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Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Posted on 19 November 2015

            Thanksgiving is a holiday that is notorious for making us put on some weight. The warm and contagiously happy atmosphere, while we are surrounded by tons of food, is bound to make us eat more than we usually do. Worst of all, the meals that are typically prepared for Thanksgiving feasts are high in calories and carbs and will definitely crimp your health streak. However, this doesn’t mean you should stay away from Thanksgiving gatherings all together… simply adjust them to make them healthier. Here are some healthy Thanksgiving recipes you can try this year to make you feel a little less guilty about your feast :)

 

Green Beans: Instead of going for a calorie rich green bean casserole, try this tasty recipe for fresh green beans. This will make 5-6 servings. Here’s what you’ll need:

            1 and 1/2 pounds of Fresh Green Beans (trimmed)

            1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pancetta (can be bought pre-chopped)

            3-4 chopped garlic cloves

            1/2 chopped onion

            1/2 cup water

            Ground Pepper

            1-2 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce (optional)

  1. Heat a large pan on medium heat. Once the pan has reached medium heat, add the pancetta and onions and stir until browned and crispy for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Remove cooked pancetta and onion from pan onto a plate.
  3. Add green beans and garlic to the pan. Stir continuously and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salter and pepper. Cover the pan and cook until the water has evaporated and the beans are tender. This will take approximately 6-7 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked pancetta and onions back into the pan. Add more crushed pepper if needed.
  5. Optional: If you’d like to add more flavor then you can mix in 1-2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce.

 

Baked Sweet Potato: Can’t have a Thanksgiving meal without something sweet. Instead of eating sweet potato casserole that is loaded with carbs such as marshmallows, try this recipe instead. This will make 6 servings. You’ll need:

            6 sweet potatoes

            4 tablespoons of brown sugar

            4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperate

            4 tablespoons butter at room temperature

            1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

            pinch of ground nutmeg

            pinch of ground ginger

            salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet tray and bake for approximately one hour or until they become soft. Remove from oven and let it stand until its cool enough to touch
  3. While sweet potatoes are baking: in a bowl, mix brown sugar, butter, cream cheese, and spices with a fork and blend everything together.
  4. Split the potatoes and remove the meat to a separate bowl. Try to keep the skin in tact.
  5. Add the butter and cream cheese mixture to the sweet potato and mix completely.
  6. Add the sweet potato mixture back into the skins and place back on baking tray.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

 

Gluten Free Stuffing: Can’t have a Thanksgiving meal without good stuffing! This recipe will make 6-7 servings: You can either bake your own gluten free bread with gluten free baking mix, or find ready made gluten free bread in your local grocery store. You’ll need:

            8 cups of gluten free bread cubes (about 1 inch cubes)

            3 large eggs

            2 ribs of celery (diced)

            2 tablespoons of olive oil

            2 cups of hot chicken or turkey stock.

            1 tablespoon unsalted butter

            1 large onion, (peeled and diced)

            1 teaspoon each fine-chopped fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme

            Pinch of salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put the bread cubes in a bowl. Pour stock in pan and set it on high heat. Cook stock until it is boiling hot and then lower the heat to allow it to simmer.
  3. Beat eggs in a bowl.
  4. Put a pan on medium to high heat and pour in oil and butter. When they have liquefied, add the diced celery and onions. Continue to cook and stir them until they are soft and tender. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the herbs to the pan and continue to cook and stir for approximately one minute.
  6. Mix the cooked celery and onions into the bowl with the bread cubes. Place mixture into a casserole pan that is large enough for the bread mixture to fill to the top. A 3 quart pan should be perfect.
  7. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of hot stock into the beaten eggs and stir. Then, pour in the rest of the stock slowly and continue to stir.
  8. Pour the egg and stock mixture over the pan of bread mixture. Press down on the cubes with clean hands so that you distribute the stock evenly and so that the bread can absorb it.
  9. Cover the casserole pan with aluminum foil.
  10. Place the stuffing in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and cook until the stuffing is slightly browned. Make sure to keep an eye on the stuffing so that it doesn’t dry out. Browning should take about 10 minutes.
  11. If you prefer to cover your dressing with gravy, do so immediately.

 

 

Erika Alexandra

@erika_alexandra

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