(MASS APPEAL) – Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many of us are wondering how we can enjoy our feasts while still eating healthy and avoiding major stress. So we’ve invited Patricia Greenberg, aging expert and author of Eat Well, Live Well, Age Well, to share her tips for a healthy and meaningful Thanksgiving.

As we age, holidays become more meaningful to celebrate, yet harder to manage. The last few years we have been apart from each other, so now more than ever we want to have quality time with our loved ones.

Here are a few tips for cooking, baking, decorating that free you up to enjoy the holiday:

  • Keep the guest list small by having immediate family only.
  • Invite friends over on Saturday to use up the leftovers.
  • Cook less and buy some items prepared, it will save you days of preparation.
  • Make the rest of the meal a pot luck. People want to help and feel useful and this is the best way to help them help you.
  • Design a menu ahead of time with a wide variety of easy to eat, accessible foods.
  • Let go of perfection to let in some fun and relaxation. The less stressed you are, the happier everyone will be.

Menu

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Serves 6-8

  • 1 large orange
  • 2, 8 ounce bags whole cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Zest the orange peel into strips, and squeeze the juice into a medium sized saucepan.
Set it over medium heat and add the cranberries sugar and cinnamon. Mix well.
When the cranberries start to burst, simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve at room temperature. Can be made the day before and refrigerated.

Rosemary, Garlic and Orange Turkey Breast

Note – This recipe calls for marinating the turkey overnight the day before cooking it.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups fresh orange juice
  • 5 lb boneless turkey breast

In a plastic oven safe bag, combine the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt, and orange juice.
Place the turkey inside the bag and turn few times.
Seal the bag and place it in a glass baking pan and refrigerate over night.

Next Day

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Turn the bag of turkey over a few times and put the baking pan in the over for 1 ½ hours.
Break the bag open and let it bake another 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and let turkey sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Brussel sprouts and Pomegranate Salad

Serves 6

  • 1 lb. shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium glass salad bowl, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and whisk vigorously to combine.
All salt and pepper to taste.
Add the Brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds, and red onion, and toss until salad ingredients are coated and top with pomegranate seeds.

Serve room temperature.

Pumpkin Seed and Cranberry Wild Rice

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 medium size onions, diced small
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup wild rice mix
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon or orange zest

Combine salt, sweet paprika, turmeric, cumin and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep, non stick skillet with a lid.
Add rice and spices and stir well.
Cook over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly and making sure the rice gets well coated with the oil and the spices.
Add the water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.
Cook for 20 minutes, remove from heat and let it sit for 15 minutes covered.

In the meantime, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick skillet.
Add onions and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes stirring frequently, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary, to prevent from burning.
Transfer onions to a plate and in the same skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Add dried fruit and pumpkin seeds and cook over medium low for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Once the rice is ready, fluff it with a fork, add onions, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds and lemon or orange zest and toss well.

Tofu Pumpkin Cheese Cheesecake

Serves 10-12 slices

  • One 9 “ non-stick springform pan
  • 1 1/4 cup or one package of graham crackers
  • 6 tbs. of soft margarine
  • 1 1/2 lb. silken or soft tofu
  • 12 oz. soy cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1, 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbs. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Bring all the ingredients to room temperature and grease the springform pan and line with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the graham crackers and margarine and process until the mixture reaches the consistency of course crumbs.
Pat the mixture into the springform pan, or 2 pie pans, and set aside.

Make the filling:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a food processor or blender, puree the tofu and soy cream cheese until smooth.
Add the sugar, pumpkin puree, spices, and vanilla and process until smooth.
Scrape down the sides as necessary.

Pour the tofu mixture into prepared crust and bake for 50 minutes.
Turn the oven off, leaving the cake in the oven for one hour. Remove and cool to room temperature.
Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

For more recipes you can visit thefitnessgourmet.com