Beyond Thanksgiving: A Week of Healthy Meals and Recipes
Healthy dishes to serve your holiday visitors all week long.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for so many reasons: its meaningful origin, the fact that it inspires us to take time to be thankful - and, of course, the feast laden with comfort foods. Most of the excitement is focused on the big day, but if you think about it, there is a whole week of potential meals with visiting friends and family! You may have children coming back home, relatives staying with you for the week, or friends stopping by. For all these wonderful reasons, here is a week of healthy meals and recipes designed specifically for Thanksgiving week:
Breakfast: Everyone in the house can make a Breakfast Burrito by cooking up 1/2 cup of vegetables (try onions, mushrooms, raw or frozen spinach) and adding 1/3 cup egg substitute. Top with an ounce of reduced-fat, shredded cheese and roll it all up in a high-fiber tortilla (some of them have more than 10 grams of fiber).
Lunch: Get a serving of fish today with a tasty Tuna Melt. Start by mixing up a tuna salad using canned tuna packed in water, chopped onions, and celery and apple (if desired). Blend it all together with a light bottled vinaigrette, or a blend of light mayonnaise and fat-free sour cream, then season with pepper to taste. Spread about 1/2 cup of the mixture on a slice of whole-wheat bread, bun, or bagel. Top the other slice of bread with a slice of reduced-fat cheese. Place both slices on a sheet of foil and pop quickly into the toaster oven or broiler (just long enough to melt the cheese -- about a minute). Serve with raw veggies like sugar snap peas and baby carrots.
Dinner: Burgers are exactly 8 minutes away when you're armed with your indoor grill. You can make and form the burgers ahead of time and keep them on a plate (covered) in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill them. Try Cajun Sirloin Burgers on toasted whole grain buns topped with tomato slices, lettuce and onion. Serve with a fruit salad or fruit kabobs made with in-season fruit.
Cajun Sirloin Burgers
1 pound ground sirloin or ground turkey with around 6% fat
Nutritional Information: Per serving: 420 calories, 35 g protein, 39 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 6.3 g monounsaturated fat, 1.4 g polyunsaturated fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 800 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 30%.
Breakfast: To get your family in a festive fall mood, try Pumpkin Pecan Waffles. You can even make them ahead of time and keep them frozen in a sealable bag. Just pop them in the toaster in the morning, and serve.
Pumpkin Pecan Waffles
1 cup unbleached white flour
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