Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~Henry Ward Beecher

The essence of a Thanksgiving celebration is our need to connect with loved ones, and to express gratitude for all our blessings.

The kitchen is the heart of a home. In cooking, we move beyond ourselves into loving and compassionate care of our loved ones and friends.

Cooking a Thanksgiving meal is a wonderful opportunity to share our love and practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a source of happiness. Let’s cook with our whole being. Let’s taste the abundance and blessings of the moment. Let’s be grateful.

You don’t have to sacrifice your healthy diet on Thanksgiving.
Here are my healthy Thanksgiving recipes that are both delicious and low in calories.

Happy Thanksgiving!

ROASTED TURKEY

INGREDIENTS

1 turkey rinsed well and patted dry. You should wash your hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops and surfaces with hot soapy water after handling turkey.
1 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 3 sprigs
8 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 lemons, poked thoroughly with fork
Salt and ground pepper
1 quart apple cider

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Remove packet of giblets and neck from cavity. Rinse and refrigerate.
3. Turn turkey on it’s back.
4. In a small bowl, combine parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, 4 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Using your fingers, loosen skin of breast and around thighs, and rub herbal mixture under skin of both breast and thighs.
5. Fill cavity with lemons and rosemary sprigs.
6. Pour apple cider in bottom of roasting pan. Set roasting rack on top. Place turkey onto rack, breast side up. Rub turkey generously with remaining oil; season with salt and pepper.
7. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast about 1 hour. Uncover, basting frequently with pan juices and roast until the thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 170°F. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Let stand about 30 minutes before carving.

PUMPKIN SALAD

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 sugar pumpkins (4 pounds each), peeled, seeded, and cut in 1 1/2-inch chunks
10 tablespoons grape seed oil
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper
5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 pounds arugula
12 ounces feta cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Spread pepitas on a large baking sheet; toast in oven, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. On a large baking sheet, toss pumpkin with 5 tablespoons oil, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Roast, until pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Drizzle pumpkin with 2 tablespoons maple syrup; toss well. Return to oven and continue roasting, until pumpkin is glazed, 10 minutes more.
4. In a large bowl, add lime juice, minced garlic, mustard and remaining maple syrup. Add remaining oil while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add arugula and pumpkin; toss well.
6. To serve, sprinkle salad with toasted pepitas and crumbled feta cheese.

Serves 8

BUTTERNUT SQUASH GRATIN

INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons grape seed oil
4 medium leeks, white part only
1 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced 1/8-inch thick
2 pounds apples (preferably Gala or Fuji), peeled, cored and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and ground pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add leeks and 3 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, until the leeks are brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add sherry and sage; cook about 3 more minutes. Set aside.
3. In a large baking dish, arrange squash in layers. Spread leeks evenly over the squash.
4. Arrange apples in layers over the leeks. Brush apples with remaining oil. Cover with foil. Bake about 45 minutes.
5. Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake about 10 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. To serve, garnish with sage leaves.

Serves 8

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Arrange sweet potatoes in a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
3. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl.
4. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss well.
5. Cover with foil. Bake the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and bake until tender, about 50 minutes more.

Serves 8

ROASTED SQUASH WITH GARLIC AND PARSLEY

INGREDIENTS

6 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
5 tablespoons grape seed oil
Salt and ground pepper to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Toss squash with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper.
3. Spread squash chunks evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until all squash chunks are tender, about 30 minutes or more.
4. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook gently, about 1 minute.
5. Toss the roasted squash with the garlic and chopped parsley.

Serves 8

BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH THYME

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons grape seed oil
4 shallots, chopped
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add shallots, Brussels sprouts; cook about 4 minutes. Stir in broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until the Brussels sprouts are tender, about 15 minutes.

Serves 8

Bon Appetite!