Are you hosting Thanksgiving? I am, for the first time in many years. I refuse to stress over this, who needs more stress? I will clean (just a little), make a mess in the kitchen (a lot), and do my best to get the kids involved in the hoopla of preparation so that their memories of Thanksgiving are more than just the 20 minutes we spend at the table. I will also make sure I get plenty of physical activity, the best de-stresser I know. I may even run my first-ever 5K that morning.
“Are you crazy??” It’ll be fine! I am only responsible for part of the meal, thanks to contributions from both my mom and sister. Plus, my husband actually knows his way around a kitchen, so I’ve got back-up. That’s important, just in case I, you know, trip during the race and cause a Domino-like avalanche of bodies, much like the time I was learning to ski up at the Camden Snow Bowl and hadn’t yet mastered STOP…
Thanksgiving, to many, is synonymous with over-indulgence. And worse, it usually kicks off a month-long food-fest where you are bombarded at all angles with treats, sweets, and excuse after excuse to move less and eat more. That is a recipe for disaster if you are working hard to keep healthy habits. My dietitian friend, Kerri, has some great tips here, which I am definitely going to keep in mind as we approach National Gobble Day. In the meantime, consider another way to keep things on the healthy side: lighten up recipes where you can without sacrificing a bit of flavor! Here I share my favorite Thanksgiving side dish, sweet potato casserole. I have made this for several holidays and it is always a pleaser — a little sweet, a lot delicious, and packed with Vitamin A. Give it a try!
Sweet Potato Casserole
adapted from Cooking Light Five Star Recipes
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 cups mashed cooked sweet potato
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup nonfat milk
2 T. light margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chilled butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1) Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl, and mix well by hand. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.
2) Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and flour in a bowl, and cut in the 2 tablespoons chilled butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans, and sprinkle entire mixture over sweet potato mixture.
3) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.