Each year, I anxiously wait for fall weather, Thanksgiving, and Christmas… wait a minute… is this Thursday Thanksgiving!? My turkey is still frozen!!! Just kidding, how could I forget? The holidays are the only time that we get a guilt free pass to gorge ourselves full of delicious fowl, side dishes and desserts. As a matter of fact, we are expected to stuff ourselves like the turkey that is sitting a few feet in front of us. Thanksgiving can be difficult for those of us that are Paleo. This year, I have made it my mission to spread delicious holiday cheer with festive Paleo sides and desserts. That why I came up with this week’s recipe: a Sweet and Savory Autumn Bake. Not only is this a great, flavorful side dish for the holidays, but as of late, this dish has become a common dinner staple for my family. It’s a great balance of savory smoked sausages, the tartness of fresh cranberries, sweet and crisp apples and sweet potatoes. It offers all the colors and flavors of the season in one place.
Before we start making this beautiful Sweet and Savory Autumn Bake, I want to touch on one easily overlooked and under-appreciated ingredient, the cranberry. Some people shun it due to its tartness but that’s what makes it so special. Let’s take this autumn bake for example. Sausages tend to be on the heavier side, but by adding cranberries, the tartness really helps break it up. Not only does it lighten up the dish but it also adds some brilliant colors to our plate. The mild flavors of cranberries make it a very versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes. Enough rambling, let’s make this Sweet and Savory Autumn Bake. Shall we?
1 Pack – Mulay’s Bratwursts (Pre-Cooked and Sliced)¹
4 – Medium Sweet Potatoes (Diced)
1 – Granny Smith Apple (Cored and Diced)
1 – Pink Lady Apple (Cored and Diced)
1 – Jonagold Apple (Cored and Diced)
6 – Red Pearl Onions (Halved)
4 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
1 Cup – Fresh Cranberries
1 Tsp – Fresh Thyme Leaves
½ Cup – Free-Range Chicken Stock
¼ Tsp – Ground Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
Note¹: To make it easier, go with pre-cooked smoked sausages
1.) First, the sausages. I have some Mulay’s Brats that I previously smoked with Cherry Wood in my freezer. Another option is to either pan fry or boil the sausages until it is cooked thoroughly.
2.) Next, prepare all of your produce. Cut the sweet potatoes into medium sized wedges and bake them for 30 minutes at 350°F. If your oven is preoccupied, cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave on high for 9-10 minutes. As for the apples, I’d go with cubes that are no smaller than half an inch. If cut too small, the apples will overcook. In a large mixing bowl, toss all the ingredients together except for 2 Tbsp of EVOO and the chicken stock.
3.) Turn the oven up to 400°F. In a large casserole dish, pour in the chicken stock and remaining EVOO. This will reduce the amount of food being stuck to the bottom of the dish and give it some extra flavor. Transfer the mixed ingredients from the mixing bowl into the casserole dish. Bake it at 400°F for 1 Hour. Stir every 20-30 minutes.
4.) Remove the Sweet and Savory Autumn Bake from the oven and transfer it to the dining table because I am getting hangry! If you like, dress the stuffing up with a drizzle of EVOO and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. There you have it, my Paleo Sweet and Savory Autumn Bake and until next time, eat up my friends!
P.S. Safe travels and have a happy thanksgiving!!!
Merriam Webster defines food as “something that nourishes, sustains or supplies.” That can describe so many things. So many things in life “nourish, sustain and supply” us. In my case, it’s actual food. Food is more than just mere calories and energy for our bodies. Food is love, food is life, food is happiness. Food, good food, is created in love and gives love.
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