Recipes

Friday Five – Edible Summer Splurges

 

Friday Five - Edible Summer Splurges

“Getting Fierce” doesn’t mean “total deprivation.” It’s about being strong – being our best. And sometimes our best us needs a little splurge. Let me be clear: this isn’t about health food. I’m not going to tell you about something wonderful and follow that with how you should cut out some of the good stuff from it to make it “better.” I’m not going to talk about carbs, calories, or sugar counts. Nope – we’re just talking about that once-in-a-while-I-don’t-care-no-holds-barred SPLURGE. Here are 5 of our summer favorites:

  1. Core flavors. Just when you think Ben & Jerry have maxed out ice cream flavor options, they add a little core to the cream. Each Core option has two flavors of   ice cream, add ins (think nuts, chocolate chunks, candy crunch) and and an ooey gooey center such as caramel, fudge or raspberry – a complete pint-sized Sundae!

Friday Five - Summer Splurge

2. Coffee gets cooler. Is that even possible? Yes! With a frosty java option such as Panera’s Frozen Mocha or Starbucks’ Frappuccino. The latter offers a mini-version for those who are just wanting to dip a toe in the splurge waters; you know – kind of a splurge-lite!

Friday Five - Summer Splurges

3. Fair Food. I’m always on the lookout for a good Strawberry Newport. Custard on a flaky pastry bed, robed with fresh sweetened strawberries, and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. If there’s no fair in sight, my quick at-home version not only works, it makes a great company desert! The ingredients are (1) puff pastry (thawed and cut in rectangles) (2) sweetened strawberries (we often stir in a little amaretto or raspberry liquor for an adult version) (3) French Vanilla Instant Pudding (use a little less milk than called for so it’s thicker) and whipped cream. Cook your puff pastry per box directions, and split in half when cool. Just before serving: spoon in the pudding, ladel on your strawberries, and blast with whipped cream. Mmmmmm!

Friday Five - Summer Splurges

4. Time travel. Delicious summer treat meets blast-from-the-past with a root beer float. But not just any root beer will do here. For a true taste of yesteryear, we need the vanilla notes of A&W’s draft root beer. Add some creamy vanilla ice cream for the perfect marriage!

Friday five - Summer Splurges

5. A little adult time. You don’t have to be poolside to put a tropical twist on a hot summer day. Swap out the lemonade for a fruity cocktail that will cool you down – kind of like an adult Slurpy. But make sure you avoid the adult-size brain-freeze that can come with it if you drink it too fast! Click HERE or on the picture for some fun recipes from Serious Eats – with options from the basic (frozen gin and tonic) to more the exotic (frozen Mezcal Paloma, anyone?) there’s something for everybody!

Friday Five - Edible Summer Splurges

Friday Five - Edbile Summer Splurges

 

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National Pie Day – January 23

National Pie DayThere are actually two annual pie days in our calendar – how lucky are we!!! Pi Day, the celebration of the mathematical constant π, takes place on March 14 as 3, 1 and 4 are the first three digits of π. OK all you Math Lovers – mark this day on the calendar for some wacky Pi fun!!!

The other national pie day is celebrated tomorrow, January 23 and was created simply to celebrate the edible pie. As near as we can tell, this day became a ‘holiday’ in the mid-1970s when Charlie Papazian, from Boulder CO declared it so. The American Pie Company took up sponsorship of this national day in 1986.

For more pie history, check out these two sites for starters – Time’s history of Pies and the Pie Council. You may find yourself wandering all through the annuls of pie history if you are part-time foodies like we are.

January is a perfect time to enjoy the comfort of either a savory or a sweet pie. The weather outside (at least here in Michigan) is frightful! A warm, delicious smelling and tasting dinner, or dessert, is welcome relief.

022I recently made my first homemade, from scratch, pie crust and all, chicken pot pie. I was going to be out-of-town for the weekend and this was something that could be re-heated for those left at home. I was surprised at how wonderfully delicious it was. The kitchen was an absolute disaster, but I learned a few things that will make it easier next time – because this pie was fabulous and there will definitely be a next time!!

I used Ina Garten’s recipe with a few adaptations. She also has a version that uses lobster – yes please!!! You can personalize your pie as well and include veggies you know your family will enjoy if they turn up their noses at peas and carrots (although Forest Gump believes they are a natural and perfect combination – just like him and Jenny).

