Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes: Same Joy, Less Guilty

Author-Karin Adoni
Author-Karin Adoni

Karin here, with a word on how to eat well during the holidays. It is no secret that Thanksgiving is a holiday of overindulgence. From the turkey,  to the glutinous sides, to the pumpkin filled desserts, and the flowing glasses of wine, it’s hard to get  a grip over yourself. Well, I am going to share with you some tips, tricks, and recipes to help you indulge the way you should on Thanksgiving, but not completely fall off the deep end.

  1. ALWAYS have a plate of salad before going in for the turkey and the sides. There is a reason that the salad plate covers the entree plate, it is meant to be used first. Raw vegetables, because of their high fiber content, take longer to digest and help us in feeling full. Having the salad before the rest of your meal, instead of with it, will help you from overeating some of the heavier stuff.
  2. Second rule, and this may sound obvious, but make smart choices. DO NOT go and load your plate with every fattening thing in sight. Scope out the selection see what it is you’re dying to have the most and put only those items on your plate, in small portions. Along with those couple of things you’re excited about have healthier options like veggies, turkey, and salad.
  3. Do not come hungry. A lot of people like to wake up late on the day of Thanksgiving and keep away from food until the time of their decadent meal. Not a good idea. You should wake up, have breakfast, workout, and treat the day as you would any other. If you start the day off by making health conscious decisions you will be more inclined to keep that mentality going throughout the day. Likely, you will still have a piece of pie, or a bite of mashed potatoes, but you won’t act like a starving animal trying to catch his prey.
  4. Make sure there are healthful options available. You can always ask your host, or simply offer to bring something. If you can’t think of any healthy Thanksgiving dishes then try one from our list below..

 

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Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 8 portobello mushrooms
  • For the spinach onion filling:
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • several handfuls of fresh spinach
  • generous grating of nutmeg
  • avocado oil
  • salt and pepper

For the Cashew Sauce:

  • 1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
  • 1.5 cups water
  • Basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

2. Peel the mushrooms and remove stalks. Rub each with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

3. Finely chop the onion . Heat a little oil in a pan and gently fry the onion until soft,and add the spinach

4. Grate the nutmeg over the spinach and salt and pepper.

5. Add the cashew cream gently heat through, season and set aside.

6. Fill each mushroom with the creamy spinach filling . Bake for 25-30 mins depending on your oven.

7. For the cashew “cream” sauce: Place the cashew,water , salt and basil to a blender or food processor and add the salt. Blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until completely smooth and slightly thickened.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 5 lbs)
  • 1 green apple, sliced and cored
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil / avocado oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, oil, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp cumin. Mix together, coating the squash well. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Next, in the same bowl that the butternut squash was in, toss the apple slices, onion, and carrots to coat with the remnants. Place on a second rimmed baking sheet and add both baking sheets to the oven. Roast for 35-40 minutes until soft, stirring once.

3. Heat up remaining oil over medium heat in a large pot on the stove. Add the roasted ingredients and then the chicken broth. Add 1 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

4. Using a blender, combine the ingredients until smooth, serve warm

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Pumpkin Muffins Recipes

Ingredients:

● 1 cup Almond Flour

● 1/4 cup Tapioca Flour

● 2 1/2 Tbl Coconut Flour

● 1 tsp Baking Powder

● 1 tsp Baking Soda

● 1/4 tsp Real Salt

● 1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

● 1 cup Pumpkin Puree

● 3 Eggs

● 1 tsp Vanilla

● 4 Tbl Honey / maple syrup

● Handful of crushed walnuts

sprinkled with cinnamon

For the topping:

● 1 Tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar

● 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 wells of a muffin tin (preferably non-stick).

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, Coconut Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, and honey until smooth.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk in until mixture is smooth.

5. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before baking so that the coconut flour can fully absorb the liquid.

6. Place the crushed walnuts in the bottom of the muffins tins ( about 1 tbsp )

7. Divide the batter between the 12 greased muffin tins, using a scoop to distribute the batter so that the tops are rounded.

8. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut palm sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

9. Sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the muffins.

10. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 18-21 minutes. Muffins are done when they are firm to the touch on top.

11. Let sit for one minute on the counter and then run a knife around the edges of each muffin to loosen. They should loosen quite easily if you used a non-stick pan and greased it well.

12. Let cool completely and enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Un-fried Fries

Ingredients:

● 2 large garnet yams

● 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

● Kosher salt

● Freshly ground pepper

● Smoked paprika (or your favorite seasoning – cinnamon works well, too!)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel yams and cut them into strips. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Drizzle coconut oil, salt, pepper and seasoning on top. Mix the strips around in the coconut oil and seasonings. Bake for thirty minutes flipping the fries half way through.