Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

meal ideas ~ healthy thanksgiving side-dishes

Show your holiday guests how much you care by cooking up a nutritious celebration. Here are three scrumptious healthy side dishes to create an indulgent feast while keeping a healthy eating plan on track. Thanksgiving dinner, actually eating turkey, my second favorite food after duck, is one of the most delicious meals I enjoy all year!

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
Low in calories and positively bursting with vitamin A, this creamy low-carb soup is a must-have for your menu. It's the perfect way to kick off your holiday feast!

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash 
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4 medium carrots)
3/4 cup thinly sliced leeks or chopped onion
2 14 1/2 - ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup regular or fat-free half-and-half or light cream
Fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter or margarine. Add squash, carrots, and leeks or onion to pan. Cook , covered, for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.

 Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover; process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg. Bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half or light cream; heat through. Ladle into soup bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh tarragon. Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 103 cal., 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 447 mg sodium, 16 g carb. (4 g fiber), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Vegetables (d.e): 1.5; Starch (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5

Sweet Potato Soup with Toasted Pecans
Our sweet potato soup is packed with veggies and low in calories. In fact, this holiday-worthy dish is so delicious, you might decide to enjoy it on weeknights, too.

2 teaspoons canola oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped leek
1/3 cup chopped orange or yellow sweet pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 14 - ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound sweet potatoes peeled, halved land thinly sliced
1 small potato (4 ounces), peeled, halved thinly sliced 
1/3 cup dry white wine or low sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

 In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, leek, sweet pepper, onion, and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or just until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

 Add broth, sweet potatoes, potato, wine, black pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Discard the bay leaf. Remove from heat and cool soup slightly.
 Transfer half of the soup to a blender or food processor. Cover
and blend or process until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Return all soup to saucepan. Heat through. Sprinkle individual servings with toasted pecans.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 142 cal., 5 g total fat 358 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (3 g fiber), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1;

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
This flavorful, low-calorie take on mashed potatoes is sure to impress your guests. Serve it in miniature pumpkin bowls to add a touch of whimsy to your holiday table.

1 pound medium baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1 tablespoon butter or tub-style vegetable oil spread
1/8 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 recipe Miniature Pumpkin Bowls (optional)
Fresh sage leaves (optional)

 In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes and garlic in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed until nearly smooth. Beat in canned pumpkin, cream cheese, butter, ground sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Gradually add milk, beating until light and fluffy. Return to saucepan; heat through.

If desired, spoon mashed potatoes into Miniature Pumpkin Bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Makes 4

Miniature Pumpkin Bowls: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut off 1/2 inch from the tops of 4 miniature pumpkins (6 to 8 ounces each); discard tops. Using a spoon, scoop out seeds and membranes and discard. Place pumpkins, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or just until pumpkins are easily pierced with a fork.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 159 cal., 5 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 13 mg chol., 206 mg sodium, 26 g carb. (4 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1.5; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5

more wonderful ideas can be found on

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