I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoying this holiday weekend well rested!! Especially if you participated in the Black Friday shopping frenzy! I unfortunately got stuck on working on the retail side- but hey, at least I made money rather than spent it! Each year Mat and I are so blessed to spend Thanksgiving surrounded by incredibly loving people since we have been away from home. This year we had the pleasure of spending it with his cousins, Dan and Jessica, who live just a few minutes away from us 🙂 Mat and I started the holiday off with a quick lower body gym session, some cooking, a brisk walk to grab some Starbucks together, and then back home to finish up the rest of the cooking to bring to Dan and Jessica’s. I decided to really get into the cooking spirit of this full-belly holiday by making:
Light Green Bean Casserole
1/2 Cup cream broccoli
1 Cup of broccoli soup
1/2 Cream mushroom
1 Cup of frozen broccoli (thawed)
1 onion (thin sliced rings)
1 Cup and a half of white sliced mushrooms
2 cups cut green beans, one cup full green beans
Preheat oven to 350- degrees. Mix together the Broccoli as well as the cream of mushroom soup together. Mix everything except onions (broccoli, mushrooms, soup mixture, greenbeans) into casserole dish, bake for 15 minutes. While doing so, allow the onions to simmer caramelize in a skillet with 2 small drops of olive oil set on medium heat – occasionally mix and stir to allow for even heat distribution.
Take casserole out of oven, remix up items within the dish, top off with the onions, and place into the oven for an additional 25 minutes.
-This ended up being FANTASTIC as a leftover, as the soup mixture thickened up fantastically overnight. Lesson learned: make the night before your holiday party.
Light Italian seasoned Mashed Potatoes
2 small Red Russet Potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 Yellow potato, scrubbed and cubed
1 Med Head of Cauliflower, rinsed and chopped
Ziplock steamers bags
3 TBSP almond milk
2 cloves of garlic
Italian seasoning (to taste)
Bring 2 pots of water to boil, lower to medium-low heat. Add in the 2 russets into one pot, and the yellow potato into the second pot (they require different cooking times. Allow the russets to boil for 25-30 minutes, and the yellow for 20 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, chop up the cauliflower and add into two steamers bags. Allow to steam in the microwave (the easiest and most convenient way) for 5 minutes for each bag.
Drain out the excess water, and place potatoes and cauliflower into one pot, on low heat. Add in minced garlic cloves, and almond milk and mash together. Mash with a potato masher or hand mixer (we ended up resorting to the hand mixer after a while). Sprinkle in Italian spices to taste.
2 md zucchini
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 cups banana squash cubed
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cut leaf spinach
1 cup Butternut squash soup (V8), 1/2 cup divided
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss half of your veggies: butternut and banana squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and spinach into a small casserole dish (I used a bread pan, because my one and only dish was used for the green bean casserole earlier that morning). Sprinkle oregano to your desire, and pour in 1/2 cup of the butternut squash on top. Add in the remaining veggies, pour in the second 1/2 cup of soup and lightly top off with oregano. Allow the casserole to bake for approx 40 minutes (give or take), or until there is a light crisp on top.
Cran-Apple Sauce (RICH in antioxidants)
3 Cups Cranberries, whole
1 Small Red Delicious apple, chopped into chunks
3 TBSP water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cranberries and apple chunks into an oven-safe glassware dish. Cook for 15 minutes. Place the softened cranberries and apple chunks into a food processor and process until smooth. Add in 3 TBSP water intermittently to help loosen the consistency. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Pumpkin Mousse Trifle
3 Cups of Vanilla Yogurt (I used Ralph’s CarboSmart yogurt to decrease the amount of sugar)
1.5 Cups Pumpkin Puree
2 TSP Vanilla Extract
2 TSP Nutmeg
1 TBSP Pumpkin Spice
2 TBSP Cinnamon
Handful of Gingersnap cookies, crumbled (approx 1 cup’s worth)
Line the bottom of bread dish (I used a glass one for a nice trifle appearance) with crumbled gingersnaps. In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices together. Pour half over the bottom layer of gingersnaps, add a second layer of gingersnap crumbles, and pour the second half of the mixture over the second layer. Top off with the remaining gingersnaps and a few sprinkes of extra cinnamon. Chill, serve and enjoy this very light on the calories, but ROBUST in flavor, version of my pumpkin mousse!
While these were great dishes for Thanksgiving, they also make for healthy side dishes for any holiday get together! This Holiday season, try to keep your dishes as simplistic as possible, and your waistline will thank you!! 😉
As much as I LOVE Thanksgiving, and the love that just flows around that day, I love love love the Christmas season:: filled with holiday music, greens, awesome movies, and holiday cheer — I love it all except for the credit card debt 😉 haha!