Seems as though the holiday season snuck up on us. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, so are calorie-filled meals.
The average Thanksgiving meal has a whopping 4,500+ calories and 229 grams of fat. That’s more than twice the number of calories most of us should eat in an entire day; enough fat for more than three days! Thankfully, below are some delicious recipes to entertain with that’ll keep all the great tastes without the bellyache.
Creamy Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup
This KISS (keep it super simple) worthy recipe is so easy to make and tastes so exotic and yummy that your family and friends will think you cooked all day! Serve as a starter (perfect for Thanksgiving!) or with a nice salad as a nourishing lunch.
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut or grape seed oil
2 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
1 clove fresh garlic
2 Tbsp yellow curry paste (find this prepared in the Asian specialties section of the store)
13.5 ounce can light coconut milk
3 Cups low sodium vegetable broth
30oz. pumpkin puree (use the organic aseptic kind if you can find it)
1 small red chili seeded and finely chopped (be careful of the seeds and your eyes) You can also
substitute 1⁄2 teaspoon dried red chili flake
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Sea salt to taste
1) In a large saucepan, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic over medium low heat until translucent,
taking care not to brown. Add chili.
2) Add the curry paste and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and the pumpkin and whisk together until well incorporated and creamy.
3) Add the coconut milk and cook until mixture bubbles for a few minutes.
4) Remove from head and garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk and fresh cilantro.
Butternut Squash Bisque with Coconut Essence
Full of beta-carotene and antioxidants, butternut squash, along with carrots and celery, stars as the veggie in this rich, sensual dish. Instead of cream, I use unsweetened coconut milk and no butter, slashing the fat like a ninja. So good you’ll want to bathe in it! This makes a great first course for your Thanksgiving feast.
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Coconut Spread
2 carrots, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash, diced
2 celery stalks, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash, diced
1 small red onion, diced
4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (refrigerated)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme
1) Heat coconut spread in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
2) Stir in butternut squash, vegetable broth, coconut milk and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée soup or let cool slightly and carefully purée in batches blender.
3) Take a squeeze bottle and fill with non-dairy yogurt. Squeeze a small circle on top of each individual soup bowl and a pinch of fresh thyme.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Black Garlic and Turkey Bacon
Touted as one of the ‘healthiest foods on earth’ and my prediction for the next ‘It’ veggie of 2014, Brussels sprouts are the star of this flavorful dish, along with the rich flavor of Black Garlic, prized for its antioxidants and health benefits, and the smoky crispness of turkey bacon, baked to reduce fat and calories but still retain flavor. I use nitrite-free bacon to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals. I also like to cook these in raw coconut oil, which has a higher smoking point than other oils, and only use a tablespoon in the whole dish due to some help from low sodium veggie stock.
I promise, this will make you fall in love with Brussels Sprouts over and over again.
1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 Cups fresh Brussels Sprouts, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
½ C low sodium vegetable stock
4 large cloves black garlic (it is very soft and will squeeze out of the skin. If unavailable, substitute 2 cloves regular garlic)
1 tsp LoSalt reduced sodium alternative
1 tsp white pepper
4 slices nitrite-free turkey bacon, crisped by baking in the oven in a baking rack for 15-20 minutes, then crumbled
1) Preheat oven to 425F.
2) In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and vegetable stock, season with LoSalt and white pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes; squeeze black garlic into stock and mix in with the back of a spoon. If black garlic is unavailable, substitute 2 cloves regular garlic, minced.
3) Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 5-8 minutes or until sprouts take on a nice golden brown. You may opt to broil for just a few minutes, taking care not to burn sprouts.
4) Remove skillet and top with crumbled turkey bacon. Serve and enjoy in good health!
Fennel And Roasted Beet Salad with Chia Seed Vinaigrette
Roasting beets just intensifies their natural sweetness and adds a hint of caramel, so they're wonderful with crunchy fennel and the slightly sweet dressing made from Nectresse no-calorie, all natural sweetener and chia seeds for a nutrient dense added pop and essential fats. Use both red and golden beets for beautiful color.
4 medium beets, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash
2 medium bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Nectresse no-calorie, all natural sweetener
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tspn chia seed
LoSalt reduced sodium alternative and a dash of white pepper
1) Preheat the oven to 375F and put a baking sheet on the middle rack to warm. Trim all but an inch or so of the beets' stems. Put the beets on the baking sheet and roast until a knife easily pierces them all the way through, 30-45 minutes (depending on their size). Remove them to a plate to cool. When they're cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to scrape off the skins. Cut the peeled beets into thin slices.
