This colorful, healthy side dish comes from Tina of Scaling Back. This is gluten free and vegan/vegetarian friendly. Scaling Back focuses on mindful living while eating well. With beautiful recipes and stunning photography, we adore Scaling Back and think you will too!
The holidays bring along with it lots of opportunity to indulge but it’s nice to have options for lighter fare to keep things in check. Rich earthy mushrooms, sweet butternut squash and tart pomegranates pair deliciously with the nutty flavor of millet. Millet is gluten-free so it’s a great alternative if you are cooking for someone that is gluten intolerant. Serve this for a healthy modern take on your usual stuffing, it might just start a new family tradition.
Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Place squash on a baking sheet, sprinkle with the sage and toss with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring once or twice until tender 15-20 minutes.
On a separate baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with 2 teaspoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes.
To prepare the millet bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Season the water generously with salt as you would for cooking pasta. Add the millet and cook for 13 minutes. Drain the millet into a fine sieve and then place the sieve back over the pot and let steam for an additional 10 minutes until fluffy and dry.
Place the millet in a large bowl and add the squash, mushrooms, parsley and pomegranate, drizzle the balsamic and remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the pistachios over the top and serve.
A delicious alternative to traditional risotto perfectly fall themed for the cool nights of October and November. This dish would make a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Make it with vegetable stock as a main dish for your vegetarian guests or serve it alongside crusty bread and a green salad for a warm meal on a cold fall evening. Risottos are a little time-consuming, but so worth it! Be sure to soak the Kamut® berries overnight to cut down on cooking time. If you’re aiming to make this for Thanksgiving this year and can’t find Kamut® berries, try wheat berries instead.
Kamut® Berry & Butternut Squash Risotto
Active Time: 60-75 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours (includes overnight soaking)
Special Equipment: microwave, food processor
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Using a fork, pierce the skin of half of the squash several times and place cut side down on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until squash is softened. When cool enough to handle, scoop out squash flesh and reserve. Peel the other half of the butternut squash and cut into ½” cubes. Place cubes on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to coat. Bake until caramelized, about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place soaked Kamut® berries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the berries have cracked and start to release some of their starch – about 20-25 pulses. Set aside.
In a medium saucepot, bring reserved butternut squash and stock up to a simmer. Whisk to combine (there will still be chunks). Place a second medium saucepot over medium heat. Melt 2 teaspoons butter with 2 teaspoons olive oil. When butter is foamy, add diced onions and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir in the cracked Kamut® berries to toast them, and then pour in the wine.
Once the wine has been mostly absorbed, add the stock and squash mixture 1 cup at a time. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until mostly absorbed. Repeat until all the stock has been used and the Kamut berries are plump and no longer crunchy, about 40 – 50 minutes. Risotto should not be soupy. If it is, continue to cook over medium heat so that the Kamut berries absorb more of the stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stir in the reserved butternut squash cubes and sage leaves and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and grated Parmesan. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve immediately.
Christianne Winthrop’s culinary career began in early 2009, when she left her job in commercial real estate to focus on food. Since then, she has launched her own boutique catering company, specializing in modern American cuisine with a healthy twist, and teaches in-home cooking classes to “kitchen chickens.”
When Christianne isn’t teaching or catering, she is a freelance food writer with credits in The Los Angeles Times and BrainWorld magazine. She is also a regular contributor to SeriousEats.com and CBS Local’s “Best of LA” website. Christianne blogs at Better Bitter Blonde where you can find her thoughts and recipes.
I love Thanksgiving. It is by far my favorite holiday. It is a full day spent cooking in the kitchen, eating lots of delicious food and enjoying time with friends and family.
But one thing is tough about Thanksgiving – how do you cram all of those calories into your body and not feel too guilty?
For starters, my motto is that if you are going to exercise only one day a year, Thanksgiving should be that day! So typically I start off with a nice run in the chilly fall air with friends at the annual Turkey Trot. It is a lot of fun, plus it usually raises money (or canned food) for those less fortunate. It seems most cities have one, so check out what is available in your area!
Secondly, there are so many ways to make most Thanksgiving dishes a little more healthy and a little less calorie-rich.
Now don’t get freaked out. Thanksgiving is still Thanksgiving. Everything still has to taste great. I mean, what fun would it be if your cornbread stuffing was healthy but tasted like cardboard?
Well, don’t fear because this Apple and Cranberry Streusel Pie is both healthy AND delicious.
