Tag Archives: pumpkin

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

Pumpkin Pancakes and Orange Smoothies

I must admit fall is my favorite time of year.  The trees are beautiful and vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows.  The air becomes crisp and cool with amazing breezes.  Everything around me seems fresh, yet comfortable.  I know it is not fall just yet, but I am looking forward to it.  Pumpkins, squash, friends, family, birthdays, holidays, and so much more.

Here are a couple recipes that will be perfect for those lazy fall weekend mornings:

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin, egg white and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until second side is golden brown.

Here’s the dirt:
6 servings (2 pancakes each)

240 calories
5 g fat (1 g saturated fat)
1 mg cholesterol
375 mg sodium
41 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
8 g protein

************************************************************

ORANGE STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE

  • 2-1/4 cups orange juice
  • 1 package (12.3 ounces) silken reduced-fat firm tofu
  • 3 cups halved frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced ripe bananas

In a food processor, combine the orange juice, tofu, strawberries and bananas; cover and pulse until blended. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.

Here’s the dirt:
6 servings (1 cup each)

120 calories
1 g fat (trace saturated fat)
0 cholesterol
51 mg sodium
25 g carbs
3 g fiber
5 g protein

-Erica

Pumpkin-Apple Bread

I *love* bread, really.  To me there is nothing quite like a great piece of bread (not that over-processed “sandwich” bread you can buy in bulk at the grocery).

Here is a recipe I really enjoy, and it is actually good for you.

PUMPKIN-APPLE BREAD

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
1 c. low-fat buttermilk
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated (I use green or yellow ones)
1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp. powdered sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F; spray a 9 X 5 loaf pan with nonstick spray (I actually use Cake Release by Wilton – and I love it!).

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt, and spice.  In a small bowl, beat egg and add the buttermilk, apple, and pumpkin.  Pour into the flour mixture; stir until just combined (do not overmix).

3. Spoon into the pan.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 65 to 75 minutes.  Cool in the pan about 10 minutes then flip out and cool completely on a rack.  Dust with the powdered sugar.

Here’s the dirt on this recipe:
10 servings
137 calories
1 g. fat (0 saturated fat, 0 trans fat)
22 mg. cholesterol
243 mg sodium
28 g. carbs
1 g. fiber
4 g. protein
57 mg. calcium

I typically bake a loaf and then cut in half.  I tightly wrap one half in plastic wrap and put in a plastic bag to freeze.  I cut the other half into slices and keep them in sandwich baggies.

-Erica