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Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Posted Nov 18 2012 11:45pm
Good Evening and Happy Sunday!

The countdown to Gobble Gobble Day has begun and I am getting excited to get into the kitchen and have some fun.  I have yet to narrow down my Thanksgiving Menu but here are some of my favorite Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving recipes.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
If cooking “the bird” stresses you out opt to do a turkey breast or buy a pre-cooked bird from a third party source.  This will alleviate any stress about whether you are going to poison you guests with raw turkey or vice versus that you overcooked the bird and it is “dry.”  This recipe is easy to make and is ready in a little over an hour!  More time for socializing and fun! Ingredients Serves 4-6 •   1 (6 pound) bone-in turkey breast, halved, skin removed •   2 tablespoons olive oil •   4 garlic cloves, crushed •   2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried •   2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried •   2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried •   1 teaspoon salt •   1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry. In a small bowl combine the oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and rub the mixture into the turkey breast. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast until the juices run clear when pierced with fork and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of turkey registers 170 degrees F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before carving. Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Ingredients ·      2 12-ounce bags cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed) ·      ¾ cup pure maple syrup (Grade B) ·      2/3 cup water ·      2 teaspoons orange zest ·      2/3 cup orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed     Directions
Combine cranberries, maple syrup, water, orange zest and juice in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Ingredients ·      3  pounds  sweet potatoes ·      1 tablespoon  olive oil ·      1 onion , finely chopped ·      1 celery stalk, chopped ·      1 apple , core removed and diced ·      salt and black pepper Directions 1        Heat oven to 400° F. 2      Prick the potatoes with a fork, place on a baking sheet, and roast until tender, 40 to 45 minutes. 3       Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10 to 12 minutes. 4      Halve the potatoes, scoop out the flesh, and add to the saucepan. Add 6 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook until heated through, 8 to 10 minutes. 5      Puree the soup in the saucepan using a handheld immersion blender (or, working in batches, a standard blender). Add water, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency.

Autumn Harvest Salad

This is a gorgeous salad loaded with seasonal goodies.  It is a real crowd pleaser. 
Serves 4-6 •       8 cups mixed greens •       1 cup roasted butternut squash, diced •       1-2 cups finely sliced red cabbage •       2-3 green onions, sliced (optional) •       1 firm pear or apple, diced •       ½ cup Zante Currants •       ½ cup raw hazelnuts or walnuts, lightly roasted •       ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
Dressing: •       4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil •       3 tbsp  champagne vinegar •       1 tbsp maple syrup •       2 tsp Dijon mustard •       1 tsp sea salt
Roasted Butternut Squash •    2 cups butternut squash, cubed (to save time, buy the pre-cut cubed squash) •    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil •    Salt and ground black pepper to taste Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss butternut squash with oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Place into a large bowl with the chopped cabbage, diced pear, currants, squash, walnut and pumpkin seeds.  Toss lightly. Prepare the dressing by placing ingredients into a jar with tight fitting lid, shake well.  To serve pour dressing over salad, gently toss and serve immediately.

Healthy Mashed Cauliflower
A lighter alternative to mashed potatoes. These have the same creamy consistency of mashed potatoes without all the calories.    Yum!
•   1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 6 to 7 cups) •   1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain well and transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Add oil and reserved water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and puree until smooth. (Or, mash cauliflower with a potato masher). Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Healthy Thanksgiving Stuffing
It is not Thanksgiving without stuffing ! I have included a basic stuffing recipe using multi-grain bread.  Feel free to jazz it up by adding pecans, apples and cranberries.

•       1 large onion, chopped •       3 celery stalks, chopped •       1 tbsp. of olive oil •       1/2 tsp. of salt •       1/2 tsp. of pepper •       2 cloves fresh garlic, minced •       4 pieces sage, chopped •       6 pieces of thyme, chopped (you can use up to 8) •       1/2 pound(s) of pound turkey sausage (or vegan sausage) •       splash of good white wine •       1 tsp. of butter or Earth’s Balance •       1 pound(s) of assorted fresh mushroom, sliced •       1/2 cup(s) of dried morels •       1/2 loaf regular size 9-grain or multi-grain bread, toasted and chopped •       1 egg, beaten (omit for vegan version and add more liquid, wine, water or stock)
Directions 1.      Sauté chopped onion and stalks of celery in oil in a nonstick pan. Add salt, pepper, and minced garlic. 2.     Add sage and thyme. 3.     Break turkey sausage into small pieces and sauté in pan. Add a good splash of wine and butter. 4.    Add mushrooms and morels (soak and cover them in water until soft), then add them and the mushroom water to the mixture. 5.     Add 9-grain or multi-grain bread. If the mixture is dry, add more mushroom water, chicken stock, white wine or another flavored liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste. 6.     Add 1 beaten egg to bind. 7.     Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes and put on broil for last 5 minutes to make top crunchy (make sure to keep an eye on it when broiling).

Healthy Raw Stuffing
I had to include this recipe because it is absolutely delicious and loaded with protein, minerals and antioxidants! The fresh herbs in the recipe make all the difference for an incredibly robust flavor.  This stuffing may not fly with the traditionalist but you could make both and not call it “stuffing.”  Serves 4 1 cup cremini or white mushrooms, chopped

¾ cup celery, finely chopped

½ cup onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup pecans , coarsely chopped

¼ cup raisins            

¼ cup goji berries 
 apple, finely chopped

1 tsp maca    
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped                        

2 tsp fresh sage, chopped                            

2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped 

3 Tbsps fresh chopped parsley

3 tbsps olive oil
2 Tbsp Tamari Sauce or  Bragg Aminos
Sea salt , to taste

Black pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients into a large bowl, mix together gently, and enjoy!  

 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Hazelnuts
 This is my all-time favorite Brussels Sprout recipe. The sweetness of the molasses, tartness of the pomegranate seeds, crunchiness of the nuts and creaminess of the sprouts definitely make this a keeper recipe.  Ingredients •    1 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved •    2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil •    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper •    3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses •    Seeds from 1 pomegranate •    1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts •    Finely grated zest of 1 lime •    1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the Brussels sprouts in a medium roasting pan; toss with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until light golden brown and a knife inserted into the centers goes in without any resistance, about 45 minutes.
Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl and add the pomegranate molasses, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, and lime and orange zests. Season with salt to taste.

Grape and Fennel Salad This side dish is kid-friendly and adds a lightness amongst the heaviness of the rest of the meal.  Ingredients             2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil             2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar             1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed             1/4 teaspoon salt             1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided             5 cups red and green seedless grapes (about 1 3/4 pounds), halved             1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced             3 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal             4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal             3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted     Directions
Whisk oil, vinegar, fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add grapes, fennel, celery and scallions; toss to coat. Serve topped with almonds.

Pumpkin Pie Bars
I have lightened up the traditional pumpkin pie by eliminating the pie crust but kept all the traditional flavors.  I promise these  bars will be a hit at your Thanksgiving celebration. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Ingredients 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1/2 cup rolled oats 2 tbsp ground flax seed (optional) 2 eggs ½  cup coconut palm sugar or cane sugar 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Directions 1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 2.In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9x13 inch baking dish. 3.Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set. 4.In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust. 5.Bake in preheated oven 30 to 45 minutes or until set. Every oven is different so make sure the top is not jiggly and a toothpick comes out clean Let cool before cutting into squares.  These are a few of the recipes I am making but have a few more days to decide.... do any of you have any fun recipes to share?
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