As the temperature cools down, and the leaves turn from green to orange, red and yellow, my kitchen – home to my under-400 calorie fix recipes – comes a live! The pots and pans start humming, and sweet, tart, and tasty aromas fill the air promising and delivering great comfort. Time to cozy up.
Here follows a few of my favorite warm, healthy, filling and comforting Thanksgiving recipes, which by the way, are from my book, ALL IS FORGIVEN, MOVE ON. Healthy, delicious and under 400 calories per serving; I am determined to keep those 50 pounds that I lost eight years ago permanently removed!
My Thanksgiving mantra is: cozy, comfy, and healthy.
Baked Mushrooms Filled with Spinach and Blue Cheese
Melted blue cheese is sheer decadence! A fabulous side dish that never disappoints and always delivers a powerful Popeye spinach punch!
Factoid: Popeye has been entertaining us since 1929. (He’s no youngster!) The credit for the creation of this spinach-loving character goes to Elzie Crisler Segar, who introduced Popeye into his newspaper comic strip called Thimble Theater.
4 mushrooms, stems removed
3 shallots, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups spinach
2 ounces creamy blue cheese, diced
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
ground pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Put the mushrooms in a baking dish, gill-side up.
Fry shallots in oil for 2 or 3 minutes, then add spinach and toss until it wilts for 2 or 3 minutes.
Stir in the blue cheese and watch it melt.
Followed by the breadcrumbs, and then season with pepper.
Spoon the mixture onto the mushroom caps, then put back into the oven until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is golden.
Pumpkin-White Bean Soup
A fun and easy starter that you can make now and for your Halloween dinner. Costumes are optional (now and at Halloween!), but highly recommended. Fun is the operative word here!
Factoid: Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
3 1/2 cups fat-free or low-fat chicken broth
1 (15 1/2 oz) can of white beans, rinsed and drained
pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper to taste.
Coat a large soup pot with olive oil and set over medium-low heat.
Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes, or so.
Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and pumpkin pie spice; simmer 10 minutes.
In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth.
Return soup to pot and reheat; season with salt and pepper.
A guilt-free gastronomical gift from the Gods. This guilt-free gastronomical gift from the Gods is amazing and beautiful. Red, green, dark purple, seasoned to perfection, this dish warms the soul!
Factoid: 98% of the world’s olive oil comes from the Mediterranean region, which has a history of olive tree cultivation that stretched back more than 6,000 years.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 small eggplants, cubed (about 2 cups)
1 small zucchini, cubed (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can, stewed tomatoes, Italian style
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 box (16 oz) whole wheat spiral pasta
Heat the oil in a 4-quart sauce pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes or so.
Add both the red and yellow pepper and sauté for another couple of minutes. Toss in the eggplant cubes and cook a couple more minutes.
Add the zucchini, garlic, bay leaf and oregano.
Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for a couple more minutes. Now, add the tomatoes and simmer for 40 minutes, uncovered.
Spread the word … NOT the icing!