Top 10 Thanksgiving Recipes

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and I have already started to search for Thanksgiving recipes to create our family menu. Thanksgiving is definitely one of my and the kid’s favorite holidays, and I hope you’ll enjoy this lineup. Here are some of my top 10 Thanksgiving recipes, starting with this super easy recipe for Brussels Sprouts Tomato Salad via Ingredients, Inc. Happy November!

Roasted Stuffed Onions via Smitten Kitchen

Fig and Cranberry Compote via Real Simple

Paleo Idea: Mashed Cauliflower via Elanas Pantry

Wild Rice with Mushrooms via Southern Living

Mini Pumpkin Pies via Offbeat & Inspired

Sage and Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin via Martha Stewart

Quiona with Cranberries, Almonds and Mint via Ingredients, Inc.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake via Cooking Light

Champagne Punch via Foodiecrush

 

Lightened Up Pumpkin Dip: Kid Friendly

Yay, it’s October, so let’s get cooking with pumpkin! Pumpkin is one of the most nutritious fruits, packed with disease-fighting nutrients such as alpha and beta-carotene, fiber, Vitamins C and E, potassium and magnesium. The carotenes found in pumpkin are potent with antioxidants, which promote healthy vision, ensures proper immune function and slows the aging process. My three kids love this dip as much as adults so you may want to make extra. Serve it with apples, pears, gingersnaps or graham crackers for an appetizer or healthy snack. It’s always perfect to make during Thanksgiving or Christmas too!

 

10 Awesome Pumpkin Recipes

October and Pumpkin season is almost here, so I have been making my list for 10 Awesome Pumpkin Recipes starting with my Lightened Up Pumpkin Muffins, I always purchase mini pumpkins for my table, and as soon as I put them out last week, my kids started getting excited for pumpkin recipes and Halloween. I can’t believe they are already talking about what they are going to “be” for Halloween, but fall is always so much for the kids. Please leave a comment telling me what is your favorite pumpkin recipe and hope your week ahead is a great one!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili via Just a Taste

Pumpkin Spice Whoppies via Better Homes and Gardens

Baked Pumpkin Donuts via King Arthur Flour

Pumpkin Spiced Lattes Via Averie Cooks

Pumpkin Pie Bites via Bakerella

Melt in Your Mouth Pumpkin Cake via Urban Baker

Pumpkin Pancakes via Martha Stewart

Ina Garten’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting via House Beautiful

Pumpkin Butter via Skinny Taste

No-Bake Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

I made these No-Bake Nutella Oatmeal Cookies a few weeks ago, and they were too good to be true. Not only are they a “No-Bake” cookie recipe, but they are filled with my favorite ingredients: Nutella, peanut or almond butter, dark cocoa powder, oats and almond milk. These are an ideal afternoon gluten-free snack or dessert. I think I definitely need to make a batch for Mother’s Day.

Buttermilk Pancakes & Guest Post by “Today’s Nest”

I am so excited to announce that my post today is by Sam Henderson of Today’s Nest, one of my favorite sites. Please be sure to check out his site and his incredible talent! I am honored to have him share his incredible work with you for National Hot Breakfast Month. Take it away, Sam….

Pancakes are an American staple and go by many names–flapjacks, hot sales, griddle cakes, etc. The breakfast standard has a long history and is even surrounded by a bit of folklore. Perhaps you have read the story of Paul Bunyan and his love for flapjacks. Some say it took nearly 20 men to make enough pancakes to satisfy him.  I sometimes feel as though I could use a little help getting enough for my crew. They seem to disappear from the plate faster than I can flip them. We used a box mix for a long time until we discovered we could make better cakes on our own.

There is no magic in box pancake mix.  The ingredients  are, for the most part, already in your pantry. The only exception here is that many pancake mixes require just water to be ready to go. If you desire the taste of true buttermilk pancakes, you will be required to keep some buttermilk on hand.  The good news is you can make some Homemade Butter or purchase some and keep it for other purposes.

Sam’s 10 Pancake Tips:

1. A word about syrup… I believe in saving money where it is sensible and doesn’t compromise good taste (in every sense of the word). REAL Maple syrup is not a meaningless purchase. Buy REAL Maple Syrup.

