This is my contribution to my Christmas dinners this year….a Cranberry Orange compote to go with the big bird.  I love cranberry sauce, but most cranberry sauce recipes are loaded with refined sugar….and the pre-made cranberry sauces use high fructose corn syrup which is deeees-gusting.  I decided to take the reins and make a much healthier version of cranberry sauce.  This is a modified version of my late Grandmother’s recipe and I think she would be proud.

Note: There is maple syrup in this.  That being said, the amount of sugar is much less than a traditional recipe and you could probably omit it all together if you are OK with a more tart taste.

Ingredients (makes LOTS…you could easily 1/2 this recipe):

– 3 Oranges – very sweet – peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
– 1 Cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
– ~7 Litres of cranberries (2 bags of the fresh cranberries)
–  2 cinnamon sticks
– 5 cloves
– 2 tsp of dried ginger – or use 1 tsp of fresh grated
– 1/4 Cup of maple syrup (or more/less to taste)


  1. Boil the orange juice,  maple syrup and spices for 5 minutes
  2. Add the orange chunks and simmer over med-low heat for 3-4 minutes….until oranges become soft and begin to break apart
  3. Add the cranberries and cook uncovered for about 7 minutes or until all of the cranberries have popped.
  4. Cool and store in the fridge.  Tastes better as the days go on.
  5. Enjoy with a cooked bird!

Fully Primal Husband provided the following testimonial, “Cran-f*ckin-tastic.”  Enough said.

Too much Christmas!!  And it’s only December 3rd.  Over the next 3 days, I have 1 Christmas Party, 2 lunches out, 1 Girl’s dinner and a dinner with my husband.   I always get anxious about these types of events because I go in with such good intentions – no bread, 1 drink, meat and veg only.  But then I easily start convincing myself that one bite of bread will be OK. But it’s not OK. For me, 1 bite leads to an attack of the entire basket which just spikes my insulin and fuels more cravings and then more indulgences and then 3 days later i wonder why I can’t do a pull-up and I’ve got a muffin top over my jeans.  This year IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT.  Here are 5 tips that I will adhere to over the holidays and I recommend for you:

  1. Eat before you go to your event.  Have a piece of protein, some veg or fruit and a handful of nuts.  The protein is important because it will keep you feeling full and fuel your socialization skills.  For example, tonight I will have 2 ounces of chicken, 1/2 an apple and a tbsp of almond butter (pure almonds) before I go out.  This will help me to avoid the appetizers and bread basket.
  2. Aim for an extra workout at some point during the week.  I hit Crossfit 1 extra time this week and it was a killer WOD so i’m feeling good going into this slew of parties.  This will offset some of the extra calories that are sure to be consumed regardless of how good you are – for me, that’s most likely through wine.
  3. Stick to meat and veggies only.  Your co-workers will give you a weird look – this is guaranteed.  Tell them that you’re saving your calories for tomorrow night’s dinner or that you gorged yesterday and still feel gross – this is a lie, but it works much better than trying to explain why their non-paleo meal may kill them and that you only eat ‘real food’.  A party with co-workers is not the time or place to preach your primal instincts.  Feel good with your Spring Mix while they’re scarfing back potatoes fried in cheese, butter and then more cheese.  
  4. No Dessert.  PERIOD.  Don’t do it!  This is going to be painful and you may need to say the serenity prayer (Alcohol Anonymous anyone?)  If you desperately need something sweet, get some fruit.
  5. Make sure you do have 1 great cheat meal where you throw caution to the wind and inhale that giant steak with garlic butter and chase it with a bottle of the finest Cabernet.  You can’t completely deprive yourself or you will end up like Jack Nicholson in the Shining.  My cheat meal will be the dinner with my husband at Nota Bene.