Mean, Green, Eating Machine


Happy almost Thanksgiving! It’s almost time to see the family, friends and neighbors and to fill the house with wonderful cooking smells. Also, this is my last blog post so I think that it’s perfect timing to give thanks. I am thankful that I got the opportunity to explore new ways to cook, eat and live a healthy life.

I was inspired to look up holiday meal recipes, so I have put together a healthy Thanksgiving menu for you!


APPETIZERS

Mini Brie & Apple Quiches

Quiches

Taken from eatingwell.com

  • 30 mini phyllo shells (two 1.9-ounce packages; see Note)
  • 1/2 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 ounces Brie (1/2 small wheel), cut into 30 squares
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Arrange phyllo shells on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide apple among the shells.
  3. Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the apple (do not overfill the shells). Place a Brie square in each shell.
  4. Bake until the egg is set, the Brie is melted and the phyllo is starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Marinated Olives & Feta Bites

 Feta Bites

Taken from eatingwell.com

  • 1 cup sliced pitted olives, such as Kalamata or mixed Greek
  • 1/2 cup diced feta cheese, preferably reduced-fat
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine olives, feta, oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper and black pepper in a medium bowl.


SIDES

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Taken from rd.com

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
  • into 1/2-inch-thick “fries”
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread fries in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn fries over. Continue baking until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes longer.


Warm Lentil and Roasted Pepper Salad

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced, drained, and rinsed canned roasted sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup diced and seeded plum tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bring water, lentils, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to boil in 3-quart saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until lentils are firm but fully cooked, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix parsley, sweet pepper, celery, onion, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, oil, black pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in large serving bowl. Drain lentils, add to serving bowl, and toss. Serve warm.


DESSERTS

Banana Cake

Taken from foodandwine.com

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-fat (1.5%) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 large overripe bananas plus 1 large ripe banana
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly spray an 8-by-12-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the brown sugar and buttermilk until combined. Beat in the eggs and egg whites. In a large measuring cup, mash the overripe bananas with a fork; you should have 1 cup of puree. Halve the ripe banana lengthwise; then cut it crosswise into 1/2-inch chunks and add it to the puree. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Fold the banana mixture into the batter, then fold in the flour and baking soda just until no white streaks remain. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the granulated sugar. Bake the banana cake for about 30 minutes until golden and the top springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Let cool completely in the pan before cutting into pieces.


Double Nut and Date Tassies

Double Nut and Date Tassies

Taken from eatingwell.com

  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt

FILLING

  • 4 ounces pitted dried dates (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting or whipped cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. To prepare crust: Pulse flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons butter and salt in a food processor (a mini food processor works well) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Divide the crust mixture among the prepared mini muffin cups (about 1 1/4 teaspoons per cup) and press evenly into the bottoms. To prepare filling: Combine dates, water, brown sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has cooked away, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then process the date mixture in a blender or food processor until processed into a paste. Add cream cheese and vanilla; blend or process to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in pecans. Divide the date-nut filling among muffin cups (1 generous teaspoon each), gently pressing the filling down and smoothing the tops. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is lightly cooked, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges of the crust with a small spatula or butter knife and transfer the tassies to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

It’s been great!

Remember: Give thanks; everyday and for everything.