A Keto Thanksgiving

Well, it’s been a long time. So much has happened. The reason for my absence is because I moved. I now live in Denver, CO. I got a promotion that led me to this beautiful state. With training a replacement, selling a house, packing, buying a house, moving, unpacking and training at the new job, my life as been hectic. Now that things are calmer, blogging is now back on the things to do list.

Since my last blog, I’ve remained living my Keto lifestyle. There are times when it’s not easy. It’s just hard sometimes to find what you can eat when going to a restaurant. I’m not going to lie, leaving the bun on my burger or having pasta can be tempting. However, I stuck to my guns, and ate healthy. I’ve lost more weight now with a total loss of 38 pounds since April 2017. It’s been slow going, but it’s worth it.

Now it’s not to say that I haven’t eaten sugar and carbs. I did go on vacation to Disneyland in October, and I gave into scrumptious treats and mouth-watering meals. But that blog will come soon. Today’s blog is about preparing a Keto Thanksgiving. So let’s get to it.

We live in a small town just outside of Denver. We’ve been here 2 1/2 months. Needless to say, we haven’t met too many people. I knew that it would only be myself, James and my son Kevin. Did that stop me from making a Thanksgiving feast? Heck no! I was going to go all out for our first Thanksgiving in Colorado. Here was the menu:

  • Brine and Roasted Turkey and Gravy
  • Cheddar and Jalapeno Biscuits
  • Rye Bread Dressing
  • Cauliflower Loaded Mash
  • Homemade Cranberry Sauce
  • Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin
  • Blueberry Salad
  • Bacon, Tomato and Cucumber Salad
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
  • Pecan Pie

You must be thinking “How in the world did three people eat all that?!” We didn’t. We have leftovers…for days. I started cooking the day before and still didn’t get to eat until 6pm Thanksgiving day. It was a wonderful and delicious meal.

The 16lb turkey sat in a brine for almost 24 hours. Brining the turkey makes it super moist and infuses incredible flavor into the meat. I stuffed it with aromatics of apple, cinnamon sticks, onion, fresh sage and rosemary. Roasted it for only 2 hours. The skin was a perfect golden brown. The meat was super juicy with the flavors of the aromatics beaming through each bite. The way the turkey was prepared was 100% Keto.

Now for the sides. The cheddar and jalapeno biscuits were made with almond flour along with heavy cream, sharp cheddar cheese, eggs and of course fresh jalapeno. The rye bread dressing was made with a 2 net carbs, no sugar rye bread, bacon, onions, eggs, Dijon mustard and chicken stock. The cauliflower mash, Brussels Sprouts au gratin, cranberry sauce (made in the Instant Pot), and the bacon, tomato and cucumber salad all Keto. The only carbs from these side dishes were from the vegetables. The blueberry salad was a tweaked recipe from my sister-in-law. The ingredients are raspberry and lemon jello, blueberry pie filling, lemon juice, sour cream and powdered sugar. Hold the presses!! That’s not Keto! Absolutely correct. It’s far from. Here is how I changed it to be Keto friendly.

I used sugar-free raspberry and lemon jello. I couldn’t find nor do I know if the pie filling came sugar-free. So I made a homemade pie filling. The lemon juice and sour cream didn’t need altering. The powdered sugar was replaced with a powdered erythritol. The pie filling was made with frozen organic blueberries, water, erythritol, liquid stevia, and gelatin. You add all the ingredients except the gelatin in a sauce pan. Reduce it down until it begins to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the gelatin that’s been mixed with a little water. Once it’s fully incorporated, put the filling in the fridge until it fully sets. Dissolve 1 cup boiling water with the two jello packets and add 1 cup cold water. Mix in the pie filling along with the fresh lemon juice. Let it set fully in the fridge. Mix the sour cream and powdered erythritol together and spread on the top of the blueberry salad. Serve cold.

I haven’t forgotten the desserts. They were my less successful items on the menu. The pumpkin spice cake wasn’t too bad. It still had good flavor, but came out more like a pumpkin bread. The frosting had good flavor, but the use of powdered erythritol gave off this cooling effect (typical for this type of sugar). It was a bit overwhelming even with the nutty flavor of the browned butter. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do differently, but I think the best thing is to not use this recipe again.

The pecan pie was the worst. The crust used for this recipe was flaky instead of doughy. The pecan filling is supposed to be gooey. This was hard. To take responsibility for this disaster, I may have ruined it and not that the recipe was bad. Well, the crust was bad. No getting around that. The recipe called for 3/4 cup butter. I was almost out of butter and needed it for other parts of the meal. I used Ghee instead. Ghee is clarified butter. The milk fat is removed. After preparing the pie filling, it occurred to me that it’s probably the milk fat that helps to create that sugary caramel filling. Not knowing for sure what the problem was with this recipe, I’m choosing to throw that it out too.

So there you have it. A fully prepared, delicious, hardy and Keto Thanksgiving. Even my non-Keto son loved it. We didn’t miss the carbs at all. Cheers!