Lighten Up!

What’s the plan to enjoy Thanksgiving and cut caloric damage?  With Thanksgiving around the corner, visions come to mind of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravies and pies. AH! The calories! The average Thanksgiving meal is 2,500-4,500 calories. Here are a few tips to keep the last and lower the calories.

  • Mashed Potato Substitute: Cauliflower Mash is a great substitution for mashed potatoes. Cut cauliflower into florets, steam and purée. If you still yearn for the potato taste, make this mash half potato and half cauliflower. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a blob of butter or margarine.

  • Stuffing with lower calories: Stuffing can be delicious with whole wheat/whole grain bread, cutting the carbs with the higher fiber.  To cut calories further, add veggies to the bread as well: mushrooms, onions, celery and other favorites.

  • Turkey gravy: Cook turkey in white wine, which makes a great gravy. Cool gravy and skim off the fat. Add a minimum of flour or starch to thicken gravy.

  • Cranberry Sauce: Use Stevia to replace sugar in your favorite recipe.  Grate a little lemon or orange rind for color and  texture.

  • Lighter Sides: Add roasted vegetables as a side that is high in taste and low in calories. Toss vegetables lightly in olive oil and rosemary and roast in oven. Favorite roasted vegetables are Brussels sprouts, string beans, beets, turnips, carrots, portobello mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash.

  • Soups: Soup for the first course fills us up a bit and helps us take smaller portions during the meal! Try Mushroom Bisque this year, Substitute almond milk for cream, making the soup dairy free and vegan, and lowering the calories. 

  • Lighter pies: For lighter pumpkin/squash/sweet potato pies, substitute almond or soy milk for cream or milk. Use Stevia, which cuts the calories of sugar. Use part or all whole-wheat flour in the crust to add fiber and cut the carbs.

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