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 OK....it 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 myself....as 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....
Turkey....as 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 potatoes.....no 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 dressing....my 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.
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
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 pie......no 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!!