Crudités tray of fresh veggies with yogurt dip
Apple-raisin dressing of whole grain bread and bulgur
Mashed sweet potatoes sprinkled with walnuts & flaxseed margarine
Roasted butternut squash, onions, & turnips
Broccoli al dente with fresh lemon
Pumpkin pie (or pudding) topped with pecans
Although holidays are traditionally times of feasting and overindulgence, this year you can at least overindulge in healthy foods. The menu we have put together features the very best of superfoods, yet clings to the traditions we all cherish. Maybe those Pilgrims knew what they were doing, so many years ago.
For munchies ahead of time to calm your appetite, the super food to serve is a crudités tray of colorful fresh vegetables with yogurt dip. Cherry tomatoes, carrots, and red and green bell pepper strips are all loaded with vitamins but low in calories and fat. The yogurt dip has more protein and less fat than dips based on mayonnaise or sour cream.
The foundation of our feast is the time-honored roast turkey. Although talking about nutrition seems a bit pointless as we gorge ourselves at such meals, turkey is a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, and zinc, and a very good source of protein and selenium. It’s relatively low in calories and fat, especially if you pass up the opportunity to eat the crispy skin it develops as it roasts.
Your superfoods feast can have stuffing made with whole grain bread and studded with apples, raisins, and bulgur wheat nuggets. Accompany the turkey with mashed sweet potatoes heaped in a bowl and topped with walnut chunks and flaxseed margarine. If you’re not familiar with flaxseed margarine, it’s a do-it-yourself project. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with an 8-oz. tub of soft margarine to pack in a dose of valuable Omega-3 fatty acids. On the sweet potatoes, you will never notice the flaxseed.
On the side, serve roasted vegetables—butternut squash, onions and turnips—for a rich, delicious treat, and a bowl of broccoli cooked just al dente, with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Cranberry relish provides the perfect traditional zing to the meal. The easiest and most delicious recipe I know of is one bag of cranberries, two apples, two oranges, two cups of sugar (Splenda works great) and two cups of pecans. Run the berries, apples, and oranges through the food processor. Add the Splenda and the coarsely chopped pecans. You’ll find people who thought they didn’t like cranberries love this recipe!
You can still have pumpkin pie for dessert, as pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and fiber. Choosing to make a pumpkin pudding instead of a pie will save you the calories of the crust. Just pour the usual pie filling in a square baking pan—without a crust—and top it with chopped pecans. You can still add a dollop of whipped cream. But I’m ready to concede, pumpkin pudding is just not the same as pumpkin pie.
So there you have a holiday feast of superfoods. It’s as nostalgic and indulgent as everyone expects, but it has extra doses of nutrition and goodness. Read more about superfoods.