Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

I’m on a diet. Can I have one free meal a week where I eat anything I want?

English: Half of a homemade pecan pie in a gla...

Quick Q&A today for a blog follower.

If you mean by that, as MUCH as I want, no, since you’re significantly overweight and just starting out on your food plan, you really have no idea how much to want.

Maybe later you will… by Thanksgiving dinner perhaps.

If you mean by that, just different foods with the same nutritional result, that’s more do-able, as long as your plan allows those foods.

If you mean by that, can I switch around breakfast and dinner or something like that, by all means yes, on most plans that’s totally fine.

Can I thaw my turkey on the kitchen counter?

So your turkey’s hard as a rock, it’s not thawing out in time … can you just put it on the counter?

Well, doing so might warrant a new slogan for your Thanksgiving event:

“We put the hospital in hospitality!

Seriously, meat on the counter is a health code violation for a good reason.  Don’t even go there.

What you can do is a cold water bath, like this.

Otherwise, it’s going to take a day per 4-5 pounds of turkey in the fridge.

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!

The Truth About Brining Turkey

“In Kenji’s Food Lab tests, turkey (or, well, chicken breasts) that’s brined this way can have “a definite case of wet-sponge syndrome. Water comes out of it as you chew, giving you the illusion of juiciness, but the texture is a little too loose, and the flavor a little bland.”

The better alternative is to heavily salt the turkey overnight. The meat will still come out tender and juicy, but with a denser texture and more straight-up turkey flavor. Kenji says he doesn’t ever brine poultry, but the advanced salting could be a safeguard against overcooking.”

via The Food Lab: The Truth About Brining Turkey | Serious Eats.

This goes against the grain of what we’ve advocated here for at least two Thanksgivings, but you may want to skip the salt water soak for your turkey.  We’ve had great success with brining either in a cooler or, more conveniently if it’s not cold enough to leave the cooler in the garage, brining in a brining bag, but we may just try this method this year.

We make a turkey more often than just holidays, because it’s a good, economical protein source we like to eat, so I’m pretty used to the brining process. But as this article and its embedded photos do point out, it leaves a water-filled bird with sort of squishy meat.  You may want to consider this dry-brining method.

Whatever you do — turkey is not hard  to cook, and it’s going to be less expensive this year, comparatively, than many other meats, so make plenty.  Enjoy.