Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Tip #3

Turkey Tip #3:  Keep it Balanced

If you look at the basics of a Thanksgiving meal, it doesn't look all that bad.  Turkey is a wonderful source of lean protein and cranberry sauce is packed with antioxidants.  Even red wine has its health benefits.  It's once we hit the mash potatoes and gravy and skip the greens and salad that we go down hill.  Just like any other meal, keep your Thanksgiving meal balanced.  Make some room on your Thanksgiving table for some delicious, yet healthy options. Eat veggies and healthy grains along with your Turkey and keep the sugar and starchy carbs to a minimum. You will have a fantastic and healthy meal.  And even better, you won't have to feel bad about your extensive dessert sampling.

These sides are a great way to balance out a Thanksgiving table and they will put your stuffing and mash potatoes to shame.  Quinoa is a wonderful grain that is also high protein (a complete source of all the amino acids!) and has a unique nutty flavor.  In addition to being a power vegetable, Brussels sprouts can be a substitute for baby potatoes or a greens topped with cheese (hint: no broccoli with cheese sauce). In addition to being very easy to prepare, these dishes are vegetarian so they will take the pressure off worrying about  an unknown guests dietary needs. What you didn't know your son's new girlfriend was vegetarian?!

Baked Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts

1 lb. Brussel sprouts
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. honey
Sea Salt

Clean the brussel sprouts and bring a pot of water to a boil.  Blanch the brussels sprouts by boiling for about 3 minutes then removing and immediately submerging in a bowl of ice water. Remove and drain on a towel. This step can be done in advance, even the day before.

Add the brussels sprouts to a baking sheet.  Add walnuts and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle sea salt.  Toss to coat.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, occasionally tossing to cook evenly on all sides. Remove, finish by tossing with 1 teaspoon of honey.

Quinoa with Almonds and Golden Raisins

1 cup red quinoa
1tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup golden raisins

In a pot, bring olive oil to medium heat.  Add quinoa and stir to coat evenly.  Raise to high heat and add water until it comes to a boil.  Once at a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Allow to cook until all the water has been absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove the lid and add slivered almonds and golden raisins.  Toss and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy :)

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