We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!
We have some alarming news about your Thanksgiving dinner plans. According to SkinnyChef.com founder Jennifer Iserloh, the average American consumes 3,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. That, Iserloh points out, is the equivalent of one pound of body fat, people. (Are you running in place yet?)
Don't worry. We're not going to suggest that you skip the gravy or — gasp! — dessert (let's not get crazy here). Believe it or not, says Iserloh, despite that "pound of fat" comment, the average Thanksgiving meal is already fairly healthy. "It's all about portion size," she explains. "So remember not to overload your plate — your waistline will thank you, and it means a lot more leftovers throughout the week!"
Iserloh offers two simple strategies for making traditional sides "skinny," so your table (and thus your plate) isn't totally overloaded with calories:
- Cut down on milk fat. Use skim milk when the recipe calls for milk or half and half. And, Iserloh assures us, you don't have to forgo butter all together — just cut the amount in half and use a little chicken broth if you need more moisture for whipped potatoes and stuffings.
- Boost the flavor! When you cut the fat in half in your traditional recipes, use "flavor boosting" ingredients that are low-calorie. Iserloh recommends orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard and turkey bacon.
And now, the SkinnyChef's three recipes for trim and tasty Thanksgiving sides!
Skinny Chef Shallots and Green Beans
1 pound of green beans, trimmed
2 large shallots, peeled, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Steam the green beans in a large stockpot in 1 inch of boiling water, 2-3 minutes until crisp. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the shallots and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the green beans and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until the green beans are tender when pierced with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with basil. Serve immediately.
Nutritional stats per serving (1/2 cup): 73 calories, 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat [0 g saturated fat], 0 g cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 292 g sodium
Skinny Chef Sweet Potato Mash (a great substitute for mashed potatoes)
2 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes (about three medium potatoes)
2 tbsp trans-fat free, soft tub margarine, room temperature
1/4 cup of non-fat, skim milk, room temperature
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
Bring an inch of water to boil in a large pot, fitted with a steamer basket. Quarter the potatoes and steam 15-20 minutes until they are fork tender. Or using the microwave method, pierce the potatoes with a fork and cook 3-4 minutes until tender. Scoop out flesh and place in a bowl. With a hand masher or electric mixer, beat potatoes, alternating with the butter and milk until the mixture resembles a smooth puree. Beat in the honey, mustard and salt. Serve immediately.
Nutritional stats per serving (1 cup): 331 calories, 5 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 413 mg sodium
Skinny Chef Thanksgiving Whole Grain Stuffing With Walnuts
Serves 6 to 8, makes 7 cups of stuffing
5 whole grain or whole wheat English muffins
3 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, grated
1 large onion chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 8-ounce package Cremini or white button mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut or tear the English muffins into 1 by 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the chicken broth, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper and stir well. Set aside while you cook the vegetables. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms and salt. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften but do not brown. Reduce the heat and add 1 tablespoon of water if they start to brown. Add the vegetables to the bread mixture along with the walnuts. Stir well and transfer to an 8 by 8 inch baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until stuffing is hot and most of the liquid is absorbed by the bread. Serve immediately.
Nutritional stats per serving (1 cup): 163 calories, 5 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 359 mg sodium
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