Here are a few other ideas for celebrating whether savory or sweet suits your fancy! Click on the pictures to get recipes from the sites in which we found these delicious items.

  • Fried Green Tomato Pie: Made the summer before last when I was left with way too many unripe tomatoes in my garden. This was WONDERFUL!!!Fried Green Tomatoe Pie
  • Classic Sour Cherry Pie : I usually have some cherries left over from summer time picking to allow for out of season enjoyment.

Classic Sour Cherry Pie

  • Empanadas: Some would argue that these are not true pies as they are fried and not baked. However, they do involve dough and filling and could even be baked if one desired so….pie it is – say we!

EmpinadaPicture by Stu Spivak

  • Greek Chicken Phylo Dough Pie: I believe this would also be good with beef or pork – yummy!

Greek Chicken Phyllo Pie

  • St. Patty’s Apple Pie: This one could be saved for use in March for a Pi Day Celebration in combination with St. Patty’s Day!

St. Patty's Day Apple Pie

With the variety of pies listed above, it would seem that pies really do allow for creativity and ownership. As we start the new year, we certainly encourage celebrations of each of those traits.

Enjoy your weekend and may you find time for pie eating at its finest!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

blog2 edible christmas trees

Looking for a festive addition to your holiday buffet that offers a tasty alternative to sugar-laden treats? Here are 5 colorful options that are fast, festive and easy on the calories. Presenting: EDIBLE CHRISTMAS TREES!

The kiwi tree comes complete with ornaments – with very little assembly required!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Christmas Foods

If you want a little more drama, start with a styrofoam cone and some toothpicks to have your tree go vertical. Berries, melons, kiwis – plenty of fruit options to make your own masterpiece!

Fat Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

For those impromptu gatherings, you probably have the ingredients for a vegetable tree in your fridge already. Sliced pepper stems, cauliflower tree lights, broccoli floret greens all make great substitutions for the cucumber/carrot/tomato version shown. While a click on the picture gets you to the site it originated from, I couldn’t find the specific link for this  tree. I suspect you’ll be okay on this one without specific instructions!

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Tree

Does it get easier than a one-fruit tree that’s naturally decorated in Christmas colors?? Click on the picture for Eating Vibrantly’s suggestion on attaching the “tree trunk.”

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

These pita trees are a great choice for an appetizer to contribute to the office party or family potluck. You will arrive knowing that no matter what is on the buffet, you have a great choice to snack on. They look artful and the recipe is an easy mix of seasoning, fat-free sour cream and guacamole. This substantive finger-food is a calorie bargain at only 30 per tree!

Fast Fit Festive Edible Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees never tasted so good!

Celebrating National Johnny Appleseed Day

Johnny Appleseed StampSeptember 26 is National Johnny Appleseed Day. For those of you who may not be familiar with this oft-overlooked holiday, here’s the lowdown on who Johnny is and how to celebrate the day!

I know when I worked with 3rd graders, Johnny Appleseed was celebrated and taught with enthusiasm. He is an affable American hero that we can all be thankful for. Even if you don’t like apples or apple pies or apple fritters or applesauce or apple muffins or dried apples or bobbing for apples or making apple witches (seriously – does anyone not like something here?)… you can enjoy the story and legend behind his germination of apple orchards throughout the Midwest Ohio River region.

John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, was born September 26, 1774 – hence the timing of Johnny Appleseed Day. Rumor has it Johnny’s orchard smock was made from a coffee sack with holes cut out for arms and he wore his cooking pot on his head while traveling. Can’t verify that is true, but it does make for some great graphics for posters and children’s books.

JA was able to acquire large tracts of land from western Pennsylvania along the Ohio River on which he transported 16 bushels of apple seeds and saw to their plantings. At that time, certain requirements were set before the colonies granted land rights. There was an act defining how the land was to be used.

LandRightsAct

 Why should we care about the lowly apple? Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist and noted author, took time to pen the following related to the timing of men’s and apple’s appearance on the earth.

Thoreau

 

So.. here at FBFGF, we offer the following apple related choices for your celebration of Johnny Appleseed Day:

  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin: A great book about the life of an orchardist. It’s fiction that rings true. The story revolves around William Taldrage’s care of his apple and apricot orchard and the peace and solace it provides him. It also provides insight into the thinking and hard work of a dedicated and professional nurseryman. For some time I have nurtured the fantasy of being an orchardist, but details like hard work and commitment didn’t enter in to muddy my fantasy!

