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Trainer’s Talk – Marcus Approved Paleo Holiday Recipes

Coconut Butternut Squash

Ingredients:
● 1 Large butternut squash
● 1 Can coconut milk
● 2-3 cups chicken broth (“Imagine” brand from Whole Foods is approved)
● Dash of salt and pepper
● 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Peel and cut the butternut squash into cubes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil, simmer until fork tender. Drain off 1 cup of the broth and add in coconut milk (about half of a cup; more if needed). Add a dash of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Blend in a blender or with a hand mixer – the texture should resemble mashed potatoes. Serve warm, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Roasted Beets w/ Pistachio Butter

Ingredients:
4 large beets – red, golden, or both. (1-2 beets per person)
1/2 cup shelled & salted pistachios
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Directions:
Heat the oven to 375 F and arrange a rack in the middle. Rinse and scrub the beets, cutting off any leaves or little roots. Rub them with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, place them in a pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast until tender and you can easily pierce with a knife; this will take about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While they are cooling, make your pistachio butter. Using a food processor, add 1/2 cup pistachios and pulse until they are finely ground. Then drizzle in olive oil – start with 1 tablespoon. Alternate adding 1 tsp water and 1 tsp olive oil until you get a really creamy texture, much like a very soft butter. If it gets too thin for your liking add in some more ground pistachios. (Note, I sometimes double the “butter” recipe, because it goes so quick!)

Once the beets are cool, remove the skins – they should come right off. Slice the beets in chunks, and sprinkle with a little bit of olive oil to make them glossy. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve the beets with the pistachio butter for dipping or spreading. One last note – you could make the beets the day before and let them chill in the fridge. Just take them out and warm them up a bit before serving and dressing.

Apple Juice Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:
● 2 – 12 oz bags of fresh (not frozen) cranberries
● 1 cup of 100% pure apple juice (no added sugars)
● 1 large navel orange, washed
● 10 dried black mission figs, very finely chopped (make sure you cut the stems off)
● A dash or two of each: nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves

Directions:
● Place the cranberries, apple juice, figs, spices, and ½ cup of water into a covered saucepan on medium heat.
● Bring the mixture to a low boil for 10 minutes (until the cranberries “pop”), and turn down to low heat. Simmer (still covered) for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
● Squeeze the juice from the orange into the sauce, and finely grate the orange zest (use the wholeorange peel!) into the saucepan.
● Keep on low heat (simmer) for another 15 minutes. Store in airtight container in fridge until ready to use. Serve cold for the best flavor.

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