Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

Well I didn't get to this yesterday because once again I had a paint brush in my hand but this morning I am determined to get it finished before my busy workout, grocery shopping, cleaning, Thanksgiving prep, more painting day begins.

Last year for Thanksgiving we traveled up north to my in-laws for Thanksgiving where I subjected them to my healthy diet. You heard me right. No green bean casserole, no Stove-Top stuffing, no Rhodes white dinner rolls, no party potatoes! While in theory I am not opposed to indulging in these things for one day a year, in reality I don't even like those things much anymore so it would be a waste to make them. My body doesn't care too much for it either so instead of just feeling the normal full we all do on this day, I'd feel extra worse! Not my idea of a great day!

So again this year I have plans for a cleaned up Thanksgiving meal that is not stripped of too much tradition.
We will start with this because I obviously won't have pictures of everything yet. I made this home made stuffing last year using whole wheat bread that was totally divine! It is called Chestnut, Cranberry, and Pear Stuffing. It will be on our table Thursday for sure!

Last year I made these green beans with almonds and thyme. Nobody missed the green bean casserole. Year after year I would make that and year after year I'd have the almost the whole dish leftover. Not so with these green beans. This year I am making Lemony Green Beans. The recipe is here if you would like to check it out.

Picture from Kalyn's Kitchen.com

I will also be making this fresh cranberry salsa from her site. Picture stolen again. It has lime, cilantro, and jalapeno in it. No canned nonsense for me! Miles, however, needs a little convincing. For some strange reason he likes that nasty gelatinous stuff! Here is a link to the recipe.

Last year I roasted some sweet potato slices with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Sweet potatoes are sweet enough. They don't need all the extra sugar and calories when you add brown sugar and marshmallows. I prefer them savory. So this year I will do something fairly similar but I think I will dice them up or use frozen and save some time.

I will also be making some High Protein Garlic Mashed Potatoes from Oh She Glows.

I love this blog. She is a vegan and although I am not I am in love with all her recipes! This is an excellent way to make these healthier but still something everyone will love. I could be happy with just the sweet potatoes but I know other family members will really love these potatoes so I am giving them a shot!

Pictures from Oh She Glows.com
I am also making Angela's Holiday Salad with Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette. Doesn't that look so pretty? I am super excited to try this. Plus having a colorful healthy salad on the table makes me happy. It will feel me up and there will be no guilt. Check out Oh She Glows for sure. I bet you will find something you love too.

Of course we will be having the traditional turkey! We bought a big one, 23 pounds, so I would have lots of leftovers to be creative with. I am thinking that the cranberry salsa on some kind of wrap or sandwich with some turkey will be great!

I am also making whole wheat dinner rolls. Last year I made my oatmeal quick bread which would be awesome too but I like change and other people like fluffy rolls! There will be some fresh fruit on the table as well since the kids will love that! My mom used to make a fruit salad mixed all together with whip cream for Thanksgiving. My kids have no idea what that even is! Aren't they poor little deprived souls?? Ha!
I am also contemplating making this spaghetti squash and Chard Gratin from Kalyn's Kitchen. I am knowing that the food I have planned is plenty and this would be a little bit over kill but it sounded so interesting and yummy to me. I might have it prepared and cook it later with some leftovers when my food has digested enough that I feel like I could eat again, which might be the next day!

I think I need to get some photography lights. Everyone elses pictures look so nice!

Of course we will be having dessert too on this day. Since we are eating such a healthy meal we will splurge a little on dessert. It is normally a very unhealthy treat called Pumpkin Yummy. I will clean it up just a touch by using sucanat and Splenda brown sugar in place of the cup of brown sugar it calls for and using melted Earth Balance or Brummel and Brown instead of the butter. I could also buy a sugar free cake mix that goes over the top but like I said this is a time to splurge a little.
I will probably make a traditional pumpkin pie as well since it is Evan's favorite and pumpkin pie really isn't that bad for you if you tweak the crust a little. But this recipe for low sugar pumpkin cheesecake looks pretty darn good too.....

Again courtesy of Kalyn's Kitchen.com
Evan's two favorite desserts, pumpkin pie and cheesecake,combined in one could be a home run. Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake

Since Miles and I will be beginning our morning wearing our running shoes I will have a few appetizers available as well since our dinner will get pushed back in time a little. We signed up for the Turkey Leg 5K to start our day off right. Just think we will have already burned off our dessert before we even eat it!

Our appetizers might include some deviled eggs, black olives (strange family tradition), and celery with laughing cow cheese or Sun butter might be hanging around along with some fruit for snacking before we loosen our belts for the big event!

Now I must go tackle the grocery store or stores I should say. That will be a work out in itself. I am bringing a snack along with me since it will probably waste 2 or more hours of my life and run into lunch. Wish me luck!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Jenny said...

how did u make ur stuffing?

Joseph Carr said...

That sure was a healthy and satisfying thanksgiving. Those green beans look so sumptuous! Who says thanksgiving can't be gluten-free?