Happy Turkey Day

Eat This, NOT That, Thanksgiving Edition

I don’t know about you, but I am transfixed by all of the books, articles, and advice available when it comes to healthy eating – especially the ones that give you healthier alternatives to your favorite foods. With America’s feasting holiday upon us (Thanksgiving), there is no better time than to put together a list of Eat This, Not That, the Thanksgiving Edition. We’ve compiled a short list of a few very tasty, yet more healthy, alternatives to the main dishes that will laden your table this Thanksgiving.

The Main Event: TURKEY TOM

Americans, as a whole, look to this tasty bird as the main dish every Thanksgiving Holiday. It takes a million hours to make, but it’s worth it because you end up with leftovers that feed lingering company for days. When it comes to your main dish, here are a few ideas to make it as healthy as possible.

Eat this:
Skinless turkey breast – removing the skin removes unwanted fat calories.
White meat – Eat white meat for an extra lean bonus.
2-3 portions max – our fist size is roughly 1 portion.

Not that:
Dark meat – Just a little-added fat content, but do you really need that?
Butter & Gravy – If you can avoid them, your meal will be a bit healthier.

The Topper: Gravy

We will give you this, eating the white meat of turkey without gravy is like trying to swallow chalk. It just doesn’t go down that easily. But, gravy is essentially made of the fat drippings and butter that didn’t sink into the bird. Still sound tasty? If so, give this a try…

Eat this:
If possible, eat gravy made with fatless turkey drippings
Let your gravy sit for a bit on the counter and then take off the top layer of fat.

Not that:
Canned gravy – Packed with sodium and other ingredients you likely cannot pronounce.

Dish Filler: Bread and Rolls

This is a tough one…just the smell of baking bread and stuffing alone makes many people salivate with anticipation. But, you’re on a mission for health, so do your best to avoid these tasty dish fillers. If your carb cravings are overwhelming, try to make a stuffing using whole grain bread and low butter content. Load it up with onions and celery for flavor so you can get a taste of the good stuff without going overboard on filling calories you just don’t need.

Eat this:
Stuffing – Try to make it with whole grain and low butter content.

Not that:
Refined, white bread rolls. Especially with butter. Darn!
Stuffing made with mostly bread and no added veggies or smothered in butter.

White Elephant in the room: Mashed Potatoes

Turkey and mashed potatoes are such an American classic for Thanksgiving, but they do not contain nearly the amount of nutrients of their healthier cousins, the sweet potato and yams. If you leave off the butter and sauces, these are a great alternative to white potatoes.

Eat this:
Sweet potatoes
Yams

Not that:
White potatoes
Scalloped potatoes
Sweet potato fries
Candied yams

On the Side: Cranberries

Cranberry sauce…yeah, a lot of people just skip right past it, especially when it comes out of a can (seriously, who eats that?!), but eating a spoonful or two of actual cranberries is not only a viable alternative, but it happens to be part of a superfood group that can help lower blood pressure, protect the urinary tract and stomach lining, lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and play a part in good heart health. Plus, they taste really good with turkey, so why not throw some on your plate?

Bon Apetit!

Perfect for snacking, Spiced Nuts

Perfect for snacking, Spiced Nuts

Makes 20, 1/4 Cup Servings

Ingredients:
1 cup raw pecan halves
1 cup raw pepitas
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup raw almonds
3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 Tablespoons coconut sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil.
In a large bowl combine all of the nuts with the coconut oil. Toss to coat.
In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Mix well and then sprinkle over the nuts, mixing until fully combined.
Spread the nuts over the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and then bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden and toasty.

Birthday Cake Smoothie

Birthday Cake Smoothie

1 cup of frozen organic banana
¼-½ cup vanilla almond milk adjust amount depending on desired thickness
2 scoops of vanilla protein
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 few drops of almond extract
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon sprinkles optional- but always fun

BBQ Wings

SKINNY BAKED BBQ WINGS

All you need is:
18 Bone in Chicken Wings
1.5 Cups Barbecue Sauce (Annie’s is a good all natural choice)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then place a wire rack on top of it.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken wings and half of the bbq sauce. Gently toss to coat.

Transfer chicken wings to rack, and line them up in a single layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven, brush with the remaining half of the bbq sauce and put back in the oven on the top shelf for another 5 minutes.