2) Slice the fennel and combine the beets and fennel in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Nectresse, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chia seeds and a sprinkling of LoSalt and white pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables a little at a time until the salad is coated but not drenched. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Shiitake Mushroom Pan Gravy with Leeks
2 T Earth Balance vegan buttery stick
4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, quartered, finely chopped, and rinsed well (5 cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems and caps sliced
1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable stock, warmed
2 tsp dried sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
¼ c corn starch or arrowroot powder
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1) Heat 2 tablespoons vegan butter in a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and tender, about 20 minutes.
2) Add mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a plate, and let stand until cool, about 5 minutes. If you are making a turkey, you can also take pan drippings and add to sauté pan for flavor.
3) Whisk together 1/2 cup of warm broth and the flour in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add dried sage and fresh thyme, remaining stock and pan drippings to pan, if cooking a turkey. Bring to a simmer. Whisk in flour mixture, and return to a simmer. Add mushrooms leek mixture and cook until mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add more stock if gravy is too thick. Serve warm.
Chai Pumpkin Oat Scones
What a great way to start the day, with a little pumpkin scone and a lot of love. Maybe even start an afternoon tea tradition? Jolly good!
1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
1/3 cup gluten-free quick cook oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon all natural, no calorie sweetener like stevia or monk fruit extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup prepared chai tea (you can brew this or buy it prepared)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons Earth Balance baking sticks, melted or coconut oil
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper (or use Silicone baking pad).
3) In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, including flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda,
pumpkin pie spice, sweetener and salt.
4) Add the pumpkin, vanilla, chai tea and melted Earth Balance sticks or coconut oil in to the flour mixture and mix thoroughly. You should have a soft dough consistency. Take care not to ‘overwork’ the dough as it will make for a tough scone. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour.
5) Form the dough into rounds or roll flat and cut into triangle wedges. Spray the surface of the dough very lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
6) Bake the scones about 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve with a dab of pumpkin butter or Earth Balance spread.
The Fit Foodie’s Light Pumpkin Pie Squares
The average slice of pumpkin pie can weigh in at 350 calories and 13 grams of fat. My Fit Foodie version gets its body from lite organic tofu weighing in at about half the calories and only about 3 g of fat.
1/3 cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
8 low-fat gluten-free graham crackers (Try S'moreables, Graham Style Crackers)
1 egg white
18 ounces extra-firm organic tofu
2 cups canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup nonfat non-dairy yogurt
2 Tbsp organic Stevia sweetener
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Topping: (optional) 1 tsp cinnamon and REAL nondairy whipped topping
1) Preheat oven to 350°
To make crust: In a food processor, combine graham crackers and oats and process to a fine crumb. Add egg whites until well incorporated. In a 9x9” non-stick baking pan, press crumb into bottom and bake for about 8 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven.
2) To make filling:
Drain tofu. place in a food processor and process until smooth
Add remaining filling ingredients. Process until well-blended
Pour onto crust and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean
Remove from oven and chill in freezer until firm. Cut into squares and top with real non-dairy whipped topping and a dusting of cinnamon.
Pumpkin N’ Spice Fit Bite Truffles
Makes about 16-20 3⁄4” ‘truffles’
These little bites are a staple in my house – the kids love them and they’re part of our Eat Cleaner Meal Prep Club plan. So much better than packaged bars, packed with protein, good fats and slow burning carbs and perfect for the morning, before and after workouts and as an after meal treat.
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned, gluten-free oats
1 scoop non-whey protein powder
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened canned or aseptic packed pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1⁄2 cup 70% or more unsweetened cacao dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons organic stevia extract (liquid or powder)
Toppings To Roll ‘Truffles’ In:
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Unsweetened rice crisps
1) In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
2) In a separate small bowl, combine pumpkin, stevia extract (if liquid–if powder or granulated, add to dry ingredients) and pure vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until well incorporated.
3) Freeze mixture for about 30 minutes. Roll into 1 1/2 balls, and press into desired toppings to create an even coated like in the picture above. Freeze extras in an air-tight container for grab-and-go snacks, clean desserts and pre/post workouts.
Mareya Ibrahim is also known as “The Fit Foodie,” a nationally recognized food safety and clean eating expert, an award-winning entrepreneur, television chef, author and inventor. She is the CEO and founder of Grow Green Industries, INC. and the patented co-creator of the eatCleaner®, eatSafe™ and eatFresh™ line of all natural and organic products that help offer cleaner, safer, longer lasting produce. She is a featured chef on the Emmy-nominated cooking show Recipe Rehab, eHow.com, Livestrong.com and is a frequent guest on San Diego 6 and Fox 5 San Diego News.
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