So, the holidays are approaching, traditionally one of the hardest times of the year to stick to my commitments to my low carb lifestyle. Oh weakness...all those holiday treats and goodies...these couple of months seem absolutely wrapped around food! I try to remember what it's really about, though, family and friends...the warmth and appreciation of the holiday spirit. To make it through, I make sure I have plenty of things that I CAN eat around, things that I like and consider special. I often bring my own treats to parties and get togethers...to make sure that there's something around that I can treat myself to, and to share with others (nothing like a really great tasting low carb treat to bring my friends and family around to my side of the nutrition table!)
So first we face thanksgiving. Traditionally not too bad, but then you come to the mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, breads, rolls, stuffing and pumpkin pie! Well, I've got some tricks up my sleeves to get us all through it, and I'm sharing a couple of my secret weapons!
Turkey, a perfectly fine no-carb protein, but my favorite recipe was a basting sauce that included apricot or peach preserves and Kahlua. Yes, the sugary liqueur. Trust me, this was so delicious, and it made the gravy unbelievable. Okay, so not so hard to replicate...try this basted on your turkey this year and you'll never go back! (If you're not sure you want to commit to experimenting for the 'big dinner', try it basting a roasted chicken and cutting the recipe in half or a quarter)
Bridget's Favorite Poultry Baste
Whip up in the blender:
1 cup (4 sticks) melted butter
1/2 cup sugar free apricot or peach preserves (preferably no maltitol, I like the new Polaner Sugar Free with Fiber, or Walden Farms)
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/4 cup DaVinci's Kahlua flavored syrup* (available at Netrition.com and CarbSmart)
*Alternatively you can use 1/4 cup chocolate syrup, like Hershey's or Walden Farms and and extra tablespoon of instant coffee
That said, another one of my favorites at Tgiving is stuffing...carby stuff for sure, but I've done it a couple of years in a row for clients the low carb way. The key is to make a stuffing that starts with some low carb bread crumbs (toast your favorite low carb slices, then tear or cut it up into cubes, (I like King Sooper's Carb Helper or Orowheat Light 100% Whole Wheat), chicken broth, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper...and then add a 'kitchen sink' full of good low carb stuff to fill it out. If you use some bastings from your turkey instead of standard chicken broth it'll be even better. Here are some of my favorite things to 'fill out' the stuffing: Sauteed mushrooms (the wilder, the better), artichoke hearts, sliced/chopped olives, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, diced chayote, onions, leeks...you get the idea...you could even do some diced zucchini or chopped cauliflower in there. This is really too good to save just for thanksgiving...bake some up and freeze it for whenever!
Next post: solving the potato dilemma.