Eating Well


The perfect Thanksgiving plate

by Kate Kinne | Nov 03, 2014
Need to add some color to your Thanksgiving plate?  Check out these tips and recipes from Galter LifeCenter Registered Dietitian Erica Battin.
Yesterday, I spoke with my sister-in-law about the Thanksgiving menu.  Besides a veggie tray I indicated I would bring to the festivities, almost everything else mentioned is a shade of white or brown.  Yes, I'm speaking about turkey, gravy, corn pudding, bread and sausage stuffing and mashed potatoes.   Although all of these foods are delicious, most are rich in carbohydrate (exception: turkey which is an excellent source of protein) and calories.  If you have diabetes or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, large portions of these foods can really make blood sugar sky rocket.  So, how do you enjoy Thanksgiving without shooting up blood glucose?  Add color to the menu with non-starchy vegetable sides!  Check out the leafy green Thanksgiving sides recipes (reprinted from Diabetes Forecast Nov. 2013 Issue) below for a "perfect Thanksgiving plate".  I can’t wait to bring these sides to Thanksgiving!

Holiday Citrus Salad
Recipe by Robyn Webb, MS, LN
Makes: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup (Calories: 95, Fat: 7g(Sat. Fat: 1g), Carbohydrate: 9g (2g is Fiber), Sodium: 85 mg, Protein: 1g)Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Dressing, divided use
3 Tbsp fresh orange juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp orange zest
½ tsp Honey
¼ cup olive oil
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1  small pink grapefruit
2  medium navel oranges
3 cups baby spinach, arugula, or trimmed watercress
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, mustard, orange zest, and honey. Slowly pour a thin stream of the olive oil into the mixture and whisk to emulsify. Add the salt and black pepper; set aside.

Peel the fruit and remove any white pith. Cut the fruit crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and remove any seeds. Cut each slice into quarters. Add the fruit to a bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the dressing.

Arrange the spinach on a platter. Top with the orange-grapefruit mixture. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top. Garnish the salad with the red onion and mint.

Garlic-Lemon Kale Saute
Recipe by Robyn Webb, MS, LN
Makes: 12 servings 
Serving Size: 1/2 cup (Calories: 35,  Fat: 1.5g (Sat. fat:.2g), Carbohydrate: 5 g (2g is Fiber), Sodium: 60 mg, Protein: 2 g)Preparation Time: 20 minutes 
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs rinsed kale, stems and inner rib removed, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the kale and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes, until it is slightly wilted.

Add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the kale is tender. Uncover and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper and serve. If desired, serve with lemon wedges.

Perfect Thanksgiving Plate
How to achieve the “Perfect Thanksgiving Plate": fill half (50%) of your plate with these sides, a quarter (25%) of the plate with white meat turkey and the other quarter (25%) a favorite brown/white food on the menu.  More texture, color and flavor will really make this meal more enjoyable.

And don’t forget: before you partake in Thanksgiving pie, enjoy a post -Thanksgiving meal walk.  Even a 10 minute walk will help keep blood glucose stable.   (Note: 1/8 of a pumpkin pie (or apple pie) typically contains 40-50 grams of carbohydrate and 300 calories). 

Happy Thanksgiving!