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Your Guide to a Healthy and Delicious Thanksgiving Meal

Posted: 10/02/2012 12:00 am

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Having everyone over in the comfort of your home will ensure that you know exactly what is on the menu! This way you can plan a diverse meal that is hearty, healthy and delicious! Tell people what to bring, prepare food together or make it all yourself! Whatever works for you, make it happen and enjoy the perfect balanced holiday meal!

1. Variety --You want to make sure you have a little bit of everything so you are not left craving anything after the meal or feel like something is missing from your plate. A whole plate full of mashed potatoes, a piece of bread and turkey is not very appetizing, colourful or creative!

2. Texture -- It's always nice to experience a different sensation in your mouth with each bite. Strive for a dish that is Crunchy (steamed green veggies), Chewy (cooked grains), Soft (mashed sweet potatoes) and Crispy (baked apple crisp). Those are just some ideas!

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  • The Apple Crisp

    The sippable way to enjoy one of autumn's top fruits; it's perfect as dessert!<br> <em>Ingredients</em><br> 1 oz. Proof Whisky<br> 1/2 oz. cinnamon simple syrup<br> 4-5 oz. apple cider<br> <em>Method</em><br> To a highball glass filled with ice, add Proof Whisky, cinnamon simple syrup and apple cider. Garnish drink with cinnamon stick. This cocktail can be served warm as well, just omit the ice and warm in a heat-resistant mug.

  • Bubbles Rosé Holiday Sparkler

    Celebrate the holidays with friends and family and one of these sweet, sparkly bevies.<br> <em>Ingredients</em><br> 60 ml [yellow tail] Bubbles Rosé<br> 15 ml elderflower liqueur<br> 30 ml cranberry juice<br> Orange bitters<br> Sugar cube<br> <em>Method</em><br> Soak sugar cube in orange bitters and place in bottom of glass. Add elderflower and cranberry and gently top with [yellow tail] Bubbles Rosé. Garnish with rock sugar stir stick.

  • Orange Vanilla Cider

    An orange and vanilla swirl that results in a delightful creamsicle flavour.<br> <em>Ingredients</em><br> 1 1/2 oz. Voli Orange Vanilla<br> 2 oz. apple cider<br> Squeeze of lemon wedge<br> <em>Method</em><br> Add ingredients to a shaker. Mix. Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon.

  • Autumn Appreciation

    A rich way to energize your taste buds when the temperature begins to drop.<BR> <em>Ingredients</em><BR> 2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream<BR> 1 oz. Ketel One Vodka<BR> 1 oz. espresso<BR> Caramel<BR> <em>Method</em><BR> Swirl caramel around the inside of a martini glass and put to side. Pour Baileys Irish Cream with a hint of caramel, Ketel One Vodka, ice and espresso into a shaker and shake until very frothy. Strain into caramel swirled martini glass, making sure the foam is on top to make it looks like a cappuccino. (Tip: using a spoon while pouring helps keep the foam on top.)

  • Original Spiced Cinnamon Toast

    Grab a blanket and cozy up to your coach with this heart-warming drink.<BR> <em>Ingredients</em><BR> 1 1/2 oz. Captain Morgan<BR> 4-5 oz. hot apple cider<BR> 1 tbsp cinnamon sugar<BR> 1 slice orange<BR> <em>Method</em><BR> Rub rim of hurricane glass with half an orange and dip into cinnamon sugar to coat. Add rum and hot apple cider.

  • Hennessey Ginger

    <strong>Hennessey Ginger</strong><br> A simple sipper that will stimulate your appetite -- or that of your guests.<br> <em>Ingredients</em><br> 44 ml Hennessy V.S<br> 103 ml Ginger ale<br> <em>Method</em><br> Pour Hennessy into a highball, add cubed ice (fill the glass), top with Ginger ale. Garnish with a lime wedge.

3. Colour -- Choose lots of vibrant fresh colours from squash, yams, parsnips, carrots, and beets -- with that alone you can create an amazing roasted root vegetable dish. Always include some dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli, or spinach. Have fun with splashes of yellow from peppers or whole grains like quinoa and millet. The more colourful your plate is, the more exciting it will be to eat!

4. Shape -- Every food has its own unique shape. You can choose the natural shapes you like from different foods or you can get creative by cutting your sweet potatoes and carrots a particular way. Alternatively, choose brussels sprouts, cauliflower or green beans for some variety. This makes each bite unique.

5. Flavour -- It is important to balance all six of the major flavours in each meal. This means making sure you choose recipes that include Salty from sea salt, sea vegetables and tamari; Sweet from fruits, root vegetables and maple syrup; Pungent from cinnamon, ginger, cayenne cumin and garlic; Sour from lemon, lime and oranges; Astringent from legumes, fruits and vegetables; and Bitter from dark leafy greens, herbs and spices.

By incorporating the suggestions above into your holiday meal, you're sure to achieve the perfect balance and leave your palette, as well as your guests', satisfied!

Here's one recipe to get you started...

Curried Spice-Baked Sweet Potatoes


2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and pierced in the center with a fork

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated

1 teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Pinch of cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400F

  • Place sweet potatoes on a low sided roasting pan and bake for 30-45 minutes or until soft (to quicken cooking time, cut potatoes in half, lengthwise and place face down on roasting pan)

  • Remove potatoes from the oven and allow cooling.

  • Scoop out center flesh, leaving ¼ inch rim of sweet potato attached to the skin (this will help hold skin together).

  • Place flesh in bowl and mix the remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth and creamy.

  • Refill potato skins with mixture, place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F until heated through and slightly golden and crispy on top.

  • Serve hot.