Tag Archives: broccoli

My {proposed} Thanksgiving “Feast”

So, since I came to the revelation that I needed (badly) to develop a plan for Thanksgiving dinner this year the wheels have been spinning…

I appreciate the input and advice from all of you.  I probably would not have come up with this fine “feast” without you!

First up – salad:

Fall Harvest Salad

To be honest, I usually do not prepare a salad for Thanksgiving dinner. This year; however, I will…and I am actually excited to try this one (because it looks/sounds delicious!). I will be using artisan lettuce instead of “plain old” lettuce, though. Also I will not be making such a large amount of the vinaigrette – my family is not big on dressings anyway.

Next comes the turkey:

Roasted Citrus & Herb Turkey

This is a bit different than my usual seasoning for the turkey, but I am excited to try something new with the turkey. You know, shake things up a bit (or a whole lot…as it might be).

Moving on to the mashed potatoes:

Faux Ta Toes

This is maybe where things start to get more interesting. I have been brainstorming ways to “change out” the mashed potatoes with all of their white starchy evilness (yes, I am aware that is not really a word). At first I switched straight to sweet potatoes, but that was an “I-may-lose-my-life-serving-it” kind of plan. So, I thought “faux” potatoes, or cauliflower. I will not follow the recipe above entirely, but this is the general idea. Instead of serving 100% mashed potatoes, I am going to switch out majority of the potatoes for cauliflower. I also usually use light sour cream instead of cream cheese. Additionally, I will be adding some herbs and spices to keep the flavor up (without adding extra calories/fat).

Now, I am not sure about anyone else out there, but when I have mashed potatoes (or even a knock off) I *have* to have corn.  So, I found this delightfully scrumptious recipe a while back:

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Lime Butter

I am hoping I will be able to find corn on the cob in the grocery today. If not, I will have to come up with something else. Maybe a variation of this recipe that does not start “on the cob?” We shall see.

The stuffing:

Wild Rice Stuffing

The last dinner item I will be serving is broccoli:

Broccoli (no special recipe)

I did not pick out a “special” recipe for broccoli because I do not really think I need one. I cook broccoli often (because I love it) and I think the way I usually prepare it is just fine (steamed with some garlic).

On to dessert.  As I mentioned before, we have always been a “multi-dessert” kind of family.  That is mostly because I *love* pumpkin and my mother hates it.  I refuse to skip pumpkin *something* on Thanksgiving, and my mother feels the same way about apple *something.*  So, here is my plan:

Apple Confit

Per the reviews on the recipe, I will be significantly reducing the sugar in the recipe. I will also likely increase the cinnamon and maybe a dash of something extra. It sounds absolutely amazing, though.

…and the pumpkin dessert:

Light Pumpkin Custard

I will be making smaller quantities this year (so I may end up halving some of the larger recipes listed above), so that it decreases the amount of food on the table (and in my fridge afterward). All in all, though, I feel as though this is a decent menu with very little room for “disaster” in the way of my weight loss path. I also believe that my family will not be too terribly upset about this menu, so that is another positive.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Will you be allowing yourself a “free” day, or will you be mentally preparing to curb poor eating habits?

-Erica

Thursday Dinner

After a successful dinner on Wednesday, I was certainly up for another batch of new recipes on Thursday.  My family was excited.

We had mushroom cheese chicken, veggie cheese casserole, and oven roasted corn on the cob.  It was all absolutely delicious!

The chicken was tender and moist.  The cheesy filling was fabulous.


The veggie cheese casserole was quite different than any way I have ever prepared broccoli before.  My husband and chicklets loved it, though!  This shot was taken before I put it in the oven.

As it baked, it had the best aroma.  Mixed with the smell of the chicken baking, my house smelled wonderful.  When the casserole came out of the oven it looked amazing.  The parmesan cheese had melted and the top was a light golden brown.  My chicklets called it broccoli cake.

We had quite a bit of the casserole left over (as you can see), so I would probably cut this recipe in half next time to avoid having to store so much of it.

Unfortunately, I never remembered to take any pictures of the corn (before or after baking).  That is a shame, I will say, because it was beautiful.  The green of the cilantro against the bright yellow and white looked incredible – and it was so yummy.

MUSHROOM CHEESE CHICKEN

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 c reduced-fat plain yogurt
1/2 c shredded aprt-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 c canned mushroom stems and pieces
1 Tbsp diced pimientos
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp minced chives

1 Tbsp reduced-fat plain yogurt
1 Tbsp dry bread crumbs
1/8 tsp paprika

Flatten chicken to 1/8-inch thickness; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, combine the flour and yogurt until smooth.  Stir in the cheese, mushrooms, pimientos, parsley, and chives.  Spread down the center of each piece of chicken.  Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with toothpicks.  Place seam side down in an 11 X 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Brush yogurt over chicken.  Combine bread crumbs and paprika; sprinkle over the top.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.  Discard toothpicks before serving.

Here’s the dirt:
4 servings

222 calories
5 g fat (2 g saturated fat)
92 mg cholesterol
544 mg sodium
4 g carbs
trace fiber
39 g protein

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VEGGIE CHEESE CASSEROLE

3 c frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 c  reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix
1 c reduced-fat sour cream
1 c reduced-fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 large tomato, thinly sliced and halved
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Arrange the broccoli in a greased 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the biscuit mix, sour cream, cottage cheese, eggs, butter, and salt; pour over the broccoli.  Arrange tomato slices over the top; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Here’s the dirt:
9 servings

158 calories
9 g fat (6 g saturated fat)
72 mg cholesterol
354 mg sodium
10 g carbs
1 g fiber
8 g protein

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OVEN-ROASTED CORN ON THE COB

2 Tbsp finey chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
4 ears of corn, shucked

Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Tear off 4 (12-inch square) sheets of heavy-duty foil.

In a shallow bowl, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and water.  Roll the corn in the cilantro oil, then place on the foil; brush with any remaining cilantro oil.  Wrap the foil around the corn securely, then place directly on an oven rack.  Bake, turning occasionally, until tender (about 25 minutes).

Here’s the dirt:
4 servings

109 calories
4 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g Trans fat)
0 mg cholesterol
14 mg sodium
18 g carbs
3 g fiber
3 g protein
3 mg calcium

-Erica

Fettuccine with Chicken and Broccoli Rabe

This recipe has become a favorite at our house.  The chicklets love it (they do pick out the onion, though) and my husband just cannot get enough of it.  It is a little “time intensive” at somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes to prepare, so it is definitely not for nights when a quick meal is needed.

FETTUCCINE WITH CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI RABE

1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned and chopped (we have used regular broccoli and it was fine)
6 ounces spinach fettuccine
4 tsp. olive oil (we use EVOO)
4 (4-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 head radicchio, shredded (we sometimes use regular red cabbage)
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the broccoli rabe 2 minutes.  Spoon the broccoli out, reserving the water in the pan.  Cook the fettuccine according to package directions in the broccoli water; drain.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp. of the oil. Add the chicken, salt, oregano, and red pepper and saute until cooked through (about 4 or 5 minutes on each side).  Transfer to plates.

3. In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 tsp. of oil; saute the onion and garlic until tender (about 3 or 4 minutes).  Stir in the broccoli rabe and radicchio; cook, stirring frequently, until tender (about 4 or 5 minutes).  Add the fettuccine, then sprinkle with the cheese and black pepper.  Serve topped with the chicken and sprinkled with the basil.

Here’s the dirt on this recipe:
4 servings

339 calories
8 g fat (2 g saturated, 0 g Trans fat)
92 mg cholesterol
746 mg sodium
37 g carbs
5 g fiber
29 g protein
147 g calcium

-Erica