Yes, you will probably have a few treats and cheats in between (maybe more than usual) but we know a few dishes you can compromise with. Our clients from the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge came up with a few ideas! We just finished up the Fall 2015 CK 12 Week session. Coming off the 12 week session many clients are fired up to get through the holidays without too much damage and they have all learned the tools to do it! At Clean Kitchen we teach how to do "Recipe Re-vamps" so you can make a version of the meals you crave, without derailing every thing you are working towards. Do not give up on good tasting food, just make it better for you!! When it comes to the holidays, it is all about the side dishes! The protein is easy and most of the time, guilt free...roasted turkey, chicken, steak, whatever you fancy. As long as it is not covered in a cream sauce and deep-fried you are good! Below are some holiday ideas to replace some not-so-waistline-friendly side dishes.

Cranberry Compote

By Hope Gustafson, Fall 2015 client CRANBERRy "This time of year has me wanting the foods that go with fall. Today I was really wanting cranberry compote. I thought I'd grab some at the store -- 25g of sugar per 1/4c serving. PER SERVING! So I grabbed a bag of cranberries and came home to see what I could do. I ended up using 2c cups of cranberries, juice from 1 cutie mandarin orange (and zest), 1 drop of orange oil, 1 tsp vanilla and 15 drops of stevia, 1/4c water. I cooked it for 10 min (until the berries burst) -- it actually thickened without the 1c of sugar and 1 c orange juice it called for. It's crazy tart with a hint of sweet. The perfect fix. Bonus -- I now have a plan for thanksgiving for a healthy substitution!"

Sweet Potato Casserole

by Paleoleap.com (http://paleoleap.com/sweet-potato-casserole/) Found and posted to CK Facebook group by Fall 2015 client, Amy Arrington Edits by Amy: "Instead of boiling the potatoes, I plan to bake them!" Roasting the potatoes makes the potatoes sweeter :)


  • 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks;
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped;
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk;
  • One tbsp cocoa powder;
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract;
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, butter or clarified butter;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and then start by filling a large sauce pot with water and place all the chopped sweet potatoes in it. Place the saucepan over a high-heat on the stove top and bring the water to a boil. Continue cooking the potatoes for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, basically until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and strain the excess water.
  2. Return the sweet potatoes to the pot they were cooked in and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil, butter or clarified butter on top of them. Using a masher or hand-mixer, mash the potatoes until smooth. I tend to prefer the texture to be slightly clumpy, but to each their own! As you continue to mash, slowly pour the coconut milk in, followed by the vanilla extract. Once it has been mixed well, give it a taste to see if it requires any salt and pepper. I found it to be just perfect how it was, but a little salt cuts on some of the sweetness. Transfer the mashed mix into a baking dish, or better yet, a casserole dish and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the walnuts in the remaining oil or butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and cocoa powder and then give it another good mixing. Evenly cover the mashed potato mixture with the topping, put in the preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes and, once finished, indulge!

Sweet Potato Blondie

Try our Sweet Potato Blondie Recipe! Taste like Sweet Potato Casserole with marshmallows or think sweet potato pie! Sweet Potato Blondie

Clean Kitchen Roasted Balsamic Carrots

Carrots Recipe here! So delicious, easy and fast prep!! Great for an everyday side. carrots We also like to pair these carrots up with some garlic green beans!

Garlic Green beans

Boil 1 Family size bag of fresh green beans for about 4 minutes in salted water. Drain, then return to pot to saute in 1 tbs of olive oil or butter and 3 minced garlic cloves, season with salt. Optional topping: add some crispy crumbled bacon!

Sweet N' Spicy Collard Greens

Recipe here! Get the same flavors without all the sugar! And its is super fast!

"Turkey" Fruit Tray

By Faith Trussell, Fall 2015 Client "We have a very large family (60+ people) We had a planning meeting weeks ago to go over the menu. I agreed to bring a large salad and this fruit tray (I made it last year and it was gone immediately!) I plan to enjoy turkey and dressing, my salad, and a couple other veggies. Staying away from the bread and dessert and drinking lots of water!" turkeyfruittray

"Apple Pie" Revamp

By Laura Smith, Fall 2015 client applepie "I've been working hard to come up with some tasty and clean food options for the holidays and I think this one might work! For me, desserts are the trouble spot around the holidays and I was thinking about what I could make instead of the usual pies, cakes and cookies. This is my cleaner take on an apple pie (or an apple crumble, really). It's basically the CK baked apples with a topping!" - 6-8 apples, peeled and sliced - 1/2 cup blueberries (because I had some) - 1/2 cup oats - 1 cup raw almonds (I blended them in the food processor until they were powdery, but I'm sure you could use almond flour or wheat flour too) - 2 Tbsp honey - 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted - cinnamon - vanilla - a few chopped pecans
Add fruit into a baking dish sprayed w/ Pam, and sprinkle w/ cinnamon (you could add a pinch of nutmeg too). Mix all remaining ingredients together and it should make a "dough". Pour over the top of the apples and bake @ 350 degrees for 25 min. I may add a little water to the apples next time because they seem a little dryer than I like, but generally, it worked out really well! And I won't feel too bad about eating it at Thanksgiving!

CK Winter 12 Week Challenge is coming in January 2016!!

Perfect timing to get on track before summer hits. Next 12 Week session starts January 6, 2016! Find out all the sign up details here and what our program has to offer here.