This year, I’m thankful for having had the opportunity to cook Thanksgiving for everyone at The Biggest Loser. The contestants are an exceptional bunch and they are the inspiration for this meal as I decided to makeover classic holiday dishes in the same way the show’s contestants have made over their lives. The menu below has various iconic Thanksgiving dishes, made over, and they’re also the dishes I’m cooking on tonight’s show.
Continue Reading: The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving Menu →
My healthy-eating mantra is if you begin your meal off with a fiber-rich appetizer, you’ll fill up on healthy calories and eat better over the course of the night. So, I put that rule into effect when developing The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu and started things off with this Roasted Sweet Potato Dip and Toasted Sage Dip. It’s just a few ingredients yet packs tons of flavor and can accommodate almost any diet as it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, lowfat, and low calorie.
When it comes to a big meal — like, say, Thanksgiving — balance is key to success is balance. I’m talking balance of flavors, timing, and healthiness, but, most of all, balance of the menu’s difficulty so there’s a mix of showy and simple recipes. This cranberry-sauce is the ultimate simplicity and flexibility because it can be made ahead or day of as needed, can be halved or doubled at will, and served hot, room temperature, or cold. So, go ahead and go big on the rest of the meal — the cran sauce will be waiting patiently for its humble cameo moment.
Continue Reading: Citrus-Cranberry Sauce →
From the moment I started working on this Thanksgiving menu, I kept thinking about the turkey. All the other recipes fell into place but the turkey was a bit of a puzzle. I wanted a recipe that would measure up to The Biggest Loser nutritional standards, but also be worthy of the Thanksgiving supper spotlight. And then, it came to me: craft a simple yet elegant turkey that used flavors from the rest of the menu to tie everything together.
While it’s no secret that the white meat on the bird is a lot better for you, it tends also dries out really easily so roasting it for the holiday can be a crapshoot. In this recipe, there are three major precautionary measures to ward off dry turkey. First, the turkey should be bone-on because that will help the bird cook more evenly and infuse it with more turkey flavor. Secondly, the turkey gets roasted in broth for the first half, which ensures it stays super moist despite the 90 minute cooking time. Third, the honey-orange baste brings another layer of flavor and moisture to the finished dish. Then, to further boost the flavor, the pears and onions in the roasting pan get blended up and used as the base of the gravy for a take on turkey that’s a fraction of the fat and calories.
Continue Reading: Herb-Orange Turkey with Pear Gravy →
This holiday season, I’m giving thanks for a very memorable experience: cooking Thanksgiving on The Biggest Loser! They asked me to craft a menu that (aside from being delicious) was up to The Biggest Loser smart-eating standards.
If you’ve ever watched the show, then you know how inspiring and motivated each contestant is. In that spirit, it seemed fitting to makeover classic Thanksgiving dishes so they’d be as fabulous as the contestants themselves. The result is this Thanksgiving menu that’s got a lot going for it in terms of flavor, but is lower in fat and calories.
I’ll be sharing my tips and recipes with the nation on next Wednesday’s Thanksgiving episode, but I’m sharing them with you starting right now. Over the next five days, I’ll be posting recipes from the menu below, so you’ll have plenty of time to incorporate them into your Thanksgiving spread.
Continue Reading: Thanksgiving, Made Over →