Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

might not be the easiest time to be healthy. A dinner easily add up to 4000 calories.

Sometimes I find that it’s more conventient to eat healthy in my everyday life and forget it all and eat whatever I want for the holiday. Though eating healthy throughout the year actually makes me want healthier food during the holidays to. Stuffing myself with unhealthy fatteing food is very uncomforatble and lately I prefer to celebrate the holidays in full but still put a balanced dinner on the table often it’s just as simple as adding extra healthy sides.

 

Easy steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving

I found these Healthy Thanksgiving tips at the MayoClinic. I like them because they don’t take away our Thanksgiving they just make it a little healthier.

  • Turkey. No getting around turkey for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, turkey is a lean protein and provides selenium, an antioxidant. It has virtually no saturated fat — unless you purchase a self-basting turkey that has been injected with butter or oil. Avoid these and baste your bird with low-fat, low-salt broth, wine or juice.
  • Mashed potatoes. Save yourself some work, leave the skins on. They provide fiber and potassium. Or mash roasted squash (see below).
  • Stuffing. Switch from white to whole-wheat bread and get the benefit of whole grains. Add flavor with fresh herbs and aromatic veggies such as carrots, onions and celery. Or try wild rice for stuffing — another good source for fiber. It’s delicious when mixed with dried fruit and aromatic veggies.
  • Green beans. Keep the beans but skip the cream of mushroom soup. Or try other nutritious green vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, asparagus or broccoli. Lightly steam them and top with a sprinkling of lemon zest — fantastic!
  • Cranberries. Beautiful and bursting with antioxidants. Try cutting the sugar in traditional recipes by at least half. Or update this garnish by substituting pomegranate seeds — mix them with a bit of sugar, chopped onion and lemon juice.
  • Squash. The natural sweetness will delight you. Cut squash in small cubes or half moon shapes, toss with a small amount of olive oil and fresh herbs, and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Roast until softened and brown around the edges. If you want to save even more calories, substitute carrots. You can roast them the same way.
  • Gravy. But what about the gravy? I hear you. Because gravy contains meat or poultry juices, it does contain vitamins. Try a leaner version. You won’t miss the extra calories.

I know my number one is healthy sides. There are tons at eatingwell.com and here are two of my favorites.

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Sage

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped chestnuts, (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions: 

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well. Then melt butter with oil and broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and sage and cook, stirring often, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1 10-ounce package fresh spinach, torn, or 12 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded smoked cheese, such as Gouda or Cheddar

Directions:

Toast pecans in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Then toss spinach and cucumber in a salad bowl. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add vinegar and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Immediately pour the dressing over the spinach and cucumber. Toss well and sprinkle with cheese and toasted pecans.

Set a beautful harvest table

The table and setting is half the experience when you’re having a nice dinner. I love table in the image I’ve used for this article but I also want to share this video with you. It gives you some ideas on how to get that extra feeling to your holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 Image by ClaraDon

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