I think we can totally come up with the perfect Thanksgiving Menu that is semi healthy AND we can enjoy.
Let’s look at some of our Thanksgiving favorites and see how you can make them healthier so that you can enjoy leftovers in regular portion sizes.
Turkey is obviously #1. Honestly, as long as you are not deep frying your turkey or stuffing it full of butter, turkey is a great, lean meat you can enjoy. Just make sure you enjoy a normal portion size. A good way to easily measure is measuring it about the size of your palm.
Let’s talk about appetizers, I personally love both Turkey Bacon AND Brussel Sprouts and these together ARE AMAZING!
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
24 medium brussels sprouts
12 slices nitrite-free turkey bacon, cut in half
24 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water
? tsp. ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400? F.
2. Line large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
3. Combine maple syrup and vinegar in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Wrap each brussels sprout tightly with half slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
5. Arrange brussels sprouts on prepared baking sheet so that they are not touching.
6. Brush bacon with maple syrup mixture. Sprinkle with pepper.
7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until brussels sprouts are tender crisp and bacon is crisp.
8. Remove toothpicks before serving.
Green Bean Casserole, one of my faves! Here is a GREAT recipe and ingredient list.
1. Preheat oven to 425?.
2. Place beans into a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well. Place beans in a large bowl; set aside.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and thyme to pan; saut? 4 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; saut? 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Stir in wine, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Add mushroom mixture to green beans; toss well. Place green bean mixture in a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Combine fried onions and grated cheese in a small bowl. Top green bean mixture evenly with fried onion mixture. Bake at 425? for 17 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
And now onto the CARBS, which are my favorite!
Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrition and?make deliciously sweet and creamy mashed potatoes. Plus, they look more festive than russet?potatoes with their bright orange color! The coconut milk in this recipe makes the side dish extra special.
2 lbs. medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes
? tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt),?divided use
1 cup canned lite coconut milk, warm,?divided use
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme, reserve a small amount for garnish
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
1. Place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan. Cover with water. Add?? tsp.?salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat. Drain water from sweet potatoes and place in a medium bowl.
2. Add?? cup?coconut milk; mash with a potato masher.
3. Add additional coconut milk?2 Tbsp.?at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with thyme, remaining?? tsp.?salt, and pepper; mix well.
4. Garnish with thyme, if desired.
And my PERSONAL favorite is stuffing! This zucchini stuffing is AMAZING
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium shallots, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
2 medium red (or green, orange, or yellow) bell peppers, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow squash, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
? cup chopped fresh parsley
? cup raisins
8 cups whole-grain bread cubes
3 cups low-sodium organic vegetable (or chicken) broth
2 Tbsp. white wine (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Heat oven at 350? F.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add onions, shallots, celery, and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
4. Add garlic, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Combine onion mixture, parsley, raisins, bread, broth, and wine (if desired) in a large bowl; mix well.
6. Place stuffing in a 3-quart baking dish lightly covered in spray. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cooked through.
And on dessert, I am just going tell you to ENJOY your favorite dessert on Thanksgiving and make sure to not take any leftovers or get rid of them if you are hosting.
If you make a decently healthy meal and ENJOY your leftovers in proper portion sizes, you can totally enjoy Thanksgiving. I do not think you should deprive yourself but I do think it’s important to get back on track after a treat day. Do not let your treat day turn into a treat week or even month. The average adult gains about 10 lbs between Halloween and New Years. We can work together and not be that statistic!