Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes 2009

by Charles Platkin, PhD


Squash and Apple Purée
Healthy Recipe by Marian Morash from The Oldways Table

Makes 6 servings

3 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 apples, peeled and quartered
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and/or cinnamon (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Put the squash and apples in the steamer, cover and steam until the squash is soft, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mash together to the consistency you prefer. Season with salt and pepper and add the orange zest and ginger and/or cinnamon, if using. Swirl in the olive oil.

Nutritional Information: (about 1 cup) 139 calories; 5 g fat; 26 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 2 g protein.

Note: This side dish pairs well with roasted turkey or other fowl. It can also be used as a spread with crostini and soft cheese.

Pumpkin Hummus
Healthy Recipe by Norene Gilletz, author of Norene’s Healthy Kitchen (Whitecap Books, 2007)

Makes 4 cups

6 cloves garlic (about 2 tablespoons minced)
1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons cumin (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon smoked or Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or to taste)
Pumpkin seeds, for garnish

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the garlic and parsley until finely minced, about 10 seconds. Add the chickpeas and process until puréed, about 18 to 20 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients except the pumpkin seeds and process until very smooth, about 2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water.

Transfer the puréed pumpkin mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor. Garnish with pumpkin seeds at serving time.

Nutritional Information: (per tablespoon) 19 calories; 2.4 g carbs; 0.5 g fiber; 1 g protein; 0.9 g fat.

Notes: Keeps about a week in the refrigerator. Freezes well for up to a month.

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Healthy Recipe by Dani Spies, HHC, AADP, Health & Food Coach and Fitness Trainer

Makes 4 servings

1 head cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
1 small or ½ medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter…whatever you have)
1 (5.3-ounce) container plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1 4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (If you are interested, you can boil your cauliflower in some chicken broth for a bit of extra flavor.) Add cauliflower and cook for about 8 minutes or until fork tender. Drain.

In a food processor, blend onion and garlic. Add cauliflower, Earth Balance, yogurt, cheese, salt and pepper and blend some more. You want the finished product to be like a thick purée.

Nutritional Information: (1/2 cup) 124 calories; 6.3 g total fat; 2.2 g saturated fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 168 mg sodium; 10.8 g carbs; 4.1 g fiber; 2.3 g sugars; 8.8 g protein.

Mexican Pumpkin Bisque
Healthy Recipe by Jill Houk, Chef Jill from Centered Chef Food Studios

Makes 4 servings

2 cups canned chicken broth
1 pound unflavored pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup 2%, 1% or non-fat Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted and sprinkled with cumin, for garnish

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium pot. Whisk in the pumpkin purée and spice.

Let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld, approximately 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, whisk in the yogurt and add the cider vinegar and honey.

Season to taste, reheat if necessary and garnish with the pumpkin seeds.

Nutritional Information: (1 ¾ cups) 141 calories; 4 g fat; 21.6 g carbs; 7.1 g protein; 3.6 g fiber.

Low-Fat Sweet Corn & Herb Stuffing
Healthy Recipe by Executive Chef Michael Scelfo, Temple Bar, Cambridge, Mass.

Makes 10-12 servings

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups finely chopped onions (about 1 pound)
8 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 cups finely chopped celery (4 to 5 stalks)
2 cups cooked fresh corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
12 cups (generous) large cubes of day-old whole-wheat bread
1 cup (or more) low-salt, fat-free chicken broth
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and corn and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add all herbs. Transfer to bowl, cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets if using both shelves after 5 minutes (10-12 minutes total). Transfer to a very large bowl and cool.

Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Stir vegetable mixture into bread. Whisk broth, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add broth mixture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth if necessary. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish and bake uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Note: Can be made 1 day ahead and reheated before serving.

Nutrition Information: (3/4 cup) 161 calories; 7.3 g fat; 3.7 g protein; 21.4 g carbs; 2.5 g fiber; 439 mg sodium.

Spicy Apple Chips
Healthy Recipe by Janice Taylor, Weight Loss Coach, Our Lady of Weight Loss

Makes 2 servings

2 medium apples
Freshly squeezed lime juice
A dash here and there of cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 250 F.

Slice apples as thin as humanly possible, discarding both ends.

Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with lime juice and cinnamon, if using.

Bake for 2 hours, turning apple slices every half hour.

Nutritional Information: (16 chips), 90 calories; 0.3 g fat; 23 g carbs; 4 g fiber; 0.4 g protein.

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