By Ruth Vodonos, Healthy Aggies Intern
Thanksgiving is a holiday built around coming together to overeat. For most, their plate this holiday will be overfilled with turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, corn, dinner rolls – all finished off with a slice of pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. There is no need to avoid any of the food you love and have been looking forward to, but for a nutritious and still equally filling dinner consider sneaking some more vegetables onto your plate!
For a snack/appetizer – offer a veggie platter! Include all your favorite vegetables, like slices of bell peppers and celery sticks, all around a dip such as hummus.
For a side dish – green beans are the obvious choice, but consider adding some other greens such as mustard greens, peas, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli or asparagus to your dinner as well. Sheet pan cooking is an easy way to prepare vegetables and save more time in your day for cooking the main entrees. Mixing up a salad, even from a purchased pre-made mix, is another time saving idea!
For an entree – Sneak some vegetables into the usual entrees you serve, add kale to the stuffing, mushrooms to the gravy, etc. Think about serving even one vegetable-centric entree, not only will this contribute to the overall vegetable content on your plate, but anyone at your table who may be abstaining from eating meat will appreciate this too! Consider making stuffed squashes, there’s an endless list of things you can stuff them with – tailor them to your own crowd! There’s also plenty of vegetable casserole recipes, find one you can pre-make and just pop in the oven the day of!
For a dessert – Even include some vegetables in your dessert by serving carrot cake or zucchini brownies!
You may not be the one cooking Thanksgiving dinner and thus not in control of what will be served, but a host will usually be alright with you bringing a dish or two – especially something small and simple like a vegetable platter for an appetizer or a vegetable side dish! What will you bring?