Recipe inspiration from Gimmie Some Oven

Grainless Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Grainless Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Egg
(Egg substitute 1 tablespoons flax meal + 2.5 tablespoons water)
1 cup Quinoa (cooked)
Coconut or olive oil for cooking
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup Greens
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ cup oat flour (ground-up rolled oats)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add chopped onion; let it cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the greens and stir immediately, letting it wilt slightly. Turn the heat off.
2. In a large bowl, add black beans; mash with a fork, leaving some texture. Add cooked quinoa and remaining ingredients.
3. Form patties in 1/2C portions. If mixture is still wet and sticky lightly sprinkle some more oat flour on top of the formed patties.
4. Heat coconut oil in a pan – cook patties ~1min/ side until lightly golden brown.
5. Preheat oven to 375. Place on baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes, flip, then bake for 25-30 more minutes, until browned and crispy.
6. Serve on a whole-wheat hamburger bun or Salad with guacamole, Mango salsa or corn salad.

Recipe courtesy of My Square Plate

Honey Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Tofu

Honey Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Tofu

Ingredients:
brussels sprouts
olive oil
liquid aminos
arrowroot or cornstarch
organic honey
rice vinegar
sesame oil
chili garlic sauce

In your oven: move your racks so one is up high and the other is down low. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Instructions for Tofu:
slice your tofu into 1-2in thick slices
put tofu in between 2-3 layers of paper towels and put a heavy book on top to help squeeze some of the water out let sit for 15 minutes
transfer tofu and cut into smaller squares
whisk together 1 T olive oil and 1T liquid aminos and drizzle over tofu
sprinkle 1 T arrow/cornstarch over tofu and toss until evenly coated
place tofu on a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

Instructions for Brussels sprouts:
discard any “off” color leaves & cut lengthwise in half
toss them in 1.5 T olive oil
arrange on a baking sheet (flat side down)
sprinkle with pink himalayan salt

Put brussels sprouts on lower oven rack and tofu on the top rack. Bake for 10 mins and flip tofu and sprouts over then bake for another 10-15 mins.

Instructions for glaze:
In a small pan, whisk together 1/4c liquid aminos, 2T organic honey, 2T rice vinegar, 2t sesame oil and 1-3t chili garlic sauce.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often for about 8 mins. then remove from heat.

Place sprouts and tofu on plate and drizzle with sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Cookie & Kate

Breakfast Carrot Cake Muffins

Breakfast Carrot Cake Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup unsalted butter (cubed and softened)
1 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup pitted, chopped soaked dates
2 medium carrots, shredded (2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degree.
2. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin pan.
3. Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl.
4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
5. Fold wet & dry ingredients together.
6. Bake for 40 minutes
7. Let cool for 5 minutes

Original Recipe from My Square Plate

Cauliflower steak

Roasted Cauliflower Steak

This is such a simple recipe and yet it yields so much satisfaction! If you love salty foods like chips or crackers, then this Cauliflower recipe may be the guilt-free snack that you’ve been searching for.

I like to slice the cauliflower into large slabs, like steaks, however, be aware that not all of the pieces will stick together. That’s perfectly fine! Smaller pieces of roasted, seasoned cauliflower taste just as delicious as the larger pieces.

Enjoy these Roasted Cauliflower Steaks as a side dish for your next meal or eat it as a delicious and guilt-free snack!

Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com

What you need
Serves 4

1 head cauliflower, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
olive oil spray
salt and pepper
All-Purpose Seasoning

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.

2. Slice the cauliflower into ¼ inch slices. Lightly spray each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and all-purpose seasoning. Lay the pieces out on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake in the preheated oven, flipping the pieces after 15 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition
One serving equals 18 calories, 0g fat, 3g carbohydrate, 1g sugar, 128mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 1g protein.

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Hearty Vegetable Soup with Chicken

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Chicken

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds bone-in breast, turkey or chicken, skin removed
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
8 cups bone broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
3 cups lacinato kale, chopped
2 lemons, juiced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

1. Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey breast; cook until well browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and return to high heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, parsnips, carrots, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden, about 8 minutes.

3. Transfer the cooked veggies to the slow cooker and stir in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

4. Transfer the turkey breast from the slow cooker to a plate, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir in the quinoa and kale. Cover and cook on low for an hour, until the quinoa is tender.

5. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes

Frozen Yogurt Bark with Pomegranate and Dark Chocolate

Frozen Yogurt Bark with Pomegranate and Dark Chocolate

INGREDIENTS
2 cups Greek yogurt plain
1 Tbsp Honey
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup dark chocolate chips or vegan option
2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

INSTRUCTIONS
– Mix yogurt and 1/2 the amount of toppings together
– Pour mix onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
– Sprinkle remaining toppings over mixture
– Freeze until hard.
– Using a hard spatula, break the bark into chunks.
– Transfer to an airtight container and store in freezer