Hey hey! How’s your Thanksgiving week going? Is it crazy and hectic in preparation as ours? We are doing a big feast at home with just the four of us, and I’ve been busy planning our Thanksgiving menu. This is the first time in three years that husband is not away for Thanksgiving and we want to soak in all the family time we can. I can’t wait!
Sunday night I was lucky to sneak in a quick Costco run and get the bird along with some other essentials. Costco really makes it easy for you to host a holiday dinner. There were prepared mashed potatoes, cooked stuffing casseroles, all sorts of pies and desserts. I was tempted to just go with it, but then decided I could cook cheaper and healthier versions at home.
The pumpkin pie did make it into my cart though 😉 It’s the best tasting pie the size of a giant pizza for $6. You can’t beat that.
So the past two days I’ve been working on our Thanksgiving menu, and it’s been fun putting together a good mix of indulgent and clean recipes.
Last year I went a little overboard with the healthy stuff. And although my dishes ended up being pretty tasty, it put waaaay too much pressure on me.
This year I know better. I’m finding a balance between clean healthy eats and our family’s favorite not-so-healthy recipes. I’ll make sure to serve a fresh salad and lots of vegetables but there will also be a pie and a cheese casserole.
Did you know that an average Thanksgiving plate is around 1,000 calories? Here’s how you can make little tweaks to “healthily” your dinner:
- Load up on veggies first, make them half of your plate
- Go for protein, it should be a forth of your plate
- Pick only one indulgent dish such as stuffing or a cheese casserole, and make it a fourth of your plate
- Go easy on the gravy or skip it altogether
- Treat yourself to one dessert, not three helpings
You can totally serve your favorite Thanksgiving dinner that won’t leave you lethargic for the rest of the day! All it takes is a few adjustments when loading your plate.
Our Thanksgiving Menu – 2017
Cranberry Harvest salad – with spinach, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and other good stuff.
Perfect Roast Turkey by Ina Garten – it seems simple and easy, which is a winner in my book. One Thanksgiving I went all out marinading the bird in a fancy brine overnight and it came out tasting the same haha! So this year I’m all about simple recipes from trusted chiefs.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes – the key is using real garlic and just a bit of grated Parmesan for a dreamy creamy mash
Mashed Sweet Potatoes – this is one of my all time favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes! I peel and boil them until they are soft. Then I add them to a food processor and whip with about a cup of full fat coconut oil and some garlic, salt and pepper. They come out creamy, fluffy and slightly exotic tasting because of the coconut milk.
Cauliflower Rice Cranberry Stuffing – I tasted a sample at Trader Joe’s and had to grab a few frozen bags. The base is the cauliflower rice with a ton of flavors onion, celery, cranberries, leeks and carrots. It’s a great low carb gluten free alternative to a traditional stuffing and it tasted AMAZING! Plus, it’s one less thing I have to bake in the oven on a day when the oven is a precious real estate.
Southern Squash Casserole – I use both zucchini and yellow squash and load it with tons of sharp cheddar cheese. This recipe was passed down to me from my husband’s side and it’s our family’s favorite. It’s safe to say this casserole is the reason I wait Thanksgiving dinner.
Cheddar garlic biscuits from a box – it calls for real sharp cheddar and fills the entire house with delicious aromas. I will skip the biscuits, so this is a little treat for the rest of the family.
Pumpkin Pie – from Costco (see above). It’s so so good!
Looking ahead I’ve also planned a few meals to use up all the Thanksgiving leftovers over the weekend.
On Friday I’ll probably make Turkey Monte Cristo sandwich. It’s like a mix between a french toast and a Thanksgiving meal, so so good!
Saturday we will have Turkey Bolognese. It’s another one of my favorites. It’s so full of flavor and the entire family goes crazy for it.
What about you my friends? Are you making a big dinner at home or going to visit friends and family? What is your all time favorite Thanksgiving meal?
Hope you have a happy and memorable Thanksgiving! Chat with you later.