Karin here, with a word on how to eat well during the holidays. It is no secret that Thanksgiving is a holiday of overindulgence. From the meat /chicken to the glutinous sides, to the filled desserts, and the flowing glasses of wine, it’s hard to get a grip over yourself. Well, I am going to share with you some tips, tricks, and recipes to help you indulge the way you should on Thanksgiving, but not completely fall off the deep end.
ALWAYS have a plate of salad before going in for the turkey and the sides. There is a reason that the salad plate covers the entree plate, it is meant to be used first. Raw vegetables, because of their high fiber content, take longer to digest and help us in feeling full. Having the salad before the rest of your meal, instead of with it, will help you from overeating some of the heavier stuff.
The second rule and this may sound obvious but make smart choices. DO NOT go and load your plate with every fattening thing in sight. Scope out the selection see what it is you’re dying to have the most and put only those items on your plate, in small portions. Along with those couple of things you’re excited about having healthier options like veggies, turkey, and salad.
Do not come hungry. A lot of people like to wake up late on the day of Thanksgiving and keep away from food until the time of their decadent meal. Not a good idea. You should wake up, have breakfast, workout, and treat the day as you would any other. If you start the day off by making health-conscious decisions you will be more inclined to keep that mentality going throughout the day. Likely, you will still have a piece of the pie, or a bite of mashed potatoes, but you won’t act like a starving animal trying to catch his prey.
Make sure there are healthful options available. You can always ask your host, or simply offer to bring something. If you can’t think of any healthy Thanksgiving dishes then try one from our list below..
HERBED WILD RICE & QUINOA STUFFING
2 tablespoons olive oil + more for greasing the baking dish + more for drizzling over the top
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
1/2 cup dry-ish white wine (I like Sauv Blanc for both cooking and drinking; Chardonnay would work well too)
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups uncooked wild rice blend
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
¾ cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley + 1/4 cup more for topping after baking
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, minced
Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil. When hot, add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the apples, garlic, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for one more minute. Stir in wine, then add broth. Bring to a boil. Stir in the wild rice blend and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 35 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and cover again. Cook until the quinoa is tender, about 15 more minutes. Stir in the cranberries, pecans, 1/2 cup parsley, and sage. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub a large (9-inch x 13-inch is best) casserole dish with a little olive oil. Lightly scoop the rice mixture into the casserole dish, lightly mounding it instead of mashing it down.
Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley. Serve.
1 1 10- to 12-pound turkey
¼ cup fresh herbs, plus 20 whole sprigs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano and/or marjoram, divided
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 475°F.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities and reserve for making gravy. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels. Mix minced herbs, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place aromatics and 10 of the herb sprigs in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Add 3 cups water and the remaining 10 herb sprigs to the pan.
Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes.
Remove the turkey from the oven. If using a remote digital thermometer, insert it into the deepest part of the thigh, close to the joint. Cover the breast with a double layer of foil, cutting as necessary to conform to the breast. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting for 1¼ to 1¾ hours more. If the pan dries out, tilt the turkey to let juices run out of the cavity into the pan and add 1 cup water. The turkey is done when the thermometer (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F.
Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and cover with foil. (If you’re making Herbed Pan Gravy, start here.) Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. Remove string and carve.
Equipment: Large roasting pan, roasting rack, kitchen string, thermometer
Per serving: 146 calories; 4 g fat(1 g sat); 0 g fiber; 0 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 8 mcg folate; 82 mg cholesterol; 0 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 27 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 13 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 202 mg sodium; 210 mg potassium
Beef, celery, walnut & apple stuffing
1 lb extra lean ground beef;
1 tbsp cooking fat;
4 stalks celery, diced;
1 medium onion, diced;
1 apple, diced;
2 cups finely chopped walnuts;
1 clove garlic, minced;
Generous amount of poultry mix or sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram, very finely chopped, stems removed;
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a large pan, sauté the ground beef and celery with the cooking fat for about 3 minutes. Make sure to crumble the ground beef to small pieces.
Add the diced apple and onion and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes.
Add the fresh herbs or poultry mix, minced garlic, walnuts and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. The meat should still be somewhat pink; it’ll finish cooking in the oven.
Put the mixture in a baking dish and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
MAPLE BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Serves: 4 servings
1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
Optional: toss with ½ cup toasted walnuts and ⅓ cup dried cranberries after cooking for a festive side dish.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice off woody ends and slice sprouts in half. Place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat.
Spread in an even layer cut-side down on a baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Remove and serve
Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions
Serves 4-6 Ingredients
4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large sweet onion, chopped into similarly sized pieces as potatoes
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine potatoes and onion in a bowl. Add olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper on potato mixture and stir to combine.
Pour potato mixture on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping potatoes and onions halfway through. Depending on the size of your potato and onion pieces, they may cook faster or slower. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Remove from oven and season to taste with additional salt and pepper
2 ½ cups (288g) almond flour
1 ½ cups (113g) tapioca flour
3 tbsp. coconut sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup melted coconut oil
For the filling:
2 ½ lb. apples, peeled and cut into cubes
2 tbsp. almond flour
½ cup maple syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. coconut oil
Combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut sugar, salt and coconut oil in a food processor, or use a pastry blender in a bowl. Pulse or blend until the texture is like coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and then add to the dry ingredients. Pulse/mix again until the dough comes together. If you’re mixing in a bowl, you may want to use your hands to bring the dough together at the end.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into flat, round discs. Wrap each dough disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Between two sheets of parchment paper or on a silicone baking mat, roll out one round of the dough into a 12-inch circle. Carefully lay dough into a 9-inch pie dish (not deep dish). If the dough breaks, that’s okay! Just press it back into place and repair any holes or cracks that may have formed. Place in the freezer while preparing the filling.
Place the cubed apples in a large bowl. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Toss to combine until all the apple cubes are evenly coated.
Fill the bottom crust with the apple cubes, leaving any extra liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
Roll out the second round of dough between two sheets of parchment paper or on a silicone baking mat into a 12-inch circle. Use a sharp knife to cut into ½-inch even strips.
Cover the pie with the dough strips.
Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes at 425° F. Reduce the temperature to 350° F., and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and the pie is golden brown on top. Cover with foil if the pie starts to brown too quickly!
Let cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve warm or chilled.