For the last several years, I have devoted my Wednesday before Thanksgiving blog post to giving thanks (of course) and food (of course). Three years ago, I shared my "Perfect Mashed Potatoes" and another year my "Cornbread Sausage Dressing" - both are sublime and I urge you to try them.
However, neither would pass muster as "healthy." They aren't artery-clogging (really), but they aren't staples on a vegan, gluten-free diet, either.
So - should we set an unreachable goal of eating healthier this Thanksgiving? Every news show - not to mention the Food Network - has featured segments dedicated to making healthier choices. Here are some of the swaps I've heard:
- Green bean casserole >> becomes steamed green beans
- My Perfect Mashed Potatoes >> are now made with olive oil and broth
- Turkey gravy >> turns into turkey broth with eensy giblet pieces
- Turkey >> Thank God, it's still turkey (except no dark meat)
- Sweet potato casserole >> baked, mashed sweet potatoes - but only 1/2 cup without salt or butter
- Pies of any ilk >> nope, nosiree, nada on the pies
- Wine >> don't get me started on the wine
I could go on and on. All the news anchors and compliant celebrities politely tasted the substitutions - but the thought bubbles above their heads all said, "Don't touch my (fill in the blank)!"
To say thanks to my blog readers, I have created a delicious, healthy soup recipe that will turn heads, but not make you wish later that you hadn't imbibed. I hope you thoroughly enjoy it - it's a perfect starter course if you are tired of butternut squash soup and don't want any more green (a/k/a salad) at your table. You will not only feel virtuous, but you will be - it's loaded with antioxidents - and you will have earned an extra piece of pumpkin, pecan or chocolate pie.
Thank you - wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving!
1 ½ tbsp. plus 1 tsp. coconut oil (divided use)
2 lbs carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups coconut water
1 cup light coconut milk (use the canned milk, it’s more flavorful than the boxed milk)
4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (typically 1 whole lime)
3-4 tsp yellow curry powder
½ tsp cardamom
Cayenne – sprinkle at the end if you want more bite
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Garnish: Finely chopped red bell pepper and 1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
>>>>> In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the coconut oil. Add carrots, sweet potatoes and onion – cover and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking – until the vegetables soften and brown slightly (10-20 minutes). If they are getting dry, add a little of the broth at this point. Add the ginger, stir and cook, then add 3-4 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, partially cover and lower the heat. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (NOTE: FOR A GREAT VEGGIE PUREE TO SERVE WITH PORK OR POULTRY, STOP HERE. DELICIOUS!)
Pour back into the now-cleaned pan and add the remaining ingredients – the coconut water, lime juice, coconut milk, curry powder, cardamom, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the remaining broth to your desired thickness. Taste before you add the Cayenne.
Garnish: In the final teaspoon of coconut oil, saute the chopped red pepper and pumpkin seeds in a small skillet until the pumpkin seeds start to pop. Sprinkle liberally with salt and fresh pepper. Place 1-2 teaspoons on each serving.
Per 2-cup serving: 200 calories, 4 g fat, 41 g carbs, 3 g protein