Wednesday, November 12, 2014
One Stop Shopping-Healthy Thanksgiving!
So, I'm doing all the work for you! (You're welcome).
This year is my first real Thanksgiving alone with my little family! It's really important to make it a good one, but I also want to try to make it with the healthiest options I possibly can. Since I've been doing a little bit of research on my own, I wanted to share it with you as well. Hopefully, we can do this year right, and avoid that Holiday Weight Gain!
Don't get me wrong, I fully encourage taking the day to enjoy yourself and indulge. But, my goal with this blog is to provide recipes for healthy AND indulgent options for this Holiday Season! Some of them will be my own recipes, some will come from other sites and sources. Either way, I hope you enjoy them!
So- let's start with the most important part.
Traditionally, I like to slather my turkey in an herb butter made when the butter is soft, mixed with sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Ridiculously good, but ridiculous amount of butter.
This Crock Pot Turkey Breast with Gravy recipe from Skinnytaste covers all bases. First of all, it's made in the damn crock pot so your oven is FREE!! One of the most annoying thing about Thanksgiving is the lack of an oven, because that turkey bird takes up all the space!
If you do decide to go a traditional route, this Herbed Pan Gravy is a really nice and low calorie way to get that gooey, delicious gravy in there!
Now, the next most important part...
It is, just NO friggin' secret how much I love things stuffed. I just LOVE IT. Except on Thanksgiving, heehee. This article by Eating Well provides tons of healthier and different types of Stuffing! I heard someone on a cooking show say that Stuffing isn't just region specific, it's Mother specific. I prefer a traditional stuffing (whole grain or sprouted grain bread in place of the white) but just sauteeing onions and celery and mixing up with the bread and some chicken broth is where it's at for me.
Like I said, I'm not a fan of the actual STUFFING of the bird, my mom always made Stuffin' Muffins! Make your stuffing in whatever way you see fit, spray a muffin tin and fill it up. Bake until crispy on the outside. Convenient, and yummy!
Now, to the mostly most important part...
Let's be honest here- there's no way to make a REALLY low fat/low calorie mashed potato option. They're best when simply done, no denying that. But, this article from Cooking Light is amazing for some new ideas. I personally really enjoy this Skinny Garlic Mash recipe. If you're really looking to go outside the box, please check out my own Parsnip Mash recipe. Creamy and smooth, and a great alternative to potatoes!
This might, REALLY be the most important part...
Brown sugar. Marshmallows. BUTTTTTEEEERRRRR. Ugh, seriously, is there anything better then these? Probably not, but they are as ridiculously fattening as they are ridiculously scrumptious. One amazing alternative (if I do say so myself) is my Whipped Maple Butternut Squash. You get the sweetness and the creaminess that you're looking for without all the fat and sugar. (I won't tell if you throw a few marshmallows over it). These are also, a lot less work! Alternatively, you can try this Light Sweet Potato Casserole from Taste of Home if you're not so into Butternuts! (Which I wouldn't understand at all.)
Onto maybe, arguably, the least important part. Which we all pretend is the most important but we're all filthy liars.
I truly do love my veggies. I actually do. But when they're on a plate next to gravified turkey and creamy potatoes and crunchy biscuits...what was I talking about?
Try one of my own personal recipes, these Brussels Sprouts with Honey and Bacon. They're easy, and good enough to actually make people want to eat them! Trust me on this. I also really enjoy green beans at Thanksgiving- especially that Green Bean Casserole from Eating Well. This is obviously the easiest category to find healthy alternatives for! Like this Honey Glazed Carrot recipe from Damn Delicious. I'm a little obsessed with it. Really though, you could just stay simple. Steam some broccoli or sautee some green beans with some onions and garlic and that'll be just as good. (Although you probably won't eat as much of it).
Two more tiny categories and we're almost to the REALLY important stuff.
BISCUITS AND CRANBERRY SAUCE OR COMPOTE.
I'm combining these two gems because, let's be honest, they're usually an afterthought. It's the easiest thing to get a can of cranberry sauce and a pop-open tin of biscuits. Here are a few other options if you're willing to get a little crazy! Try these Rosemary Garlic Parmesan Biscuits from Skinnytaste or Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits from Food Network.
As for the cranberry sauce, this is pretty simple. If you don't get the canned stuff (and really, you should try this) this may be the easiest part of your whole dinner. This Sugarless Cranberry Sauce from Wellness Mama contains only fruit to sweeten it. Or you can try this article by Cooking Light for even more options.
Aaaaannnd we have arrived.
Oh, sweet baby Jesus what are we going to do? Can we get through this day without pumpkin and apple pies? Probably not, but we're going to try! Let's start with this Crustless Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie. Sounds pretty great to me! We also have these Skinny Pumpkin Butterscotch Bars or Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars. You could also try this awesome Apple Walnut Crisp from Cooking Light.
Here's our bottom line, folks. Have fun with your families and eat delicious food, just try to be smart about it! I hope you found some good ideas, let me know how it goes!! LET'S DO THIS PEOPLE!!!
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