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Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Meal Menu-delicious and 3 times less calories!





This is a holiday meal fit for many and kind to all. Here is the menu I devised to suit those wanting to eat healthy. Many were vegetarians and some required gluten-free choices. I wanted to focus on fresh super-foods that might actually make us feel better by the end of the meal. Each recipe had to be tasty and ultimately add to a colorful plate.

The Menu-
Appetizer- Roasted Pumpkins Seeds with Sea Salt (store bought)

Main Meal- Roasted Turkey (simply stuffed with herbs, garlic, orange, onion & apple), Mashed Sweet Potatoes (prepared with pineapple juice & spices), Sauteed Green Beans topped with Lemon Zest (cooked in vegetable broth with 1 Tbls of butter), Quinoa-Kale-Pecan Stuffing topped with Pomegranate Seeds, Spotted Puppies (drop biscuits with golden raisins), Roasted Quince-Cranberry Chutney with Horseradish, gravy as a turkey juices reduction with no flour.

Dessert- gluten-free pumpkin pie and pecan pie topped with homemade whipped cream (served in small slices). This was also store-bought and brought by friends.

Wine- Red- Pinot Noir

The prep time for the meal was amazingly reasonable. I baked the Spotted Puppies the day before so no baking was actually done on Thanksgiving. Friends brought the pies and whipped the cream. The Quinoa had the most steps to prepare. Nothing was complicated, however. Other than the Turkey, everything was vegetarian. And other than the Spotted Puppies, everything was gluten-free. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

The flavors were in keeping with what you would expect at a Thanksgiving, Christmas or other Holiday meal. The colors of the different dishes created a beautiful palette for a plate filled with delicious food. There was almost no butter used or cream in the dishes. And it was all fresh, packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals...but not with pesticides or hormones! All was bought at the local grocery store!

The meal was well enjoyed with many compliments. And there was not the usual groaning and glazed eyes after the meal!

Here is the overall calorie count-
Pumpkin Seeds-  83 calories for a handful/.5 oz
Roasted Turkey-  118 calories for white meat/  4 oz
Mashed Sweet Potato-  80 calories for 1/2 cup
Green Beans with zest-  44 calories for 1 cup
Quinoa stuffing-  220 calories for 1/12th the recipe- about 1/2 cup
Turkey Juices Reduction Gravy-  50 calories for 1/4 cup
Quince-Cranberry Chutney- 116 calories for 1/6 the recipe- about 1/2 cup
Spotted Puppies- 186 calories for one biscuit
Pumpkin Pie- 323 calories for a 1/6th slice of the pie
Whipped Cream- 52 calories for 1 tablespoon
Red Wine- 121 calories for 5 oz
If you eat everything- total calories of 1,393

According to the Caloric Control Council the average American will consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day alone. That is more then 3 times the meal I prepared. And clearly, according to the list of foods and the recipes provided, our menu was nonetheless a bountiful, delicious and satisfying meal! It can be done.

The trick is to eat lightly around the big meal. For breakfast I had a muffin and latte. For lunch I fixed a greens-based salad. Light and non-destructive.

All in all it was a great day filled with family, friends and healthy, delectable food...just as it should be! I prepared this for Thanksgiving but it can be a great Christmas meal as well.

Happy, Healthy Eating!