Thanks Giving – Try This, Not That

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family, friends, and food. Getting together to eat a delicious feast and reflect on what we are thankful for is something to be cherished. You also should keep in mind while you unbutton the top of your jeans to fit that second helping of turkey that its holidays that break even the best health regiments. In spirit of the holiday season quickly approaching we thought we might reduce the post turkey coma guilt by giving you some healthier alternatives to your holiday favorites. Check out our favorite holiday recipes that we were able to find.

Skip: Canned Cranberry Sauce
Try: Rustic Cranberry Sauce

1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
3 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon course sea salt

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, until cranberries start to pop open and become saucy.


Skip: Mash Potatoes
Try: Baked Butternut Squash

1 small to medium butternut squash (about 1½ pounds)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut squash in half and seed. Place the halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Scoop out flesh when cool enough to handle. To make ahead: Place the cooled baked squash in an airtight container; refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Skip: Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey
Try: Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in aroasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.


Skip: Bread Based Stuffing
Try: Quinoa Stuffing

3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (or equal amount of uncooked quinoa)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped apple (including peel)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups diced celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Rinse wild rice two to three times — until water runs clear.
In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan, bring wild rice and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, stirring frequently. Do not burn. Cook wild rice for about 30 minutes. (If you're using quinoa, cook it for about 15 minutes.)

In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, mushrooms, apple,
cranberries and celery. Stir and heat through until tender. Add the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Continue to stir and cook slowly until fragrant, about 10 minutes total. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice (or quinoa), fruit-vegetable mixture and chicken broth. Use to stuff turkey. Or bake in a covered dish coated with cooking spray until warmed through (about 20 minutes). Serve garnished with a sprinkle of toasted almonds.



Skip: Pumpkin Pie
Try: Pumpkin Meringue Parfait
2 cups cashews soaked and overnight in water in the fridge
1 can pumpkin puree 15 oz can
1 can full fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight, 13.5 oz can
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coconut oil melted
1/4 cup dates minced
2/3 cup vegan ginger snap cookie crumbs or another vegan cookie of your choice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
3 egg whites
3/4 cups sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pecans toasted

To a powerful blender or food processor, puree the cashews until they reach a grainy paste like consistency.

Carefully remove the cream from the top of the coconut milk can (discarding the water) and puree that into the cashews along with the pumpkin, maple, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt and coconut oil. Puree until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Meanwhile, in a small food processor or the same blender, pulse the dates until they break up into a very fine mince, then add in the cookie crumbs, cinnamon and coconut oil. Process until it reaches a sticky crust like consistency.

Finally, fill a medium to large sauce pot with an inch of water over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat-proof bowl and set over the pot of simmering water. Using a whisk or a hand-mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Continue to beat until the mixture turns white and you start seeing wave like patterns in the meringue and your mixture reaches a minimum of 160 F. At this point you should have a very thick, glossy meringue that when you feel it between your fingers, you feel no sugar granules.

Transfer the bowl to your stand mixer or simply remove from the heat if you’re
using a hand mixer. Add the vanilla and beat on high until stiff peaks form, about another 3-6 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag or a large plastic bag with the corner cut out.

ULTIMATE OPTION: Start by layering in a few spoonfuls of the crust in the
bottom of a serving glass. Using a piping bag, pipe the mousse half way up the
serving dish. Add another layer of the crust and finish with more mousse. Using another piping bag, pipe the meringue onto the mousse and use a blowtorch to toast the meringue.


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