Thursday, November 19, 2009

1 Week Until Thanksgiving

Woody and I will spend Thanksgiving here in the city. I have stayed in town every year since I moved from Michigan. As far as you stay clear of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade it is a pretty spectacular day to be here. The streets are as calm as they are on Sunday mornings. It is, in one word, nice.

One year we shared the day with Heather in my minuscule apartment. Woody moved out here the next Thanksgiving and my Dad helped him. Since our new place was full of boxes we opted for a restaurant feast. The next year it was just the two of us, enjoying a relaxed day of food and football. Last year we had Cameron and his wife over along with a friend of theirs. We shared an evening of stories, good music, and wine. This year, again, it will just be the two of us and again. A day of cooking, football, and hopefully a nice walk around the neighborhood (no Turkey Trot for me this year).

You might think it's easy when it is just two people, but no, not really. It's can actually be a bit difficult since we both enjoy the Thanksgiving feast but I have to adjust the recipes so they work for two people and we don't have enough food to feed an army!

I've become good at herb roasted turkey breasts, although I'm still not certain how many pounds to get to make sure we have enough for day-after-turkey-sandwiches but not so much that we still have leftovers on Monday! I hate throwing out turkey! We like to keep it healthy too, so last year I made stuffing from scratch using whole wheat bread, vegetable stock, veggies, and and fat free egg substitute. It turned out well and will be on the menu this year. Mashed potatoes are a must - Woody likes the tradition, no sweet potatoes in this house. Cranberry sauce from a can.

I always like changing the recipes a little to make them a bit healthier (well, except for the cranberry sauce - not much I can do there!). Thanksgiving can be a table full of food, but that doesn't mean it has to be unhealthy. I believe there is a way to change most recipes to make them a little better for you and still taste great. This year the challenge is to use less manufactured 'food' items and use more whole and natural foods. That's why I'm going to stay away from my altered version of this fantastic Turtle Pumpkin Pie and make something different this year.

This is where I am in my planning: I still need to come up with a veggie side dish (I've done green beans two years in a row and would like to try something new), and an easy-to-make, relatively healthy dessert that is also delicious.

So, bring 'em on! Suggestions welcome! What are your favorite veggie side dishes? Have any yummy and healthy desserts? What's on your menu?
I plan to pick up most of what I need at the Farmer's Market this weekend and next Wednesday (the office closes early!) so I can get fresh, local foods on our table. Hopefully they don't run out before I get there!


Kool Aid said...

We like corn pudding but it is in no way, shape or form healthy which is why we fix it twice a year (Christmas dinner, too).

Green bean casserole can be done healthy, if you buy fat free/low fat cream o' mushroom soup and it's better than just green beans.

sweet potatoes are great and you don't have to fix them in an unhealthy casserole. I"m going to try something new this year with those that will be more healthy but I'm not sure what - I'm still researching recipes.

Visiting over from SITS!! Have a great morning.

Jen Cole said...

Hey Lisa, I was watching 30 Minute Meals the other night and Rachael Ray made this:

I've not tried it but it sounds really good, and I'm sure you could adjust easily to suit your tastes. It might be a double dose of cranberries though (unless you substituted dried cherries!).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Woody. Enjoy the down time!

Barbara said...

You can make cranberry sauce with a bag of cranberries and splenda or stuvia. It's still good and many less calories. I'll make that. I think just about every recipe can be lightened up and no one realizes it.
Even weight watchers says you can have your favorites, just be aware of portion size , etc. If you can't indulge a bit at Thanksgiving and Christmas , it makes things worse. We tend to eat more and mindlessly if we deny ourselves something we really want. Why not have the turle whatever and ration it out ? You could always take some to your Doormen. They'd love you for it !

Lisa said...

Thanks for all the suggestions!
Kool Aid - thanks for stopping by! I've never actually made a green bean casserole, so that might work.
Jen - just checked out the recipe, it looks great!! Dried cherries would definitely work. This is in contention!
Barb (Mom) - we love the turtle pie, and I make it with less fattening substitutes, but it's all the artificial ingredients this time that I'm trying to stay away from. Plus, I wan to try something new this year. We definitely enjoy the food, wouldn't have it other way, but you know Woody, he's a growing boy and eats a lot! Especially at the Holidays!