thanksgiving recipes

Tovita Tips: Navigating Thanksgiving Dinner like a Pro

Did you know that on average, Americans consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving day? Yikes. Now here comes the part where we assure you that you don't need to become a statistic. Believe it or not, there is a way to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast without ending up in fetal position spooning a bottle of Tums. Here are a few of our tips for taking the high road this Thanksgiving:

thanksgiving

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1. Take matters into your own hands. We've said it before and we'll say it again, it is up to you to provide tasty and delicious options that you can indulge in without feeling deprived. The baked Brussels sprouts aren't going to magically appear if you don't plan for them. Whether you are hosting or you're a guest, prepare a light vegetable based dish. Everyone will thank you. If you need some ideas, check out our Autumn Salad recipe and our Sweet Roasted Carrots. 

2. Do NOT go in starving. Have a snack beforehand so you can make conscious decisions without acting like a vulture. Eat your usual breakfast, lunch, and snack instead of "saving up" for the big feast. We recommend a snack that contains both protein and fiber and is under 200 calories. Some ideas include a Greek yogurt with berries, veggies with 2 tablespoons of hummus, an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter, or a handful of almonds.

3. Navigate the options and plate responsibly. Before piling it on, do a quick analysis of the meal. Glance at all of the dishes and ask yourself what you absolutely need to try and what can you live without. Once you've decided, fill half your plate with vegetables (no, vegetables covered in cream or cheese don't count), then move onto your protein. Your turkey portion should resemble a deck of cards. Now you have a quarter of your plate left for the fun stuff - rolls, casseroles, stuffing, etc. 

food coma

4. Socialize, don't scour the buffet table. Remember, Thanksgiving isn't just about the food. During this Holiday you are surrounded by loved ones. Take this opportunity to focus on catching up with people rather than hovering around the food. Once you've made your plate, sit down! Eating while standing reduces your feelings of satiety, as well as your awareness of how much you are consuming. Sit with a glass or wine or cup of tea and relax. 

5. Follow the 3 bite rule. When it comes to dessert, studies have shown that the highest amount of endorphins are released with the first and last bites of dessert. We know it's easier said than done, but try to enjoy 3 bites of your favorite dessert and then throw it away. Then focus on your wine, tea, or seltzer. 

We are not expecting Thanksgiving to be your cleanest day of eating, but there is a way to remain empowered, rather than letting the stuffing take control of you!

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Autumn Salad: the Perfect Thanksgiving Dish

Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, we are giving you another delicious recipe to impress your guests. In our eyes, it is up to you to set yourself up for success, so be proactive to avoid becoming a Thanksgiving food coma victim. We know (all too well) that food comas happen to the best of us, but we are here to give you the tools to navigate Thanksgiving dinner like a pro. 

Whether you are hosting or going to be a guest at Thanksgiving dinner, it is up to you to provide healthy dishes that you know you can enjoy without feeling deprived. This doesn't mean you can't try the stuffing or apple pie, but if you fill up with a heaping portion of this colorful and nutritious salad, and a side of our sweet roasted carrots, there will be inevitably be less room for the stuffing! 

Autumn Salad (serves 6):

autumn salad

Ingredients:

butternut squash
  • 5 cups 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash (1 2 pound squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil  
  • Course salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons of walnut oil (any nut oil will do)
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 cups mixed greens or arugula
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup crumbed feta (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Toss the squash with olive oil, rosemary, and salt on a large baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn squash over with a spatula and roast for another 15 minutes until brrowned and tender. Let sit and room temperature
  3. Whisk the orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in a large shallow bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the greens, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds and toss evenly. 
  4. Place the squash over the salad, sprinkle the feta cheese, and drizzle with a balsamic reduction
  5. Serve and receive praise from your loved ones :)




Sweet Roasted Carrots

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are scrambling to design our menus. While the turkey and the cranberry sauce are tradition, determining which sides to serve tends to be the tricky part. Do we stick with the marshmallow-sweet potato mash or healthify the meal with baked broccoli? 

Shown here without pomegranate seeds

Shown here without pomegranate seeds

Fortunately, we found you some middle ground. These roasted carrots fulfill that sweetness we crave without the artificial melted marshmallows. Guarantee, both your little cousin and your great grandmother will be begging for seconds.

Ingredients (serves ~5):

  • 2 pounds carrots, or about two large bunches
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • sprinkle of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and oil a sheet pan (or cover pan with aluminum foil)
  2. Spread carrots evenly on pan and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, and honey. Toss with hands to make sure the carrots are evenly coated
  3. Sprinkle coriander, salt, and pepper
  4. Roast for 10 minutes, take out and stir to redistribute, and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. They are ready when tender and the edges are caramelized 
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and thyme. Sprinkle more salt and pepper if needed. Place on platter and top with pomegranate seeds. Best when served hot!