Thanksgiving Tips: Cook Light With Full Flavor (Healthy Hollywood)

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Ah, Thanksgiving. A day filled with food, family and football. If your family is anything like mine, there’s going to be far too much food (which you’ll eat all of), and by the time you get to the turkey, you’re already stuffed.

To avoid the gobble guilt, Healthy Hollywood caught up with Eden Grinshpan, host of “Log On & Eat With Eden Grinshpan” to fill us in on a few light cooking tips to kick up your holiday recipes while cutting down on the fat.

According to Eden, there are “three basic ways to cook light and healthy with full body and full flavor” while avoiding excess calories.

Marinades:
To cut back on fat, marinating is the easiest way to go. “It’s a great way to prep for tomorrow’s meal. Get your ingredients, put everything together and marinate your protein in the fridge,” says Eden. The next day, toss everything “in a baking dish and throw in the oven” for a quick, easy meal. “My favorite marinade is garlic, olive oil, cumin seed, and fresh sage,” Eden says. Whisk together and pour over meats to marinate. The longer you marinate, the more intense the flavor.

Herbs & Spices:
“A great way to cut back on fat and put in a lot of flavor,” says Eden, “is adding fresh herbs and spices.” A lot of people can be intimidated about herbs and spices and how they work together, but no need to fret, according to Eden. “Try two herbs that you really love and play around with them on your vegetables.” A good place to start? “I love cumin,” says Eden. “It’s so versatile. Also, if you want some heat, try adding in cayenne pepper.”

Roasting:
“This is another good technique to kick back on fat,” according to Eden. The key to roasting right is to “make sure your oven is super-hot. I think people don’t get good results with roasting because their oven isn’t hot enough. Don’t be afraid to turn it up!” Try roasting vegetables for an easy side dish. “Put your vegetables into a 375-400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Pull them out and serve with fresh parsley,” says Eden. Voila- a guilt free side dish that everyone can enjoy.

Check out Eden’s recipe below for a quick, easy, and delicious side dish to try at your Thanksgiving dinner. To learn more about Eden!

Spicy Bacon Maple Brussels Sprouts

(Yield: 4 servings)

  • 6 bacon strips, cut into short strips
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups of Brussels sprouts, cleaned and sliced in half
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chives, finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Heat up a large high sided skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Fry the bacon until crispy and brown and remove onto paper towels to drain. Remove all but 4 tablespoons bacon fat in the pan. In the pan over medium heat, toss together the olive oil, Brussels sprouts and chili flakes. Season with a little salt (not too much because of the bacon) and pepper. Add a tablespoon of water if too dry and cook until sprouts are golden and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water, cover and cook for another 5 minutes until cooked through. Uncover, stir in the maple syrup, reserved bacon and chives, check for seasoning and garnish with a little chopped chives on top.

-- Jenna Nolan, for Terri MacLeod

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