Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Have your pie and eat it too

Thanksgiving Card

A fellow dietitian sent me that card. I found it very amusing.

I hope you are enjoying getting ready for Thanksgiving. I am now that my grocery shopping is over. And I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving full of delicious food.

How does this dietitian approach Thanksgiving? With very little thought to calories, more to strategy. My stomach can only hold so much without feeling sick. So, I prioritize foods I want. And I also keep my portions small. Why? Because I can eat more things that way. Like stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, turkey, Brussels sprouts, jello, homemade rolls, etc.

Do dietitians eat dessert? Heck yes. My annual white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake is on the menu, as are several pies. I plan to eat more than one kind. But, again, I will keep to small pieces. Again, this is more of a stomach space issue than calorie issue.

Holidays are not the time to think about calories. You’ll go nuts and be miserable. But try to focus on not gorging or making yourself sick. Feeling overly stuffed isn’t enjoyable either. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Cranberry Orange Pancakes and Cinnamon Rolls

Thanksgiving is one week away! Holy cow, November seems to have flown by. I have two last ideas for your Thanksgiving weekend. Both are great ways to use up any extra fresh cranberries you may have around and solve breakfast dilemmas. However, I’m not posting full recipes. Sorry. We don’t need to re-invent the wheel with these, though.

Cranberry Orange Pancakes (Serves about 4)

Cranberry Orange Pancakes

Make up your favorite pancake recipe or a box mix. Add 1 cup of fresh cranberries and the zest and juice of one orange before adding the liquid in the recipe. Cook as normal.

Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls (Makes a dozen rolls)

Cranberry Orange Rolls

Make a small batch of your favorite cinnamon roll dough, adding ⅔ of the zest of 1 orange to the dough. Once you roll it out, spread 1 ½ tablespoons melted butter over the dough. Then sprinkle evenly over the dough: ½ cup brown sugar, 1 cup fresh cranberries chopped finely, and the remaining orange zest. After baking, drizzle with an icing made of 1 cup powdered sugar and about 2 tablespoons orange juice.

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Pumpkin Oatmeal

I waxed so philosophical about hating recipes that only use part of a can of pumpkin. Yet, I frequently find myself making them anyway. Oops. But I’m getting more creative in ways to use up the extra pumpkin.

Pumpkin in oatmeal seems like a logical choice. You already put in brown sugar and cinnamon, which go great with pumpkin. Plus you are now putting vegetables in breakfast. That is always a win. Super fast breakfast that is good for you and delicious. Major win this time of year!

Pumpkin Oatmeal (Serves 3-4)

Pumpkin Oatmeal

2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
¾ – 1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups skim milk
2 cups water
cinnamon to taste (I use about ½ teaspoon)
¼-⅓ cup brown sugar

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-7 minutes, per package instructions for your oats. Stir frequently.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 285
Protein: 10 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 56 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 62 mg

Recipe notes: This is a very flexible recipe. Use more or less pumpkin, per your taste. You could use all milk, all water, etc. As for the sugar, I usually add about ¼ cup sugar to my regular oatmeal. I found the pumpkin had a strong taste that needed a little more sugar. You might start with ¼ cup, then add teaspoons in individual bowls for each person’s taste.

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Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

I really enjoy asking people about their families’ holiday traditions. Some are quirky, fun, or downright weird. I think my favorite answer has been from a former professor: “Our family’s tradition was to not have any traditions.” Basically, they didn’t do the same thing every year. They tried different foods, usually with an ethnic theme. I will admit, one of our little family’s favorite Thanksgiving was when we skipped the traditional food and ordered Chinese instead.

However, I am a bit of a sucker for the “normal” traditions. This dish is kind of a cross of new and old ideas. It’s got all the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving – turkey, cranberry, sage, starch – but with some flair. If you are only feeding a small group this Thanksgiving and want to go with something only a little out of the box, this is for you. For the rest of us, it is a delicious dinner any night of the week. Enjoy!

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash (Serves 4)

Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, quartered, seeded
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
12 oz lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dried sage

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Place squash quarters in baking dish.

2. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, brown turkey with onion, celery, and carrots. When meat is cooked thoroughly, deglaze pan with water. Add cranberries, applesauce, and sage. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Evenly distribute turkey mixture over squash quarters. Cover dish with aluminum foil.

4. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover, and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 230
Protein: 18 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 59 mg
Carbohydrates: 27 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 77 mg

Recipe Notes: Not all of the filling will fit in the squash pieces. I usually just kind of spread it over the whole dish and hope for the best. You can easily scoop up the excess when serving.

Source: adapted from a recipe from friends

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Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up

I have several more recipes to post over the next few days that I hope you find worthy of your Thanksgiving weekend. However, here is a quick round-up of recipes for your feast on Thursday.

Meat
Citrus and Sage Roasted Turkey Breast (I’m sure this general idea would work for a whole turkey. You would need a bit more of the oil/herb/citrus mixture and definitely need to cook it longer.
Citrus and Sage Roasted Turkey Breast

Sides
Fall Vegetable Bake
Fall Vegetable Bake

Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted Butternut Squash

Sweet Potato Casserole
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Roasted Green Beans
Roasted Green Beans

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
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Bread
Honey Wheat Rolls
Honey Whole Wheat Rolls

Pretzel Rolls (obviously without the Halloween designs)
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Dessert
Apple Cake
Apple Cake

Apple or Pear Crisp
Apple or Pear Crisp

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints
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Breakfast
Pumpkin French Toast
Pumpkin French Toast

Apple Pancakes
Apple Pancakes

Breakfast Rolls
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Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
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Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Pancakes

Other

Tangy Cranberry Sauce
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Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza
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Fall Vegetable Bake

Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away! November is just flying. I’ve got several more recipes I think should grace your table for the holiday weekend.

This vegetable bake is definitely different from your standard Thanksgiving starch. It definitely wouldn’t replace potatoes on your table, if that is what you are looking for. But it deserves some attention and consideration. A great balance of sweet, tangy, and savory is achieved with all of the different flavors. It even tastes great doused in gravy!

Enjoy!

Fall Vegetable Bake (Serves 6-8)

Fall Vegetable Bake

3 cups cubed peeled turnips (about 1 ¼ pounds)
3 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes (about 1 ¼ pounds)
2 ½ cups cubed peeled Granny Smith apples (about 1 ½ pounds)
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
Juice of 1 orange
zest of 1 orange

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine all the ingredients, tossing to coat all the produce. Spread evenly in baking dish.

3. Bake for 1 ½ hours, stirring after 45 minutes, or until desired tenderness.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 219
Protein: 2 g
Fat: less than 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 56 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 74 mg

Recipe Notes: I actually didn’t LOVE this dish the first time I made it. I liked it better as leftovers, especially if eaten with some gravy. It sounds odd putting gravy on this mix, but it worked. Promise!

Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Low Iodine: shouldn’t need any adjustment, if you are allowed brown sugar. I found mixed answers on this. You could try subbing honey instead.

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Roasted Green Beans

I’m sure I have waxed poetic about my dislike of canned green beans on this site before. Thanksgiving means green bean casserole for most families. No offense to anyone out there who loves it, but just thinking about it makes me kind of sick. The only good part is the crispy onions on top.

My solution: can the cans. Get rid of the canned beans, the cream soup, and the canned fried onions. Start with fresh ingredients. Add some balsamic vinegar and my favorite new seasoning mix, and you have a vegetable side dish to be thankful for. Enjoy!

Roasted Green Beans (Serves 4)

Roasted Green Beans

1 pound green beans, trimmed
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt free garlic and herb seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Toss all ingredients together. Spread in one layer on baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes, until desired tenderness. Toss again before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 78
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 9 mg

Recipe notes: My new favorite seasoning blend is this one from McCormick. I put it on everything lately. But feel free to use whatever seasoning blend you like. Some garlic powder and Italian seasoning would also work well.

Source: adapted from Emeril Lagasse

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