Thanksgiving Week: Healthy Meals & Recipes (cont.)

Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Mashed Potatoes:
6 cups cooked, peeled, hot, drained, potato quarters (if potatoes are large, cut into 6 or 8 pieces)
2 tablespoons whipped butter or less fat margarine
6 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half (or low fat milk)
Salt and pepper to taste

Meat Mixture:
2 cups cooked lean meat of your choice, cut into bite-size pieces (roasted turkey, roast beef, etc.)
2 1/4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, lightly cooked or thawed (such as a blend of green beans, wax beans, and baby carrots)
10.5-ounce can condensed cream of celery soup (with around 4.5 grams fat per 1/2 cup serving of soup)
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
4 green onions, white and part of the green, chopped

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

  1. Add hot potatoes (from colander) directly into large mixing bowl. Add the whipped butter and fat-free half-and-half, and beat on low until desired texture is achieved.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste. Coat inside of the slow cooker with canola cooking spray and spread mashed potatoes in the bottom. Sprinkle black pepper over the top, if desired. Spread pieces of meat evenly over mashed potatoes. Top with mixed vegetables.
  3. Add condensed cream of celery soup to a 2-cup measure. Stir in sour cream and green onions. Spread mixture over the top of the vegetables in the slow cooler. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Afterward, if you are using cheese, sprinkle it over the top and cook on high until cheese is melted (about 20-30 minutes more.)

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Information: Per serving: 367 calories, 29 g protein, 46 g carbohydrate, 6.8 g fat (1.1 g saturated fat), 61 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 487 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 17%.


Breakfast: Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes (using half whole wheat flour) served with fresh fruit and light pork or soy sausage links, such as Sing the Blues Flapjacks.

Sing the Blues Flapjacks

1 cup cake flour or unbleached white flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs (or 1 egg plus 1/4 cup egg substitute, or 2 egg whites)
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup reduced-calorie pancake syrup
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh unsweetened blueberries

  1. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in medium bowl and blend well with fork.
  2. Beat eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla in mixing bowl on medium-low speed until smooth.
  3. Add canola oil, pancake syrup, and dry ingredients to egg mixture in mixing bowl and beat on lowest speed, scraping with rubber spatula, just until blended. Gently fold in blueberries. Do not over mix.
  4. Let batter rest for 20 minutes. Spray griddle lightly with canola cooking spray. Preheat griddle until a drop of water skittles across the surface. 5. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form (30-60 seconds). Turn over with spatula and cook another 30-60 seconds or until golden brown. Serve pancakes with your preferred toppings.

Yield: 5 servings (3-4 pancakes each)

Nutritional Information: Per serving: 314 calories, 11 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fat (1.3 g saturated fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 4.5 g fiber, 840 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 19%.

Lunch: Set up a Quesadilla Bar, where everyone can make their own quesadillas by putting a higher fiber flour tortilla or a couple of corn tortillas on a plate and topping with reduced fat shredded cheese and assorted fillings. Choose from chopped green onions and tomatoes, sliced avocado, corn kernels, roasted vegetables, and cooked lean meat, if desired. Top the filling with a second tortilla and slide the quesadilla onto a medium-hot, nonstick frying pan coated with canola cooking spray. When underside is lightly brown, flip over and brown the other side. Serve with nonfat sour cream and your favorite salsa.

Dinner: How about a hearty pasta and beef dish like Beef Stroganoff served with a nice green salad? You can even make this dish on Friday and heat it up in 5 minutes!

Beef Stroganoff

About 2 pounds top sirloin steak, trimmed of visible fat, cut into 1/3-inch strips
Salt and pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
3/4 pound thickly sliced mushrooms
10 1/2-ounce can beef consomme
2 tablespoons Cognac (vodka can be substituted)
3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
8 cups cooked whole-wheat blend pasta of your choice
Paprika, as desired

  1. Pat meat strips well with paper towels, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper if desired. Heat oil in heavy nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add meat in single layer and cook just until brown on both sides (about 1 minute per side). Remove meat to a holding plate.
  2. Add shallots and mushrooms to the same frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Pour 1/8 cup consomme over the top and simmer until mushrooms are tender, scraping up browned bits as it cooks (about 6 minutes).
  3. Pour in the remaining consomme and cognac and continue to cook until liquid thickens (about 10 minutes). Stir in the fat-free half-and-half and the Dijon mustard. Add the meat strips and any juices from the holding plate. Simmer over medium-low heat until the meat is heated through and cooked to your desired doneness (about 2 minutes). Stir in chopped dill. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  4. Serve stroganoff over cooked noodles and sprinkle paprika over the top as desired.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Nutritional Information: Per Serving (if 8 per serving): 410 calories, 38 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate, 9.5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 76 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 331 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 21%.

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