Healthy Holidays: 5 Thanksgiving Classics Made Lighter

RidgewoodHealthy Senior Living, Recipes, Senior Living

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As promised, we’re sharing our ultimate Thanksgiving Day menu consisting of classic recipes with delicious tweaks. Are you ready to try out healthier versions of your favorite recipes? Of course you are, you cooking pioneer, you! Read on below for our list of 5 healthy Thanksgiving recipes.

Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast with Pomegranate-Thyme Glaze

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherry or apple wood chips
  • 1 (6-pound) whole bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Soak wood chips in water 1 hour; drain well.
  2. Trim excess fat from turkey. Loosen skin from breast by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine 2 teaspoons thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and garlic, stirring well. Rub thyme mixture under loosened skin.
  3. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and shallot; sauté for 2 minutes. Add juice and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from heat.
  4. To prepare turkey for indirect grilling, remove grill rack. Preheat the grill to medium-high using both burners. After preheating, turn the left burner off (leave the right burner on). Place 1 cup wood chips on heat element on right side. Place a disposable aluminum foil pan on heat element on left (unheated) side. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Coat grill rack with cooking spray, and place on grill. Place the turkey on grill rack covering left burner. Cover and grill for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°, turning halfway during cooking time. Add the remaining 1 cup wood chips halfway during cooking time, and brush turkey with half of pomegranate mixture during last 5 minutes of cooking. Place the turkey on a platter. Let stand 30 minutes. Discard skin. Serve with remaining pomegranate mixture.
Yield:  Serves 8 (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and about 1 1/2 teaspoons sauce)

Recipe courtesy Anthony Rosenfeld for Cooking Light Magazine

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  3. Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

Per serving: Calories 160; Fat 4 g (Saturated 1 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 180 mg; Carbohydrate 31 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 3 g

Recipe courtesy Ellie Krieger for Food Network Magazine

Low-Fat Turkey Gravy

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (32 fluid ounces) unsalted turkey stock, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, remove from stem and finely chop
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, remove from stem and finely chop
  • 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) skim milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Directions

  1. After roasting the turkey, place the roasting pan on the stove top over medium heat. Add 2 cups of turkey stock to the pan and stir for about 5 minutes or until the drippings and browned bits from the bottom of the pan dissolve.
  2. Place a strainer over a fat seperator cup. Pour pan drippings through the strainer. Add enough stock to the drippings to make 4 cups total. If you don’t have a fat seperator cup, you can remove fat from drippings by adding several ice cubes to the liquid and placing it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove hardened fat with a spoon and place stock into a saucepan. You should still have about 4 cups of liquid.
  3. Place the saucepan on the stove top over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add sage and thyme to the simmering stock, stirring slowly. Bring sauce to a boil and continue to stir until stock thickens and has a nice shine, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Pour gravy into warmed gravy boat and serve.

Serving Size: About 1/2 cup; Per serving: Calories 25; Total Fat trace; Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 14 mg; Carbohydrate 5 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Dietary Fiber trace; Monounsaturated Fat trace; Saturated Fat trace; Sugars 0 g

Recipe courtesy of themayoclinic.org

Wild Rice (or Quinoa) Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (or equal amount of uncooked quinoa)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped apple (including peel)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Directions

  1. Rinse wild rice two to three times — until water runs clear.
  2. Place wild rice and water in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, stirring frequently. Do not burn. Cook wild rice for about 30 minutes. (If you’re using quinoa, cook it for about 15 minutes).
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, apple, cranberries and celery. Stir and heat through until tender. Add the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Continue to stir and cook slowly until fragrant, about 10 minutes total.
  4. Combine the rice, the fruit/vegetable mixture and chicken broth in a large bowl. Use to stuff turkey. Or bake in a dish coated with nonstick spray. Cover and keep warm in oven until serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

Serving Size: About 1/2 cup; Per serving: Calories 78; Total Fat 2 g; Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 136 mg; Carbohydrate 13 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat 1.5 g; Saturated Fat trace; Sugars 0 g

Recipe courtesy of themayoclinic.org

Balsamic-Glazed Green Beans and Pearl Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 6 ounces red pearl onions, halved lengthwise and peeled
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Place beans into a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well. Place beans in a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add broth, vinegar, and sugar; bring to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes or until syrupy. Add beans, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: Serves 8 (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

Recipe courtesy Anthony Rosenfeld for Cooking Light Magazine

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