Sunday, November 19, 2006

Stress Reducers For Thanksgiving

Stuff The Turkey, Not Yourself!

Easy ways to lighten up this Thanksgiving
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column
Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

Stuffing ourselves with food we don't normally eat, drinking fancy beverages instead of our normal water, keeping so busy we can't keep on our exercise schedules -- this describes what many of us fondly refer to as "the holiday season."
But you CAN enjoy the holidays and all that it offers and still stay on track with your weight-loss plan by keeping three things in mind:

1. Now more than ever, keep up with your exercise plan.
Exercise will keep your metabolic rate up, thus burning more calories each day. It will also reduce stress and help keep you feeling positive about your body. It's important to feel positive -- many of us tend to overeat when we are stressed, depressed, or feel bad about ourselves.

2. Strive for balance.
It's important to strike a balance between allowing yourself some of foods you want to taste and enjoy and those that will keep the weight off. One key is to keep portions sizes modest. Also, don't forget to eat ONLY when you are hungry and stop when you are comfortable -- especially during the holiday season.
Some people cut out needless "extras" by simply not eating or drinking after around 7 p.m. Faced with a late holiday party? Substitute sparkling water for wine and munch on crunchy raw foods, such as sliced veggies. Your mouth will be busy and you won't feel deprived.

3. Lighten up your holiday favorites everywhere you can.
Believe me, lightening those recipes can add up to big savings! If you cut 110 calories here, 130 calories there, and 90 calories in a third dish, you've trimmed off 330 calories from that one meal alone. You can lighten recipes by using less fat or oil than called for in the original recipe, and by substituting reduced-fat or reduced-calorie versions of some of the ingredients (such as using light cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese or fat-free half and half instead of regular half and half.)

Here are three lightened Thanksgiving recipes to inspire you to do the same to some of your own family favorites.

Mom's Mashed Potatoes

Journal as: 3 servings (1/4 cup each) "starches and legumes without added fat."
What's Thanksgiving without those steamy mounds of mashed potatoes? Here's a light version you can whip up right before you sit down to eat.
5 medium russet potatoes (medium white or red potatoes can also be used) 2 green onions, white and part of green, finely chopped1/3 cup fat-free half and half (low-fat milk or whole milk can also be used)1/4 cup fat-free or light sour cream1 tablespoon butter (or no or low trans fat margarine)1/2 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic (optional)salt and pepper to taste
Pierce each potato several times with a fork and microwave the potatoes on HIGH until they are tender throughout. (about 20 minutes depending on your microwave. You can also bake or boil the potatoes until tender if you prefer. Let potatoes cool a few minutes.
Peel off skins (and discard) and add the potato flesh to a large mixing bowl along with the green onions, fat-free half and half, sour cream, butter or margarine, and garlic.

Beat on low speed until fairly smooth and blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 187 calories, 5 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 2 g fat (1.2 g saturated fat, 0.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0.1 g polyunsaturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 55 mg sodium (not including salt to taste).
Light & Easy Pumpkin Custard Pie
Journal as: 1 medium dessert.

The fact that it has one crust instead of two, and features an antioxidant-rich vegetable, makes this pie one of the better ones to grace your holiday table. You can use a store-bought piecrust for this recipe, or make a single piecrust from scratch -- it's up to you!
1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground nutmegpinch of ground cloves1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 1/4 cups (canned) evaporated skim milk2 teaspoons orange zest (orange peel), finely chopped3 egg whites, lightly beaten1/4 cup Meyers rum (you can substitute orange juice for the rum if you prefer)Single pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves on lowest speed. Beat in the pumpkin, vanilla, evaporated milk, orange peel, and egg whites.
Beat with electric mixer until nice and smooth. Fold in the rum.
Pour into prepared 9-inch, deep dish, unbaked pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325-degrees and bake for 45 minutes more or until knife inserted in the filling comes out clean.
Let cool and refrigerate until served. Serve with a little dollop of light Cool Whip or light whipping cream if desired.
Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: 161 calories, 4 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 5.3 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 1.2 g fiber, 129 mg sodium.
Deluxe Boxed Stuffing
Journal as: 2 servings (1/4 cup each) "starches and legumes with 1 teaspoon fat."
If you're like many people, you probably turn to the boxed stuffing mixes (such as Stove Top) to shave some time off that Thanksgiving preparation. Instead of telling you no, I'm going to show you how to jazz up that box mix, and while we're at it, cut the added butter in half to make a light but flavorful quick bread stuffing. Note: Sauteing the veggies in butter does a nice job of bringing out their flavors, but you can shave even more off this recipe if you use just a tad of canola or olive oil instead.
1 box chicken flavor or sourdough bread stuffing mix (6 ounce box)1/2 cup chopped onion1/2 cup finely chopped celery1/2 teaspoon minced or chopped garlic2 tablespoons butter or no or low trans fat margarine1 3/4 cup water
Add butter, onion, celery, and garlic to a medium, nonstick saucepan and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onion lightly browns (about 4 minutes).
Pour in the seasoning packet and 1 3/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat, add the bread crumbs, and stir to moisten. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve!
Makes 6 servings (if you want to make a larger amount, double or triple the recipe ingredients and use a large, nonstick saucepan).
Per serving: 152 calories, 3.5 g protein, 22.5 g carbohydrate, 4.8 g fat, 2.4 g saturated fat (if using butter), 10 mg cholesterol (if using butter), 1.5 g fiber, 485 mg sodium.
Originally published Nov. 17, 2003Medically updated Nov. 3, 2005.
©1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Tyler's Cranberry Relish

Fresh Cranberry Relish
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence and JoAnn Cianciulli
Food 911
Tyler Talks Turkey

2 pounds fresh cranberries 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur 1 orange, zested and juiced

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, pulse several times to breakdown the cranberries and incorporate the ingredients; it should still be a bit chunky. Allow the cranberry relish to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, so the flavors can marry.

Giada's Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
See this recipe on air Wednesday Nov. 22 at 1:30 PM ET/PT.
Everyday Italian
Italian Thanskgiving

Cook's Note: The no-boil lasagna noodles can be substituted with fresh spinach lasagna sheets. Look for fresh lasagna sheets in the refrigerated section of specialty markets.
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup water 3 amaretti cookies, crumbled 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 3 1/2 cups whole milk Pinch nutmeg 3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves 12 no-boil lasagna noodles 2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.
Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender*. Add the basil and blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Follow That Food
Follow That Feast

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten 1 cup half-and-half 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional 1 piece pre-made pie dough Whipped cream, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Alton Brown's Thanksgiving Turkey

Good Eats Roast Turkey
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
See this recipe on air Thursday Nov. 23 at 11:00 AM ET/PT.
Good Eats
Romancing the Bird (A Good Eats Thanksgiving)

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey For the brine: 1 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1 gallon vegetable stock 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1/2 tablespoon allspice berries 1/2 tablespoon candied ginger 1 gallon iced water For the aromatics: 1 red apple, sliced 1/2 onion, sliced 1 cinnamon stick 1 cup water 4 sprigs rosemary 6 leaves sage Canola oil
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.
A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.