Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

 

 

Preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that’s lower in fat and calories but still thrills the crowd isn’t hard. All it takes is a few ingredient substitutions and some clever fat-busting techniques. Let’s take a look at how to make a delicious, healthier Thanksgiving meal.

The Turkey

If you’re hosting a small gathering, buy a turkey breast rather than the whole bird, as breast meat is lower in calories than dark meat.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

“This is simple and delicious, and certainly not rocket science,”  “No need to really add anything or change anything other than the cooking time — mine was done perfectly at 5-1/2 hours. The meat is tender, juicy, and delicately seasoned.”

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Photo by Lori

 

 

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. With a sharp knife, butterfly breasts open to lay flat. Place each breast between two sheets of waxed paper, and flatten with a mallet. Spread the prepared stuffing to within 1/4 inch of the edge of each breast. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans and dried cranberries, reserving some of the cranberries for garnish. Roll up tightly in a jellyroll style, starting with the long end. Tuck in ends, and tie in sections with string, about 4 sections around the middle and one running the length of the roll to secure the ends.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully brown rolls on all sides.
  4. Place skillet in oven, uncovered. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is at 170 degrees F (78 degrees C) when taken with a meat thermometer. Do not let these get overly dry.
  5. Allow rolls to set for 15 minutes before removing string, and slicing into 1/2 to 3/4 inch circles. Leave one roll whole, and slice the other for presentation. Stuffing will be spiraled into meat. Present on your prettiest platter on a bed of curly lettuce, and garnish by sprinkling with the remaining 1/2 cup pecan halves and the reserved dried cranberries.

“This one is a keeper,” “I make it every thanksgiving instead of the whole turkey — it turns out beautifully every time! Very pretty presentation, too!”

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts
Photo by lutzflcat

 

If you do buy a whole turkey, avoid “self-basting” turkeys, as they often contain added fat. And, it goes without saying, stay away from the deep fryer this year, and roast or smoke the turkey. Stuff the turkey cavity with whole or halved onions, halved lemons or apples, and sprigs of fresh herbs such as sage, marjoram, thyme, and/or rosemary. Rather than rubbing the skin with butter or oil, spray it with an oil spray and season it with salt and pepper.

Guilt-Free Gravy

Gravy is one of the biggest calorie culprits on the table. Use vegetable oil rather than turkey drippings when making the gravy — it’s still fat, but vegetable oil is lower in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free.

If you use turkey drippings to add flavor, use a gravy separator. Pour the gravy into a separator and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Some of the fat in the gravy will rise to the top of the glass where you can skim it off easily. Better yet, make a low-fat broth-based gravy or a vegetarian gravy instead.

Lightning Gravy

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a microwave safe dish heat water and bouillon on high, stirring occasionally until just boiling.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and cold water and mix together; stir into the hot broth and cook on medium for about 1 minute, or until thick, stirring at 30 second intervals.

“This is awesome because it’s low fat, low cal, (for gravy!) and quick,” “I added a black pepper and a small pinch of ground sage.”

Lightning Gravy
Photo by Marianne

 

Slimmed-Down Sides

Instead of loading up your mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream, add some of the starchy water you used to boil the potatoes. The starchy water will give your mashers a low-cal creamy texture and help cut back on fat.

You can also add turkey or chicken broth, evaporated skim milk, or fat-free sour cream to your mashed potatoes. For extra flavor, stir in roasted garlic and herbs. For added nutrition, add pureed cooked cauliflower, parsnips, or turnips — or replace the potatoes entirely with Mashed Parsnips or Mashed Turnips.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine potatoes and chicken broth in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook potatoes on Low for 3 hours. Add cauliflower and continue cooking on Low another 3 hours.
  3. Stir milk, butter, sour cream, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and salt into the potato mixture. Mash with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
  4. Continue cooking until hot, about 10 minutes more.

 

“This was good and a great way of adding extra veggies into a meal,”  I had mine along side some corn and stuffing. It was the perfect accompaniment and easy to make.”

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Photo by bd.weld

Cndied sweet potato casseroles in favor of a low-fat, naturally-sweetened sweet potatoes. Try a cranberry relish or cut down on the amount of sugar in your cranberry sauce by adding fruit juices or apple sauce.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool until potatoes can be handled, about 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, place olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook and stir until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. Set shells aside. Place pulp into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add ricotta, salt, pepper, ginger, and sugar to the blender; blend until smooth.
  5. Return potato mixture to a bowl; stir in shallots, Parmesan cheese, and sage. Spoon mixture back into potato skins. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

“These were absolutely fabulous,” says “We aren’t fond of sweet potato dishes that have a lot of added sugar, so this was really to our taste.”