 

The Orchardist

  • Apple Butter. Who could resist the opportunity to have this great smelling concoction simmering away while enjoying a lovely fall day full of your favorite pursuits?? Click on the picture for a great recipe courtesy of Cooking Light.

AppleButter

  • Baked Apples. My husband and I found these pottery dishes for baking individual apples. (This must have been in one of the in-between times when we didn’t have any chicks that had yet to return to the nest and individual dishes seemed like a great idea.) We just wash the apple, core it, place it in the dish and cover with cinnamon, brown sugar, whatever other spices look great and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. This is one of our favorite desserts!

BakedAppleDish

  • Apple Products. Mac Book, ipad, iphone – all great devices which can add new dimension to your busy lifestyle and streamline certain processes. They also teach great lessons in why we don’t always need to be connected to our great devices. We can use the apple logo to remind us to get out and enjoy the natural things in life from time to time. I’ll bet there’s an app for that!!!

AppleIcon

  • Apple Cider/Wine. I feel wine of any sort really needs no explanation. If you feel like making your own apple wine, click on the picture for instructions. If you would rather just pick up a bottle, I am sure this seasonal wine is available at a great artisanal wine shop somewhere near you!

AppleWine

 

Take some time to celebrate the versatile apple and give thanks for all it’s history and delightful pleasures!!

 

Bonus Apple Facts:

  • Scientists believe that apples were first domesticated in the Tian Shan region of southern Kazakhstan. In fact, by as early as 2000 BC, domesticated apples were being grafted in the Near East.
  • The Greeks and Romans introduced the domesticated apple to North Africa and Europe during their trading and conquests.

 

Let Them Eat (Watermelon) Cake!

Let Them Eat (Watermelon) Cake!

Seeing this simple watermelon “cake” in Good Housekeeping magazine last year piqued my interest. Guilt-free cake? Could it be? OK, so it’s not really cake – but it meets all the requirements for a special occasion. Visually pleasing? Check! Delicious? Check! Festive? Absolutely! And – bonus! – it’s GOOD for you! So if you’re looking for something to do with the last of the season’s watermelon crop, throw a party – and let the guests eat cake!

You can keep it simple by coring a cylindrical piece of watermelon, “frosting” with a frozen whipped topping and decorating with fruit.  Voila! Your 10-minute cake is complete – and lovely!

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

 

If you want to take things up a notch, you can gussy up your cake by patting on sliced almonds or crushed walnuts along the sides of the “frosting” and creating a pattern on top with fresh fruit.

Image courtesy of paleocuppord.com

Image courtesy of paleocuppord.com

 

Or skip the “frosting” and go right for the heart for a fat-free delight!

Let Them Eat Watermelon Cake!

 

Watermelon cake is a healthy “sweet” for any age!

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Get creative – your cake decor options are as limitless as your own imagination!

Image source thrivenutritionandwellness.wordpress.com

Image source thrivenutritionandwellness.wordpress.com

 

But  just so you know, while I’ve been sold on watermelon “cake,” I am taking a pass on watermelon bread!

Let Them Eat Watermelon Cake!

 

If you want to see a speedy version of one way to cut up a watermelon for a nicely-shaped cake, check out this brief YouTube video:

7 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Super Bowl Watch Party

7 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Superbowl Watch Party

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “Superbowl”? And what’s the second thing you think of after thinking “cool commercials?” It may be a tie between easy-to-grab snacks, camaraderie, and the game itself. Well, here’s 7 ideas (plus a bonus) for your gathering that will have you thinking more about fun than calories. Go (insert your favorite) team!

1. Free football printable to set the mood.  Jazz up your food and decorate your table with the paper printouts found HERE.

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Superbowl Party

2. To start out the snacking. Remember those easy-to-make white-chocolate dipped pretzels from the holidays? You can use miniature straight pretzels or small pretzel knots to slash the calories and trade Christmas hues for team colors!

