Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Team[FIT]'s Thanksgiving Menu

I have had a lot of questions and concerns about still being able to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner without going over our calories allotment for the day. So I figured I would share what I am cooking up in the Team[FIT] kitchen this year!
Before I share though, I have to remind you that it IS okay to indulge every now and then, and Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite times. Remember – everyone deserves a little Reward (or "cheat") Day, to still allow ourselves to feel human. We highly suggest scheduling your reward, or cheat day, as Turkey Day this week. So... here is what's for dinner at the Team[FIT] household.
Turkey, of course!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes, by Table for Two


2 1/2 Pounds Sweet Potaots, peeled and cut into 2- inch cubes
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper, or more for taste 


1.      Bring a pot of water to a boil then add the sweet potatoes to the pot. Cook the sweet potatoes until they’re fork tender.
2.      Carefully drain the sweet potatoes then place them in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, or just a fork, mash the potatoes to your desired consistency. If you want more texture, you’ll likely want to use the potato masher and fork.
3.      Stir in the butter, milk, and salt/pepper.
4.      Serve warm.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
(I have submitted this before, but here it is again!)
They are amazing!!

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

½ pound pancetta (one thick slice), diced
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, stems removed, halved
Olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

2. In a large bowl, drizzle the halved Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, tossing to coat.

3. Pour them onto a sheet pan and season them with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

4. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 40 minutes.

5. While they're roasting, sauté the diced pancetta in a large non-stick pan, cooking until golden brown. Set Aside

6. Simmer 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat until it reduces by half, about 10 minutes. It should be thick and syrupy. Set aside.

7. Remove the roasted Brussels sprouts from the oven and pour the sauteed pancetta (plus any drippings) directly atop the Brussels sprouts, tossing to combine.

8. Transfer the mix to a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole
(For all you Green bean casserole fans, here’s a healthy, and gluten-free, solution for you!)

Ingredients: (Serves 6)
16 oz. fresh green beans

1 cup low fat cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup dried onions

2-1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Cook prepared beans in large pot of boiling water with half of the salt. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and the mushroom soup, mixing until smooth.

4.  Put the almonds in the blender and pulse until you have large crumbs. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the blender and pulse just until broken up.

5.  Spray a large baking dish with olive oil spray and add the beans. Pour the gravy mixture over the beans and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle the topping evenly across the beans.

6.  Bake for 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the casserole is bubbly. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing
It's not Thanksgiving without Stuffing RIGHT??!
Ingredients: (Serves 8)
1 package Pancetta (or bacon)

1 container Trader Joe’s Stuffing Starter Mix **

2 cups (dry) quinoa

1 quart low sodium chicken broth

1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)

1/2 cup dried cranberries
**TJ’s Stuffing Starter mix is about a 14.5 oz container of prechopped onions and celery seasoned with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
In a large pan over medium heat, saute the Pancetta and stuffing starter, until veggies are wilted and the
Pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a large pot on the stove top.
Add the quinoa, broth, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook until light and fluffy (stove top, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes).

 Gently stir in the cranberries.