Here's to a Healthier & Happier Thanksgiving
I LOVE THANKSGIVING! It is such a special time with family and friends. Thanksgiving used to be a MASS Family Holiday, it was always at our house growing up, so I think it will hold a special place in my heart forever.
Our Mom used to really go to town on Thanksgiving… even whipping up orange flavored butter & banana breads for days, and making dip for the crudité from scratch! It didn’t end there, but I won’t recite the whole menu; I will just say I miss it dearly and let's discuss a few ways to turn your turkey day into a more health conscious holiday.
I find that on Thanksgiving people don’t eat that much turkey. Perhaps it's just in our family, but side-dishes reign and I don’t think it’s such a bad idea!
If people enjoy the turkey, then that's amazing - great lean protein source.
However, if you find that people are kind of ignoring the turkey; take the time to add an extra protein main dish.
1. Here's an example...
I know it doesn’t scream thanksgiving, but why not add salmon? You aren’t ditching the traditional turkey and you're offering another healthy protein option.
2. Where’s the salad?
No really! Where is the salad? You can make a simple, basic and fresh veggie salad, or you can make it feel more like Thanksgiving by adding a little roasted butternut squash, raspberries, pumpkin seeds, and/or goat cheese. So, don't forget to add that salad!
3. Who loves roasted veggies?
My Mom, sister, and I started adding roasted or seared parsnips to the Thanksgiving menu in the later years. No one will remember them because we ate them ALL without fail before they hit the table. HOWEVER, I vote for an extra veggie side and why not try some roasted parsnips and carrots? Or roasted brussels with a balsamic reduction? Maybe your family loves roasted cauliflower? Try it out and double up on the veggies.
4. Can we re-evaluate the string bean casserole situation?
If no one is eating them, perhaps ditch and replace them with another family fave veggie or keep the green beans and make them differently! Green beans are seriously delicious when they are sautéed with just a little olive oil, lots of garlic and bit of lemon juice. You can also add other veggies to the mix; like multi-color tomatoes and top with a bit of grated parmesan.
5. Add protein to the side dishes!
Sweet Potato Toast topped with Greek yogurt, almond butter & cinnamon (This can be an appetizer, side or dessert)
Baked Tofu with dried cranberries and chopped pecans
Cauliflower Mash with herbed goats cheese and walnuts (can you feel my goat cheese obsession?? Feel free to swap for another cheese!)
6. Try adding chocolate covered fruit to the dessert options
As well as fresh berries!
7. You can also make a sweet protein packed fruit dip
I have been suggesting this a lot for parties and holidays and it has become a big hit! Start with Greek yogurt or Ricotta cheese (add vanilla extract, cinnamon, pumpkin spice), small amount of sweetener of choice - use this as a dipping vehicle for fresh apple slices or put next to your fresh berries.
Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!