Healthy Thanksgiving Menu

Updated on November 11, 2016
Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin (a.k.a. Michelle) enjoys healthy cooking, and she has all of her salad and stew recipes memorized.

A simple and healthy Thanksgiving meal that is really easy to prepare.
A simple and healthy Thanksgiving meal that is really easy to prepare. | Source

The Rush of the Holidays

Nowadays modern families can create their own traditions if they please. There may be holidays when you just want something simple for Thanksgiving. There are those people who may not be having all the parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and cousin Freds at the Thanksgiving table. Perhaps it's just the two of you, or maybe 3-4 of you and you want to keep it simple.

Here is a simple, tasty, and healthy Thanksgiving meal to try. There's not much cleanup either. Some other options are: creamed corn, corn on the cob, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole: you get the message -- 3 or 4 simple sides with the turkey and rolls.

Ingredients - Leftovers are taken in for consideration in the portions.

4-6 Turkey Drumsticks (or breast meat if preferred).

24 oz small new red potatoes, with dried parsley

Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts sidedish (see link for recipe)

French Rolls with whipped butter

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream (or dessert of choice)

Prepare raw turkey legs with spices and place into the crockpot for about 8-9 hours.
Prepare raw turkey legs with spices and place into the crockpot for about 8-9 hours. | Source
Add some spices to the turkey legs before placing in the crockpot.
Add some spices to the turkey legs before placing in the crockpot. | Source

Preparation

  1. Slather the raw turkey with the spices and add to the crockpot. Cover and cook 8-9 hours on low heat.
  2. Cut up all your raw vegetables. Click on the link for the asparagus and brussel sprout recipe. Start preparing and cooking the vegetables 45 minutes before the turkey is done.
  3. When preparing the small red potatoes: wash, dry, and slice each in half. Boil in water until al dente. Drain and then put back into the pot and add butter, parsley, salt and pepper.
  4. Once the turkey and vegetables are done, heat up the rolls and serve all at once. See how easy?

Ingredients for a simple and healthy Thanksgiving menu.
Ingredients for a simple and healthy Thanksgiving menu. | Source
Cut up enough of the small red potatoes for your group.
Cut up enough of the small red potatoes for your group. | Source

The Benefits of Eating Asparagus

Asparagus is a good source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), Folic Acid, fiber, Potassium, and is a member of the Lily family. It is low in fat and sodium and in season from March to June. Look for straight bright green stalks with firm tips. Buy fresh locally grown and eat the day you buy them. Potassium is a trace element and is needed for maintaining good water balance in the body.

As a home remedy, asparagus has been used to help relieve various kidney and bladder problems, rheumatism, and gout. The Chinese have used this vegetable as a remedy to treat chronic bronchitis, lung congestion, and tuberculosis. They also used it to improve femininity in "aggressive" women, to ease menstrual difficulties, and to help purge the body of excesses of sweet, refined, intoxicating foods.

The turkey legs are now finished cooking in the crockpot and ready to eat!
The turkey legs are now finished cooking in the crockpot and ready to eat! | Source
French rolls and whipped butter round out this meal. Heat in the oven until browned right before serving.
French rolls and whipped butter round out this meal. Heat in the oven until browned right before serving. | Source

Tips and Ideas for some good Thanksgiving Cooking

Below is a video showing delicious healthy traditional Thanksgiving meal ideals. There are several side dishes for the vegetarians that may show up. She also covers the most basic tools you really should have to make cooking a turkey much easier. There are many helpful cooking tips for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Of course, if you want to go the traditional route, here is a great video to give you a few healthy ideas:

Thanksgiving Events

What do you usually plan for Thanksgiving?

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The Benefits of Eating Poultry

An average 5 ounce serving of chicken provides 35 mg of protein, which is more than half an adult’s daily requirement. Roast chicken eaten with skin has 9 grams more fat per 4 ounces than skinless roast chicken. Some Chinese therapists believe that chicken can help relieve symptoms of diarrhea, water retention, and poor appetite associated with spleen and pancreas imbalances. Today, therapists may advise against eating chickens that have been fed antibiotics to prevent infections from spreading among birds kept together.

Those who are dieting may find white turkey meat a good source of protein because of the low fat content. Lean chicken and duck that is cooked using a low fat method and served without the fat and skin are also good alternatives. These protein rich foods may also influence the appetite centers in the brain, helping to create a feeling of fullness.

Poultry and gamebirds are ideal foods for those trying to identify allergies since they are known for rarely causing allergic reactions. They are ideal foods for all stages of life because they provide nine essential amino acids that are needed for the growth and repair of tissues, and they are easy to digest.

Prepared turkey or chicken slices are useful “power sources” for quick snacks if concentration falters during certain times of the day. This is because all poultry and gamebirds contain good amounts of amino acid tyrosine, which the brain uses to produce norepinephrine and dopamine. These two substances trigger the brain cells that enhance concentration and mental alertness.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Efficient Admin

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      • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

        Efficient Admin 

        5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

        hello shiningirisheyes - thanks for stopping by. This menu is great for a smaller crowd to feed plus using the crock really helps. Because of the light vegetables (i.e. no heavy sauces) it also doesn't stuff the dickens out of you if you get seconds (well, the potatoes can fill you up quick though). Thank you for your comment.

      • shiningirisheyes profile image

        Shining Irish Eyes 

        5 years ago from Upstate, New York

        What a creative way to cut down on the needless work while still enjoying the turkey.

        Great idea.

      • Efficient Admin profile imageAUTHOR

        Efficient Admin 

        5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

        hello famous billybuc! I love the dark meat more than the white. When cooking white you have to be real careful it doesn't dry out. White poultry can dry out real quick. Dark is not as dry and the spices really pick things up. Cooking it in the crock sure does make things easier. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        It's funny, but I never thought of just cooking drumsticks for Thanksgiving. Sure would be a lot simpler. I'll keep this in mind for next year.

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