Thanksgiving dinner, then and now, is very different from what the Pilgrims and Indians experienced. Edible provisions were merely a sacrament of gratitude. Our forefathers did not avoid any foods due to medical conditions. No one knew about the dangers of an elevated blood sugar level.
Thanksgiving Dinner continues to be a celebratory excuse to engage in gluttonous behavior similar to that of a wild boar. However, as any diabetic knows, overindulgence is a recipe for an elevated blood sugar or even an impromptu trip to the emergency room. While Emeril, Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray talk of adding more zest, sweet or rich ingredients, diabetic thanksgiving recipes call for cutting back on sugary, carbohydrate-laden substances.
For responsible eating this holiday season, the following thanksgiving dinner menu is comprised of three, easy diabetic recipes:
The Thanksgiving dinner turkey remains at the center of this autumn feast. Offering nutritional sustenance, turkey is rich in protein, low in fat, and an abundant source of zinc, iron, B vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus.
The Size of the Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey
For a dinner setting of four, an eight-pound turkey allows for second helpings and leftovers. One pound for every guest is the best way to gauge the size of the bird.
Thawing the Turkey
Accurate thawing is a vital aspect of cooking the turkey properly. Remember this formula for thawing the turkey: In the refrigerator, a 4-to-5-pound turkey requires 24-hours of thaw time. A 20-pound turkey thaws in five days.
As an expedient alternative, a turkey can be thawed in a sanitized sink of cold water. However, be sure to change the water every 30 minutes. The formula is 30-minutes for per pound.
Cooking the Turkey
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: Varies 3-5 hours
- 8-pound Turkey
- 2-sprigs of leeks (chopped)
- 2-cloves of garlic (chopped)
- 1-cup of chopped white onion (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon sage
Set the oven on 375 degrees. Stuff the turkey with the chopped onion, leeks and garlic mixture. Combine the dried spices (sage, thyme, salt, and pepper) in a cup and rub onto the thanksgiving turkey. Place the bird in a shallow roasting pan.
Reduce the pre-heated oven’s temperature to 325 degrees. To lock in moisture, cover the turkey with aluminum foil for the first hour. Then remove and insert a meat thermometer into the inner thigh. (The thermometer should not touch the bone)
The turkey is done when the thermometer reads 180 degrees (on the thigh), 170 degrees on the breast meat and the bird’s juice runs clear. Remove from the oven and allow to sit 10-20 minutes before carving.
Another easy diabetic recipe for the Thanksgiving dinner is acorn squash. Related to the pumpkin, and a member of the winter squash family, they are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals: A, B, C calcium and iron.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
- Two acorn squashes (halved)
- 4-teaspoon of trans fat free butter
- 2-tablespoons of Splenda’s® brown sugar
Heat oven 450 degrees.
Slice both squashes in half. Scoop out the seeds. Take the butter and divvy 2 tablespoons and a half into each acorn. Next, add a teaspoon of Splenda brown sugar. (Do not substitute with sugar).
Place the acorn squash halves on a cooking sheet. Reduce oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the butter and brown sugar mixture, spread on the rim of each acorn squash.
Return to the oven. Bake for an additional 15- 20 more minutes.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 28-35 minutes
- 2 pounds of green beans
- 2 tablespoons of shallot (finely diced)
- ½ teaspoon of pepper
- 2-garlic cloves (minced)
- ¼ teaspoon of Kosher or Sea salt
- 1/3 cup of Vermouth Extra Dry
- Pam’s ® Cooking spray
Trim one centimeter beyond the stem of each green bean. Place in a colander and rinse in tepid water, three times. Next, blanche the green beans in boiling water for three minutes. Then, drain the beans, put them on ice under cold water. Set, aside let drain.
In a heated skillet, spray a liberal amount of non-cook spray and add the garlic. Cook for three minutes. Then, pour in the vermouth. Next, layer the green beans into a pan with salt, pepper and the shallots. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes.