Thursday, November 19, 2009

Think Thin Thanksgiving Recipes

It's almost time for one of the biggest feasts of the year.   Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a gut-buster, though.  Here are my favorite recipes trimmed down:
Turkey - try smoking or grilling it.  Allrecipes has instructions on sure-fire ways to grill or smoke your turkey.
Gravy - use a gravy separator to pour off fat.  This alone will cut down significantly on calories.

  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool.
  2. Place olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Skin potatoes and lightly mash. Place half of the sweet potatoes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add onion, spices, ricotta, and sugar to the blender; blend until smooth.
  4. Return potato mixture to a bowl; stir with the lightly mashed sweet potatoes and add sage, mashing more if needed, 
  5. Place in a casserole dish lightly sprayed with cooking oil.  Top with parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.
    Green Bean Casserole
    Onion Topping:
    1 c. fresh breadcrumbs
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 large onions, thinly sliced
    Sauce and Green Beans:
    4 c. skim milk
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 onion finely chopped
    3 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
    2 cloves garlic, pressed
    1/4 c. all purpose flour
    1/2 c fat free sour cream
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp frehly ground pepper
    pinch grated nutmeg
    2 9-oz packages frozen French-style green beans

    1. Place breadcrumbs in a large nonstick skillet over med. heat.  Stir occasionally until toasted. Set aside.
    2. Heat oil in skillet, add sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden.  Set aside.
    3. To make sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until golden.  Add mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender.  Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly.  Bring to a boil, stirring.  Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in sour cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
    4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread green beans into a casserole dish and pour the sauce over the top.  Toss together onions and breadcrumbs in a small bowl and spread over sauce. 
    5. Bake until bubbling, 15 to 25 min.
    *Recipe courtesy of Check Your Health website.
    Cranberry Relish

      1/2 c sugar
      3/4 c water
      1/2 lemon, juiced 
      1 orange, zest and juice 
      1 bag cranberries 
      1/4 t ground cinnamon
      pinch ground cloves 
    Remove the zest from the orange using a zester.  Bring the zest, sugar, and water to a simmer and cook for 5 min.  Add cranberries and continue to cook until the cranberries start to pop, about 2 min.  Transfer half* of the mixture to a food processor.  Add the oranges and spices to the mixture.  Cover and refrigerate.  Let mixture sit for 12 hours.
    *For a smoother relish, process all of the cranberry mixture instead of just half.
    Pumpkin Pie - Use your standard pumpkin pie recipe and substitute low fat sweetened condensed milk for regular.  If your recipe calls for eggs, use two egg whites to replace one whole egg.  Don't eat the crust.  This will cut the fat in more-than-half.  Most of your fat and calories are in the crust.  

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