Wednesday, November 18, 2009

GIVING THANKS



Ah, Thanksgiving! What a special holiday a day set aside for the sole purpose of giving thanks. Giving thanks is a practice that is a surefire way to feel better about almost any trying situation you may find yourself in. Counting your blessings brings about a feeling of abundance and overall well-being. When I find myself whining, complaining, worrying or any other fruitless behavior the mindful act of gratitude always seems to soften my edge and bring me into a state of hopefulness. Knowing that things could always be worse seems to be the trick to turn me in the direction of feeling better. And so the goal is to make everyday a day of thanksgiving.

I have so much to be thankful for....as we all do. Personally I feel very grateful to have this opportunity to share with you and to have this avenue for creativity in the hopes of inspiring you to perhaps eat a little better, get healthier, be happier, breathe easier and to offer you a stream of support. Last year right before Thanksgiving I decided to put together a cooking class for some healthier, low glycemic index recipes for my patients. I had a lot of fun coming up with the recipes and I chose to include a Tofu dish instead of turkey because alot of folks know how to roast a turkey but not too many even know what to do with Tofu. So below you'll find all of my recipes for a simple yet delicious and very healthy Thanksgiving meal that I hope you will enjoy.

Thanksgiving Tofu Turkey and Sesame Gravy
2# extra firm tofu
4 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs. tamari
1 Tbs each onion and garlic powder
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup celery, cut chunky
1 cup carrots, cut chunky
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
2 pieces dry whole grain bread, cubed
1 tsp fresh or dried sage, thyme, basil
1/4 cup water or broth
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
1. Cut the tofu into thick slabs and brown in olive oil, sprinkle the tofu with tamari, onion and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat till brown and crispy on both sides. Cut into thick cubes and set aside.
2. Saute in 1 Tbs olive oil onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery and carrots .....cook til carrots are almost tender....Add cubed bread, water and all of the herbs and spices....cook for 5-10 minutes til everything looks combined. Prepare a lasagne or deep baking dish by oiling lightly.
3. Add veggies to pan gently mix the tofu into the veggies.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.


Click here for the printable version of this recipe!

Sesame Gravy
Saute in 3 Tbs olive oil and 2 Tbs earth balance:
1 finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
When onion is light in color, add:
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbs. ww flour
Brown for 5 minutes. Then add:
3 cups sesame milk:
1/2 cup sesame seeds blended in blender with
2 1/2 cups water and 2 tbs tamari.
Stir until thickened. Adding more water if too thick.
Serve hot over Tofu Turkey.


Click here for a printable version of this recipe!

Strueseled Sweet Potato Casserole

Assemble the potato mixture and sprinkle with the streusel, then freeze the casserole up to 2 weeks ahead of Thanksgiving. Thaw in refrigerator and bake as directed. Or cook just the potatoes a day ahead, mash and refrigerate and proceed with the recipe as directed the day you're serving the dish. Add 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper if you want to add a bit of heat to this sweet dish.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
14 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 pounds)
2 scoops vanilla ultrameal or protein powder
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup flaxmeal and 1/4 cup ww flour
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
1/4 cup chilled earth balance, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375°. Place potato in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Combine the ultrameal or protein powder and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into an oiled13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Combine flour, flax, apple concentrate in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture.
Cover and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes until golden and crusty on top.

Collard Greens

A healthy alternative to the delicious southern greens.
SERVES 4 -6
Ingredients:
1 lb collard greens
2 Tbs olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut in 2-inch strips, 1/4-inch wide
1/2 large onion, slivered
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar

Directions: Slice off the stems from the collards right below the leaf, and discard the stems. Fill the sink with cold water and give the leaves a good soaking and washing to get rid or all the grit clinging to the folds of the leaves.
Drop the greens into a couple of inches of boiling salted water. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again and chop coarsely.
Pour the olive oil into a large skillet. Toss in the peppers and onions, seasoning them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Once they're soft, toss in the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Dump in the greens and give them a stir. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, the vinegar. Stir one more time and serve up a mess of healthy greens.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
1 12-ounce bag fresh whole cranberries
2 tablespoons water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup orange marmalade, sweetened with juice
1 to 2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate

Place the cranberries, water, apple juice concentrate and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan.
Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring,
until the cranberries pop. Remove from heat, stir in the marmalade, and cool.
(This can be made up to 4
days ahead.) Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.
Time-saver: Using marmalade to flavor the cranberries is a quick way to add a
sweet, complex dimension to a traditional side dish.


Yield: 2 cups

Apple Crisp with dried cranberries
Serves 8-10

4 large baking apples
¼ cup dried cranberries juice sweetened or unsweetened
¼ cup apple juice concentrate
¼ cup ww flour or rice flour
¼ cup flaxmeal
½ cup oats
¾ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
¼ cup earth balance or canola oil

Core, peel and slice apples into a baking dish.
Mix remaining ingredients and spread over apples.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375.
Best served warm.

Click here for the printable version of this recipe!

Well all.....please have fun cooking all the yummy Thanksgiving foods, and gathering together with your family and friends for a lovely and very nourishing holiday. It is truly wonderful to have a day to stop and Give Thanks!


With Gratitude,

Lisa

3 comments:

inserra517 said...

As always - a wonderful blog and delicous food. Love = Mom

gabolko said...

nice mom! and I can vouch for how delicious this thanksgiving meal is!

Anonymous said...

These all look GREAT!!!!!Can't wait to try them.....Blessings to you and the family and thank you for all that you do!!