My family and I loaded the car with holiday dinner essentials such as a roasting pan and spices and headed to high country for our annual Thanksgiving getaway in Blowing Rock, N.C. This morning we woke up to a gorgeous sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains and a light blanket of snow on the ground.
Even take a I’m on vacation, I can’t break from my healthy eating habits and meal plans. In fact, I have to be even more careful because the weight can so easily creep back on. For me to avoid any holiday weight gain, I must continue to stick to smaller portion sizes, limit my alcohol consumption, eating lean meats, avoiding foods with a high sodium and sugar contents and keep on track with my workouts.
Here are some other great tips on How to Eat Healther This Holiday Season.
Of course, I will still allow myself the opportunity to enjoy my favorite holiday dishes and a few cocktails, however, within reason. Just because I’m in the moountains, doesn’t mean I deserve to devour a mountain of masehd potatoes. I will allow myself eat mashed potatoes, just a reasonable amount of mashed potatoes with less butter or maybe I’ll substitute them alltogether with some mashed cauliflower.
In fact, I love this Bacon and Green Onion Stuffing by celebrity chef Curtis Stone which can easily be modified and lightened up by cutting the amount of bacon and butter used in half.
- 1½ lbs. French or Italian bread, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 12 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
- 2 yellow onions, finely chopped (about 3 cups)
- 5 celery ribs, cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 2¼ cups)
- 6 large sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 2 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, plus butter to coat baking dish
- 8 green onions, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13x9-inch baking dish.
- Spread bread on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, or just until dried but not browned. Cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, or until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate. Pour off all but ⅓ cup bacon grease.
- MAKE AHEAD NOTE: Unbaked stuffing can be made up to 6 hours ahead and refrigerated; add 10 minutes to baking time.
- Add onions to same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Add celery, thyme, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Stir in garlic and continue cooking, stirring often, for about 6 minutes, or until vegetables begin to brown. Add wine and cook for about 4 minutes, or until wine has evaporated but vegetables are still very moist.
- Add broth and butter, bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 8 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool slightly; remove and discard thyme and rosemary stems.
- Stir green onions and parsley into vegetable mixture. Add bread cubes, reserved bacon, 2 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper and mix well. Mix in eggs. Spread stuffing in prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until stuffing is heated through and puffed. Remove foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.
For families looking for delicious and convenient recipe options this Thanksgiving, you can find more fantastic Curtis Stone’s Thanksgiving Feast recipes via Winn Dixie.
As for the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Iron Chef Allan and I have planned hearty, but light meals for our family. Here’s what’s on our High Country Dinnner Menu in the country as well as our Thanksgiving feast.
Sunday – Beef Stew or Lentil Soup with a Mixed Greens Salad
Monday – Roasted Veggie Sandwiches
Tuesday – Grilled Wings with a mixed greens salad
Wednesday – Skinnytaste’s Sausage and Peppers
Friday – Day-After Turkey Soup
Thanksgiving Day Menu
White Cheddar Cranberry Spread & Crackers
Sage and Onion Stuffing
Low Fat Buttermilk Smashed Potatoes
Lighted-up Creamed Spinach
Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Toasted Meringue Topping
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Golden Oven Roasted Fresh Turkey