Holiday Dinner Menu


This Pumpkin Custard is topped with an obscene amount of whipped cream, drizzled with bitter chocolate.

I wanted to share the menu I used for Christmas Dinner, but the menu would be good for any holiday dinner. All the ingredients came from organic sources. I have found a new source for organic herbs and spices, I was very impressed with the freshness and quality.

This meal was fairly easy to prepare and took about four hours. I usually bake my desserts the day before a special dinner. If I do not have time, I will complete the desserts in the morning so the desserts have time to cool in the fridge before serving. I make the stuffing well in advance, so the flavors can meld together. I cut up all of my vegetables well in advance and set the vegetables aside for later use. I let the roast sit on the counter, seasoned, until I am ready to start my final preparations.

The meal was delicious. We made it to the first dessert with the ice wine but could not get down another bite. This meal served six but could easily have served eight people.

Salad Course
Grated Beets with Whole Seed Mustard Dressing
Green Salad with Whole Seed Mustard Dressing

Main Course
Roasted Grass-fed Lamb with sea salt, fresh rosemary and whole garlic heads
Spicy Yam and Sweet Potato Fries
Savory Nut Stuffing
Vegetable Medley with Raw Cheese
Homemade Red Wine

Dessert Course
Pumpkin Custard with Fresh Whipping Cream
Chocolate Brownie with Cream Cheese Icing
Christmas Butter Tart Squares
Local Icewine

Roasted Grass-fed Lamb
Our lamb came from Jocko Creek Ranch. Shaen and Joe slaughtered and wrapped the lamb earlier in December. We used the leg for Christmas dinner.
5 pound grass-fed lamb leg
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1tsp unrefined sea salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary, from my indoor herb garden
1-2 garlic heads, in their skins
Allow the grass-fed meat to sit in the fridge for a few days before cooking for best results. The morning of the meal, remove the lamb leg from the fridge and place on the counter to warm to room temperature. Make small incisions into the leg to place the slices of garlic. Place the sprig of fresh rosemary under the leg of lamb. Sprinkle the unrefined sea salt on top. When ready to cook, place the meat thermometer into the leg. Cook at 325F until the meat gets to 120F. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. The meat will continue to cook and the temperature will rise. Peel the garlic cloves and serve with the meat. Slice the meat and serve immediately.

Spicy Yam and Sweet Potato Fries
This recipe is based on a recipe from This recipe is NOT safe for someone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but might be a good recipe to try during the reintroduction phase.
1 large organic sweet potato
1 large organic yam
1tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground
1tsp paprika
1tsp sea salt
1T organic extra virgin olive oil (optional)
3T pastured pork fat
Heat oven to 325F. Cut sweet potato and yam into French fries or wedges. In a large bowl mix the spices, sea salt and fat together. Add the cut tubers to the spice mixture and toss well. If you are using fats you may have to use your hand to get the mixture to cover the tubers evenly. Spread evenly over a glass oven pan and bake for 30 minutes until tender and lightly browned.

Vegetable Medley with Raw Cheese
1/8c organic butter
1c organic onion, cut into rings
1c fresh organic mushrooms, whole
1/2c dried morels, crumbled (optional)
1c organic Brussel sprouts, cut in half
1c organic carrots, cut into wedges and julienned
1c organic broccoli flowers, cut into small pieces
some bone broth, juice from roasted meat or red wine
2c raw organic cheese, grated
1/2c organic parsley, chopped finely
This should be the last dish prepared before serving dinner. Have all the vegetables cut and ready for cooking. When the roast is ready, heat the butter in a large cast iron frying pan. Saute the onions and mushrooms until soft. Use a bit of bone broth or the juice from the roasted meat to avoid sticking. Add the Brussel sprouts, carrots, and broccoli. Cook until vegetables are just tender. Stir well and top with raw cheese and parsley. I used Gort’s Gouda for the raw cheese. Slightly heat the cheese and serve.

Pumpkin Custard
I remember the first time I had pumpkin “pie” using whole pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin. I was surprised at the flavor of real pumpkin. The canned pumpkin I used to buy, had “pumpkin” as the only ingredient, but the canned pumpkin had a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. It was then I realized labeling laws are deceptive and allow for the addition of sugar and spices to some given percentage without having to include this information in the ingredient list. I started distrusting labeling. Nevertheless, I would never go back to making pumpkin-based desserts with anything but whole pumpkin. The end product tastes so delicious.

The secret of great pumpkin pie is fresh spices and using a sweet “pie” pumpkin. I always use whole spices and grind them with a mortar and pestle just before use. I keep fresh ginger in the freezer and grate as needed. Since I am using organic ginger I grate skin and all.
1 small organic sweet pumpkin, pre-cooked by baking or steaming, skinned
1/4-1/3 raw local honey, adjust to sweetness of pumpkin
pinch of sea salt
1tsp organic cinnamon
1tsp organic ginger, freshly grated
1/2tsp organic allspice, freshly ground
1/2tsp organic cloves, freshly ground
1/2c whole organic cream, or more
1T Brandy (optional)
In a food processor, smooth out the pumpkin into a paste. Add honey, sea salt and spices and taste for sweetness. Add extra honey if needed, but remember the pie will become sweeter after cooking. Add cream to smooth out the paste. It should be thick but not stiff. Fill 6-8 oven safe glass custard cups and place into a large glass baking dish filled with warm water. Cook at 325F for 30-45 minutes until custard is slightly browned. Cool in the fridge and serve with fresh whipping cream.