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We’ve Got Options: Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes With FitMenCook
by Kevin Curry
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November 22, 2018

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We’ve Got Options: Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes With FitMenCook

How exactly do you keep the flavors you love in your Thanksgiving meal in a healthy way? Kevin Curry, the founder of FitMenCook is here to help!

Courtesy of Kevin Curry, FitMenCook
Courtesy of Kevin Curry

Thanksgiving is all about turkey, stuffing, mac & cheese, candied yams, greens, extravagant desserts, cocktails, and a lot of fun. Now, while the traditional holiday foods that we all love taste good, they may not fit everyone’s diet. So, how exactly do you keep the flavors you love in your Thanksgiving meal in a healthy way? Kevin Curry, the founder of FitMenCook is here to help! The health and wellness guru has shared three simple, quick, and easy recipes from his upcoming cookbook, Fit Men Cook, that you can use for Thanksgiving and beyond.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 12

An equally sweet alternative to your auntie’s candied yams decked out with marshmallows.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Courtesy of FitMenCook.com

INGREDIENTS:

Filling

-3 3/4 lb raw sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
-3 tablespoons vegan butter (OR coconut oil)
-1/3 cup almond milk, unsweetened
-1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
-3 tablespoons coconut sugar

Topping

-1 1/4 cups raw pecans
-1/3 cup wheat flour (or oat flour)
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1 teaspoon cardamom
-4 tablespoons agave
-4 tablespoons coconut oil
-Pinch of sea salt
-1 tablespoon coconut sugar (optional topping)

STEPS:

1. Set oven to 400°F.
2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, then chop them into large chunks.
3. Add the whipped potatoes to a baking dish and evenly spread them out using a spatula. Bake in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
4. While the filling bakes, add the ingredients for the topping to a food processor and pulse blend.  Do not pulverize – you should still have chunks of pecan.
5. Evenly add the topping to the top of the sweet potato filling using a spatula. If desired, sprinkle a little coconut sugar on top.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crispy to touch.  Allow the sweet potato casserole to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes – to allow the crust to further harden – before enjoying.

Low-Carb Chicken Gumbo

Serves 5

A simple, healthy dish that you can cook up for anyone on a low carb diet this Thanksgiving. Oh, and you can swap out chicken for turkey if that’s your preferred meat.

Low-carb Chicken Gumbo
Courtesy of FitMenCook.com

INGREDIENTS:

GUMBO

-3 tablespoons olive oil
-1 lb chicken thighs (fat and skin trimmed)
-8 oz smoked turkey sausage, chopped into 1-inch pieces
-1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
-1/2 cup red onion, diced
-1 green bell pepper, diced
-2 celery stalks, chopped
-~225 g okra, sliced into pieces
-1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (see below)
-1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
-4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
-2 bay leaves
-Meal garnish
-Cauliflower rice

CAJUN RUB MIX (1/2 cup)

-1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
-1 tablespoon onion powder
-1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
-1 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you like heat)
-1 tablespoon dried oregano
-1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
-1 teaspoon sage
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-1 teaspoon pepper

STEPS:

1. Turn on the sauté function on the slow cooker, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped chicken thighs. Sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes until the thighs are cooked. Remove, then toss in smoked turkey sausage. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, then remove.
2. Add the remaining olive oil, garlic, red onion, bell pepper, celery, and okra to the slow cooker and continuously stir: (a) so nothing sticks; and (b) to brown the okra so that it won’t create a slimy gumbo, about 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Add Cajun seasoning and mix together to bloom the spices. Add arrowroot starch and stir again. Slowly add the chicken broth while continuing to stir.
4. Fold in the chicken and the turkey sausage. Give it a stir, then toss in 2 bay leaves and bring it to simmer.
5.Change the setting to slow cooker and cook on medium-high for 4 hours. Enjoy with raw or cooked cauliflower rice to keep it low carb yet satisfying.

Sweet Potato Muffins

9 muffins

A great dessert alternative for the family sweet tooth.

Sweet Potato Muffins
Courtesy of FitMenCook.com

INGREDIENTS:

-1 cup (~230 g) baked sweet potato flesh, no skin

DRY INGREDIENTS

-1 1/2 cups (~168 g) superfine almond flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-Pinch of salt
-2 teaspoons cinnamon

WET INGREDIENTS

-3 eggs (or vegan egg replacement)
-1/4 cup olive oil (OR coconut oil or avocado oil)
-1/4 cup almond milk
-1/4 cup maple syrup (OR agave or honey)
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1/3 cup raw chopped pecans (optional)

STEPS:

1. Set oven to 400F.
2. Poke a few holes in 2 small, raw sweet potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until soft. Once baked, allow them to cool, then chop off the ends and remove the skin. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
4. In a larger separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together using a spatula.  Fold in the cooled, baked sweet potato and, if desired, chopped pecans.
6. Lightly spray a muffin pan with nonstick baking spray or olive oil.  Evenly divide the batter.
7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and you can easily pierce it with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
8. Allow them to cool for a few minutes in the tray, then remove them from the molds.

A full list of Kevin’s healthy recipes can be found in his new book “Fit Men Cook”, now available for purchase on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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