Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I absolutely love stuffing and pecan pie is a treat. What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? My fondest memories are going to all four of my grandparents and celebrating with our immediate family. Mom made all the pies for both sides of the family from scratch and Aunt Jean taught me how to make stuffing. Maybe for you it’s a “Friendsgiving” or volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Whatever the tradition, there is generally a gathering and plenty of good food. Is it possible to enjoy these foods without guilt and deprivation? Let’s explore some alternatives and additions to the typical feast.
Offer a fresh vegetable tray with hummus or ranch dressing. If you want to wow your guests, create a turkey charcuterie board using meat, cheese, nuts and/or dried fruit. Avocadoes are available all year round and fresh guacamole is a tasty, healthy snack. You can’t go wrong with a variety of fresh apples and berries.
If you’ve been following my blogs, the trend is balance and moderation. Let’s modify or add healthy touches to our meal and leave our favorites alone for pure enjoyment. No concerns about the turkey since it’s usually baked or roasted. Substitute sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes. I know I’m partial, therefore stuffing needs no alterations. Steamed or roasted vegetables can replace the green bean casserole. If you’re feeling ambitious, mix up fresh cranberry sauce. Purchase or make whole wheat rolls and one suggestion for pies, scratch is best!!! If your meal is earlier in the day, take a brisk walk before football begins or have your own game in the back yard.
This holiday gives us the opportunity to reflect and be grateful. Studies suggest gratitude may increase happiness and decrease stress. Take a moment to experience appreciation and share it with those around you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy Chef Ken’s Butternut Squash Au Gratin recipe.