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Super Bowl Party10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Superbowl Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Glazed pineapple sausage bites – an idea from Real House Moms using kielbasa. Switch to the turkey kielbasa or sausage for less calories and bottled teriaki sauce for ease! (Click picture for recipe)

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Super Bowl Ideas

4. Marinated feta skewers. Another flavorful bite.   (Click picture for recipe)

10 L0-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Super Bowl Party

5. 5-Ingredient Sausage Balls. This made-over favorite now includes some whole-grain nutrition! (Click picture for recipe)

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Super Bowl Party

6. Chocloate-covered strawberry footballs. Several sources stated that one chocolate covered strawberry is about 57 calories. Even if you add in a few more for the extra stripes, it still makes for a reasonable sweet ending to the finger-food feast.

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Super Bowl Party

7. Another game going on: Commercial Bingo.  Commercials are the best part of the program for some people – playing Commercial Bingo gives you another reason to pay attention to them! Go HERE for cards ready to print off, or make your own!

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Superbowl Party

BONUS: SOMETHING NEW!

Whether for a starting snack or a post-game munch, how about a cheese puff? Well, not cheese puffs exactly – but “bean puffs” doesn’t sound as good. While it comes in cheddar and white cheddar, hot chili lime is a zesty flavor profile if you’re looking for a bit of oomph! And check out the ingredients on Beanitos’ version of this familiar-looking crunchy treat!

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Super Bowl PartyINGREDIENTS: Whole Navy Beans, Long Grain Rice Flour, Sunflower Oil, Tapioca, Lime Juice, Lime Oil, Cane Sugar, Garlic, Sea Salt, Onion, Tomato, Citric Acid, Chipotle Pepper, Paprika, Spices, Jalapeno Pepper.

WHAT’S GOING ON AT YOUR HOUSE ON SUPERBOWL SUNDAY?

Eating Right – the 5 Best Tips We’ve Heard All Year!

Eating Right - the 5 Best Tips We've Hear All Year!

 

1. Relocation. Crispers are where fresh fruit and vegetable go to wither. It’s magical. How many times have you put a perfectly good grapefruit in a crisper drawer, only to pull out a soggy ball a mere two months later? Or some crisp green celery goes in and limp white strings are what meet you when slide open the drawer? Out of sight, out of mind. Move the fruits and veggies out of the crispers and put them on the top shelf where their cheery colors and wish-it-were-me firmness is the first thing you see when you open the door. Use those drawers to store the treats and pizza makings that shouldn’t be so quick to disappear!

2. Quinoa -it’s not just for dinner any more. Quinoa makes a great breakfast – think “oatmeal substitute.” Cook it as usual, add milk at the end and let simmer until it thickens. Top off with your breakfast “condiments” such as dried fruit, berries, cinnamon, honey, nuts, seeds, coconut or the like for the perfect porridge.

3. Car nosh. When fast food is calling out to you during your drive, you can avoid the lure by grabbing some nuts that you have prepackaged for just such an occasion and tucked into your glove compartment or console. If you like things a little sweet, toss in some dried fruit or fool your palette with some cocoa-dusted almonds – they have no added sugar and the dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants.

4. User friendly. Have those relocated goodies easy to grab on the run. Grapes washed and plucked, celery sliced, cucumbers peeled. Take that see-it-first psychology a step further and freeze some of those grapes on a baking sheet. When frozen toss them into an easy-open freezer bag and place them up front and center in your freezer for an instant sorbet-like sweet treat.

5. Bread spread. How about some seasoned hummus instead of that mayo or as a nutritious add on to your sandwich? Get it pre-made in a variety of flavors or make your own by pureeing chickpeas and stirring in a few ingredients like those set forth in this Real Simple 5-Minute Hummus Recipe.

DIET TIP #254:  Don't rush your food.

DIET TIP #254:
Don’t rush your food.

What’s the best tip you’ve heard this year?

 

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the little splurges that make the holiday special – those foods that you can only get this time of year, a seasonal drink or two, that dessert you’ve been dreaming about. But you don’t want to undo a year of effort in a two-week period or start the New Year with holiday regrets. Want to put the “ho ho ho” in Christmas without the next day “oh no, oh no, oh no”? Here are 10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal ideas to celebrate the joy of Christmas where “indulging” is more about time with loved ones and friends than calories consumed.

1. Cream Cheese Berry Coffee Cake.  Personally, I’m tempted to sneak this one for myself when everyone has gone to bed on Christmas Eve.  I can brew myself a fresh cup of coffee and relax knowing that the stockings were hung by the chimney with care and all has been done for the early morning celebrations. You can of course be virtuous, and save it for the morning when others are around to share in the deliciousness. This dessert is versatile enough that you could serve it with your other options. It does save on calories and fat but it is also rich enough to hold its own with your other desert selections. Click on the picture for the recipe and nutritional information.

