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By Sheena Gregg

 

As a self-proclaimed foodie, Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays. However, as a registered dietitian, Thanksgiving can also prove problematic for my clients trying to keep their waistline in check. With a little strategy, Thanksgiving can be both a delicious and nutritious event with friends, family, and football. Here’s a few of my top tips for enjoying your favorite family dishes while staying in check with your health goals.

Don’t Show Up on an Empty Stomach

Though it seems like tradition to “save up your appetite” for the family function, this isn’t always ideal if you’re trying to watch your weight. If your family get together is at lunch time, consider having a light and balanced breakfast to keep your appetite level in check by the time lunch rolls around. Having a small snack or meal a few hours before your gathering can help curb your appetite enough to avoid large portion sizes but also enjoy your holiday favorites in moderate portions.

Eat the Healthiest Foods First

Beware of starting your celebration with mindless munching of refined carbohydrates like chips, crackers, or bread. These foods offer little satisfaction and are typically loaded with calories. Instead, choose to first eat dishes featuring non-starchy veggies to slow down digestion with fewer calories. Protein foods can also be helpful with helping you feel full sooner.

Take Time to Savor Your Meal

If you’re interested in enjoying your holiday favorites in smaller portions, consider eating at a slower pace. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for your brain and stomach to register that you’ve eaten and provide the sensation of fullness. Often times, we eat so quickly that we’ve already got the next bite of food ready to go on our fork before we’ve even swallowed our first bite of food. Consider putting the fork down between each bite or taking a sip of water or other low calorie beverage to create natural pauses during your meal.

Be a Healthy Host or Hostess

Thanksgiving is infamous for casseroles and dishes with multiple mystery ingredients that often involve copious amounts of butter, cream, and salt. If you are a host or hostess wanting to provide healthy options to your guests, variety is key. Instead of having all starch-based sides, consider having colorful salads or other vegetables prepared with heart healthy fats such as olive oil. Fresh fruit salads made with Greek yogurt or sugar-free pudding can offer a sweet alternative for someone trying to watch his or her weight.

No matter the menu, Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season can be a great time for catching up with friends and family. It can also be the perfect time to find recipe twists on holiday classics! 

Sheena Gregg is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino Foodie.” Follow her adventures at www.afilipinofoodie.com

 

Article sponsored by Bradford Health.

Find them on the web at: https://bradfordhealth.com

 

By Amy Poore

 

Have you started planning the Thanksgiving meal yet? Fall is definitely in the air, and both of these recipes will compliment your holiday table beautifully. The pear chutney is an aromatic delight, and a perfect pairing for your turkey, no matter how you prepare it. And for dessert, I suggest this scrumptious pumpkin Bundt cake with caramel drizzle. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and bon appétit!

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If you are anything like me, you like to plan out your week so you can be best efficient with your time and money.  However, this does not always happen, especially when one needs to make a large meal for many guests.  So, this list of ingredients was put together to help you manage your time well over the Thanksgiving week. 

Anyone need some new dishes to enjoy at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Both of these dishes are perfect for the occasion. The Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash looks gorgeous, but it’s fairly simple to make and it takes just a few ingredients. And the Pear Cake offers a delicious alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving desserts (though certainly include them, too).

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, and bon appétit!

There are some amazing pumpkin spiced recipes out there, but with so many options,  it is hard to find the best ones.  So we put together a list of the top 5 pumpkin spiced foods in Alabama.  Mmmm!  Enjoy!

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S’mores in a Skillet? Yes, Please

By Amy Poore

 

If your idea of a perfect fall evening involves hanging out in the backyard with friends and family cheering on your favorite teams and enjoying tasty treats, this is a recipe just for you. Did you know that you can make S’mores at home, without a campfire? Yep, you can. You can make them in a skillet! Enjoy this recipe – it is always a huge hit.

 

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Cooking with venison (deer meat) can be challenging at first. Proper tenderizing and seasonings need to be added to enhance the flavor and cut down on the "gamey" taste that comes along with wild game. We first started cooking with venison as a way to cut costs at the grocery store meat department when prices started to skyrocket. I also found that I liked the fact that the meat was all natural, with no steroids or other additives. The following five recipes have become family favorites over the years.

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By Amy Poore

 

Whether you’re attending a tailgating party on the Quad or hosting a backyard gathering at home, this is a recipe that is sure to please any football fan. The Mini Pimento Cheese Ball Bites are perfect for tailgate gatherings, and the prep time is super quick. You can make the pimento cheese well ahead of time.

 

Bon appétit!

By Sheena Gregg

 

In my mind, everybody’s got a little bit of a sweet tooth. Whether its cake, ice cream, pies, or something else, we’ve all got that one sweet treat that we wouldn’t mind having to end a memorable dinner. In Tuscaloosa, desserts are as much of a bragging right as barbecue. So if you’re visiting us to see the Tide roll, take note of these delectable treats!

