- Hello Healthy Eaters!!!
Well, it’s that time of year again, the Holiday Season 2015! Where did the year go? It seems like last week we were celebrating New Year’s Eve. So, Thursday is Thanksgiving, that one day of the year where it is socially acceptable to eat so much you need to unbutton your pants, recline in your chair or lie down on the couch and slip, ever so peacefully, into a L-Tryptophan induced coma for a few hours.
Turkey, biscuits, rolls, stuffing/dressing, cranberry sauce, wine, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, casseroles and more pies and cakes than a county fair adorn our tables in all their bountiful glory. According to www.livestrong.com, the average American will consume more than 4,500 during Thanksgiving dinner ALONE, ot to mention other meals consumed that day. That is more than twice the recommended caloric intake for an entire day IN ONE MEAL!
So, to help you keep your calorie count down, I’m going to share some tips and recipes I’ve incorporated into my family’s Thanksgiving dinner to help keep the calories down
Let’s start with the Hors D’oeuvres, shall we?
- Deviled Eggs- I don’t know a person alive that doesn’t enjoy a good deviled egg. Creamy, spicy, sweet and bitter all at once ,topped with smoky paprika to add another dimension to the mouth-watering delectable and BOOM! the perfect snack. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to jack up the calories and fat in a deviled egg very quickly without realizing it. So to make them a bit healthier here is what I do:
After boiling peeling and halving the eggs, scoop out the yolks and throw out every third half yolk, mince up some yellow onion or green onion, and garlic. Mash it all together, adding Greek Yogurt by the tablespoon until you reach your desired consistency. Then add horseradish in beet juice until you reach your desired level of heat and mix thoroughly. Spoon back into the egg halves and top with a few dashes of paprika. Using the horseradish in beet juice combines the spiciness of the horseradish and sweetness from the beets and substituting Greek Yogurt for mayonnaise drops both the calories and fat content.
- Next, I usually serve a tray of assorted veggies, usually cut carrots, snap peas, celery cherry tomatoes and celery. I serve Helluva Good dip with it along with hummus. This gives the guests the choice of a healthier option with the hummus and I will say, I was a bit reluctant to dip veggies in it, but since I tried it, I’ve not used vegetable dips since.
Now on to the sides:
- For biscuits and rolls, we follow the recipe as is, but instead of using all purpose bleached flour, we use whole grain flour, usually buckwheat, rye or oat.
*Note, we do not do gluten free because nobody in my family has a sensitivity or allergy, we feel that if it were as bad as some people believe, the human race would not have been consuming it for over 10,000 years.*
- We used to do candied sweet potatoes but we changed last year. Now we do a sweet potato puree. We bake the potatoes at 375F for 45 min to 1 hour. We then slice the root in half and scoop out the flesh and put it in the blender with some vegetable stock, ground cloves and powdered ginger to taste then hit the button and let her rip!! We add the stock a little at a time until we get the consistency we want. Remember, you can always add more liquid, it’s tough to get rid of it.
- Mashed potatoes, we no longer serve. We cook cauliflower until tender and toss it in the blender with some Greek Yogurt. We then add minced garlic and diced green onion and season it with sea salt, black pepper and some Old Bay seasoning all to taste. If you want to get fancy, you can use green, purple or orange cauliflower to add some pop to your plate.
*On a personal note, I HATE cauliflower, I mean hate it. I hate the texture, the taste even the look, but I love this recipe.*
Finally on to the bird:
For the turkey, we do one of two things, either we brine it in sea salt and water or use olive oil to crisp up the skin. Now brining will definitely increase the sodium content of the meat, so we usually pat the bird dry and then coat the skin with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This will crisp up the skin nicely.
For seasoning, rather than using bacon or butter or shortening, the first thing I do is pull the skin off the meat and season under it on the breast with herbs de provence. Then I take a lemon and cut it into slices, usually 4 or 6, depending on the size of the bird and insert the slices under the skin and cook it like that. I cook the giblets in a pan and use the gizzard neck for turkey gravy and my mother and I usually split the heart.
For drinks (provided you’re of age) I recommend a nice Pinot Noir, something from Oregon or Wyoming or somewhere else in the northwest US, Australia has some nice ones also. If you prefer a sweeter wine, I, personally go for either a nice Riesling or Liebfraumilch from Germany.
For dessert, unfortunately, you’re on your own.
For more health and fitness tips, please feel free to find me on Facebook or go to my webpage at www.beachbodycoach.com/jfeist2008
I hope you find some of these recipes helpful and as delicious as I do. And from me and my family to you and yours, Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving and may God bless you with family, friends, good health and continued happiness.
STAND AND ROAR!