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Old 10-17-2012, 07:52 PM   #1
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Healthy Ideas for Thanksgiving

Any good ideas to go along with Thanksgiving dinner?

I plan on deep-frying my turkey (which a lot of people don't know only has a few more calories than roasting) and I was thinking of trying to have some healthy alternatives (not everything, have to have my pumpkin pie and other sweets!)

But what do you all think?


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Old 10-17-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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Unless it is a health concern like diabetes, I don't mess with or try to make that one special meal "healthy" in any way. It's a time to celebrate and eat comfort food!

If a guest is dieting and they can't get off the diet for one meal, they can bring their own food! Hope that doesn't sound too harsh.

This is from someone who has lost a serious amount of weight and is very conscious of his daily food intake.

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #3
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Steam the vegetables.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #4
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Have some healthier side dishes along with the decadent ones!
Here are some of my favorite healthy and delicious vegetable side dishes and salads. Will post the link(s) if available or PM the ones you're interested in, if any.

Carrot Confit
Parmesan Green Beans
Roasted Asparagus with Crisp Shallots
Citrus Green Bean Salad
Carrot Rapee
Carrot, Orange, and Radish Salad
"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces."
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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OK, maybe I'll actually contribute to this thread....

Go for things that are naturally healthy, and not try to adapt things that people love.

Roasted carrots-Toss chunks of carrot in olive oil, kosher salt and fresh pepper

Heck most vegetables are better roasted!

For dessert you could lighten up pumpkin pie, by just putting the filling in ramekins and baking that, the crust is where a lot of calories are. Maybe you could even bake some pie crust cut out as leaves or pumpkins and place one on each custard for looks and a little bit of crust.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:31 AM   #6
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Only eat 1/2 of the turkey sandwich during 1/2 time, saving the other 1/2 for the end of the game. This spreads the caloric load over a longer period making it a much healthier way to eat. Its Thanksgiving, are you crazy!
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:22 PM   #7
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Do eat breakfast on T'sgiving so Dinner isn't your only meal of the day.

It's ok to splurge and enjoy a holiday guilt free. However,,,

Don't eat any buttered rolls, even if they are home-made. There will be more for the growing teenagers with the hollow legs that need filling up.

Drink water instead of calorie soft drinks with your meal.

Don't go back for 2nd servings. Take only what your plate will hold and don't heap or put things on top of each other.

We have a large family. Everyone brings something. There are usually several salads. It's ok to go back and have salad after the main course, this isn't a 2nd helping. And it keeps the salads separate from the hot stuff.

As an outlaw, I am usually requested to bring a vegetable. I alternate between green beans, broccoli or asparagus. Always cooked similar. Steam, a dollop of butter, maybe some herbs, and a squirt lemon juice. I guess that's pretty healthy, tho I never looked at it this way.

We have dessert after the dishes are done and everything is put away. Several hours later. I only have a small piece of pie, and skip the ice cream on T'sgiving day for another day.

The kids, those who are old enough, take their out of town cousins and meet their friends at a local pub in the evening. Don't know how they have room to keep partying. More power to them.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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Baked sweet potatoes with a touch of honey are much healthier than sweet potato casserole, topped with marshmallows, and taste better too. Mahed rutabaggas with salt and pepper are yummy, and healthy. Salads such as grated carrot with pineapple chunks are healthy and deliscious. There just isn't much you can do to a potato to make it healthy, so just eat reasonable portions.

Fro a healthy dressing/stuffing, make a brown & wild rice stuffing with giblets, livers, (giblets and livers are optional), celery, onion, sage, and turkey stock. Season with S&P, and garlic to go along with the sage.

Roast the turkey at 425 degrees F. until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees with its tip inserted through the breast, next to the thigh joint. Cooking hot will give you a crispier skin, and melt off more of the turkey fat. There is no need to baste, or fuss with the bird once it's in the oven. Let it rest, after removing from the oven, for 15 minutes. Then remove the breasts, and slice against the grain into thin slices. It's more tender that way, and everyone gets a bit of the crispy skin. Carve the dark meat from the bird in large chunks, so as to be able to slice them.

People won't be as apt to over-eat the turkey meat when it's portioned into thin slices. And remind all guests that they need to take a reasonable amount of food, so that everyone gets a some. There always seems to be someone that wants to hog a particular dish, be it the cranberry sauce, or the turkey, or the dressing, or whatever. Sometimes, they need a gentle reminder to share.

Freshly steamed green beans, dressed with a little olive oil, and dill weed, are better tasting, and healthier than your Aunt Lilly's green bean casserole with canned mushroom soup added.

Carrots are wonderful, steamed, and served with a bit of honey butter.

You don't have to do without to have a healthy, and delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Simply think about what you're making. If you are unsure of heathly foods, as described, try making them between now, and crunch time. That way, you can decide what will meet your standards, and allow you to be the culinary hero.

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Old 10-18-2012, 06:14 PM   #9
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TGiving is our healthy eating family's excuse to overeat and eat "bad" things.

I do serve stir fried Asian green beans and roasted Brussels sprouts but I also make literally a gallon of gravy (the meager leftovers of which are distributed via seniority) and buttery mashed potatoes. Two kinds of stuffing and canned sweet potatoes with a bag of mini-marshmallows on top <--- I do not make that or eat it, rather I make maple/Dijon roasted sweet potatoes which only I eat.

I guess my point is that we don't see the need to make TGiving overtly healthy. We enjoy indulging in the opposite.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #10
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I only eat the white meat & don't like the skin, so I buy a turkey breast for me :) Re gravy - I can take it or leave it.

If you really want to lighten the meal/dishes up, use low-fat low-sodium chicken broth in place of butter - where you can. That's all I got.

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healthy, thanksgiving

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