Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup 2014

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'm sure many of you are in menu planning mode.  I know I am!  As one of the biggest, if not the absolute biggest food holiday, Thanksgiving gets its fair share of attention from the food blogging community.  It seems like social media has been taken over  with holiday inspired recipes, and I've been seeing so many incredible dishes on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.  So I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.  The 20 recipes below include some appetizers, entrees, side dishes and desserts.  Many of them are healthy and some are a bit more indulgent.  Enjoy and happy cooking!

1. Pumpkin Hummus The Muffin Myth.  I love this autumn inspired spin on the classic dip.

2. Thanksgiving Hand-Pies filled with Roasted Butternut Squash & Carrots | Real Food by 
    Dad.  These little hand-pies from Matt, the dad behind the "real food," look so cute and tasty.

3. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup | Cooking LSL.  This soup screams comfort in a bowl!

4. Shredded Brussels Sprout and Toasted Pecan Salad | Seasonally Jane. I'm all about the humble
    Brussels sprout so this salad is definitely calling my name.  

5. Arugula Beet Salad with Candied Pecans & Gorgonzola | Lauren Kelly Nutrition.  I love the 
    addition of crunchy candied pecans to this arugula and beet salad.

    addition of cauliflower to this colorful stuffing boosts the nutrition and keeps it moist.

7. Cranberry Pecan Stuffing | Will Cook For Smiles.  Have you ever seen a prettier stuffing?!

8. Apple Bread Stuffing | Carrie's Experimental Kitchen.  Carrie boosts the flavor of store-bought
    stuffing by adding fresh herbs and apple- simple and delicious.

9. Cinnamon and Ginger-Spiced Cranberry-Orange Sauce | An Edible Mosaic.  Faith, the woman
    behind "An Edible Mosaic," takes cranberry sauce to the next level with this dish!

10. Rosemary Garlic Mashed Cauliflower | A Cookie Rookie.  I really love the versatility of
      cauliflower and this healthy puree is just one more reason why.

11. The BEST Green Bean Casserole | Cooking for Keeps.  The name says it all!

12. Sage Butter Roasted Turkey | The Food Charlatan.  An overnight brine and a delicious herb
      butter guarantee this turkey will be a Thanksgiving success story.    

13. Healthy Turkey Roulade with Mushroom Stuffing & Blueberry Thyme Gravy | Food 
      Done Light.  This is a wonderful way to prepare your bird for a smaller group.

14. Roast Pork Loin with Apple Cider Mustard Sauce | My Modern Cookery.  Looking to switch it
      up this Thanksgiving?  This gorgeous roast pork loin really embraces the flavors of fall.

15. Stuffed Delicata Squash with Wild Rice, Brown Butter and SageA Couple Cooks. This
      stuffed squash is a vibrant and nutritious vegetarian main dish option.

16. Easy Classic Pecan PieCrazy for Crust.  Sometimes you just can't beat a classic!

17. Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes |  Yeah...Immaeatthat via Healthy Aperture.  Made with soy, these
      milkshakes are the perfect vegan dessert for your holiday meal.

18. Caramel Rum Banana Bread PuddingBakers Royale.  This dessert from Naomi looks
      insanely decadent and delicious! Did you know her husband is Matt from Real Food by Dad (see
      #2 above)?  Talk about a dynamic duo!

19. Slow Cooker Baked Apples | Kara Lydon- The Foodie Dietician.  Let the slow cooker do the
      work for you with this yummy stress-free dessert.

20. Pumpkin Custard CupsAmee's Savory Dish.  I love this twist on a traditional pumpkin pie.

***All photos are from the original recipe source.

What dish do you most look forward to at Thanksgiving? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Dining with the Doc: Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are definitely a polarizing food- people either love ‘em or hate ‘em.  Personally, they weren’t my favorite vegetable growing up.  This is probably because my mom never cooked them at home so my only experience was at restaurants where they were usually boiled to death and served with absolutely no seasoning.  But, in recent years, the humble Brussels sprout has definitely had a huge growth in popularity.  You can find them on any restaurant menu from casual to gourmet.  Shaved, deep-fried, roasted, braised and of course everyone’s favorite- cooked with bacon.  There’s something about the salty, smoky flavor of bacon that pairs really well with the slight bitterness of the sprouts.     

