Friday, November 19, 2010

Most people will consume about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. How about a healthier approach with fresh ingredients? I've calculated points for people eating on a point system.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Feeds 6 people
12 points each

Spinach and pear salad with honey balsamic dressing
Butternut squash soup with cran-apple relish
Turkey, roast or ham
Oven roasted asparagus
Baked sweet potatoes
Whole wheat dinner rolls
Pumpkin mousse with vanilla pudding and nutmeg

Spinach salad
6-8 cups fresh green spinach
2 fresh pears cut up (canned if you can’t get fresh),
1 red onion thinly sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup good balsamic vinegar (more vinegar if you want)
2 T honey
1-2 T water
Lemon pepper to season (optional)
Combine in a jar and shake.
Combine the spinach, pears, onion and toss with the dressing, sprinkle cranberries on top. Combined point value of entire salad is 6 points (it’s the dressing mostly).

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls,
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour – use Gold Medal Heart Healthy, it’s 4 points a cup
1 package yeast
1 ¼ cups warm water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter
1 t salt
2 egg whites
Combine dry ingredients, warm water and margarine in microwave till 115-120 degrees, add to dry ingredients and mix, add egg and mix for 3 minutes. Pat out dough with flour and cut out rolls. Let rise about 1 hour and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. When the rolls are hot out of the oven, rub butter over the top so that they will be soft dinner rolls. Do not over bake. Makes about 12-14 rolls. One roll is 3 points.

Butternut Squash Soup
1 (2-3 pound) butternut squash peeled and seeded – Costco sells it ready to go
1 medium chopped onion
4 cups chicken stock
1 apple, cored and chopped
½ cup Splenda (optional)
Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper
Cut squash into chunks. In large pot add the first 5 ingredients and boil. When the squash and onion are tender, blend in small batches in a blender. Add the cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Each serving is 1 point.

Cran-Apple Relish (this is from Rachael Ray)
1 apple finely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ red onion finely chopped
½ t cinnamon
2 T lemon juice
1 t Chili powder
1 T honey
Add together and stir; add to butternut squash. This is a strange combo but is wonderfully delicious. The entire batch is 3 points.

Meat – turkey, ham or a lean roast – 2 ounces of your choice = 2 points per serving

Roasted Asparagus
Heat oven to 400, toss asparagus in about 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning, roast till desires tenderness. The olive oil is 3 points for the entire batch.

Bake sweet potatoes – 1 small potato, 3 oz., is 1 point. I top with I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray

Pumpkin Mousse – topped with vanilla pudding and nutmeg
¼ cup Splenda
½ t salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t ground ginger
¼ t cloves
4 egg whites
1 can 15oz. pure pumpkin
1 ¼ cups almond milk (soy or mild work too)
Mix all ingredients together and bake in 9” pie plate at 425 for 15 minutes and then lower over to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes.
Top pie with Sugar free-Fat free Vanilla Jello pudding. If you make the pudding with plain almond milk you lower the calories by a lot.
Dish up the pumpkin mousse into a serving dish, top with pudding and sprinkle with nutmeg.
The entire dessert is 10 points.

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