Stay Healthy & Give Thanks
Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated American holidays, and for good reason. Our partners over at Sharecare have gathered recipes for several of the healthiest Turkey Day staples. Before we jump into the delicious details, check out our top tips for avoiding the emergency room on Thanksgiving.
Top Turkey Day Tips for staying out of the ER
Punt Food Poisoning to the Curb
Whenever you’re dealing with raw meat, there’s always a risk of some bacterial contamination and food poisoning. Cooking a large item such as a turkey can make it especially difficult to tell that the entire thing is cooked. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), be sure to completely thaw the turkey before cooking. Set the oven temperature to at least 325 degrees and continue to roast the bird until a food thermometer registers a minimum temperature of 165 degrees on the inside. It’s best to cook stuffing in a casserole pan, but if you choose to stuff a turkey, make sure the stuffing also reaches a temperature of 165 degrees.
Avoid the Penalty of Rushing
Every year, hospital ERs see several patients with hand cuts. The culprits? Carving knives and glassware. Often the cause is an extremely sharp carving knife that can cut fingers and hands as easily as it can a turkey breast. The other major cause of cuts is broken glass. The guests have left, and you’re hurrying to clean up. You stick your wet hand with the sponge into a wine glass and it cracks --cutting your hand. The moral of the story? Slow down! As one patient jokingly put it, “I probably shouldn’t have been washing stemware after I’d had three or four glasses of wine myself!”
No Fowl Play in the Kitchen
Burns are another common injury on Thanksgiving. The kitchen can be a dangerous place, especially around the oven and grill. Again, don’t be a speed demon when preparing the big meal. Have a plan and leave yourself plenty of time to get everything done.
Cooking fires in the kitchen are three times more likely on Thanksgiving Day than any other. With all the family around -- especially kids -- there’s so much commotion and activity that it raises the risk of accidents happening; we also tend to let down our guard when the day feels festive. Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves while cooking. Keep children out of the kitchen, and watch to make sure pan handles aren’t sticking off the stove edge.
A special note of caution for deep-frying a turkey. Yes, it’s delicious! But if you’re not careful, this cooking method can result in serious burns and fires. Research the proper way to deep fry. Once you’ve figured out the “how,” use extreme caution as you go about frying your bird.
Leave the Tackling to the Pros
Everyone loves the annual family football game! But the only thing worse than having to go the ER on Thanksgiving is having to stop in the middle of your victory play. So take steps to prevent it from happening. Pull uber-aggressive cousin George out of the game before he knocks someone’s tooth loose. Stop the game every five to 10 minutes for a water break. Make sure the field where you’re playing is level -- check it for any holes or rocks and patch them up before the start of the game. (Or hello, sprained ankle!) And play the game before Thanksgiving dinner, not after you’ve had some wine and are as stuffed as your bird.
Is your little turkey a Picky Eater?
Follow these easy tips to broaden their horizons and start healthy eating habits early:
- Safely include them in food prep. The more they help, the more they eat!
- Sneak healthy foods into dishes they already enjoy. Who doesn’t like Broccoli Mac and Cheese?
- Don’t buy unhealthy foods and snacks. If it’s not in the house, it’s a lot easier not to eat it.
- But don’t cut out treats all together. Try moderation to avoid over-consuming and splurging.
- Set a great example. They’re always watching, so show them how it’s done!
Our Favorite Fall Recipes - From our partners at Sharecare!
Makes: 6 servings | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes
- 8 to 10 garlic cloves
- 2 pounds potatoes, quartered
- 1/3 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 cup fat-free milk
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano, rosemary, or thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- To roast garlic, wrap unpeeled cloves in foil. Bake in a 400-degree oven 25 to 35 minutes or until cloves feel soft when pressed. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from peels into a small bowl.
- Meanwhile, put potatoes in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes; return to saucepan.
- Mash potatoes and softened garlic with a potato masher or an electric mixer on low speed. Add sour cream; milk; oregano, rosemary, or thyme; salt; and black pepper. Beat until light and fluffy.
Nutrition facts per 2/3-cup serving: 156 calories, 4g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 1g fat (1g saturated), 2g fiber
Source: Fitness Magazine
Makes: 4 servings | Prep Time: 20 min. | Cook Time: 60 min.
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, separated
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- 1 cup coarsely shredded (prepackaged) Carrots
- 1 bag (12 oz.) ground turkey or ground beef alternative
- 1 medium Granny Smith Apples, peeled, diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 cup dried Cranberries
- 1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Halve squash crosswise, seed and place cut side down in 1" of water in a 9" by 13" pan.
- Bake for one hour while preparing stuffing. Discard water and replace squash in pan, cut side up.
- Heat oil and crushed pepper in 10" frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallion and shredded carrots. Sauté 3 minutes.
- Add beef alternative and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Drizzle diced apple with lime juice.
- Add to pan with cranberries and mirin. Lower heat to simmer and cook 5 minutes.
- First spray the flesh of each squash with olive oil and divide the filing among the four halves.
- Cover each with foil and bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
- Serve with jellied cranberry sauce.
Makes: 8 servings | Prep Time: 30 min. | Cook Time: 1 hour
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 25 ounces Lite Silken Extra Firm Tofu, divided into halves
- 3/4 cup Sucanat
- 2 cups Pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Spray pie pan with olive oil cooking spray.
- Place whole wheat pastry flour, oat bran and salt in food processor and pulse to mix.
- Add tofu and process for a few seconds.
- With motor running, pour rice syrup through feed tube. Next add oil and ice water, processing until dough begins to form a ball.
- Place the pie dough between two sheets of wax paper, dusted lightly with whole-wheat flour.
- Roll into a circle between 1/8" to 1/4" thick. Peel off top sheet of wax paper and lay dough over 9 inch deep pie plate.
- Peel off second sheet of wax paper and gently press into pie plate. Trim and shape around the edges.
- Set aside in refrigerator while preparing filling.
- Blend remaining tofu in a food processor until smooth.
- Add remaining filling ingredients and blend thoroughly.
- Pour into unbaked piecrust.
- Bake on center rack of preheated oven for about 1 hour. Filling will be soft, but will firm up as it cools.
- Chill and serve with a dollop of dairy-free whipped topping.