Whether you’re a fan of Brussels sprouts or not, you can’t argue with the fact that these little morsels are nutritional powerhouses.   They are packed with fiber and a wide variety of vitamins like Vitamin A and several B vitamins.  They are an especially rich source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K- one cup provides 125% and 195% of your daily recommended amounts respectively.  They also contain several important minerals like potassium, manganese, iron and calcium.  Brussels sprouts, like other cruciferous vegetables, are also packed with several powerful antioxidants that have disease-fighting properties including protection from certain types of cancer. 

I wanted to do something different with Brussels sprouts and pair them with an ingredient that would provide the savory, salty bite of bacon but without the fat.  What I found was that miso paste worked perfectly.  Miso paste is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that can be found in Asian markets or specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods.  It comes in several different varieties including white, yellow and red. 

My Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts are the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving table.  These tasty little cabbages are coated with a salty sweet glaze and roasted in the oven until caramelized and tender.  A final drizzle of sauce on the warm sprouts just before serving amplifies their flavor.  It’s an umami flavor bomb!   

Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Makes 4 servings

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons white (shiro) miso paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce
½ teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves.  Cut them in half lengthwise. 

Mix the oil, miso paste, maple syrup, vinegar, tamari and Sriracha together in a large bowl.  Remove about 1 tablespoon of the sauce and save it to toss with the Brussels sprouts later.  Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl and toss to coat them with the sauce.  Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and spread them out in a single layer. 

Roast Brussels sprouts in the oven until caramelized and tender, 20-25 minutes.  Stir them once or twice during cooking.  Remove the tray from the oven and drizzle the reserved sauce on top.  Toss to combine.  Serve warm.   

One serving: Calories 129; Fat 5.8g (Sat 0.9g); Protein 5.2g; Carb 16.6g; Fiber 4.9g; Sodium 485mg


Dining with the Doc: Chickpea and Spinach Curry

This recipe was inspired by my mom and is one of the recipes included in my upcoming book, The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook, which will be released in 2015 (so stay tuned!).  Having grown up in a vegetarian household, my mom has always made the most delicious, vegetarian Indian dishes.  This is definitely one of those dishes that I turn to when I want something comforting that will deliver a taste of home.  

I took my mom’s chickpea curry recipe and added some new ingredients like coconut milk and spinach.  I love the flavor that coconut milk adds and the spinach provides a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Chickpeas, which are also packed with many vital nutrients, are a great vegetarian source of protein and fiber.  The result is a delicious and simple dish that’s full of flavor and is great for you too.  Serve the chickpeas with brown rice, naan or whole grain bread. 

Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon grated or minced garlic
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 4 plum tomatoes)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup light coconut milk
2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon garam masala*
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 package (5 ounces) baby spinach
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the onion.  Cook until softened, 6-7 minutes.  Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric and cayenne and cook another minute until fragrant, stirring often.  Add the tomatoes and salt and cook another 5-6 minutes until the tomatoes break down.  Mash them with the back of a spoon as they cook.  Add the coconut milk and chickpeas and simmer a few minutes until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the garam masala and lemon juice.  Add the spinach and cover the pan for a few minutes until wilted.  Uncover and stir the spinach into the sauce.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serve curry with brown rice, naan or whole grain bread.    

* Garam masala is an Indian blend of dried spices commonly used in Indian cooking. Most varieties contain a mixture of spices that includes peppercorns, cloves, cumin, coriander, and cardamom.  It can be found in specialty grocery stores and increasingly in regular grocery stores.  If you don’t have it, you can use a little ground cumin and coriander.

One serving: Calories 291; Fat 9.1g (Sat 3.4g); Protein 12.1g; Carb 41.7g; Fiber 10.7g; Sodium 702mg



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