Thanksgiving is such a special time of the year! I love the holidays, with all the joy and celebration it brings, reminding us of what's truly important in our lives. For me, it's family, friends, my health, spiritual wisdom, and the inspiration that brings me ultimate fulfillment and happiness. This year I get to celebrate it with my friend and mentor, Karen. She's a Macrobiotic Chef here in LA, who I've had the pleasure of working privately with, to learn how to cook delicious whole food meals, and live a healthy lifestyle! She's graciously invited me to her home to have a proper 'Macro' Thanksgiving dinner, which is very appropriate!
This Thanksgiving marks my fourth year without turkey, which resulted in me having to actively participate in the grand cooking process of this day. If I'm not eating the turkey, I have to 'step up to the plate' and create something that I'll actually enjoy, right?
The first two years, I took a Vegan Thanksgiving Cooking Class with the Spork Food Sisters in LA to really up my game, and last year relied on Alicia Silverstone's book, 'The Kind Life' for a menu. See post from last year for my inspiration and menu plan:): http://gowiththeglow.net/2012/11/20/turkey-shmurkey/
I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks, that I often forget about called, 'The Self - Healing Cookbook' by Kristina Turner. I've decided to make one of her holiday pies. I couldn't decide between the Squash Pie or the Chestnut Cream Pie, but ultimately decided to go with the latter--more of a challenge and a little more unique!
Chestnut Cream Pie**
1/4C almonds, ground
2T agar agar flakes
Grind almonds fine in the blender. Add amasake, chestnuts, vanilla and spices, and puree until creamy. Heat agar agar with 1/4C water until throughly dissolved--about 5min. Stir in the chestnut cream. Pour into a pre--baked pie crust. Let cool and set for an hour in the fridge before serving.
Today, I'm off to buy packaged pre-steamed chestnuts from Trader Joe's and amasake from Whole Foods (ran out of my bulk order), a fermented sweet brown rice drink as the main macro sweetening ingredients for the dish. I'll have you know, I'm also attempting my very own gluten free pie crust too, which includes oats and brown rice flour!
My day of Thanks will include a special prayer for all that I'm grateful for in my life--all that I have and all that I do not have. I will pour all my love into my pie, to show my gratitude for Karen's friendship and mentoring, and will enjoy one of my most favorite things--eating healthy food--being grateful for all it's abundance and all the knowledge I have for understanding how to nourish my body properly! Then, last but not least, I will honor my tradition of watching one of my all time favorite childhood movies, "Home Alone". Sounds like a pretty perfect day to me!
I hope you do all the things that you love on this day! Be grateful to yourself for taking time to do what you need to do to care for you, so that you can then be your best self, and in turn, serve others, so they can be grateful for you too!