Can you believe it is already that time of year again ? It is time to start figuring out your Thanksgiving Menu. Where are you going to splurge and where are you going to cut some calories?
This takes some planning and you do have to consider the dishes that are family traditions and where you can switch out something new for this year’s feast.
We have some that have been family traditions like my mom’s mashed potatoes, my daughter’s love mac and cheese, and I like a colorful salad of some sort. Of course, we can’t forget the pretty little appetizers too. I have included all the links to print out my favorite recipes.
Veggie tray (you have to have a veggie tray). This is my go to when I am slaving away in the kitchen, I want to munch and this is my saving grace so that I am not eating empty calories, I fill up on veggies. This keeps the rest of the meal in check for me as I am not as hungry and can control my portion sizes. Make this early so you can have it out for easy access while you are cooking away.
Baked Goat Cheese Balls with Marinara dipping sauce
This is going to be a new addition to this year’s meal. We tried this at a pizza restaurant called Boombazz in Murfreesboro, TN and it was so good we looked up how to make it for our next gathering. The beautiful thing about Goat Cheese is even if you are lactose intolerant (as I am) goat cheese normally won’t bother your system as it contains less lactose. So enjoy…
Baked Mac and Cheese
Ever since we moved to Tennessee my daughter’s have wanted Mac and Cheese at the Thanksgiving table. This isn’t something we normally had all the years we lived in Florida. I searched for a lighter version of the traditional dish and have loved this one. My girls have never complained either.
Juicy Flavorful Turkey
We have tried making our turkey deep fried, baked, and slow cooked. Every year I try another recipe, this year I choose this good looking bird. We will see how it goes..
Skinny Corn Casserole
You know corn casserole is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. I don’t normally eat corn or muffins but there is something about this time of year and only on this one day you can give me all the corn casserole, mashed potatoes, and homemade stuffing. Who else feels the same way. I don’t really care about the rest of the meal. lol
Honey Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry & Feta Salad
Every beautifully decorated table needs a colorful salad dish on it. We get so caught up on all the food that you want something rich in vibrant Fall colors to draw your guests in. This way they get some good fiber in their diet which will help fill them up before they blow their whole diet on sugar. Nothing screams Fall like a butternut squash salad with colorful cranberries, the subtle sweetness of honey, and the kick of bold feta cheese.
Honey Glazed Carrots
I love carrots especially when they have a hint of sweetness and are baked to the perfect softness. I usually use colorful carrots but this year I am trying my hand at honey glazed baby carrots to switch things up a bit.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Every year on Thanksgiving I would always look forward to my mother’s mashed potatoes. There is just something about the way she would make them, they were the creamiest, butter filled bowl of beauty. I always wanted a huge bowl just for me. Fast forward to now and I can’t do them quite as buttery or in such a big bowl but I do look forward to them. Here is a close match to her recipe just a little lighter. When my husband and I took a cooking class last year this is how we made them. The ricer took a little more time but man did it make a difference. If you don’t like lumps and want them ohhh so creamy, use the ricer…
Caramel Apple Pie
There is no holiday complete without my famous Caramel Apple Pie. This is a family favorite and I have been making it ever since I got married, 25 years ago. If there is one slice of pie to be eaten it will be this pie for me. I usually have to make 2 of these.
As a side note, I am a trainer so I have to say it. Always, Always start this day off with some sort of exercise. We usually do a body weight plyometric workout for only 20-30 minutes first thing in the morning. Later in the evening after the food has settled and the kitchen is clean again, we end the day with a long walk with the dogs. It makes you feel so much better about the meal you just consumed and it really does help aid in digestion so you can sleep. Be active all weekend even if it is just a few brisk walks.
Remember, the average person consumes around 1500-3000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal and then they repeat that same meal several times over the next couple of days. That is a lot of food especially when you should be getting around 1500-2000 calories a DAY. Be mindful of your portions and stay active.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving,