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Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

What comes to mind when you think of the holidays? For me, it’s the delicious smell of familiar foods and seeing faces I love around the table. As kids, we couldn’t get enough of those butter-soaked mashed potatoes or sugar-laden candied yams, but as adults, we know those dishes aren’t doing our health any favors! So I decided to reinvent a few holiday favorites and created some healthy Thanksgiving recipes you can enjoy year-round. They’re simple to make, packed with flavor and so good for you.

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cold-pressed Vervana blood orange flavored olive oil
Vervana Blood Orange Olive Oil

Turkey as a lean protein is a great place to start. We skip the skin and gravy, and make it healthier by sautéing it in olive oil, this time with a citrus twist! My Blood Orange Flavored Olive Oil adds a sunny, buttery flavor along with heart-healthy “good” fats. Not only does it taste delicious, this “liquid gold” is packed with antioxidants like vitamin E. I also add a drizzle at the end for a warm, citrusy finish.

Rounding out the turkey is a zesty, jewel-toned cranberry relish. Just like red wine, cranberries contain resveratrol, a powerful, heart-healthy antioxidant. Paired with a Vitamin C-packed orange, plus a drizzle of Blood Orange Olive Oil and some raw honey, it’s a tasty condiment that jazzes up turkey or chicken while protecting you from the inside out.

For a healthy Thanksgiving side, I have a roasted root vegetable medley studded with rosemary for cozy, festive flavor redolent of the holidays. With deep purple, bright yellow and vibrant orange carrots, plus tiny potatoes and creamy parsnip, it’s a wholesome, satisfying side dish you’ll crave when cool weather hits.

Besides pleasing the eyes, the gorgeous colors in those root veggies and cranberry relish bring health benefits to the mix. This is because the natural plant pigments in them are antioxidant carotenoids and flavonoids. As a general rule, the more natural veggie colors you have on your plate, the more medicinal your meal. And besides Spicy Chicken Soup, I can’t think of a tastier way to beef up your immune system (just in time for cold and flu season!). We coat the veggies in herbaceous Rosemary olive oil  – not just because it’s delicious, but because eating them with a healthy fat helps your body to absorb all those health-supporting carotenoids.

Let’s talk about rosemary, the fragrant and flavorful herb that ties both dishes together and brings out the best holiday flavors. Along with many of the other ingredients in this meal, rosemary contains health-boosting antioxidant plant compounds – so what most people think of as a garnish is secretly a nutritional superstar!

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes for Year-Round Enjoyment

My hope is that you’ll fall in love with these new holiday dishes that are much healthier but still taste delicious.

Citrus Sautéed Turkey Cutlets with Cranberry Relish

Heat a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium heat. Salt and pepper both sides of turkey cutlets then sprinkle rosemary over top. Add 1 Tbsp of Blood Orange olive oil to pan then cook cutlets 3-5 minutes each side or until juice runs clear. Finish each cutlet with a drizzle of Blood Orange Olive Oil. Serves 4.



Vervana natural salt blend and whole peppercorn combination pack
Vervana Savory Salt and Pepper Blends

For the Cranberry Relish:

Rinse orange and cranberries, then quarter orange. Place in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until fruits are uniformly blended. Scoop relish into a bowl then stir in raw honey and Blood Orange olive oil, to taste. Serve with turkey cutlets; also very tasty as a sandwich spread for leftovers!

Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

Vervana Rosemary Olive Oil

Use organic veggies when possible

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Add chopped veggies to large sheet pan, drizzle with rosemary olive oil then add a few fresh grinds of salt and pepper. Stir to coat evenly. Roast 30 minutes, stir veggies, then roast another 25 minutes until veggies are tender and caramelized. Finish with a few twists of salt and pepper, and a drizzle of rosemary olive oil, if desired. Serves 4.

© 2019 Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.