Monday, November 16, 2009

Giving Thanks and Staying Healthy

The holidays are a well known pitfall for diabetic and weight loss surgery patients. Food is often used to comfort during times of stress and celebration.  If you've ever hosted a holiday meal at your house, you know that keeping the pantry stocked and stomachs full takes lots of time and energy to achieve.



While the task may seem daunting, preparing a tasty and healthy Thanksgiving dinner can be accomplished with style and flair.



Here are a few of our favorite holiday recipes to get you started courtesy of Martha Stewart!

Roasted Turkey

1 Fresh turkey (16 to 18 pounds), giblets removed, turkey brought to room temperature (no more than 2 hours)


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

8 Small sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

12 Fresh sage leaves

5 cups Chestnut-and-Sausage Stuffing

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425, with rack in lower third. Rinse turkey inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a rack set in a large roasting pan.

Blend 4 tablespoons butter with 2 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. Loosen skin of turkey at body-cavity end with your fingers; spread mixture under skin all over (reach as far back as possible).

Gently push 3 parsley sprigs under skin on each side of turkey breast (use a table knife to push them as far as possible, keeping leaves flat). Loosen neck skin; slide a parsley sprig on each side of top of breast. Repeat with sage leaves, placing 4 leaves on each side of breast and 2 leaves on each side of top of breast.

Rub turkey with remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Loosely stuff body cavity with 4 3/4 cups stuffing, and neck cavity with 1/4 cup. Tie drumsticks together loosely with kitchen twine. Fold neck skin under body, and secure with toothpicks. Tuck wing tips under wings.

Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste turkey; reduce oven temperature to 350. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thigh (avoiding bone) registers 180, and stuffing registers 165, 2 to 3 hours. (If skin darkens too quickly during roasting, tent with foil.)

Let turkey rest 20 minutes before carving. Leave juices in roasting pan to make gravy.

Mashed Sweet and Russet Potatoes


4 garlic cloves (do not peel)


1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium sweet potatoes, pricked with a fork (about 1 pound total)

2 medium russet potatoes, pricked with a fork (about 1 pound total)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus a sprig for garnish

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in center and lower thirds. Put garlic on a small piece of foil; drizzle with oil. Fold to form a packet, and crimp edges to seal. Place garlic packet and the potatoes on center rack; place a baking sheet on lower rack to catch the juices.

Bake, flipping halfway through, until the sweet potatoes are very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove sweet potatoes and garlic from oven; set aside. Continue to bake russet potatoes until very tender, about 15 minutes more. Remove from oven; let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Peel potatoes. Pass through a ricer or a food mill into a medium bowl. Squeeze garlic from skins into bowl with potatoes. Stir in butter, parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir in yogurt, and serve.


Green Bean Salad with Almonds

1/2 cup whole roasted almonds


2 tablespoons tamari

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped roughly (optional)

Directions

Place almonds in a small nonstick saute pan. Lightly toast over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon tamari and stir until the almonds are coated evenly, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and cool. Chop almonds roughly.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook beans until crisp-tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain the beans and transfer to the bowl of ice water. Remove green beans and drain well.

In a large bowl, combine the sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and remaining 1 tablespoon of tamari. Add the drained green beans and toss to coat. Garnish with roasted almonds and fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately, while warm.

From all of us at Lauren's Hope, we would like to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

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