Cream Cheese Berry Coffee Cake

 

2. Grinch Kabobs.  A fun choice for pre-dinner snacking as well a dessert companion for those wanting a lighter bite of something sweet. Click the picture for instructions for the pictured dish. I’ve also seen this combination with a simple face on the grape – two dots for eyes, diagonal slashes over them for angry eyebrows, and an upside-down half-circle for a frown. I think they may have been squeezed on with a thin line of squeeze-frosting.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

3. Lighted Burlap Garland. This homey decoration, used instead of a table runner, can light up your dining surface without losing much serving dish room or the fire hazard of knocked over candles. Click on picture for the how-to.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

4. For adult sipping. This indulgent recipe for eggnog is half the calories of the regular version. You’ll want to make this the day before so it’s plenty chilled. But remember, portions are a half-cup. Click picture for the recipe.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

5. The Christmas Tree Napkin. It’s not as complicated as it looks. Sometimes it’s easier to learn by seeing it done, so we’ve linked to the site that has both pictures of the folding sequence as well as the simplest video instructions we could find at Handimania.

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

6. Green Beans with pizazz. For an alternative to the traditional creamy green bean casserole, how about beans with the crispy prosciutto and pine nuts? Tip: Almonds can be substituted for the more expensive and harder-to-find pine nuts without losing the crunch. Click the picture for this Eating Well recipe.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

7. Whole Grain Biscuits. Making a few savvy ingredients swaps moves this biscuit from the “avoid” category to an acceptable “enjoy in moderation.” Click the pic to check out the Food Network’s recipe.

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

 

8. Dinner Conversation. There’s certainly more to celebrating than the food. To enhance the table chat in a way that will get everybody talking, check out these fun conversation-starters.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

9. For a sweet ending, there’s nothing mousy about this bite of cherry, chocolate and almond – well, except for the shape, maybe! Click the pic for the MidWest Living recipe.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

10. Poppers. Also called “Crackers” sometimes, these festive rolls have been a traditional holiday-meal ender at our house for years. The guests tug at both ends at the same time, a satisfying “Pop!” is heard, and surprises spill out. Usually a paper crown in addition to a silly joke (we take turns going around the table reading these) and a trinket or two. Poppers come in a variety of price ranges and the contents vary accordingly – from Cracker Jack-like toys on up to useful items like nail clippers – but each Cracker in a box has a different surprise. I am usually able to find some at the discount store Tuesday Morning, but there are also many on-line options. They are also available for Hanukkah celebrations.

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Your Christmas Table

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Gifts to Whip up in a Flash for that Good Neighbor

5 Gifts to Whip up in a Glash for That Good Neighbor

I was raised in a house and a time where “running some over to the neighbor” was a common occurrence. Whether soup because someone was sick, a pie because it was just as easy to make two, or a batch of cookies as a holiday hello, letting the neighbors know they were appreciated with our handmade efforts was part of life. As busy as we all are these days, sometimes we don’t even know our neighbor’s names! Here’s 5 gifts that are easy to whip up, easy to give, and easy to run the results over to the neighbor who you appreciate or have been meaning to introduce yourself to.

1. What could be quicker than dipping pretzels in melted white chocolate then rolling in the decoration of your choice or drizzling with colored white chocolate? Present on a holiday paper plate, stand up in a canning jar with a bow around the neck, or wrap the bottom half in tissue paper and belt with a bow for a pretzel bouquet!

Whip up a Gift for That Good NeighborWhip up a Gift for Your Neighbor

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cookie mix in a jar. Any recipe can be used for this by layering the dry ingredients (mixing the salt and baking soda in with the flour), but Google “cookie mix in a jar” and it will take you longer to look through the options than to put it together if you’re looking for new ideas! Change up the color scheme (pink’s not my thing, but I know I have some pink-loving friend’s out there!) to match the holiday you’re celebrating and change up the name to personalize for your recipient. [Click the picture for the Cowgirl Cookie Mix  tutorial]

Neighbor Gifts to Whip Up 3.   Cinnamon Hot Chocolate. This simple mix uses ingredients that many already have on hand. Wrap the mix in a decorative plastic bag and stash in a festive mug for personal portions with a tag that says Just add milk and heat! [Click on picture for this Taste of Home recipe]