The most calorific part of a typical Thanksgiving dessert is the butter pie crust, so this pie substitutes in an oatmeal crust. Made with wonderful products from Bob’s Red Mill, this crust is full of whole grains and nutrient-rich oats. The granola-like flavor and texture stands up nicely against apple filling and is complemented beautifully by the brown sugar streusel topping. The crispy apple and cranberry sauce filling uses only a limited amount of sugar, relying mostly on the natural sweetness of fruit.
Apple and Cranberry Streusel Pie with Oatmeal Crust
Recipe adapted from the Sono Baking Company Cookbook
Hands-on time: 55 minutes; Total time: 2.5 hours
Time-saving tips: Make the cranberry sauce first, since it has to cool and thicken in the freezer; or prepare the day before and keep in the refrigerator. While the cranberry sauce is cooling, prepare the crust. Once you have the crust baking, start peeling and cutting the apples. The orange juice will help prevent the apples from browning if you have them ready before everything else.
Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh whipped cream.
Nothing says autumn like a Sweet Potato Casserole. Except if you’re Canadian, that is. You see, we don’t do sweet potato casserole. And we don’t do that green bean thingy either.
Seriously, when I was 25 a friend moved to St. Louis for a year. She returned and regaled us with tales of Thanksgiving Dinner. I was like, “Really? A can of this and a can of that and a can of those. And you eat it? Wait! Wait! Wait! You put the marshmallows where?”
It was several years before my family and I moved to Florida and I had the chance to try these exotic dishes for myself. Having lived here for awhile, I can now say that I don’t mind them. Or at least, they no longer seem weird to me. But, because I didn’t grow up eating them, because my taste buds don’t tingle with nostalgia for those particular combinations, I have no qualms about changing things up and riffing on the classics.
This dish is a healthified version of Sweet Potato Casserole that substitutes granola for the marshmallows and lets you choose how much sugar you want in the dish. Serve it alongside your turkey and green bean concoction or have it with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Oh, and hey, if you’re like me and you think sweet potatoes shouldn’t be reserved for Thanksgiving, this casserole makes a satisfying meatless main course for fall weeknights: Add extra nuts for a protein kick, omit the maple syrup, cut back on the sugar and serve it with a salad of bitter greens dressed in a lime vinaigrette. That’s what we had for dinner last night and you know what? It turns out this Canadian loves Sweet Potato Casserole after all.
Sweet Potato Crumble Casserole
This twist on the classic Sweet Potato Casserole has a touch of lime and of ginger giving it a subtle tropical feel. If you want more of the tropics, double the ginger and substitute more lime juice for the water. The ranging amounts of maple syrup and of brown sugar are there so that you can decide how sweet you’d like the casserole to be.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a 9×13” cake pan or a 2.5 quart shallow casserole dish combine the sweet potatoes, maple syrup (if using), water, lime juice, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¾ teaspoon of the ginger.
Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and warm it for 20 seconds at a time until it is completely melted. While the butter is melting, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, being sure to include the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¾ teaspoon of ginger. Add the melted butter and stir until everything is moistened.
Stir the sweet potatoes again just to make sure that they’re well-bathed in juices. Scatter the butter mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes and then use your hands to press down all over so that the topping holds together. Lick some buttery topping off of your fingers and then wash your hands.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the top is well-browned and the sweet potatoes in the middle are fork-tender, 40-60 minutes. If the topping becomes too brown before the potatoes are cooked, cover the top with aluminium foil until the sweet potatoes are tender and then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Christine Pittman is the recipe developer, writer and photographer at Cook the Story, where it’s all about the story (except when it’s about the food!). She’s a Canadian stay-at-home mom who has somehow found herself living in Florida. Her recipes are simple, fresh and from scratch while her writing is simple, fresh and from her funny bone. You don’t want to miss any of her real food, real writing or flavorful pictures so be sure to follow her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+!
© 2012 Christine Pittman. All Rights Reserved.
You would be hard pressed to find anything as warm and comforting as a piece of freshly-baked pumpkin bread on a crisp fall day. There is just something about that combination of a large orange gourd baked with spices and sweeteners that seems to signify autumn and all the creature comforts that come with cooler weather and the impending holidays. But as comforting as they are, most pumpkin breads aren’t exactly high ranking in the health department. Full of sugar and refined flour, they fill you up with little to no redeeming nutritional value.
