Thanksgiving is next Thursday and I figured it would be good to share with you what I plan to make. I’ve been the person that cooks for the past few years and I try to mix healthy with a little naughty for the menu. If you are in the process of losing weight you may feel like Thanksgiving is a minefield of unhealthy eating. Remember a couple of things: don’t beat yourself up if you indulge a little and don’t let family members guilt you into eating something you don’t want to.
Even when you are eating a healthy diet, it’s alright to live a little once in a while. With that said, be strategic with your splurges. If you live for pumpkin pie, have some. I love a little desert and my homemade dinner rolls. If you mess up and go crazy, so what? Just make sure it’s not a regular occurrence. Forgive yourself for enjoying life. A break from calorie restriction may give you a little motivation to focus. Sometimes watching what we eat all the time can get a bit dull and we do need a break from it every once in a while.
I’ve mentioned food pushers in a previous post, but I will talk about it again here. There are almost always food pushers at holiday meals. Grandma spent all day making that 1000 calorie per serving desert and YOU MUST HAVE SOME. It’s hard to push back when most people do this out of love. They made this to show their love for you and by you not eating it, they feel like you don’t love them back. Just be firm. “Grandma, I know you made that just for me, and I really appreciate it, but I’ve been working really hard on staying healthy. I’m sure everyone else will have some. No matter what I still love you.” If the person is hurt, be loving but firm. Most people will get over it and if they don’t, there is something else going on. Do you have food pushers in your life? Let me know if the comments.
Now that that’s out of the way, here is what I am making for Thanksgiving 2018:
- Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing (see recipe below)
- The breast portion of a deconstructed turkey
- Mashed potato
- Steamed green beans
- America’s Test Kitchen Whole Grain Gluten Free Dinner Rolls
- Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing
- America’s Test Kitchen Pumpkin Pie
Notice how everything is pretty simple. The only indulgent thing on the menu is the pumpkin pie. When you click the link for the pumpkin pie recipe, you will notice ATK makes their pie crust with vodka. Yes, you can still feed it to the kids. The purpose for the vodka is to provide more moisture for the crust to make it easier to roll out. Then the vodka evaporates quickly in the oven to prevent a soggy crust. I actually keep a bottle of cheap rock-gut vodka in my pantry just for this recipe. You can skip the good stuff here.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
- 1 1/4 pound Brussels sprouts (will make about 1 lb. trimmed and sliced)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 oz bacon, sliced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1 lemon juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of cayenne
- Slice fresh Brussels sprouts and add to a large bowl.
- In a skillet, crisp the bacon in vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Add brown sugar and stir to incorporate.
- Add cider vinegar and lemon juice then turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When the dressing comes to a boil take it off the heat and add to the Brussels sprouts.
- Toss to combine.
What I really look forward to is leftovers. Over the next few weeks I will showcase what I do with the dark meat and how I handle the carcass. Stay tuned for those. Until then Happy Thanksgiving!