The meatless meal for this month is Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Israeli Couscous Salad. I tend to make changes to all of the recipes and this time I changed a food in the title of the recipe! I used quinoa instead of couscous (to add protein), and left out the salt. I have never been a fan of Brussels sprouts, but I didn’t mind them in this salad and with the dressing! Enjoy!
For the Salad:
- 1lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
- 2 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cups quinoa
- ½ cup sliced green onions
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup sliced raw almonds
For the Dressing:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Pepper to taste
Directions For the Salad:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the sprouts and sweet potato on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the veggies are tender and starting to brown. Set aside. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat and add to a large bowl. To the large bowl, add the roasted veggies, the green onions, and cranberries and toss to combine. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Pour into the bowl with the quinoa and toss to combine. Season with pepper to taste.
Check out this Healthy Recipe!
The meatless meal for this month is “Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Leeks”
I “tweaked” this recipe a bit to make it a bit heathier. The original recipe title was “Twice-Baked Potatoes with Leeks and Sausage”. You could use Lean Turkey Italian or hot sausage, but our goal is to make more meatless meals so it was left out of this recipe. The original recipe also had 1 Tbsp. butter that I omitted also. I changed the sour cream to plain, nonfat Greek yogurt and left out the salt. We love this recipe and make it probably more than a couple of times each month! Enjoy!
“Twice-Baked Potatoes with Leeks”
>Serves 4 as a main course.
4 small sweet potatoes (about 8oz. each)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. leeks, white and light-green parts only, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tsp. chopped fresh sage (you can use dried sage also)
¼ tsp. chopped fresh thyme (you can use dried thyme also)
½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ cup grated Gruyere cheese
Poke the sweet potatoes a few times and I microwave them on the baked potato setting. It is so much quicker! While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a 10” skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, sage and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the mixture just starts to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are very soft and starting to turn golden, 10-15 minutes. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully scoop the flesh into a medium bowl, leaving about 1/8” of flesh in the shells. Mash the scooped flesh with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Fold the leeks into the mashed sweet potato. Position a rack 6” from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high. Mound the filling into the potato skins and top with the cheese. Put the potatoes in a 9x13” baking dish and broil until the cheese is golden, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Reference: The Best of Fine Cooking Magazine
Keep Healthy during the Holidays
Let’s enjoy the holidays without weight gain this year!
The average amount of weight gain during the holidays isn’t very much, however most people don’t lose the pound or two gained and that can add up year after year!
Here are some tips to lower calorie and fat intake during the holiday season to help prevent weight gain: • Drink water as your meal beverage (flavor naturally with lemon, lime, or orange slices)
• Substitute low-fat plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in dip recipes
• If you drink an alcoholic drink like wine, dilute it with half carbonated water
• Add cooked brown rice to your stuffing (for 3 cups of stuffing, add about 2-3 cups of cooked brown rice and a little low-sodium broth and mix well)
• For lower calorie pecan pie, use reduced-calorie pancake syrup instead of karo syrup, substitute half of the pecans with Grape Nuts cereal, use egg whites instead of whole eggs and add 1 Tbsp. flour
• For lower calorie pumpkin pie use egg whites instead of whole eggs, use evaporated skim milk instead of regular, reduce the sugar by 25% and serve with low-fat whipped cream.
• For lower fat gravy strain off the fat using a gravy de-fatter cup or freeze the juice briefly in a shallow pan so you can remove the solidified fat from the top • Substitute half or all of the oil in a recipe with applesauce
• Substitute half or all of the oil in a recipe with pureed pumpkin
Don't Miss Meat!
The meatless meal my daughter and I tried for this month is “Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brown Rice”. We made some changes to this recipe and absolutely loved it!
We replaced the coconut oil with canola oil because canola oil is a monounsaturated fat as opposed to coconut oil which is a saturated fat. Saturated fats can increase cholesterol. We never use salt to flavor recipes so we just left it out and flavored with a bit more cumin. You could also use a little more red pepper too if you like spicy. We used natural peanut butter because there is no sugar, sodium or hydrogenated fats added. Always look for processed foods with the least amount of ingredients.
You have to try this recipe! The link to the recipe is below. You won’t miss the meat! Recipe source: http://cookieandkate.com/2013/spicy-thai-peanut-sauce-over-roasted-sweet-potatoes-and-rice/
Is There Nutrition in Turkey, Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries?
Turkey is a great source of protein, Vitamins B3, B6, B12, Selenium, choline and zinc. Use the spice rub recipe below and bake covered or in an oven bag for moisture instead of deep frying!
Sweet potatoes contain fiber, Vitamins A and C, potassium, and manganese, as well as other nutrients. 1 medium (about 5 inches long) sweet potato only has 100 calories. Mash them with a little orange juice for sweetness and cinnamon instead of baking them with marshmallows!
Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants, Vitamins C and E. Proanthocyanidins, a specific antioxidant, protects against urinary tract infections, cavities, and gum disease. Put 1 bag of cranberries, 1 orange and sugar or artificial sweetener to taste. Stir in a few chopped walnuts, rich in heart-healthy omega 3 fatty-acids!
Don’t forget to follow up your Thanksgiving meal with some physical activity. Take a walk around the neighborhood, have a dance-off contest with your family and guests, play some football or basketball in the yard, or go sledding or cross country skiing…..if we happen to have snow!
Turkey Spice Rub Recipe (for 5-5 ½ pound turkey breast) 1 ½ Tbsp. lemon-pepper seasoning 1 ½ tsp. onion powder 1 ½ tsp. garlic powder 1 ½ tsp. poultry seasoning ½ tsp. paprika