Plan your healthier Thanksgiving dinner

Tender, juicy roast turkey - the main attracti...

What’s on tap this week?  Are you more than a little wary of the massive, carb-tastic, spec-fat-u-lar, prodigious consumption that typically goes along with Thanksgiving?

You don’t have to.  Here’s some things you can work into your family’s Thanksgiving feast especially for you to eat.  They’ll be enjoyed by more than just you, likely, and you’ll know going into the meal that you’re going to be fine.

Much of the following is distinctly Southern American.  I can’t turn it off, there is no controlling it, it just comes out anyway so roll with it.  You can use the below as ideas to base your own meal on, whatever your food culture. Use the ingredients of your food culture’s high points, in creative ways that are meaningful to you.

Turkey.  That’s an inexpensive, high-protein, low-calorie treat right there.  You don’t need to confine yourself to only the white meat, either.  The dark is only slightly more caloric.   Be sure to make enough for several additional meals.

Baked sweet potatoes.  Nothing could be finer.  Leave out the mass quantities of brown sugar and the marshmallow goo.  They taste terrific.

Cranberry sauce.  Start with a container of actual fresh cranberries.  Cook them down.  Add Splenda instead of sugar, to taste (it will take a half cup or more).  Add a little sugar free raspberry jam.   It’s likely nobody will ever know there’s no sugar in there.

Green beans.  In one of my Southern indulgences I use Better than Bouillon Ham Base and cook the beans a little on the long side.  There’s other ham base products you can use instead.  It eliminates having to add the hunk of culturally required pork.

Grilled asparagus.  A little olive oil and coarse salt and a few minutes on the grill do wonderful things for asparagus.

Actually the above is pretty much our meal plan for Thanksgiving day, without much need for anything additional…. there is theoretically some cushaw tucked into the garage from the summer’s heat-affected garden, Brussels sprouts, and turnip greens left in the garden under cover, and since we have a gluten intolerant family member we’ll be rounding that out with corn pone (like griddled corn bread cakes but without the need for flour; no I don’t cook them in bacon grease, what do you think this is, the 1960’s 🙂  ) and light pumpkin pie in a gluten free crust which nobody will ever notice.

Eating healthy is all about eating well and enjoying the preparation, pretentation, and especially the eating and the warm fellowship of those dear to you.  Enjoy it!

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