holidays, recipes



Last night I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner as an adult. It broke tradition in many ways. I shared the meal with my friends, not my family. No turkey was present. We ate on the floor (who has space for a dining room table?) But there as candlelight, cuddling and conversation that wasn’t about work or kids or real estate. It was the Thanksgiving I’ve been wanting to have for years.

Your friends are the people who are there for you every day. Who take care of you when you falter, which in my case is more often than I’d like. Who get your jokes and make you laugh so hard you spill your wine. Nothing against my incredibly loving and supportive family, but on this occasion it felt so good to sit with the people I share my life with, get drunk and eat pumpkin pie.


Here’s what was on my menu:

  • Bourbon glazed pecan, apple and spiced chickpea salad
  • Roasted carrots and brussel sprouts
  • Wild rice and mushroom stuffing
  • Maple Salmon


Bourbon-glazed pecans



  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Toast pecans in a large skillet until just browned (3-4 minutes)
  2. Add butter and stir pecans until coated.
  3. Add spices.
  4. Add bourbon and sugar. Cook on medium-high heat until liquid has dissolved.
  5. Transfer pecans to a parchment lined baking sheet and cool.

Pecan, Apple and Chickpea Salad



  • apple cider vinegar
  • flax oil
  • honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large can of chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • cumin, paprika, chili powder (1 tsp of each)
  • 1 big bag of arugula (maybe 6 handfuls)
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1 cup prepared glazed pecans (see above) or you could just use toasted pecans. 


  1. For the dressing: Fill a mason jar with: 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup flax oil, 2 tbsp honey, salt and pepper. Shake to emulsify. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  2. For the chickpeas: Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and a large can of drained chickpeas (pat dry with a paper towel). Add salt, pepper and a pinch of cumin, paprika and chili powder. Cook until lightly browned. Set aside.
  3. For the salad: Lightly dress arugula with 1/2 of your prepared dressing. Add warm chickpeas, 2 diced apples and 1 cup of pecans. Top salad with extra dressing before serving.

Roasted brussel sprouts and carrots


  • 1 big bag organic carrots (choose carrots that are tall and thin as you’ll be roasting them whole)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 large brussel sprout stalks
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. For the carrots: Slice onion. Toss onion slices and carrots in 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
  2. For the brussels: Wash brussel sprouts, on stalks, thoroughly. Pat dry. Coat your hands in olive oil and massage onto brussel sprouts. Sprinkle stalks with salt and pepper. Roast on a large, foil-lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until browned and softened. To serve, simply run a knife down the stalk to remove sprouts from stem.

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Wild rice stuffing


  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups mushrooms
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • Fresh thyme and sage
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • Chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook wild and brown rice separately, according to package instructions, using chicken stock instead of water.
  2. Sautee onions and mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat until soft and brown.
  3. Deglaze the pan with a touch of stock and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine cooked rice and mushrooms, stirring in tahini, nutritional yeast, fresh herbs, cranberries and salt and pepper to taste.

Maple bourbon salmon


  • 1 large filet of atlantic salmon
  • 1/4 large white onion
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup


  1. Purchase enough Atlantic salmon to serve your guests (about 5 oz per person)
  2. Rinse salmon and place on foil. Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, bourbon and maple syrup.
  3. Drizzle 1/4 cup over the salmon. Top with 1/4 thinly sliced white onion. Marinate for 2 hours.
  4. Bake salmon at 425 for 30 minutes depending on the size of the filet. Fish will be done when it flakes easily in the centre with a fork.
  5. While fish is cooking, place the rest of the marinade in a small saucepan over medium high heat and allow to reduce by half (15 minutes or so). Simmer on low until fish is ready. Open foil packet to check that fish is fully cooked. When it is, top fish with marinade and broil for 3-5 minutes or until just browned to finish.


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  • Reply Shawna October 12, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I want to eat all of this! Waiting for pumpkin tart and stuffing recipe…

    • Reply the healthy hipster October 25, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      I’m saving pumpkin tart for it’s own post…it’s that good 🙂

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