I love Thanksgiving! It’s a holiday the kids get to enjoy off from school, we get a break from working and running around, and can enjoy a day of family, friends, rest and good food!
Traditionally on Thanksgiving , my mom has spent literally all day, and the night before, in the kitchen, preparing for a meal that last maybe 30-40 minutes. While it’s fun to hang in the kitchen with a glass of wine, preparing family favorites, I choose to make one or two family staples and also prepare some quick and healthy sides so I can also relax by the fire with that glass of wine! I love to cook, but I also try to remember that others really enjoy helping out too. Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring a side to share or a pie for dessert!
Check out some of the recipes below that you may want to include in your dinner this year. Whether you are hosting or bringing sides to share, the recipes below are sure to please a crowd! I have not tried the turkey in a crock pot but the recipe makes sense to me. What a great option not only on Thanksgiving, but to use as lunch meat without all the preservatives!
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe (Snack Girl.com)
1 7.5 pound bone-in turkey breast or smaller
salt and pepper
Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry. Salt and pepper the breast liberally. Place in 6 quart oval slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour, then set to low and cook for 6-7 hours.
Check with a meat thermometer for when the breast meat reaches 170 F or just let it go for the entire time.
There will be about 2 cups of liquid left in the slow cooker after the turkey finishes cooking. Defat and use for gravy or stock for soup.
Slice the turkey using serrated knife, moving back and forth fairly quickly to ensure a nice slice. At this point you can slice the entire turkey and package the meat in freezer bags for future lunches.
Four ounces (without skin) is 118 calories, 1.8 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 4.7 g carbohydrates, 4.0 g sugar, 20.0 g protein, 0.6 g fiber, 55 mg sodium, 3 Points
Quick, tasty and healthy sides!
Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes VS high calorie Sweet Potato Casserole
From EatingWell: November/December 2007
Roasting sweet potatoes is even easier than boiling and mashing them. Maple syrup glaze transforms this ultra-simple dish into something sublime.
12 servings, about 1/2 cup each | Active Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.
- Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.
Per serving : 96 Calories; 2 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 0 g Mono; 5 mg Cholesterol; 19 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 118 mg Sodium; 189 mg Potassium
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Just before serving, reheat at 350°F until hot, about 15 minutes
Lean Green Bean Casserole VS Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole
From EatingWell: November/December 2011
Typical green bean casseroles bathe ingredients in a heavy cream sauce and top them with buttered breadcrumbs or cheese. Our healthier version saves about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional recipe.
8 servings, about 1 cup each | Active Time: 50 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 1/2 cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tips) or 1/2 cup shredded or crumbled cheese
- Position racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
- Toss green beans in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil until well coated. Divide between 2 baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring once and rotating the pans top to bottom about halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add milk and continue to stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook, stirring, until the sauce bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. (See Tips.)
- When the green beans are done, remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler.
- Transfer half the green beans to a 2-quart, broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the green beans. Add the remaining green beans and top with the remaining sauce.
- Combine breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl (skip this step if you are topping with cheese).
- Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture (or cheese) over the gratin. Place under the broiler and broil, watching closely, until the gratin is bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving : 170 Calories; 7 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 4 mg Cholesterol; 23 g Carbohydrates; 7 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 303 mg Sodium; 367 mg Potassium
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Roast green beans (Step 2) up to 30 minutes ahead. Prepare the sauce (Step 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; gently reheat until steaming before combining with the green beans.
- Tips: To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs.
- To add extra flavor to the cream sauce, at the end of Step 3 stir in 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage or parsley. Or make it cheesy by stirring in 1/2 cup shredded or crumbled cheese, such as Gruyère, Swiss, Cheddar or blue cheese.
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower vs Mashed Potatoes