Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes, Menus and Cooking Tips , leftovers Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Golds

Thanksgiving is all about abundance or, often, overabundance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With healthy updates to classic dishes, the recipes showcased here use high-impact flavors like fresh herbs, spices and seasonal fruits and vegetables to minimize the need for gobs of butter, cream and salt. Some dishes are healthy updates on classic dishes, while others are twists on traditional fare.

How to Roast Your Turkey

To prepare the turkey for roasting, first remove the giblets (and save for gravy or stuffing). Next, rinse the bird inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.

•If you are stuffing the bird, stuff it loosely, allowing about ½ to ¾ cup stuffing per pound of turkey.

•Brush the skin with melted butter or oil. Tie drumsticks together with string (for stuffed birds only).

•Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should point towards the body, and should not touch the bone.

•Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan, and into a preheated 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven. Use the following chart to estimate the time required for baking.

•Bake until the skin is a light golden color, and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but helps promote even browning.

Weight of Bird

Roasting Time


Roasting Time


10-18 lbs

3-3.5 hours

3.75-4.5 hours

18-22 lbs

3.5-4 hours

4.5-5 hours

22-24 lbs

4-4.5 hours

5-5.5 hours

24-29 lbs

4.5-5 hours

5.5-6.25 hours

•The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) at the thigh.

For the host, we’ve got menus and planners and budget-friendly wines, as well as new ways to use up all those turkey leftovers. If you’ve always felt daunted by the turkey carving process, our step-by-step photos illustrate simple instructions for success, plus other tips for a terrific stress-free holiday. If you’re not hosting this year, choose from our selection of healthy sides and scrumptious desserts. You’ll find nearly everything here to enjoy a delicious, healthy Thanksgiving.
Nutrition Profile

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Diabetes appropriate
Low calorie
Low cholesterol
Low saturated fat
Low sodium
Heart healthy
Healthy weight
Gluten free

View Our Nutrition Guidelines » Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

More Healthy Recipe Ideas

Easy Mashed Potato Recipes

Easy Apple Recipes

You Might Also Like

Smashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Summer Potato Salad

Maple-Banana Topping

Apple-Maple Filling

Roasted Apple Butter


1.Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.

3.Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Just before serving, reheat at 350°F until hot, about 15 minutes.

NutritionPer serving: 96 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 2 g fiber; 118 mg sodium; 189 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (230% daily value), Vitamin C (15% dv)

1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat

Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Golds


3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 11/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup sliced fresh chives, divided

More Healthy Recipe Ideas

Delicious Recipes with Kale and More Healthy Winter Greens

Chile Pepper Recipes and Other Spicy Recipes

Cheese Recipes for Strong Bones

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Easy Vegetarian Soup Recipes

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Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Mash

Cheddar-Ale Soup

Chipotle Cheddar Chard

Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas

Cheddar-Apple Melt


1.Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until very tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Mash with a potato masher. Stir in 1 1/4 cups cheese until melted. Add buttermilk, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Gently fold in 3 tablespoons chives. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon chives.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, reheat in a double boiler and garnish with cheese and chives.

Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

NutritionPer serving: 223 calories; 6 g fat (4 g sat, 0 g mono); 19 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 2 g fiber; 425 mg sodium; 935 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium (27% daily value), Calcium (15% dv).

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat

The all-important timing:

Now, this is important: Let's say you want to put dinner on the table around two o'clock in the afternoon and you are cooking a 20-pound unstuffed turkey. Do the math, and you'll see that your turkey should be in the oven no later than ten o'clock in the morning.

Okay, so your pies are all baked and you readied the bread for the dressing the day before. Here's the drill:

Set your table. It's more peaceful early, and you can enjoy handling your nice linens and the tableware you use on special occasions. Actually, you can do this the night before, but get it done early so when people start arriving they can admire your table.

If you haven't been successful in delegating the sweet potato or other casserole, make it and bake it now. You'll reheat it later.

