Thanksgiving is the one-day pass we all give ourselves to indulge in a little comfort food and not feel guilty about it. And while the turkey and mashed potatoes entree is always the main event, capping it with healthy appetizers and desserts can help keep your eating habits on track. Scroll to see three low-cal recipes you’ll definitely give thanks for.
Spiced Rum Cider Cocktail | Serves 6
- 18 oz apple juice
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 6 star anise pods
- 18 oz rum of your choice
- 6 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
- 12 oz bottle of sparking water
- apple slices, for garnish
In a small saucepan, simmer the apple juice, cinnamon sticks and star anise. When it barely comes to a boil, remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes, then chill overnight. When it’s time to serve, remove the cinnamon sticks and anise and set aside for garnish. In a cocktail shaker, shake the spiced apple juice, vodka, lemon and ice together (work in batches if you need to).
Pour into glasses, add a splash of sparking water, and garnish with apple slices, cinnamon sticks and star anise pods.
Baked Figs with Goat Cheese Appetizer | Makes 6 Servings
- 6 medium-sized figs
- 2.8 oz soft goat cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- 2 tbsp honey
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 390 °F. Cut off the stems and make an X cut in the top of each fig halfway through.
Stuff the figs with soft goat cheese. Sprinkle chopped walnuts and sage over your stuffed figs and drizzle them with honey. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Broil for about 5 minutes or until they look soft and release juice. Serve warm or cold.
Pumpkin Pudding | Serves 4
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 3/4 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Salt to taste
Prepare a baking sheet with foil and non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Mix 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium pan. Whisk the milk and egg in a small bowl, then gradually stir it into the sugar mixture. Bring to a boil, let cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, stirring well. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to milk and whisk. Place pan over low heat and cook for 3 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid bubbling. Divide mixture among four soufflé cups, then cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
Place remaining sugar, walnuts and a dash of salt on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 3 minutes. Once they’ve cooled, transfer the nuts to a cutting board and chop coarsely. Remove the pudding from the fridge, top with toasted walnuts and enjoy!