My kids adore pumpkin bread, and as I don’t want to deny them or myself this seasonal treat, I wanted to find a way to make it both healthy and delicious. I’ve fallen hard for Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flax Meal because the lighter colour means it blends in better in baked goods. That and it’s got great flavor and is incredibly healthy. So I knew I wanted that to be my base ingredient, but as I thought about what else to use, I got intrigued by the idea of a pumpkin coconut bread. Pumpkin and coconut go beautifully together in soups, so I thought they might be great in a baked good as well. And once it came out of the oven, I decided to go all out and drizzle it with a coconut glaze.
I was really pleased with the results and it was devoured quite quickly by the whole family. It rose wonderfully, and made a very hearty breakfast or snack. And a much healthier one too! My kids preferred it without the glaze, as it was a little too much coconut for them, but I really enjoyed it with.
One word of note, I did use erythritol and stevia in place of sugar, which are both zero calorie sweeteners suitable for diabetics. You can use whatever you want to sweeten this bread…honey, sugar or other sugar substitutes.
Pumpkin Coconut Bread – Gluten-Free
Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flax seed meal, coconut flour, shredded coconut, erythritol, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, spices and salt.
Stir in pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut oil, almond milk and stevia extract and mix until thoroughly combined.
Spread batter in prepared baking pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until top is browned, firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the glaze, whisk ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over cooled pumpkin bread and let set, about 20 minutes.
Carolyn Ketchum is a writer, a runner, a mother and a diabetic. She is also the evil mastermind behind All Day I Dream About Food, a blog that focuses primarily on healthy low carb and gluten-free recipes. She has a Masters in Physical Anthropology and Human Evolution from Arizona State University and has an extensive background in higher education administration. She currently lives, bakes and cooks in the Boston area with her husband and three children. You can check out her experiments with low carb baking at All Day I Dream About Food.
Every year, we look forward to gathering around the table with friends and family to be thankful – but many times we end up feeling less than great when we can’t get up from the couch because we’re too full and feeling gross after the big meal.
So why stick with the same ol’-same ol’? Lighten up your Thanksgiving but keep your favorite flavors in this remix of the classics. Then, instead of recovering on the couch, enjoy the extra time to spend with the folks you don’t see very often.
Sweet Potato Boats with Couscous “Stuffing”
This recipe can be a vegetarian main or a side. If it is a main, plan two boats per person. If it is a side, plan one.
For four side-sized servings, you will need:
Prep time: 1 hour Active prep time: 20 minutes
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Prep the yams by washing them, scrubbing the skins gently and poking holes scattered across the surface with a fork to vent steam. Wrap the yams individually in foil and bake at 425 for about 45 minutes. They are done when a fork slides in easily.
Begin prepping the couscous filling about 20 minutes into the potato cooking time.
Start by bringing the vegetable stock, coarse salt and apple cider vinegar to a boil in a saucepan. Add the couscous and cook until al dente – about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat and fluff occasionally as you continue to prep the other ingredients.
Heat a medium skillet on medium heat and toast the walnuts for about five minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside.
Add the olive oil to the pan and allow to heat for 2 minutes or so. Then add the onions, celery and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently.
When the onions are translucent, add in the cranberries, apples, walnuts and couscous, stirring frequently. Bring everything up to the same temperature and don’t cook them beyond that stage. Allow to sit in the pan on the lowest heat, or take off the heat completely while you prep the potatoes.
When the yams are cooked through, remove from the foil and slice them in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to dig out a 1-inch-wide trench in the inside of each trench, leaving at least a half inch of potato on all sides. Spoon the couscous mixture into the boat. Sprinkle a few extra dried cranberries on top.
Transfer to a serving platter after they are filled (not all of the couscous will make it into the boat on the first try!)
Rebekah Hubbard writes PDX Food Love. PDXfoodlove is about cooking at home – about learning, experimenting and having fun with your family. Anyone can be an artist in the kitchen. Day-to-day Rebekah is a graphic design professional, outdoor and running enthusiast, plastic guitar aficionado and a slightly snarky girl next door.
Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays because it is focused on all the things that are dear to me—food and eating food with family and friends. I love to feed my friends. These vegetarian cheesy bites are a nice alternative to Mac n Cheese on the Thanksgiving table.