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

y, where it absorbs fat from the turkey as it bakes. It’s hard to slim down a stuffing recipe, so take a small serving if it’s your Thanksgiving favorite. If you can avoid recipes using too much sausage or bacon; wild rice and grains are more nutritious than bread stuffings.

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook and stir sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling coarsely, for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Empty pan of grease.
  2. Into the same pan melt the butter. Add the leeks or onions, apples, celery and poultry seasoning; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, dried cranberries and cooked sausage. Mix all with the dried bread cubes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Moisten with the chicken stock.
  3. Stuff turkey with about 5 cups for a 14 pound turkey. Add additional chicken stock to moisten stuffing if needed. Remaining stuffing can be baked in a covered buttered casserole at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown top.

 

LivinOurLuvSong. “I left out the sausage and used veggie broth. I baked it in a pan and it was perfect.”

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Photo by alexandra5

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Most of the fat in a pie comes from the crust. Try a crust-free pumpkin pie recipe or a reduced-fat graham cracker crust.

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs with white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.

 

“This is a great recipe,” raves LAURA J JOHNSON. “It makes homemade pumpkin pie much easier and it tastes great.”

Pumpkin Pie Squares
Photo by CC
Remember, We Are In This Together!
-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Uncategorized

Holiday Green Bean Casserole

Elegant-Green-Beans_EXPS_TGCBBZ17_31193_D05_03_3b

ELEGANT GREEN BEANS RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 small onion, chopped

1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained

6 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup all-purpose flour ( I use coconut flour)

1 cup 2% milk ( I use less than ½ c)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Dash salt

1 package (16 ounces) frozen French-style green beans, thawed

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( Philadelphia cream cheese is good)

1 cup crushed French-fried onions

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small skillet, saute water chestnuts, onion and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender; set aside.

In large skillet, melt remaining butter; stir in flour until smooth. Stir in milk, broth, soy sauce, pepper sauce and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in green beans and cheese.

Spoon half of the bean mixture into a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Layer with water chestnut mixture and remaining bean mixture.

Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Top with French-fried onions. Bake 5 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

3/4 cup: 218 calories, 15g fat (8g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 392mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-9355

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Pumpkin Pie

pumpkinpie

Pumpkin Pie

 

This is a great recipe !  It does not contain the evaporated milk, or corn syrup that most have in them.

This is made with Maple Syrup

 

INGREDIENTS

1 can (16 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 eggs

1 unbaked pie shell (9 inches)

Whipped cream, optional

 

DIRECTIONS

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except last two. Pour into the pie shell. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue baking for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate. Garnish with whipped cream if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

1 piece: 308 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 148mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (32g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-9355

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet-Potato-Casserole_EXPS_TGCBBZ_3234_D05_10_1b

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

CASSEROLE:

2-1/4 to 2-1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten ( adding protein is smart when you use sugar)

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute

TOPPING:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and sugar. Spread into a greased 1-1/2-qt. casserole. For topping, combine all ingredients and sprinkle over potatoes. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-9355

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Uncategorized

5 Ways to Survey Thanksgiving with the family

thanksgivingpic

5 Ways to Survive Your Next Family Gathering

In the Uncle Remus story of the tar baby, Brer Rabbit picks a fight with a lifelike doll made out of tar and turpentine. The tar baby is so gluey that when the rabbit punches it, his fists get hopelessly stuck. He tries to kick his way free, trapping his feet, then finishes off with an infuriated head butt that renders him utterly helpless.

I can’t think of a more fitting metaphor for family life in the 21st century. There’s nothing in the world as sticky as a dysfunctional family. You can put half your life’s savings into therapy—good therapy, effective therapy—and, 15 minutes into a holiday reunion, you still become hopelessly enmeshed in the same old crazy dynamics. Your assertiveness training goes out the window the minute your brother begins his traditional temper tantrum. A mere sigh from your grandmother triggers an attack of codependency so severe you end up giving her your house. For many people, family get-togethers require strategies for staying out of such sticky situations. Before you head over the river and through the woods, give some thought to the following suggestions.

Strategy #1: Give Up Hope

Most of us go home for the holidays thinking (along with comedienne Abby Sher), God, grant me the ability to change the things I cannot accept. Even if we don’t consciously realize it, we want our families to cease and desist from all the things that affect us like fingernails on a chalkboard. We don’t ask much—just socially appropriate behavior, dammit, and minimal reparations for the more damaging incidents in our past. Although come to think of it, things would certainly go better if our relatives would listen openly, communicate honestly, and agree with us on all significant issues. And possibly offer money.

