Meet the tastiest, most nutritious Thanksgiving appetizer around. This easy dish comes together in under an hour and makes delicious use of beautiful poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are mild chili peppers from Mexico, and their spiciness helps to bring out their taste. If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods you can always use bell peppers instead. Flax seeds and veggies offer meaty texture and flavor while quinoa and chickpeas pile on the protein. I added a touch of marjoram for garnish as it adds extra flavor, plus pretty flecks of color. Serve hot out of the oven or bake ahead of time and reheat before your guests arrive. If you have any extra cooked quinoa leftover try my tasty little Quinoa Bites, which make great hors d’oeuvres and are the perfect finger food for kids to munch on.
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Strategy #1: Come Hungry, Not Starving
Arrive at your first feast famished and you’ll probably end up over-stuffing yourself. You’ll feel tired (turkey coma?) and can even end up with heartburn. At the next house, you’ll turn down Aunt Mary’s famous pie and insult the whole family (oh, the drama!). Have a small snack about 30-45 minutes before your first stop. A piece of fruit, granola bar or nonfat Greek yogurt will do the trick.
Strategy #2: Enjoy the Conversation
Instead of shoveling food with lightening speed, put down the fork and enjoy chatting with family and friends. This also helps slow down your food flow, enabling you to eat less and leaving room for feast #2.
During last weekend’s Thanksgiving Live show (a live TV event where Food Network chefs cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal on live TV, all while answering viewers’ questions about Turkey Day) many people asked via Facebook and Twitter about how to make gluten-free gravy. Gravy is traditionally thickened with flour, so if you can’t eat flour, are you stuck with watery gravy? The answer is no, and we’ve rounded up the best answers from the show and from the Food Network Kitchens.
Aside from the fabulous flavor, the best thing about grain salad is its versatility. Prepare this recipe for your holiday meal or make it the next day using Turkey Day leftovers. Make it with farro, quinoa, wild rice or any other favorite whole grain.
Even kids will eat Brussels sprouts when they are slathered in a sweet dressing! This recipe is a great way to bring a bit of green to your holiday table. You can enjoy these Brussels sprouts as is, or add them to a medley of Roasted Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, parsnips and carrots. The sweet aroma from these sprouts will even tempt the pickiest of eaters. You can also toss these Brussels sprouts with quick-cooking quinoa for an easy protein-packed gluten-free side dish.
Turkey Day by name doesn’t sound like the most enticing holiday for vegetarians. Luckily, this meal is all about the side dishes, many of which are meatless, or can be easily adjusted into vegetarian recipes. These healthy recipes are all meatless so will please vegetarian guests, but are so delicious they’ll be favored by meat-lovers as well.
Corn and Squash Pudding (above) This tasty side dish gets a twist with the added bonus of squash. Not only does the squash add a vibrant color and tons of vitamins to the dish, it provides a creamy texture that plays well off the crisp corn kernels.
Quinoa With Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins This flavorful, protein-packed quinoa side dish will please everyone at your Thanksgiving feast: It’s gluten-free, vegan and delicious enough that everyone will be asking for seconds.
Curried Spaghetti Squash The secret to this quick-cooking spaghetti squash is the microwave: spaghetti squash cooks in under 20 minutes when you zap it, so this Indian-flavored dish won’t take up any precious oven or stove-top space on Thanksgiving day.
Packed with hunger-fighting and muscle-building protein — even the dark meat is good for you!. Turkey a great centerpiece for a healthy Thanksgiving table, as long as you pass on the fatty skin.
Low in calories, yet bursting with natural sweetness and powerful antioxidants like lycopene. And there are so many ways to eat sweet potatoes: baked, stuffed, mashed, roasted or whipped into sweet potato pie.
Crunching the Numbers
We built two Thanksgiving plates, loaded with all the usual suspects. A few small tweaks can save more than 1,000 calories!
Meal #1: Belly Buster
6 ounces roasted turkey (white meat and dark meat with skin) = 360 calories
1 cup sausage stuffing = 380 calories
½ cup gravy = 70 calories
¼ cup cranberry sauce = 100 calories
1 cup green bean casserole = 175 calories
1 cup mashed potatoes = 250 calories
1 slice apple pie a la mode = 500 calories
Total Calories = 1,835
The beauty of this autumn soup is its adaptability; you can easily use pears instead of apples if you prefer. This recipe makes enough to serve four people when served as an appetizer or a side dish. If you are serving a large group of people for Thanksgiving, you can scale up the recipe accordingly; try adding in a pinch of allspice for an extra kick. Making your own soup is a tasty and healthy way to blend your favorite fall fruits and veggies into your holiday meal. In this recipe, which uses fresh pumpkin, you can feel good about getting the extra dose of vitamin A and fiber in every bite. Serve this soup with gluten-free croutons or ladle it over a baked sweet potato. If you’re in the mood for some more seasonal accompaniments, sip on my Homemade Maca Apple Cider.
Turkey or chicken sausage makes tasty finger food – add some pantry staples and viola! An elegant app for only 35 calories per piece.
Recipe: Antipasto Sausage Skewers (pictured above)
So easy and delicious – who doesn’t like warm cheese? Each ounce portion has 90 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 percent of your daily calcium needs. Serve with apples, whole-grain pretzels and lots of veggies for dipping.
Recipe: Baked Brie