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AARP Rewards Healthy Twist to Turkey Day Dish Winners!

Community Manager
Community Manager

AARP Rewards Healthy Twist to Turkey Day Dish Winners!

Here are the top 5 winning recipes!  Congrats to the winners and thank you all for your posts!



Green bean casserole:

Green beans are a Thanksgiving tradition on many tables. However they often appear as a green bean casserole, sometimes soggy, always full of unhealthy fats and loaded with salt. (See AARP video “Are you favorite holiday foods healthy?”)This past Thanksgiving, a colorful,crunchy, healthy and festive salad graced my table to the joy of my guests. Many asked for the recipe and I will share it with you as well 2 lbs. of green beans, trimmed
¼ lb. of baby carrots, slivered
A handful of walnuts
A handful of dried cranberries
2 avocados (sliced just before serving)
Lemon vinaigrette (juice from ½ lemon, Dijon mustard, 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil,1 garlic clove, grated, ½ teaspoon of honey, a pinch of salt, ) Boil the green beans until tender but still firm.

Meanwhile prepare the lemon vinaigrette by mixing Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, honey, lemon juice and salt.

Place the green beans, the baby carrots, the walnuts and the cranberries in a large bowl.

At dinner time, add the vinaigrette and the sliced avocados to the bowl of green beans; toss, serve and enjoy!


lj9807492's Make Ahead Referigerator Mashed Potatoes

Make Ahead Healthier Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes. 9 large idaho potatoes, 1 8oz package cream cheese, 1 cup light dairy sour cream, 2 tsp onion salt, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2tbsp margarine. Cook peeled potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain, mash until smooth (If you need to, add 1/4 cup of the sour cream to help mash). Add the cream cheese, sour cream, onion salt, salt, and pepper. Beat until light and fluffy. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To use, place in greased casserole dish, dot with the 2 Tbsp. margarine, and bake at 350° until heated through, about 30 minutes. (Optional, can sprinkle with paprika before baking) Serves approx. 12, Calories: 197, Carbs: 29g., Fiber 3.4g., Sugar 1.5g., Fat 9g. 



nanjmanley's Roasted Honeynut Squash.  

2 med honeynut squash, halved and seeded, 4 tsp butter, 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 pepper, 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Preheat oven to 425. Arrange squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet. Place 1 teaspoon butter in each cavity. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Roast until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.


Vexed's Cornish Game Hen.

Cornish Game Hen. This is for smaller gatherings or those that want something different. Choose to fix a Cornish Game Hen instead of turkey (or large chicken). Since they are smaller and younger than chickens, they have less fat. They cook fast, you can plan better for how much to feed and you won't have a ton of leftover waste (won't be tempted to overeat). Two can split one or have one each and so on accordingly to how many to feed. This isn't an exact recipe because I don't know how to cook that way. ‌‌Most of the time, by not eating the skin (I love the skin) is what makes any bird a bit healthier. And this recipes uses olive oil instead of butter.
Rub (exact amount per your taste and how many birds are used)
Lemon Pepper
Whatever other spices you prefer
Mix the spices in a bowl to make it easier to apply.
Olive Oil to drizz rozen Cornish Game Hen(s) - How many is according to your needs.
- Thaw safely in a bowl of water overnight in the refrigerator ( water covering how many you use) with a tablespoon and a half salt in the water (per bird). Leave in fridge until ready to prepare.
- When ready to cook, remove from fridge. Rinse and pat dry.
- Not all cornish game hens come with the giblets inside. You will have to open the cavity and remove them if they are there when thawed. You can use them in your other meal items if you wish.
- Prepare a roast pan or large enough pan for all bird(s) , and a rack and a little water under the rack.
- Have aluminum foil ready to tent.
- Have a meat thermometer ready to test the bird(s).
- The cook time is short, so you can plan this out and concentrate your efforts on the other elements of the meal.
Preheat oven to 425°. Then turn it down to 400° when putting it/them in the oven. Rub (exact amount per your taste and how many birds) Drizzle and rub olive oil around the bird. Sprinkle spices all over. Stuffing (not traditional )
1/4 onion wedge per bird ( or whatever size will fit )
1 pat of butter per bird (or a little olive oil )
Put the small piece of onion and pat of butter or olive oil inside the bird. Put bird(s) in pan on a rack ( breast side up ). Put in a little water just under the rack. Tent the bird(s). Put in oven. ( Remember to turn down to 400° ). Cook for 45 minutes and remove tent (check temp for 180°). If not there, cook about 15 more minutes and check with meat thermometer for 180°. Cook longer if still not up to temp. For crispier skin, place under broiler watching until it is good for you. Remove bird(s) and let sit with tent over it/them for a few minutes or until you are ready to serve. Cut in half to serve or serve whole. I don't use the drippings because I use fat free and low sodium broth for the other things I would use drippings for and I needed to use them earlier due to the short cooking time as opposed to a turkey. This is the first time I ever wrote it down. Forgive the jumble.


KellyK833486's Classic Green Bean Casserole.

The classic green bean casserole has never been a favorite of mine since I was a child but my family loves it.  I made it every Thanksgiving for them but never ate it until I reworked the recipe. Using fresh cremini mushrooms, fresh green beans, nondairy milk, very low sodium vegetable stock and no oil or fat.  Here you go!  Healty and delicious! 1 C French's brand fried onions, 10 oz cremini mushrooms cut into 1/4 slices, 4 gloves of garlic, 1/2tsp dried thyme, 3 TBSP flour, 1 1/4 very low sodium veg broth, 1 c non-dairy half and half milk, 2 lbs fresh green beans.whir the fried onions in a food processor until finely ground, mix with the flour and set aside. Place green beans in slow cooker, stir in the sauce until well coated and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours. Most green bean casseroles have the fried onion topping and if you like, you can whir the rest of the container of fried onions with a cup of fresh bread crumbs in your food processor then toast in a pan and top after plating. Heat a large non stick skillet on medium high and add half of the mushrooms, cook on one side until brown, then the other without stirring about 5 minutes total, remove and do the rest of the mushrooms the same way. Add back the first mushrooms, give them all a stir and add the garlic off heat for 30 seconds. Add the fried onion/flour mixture, a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook on medium high until golden, about a minute. Slowly stir in broth, whisking or using a fork to break up any flour clumps, and the non dairy half and half. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until sauce has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. ( This can be done a day in advance and refrigerated if you like then warmed in the microwave carefully before proceeding)


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