2. As a nice gift, double the dry ingredients and place them in an airtight jar.  Tie a card around the top with the recipe written inside.

3. When you pour in the wet ingredients, mix quickly and just until moistened.  That’s all.  There may be some lumps, but it won’t be evident when your light and fluffy pancakes are served.

4. If you have the time, allow the batter to rest before using.  Even after an hour the results are better.

5. Pancakes should be flipped only once.  Pull up the side to see if the bottom is the color you want and then flip it gently.  The second side should only take half to three quarters the time it took for the first side.

6. If you are using a non-stick pan or griddle you should not need any additional butter or oil.

7. I find a griddle much easier to manage for pancake making.  I don’t have to struggle with the side of the pan and I can cook many more at a time.

8. I use an ice cream scoop to measure out my pancakes.  Ours holds exactly 1/4 cup of batter, and I am able to maintain consistent results.

9. Freezing pancakes is simple.  Place cooled cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Top with another sheet of parchment and another layer of pancakes.  Continue until all are single layered between parchment sheets.  Place in freezer until frozen.  Remove frozen pancakes from parchment and store in a sealable freezer bag.

10. Reheat frozen pancakes covered with a damp paper towel in a microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint

Quinoa is one of my favorite Super Foods of 2012. I talked a great deal about quinoa this weekend at my nutrition/healthy eating seminar including how to pronounce it, purchase it and cook it. I had a lot of wonderful questions regarding this gluten-free grain. One serving of quinoa provides all 8 essential amino acids, and it is high in protein and fiber. It’s also a wonderful grain for those on a gluten-free diet, and it works wonderful for breakfast, a side, in soups and salads. I recommend buying the rinsed version to make your life even easier. I developed this recipe for Quinoa Salad with Almonds, Cranberries and Mint for Thanksgiving for Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms Turkey. It makes a great side dish or salad, and my kids absolutely loved it. Add grilled chicken or shrimp if you wish for a main dish salad.

Almond Butter-Flaxseed Pancakes

Since I have been obsessed with almond butter for quite some time, I thought I would try my hand at making these Almond Butter Flaxseed Pancakes. You combine almond butter with your favorite homemade or store-bought pancake mix, flaxseed meal (which can be found at most local groceries), banana and even nonfat Greek yogurt. My kids went nuts over these, and I felt great serving them such an incredibly healthy breakfast. They called them, “Banana-Nut Pancakes” which was a great name. These pancakes taste great reheated, and they make a great healthy afternoon snack. Enjoy anytime of the year, but they are perfect for a healthy Christmas break, New Year’s or weekend breakfast.

Healthy Holiday Appetizer: Pear, Pecan and Gorgonzola Crostini

If you’re looking for a simple holiday appetizer for Christmas or Hanukkah, look no further. These Pear, Pecan and Gorgonzola Crostini are so fresh, pretty and easy to make. I am making these on television today for a  “healthy holiday appetizer” show on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama. You can find this recipe and 399 others in my latest cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” published by Robert Rose.

 

Peppermint Dark Hot Chocolate Mix

Okay…my kids are obsessed with Peppermint Hot Chocolate. The past few weeks we have been visiting Starbucks more than often to savor their craving. Since I have been working on my Christmas list, I decided to create my own homemade version of Peppermint Dark Hot Chocolate Mix that will make the perfect holiday food gift. I used dark chocolate instead of milk or semisweet chocolate, but feel free to use your favorite. It has been said to lower blood pressure, work as a powerful antioxidant and even help release endorphins to boost your mood. It’s super easy and inexpensive to make, and everyone loves it.

Happy Thanksgiving and Healthy Holiday Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season! I have so many things to be thankful for, and I appreciate everyone’s continued support. I want to share a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday menu I developed for Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms. I had a blast working on this project, and all of the recipes are “lightened up,” so enjoy. Check out Autumn Quinoa Salad, Rosemary Garlic Citrus Rub, Pomegranate Cider, and Lightened Up Sweet Potato Casserole, just to name a few.