Thursday, November 26, 2015

A mini Thanksgiving meal!


A Thanksgiving meal that didn't bust the diet and yet was very satisfying? That was my objective for this effort. I decided on five ingredients for this meal; turkey, mashed potatoes, a slice of white bread, brown gravy, rice and cranberry sauce!

 Turkey, sliced

For the meat portion, I elected to purchase a package of pre-cooked Kentucky Legend sliced turkey! While it was a little on the pricey side, I knew I would use every bit of it up in sandwiches, later on.

Homemade mashed potatoes

My objective for making mashed potatoes was to see if a viable portion could be made from just one medium sized Russet. That in mind, I peeled the potato, cut it into equal chunks and simmered it in salted water for about 20 minutes. 

Lacking a legitimate potato masher, I used a potato ricer, reasoning it would make a decent substitute. And, amazingly, it did a stellar job! I then took a fork and mixed in about a tablespoon of melted butter and two tablespoons of shredded cheese. This was nuked in the microwave to melt it and voila! I was ready to eat it. The calories here for half a cup was about 95 with the butter and cheese! Next, I needed to make some gravy along with a side dish of 'Rice A Roni'!

White bread

When I was just knee high to a grasshopper, I can remember my grandfather tearing up a piece of bread and the ladling brown gravy over the top. If you've never tried this before, please do at least once in your lifetime.

Brown gravy

Making gravy from a mix is so simple even a person like myself can do it in a snap! Four tablespoons poured over the potatoes, bread and turkey equaled about 90 calories.

Rice A Roni

I had a small package of Rice A Roni that had been sitting in my cupboard for some time and decided that it might make a nice addition. This particular package advertised itself as being chicken flavored. I thought that would go nicely with the overall theme of the meal. 

For this prep, you need a large skillet mainly because your going to saute the vermicelli to a golden brown before adding in 2 1/2 cups of water and their 'special' seasoning mix. You briefly bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook it for about 15 to 20 minutes. A half cup will yield about 95 calories.

Cranberry sauce

What kind of Thanksgiving meal would it be if it lacked some cranberry sauce as a tart and tangy counterpoint to the entire offering? I prefer the canned jellied variety and if you find you have a hard time getting it out of the can, try this simple procedure. Remove the lid and then make a small puncture hole in the other end. Enlarge the hole with scissors and while holding the can over the plate, blow with your mouth into the hole while gently squeezing the can. Works like a charm. Note that each 1/2 inch slice will hit you with about 86 calories.

That was it! The whole deal came in at just over 530 calories, and so, was quite diet friendly as well as being very tasty! Note that I did not have any stuffing, as that ingredient literally does bulk up the caloric content very fast!

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