Two Non-Traditional Ways to use Traditional Thanksgiving Ingredients
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s the time of year we start thinking about friends, family and of course food. For some, there can be a bit of trepidation regarding the turkey day table. You might be worried about all the progress you’ve made with your health goals, not fitting in that little black dress on New Year’s Eve or even just tired of the same old dishes every year.
Thanksgiving and the holidays in general does not have to mean excess. You can eat deliciously and healthy at the same time. You have an opportunity to wow your family and friends with a twist on the traditional ingredients and serve them up something amazing.
How many of you grew up with canned sweet potatoes baked with marshmallows and brown sugar? I have a sweet tooth and think this is delicious, but if you are focusing on your health I have a simple dish that won’t increase your waistline. Plus, sweet potatoes are a healthy carb, so it’s one you won’t want to skip at the dinner table.
Don't limit yourself to only these veggies. Turnips and parsnips are also amazing in this recipe. Just use a little less of the other vegetables. This can also be doubled or tripled if you are feeding a large group. However, you'll want to make sure not to overcrowd the baking sheet and might need to use more than one if making a bigger batch.
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- 5 Red Beets (small)
- 5 Carrots
- 1 teaspoon crushed Rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Wash and peel all the veggies.
- Cut all veggies into 1 inch pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the veggies in the olive oil, sea salt and rosemary.
- Spread out on a shallow baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
How about those cranberries? If your family is like mine, it’s the standard canned jellied cranberries that is simply opened up and served. Again, while I’ve enjoyed this dish, I try to take a more sophisticated take on those lovely little red berries. This time of year you have access to fresh cranberries, frozen will even work in a pinch.
Cranberries are naturally high in fiber and low calorie, but that’s not the case with the “jellied” kind. Instead try this as a super simple side dish. I call it the Cranberry Protein Salad because it has walnuts, pumpkin seeds and quinoa.
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- To prepare the quinoa, put 1 cup of quinoa in a fine mesh colander and rinse well until the water runs clear.
- Add the rinsed quinoa to a pot and add 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a low for about 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
- You'll know the quinoa is done when you see the little ring expand from the grain.
- Fluff with a fork and mix in the remaining ingredients.
Jessica Wyman is a Hippie in High Heels. A multi-passionate business woman serving as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master, Author and Heart Centered Entrepreneur. She works with women to improve their health and businesses by giving real advice for real women in the real world! Connect with Jessica on her blog for weekly-ish wellness tips, recipes and great advice.
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