|The Holiday Order Station at Whole Foods Sacramento, at the left entrance of the store.|
On Wednesday, I was invited to pick up a sample holiday dinner from Whole Foods Sacramento. They wanted me to help spread the word on how they can take the hassle out of cooking for your holiday gatherings. I was sent a list of some of the items that are included in a typical holiday meal, such as: a small organic pre-cooked turkey, a Field roast stuffed en croûte, Health Starts Here stuffed acorn squash, Health Starts Here posole soup, Glazed sweet potatoes, Broccoli cheddar potato gratin, a Pumpkin pie, Wine, and Holiday Flowers.
As many of you know by now, I don't eat a lot of things on that list at all. I follow the Paleo diet, which is gluten, grain, and dairy free. It might seem a little extreme to avoid all of those items (even during the holidays, which are traditionally all about eating and celebration), but it is so worth it to me because I am doing well maintaining my weight loss by eating this way. I remain so focused on my athletic performance and just feeling healthy everyday I am on the planet! Life is too short to have medical issues, especially ones you can fix by eating clean! :)
Since a lot of the selections did contain corn, gluten, sugar, etc, I asked the marketing contact if we could put together a special meal and speak to all the people out there who have gone gluten free. People like me who are very selective and care about every bite. She agreed, and I am so happy to show you what Whole Foods can put together for you. It's completely guilt free eating and the only thing you might miss about the meal is cooking all of it... if you like to cook like me. ;)
Here is the full spread they put together all laid out on the table. As you can see, it was spectacular. My list of Gluten/grain, and sugar free items were as follows: Crudite, fruit, & cheese, Organic Turkey, Brussel Sprouts with Shallots and Pecan, Roasted Root Vegetables, Wine, and Organic Flowers.
The crudite included broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, green bell peppers, celery, and a dip in the center. I tasted a little and it had sour cream base, but it was not the typical unappetizing ranch you find on a vegetable plate. This had more of a delicate scallion flavor. Of course, I avoided it because as far as dairy is concerned, I save myself for cheese!! :) And vegetables this fresh taste great on their own.
This is the organic turkey. Preparation is so simple because the turkey is already cooked when you buy it. All you have to do is thaw it out and then bake it. I picked up my meal from the store at around 2pm, and simply continued to thaw the turkey before placing it in the oven at around 7pm. It was ready to eat by around 7:45 or so. The meat was delectable and so tender. I believe organic meats are the only way to go!!
This is the side of roasted root vegetables, it contained parsnips which are one of my favorite vegetables EVER!! It also has carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, and pecans. Wow. Pretty much my favorite things coming together on the plate. I make a dish pretty similar to this, so I wasn't surprised to love it so much.
These are the roasted Brussel sprouts with shredded cabbage. Since sprouts are a form of cabbage, the dish was a neat little duo because of the two different textures. And pecans are like candy to me. Another wonderful side.
This is what my plate looked like all put together.
And then, the cheese! Since I don't do sugar of any kind anymore, cheese is my true indulgence, and I eat fruit to keep away any major sugar cravings. This little cheese and fruit tray was so pretty and contained a few different cheeses: some bleu, a brie, and two other cheeses that were spreadable. The tray also contained blackberries, strawberries, grapes, and blueberries. Then there were wonderful Marcona almonds, walnuts, and little bars of compressed fig in the box.
Everything I ordered was perfect and packaged up so nicely. There was also a bottle of nice Riesling in the mix. Whole Foods has a great selection of other wines as well. Chardonnay or Pinot Noir would also be a great match for all this food.
To learn more about the holiday menu selections, you can go to http://holidayworthsharing.com You can also follow Whole Foods on Twitter @WFMNorCal Tag #WholeForTheHolidays for a chance to a win a turkey dinner! There will be one winner a week. Good luck!
To order your holiday meals you can go to: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/shop and to see a complete holiday forum with recipes and tips for a perfect party, you can go here: