With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday spirit has undoubtedly got everyone excited about the food – and love – overload that comes with Thanksgiving dinner. The highlight, of course, would be the turkey. Although Thanksgiving is considered a ‘cheat day’ for some, it’s comforting to know that turkey meat is actually on the healthier side of the food scale; it’s low-fat, high protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals including choline, folate, biotin, and selenium, which all help protect and support the liver.
But why stop with turkey? Here are other healthy, liver-friendly recipes you can include in your Thanksgiving feast.
Explore liver-friendly selections for a healthy Thanksgiving feast. (Photo credit: Creative Commons ClaraDon)
Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub
Enjoy the antioxidant benefits of oregano and herbs in your Thanksgiving entrée
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Directions: Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl: garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, thyme and salt. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and put an oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat. Smear some seasoning on the tenderloin, covering all sides of the pork. On the heated skillet, add olive oil and minced garlic and sauté for about a minute. Place the tenderloin in the pan and let the meat sear until each side turns brown. After searing the meat, put the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. (Note: You can also transfer the meat to an oven-safe roasting pan.) Remove the pork from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey
Beta-carotene and vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes support liver function
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste (optional)
Fresh chopped parsley or rosemary for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place diced sweet potatoes (not to be confused with yams) on baking sheet. On a separate bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice and honey. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and add some salt and pepper. Put the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until they are tender and evenly brown. Serve with rosemary or parsley as garnish.
Cilantro Lime Grilled Tofu Skewers
A liver-friendly barbeque alternative for Thanksgiving dinner
1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu
Your choice of vegetables for grilling (thickly sliced zucchini, summer/yellow squash, red onion, colorful bell peppers and whole grape or cherry tomatoes are recommended)
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (reserve approximately 1 teaspoon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and black pepper to taste
Directions: Make sure to remove as much water from the tofu as possible. Slice the tofu lengthwise, then into cubes. Place the tofu into a shallow dish. Use a whisk to mix together the lime juice, olive oil, cilantro (minus the one teaspoon reserved), garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the tofu and leave to marinate for 2-8 hours.
Thread the tofu and veggies onto skewers once done marinating the tofu. Preheat grill for medium heat, lightly oil the grate. Grill skewers, brushing now and then with the marinade, until almost blackened in part. Usually, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from grill and, while still hot, pepper with fresh cilantro.
Pumpkin Spice Green Smoothie
An alcohol alternative with the traditional pumpkin spice flavor that’s good for your liver.
1 cup sweetened, vanilla almond milk
½ cup canned pumpkin
l tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1 scoop UltraNourish
1 handful of ice cubes
Directions: Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust sweetness and spice to how you like it. Serves one.
Leftover Turkey with Squash Soup
Tired of the unending turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving? Here’s another option.
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 leeks, trimmed, chopped and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups shredded leftover turkey
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Directions: Use Dutch oven to heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and bell pepper. Stir often for 3 to 4 minutes until vegetables starts to soften. Add garlic and, still stirring, cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth, squash, thyme and cumin then cover. Bring everything to a boil before reducing heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the turkey and corn and return to a simmer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the turkey and corn are heated through. Add in the lime juice and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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