Whip up a Good Neighbor Gift4.Cappuccino Mix. If you went for the hot chocolate, you already have the non-dairy powdered milk and cinnamon. Add some coffee powder and nutmeg and you have the makings for a more sophisticated drink. Jar it up and tie on a little coffee scoop and mix directions for a a budget-friendly holiday gift that is sure to receive a welcome as warm as the beverage! [Click picture for recipe]

Whip up a Gift for That Good Neighbor 5. Coasters. For a non-food quick gift, modify this idea from Better Homes and Gardens. Get linen fabric that has the holiday or color scheme of your choice, cut squares to 5×5, and pull threads along all four sides until the fringe is the length you want it. If you want the coasters to have a little more heft to them, you can stack and glue two or more together. Stuff into a clear jar and tie the neck with a ribbon for a colorful gift that doesn’t need wrapping!

Whip up Gifts in a Flash for that Good Neighbor

DO YOU HAVE A GOOD IDEA FOR A QUICK NEIGHBOR GIFT OR BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ONE? TELL US ABOUT IT!

blog2 neighbor cartoon

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for ThanksgivingThe list of what there is to be thankful for in our lives would probably take days to write – the people, the moments, the things, the freedoms, the blessings are probably just too numerous to count. And yet, there’s room for more. Here are 10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving that will help you add that you enjoyed the holiday season without gaining weight to your gratitude list!

 

1. Gobble up a couple of servings of these guilt-free tasty turkeys – great as a stroll-by appetizer before dinner or a later-in-the-day grazing snack.

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

 

2. Greet them with this Sparkling Cranberry Pear Punch from Women’s Health Magazine. 1-1/2 cups cranberry juice + 1 cup pear nectar + 1 liter sparkling water + 1 orange sliced = a festive drink! Substitute sparkling wine for the water for an adult-only version!

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

 

3. 100% Whole Wheat Stuffing Muffins with Sausage and Parmesan revamp a traditional side dish. [Click on picture for the recipe]

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

 

4. Kale Salad with carrots and apples. From complaining about kale ice cream to becoming completely enamored with this green that appears regularly on “super food” lists in a matter of months, this salad caught our attention. A plus to using kale as the main salad green is that the hearty greens can be dressed early with no need to worry about wilting. [Click picture for recipe]

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

 

5. Fun alternatives for place cards make sure everyone feels special and thought about when they gather to find their place at the table. Here are a couple of examples – one with character and the other a more classic or traditional option. You know your crowd, find an idea that inspires. For even more ideas check out the blog A Cultivated Nest.

LoCalNoCalNameCards for Thanksgiving

 

6. Wishbones for everyone – a party favor that can make dreams come true! No more tussling over the one and only wishmaker – and no need to wait until it dries out!

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

 

7. Interesting table talk.  Generate conversations that include all the generations, teach something about the holiday, or just get you talking with the 3 options at this link.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

 

8. Turkey Trot: A little something to do while waiting for the bird to cook! To see if there’s one in your area, Google “Turkey Trot” and your zip and I’ll bet you find something close. Even if you don’t find one nearby or its too late to register, you can trot all by yourself or with family and friends. Put the turkey in the oven and head out for a trot (or jog or walk) to ensure that some of the damage done on Thanksgiving will be mitigated.

Thanksgiving LoCalNoCal Ideas

9. A centerpiece to remember. We love the re-purposing of an old globe; love the nod to exploration; and love the simplicity of this centerpiece.  Bet your local goodwill, library, school system, thrift store, etc. will have just what you’re looking for!  If not, you could probably find an old map and decoupage a bowl to create a similar look. Find more information about this centerpiece and other ideas at Midwest Living.

ThanksgivingLoCalNoCalGlobeCenterpiece

 

10. What’s Thanksgiving without dessert? Incomplete! But most holiday desserts have enough calories for a whole day – or at least more than you should have at one meal. Not this Country Pear Tart!  With reduced  fat and amped up fiber, the total calories for a slice come in under 200.  [Click on picture for recipe]

ThanksgivingLoCalNoCalCountryPearTart

 BONUS:

Send your guests home with leftovers in style! World Market has containers for soup, pies and meals-to-go!

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

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