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Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

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Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

Kathleen Dorsch, RD, CSO, LDN

Atlantic General Nutrition Services

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and naturally many of our thoughts turn to food. Thanksgiving is a holiday solely focused on food and for some that comes with a great deal of anxiety. Maybe you have gained weight while living through the pandemic or are trying to include healthier foods in your daily diet. The good news is you needn’t be so worried about one meal. Instead, focus on enjoying your meal and eating a good balance and variety of foods on the big day. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Don’t skip your normal meals. You might be tempted to skip a meal and “save up” for dinner, but this makes you more likely to overeat later. Eat as you normally would throughout the day.

2. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Balance out the turkey, stuffing and potatoes with some non-starchy vegetables and fruits.

3. Make a colorful plate! Try and get a good variety of fruits and vegetables such as orange butternut squash, red cranberry sauce, green beans or collard greens, and white potatoes.

4. Eat dessert! Holidays and celebrations are a perfect time to enjoy a little something sweet. You might be tempted to skip dessert, but pumpkin pie actually provides a good amount of fiber, vitamin A and potassium.

Here’s a colorful, make-ahead side dish to serve at the big meal!

Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Sauté

From Simply Recipes

Time saver: while the squash is roasting, prep the other ingredients.

To make ahead, roast the cubed squash and prep the ingredients, then do a quick sauté before serving.

  • 4 cups 3/4-inch cubes butternut squash (from about 1 3/4 pound whole small butternut squash)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, quartered and sliced (about 2 cups of sliced red onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups thinly (3/4-inch) sliced kale (center ribs removed) (from about 1 bunch of kale)
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slightly broken up pecans
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place cubed butternut squash in a bowl and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread out onto a lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for 25 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and browned on the edges.
  2. Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a thick-bottomed 4 to 5 quart pot. Add the sliced red onion and toss to coat. Let cook for 7 to 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar and the shredded kale. Stir until the kale is mixed well with the onions (it helps to use tongs to turn over the kale). Let cook for a minute or two until the kale is just wilted (don't overcook).
  4. Then stir in the roasted butternut squash, the dried sweetened cranberries, and pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy warm or room temperature!

If you are interested in Atlantic General’s Nutrition Services, you may contact one of our fantastic Registered Dieticians at (410) 629-6350 or visit the Atlantic Health Center (9714 Healthway Drive, Berlin, MD 21811)!