Friday, November 20, 2009

My Action Plan For Thanksgiving Dinner and Recipes......

I am wise to say, this next week being Thanksgiving will be a major hurdle for me when it comes to food. I have planned ahead....and have a plan....for myself. It may mean, I have to cook extra food, (mainly for myself) but that is is a must for my success.

I usually cook the traditional Thanksgiving meal....and will this year too for my family. But along with those "must have" dishes, I am going to prepare the following for a substitution to some of the must have sides......of course, my family are welcome to try these new dishes out...but they are so stuck in tradition....I am sure I will be eating leftovers for days.... always, I will not eat the succulent honey baked ham that I love.....won't even taste it.....I will live!

Mashed potatoes.....southern, homemade Thanksgiving would be complete without them....Here is my new version:

Mock Mashed Potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup chicken broth
sea salt & Pepper to taste
3 lbs. fresh cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 Tbl. butter
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In lg. bowl, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over cauliflower, toss to coat. Spread evenly on a 10X15 jelly roll pan. bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Toss garlic over the cauliflower for the last 5-7 minutes of roasting to bring out the garlic flavor. Remove from oven and place in large bowl. Add garlic, broth, butter, salt and pepper, mash with a potato masher or use a mixer. Stir in green onions.

Dressing - southern cornbread family thinks I am the only one who can make dressing.....Here is the version I will be having:

Wild Rice Stuffing with Sage & apples
2 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup wild rice
1 whole bay leaf
4 oz. onion (1/2 small onion, diced small)
6 oz. green apples (1 apple, peeled, cored & diced)
1 stalk chopped celery
2 teas. orange zest, grated
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup diced tomato
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
2 TBL. fresh sage

In a small pot bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add wild rice and bay leaf, reduce hear and simmer partially covered for 35-45 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Add tomatoes, fluff rice mixture with a fork and set aside. Spray a nonstick pan with vegetable oil and heat over a medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add celery, apple, sage and orange zest and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cooked wild rice, parsley, salt, walnuts, pepper and mix well. Serving size is 3/4 cup.

The family will have Green Bean Casserole....I will have fresh steamed green beans with garlic.

And lastly, because this is one of my favorite recipes, and the original version is found HERE, I am able to substitute ingredients to enjoy this dish and I am super excited.

Broccoli Salad

2 bunches fresh broccoli
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound of uncured bacon (nitrate free) available in several brands at Target, cut in pieces and cooked
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup Vegenaise (available at central market) taste just like mayo..promise
1/2 cup Truvea (in place of sugar)
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

The how-to:
Cook the bacon until crisp, drain and crumble into small pieces. Us the whole pound of bacon. Next, cut the broccoli crowns from the stalks. Mix onion, cooked bacon pieces, pecans in a serving bowl.
Mix the dressing. Mix vegenaise, truvea and vinegar. Stir well. I use a whir whisk for the mixing.
Pour dressing over broccoli crowns just before serving. Serve on lettuce leaves and garnish with tomato wedges if desires.
For broccoli to remain crisp, eat within an hour of mixing dressing on broccoli. Dressing will last several days if refrigerated. This makes this easy to make ahead of time and transport to any location at a later date.

Now, I have no substitution for homemade rolls, pie, cranberry sauce, gravy....etc...but with this plan and a few changes, I feel pretty confident I can make it through Thanksgiving and not slip.....I will have fresh strawberries available in my refrigerator if I do want something sweet later on after the meal when everyone else is eating homemade pecan and apple worries.

All of these recipes are from my nutritionist and approved by her. That in and of itself gives me the courage and confidence I need to make it through this meal....and not have any set backs. I have not tried any of these versions, so I will let you know what the taste factor is on these dishes after Thanksgiving. I have to believe they will be wonderful!!


  1. I'm so hungry for dinner now!!!

  2. I think the key here is that you have a great plan for yourself, and you are so determined, I can tell! Those mashed potatoes sound heavenly! Actually, all of your meals sound great, and maybe you can inspire your family to eat that way next year! I'm rooting for you Suzanne!
    Have a great weekend!

  3. To echo Carol's comments....the key is planning ahead and you are obviously on top of your game! The recipes sound really good. Have a wonderful day with your family.

  4. Oh wow everything looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing the mashed califlower recipe. I had it in a restaurant once and they were so yummy. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!


  5. I understand about tradition but i have to say YOUR recipes sound delish

    I never do green bean casserole instead I do green beans fresh sliced garlic, chopped onions with a nice butter substitute and basil it is so good, i make it in a skillet okay now i am starving

  6. Thankfully we are spreading out who brings what for Thanksgiving. Mom will do the dressing. Us girls will do the sides. It's all happening at MY house I've got lots of cleaning, getting ready, setting up for the bunch, etc to do! Making my weekend 2-do list!

  7. Your menu looks good. Most of what you have we have too. I love cooked cauliflower and have had it like potatoes but I am going to try out your recipe, thanks for sharing.

  8. From the way your recipes sound, I feel sure you will enjoy all you prepare for yourself. I will take leftovers, regardless. But sure like your old fashion dressing, healthy or not.

  9. Planing is everything with weight loss. You are doing a great job and not depriving yourself of anything. Remember..., your goal is way more important than one holiday and I guarantee that next FRIDAY, the day after Thanksgiving, you are going to feel so good about yourself that it will make up for any of those desserts that you didn't eat.
    Have fun!

  10. MMMM... Suzanne, everything sounds wonderful and I love mashed cauliflower. You are awesome to have your plan ready for preparing your traditional dishes and these new ones.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    (oh, also, I dont know if you are getting my emails, so I thought I'd let you know here... Thank you for your adorable card! It arrived yesterday. Please let me know if you've gotten my Nov 17th email, with a short email reply :o) ...our server is still acting quirky!)

  11. The wild rice stuffing sounds delish!

  12. I am starving!! Everything sounds delish ~ and I can tell you that the 'mock' mashed potatoes are incredibly good. A dear friend of mine has made them for years. I also love your version of the green bean dish ~ just haven't ever gotten into the ol' time green bean casserole. I think you are doing an awesome job of figuring out healthy substitutions while also preparing a fabulous meal for others. I would venture to say that you're going to feel a LOT better than they will! Kudos ~ you deserve them.

  13. Suzanne, I admire your determination. I hope all your alternative dishes are wonderful.
    I will be anxious to hear about them as I am also trying to lost weight. Hard Road!!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving.


  14. Sounds like you are going to be eating good. It's a hassle sometimes having to cook different things for yourself, but it's worth it.

  15. CBS Early Show last Saturday had some calorie cutting recipes that looked pretty good:

    Secret Ways to Cut Thanksgiving Calories


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