Makes about 24 mini bites
Rashmi Nigam is a wife, mother, foodie, and blogger who chronicles her journey towards raising healthy eaters at YumKid. She draws from her real food upbringing, as well as her travels, to prepare simple, unprocessed meals for her family. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
The meaning behind Thanksgiving and the holiday season can sometimes be forgotten because the focus and attention is all on the food. Family traditions are cherished and classic dishes grace the holiday table. Unfortunately for many, caution is thrown away and everyone over-indulges with a marathon of flavors, eating non-stop, all day long. I know because I have been guilty of this very high-caloric crime myself. Now that I have a family of my own, I have taken the extra effort to make the holiday meal delicious AND healthy, without skimping on tradition or flavor.
There are simple ways you can do this. The first is by using only fresh ingredients. Cranberries, for example, don’t come from the can but from the produce section. When mixed in with other wonderful flavors like orange, ginger, pomegranate or flavored liqueur, homemade cranberry sauce has infinitely more flavor than that boring, sugary jelly that slips out of the can.
The second step to a healthy holiday is to cut the sugar back. Save the sweets for dessert, not your dinner. Squash and sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, so why drown it with marshmallows? Add a little salt instead and you have a wonderful sweet-salty combination that everyone will love.
The third step is to introduce whole grains to the table. If your family is picky, hide the good stuff. Mix in high fiber, whole-grain bread to your stuffing recipe. Or, add whole wheat flour and some wheat bran into your baking. Most recipes are pretty forgiving if you substitute half of the white all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. It is easier to alter your taste buds by making these smaller changes and slowly increasing the percentage of whole grain ingredients as time goes by.
Need a gluten-free alternative to stuffing? Try brown rice or quinoa. Quinoa is an ancient grain that is been rediscovered in the foodie world. It is high in fiber, high in protein and is completely gluten-free. Mix it with your green beans, add it to some salad or prepare it like a rice pilaf.
So you survived dinner, but you have a weakness for dessert – what do you do when the parade of pies makes their dramatic entrance? Try this Whole Wheat Apple and Cranberry Galette. A galette is a rustic pie. It requires less fuss than a traditional pie, which I can never make pretty and perfect no matter how hard I try!
Tart granny smith apples and fresh cranberries are lower in sugar than most other fruits. And this crust is made with whole wheat flour, wheat bran and rolled oats. It is flaky and crunchy like a traditional pie crust, but full of fiber and whole grain goodness. Make one or a dozen, change the filling to include pears, figs or any of your favorite seasonal fruits. You can also add pecans, almonds or pistachios for added protein and crunch.
Change the seasonings of the crust to make a savory galette, using sweet potatoes, string beans, tomatoes or sweet peppers.
Get creative in the kitchen and create new food traditions to your holiday table this year. Remember it CAN be both mouthwatering and healthy at the same time!
Whole Wheat Apple and Cranberry Galette
In a food processor with a metal blade combine flour, sugar and cinnamon to make the galette crust. Cut frozen butter into small pieces and half to the food processor and pulse 3 times. Add remaining butter and pulse 3 more times or until butter is the size of coarse pebbles. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition. Dough should now resemble coarse sand. When pressed together, the dough should stick. If not, add more water, a few drops at a time. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, pressing together to form a ball. Roll dough ball into the wheat bran, and flatten to form a disc. The wheat bran does not need to be worked into the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate dough for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Peel and core apples and cut into thin slices. Add to a mixing bowl and combine with the rest of the filling ingredients.
Remove dough from the plastic wrap and using a rolling pin, roll until a 9-10 inch circle is formed. Place dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Arrange filling into desired manner, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border of dough around the filling. You can add the apples first to make a pretty pattern then the remaining ingredients, or you can pile it all in at the same time. Fold dough edges around the filling, making pleats as needed.
Bake until edges start to brown, 45-50 minutes. Allow galette to cool at least 1 hour prior to serving.
Laura Bashar, a.k.a. Family Spice, writes about food and her life as a wife & mom of three living in San Diego, CA. She started blogging as a mission to get families back at the dinner table. Laura shares recipes using fresh ingredients from all over the world, but especially likes to feature her Persian heritage, both in recipes and traditions.
This delicious wild rice dish comes from Melanie Angelis of The Grecian Garden. Melanie Angelis loves nutritional consulting, healthy dessert catering, and teaching health and wellness classes. She also has a new love—writing a book to share her knowledge and passion for food as medicine. Melanie holds a masters of science degree in complementary alternative medicine from the American College of Health Care Sciences. She founded The Grecian Garden in 2009, and performs health and nutrition consults locally at Jacobs Chiropractic & Wellness Center. www.thegreciangarden.com
Chestnut and Herb Wild Rice