The hope that our families will act perfectly—or even reasonably well—sets us up to whack the tar baby, to be incapacitated by the dysfunctions we’ll almost certainly encounter. Before you meet your relatives this season, take a few moments to sit quietly and acknowledge what you wish they were like. Then prepare to accept them even if they behave as they have always done in the past. At best you may be surprised to find that they actually are changing, that some of your wishes have come true. At worst you’ll feel regrettably detached from your kinfolk as you watch them play out their usual psychoses.

Strategy #2: Set Secure Boundaries

Given that your family members will probably go on being their same old selves, you need to decide how much contact with them you really want. Are there certain relatives you simply can’t tolerate? Are there others you can handle in group settings but not one-on-one? How much time and intimacy with your family is enough? How much is too much?

It’s crucial to answer these questions before, not during, a family gathering. Prior to the event, think through various boundary options until you come up with a scenario that makes you feel comfortable. Would you be more enthusiastic about a get-together if you planned to leave after no more than four hours? Or three? Two? One? Would you breathe easier if you rented a car so that you could get away without relying on relatives for transportation? Would it help to have a friend call you on your cell phone halfway through the evening, providing an excuse for a graceful exit?

Strategy #3: Lose Control

You’re in the middle of a holiday feast, enjoying your favorite pie and eggnog, when your mother leans over and whispers, “Honey, have you tried Weight Watchers?” Those six words may wither your very soul, challenging every ounce of self-acceptance you’ve gleaned from myriad self-help books, support groups, and several enlightened friends. You might feel desperate to make Mom recognize all the hard-won truths you’ve learned about the intrinsic value and beauty of your body. You’ll want to argue, to explain, to get right in there and force your mother to approve of your appearance. You are coming perilously close to whacking the tar baby.

Remember this: Any attempt you make to control other people actually puts you under their control. If you decide you can’t be happy until your mother finally understands you, her dysfunction will rule your life. You could spend the next 20 years trying to please her so much that she’d just have to accept you—and she still might not. Or you could hold her at gunpoint and threaten her into saying the words you want to hear, but you’ll never control her real thoughts and feelings. Never.

The only way you can avoid getting stuck in other people’s craziness is to follow codependency author Melody Beattie’s counterintuitive advice: “Unhook from their systems by refusing to try to control them.” Don’t violate your own code of values and ethics, but don’t waste energy trying to make other people violate theirs. If soul-searching has shown you that your mother’s opinions are wrong for you—as are your grandfather’s bigotry, your sister’s new religion, and your cousin’s alcoholism—hold that truth in your heart, whether or not your family members validate it. Feel what you feel, know what you know, and set your relatives free to do the same.

If you’ve been deeply wounded by your family, you can stop trying to control them by accepting full responsibility for your healing. I’m not suggesting you shoulder all the blame, but rather that you acknowledge that you and only you have the ability to respond to injury by seeking cures instead of furthering pain. Whatever the situation, accepting that you can control only your own thoughts and actions will help you mend more quickly and thoroughly.

Strategy #4: Become a Participant Observer

Some social scientists use a technique called participant observation, meaning that they join groups of people in order to watch and report on whatever those people do. Back when I was training to become a sociologist, I loved participant observation. People I might normally have avoided—criminals, fundamentalists, PTA presidents—became absolutely fascinating when I was participant-observing them. Almost any group activity is interesting when you’re planning to describe it later to someone who’s on your wavelength. Here are some approaches to help you become a participant observer of your own family.

Queen for a Day
This little game is based on the old TV show in which four women competed to see who had the most miserable life. The contestant judged most pathetic got, among other things, a washing machine in which to cleanse her tear-stained clothing. My version goes like this: Prior to a family function, arrange to meet with at least two friends—more, if possible—after the holidays. You’ll each tell the stories of your respective family get-togethers, then vote to see whose experience was most horrendous. That person will then be crowned queen, and the others will buy her lunch.

Comedy Club
In this exercise, you look to your family not for love and understanding but for comedy material. Watch closely. The more atrocious your family’s behavior is, the funnier it can be in the retelling. Watch stand-up comics to see the enormous fun they can have describing appalling marriages, ghastly parenting, or poisonous family secrets. When you’re back among friends, telling your own wild stories, you may find that you no longer suffer from your family’s brand of insanity; you’ve actually started to enjoy it.

Dysfunctional Family Bingo
This is one of my favorite games, though it involves considerable preparation. A few weeks before the holidays, gather with friends and provide each person with a bingo card, like the one on page 93, only blank. Each player fills in her bingo squares with dysfunctional phrases or actions that are likely to surface at her particular family party. For example, if you dread the inevitable “So when are you going to get married?” that question goes in one square of your bingo card. If your brother typically shows up crocked to the gills, put “Al is drunk” in another square, and so on.

