Thanksgiving Chicken Salad

Thanksgiving Everyday

Whether you’re finding yourself in the holiday spirit early, looking for a new way to enjoy leftovers, or just want to get the taste of Thanksgiving on a random Tuesday, this Thanksgiving Chicken Salad recipe is for you. Don’t be surprised, if after first tasting this, you find yourself giving thanks on the daily as you indulge (without splurging) in this tasty treat.

Cranberry Sauce

A Dish for Two Holidays

Cranberry sauce maintains a rightful place on tables throughout the holiday season. It’s perfect compliment to a savory Thanksgiving turkey (and great as a spread on sandwiches made with leftovers) and a festive dish for a pretty Christmas table. Whether you grew up eating the “real” thing or slices of the can-shaped jellied variety, you know you need it this holiday season.

Light Green Bean Casserole

A Thanksgiving Staple

Green bean casserole has long had it’s place on the Thanksgiving table. A staple in many households and flush with good-for-you vegetables like green beans, onions, and mushrooms, you may remember it being touted as a “healthier” side (especially healthier than say macaroni and cheese) and eating it may take you back to a simpler time.

Mashed Rutabaga

Get to the Root

The rutabaga is a cruciferous root vegetable and hybrid of the turnip and cabbage. It is in the  family of Brassica napus and hails from 17th century Northern Europe and Scandinavia. It is most often called a “swede” or Swedish Turnip, and is believed to have been developed in 16th century by a Swedish botanist. Many centuries ago, in Ireland, it served as the first Jack-O-Lantern, wherein it was hollowed and filled with glowing coals.

Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Try a guilt-free, homemade version of this seasonal favorite

At this time of year, you don’t need to go far before coming across the now-ubiquitous seasonal coffee: the pumpkin spice latte. The ‘PSL’ has achieved cult status in recent years, and it’s not surprising, given the delicious combination of espresso, hot milk, and warming fall flavors.

However, shop-bought versions are extremely high in calories, with some tipping the scale at around 400 calories, depending on the size chosen. This completely plant-based alternative is lower in calories and cost, but still has all the warmth and flavor that make the pumpkin spice latte so popular.

A wholesome alternative without the sugar spikes

Made with coffee, almond milk, spices, and real pumpkin puree, this plant-based version of the pumpkin spice latte is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. It is low in fat and very low in sugar, using natural sweeteners instead of the refined sugar and artificial pumpkin syrup found in traditional versions.

The high sugar content in traditional pumpkin spice lattes wreaks havoc with our energy levels. Suddenly consuming a high amount of sugar in this way gives our body a quick burst of energy, which promptly leads to a slump and headaches later on. The benefits of choosing food and drink options that are lower in sugar include more stable blood sugar and insulin levels, reduced cravings, consistent energy levels, and over time, weight loss.

Too much sugar has been associated with many health issues, largely because of its inflammatory properties. Excessive amounts of sugar have been linked to diabetes, metabolic dysfunction, Alzheimer’s Disease, liver damage, and even cancer. What’s more, the sluggish feeling that follows a sugar spike can lead to a desire for more sweet foods, resulting in ongoing sugar cravings.

Similarly, the high amounts of dairy milk in traditional lattes often causes upset to the body’s digestive system. Opting for a plant-based milk makes this drink easier to digest, as well as lowering the sugar and calorie content. Plant-based milks often contain higher levels of calcium than dairy milk, which is important for healthy bones. Using unsweetened milk, particularly when combined with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, helps to keep blood sugar stable and prevent and increase in glucose levels.

Finally, using real pumpkin in this drink gives a little extra boost of vegetable goodness. Pumpkin has been shown to contribute to a healthy heart, thanks to its vitamin C, potassium, and fiber content. It is also associated with eye health and improved sleep. The pumpkin does create a somewhat gritty texture if not stirred thoroughly or left to sit, so be sure to mix well before drinking.

The perfect drink for pumpkin leftovers

This drink is an ideal option if you have some leftover pumpkin puree that needs using up. Simply heat some milk in a pan, stir in a tablespoon of pumpkin puree, and whisk until smooth. As it starts to bubble, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and brew the coffee. Once both are ready, pour the milk mixture into the coffee and top with an extra sprinkling of cinnamon. If you’re feeling indulgent, add a dollop of coconut cream on top.

PSL ingredients

Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

¾ cup espresso or strong coffee

1 cup almond milk

1 Tbsp pumpkin puree

½ Tbsp maple syrup

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground ginger

Directions

  1. Heat the milk and pumpkin puree in a small pan, stirring well to combine.
    PSL Pumpkin and milk
  2. Add the maple syrup and ground spices.
  3. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for a few minutes.
    PSL heating
  4. Meanwhile, brew the coffee.
  5. Pour the coffee in a mug or tall glass and add the milk mixture. Add a pinch of cinnamon or cocoa on top to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • You can substitute any kind of milk for the almond milk.
  • You can use natural stevia drops as a sweetener, rather than maple syrup.
  • Use real pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pie mix if possible, as this tends to have additional preservatives and sweeteners. Canned pumpkin puree is fine.

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Poached Salmon & Eggs

Omega 3

In 2013, Americans consumed an average of 2.7 pounds of salmon per person, making it the second favorite seafood behind shrimp. Salmon offers a host of nutritional and medicinal benefits due primarily to its high Omega 3 oil content.

Omega 3 fish oil must be gained through the diet; it is not manufactured by the body. Studies have found it assists in muscle activity and cell growth, as well as the reduction of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, cholesterol, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Warm Broccoli, Spinach, & Avocado Salad

Greens, glorious greens!

This warm broccoli, spinach, and avocado salad is ideal as a side with grilled chicken or fish, or as a stand-alone lunch.

Gently steamed broccoli and spinach are paired with creamy avocado, and topped with a honey, peanut, and thyme dressing. Some sliced raw radishes add extra crunch.

Not only is it light yet filling, this tasty medley of bright greens is packed full of health-boosting nutrients.

Poached Pears

Pear Moves West

It is believed that the pear originated in Asia and gradually made its way to The Old World–Europe and Africa. As the pear reached Europe, it was widely accepted as a delicacy. Interestingly, it was also accepted as the fruit of choice for masterpiece artists’ painting still life scenes, due to its unique shape and silhouette. Some say the French brought the pear to the States, and others claim it was the Belgians. Nonetheless, at that time, pears were considered a valuable commodity among the trading routes. Eventually, in the 1800’s, the pear tree was brought to Oregon and Washington where now over 80% of the nation’s pears are harvested.

Zucchini Linguine with Basil Pesto & Bacon

Low-carb dinner for pasta lovers

This quick and versatile low-carb dish is packed full of nutritious veggies, fresh flavors, and bright colors. With a delicious homemade pesto you can whizz up in seconds, the whole thing can be ready in under 20 minutes.

Using zucchini instead of a traditional pasta is a healthy way to create a filling meal without overdoing the carbs. Just add your sauce of choice – this version is topped with salty bacon and a rich garlicky, cheesy, basil pesto, which turns this light weeknight treat into the perfect comfort food.

Kale & Egg Wrap

Kale Yeah!

Kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. In fact, in 19th century Scotland, “kali” was the name given to kale. Kale is a member of the Brassica oleracea var acephala family–the same family that provides collards, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.