Savor the Day- Thanksgiving that is!
By Margaret McSweeney
Healthy eating plays an important role in improving fertility. But does healthy eating require giving up the delicious tastes of Thanksgiving? Absolutely not!
Two key recommendations from The Fertility Diet 1 written by Harvard researchers Jorge E. Chavarro, MD and Walter C. Willet, MD include:
- Eating more vegetable protein, like beans and nuts, and less animal protein
- Drinking a glass of whole milk or having a small dish of ice cream or full-fat yogurt everyday; temporarily trading in skim milk and low or no-fat dairy products for their full-fat versions
With those delicious guidelines from The Fertility Diet, here are some fun suggestions for your Thanksgiving table. Whether you are hosting the day or asked to bring a dish, you will create a taste memory that friends and family will savor. Today’s home cook has access to numerous recipe resources available both online and in books. Don’t be afraid to use your own creativity to modify the recipes you use. Please confirm with your doctor that you have no specific dietary restrictions.
Vegetable & Hummus Fanfare:
Isn’t it always this way on Thanksgiving Day? Everyone gathers in the kitchen, no matter how big or small it is. You are multi-tasking, basting the turkey, warming the green bean casserole, and glancing at the clock to make sure that Thanksgiving Dinner will be ready on time. Entertain your guests with a colorful appetizer: Vegetable and hummus fanfare! And it’s a great snack for you, too with the vegetable protein of garbanzo beans or chickpeas. Increase the health benefits by using a variety of fresh carrots, zucchini, yellow squash and celery to ensure delicious moments while waiting for dinner to be served.
- 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
- 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.
Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
Note: I didn’t add the additional olive oil in the well. You can always sprinkle with paprika.
Cranberries herald the start of the holidays with their festive color and memorable taste. On the package of Ocean Spray® cranberries, the traditional recipe for whole berry cranberry sauce has been used for generations. This year, consider putting a little twist on the preparation. Substitute the water with apple cider and the sugar with organic cane sugar. Serve the cranberry twist either in a special bowl or consider presenting it in a roasted butternut squash. This recipe is printed on the package of Ocean Spray cranberries. Visit www.oceanspray.com for more cranberry recipe ideas.
- 1 cup of water (or apple cider)
- 1 cup sugar (or organic cane sugar)
- 1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or frozen cranberries
Bring water (or apple cider) to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce into a bowl, cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 ¼ cups.
If you want to serve the cranberry twist in a roasted butternut squash, slice the squash in half and remove the pulp and seeds. Put a slab of butter in the hollowed area and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples3
This flavorful recipe from Cookinglight.com will surprise you, not only with its ease but also with its taste. Cooking Light recommends Fuji apples due to the sweet-tart contrast pairing with the Brussels sprouts. Once the sprouts are quartered, your work is almost done.
- ½ cup diced apple
- 8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Combine apple and Brussels sprouts in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Add apple cider, olive oil, minced fresh thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper, toss well. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
Authors Note: Margaret McSweeney is a culinary expert and the host of Kitchen Chat on WebTalk Radio. Follow her on FACEBOOK. She wishes to acknowledge Lynn Gentile who helped prepare and style the food for this blog post.
This is a sponsored blog.