Take your finished cards to your respective family gatherings. Whenever you observe something that appears on your bingo card, mark off that square. The first person to get bingo must sneak off to the nearest telephone, call the other players, and announce her victory. If no one has a full bingo, the person who has the largest number of filled-out squares wins the game. The winner shall be determined at the postholiday meeting, where she will be granted the ever gratifying free lunch.

Strategy #5: Debrief

Even if you don’t play any participant observation games, it’s crucial to follow up on family events by debriefing with someone you love. If your brother really “gets” you, call him after a family dinner you’ve both survived. If you don’t trust anyone who shares a shred of your DNA, report to a friend or therapist. Generally speaking, you can schedule a debriefing session for a few weeks after the holidays, when everybody’s schedule is back to normal. However, you should exchange phone calls with your debriefing partners within a day or so of the family encounter, just to reconnect with the outside world and head off any annoying little problems, such as ill-considered suicide.

All of these strategies, from relinquishing hope of transformation to mimicking your relatives in riotous conversations with your friends, are designed to help you love your family unconditionally, in whatever way works best for you. They help you greet the tar baby with genuine affection, then walk away clear and happy. And that, in the end, may be the best holiday present you’ll ever give to the people you cherish most.

 

Please share with family and friends

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

 

 

Foods

Pumpkin Pie Dessert Nachos

Pumpkin-Pie-Dessert-Nachos-1

  • Cinnamon Pie Crust Chips Ingredients:
  • 1 cup and 2 tbsp almond flour, where to buy this
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup butter, melted or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ½ tbsp sweetener of choice: coconut sugar (paleo,) or for low carb use 1 ¼ tbsp erythritol, I used this one.
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, for sprinkling on the top of chips
  • 1 ½ tbsp sweetener of choice for sprinkling on the top of chips: coconut sugar, or erythritol for low carb
  • Pumpkin Pie Dip Ingredients:
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened, pumpkin should be the only ingredient)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened full fat canned coconut milk, or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice: coconut sugar (paleo) or for low carb use erythritol, like this one
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice: coconut sugar (paleo), or for low carb use erythritol
  • 2 tbsp butter, or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream or coconut milk
  • ⅛ tsp molasses
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
  • Garnish:
  • 2 tbsp whipped cream or coconut cream, optionally sweetened with a couple drops honey or liquid stevia to taste.
  • ½ tbsp. chopped nuts * optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl combine: 1 cup and two tbsp. almond flour, 1 egg, ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil, 1 ½ tbsp. granular sweetener of choice. Mix thoroughly together to form dough.
  2. Spoon dough onto a large piece of parchment paper and put 2nd piece of parchment on top of dough, *see photo above. Press dough flat between the papers and roll with rolling pin or use hands to press and spread out dough. Making sure not to roll out dough too thin.
  3. Once dough is spread out, pull top parchment paper off, and place bottom paper with dough onto baking sheet. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut pie crust into shapes (square, or triangle shapes work well), see photo*.
  4. In a small bowl combine: 1 ½ tbsp granular sweetener of choice, and ½ tsp cinnamon. Mix together thoroughly. Sprinkle cinnamon and sweetener mixture over the top of the pie crust chips. Bake for 12 minutes or until chips start browning at edges. Remove from oven and cool.
  5. In a medium bowl combine all the pumpkin pie dip ingredients. Mix together or whisk together thoroughly. Set aside.
  6. In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine all the caramel sauce ingredients except for the vanilla extract (it is added later). Melt and combine ingredients in sauce pan. Once all is combined and melted, bring to a boil on medium for 2 minutes and the then remove from heat. Let sauce cool for a couple minutes and then add the vanilla extract and mix it in. Let sauce cool and thicken for a few minutes.
  7. Place pumpkin dip in a serving bowl on a large platter. Drizzle pumpkin dip with caramel sauce. Top with whipped cream or coconut cream. Place cinnamon pie crust chips on the platter surrounding the dip. Serve and enjoy dipping.

Notes

Nutritional Data for Low Carb Version (using Swerve erythritol as sweetener of choice): Servings: 5, Serving size: 1 out of 5 portions (exact number amount depends on how large you cut the chips), Cal: 354, Carbs: 9 g / Net Carbs: 5.2 g, Fiber: 3.8 g, Fat: 30 g, Protein: 8 g, Sodium: 189 mg, Sugar: 2 g Nutritional Data for Paleo version (using coconut sugar as sweetener of choice): Servings: 5, Cal: 376, Carbs: 16 g / Net Carbs: 12.2 g, Fiber: 3.8 g, Fat: 30 g, Protein: 8 g, sodium: 190 mg, Sugar: 9 g *all nutritional data are estimates based on the products I used*