Thanksgiving conjures images of feasting with family, with a bounty of food and drinks to try. Thanksgiving dinner can be flavorful and healthy simply by creating a few healthy dishes to balance and compliment the less healthy ones. Those that highlight the autumn season’s bounty, including root vegetables and pumpkin, are a great addition to bring to the table.
Roasted Root Vegetable Medley
This easy side dish can be prepared in advance. The autumnal hues of these fiber-rich root vegetables offer a visually appealing presentation.
6 red beets, peeled, cut into sixths
3 turnips, peeled, cut into sixths
2 large parsnips, peeled, sliced crosswise into 1-inch rounds
5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, but into sixths
1 1-pound bag of baby carrots
12 garlic cloves, peeled
6 shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the cut vegetables, garlic and shallots in a roasting pan. Add the olive oil, thyme and sage. Generously sprinkle the mixture with salt and pepper. Toss all of the ingredients well, until the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Roast this for about one hour, stirring once halfway through the cooking time. Serves eight.
Loaded with beta-carotene, potassium and healthy fat with every bite, this satisfying dessert option makes the most of fall pumpkin spice flavors without the inclusion of heavy cream.
1¼ cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup vegetable oil
7 ½ ounces canned pumpkin
¼ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Mix all ingredients and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 ¼ hours. Cool to room temperature before removing the loaf from the pan. Makes one loaf.
Side dishes of vegetables and complex carbohydrates create a visual cornucopia of autumn’s bounty. In lieu of mashed potatoes laden with butter and heavy cream, consider mashing the potatoes with turnips and roasted garlic cloves for added flavor. Substitute white flour rolls and stuffing bread with whole grain variations. Instead of heavy cream pies, choose desserts that showcase the season’s fruits.
To your health, happy Thanksgiving!
Rowena is a writer for Ivein.com. In her spare time she loves to go hiking and read.