That Cheesecake by Tammy Smith, Southern Ale House 
Just as the name indicates, That Cheesecake by Tammy Smith has people all over town talking. Currently available on the dessert menu at Southern Ale House and at the Tuscaloosa River Market sold by Ms. Tammy herself, this white chocolate cheesecake will remind you how perfect desserts can really be.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding, DePalma’s Italian Café
The white chocolate bread pudding at DePalma’s is a Tuscaloosa classic. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, seriously. Rich, warm flavors with the savory sweetness of white chocolate and drizzled chocolate convince diners that bread pudding should be its own food group.

Strawberry Cake, Edgar’s Bakery and Café
Defying all boundaries of amazingness, Edgar’s strawberry cake is legendary. With strawberry-infused cake layers and a rich, refreshing strawberry cream cheese icing, it’s no wonder this cake is known across the state.

Chocolate Soufflé, The Side by Side Restaurant
Calling all chocolate lovers to one of the most perfect desserts in town: Warm, rich chocolate flavors beautifully paired with delectable whipped cream remind us that dessert is always worth the calories. This chocolate soufflé is perfect after dinner or as a treat with a nice hot cup of coffee.

Beet Cremeaux, Epiphany Farm to Table New American Cuisine
If you’re wanting something a little different in your dessert repertoire, Epiphany’s Beet Cremeaux is for you. The earthy flavors of the beet pairs magically with sweetened condensed milk and an espresso-based sauce topped with pistachios.

Dessert Sampler, Cypress Inn
If you’re obsessed with desserts yet on the indecisive side, the Cypress Inn Dessert Sampler has you covered. Peanut butter pie, cheese pie, Mississippi mud cake, and whiskey bread pudding made with savory yeast rolls are a winning combination. Great to share with a sweetie, friends, or enjoy all on your own!

Kozy Kreamer, Kozy’s Restaurant
Proving that an adult beverage can serve as dessert, the Kozy Kreamer is a tasty end to dinner. Made with brandy, Kahlua, crème de cocoa, Bailey’s, and vanilla ice cream, this beverage is probably the most delicious way you can cool off during these hot summer nights.

Photos: Sheena Gregg

 

Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism Veterans.

 

Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com

 

By Sheena Gregg

 

Ahhh…tis the season of pumpkin spice in the coffee world! If you’re anything like me, fall brings on cravings for great coffee. In a town that runs on caffeine, Tuscaloosa locals have plenty to choose from in the coffee arena. Here are a few places to put on your radar this season, especially if you’re visiting Tuscaloosa for a weekend Bama game!

Nehemiah’s Coffee House

Since its opening in June 2012, Nehemiah’s has cultivated a sense of community among Forest Lake residents. Patrons will find the atmosphere inviting and cozy while also providing ample space for listening to live music, playing a board game, or sitting down for a cup of joe while reading the morning paper. Serving up Seattle’s Best coffee, I was pleased with the variety of beverages that are available, including the tasty peppermint white mocha that is sure to warm you up and make your taste buds do a happy dance.

Regular monthly events and drink specials can be found at www.facebook.com/nehemiahscoffeehouse and @NehemiahsCoffee on Twitter. Be sure to also check www.flbc.us/Nehemiahs for more information on the history of Nehemiah’s.

 Heritage House Coffee & Tea

Many may know Heritage House as the first coffee house in Tuscaloosa with a history that began over 20 years ago. Now located off of Towncenter Boulevard in Northport, the shop provides ample space for relaxing, studying, or conducting a business meeting in the private conference room. Visitors can agree that the vast variety of flavored coffees offered sets Heritage House apart from others in Tuscaloosa. If coffee isn’t your thing, assorted green, black, and loose leaf teas are offered to relax yourself. My personal Heritage House recommendation is the Toffee Coffee latte that provides a sweet smooth texture with just the right amount of caffeine.

For more information on Heritage House, visit www.facebook.com/HeritageHouseTuscaloosa or www.heritagehousecoffee.com.

Edelweiss German Bakery and Coffee Shop

If you’re in the mood for authentic German breads and pastries, Edelweiss is sure to make you smile. Since 2007, the shop has provided a variety of European specialties to complement the various coffee drinks that are served up each day. If the large display case of pretzels, cakes, and pastries doesn’t catch your eye, classic German sandwiches and dishes will fill you up for breakfast and lunch. My personal favorite is the apple strudel garnished with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. Edelweiss is located in Temerson Square and open for breakfast and lunch daily.

Photos: Sheena Gregg

 

Article sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tourism Black Warrior.

Find them on the web at: http://visittuscaloosa.com

 

 

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Birmingham Post-Herald (BPH) is Birmingham, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

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