Thanksgiving Recipes 2014

by Charles Platkin, PhD

HG’s Miracle Mashies

Healthy Recipe by Lisa Lillien, founder of Hungry Girl ( and author of The Hungry Girl (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014)

Makes 5 servings

One 12-ounce russet potato
3 cups cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons fat-free half & half
1 tablespoon light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Optional seasoning: black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, peel and cube the potato.

Add the cauliflower and cubed potato to the boiling water. Once returned to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the potato and cauliflower are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain and transfer the cauliflower and potato to a large bowl. Add the half & half, butter and salt. Thoroughly mash and mix. Enjoy!

Nutrition information (per serving: 1/5th of recipe, about 2/3 cup): 82 calories; 1 g fat; 168 mg sodium; 16 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugars; 3 g protein.

Asparagus Salad

Health Recipe by Chef Hicham Elmadi, Executive Chef at Hilton Head Health ( )

Makes 4 servings

1 pint sweet grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 cups fresh arugula, mesclun, or other greens of your choice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar reduction
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, asparagus and red onion.

Heat a medium sauté pan on medium-high heat.

Add the olive oil to the pan, and, when it is hot, add the tomato mixture. After about 1 minute, add the garlic. Sauté for another minute, then add the salt and red wine vinegar. Remove from the heat. Divide the greens among 4 plates and top with the asparagus salad. Drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with the feta cheese and serve.

Nutrition information (per serving, greens not included): 68 calories; 2 g fat; 10 g carbs; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber.

Sweet Potato Gratin with Herb Crumble

Healthy Recipe by Virginia Willis, author of the upcoming book Lighten Up, Y’all (Ten Speed Press, March 3, 2015)

Makes 8 servings

3 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for your hands
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
3 tablespoons 2 percent milk
1 tablespoon pure olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. (This will help with cleanup.) Spray a 2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Using a fork, pierce the sweet potatoes in several places and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until fork-tender, about 50 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool.

When the potatoes are almost tender, prepare the topping: In a small bowl combine the chopped pecans, flour, Parmesan, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the milk, oil, and sage. Stir until well combined. Set aside.

When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, discarding the skin. Place the pulp in large bowl. Add the brown sugar and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher until chunky.

Transfer the sweet potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Lightly flour your hands and crumble the topping in small, cherry size pieces on top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Nutrition information (per serving, 1 cup): 98.02 calories; 7.35 g fat; 7.28 g carbs; 1.41 g fiber; 1.98 g protein.

Easy Soft Polenta

Healthy Recipe by Carol Fenster, author of 100 Best Quick Gluten-Free (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

Makes 4 servings

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free polenta/yellow corn grits
3 1/2 cups gluten-free low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or soy Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. I use an 8-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup­large enough to avoid boil-overs.

Lay a sheet of waxed paper over the bowl and cook in the microwave oven on High power in 10-minute increments, whisking between each increment, to reach the desired consistency. Cooking times may vary depending on your microwave; mine takes two 10-minute periods for this recipe, for a total of 20 minutes.

Serve immediately, because it starts to firm up as it cools. Refrigerate leftovers, tightly sealed, for up to 3 days.

Nutrition information (per serving, 3/4 cup): 235 calories; 15 g protein; 5 g total fat; 5 g fiber; 33 g carbohydrates; 12 mg cholesterol; 814 mg sodium.

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