Friday, November 25, 2011

My Real Thanksgiving Meal

My goal for Thanksgiving was to serve foods that were real. No preservatives, no chemicals, just plain ole' good food.  Overall I think I did great!  I had one "oops" that clarified how easily it is for me to tune out and just use "whatever" when cooking. 

I found a recipe for seasoning the turkey that had a lot of great reviews.  It had a bunch of different herbs and at first glance it followed all the rules.  Then this morning I started thinking, I used chicken bouillon with water as a base for all the herbs...I don't think that is "real".   Sure enough, I went and looked at the bottle and I shouldn't have used it.  Anyone know what I should have used instead?

Menu:

Turkey: turkey, water, butter, parsley, minced onion, salt (didn't use the seasoned salt it called for), and bouillon

Mashed Potatoes: potatoes, milk, butter, and garlic

Sweet potato casserole:  sweet potatoes, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, maple syrup, egg, milk, and whole wheat flour (I didn't use pecans.)



Cranberry Orange Relish: (the first cranberry orange relish recipe): cranberries, orange (with rind), honey, ground cloves, and ground ginger  (I didn't use walnuts.)  I also bought some from Trader Joe's, but it uses sugar.  I thought my husband would end up eating that instead, but he liked my version better because it wasn't as sweet.

Stuffing: I bought a two different types in a bag from Whole foods and there were not many ingredients and all were real foods.  I added butter and water to both.  (the bags were thrown out before I could write down what was in them)

Rolls: Bungalow Bread company - 5 ingredients! whole wheat, water, honey, yeast, and sea salt  (this is the same company that makes the bread I have been eating)

Apple Sauce: apples, cinnamon

Gravy: store bought and didn't follow the rules.  However I was okay with it because I ate very little of it and it was organic. I know it doesn't make it okay just because it was organic, but it helps. 

Corn: organic frozen corn

Dessert:  Well...we didn't have one.  After weighing our options my husband and I agreed that having a pie in the house would be dangerous.  Either I made one that we both liked and I would have to fight the urge to eat it (or eat it and deal with the calories) or make one that only he likes and be bummed that I can't enjoy a dessert. 

My husband, trying to be the supportive guy I love, said that the combo of cranberry orange relish and apple sauce was sweet enough for him so he didn't need a dessert.  I meant to make some whole wheat pumpkin bread, but time got away from me.  I am still hoping to make the bread soon. Since I am also trying to lose weight I am using apple sauce instead of oil.  I think I might also add some flax seed meal for the omega-3 fatty acid and fiber. 
It is a crazy amount of food for 2 adults and a toddler, but we are looking forward to the leftovers.

So there you have it.  I think of all meals to make with real food, dinner tends to be the easiest since we tend to make most things from scratch anyway.   Being focused on it helped us make better choices for the meal, although many aspects of the meal weren't necessarily healthy when you are trying to loose weight.  I shudder at the amount of better I used.  In order to enjoy it all, but not go overboard with calories I tried to be conscious of my portion size. 
My plate with only two bites of mashed potato and corn gone.

One last note...Mr. T started solids yesterday!! We were "supposed to" start back when we had his 4 month appointment, but he didn't seem ready.  In the last week he has shown more of an interest in what we were eating so I decided Thanksgiving would be the day we tried it for the first time.  Instead of starting with the traditional rice cereal (since it went so horrible with Superman), I did my research and learned that it isn't a necessary first food.  So I made extra sweet potato and gave it a shot!  He loved it and almost all of it stayed in his mouth.  He kept opening his mouth for more, it was very cute!  I made plenty to freeze so it is a good thing he liked it. 

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