Sorry I went MIA on you, I was on vacation last week. I had a great week in London and Paris, but I’m glad to be back, especially now that the weather is cold and crisp and the holiday season is about to begin. As much as I love to travel, I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else but home on Thanksgiving.
In fact this week’s post is all about Thanksgiving, so that we can focus on getting ready for the big day. Speaking of thanks—now is the perfect time for me to thank each and every one of you for reading my posts and being a part of my glow warrior community. I hope we will be strong and healthy together for a long time to come.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my very favorite holidays. I think what appeals to me is its purpose and its simplicity—to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. Gratitude is the attitude of this holiday, and that’s especially meaningful to me, since I focus so much in my life and in my coaching practice on the physical and spiritual benefits of being thankful for the things we do have. Celebrating a joyful Thanksgiving is just one more way for us to show gratitude to the people we love.
Oh, and of course the feast. If there’s ever a time that we want to indulge in decadent and delicious food, it’s the fall and winter holidays, and the Thanksgiving table is full of American classics. Some of them, like turkey and pumpkin, date back to the very first Thanksgiving. Others, though, are more modern in origin, like marshmallow-topped candied sweet potatoes, marshmallow-cranberry salad, or marshmallow-cheese hors d’oeuvres. You think I am joking, but I shudder to assure you I am not. Seriously?! Have we become a nation of marshmallow addicts??
That being said, I want to share with you some alternative options—healthy and delicious—for your table. But let’s be honest: Thanksgiving is a chance to show off your culinary and nutritional smarts. I’ve chosen the recipes below to help you out. What I love about the recipes, and hope you will too, is that they show respect for your body and its processes. I firmly believe in the power of green, and the goodness of a plant-based, veggie loving diet.
These side dishes not only taste great on their own—vegetarians take notice, you can fill your plate and won’t feel the least bit deprived—but also complement the star attraction. They’ll also forestall morning-after regrets. No bloat, no stuffing-induced sleep coma, and no new inches on your ass.
My coworker Jen, who helped me with healthy Halloween treats, and I have come up with these palate and waistline pleasing recipes that we hope will find a place on your Thanksgiving menu. Perhaps they’ll become the new “American classics” in your home.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Mustard Dressing
- Brussels Sprouts (I used about 4 cups)
- 1 shallot
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- pink Himalayan salt (to taste)
- Veggie Broth
- Organic Dijon Mustard
- 1 packet stevia (addition pending taste)
- Wash & peel Brussels sprouts. Cut off bottom stem, half then cut to make thin shavings or you can use a mandolin. I just used my knife.
- Thinly slice shallot and mince garlic.
- Add veggie broth to bottom of pan and sauté shallots and garlic until soft.
- Add shaved Brussels sprouts to pan. Stir well then cook covered until desired.
- While Brussels sprouts are cooking, mix about 3-4 tablespoon mustard with stevia and water to facilitate blending. I like my dressing to be like the consistency of slightly thicker than milk. When cooking is completed, add the dressing to Brussels sprouts and stir.
- Serve and enjoy.
A great alternative to mashed potatoes!
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 2 cloves garlic
- Pink Himalayan salt
- Olive oil (or organic butter)
- Black pepper (optional)
- Wash and cut cauliflower into florets. Peel and cut garlic cloves into halves. Steam cauliflower & garlic until fork tender.
- Use food processor or blender to blend cauliflower to desired consistency (anywhere from chunky to creamy puree). Add drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse a couple of times to incorporate flavors.
- Chop chives and add to cauliflower mash. Serves 4-6.
- Large red beets (one per person)
- Large golden beets (one per person)
- Parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash beets and wrap in parchment paper. Place in glass dish or on baking sheet and bake until fork tender (at least 1 hour pending on size of beets)
- Let beets cool enough to touch. Unwrap and peel beet skins. Please note, your hands will get messy, but that’s part of the fun. If you have kids, they will probably love to get in on the action. Tip: Peel the golden beets first then the red.
- Slice or cut into batons (golden first, then red). A sheet of parchment on the cutting board keeps it from being dyed.
- Serve hot, cold or at room temperature on individual plates lined with Boston lettuce for a first course. Or, for a fabulous option, arrange on a large platter with crumbled goat cheese.
Warm Kale & Butternut Squash Salad
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1-2bunches kale (I used the red kale curly for color)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2″ knob of ginger
- Pink Himalayan
- Veggie Broth
- Add veggie broth to coat large pan. Zest in garlic and finer and put on medium heat. While flavors are infusing, peel and cube butternut squash.
- Add butternut squash & salt, mix well, cook covered until tender. De-stem kale and wash.
- Add kale to cooked squash until slightly wilted and warned through. Add more salt if desired. Serve & enjoy.
So there you have it. These are options to keep you glow-y, healthy, and train-wreck free during and after the feast.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and love-filled Thanksgiving!