The time of year is upon us where folks begin stocking up on pantry items and ingredients in preparation for Thanksgiving; the meal where everyone is expected to take cat naps after dinner and then gather around the table for a second round with turkey sandwiches and all the fixins’. Why not make this holiday centered around family and friends versus what’s on the dinner table? Make no mistake, I am by no means suggesting that we throw traditions out the window, but in the best interests of our health and well-being, let’s lighten up that spread a little, shall we?
Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie: just a few of the foods that come to mind when the word “Thanksgiving” is uttered. Remembering to give thanks for being surrounded by our loved ones and savoring the foods, as well as precious moments together, is at the top of my list. About a month ago, I lost my grandmother to lung cancer and I will be thinking of her especially on Nov. 25th wishing she could join us. As a tribute to my grandmother, I have come up with some healthier alternatives to her classic Thanksgiving favorites and I hope you and your family enjoy!
Instead of mashing sweet potatoes and loading them up with butter, sugar and marshmallows, try this! Slice your sweet potatoes into thin rounds (skin on so we can benefit from the fiber, vitamins and minerals in the skin), toss in olive oil with rings of sweet onions, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, sprinkle with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and roast at 400 degrees F until fork tender.
People seem to take a special liking to mashed potatoes when made with cream and butter, but our arteries sure don’t. Take your potatoes and rub the outside with olive oil so the skin gets crispy, bake at 450 degrees F for about an hour; scoop out potatoes and put hollowed out potato skins aside; add potatoes to a mixing bowl with 1% milk and Brummel & Brown Spread until you achieve a creamy consistency; add cooked broccoli florets, (or any veggies to your liking, i.e. spinach, scallions), and mix thoroughly; add potato mixture back into potato shells, top with low-fat shredded cheese and bake until cheese is melted.
Hungy Girl features a terrific substitute for pumpkin pie with all the great taste you love, without the guilt:
Wayne’s Pumpkin Smash
One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
One 12-oz. can evaporated fat-free milk
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly.
Place mixture in a baking dish (8″ X 8″ works well) sprayed lightly with nonstick spray, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. (It will remain a little soft, like pie filling.)
Once ready to serve (it’s delicious eaten hot or cold), cut into 9 pieces.
Serve and enjoy!
MAKES 9 SERVINGS