Monday, November 22, 2010

Start the week off right!

Here’s what we had for dinner last week, complete with links to recipes in my cookbook. An asterisk (*) indicates recipes we tried for the first time:

Monday: Chipotle!

Tuesday: Longboards!

Wednesday: Macaroni and cheese with tuna and split pea and ham soup

Thursday: Makeshift “Hamburger” Helper

Friday: Baked Italian Salmon* with Lemon Spaghetti*

Saturday: Tuna melts with red peppers and leftover Lemon Spaghetti

Sunday: Pan-Seared Salmon with Honey-Balsamic Sauce and Buttery Herb Couscous

Treat Monday: Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

The goal for this week is to not overdo it with Thanksgiving. That means trying to eat a bit lighter on other days so the main event won't be such a challenge. While my mom is doing the turkey, I'm taking on some of the more traditionally not-so-good-for-you fare in the form of stuffing and sweet potato casserole.

The stuffing recipe is one I used last year. It combines lots of fruit and veggies with wheat bread crumbs, broth and seasoning. There's little fat to speak of, save the olive oil and light butter used to sauté the vegetables:

It was so delicious that we're breaking it out again this year, and probably every year for the foreseeable future. If you want more, it's easy to increase the measurements - this is one of those recipes where it's really about what you like.
So Good Stuffing!
Servings: 8
WW Points: 3 per serving

Cooking spray
9 cups whole-wheat bread cubes, toasted
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. light butter
1 small onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 4-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter together for 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and celery; sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper; stir to coat. Cook until herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute.

Transfer onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add bread, broth and chives, apple and cranberries; toss to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and cover with foil; bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, 15 minutes more.
As for sweet potatoes, while I absolutely love the marshmallow and sugar concoction that graces most tables, we're going with something a bit lighter, but just as delicious. This casserole accentuates the natural sweetness of the potatoes with some apple juice and crystallized ginger. I've recently discovered how well crystallized ginger pairs with squash and sweet potatoes, and recommend you try some combination thereof soon.

We tried this recipe a few months ago and knew it would be a Thanksgiving keeper. We're going to double it, so I hope it turns out as good as the first time!
Sweeter Potato Casserole
Servings: 4
WW Points: 4 per serving

2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 tsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp butter, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half of the apples in the dish; top with half the potatoes, then sprinkle with half the ginger and half the salt. Repeat the layers.

In a small bowl, combine the juice concentrate, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves and water.  Pour over the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes; dot with butter. Bake, uncovered, until tender, bubbling and lightly browned, about 15 minutes more.
My mom, in addition to the turkey, is making my favorite salad ever - 7 layer salad. She makes it with lettuce, bacon (turkey this time!), peas, red onion, a little sugar, shredded swiss cheese and Miracle Whip (reduced fat). It's one of those salads that I could eat with every meal. The bad news is that it doesn't do well as leftovers, but it's incredible when fresh.

Frank's parents will be joining us and will bring traditional green bean casserole (It's my guilty pleasure and since it's only once a year, indulge!) and a pumpkin pie.

After the meal, we plan on taking a nice long walk, assuming the weather cooperates.

What are your Thanksgiving must-have dishes?

1 comment: