Better Nutrition Thanksgiving 2009 Menu

Thanksgiving Menu

  • Soup: Butternut Squash Soup
  • Salad: Orange Salad with Pomegranates
  • Main Course:
    Organic Free Range Turkey
    Incan Quinoa Stuffing
    Harvest Vegetable Medley
  • Dessert: Baked Apples and Pears with Dried Fruit,
    Honey, and Hazelnuts
  • Wine Recommendation: Frei Brothers Reserve 2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
    This medium-bodied, versatile wine with hints of black fruit and cherry is a wonderful accompaniment to savory poultry and flavorful harvest vegetables.

Choosing an Organic Free-Range Turkey
How do you find the best bird for your holiday table? Buying an organically raised, free-range turkey is the best bet. Just remember that free-range turkeys are leaner than prebasted, genetically modified birds, so they will cook faster. Sidestep a dry, overcooked turkey by using a meat thermometer to cook the bird to an internal temperature of 165°F to 175°F. You can also ensure moist, flavorful results by brining the bird or roasting it breast-side down.

Orange Salad with Pomegranates Serves 6
The inspiration for this salad is North Africa, where pomegranates are used in a variety of creative ways. The salad’s secret is its startling interplay of flavors: the tartness of the fruit, the onion—the infusion of the onion is an important step, so do not skip it—and most importantly, the saltiness of the olives. The lemon removes the sharpness of the raw onion and colors it pink, an important visual note in the salad’s appearance.

From our sister publication Vegetarian Times

1 cup red onion slices, sliced paper-thin and broken into strips

½ cup lemon juice

6 large Valencia oranges (4 lb.)

5 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. pomegranate vinegar

1 medium-size cucumber, pared and diced (1 cup)

1 cup pomegranate arils

1 cup (4 oz.) black oil-cured olives, preferably Moroccan

1 Tbs. finely chopped mint

  1. Marinate onion slices in lemon juice in bowl 1 hour.
  2. Peel oranges, and cut into thin, round slices. Cut rounds in half and pick out seeds.
  3. Place oranges in large bowl, drain onion of all excess liquid, and add to oranges. Sprinkle mixture with ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Combine oil and vinegar, and pour over oranges. Cover, and set aside in cool place 30 minutes.
  5. Add cucumber, pomegranate arils, and olives. Adjust seasoning, scatter mint over top, and serve.

PER SERVING: 292 CAL; 3 G PROT; 18 G TOTAL FAT (2 G SAT FAT); 33 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 313 MG SOD; 7 G FIBER; 23 G SUGARS

Butternut Squash Soup with Leeks and Ginger Serves 8
This delicate soup makes an elegant starter for a special meal, or a terrific family dinner with a big green salad and a loaf of bread.

4 lb. butternut squash (2 medium)

2 Tbs. organic canola oil

3 large leeks, white parts only, sliced and rinsed

¼ cup peeled minced fresh ginger

7 cups organic low-sodium chicken broth

½ cup fresh orange juice

2 tsp. grated orange zest

1½ cups peeled, cored, and chopped ripe pears

¼ cup light organic coconut milk

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Halve squash vertically, remove seeds. Place squash cut-side down on prepared baking sheet. Pour 1/3 cup water around squash. Bake 45 minutes, until soft.
    Cool slightly; peel, and mash.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat in large heavy-bottomed pot. Cook leeks 8 minutes, until softened. Add ginger, and stir 2 minutes. Add broth, orange juice, and zest; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Add squash, and simmer
    10 minutes more.
  4. Remove from heat, add pears and coconut milk. Purée in batches in blender, return to pot. Add salt and white pepper to taste, if desired. Keep warm until serving.

PER SERVING: 195 CAL; 5 G PROT; 5 G TOTAL FAT (1 G SAT FAT); 36 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 89 MG SOD; 8 G FIBER; 11 G SUGARS

Incan Quinoa Stuffing Serves 10
This healthful quinoa-based stuffing is the perfect addition to any harvest celebration. Dried cranberries or other fruit may be substituted for the pears.

1½ cups quinoa, thoroughly rinsed

1 cup organic vegetable broth

¼ cup organic olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

1 large fennel bulb, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)

2 tsp. dried thyme

1½ cups frozen organic corn kernels

1 cup frozen organic shelled soybeans

1/3 cup organic roasted unsalted sunflower seeds

2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped

1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

  1. Combine quinoa, broth, and 2 cups water in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer covered
    for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and fennel. Sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add corn and soybeans, and cook a few minutes more, until vegetables are warm.
  3. Add cooked quinoa to vegetable mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring often, until just warmed through. Fold in sunflower seeds, pears, and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

PER SERVING: 250 CAL; 7 G PROT; 10 G TOTAL FAT (1 G SAT FAT); 34 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 76 SOD; 6 G FIBER; 5 G SUGARS

Harvest Vegetable Medley Serves 8
Roasting vegetables with whole garlic cloves makes this main dish extra-flavorful. For a leftover treat, spread veggies on bread, top with cheese, and broil. Taken from Vegetarian Times Issue: November 1, 2007 p.84

1 lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1 butternut squash, halved, cut into chunks (1 1/2 lb.)

1 head cauliflower, separated into 2-inch florets (1 lb.)

1 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved

4 medium leeks, white parts only, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

1/2 lb. baby carrots, trimmed

1/2 lb. baby parsnips, peeled and trimmed

24 cloves garlic, peeled and halved (2 heads), plus 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbs.), divided

4 Tbs. olive oil, divided

1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage, plus 24 leaves, divided

1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary

2 small red bell peppers, quartered

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring saucepan of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook 3 minutes, or until bright green. Drain, rinse under cold water, then pat dry.
  2. Toss squash, cauliflower, potatoes, leeks, carrots, parsnips, garlic cloves, 3 Tbs. olive oil, chopped sage, sage leaves, and rosemary in large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper, and spread into single layer. Roast 25 minutes, tossing vegetables twice. Add bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, minced garlic, and remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Roast 15 minutes more, or until vegetables are browned on edges and tender. Season with salt and pepper, and serve

PER SERVING: Cal 245; 7 g Prot; 7.5 g Total fat; (1 G SAT FAT); 42 g Carbs; 0 MG CHOL; 354 mg Sod; 10 g Fiber; 9 g Sugars

Baked Apples and Pears with DriedFruit and Nuts Serves 8
Reprinted from Cooking with Apples & Pears by Laura Washburn.

2 apples, preferably Braeburn

1 just ripe pear, preferably

25g (1oz) hazelnuts, chopped

1tbsp sultanas

5 dried apricots, chopped

Ground cinnamon, for dusting

25-50g (1-2oz) unsalted butter

Runny honey, for drizzling

Greek yoghurt, to serve

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Trim the bottoms of the apples slightly, so they sit flat. Using a corer, remove the cores. Scrape out some apple around the core cavity to allow for more stuffing. Halve the pear and scoop out the core.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the hazelnuts, sultanas and apricots. Arrange the apples and pears in a non-stick baking dish. Stuff the nut and fruit mixture into the apple and pear cavities. Dust with cinnamon; add a good knob of butter to each, then drizzle each one with 1-2 tsp honey. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake until just golden, about 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with the pan juices poured over and the yoghurt.



Related Articles: