Thanksgiving is a favorite American holiday in which we give thanks for our many blessings, including our family, friends and delicious food. Recent studies show that the positive affects of gratitude are good for our health – we have more social connections, energy and happiness. A healthy diet is good for us too, even during the delicious holiday feast often referred to as a “pig out!”
Turkey is the star of this holiday meal, followed by all the traditional trimmings. In my current article for Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, the focus is on lightening up the bounty of sides, with recipes based on healthy vegetables and grains. Dishes like the Whipped Butternut Squash and Quinoa, Black Beans and Corn may become family favorites.
A few simple changes in your holiday recipes can make it healthier, while keeping the flavor intact. Serve more cooked vegetables on the plate, flavoring them with fresh herbs. A raw vegetable tray is always a welcome addition to the meal.
Don’t take all the fun out of the holiday meal. Laugh a lot and give ample thanks. Maintenance rather than weight loss is a good goal during the holidays. Don’t settle on the couch after eating; go outdoors and get some fresh air and exercise. And it’s OK to splurge and have that piece of delicious pumpkin pie –just don’t eat the whole thing!
Read the entire article and find additional recipes in the current issue (November, 2011) of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine.
Quinoa, Black Beans and Corn
Nutritious quinoa, the “mother grain” of the ancient Incas, offers the highest amount of protein of any grain, offering 5 grams of protein for each 1/2 cooked cup. This healthy supergrain is a good source of magnesium, iron and riboflavin. Serve this dish as a warm side for the holiday turkey or toss with a light vinaigrette and serve on romaine or leaf lettuce. Cooked quinoa can also be mixed into your favorite turkey stuffing. This recipe is easily doubled.
1 teaspoon ground curry powder
1 cup (prewashed) quinoa
2 cups chicken or turkey broth
1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup cooked corn
1/2 diced red bell pepper
2 minced green onions
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
sliced black olives for garnish
In a 1-1/2 quart saucepan, bring quinoa, broth and curry powder to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. The grains will be tender and appear slightly translucent. Stir in the black beans, corn, red pepper and green onions. Heat mixture through; season to taste. Serve immediately garnished with black olives. Recipe can be doubled.
Photo © Jeff Amberg
From: November, 2011 issue
Article, Recipe © Susan Slack
Food style: Susan Slack
Note: The beautiful 150 year old coverlet on the table (briefly on display) was made by my East Tennessee GGG grandmother near Fall Branch. Her family grew the flax, spun the thread then made the fabric and coverlet.