With Thanksgiving feasts hitting tables across the country this week, many of us will say that we’re thankful to be healthy, just as we’re about to load up on enough carbs to cause a diabetic coma. The following recipes are based on a low sugar, low starch whole food diet. I am not a certified nutritionist, but over the past couple of years I have noticed a big change in my family’s overall health since we have started eating this way. My husband and I have lost a good 20 pounds, and we have managed to keep it off and our 5 year old requires very few sick visits to the doctor from eating this way. Research has shown that actually eating foods rich in fat helps you to feel full and lose weight, and that low fat to fat free foods typically contain added sugars that are linked to weight gain.
For some more information on the topic, a great documentary called “Fed Up”was recently released in which Katie Couric debunks many of the myths surrounding weight loss and reveals the truth that sugar is the real culprit leading to obesity and other related diseases plaguing our country. The film also shows that the “calories in/calories out” philosophy is meaningless, and what makes our bodies fat is the kind of food we eat. Sugary processed foods create a chemical process in our body that makes it store fat while whole foods help us to be lean and healthy. Another documentary that inspired these recipes is called “Hungry For Change.” This film was made by nutritionists and it recommends adding in healthy foods to an otherwise typical diet. In other words, if you have to have that pumpkin pie, enjoy it, but make sure you’re also eating some avocado or a cucumber. Our stomachs can only hold so much, so when we include healthier foods, we eat less of the not as healthy stuff. No one can tell me I can’t have my pumpkin pie or stuffing but if I add in a salad and some green bean casserole, I can relax knowing I balanced my turkey day with some healthy options too.
Green Bean Casserole
This recipe is a healthier version of a classic thanksgiving side dish (one of my favorites my mom made). I pre-washed and chopped my green beans from our share this week to freeze and save for this recipe as shown in photo above for Thanksgiving.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups green beans tips removed
1 clove garlic crushed
coarsely ground pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream
1/2 pound Cheddar Cheese grated
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and oil a deep casserole dish. Cut the green beans into 2-inch sections and place them in a skillet with 1/2 inch water at the bottom. Cover, turn up the heat and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat immediately, drain off the water, and arrange the green beans in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle garlic, salt and pepper to taste over the green beans. In a seperate bowl, mix the sour cream and cheese and then pour the mixture over the green beans, spreading the sauce to all sides of the casserole. Sprinkle the surface with the basil and rosemary. Cover. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
This is a healthier variation of my favorite Trader Joe’s dressing. Trader Joe’s version has a bunch of unhealthy vegetable oils, which I have replaced with olive oil. This dressing is fantastic on any green salad you would like to add to the Thanksgiving table and pairs very nicely with Turkey.
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
Mix all above ingredients in a blender and enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!