Please Swap the Sweet Potato Soufflé
November 11th, 2011 - By Lari Robling
How do you enjoy the Thanksgiving celebration but avoid falling into a nutritional nightmare? All it takes is a little planning and a few ingredient swaps. Famed cookbook author Nathalie Dupree and other food professionals share their secrets.
RECIPE: Raita (Indian Yogurt Dish)
Thanksgiving is the meal that takes 10 hours to prepare and 10 minutes to eat! If preparing this meal makes you nervous, imagine your job is to cook for the governor of Georgia. That's the Thanksgiving Holly Chute is planning. To keep the First Family healthy, she swaps out high fat and calorie ingredients without sacrificing taste.
Says Chute, "A typical southern dish for thanksgiving would be sweet potato soufflé with white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, nuts, butter milk and a lot of calories. I'm substituting agave nectar for the sugar and using less, egg whites for whole and that's going to save at least half the calories." The proof is in the pudding, or soufflé in this case, what is the flavor trade-off in the ingredient swaps? Chute responds, "It's a lot lighter because I whip the egg whites and it's a little less sweet but you really taste the sweet potatoes and the spices."
Registered Dietician and product developer Barbara Samson has another approach, "We usually have the traditional Thanksgiving fare, but because my husband is from India we always include a few extra specials like raita." So, adding dishes from other cultures is an easy way to lighten up the menu. And, as Samson points out, with all those heavy traditional side dishes raita is a perfect complement. "It's a cold yogurt side dish that you can put any number of grated vegetables like carrots cucumbers tomatoes. And the special flavor is mint."
Cookbook author Nathalie Dupree says pick your splurge dishes and make one serving for each guest. "If you only have one bowl of mashed potatoes," she says, "and you only have one dozen biscuits they've got plenty of room for the other things and I make a lot of vegetables." To keep those vegetables healthy, Dupree seasons them in a light broth, "I make turkey broth ahead of time from turkey wings and backs that I've browned and then I use that broth to flavor everything. I want to make those green beans just taste delicious and I might add a little fat when I reheat them."
That works! Enjoy the traditions but in moderation and make sure the leftovers the next day are the healthy ones.
MORE FROM FIT:
Nathalie Dupree Uncarved
More healthy Thanksgiving tips from Nathalie in this uncut version of her conversation with Lari Robling.