Wash, dry and refrigerate any salad greens you will be using.

Start preheating your oven, get your turkey ready, and put it in.

Around noon, things start happening fast. You may have some guests that arrive early. If they are agreeable and handy in the kitchen, you may want to put them to work. In any case, have a glass of wine or whatever. Your house is beginning to smell really good.

Start assembling your dressing. Sauté the vegetables for the dressing (onion, celery and green pepper or what have you -- recipes follow) and mix them together with the crumbled bread.

Every hour or so, I check on the turkey. I know it supposedly increases the cooking time and pre-basted turkeys aren't supposed to need it, but I like to do it. I baste it with pan juices and the juice from the body cavity. The last hour or so, I usually have to put a piece of aluminum foil over the bird to keep it from getting too brown. See what you think.

Peel the potatoes and cover them with cold water.

If you're cooking the giblets separately, start them now.

Ready your rolls or whatever bread you will serving. Set them out on the baking pan.

Assemble the salads, green and/or fruit.

You'll need about a cup of drippings from the turkey for your dressing (use a turkey baster or ladle to remove them from the pan). Finish putting together the dressing.

The turkey is pronounced done, so let it trade places in the oven with your pan of dressing. Don't forget to turn up the heat to 375°F.

Remove the turkey from the pan, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest.

Start cooking the potatoes at this point. Start earlier for turnips.

Make the gravy (recipe follows) and keep it hot on the back of the stove.

Check on the dressing after 15 minutes, stir it around, away from the sides of the pan so it bakes evenly; then put it back in. If you have a sweet potato or other dish that was cooked earlier, pop it in with the dressing so it can reheat.

Get someone to fill up the cream pitcher and put butter on the table.

Pour yourself another glass of wine.

Mash the potatoes, cover and put them on the back of the stove.

Put the salads and cranberry sauce on the table.

Take the dressing out and make any seasoning adjustments. (Remove any other dishes, too.) When the dressing is done (you need about eight hands at this point), let it quickly trade places with the rolls. Get someone to watch the rolls for you while they bake. Don't forget to turn up the heat again.

Put the turkey on its platter and keep it covered.

Dish up the dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc., and cover.

Remove the now golden-brown rolls, and put everything on the table.

Sound the dinner bell, although you probably won't have to -- people will have been edging toward the table for some time.

Dressing recipes:

Grandma's Cornbread Dressing & Giblet Gravy

Southwestern Cornbread Dressing

Turkey dinner side dishes:

Horseradish Mashed Trio of Potatoes

Bourbon-Laced Sweet Potatoes

Buttery Carrots and Rutabagas

Cranberry Orange Relish

Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Ruby Cranberry Mold

Holiday dessert recipes:

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Jeanine's Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake

Holiday Cranberry Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Praline Pie

My, my. Only 26 easy steps. If this sounds exhausting, that's because it is a lot of work, especially during the last hour. The adrenaline surge will carry you through, however. Some accomplished extra hands in the kitchen can lighten your load considerably, so enlist aid if at all possible to avoid chaos.

Some cooks prefer to take full responsibility for preparing the meal in exchange for the cleanup by others. Don't feel shame if your kitchen looks like it has been shelled.

Turkey Dinner Buffet

If you have too many dishes for your table, set up a buffet so people can line up and help themselves. And (again, this isn't the way they do it in the movies) matters will be simplified enormously if you carve the turkey in the kitchen before it gets to the table. That way your family and guests don't have to sit around watching the carver perform while all the food gets cold.

Most every familys' holiday meal is a law unto itself. You may enjoy dishes that are unique to your table, and your meal preparation routine may differ in scope or scale to the one described above, but holiday meals are very special to all of us.

There are links below to two kinds of dressing -- my favorite Cornbread Dressing with Giblet Gravy, and an excellent Southwestern Cornbread Dressing