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This recipe was sponsored by Vitamix. Vitamix has not influenced the opinions expressed in this recipe in any way, shape or form.
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Turkey and Thanksgiving go together like, well, turkey and thanksgiving!? Maybe peanut butter and jelly would have been a better simile? In any case, it’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving Day feast without a majestic and GIGANTIC roasted bird on the table. You’ve also gotta have ALL THE SIDES! Mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, Brussels sprouts (maybe like these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds?). And let’s not forget pie! Lord knows there’s always room for dessert! Don’t even get me started on the booze. In my home we like to indulge in a bit of wine and by ‘a bit’ I mean a few bottles. Maybe a scotch before bed? Sure! Why not? What can I say? Old habits die hard! I keep a special pair of stretchy pants for holidays like these. You know what I’m talking about! I’m sure you have a pair too! By the end of the night I’m crawling into a hole and planning to pay my dues at the gym for the week.
Besides leaving you in a complete food coma, there’s a lot of food waste that comes around the holidays. When I start to think about all the leftovers that shamefully get tossed in the trash after a few days, it makes me sick to my stomach. Hard to think that on a day such as Thanksgiving, when you’re reminded to give thanks for what you have in this life, you’re also cooking way more than necessary just to throw it away. Sure, I’m generalizing but I’ve been to plenty a party (weddings included) that toss away perfectly good food because no one wants it. There’s also the flip side. If you’re trying to stay healthy but don’t want to throw away food (rightfully so) then you’ll have a very hard time with your goals if there’s enough mac and cheese in your fridge to last you the week. Thankfully, we do a pretty good job of avoiding food waste in my house. I come from Soviet roots and there is no such thing as throwing out food around these parts. If it’s not getting frozen for later or packed for lunches, it’s going into one of my Monday Kitchen Sink Hash with Egg(s).
Don’t get me wrong. If you’re throwing a large party with lots of family and friends to feed then, yes, roast an entire bird! Turkey not your thing? I recommend prime rib! But if you’re a small family of two, four or even just a college kid who couldn’t make it home for the holidays, then please, don’t try roasting a 20lb turkey. Unless, of course, you plan on giving 4/5’s of it to your local soup kitchen. In which case, DO IT!
Instead, why not try this recipe for Roast Turkey, Cauliflower Purée and Carrot Soup? It’s my paleo riff on the classic Thanksgiving day feast: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. Instead of roasting the whole bird, I roast a single turkey breast, which will easily serve a family of four (with some leftovers). To keep things light, yet satisfying, I purée an entire head of cauliflower. I love the flavour and its a great way to sneak in some extra veggies around the holidays. Lastly, the soup is made from all of the vegetables that get roasted along with the turkey breast. Again, this is a way to sneak in more veggies. It also gives you that deep, roasted, caramelized flavour that I absolutely covet. But if I’m being completely honest, it’s mostly done in an effort to keep the clean-up to a minimum. My wife HATES washing dishes so if I can use one less pot or pan it’s a bonus! In addition to all of the above, and being Paleo and Whole30 compliant, this recipe is dead-simple, fool-proof, delicious, festive, and leaves virtually zero food waste.
- You can keep all the veggie scraps and roasted turkey breast bone for a delicious home-made stock later on.
- All the veggies that get roasted along with the bird get turned into the most amazing, colourful, carrot soup. Soups are way easier to reheat and get better the next day so having leftovers would actually be a good thing! Also, because everything except for the roasted turkey gets blended, you don’t have to worry about making vegetables look ‘presentable’ for fear that they won’t get eaten by your kids who think they look ‘icky.
- The entire head of cauliflower (stalk included) gets puréed (the leaves get added to the stock pile). Again, a puréed cauliflower reheats better the next day and doesn’t dry out as much as a cauliflower floret. Meaning, you’re more likely to eat it the next day.
The secret weapon here is the Vitamix. It delivers the smoothest consistency to the cauliflower purée and carrot soup, which is important because you want this to be a luxurious, creamy and decadent dish. No exaggeration, this machine is a BEAST! It can literally turn raw veggies into soup – but I have to be honest and tell you that I’m not crazy about serving a soup with raw onion to my wife. Sorry babe, I still love you!
AND, In case you didn’t know, I’ve partnered with the folks at Vitamix to give away an Ascent 2300 blender to one lucky Primal Gourmet reader! After all, there’s no better way for me to give thanks to you for reading than to give away something that has brought me so much joy in the kitchen! Be sure to enter the contest HERE and follow all the rules (it’s very simple). Also, make sure you go Like @VitamixCanada on Facebook! Best of luck to you all and from my family to yours, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!
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INGREDIENTS: (serves 4, with leftovers)
1 bone-in Turkey breast – bone-in, skin on – approx. 2 lb
4 carrots – very roughly chopped
2 celery stalks – very roughly chopped
1 medium onion – quartered
1 head cauliflower
6-8 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger root – peeled and cut in half
2 tsp herbes de provence
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup ghee
½ cup coconut milk
750ml chicken stock (preferably homemade)
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- Preheat oven to 350F.
- To a small roasting dish, add chopped carrot, celery, onion, ginger and 3-4 cloves of garlic in their skin. Drizzle vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Rinse turkey breast and pat dry.
- In a mortar and pestle, add 3-4 cloves of garlic (peeled) along with a pinch of salt. Bash until smooth. Add ghee and herbes de Provence. Mix until combined. Rub the mixture overtop of the turkey breast and season the bird with salt and pepper. Place the turkey breast, bone-side down, overtop of the vegetables. Roast for 1:15 – 1:30 or until internal temperature is 165F in the thickest part of the breast meat.
- Roughly chop cauliflower into large florets. Add to a stock pot with steamer insert and steam cauliflower until fork tender. Transfer to Vitamix along with 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Blend on high until completely smooth. Adjust seasoning as required. Transfer to serving bowl.
- Remove turkey and vegetables from oven. Set turkey aside and cover with foil to allow juices to redistribute into the meat. Add roasted vegetables and 3/4 of rendered juices to the Vitamix along with 750ml chicken stock, 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk and 1 tsp turmeric. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and blend on high until completely smooth (approximately 3:30 minutes). Adjust seasoning as required. Transfer to serving pot to keep warm. Tip: Reserve 1/4 of the rendered roasted turkey juices for step 7.
- Carve turkey breast into thin slices. Be sure to set aside the bone for a home-made stock later on. Transfer carved turkey to the roasting dish with reserved juices (see step 6).
- To serve: In a bowl, spoon a generous serving of cauliflower purée, top with a few slices of roasted turkey breast and ladle carrot soup around the edges. Garnish with a sprig of carrot top (remember, no waste!).