Thanksgiving plans have been in the works, whether its traveling far or near to friends or family, making dinner reservations or planning the menu at home. Thanksgiving was designed around the bounty of the season so it is easy to plan a meal based on what is grown where you live. Depending on the availability of foods in your area this could include one to two foods purchased from a local farmer or even a meal almost entirely from your region. This holiday is meant to be savored so small bites and lots of reflection and gratitude! Here are some healthy recipe ideas to make your holiday more local:
1. Main Event
Here in WNC, we have a number of farmers who have local turkeys. If you are interested, you may want to reserve yours now:
If you prefer a local, vegetarian recipe, here are a few ideas:
Ginger Garlic Tempeh with Kale
Savory Vegan Roast
Here is one of my favorite holiday vegetarian dishes, you can make it with or without the cheese:
2. Side Dishes
Our family starts out with a salad so we are comfortably satisfied by the time, the other food comes. Here is one of my favorites!
Denise’s Favorite Holiday Salad:
4 cups local salad greens
2 sliced or chopped apples
1/3 cup dried cranberries (if desired)
1/3 cup toasted pecans
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Place greens in a bowl and add apple and onions. top with cranberries, pecans and cheese. Drizzle with balsamic dressing. If you want, make your own with a locally made balsamic vinegar:
What you add to these and how much gravy you add can make a difference so keep this in mind when you eat them.
Stuffing or Dressing
Depending on where you grew up and your family traditions probably will dictate what you have. For those who like to add different items in it every year, it is up to you on your preference, the main thing is moderation.
Sweet Potatoes Sweet or Savory
Some of us like our sweet and some of us like ours savory, here are two possibilities depending on your preference:
Go ahead and add another vegetable if you like! One of my favorites is roasted Brussels Sprouts
3. Last But Not Least: Dessert!
A little can go a long ways. Our family has traditionally taken a walk or a hike after our meal to work it off or perhaps to work dessert in! Local foods available have often been the traditional desserts like apples, pumpkin or winter squash and pecans
Mini Pumpkin Pecan Pie
These little pies make portion control a little easier and also make them easier to save for latter. You can even box up leftovers and take to a friend’s for another celebration! Try making these with a traditional Candy Roaster Squash available in WNC!
A candy roaster from the garden.
This dessert can be made with whatever fruit is in season. You can also mix any of the following:
apples, pears, peaches or plums. You can add dried, fresh or frozen cranberries, cherries or blue
berries for bits of color.
7 cups cored and sliced fruit of choice (apples, pears, peaches, and or plums)
1 cup cranberries ( can also use cherries, raspberries, or blueberries)
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar (can use less)
1/2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 c all purpose flour
1/4 c chopped pecans or walnuts
3 TB tub margarine softened
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium shallow baking dish, place apples and cranberries. In a
medium bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour, nuts, and margarine. Sprinkle brown sugar
mixture over fruit. Bake until apples and cranberries are bubbly and tender, about 50 minutes.
Transfer dish to wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with low fat frozen yogurt if desired.
I have additional seasonal recipes in my new book, Farm Fresh Nutrition that you might enjoy also for the holidays! These include Beer Glazed Carrots and Beets, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Pecans, Roasted Shitake Mushrooms with Potatoes and Squash, Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese, Lemony Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Pecans and more.