Create a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with this All Decked Out Thanksgiving Stuffing. Key ingredients include celery, fennel bulb, Jonagold apples, sausage, dried cranberries and toasted pistachios.
Thanksgiving is coming. That is obvious. It is probably also obvious that Thanksgiving is one of the biggest meals of the year. Most Calories consumed, tons of carbohydrates and sugary foods and yet fat and protein seem to make their way into Thanksgiving just as well. It’s just a well known fact that we eat a lot at Thanksgiving. And for most of us in America we are likely to even eat more than one Thanksgiving meal. Because you know, there are your parents, your in-laws, friends, work parties…the list can really just keep going. It’s no wonder our pants feel a little snug by the end of it all.
Well you may be thinking then why did I publish a post on decked out Thanksgiving stuffing?!? As much as I am pondering that myself right now, I have to regroup and think about the bottom line…Thanksgiving stuffing when done right is my favorite part of the whole meal. And it can’t just be any Thanksgiving stuffing out of a box cuz that just ain’t right. I am talking homemade delicious and moist Decked Out Thanksgiving Stuffing that is created with whole ingredients. You just cannot beat that. This. This Decked Out Thanksgiving Stuffing is my reason for loving Thanksgiving Day. Haha! Okay that’s stretching it, like a lot but you know what I mean.
Those👆🏻 combined with a few more delicious whole ingredients becomes this👇🏻, along with the best aroma your kitchen has encountered in well, let’s just say awhiiiile.
What I want to explore today with you is how to walk away from your Thanksgiving dinner(s) feeling like you didn’t just eat 2000 Calories and instead you dished out reasonable portion sizes according to your own body’s needs. And because I feel like lists are very helpful in remembering things, that is what I have created for you… so keep on reading!
How to Avoid Extra Calories on Thanksgiving:
- Eat only “ONE THANKSGIVING DINNER.” Okay so let me explain. If you are planning on going to your parents’ house, in-law’s, friend’s house, plus let’s say there is a work thing where everyone contributes a dish for a Thanksgiving work dinner then that means you have 4 meals where instead of your usual 500ish Calorie meal you could be consuming over 1000(honestly just a guess) Calories! That being said, choose one meal you would consider your Thanksgiving dinner.
- Your plate should not look like Mount Everest. In fact, don’t let any of your food touch each other. I don’t care if it bothers you or not, less food touching means that you have less food on your plate therefore less Calories consumed.
- Eat what your body needs first. Now here is where I may get some eye rolling but I am trying to provide you with real life tips on how to avoid extra Calories on Thanksgiving and not how to eat more without gaining weight. I want you to divide your plate in half. One side is for only carbohydrate foods like mashed potatoes, stuffing, extra stuffing, cranberry salad, etc. The other side is for protein and vegetable items like the turkey, ham, green beans, brussels sprouts, etc. Now that your plate is sorted out I want you to eat your dinner from the protein and vegetable side first followed by the carbohydrate side because your body needs those much more than all those extra carbs. By the time you get to the carbohydrate side, you can decide how much of those items you need. Seem silly? Probably so. But we eat with our eyes first so why not give our bodies what it needs first and what it wants next and maybe we won’t want as much as we thought…just maybe.
- Eat one dessert and not two or three. This one should be simple enough to understand. I could say just don’t eat dessert but you gotta have a little fun on Thanksgiving. So pick a dessert, eat it, enjoy it, and move on. Don’t be sorry, feel guilty, and then feel so bad that you figure heck I ruined the day I might as well eat another dessert since I failed and couldn’t tell myself no. That is just stinkin thinkin. Eat dessert, but eat one piece that isn’t the size of New York and be done with it.
- Keep your hand out of the M&M jar. You heard me, those M&Ms or mini peanut butter cups or whatever they are that are in your mom’s candy bowl which is sitting discreetly on the end table by the TV you are watching on Thanksgiving is quite attractive. I mean you are gearing up for Thanksgiving dinner which means you probably didn’t eat breakfast and are quote starving, so why not eat out of the M&M jar? Well unless you have the greatest will power of any human and will take one and walk away, just don’t do it. It’s for your own good, my friend. If you want to sneak a piece of something, sneak a piece of turkey like you’re the dad on A Christmas Story. You will be better off, because you’re not likely to crave 25 more pieces of turkey in the next five minutes.
That’s my list. Don’t forget it!! Your pants will thank you.
Now, on a lighter note…here is my kinda food lovin shot! 👇🏻 😍
Seriously, who needs anything else when a deep covered baker of this All Decked Out Stuffing is on the table?!? It’s amaaazing. Who has will power now?? I surrender. Hahahaha! Just kidding. I like this stuffing. Like a lot, but no food is worth losing yourself over. Just get control, do one of those bobble head thingy’s and say I can do this! Did I lose you? What I mean is enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving foods in a reasonable manner and show those pants who is in charge!! After all, no one wants to do 1000 extra sit-ups, jumping jacks, and lunges the day after Thanksgiving!
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 10 cups coarsely torn bread, I used Orowheat Country Potato
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup pistachios
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, divided
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Jonagold apple, diced
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- Pinch Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 3 quart baking dish with olive oil spray or non-stick cooking spray.
- Place torn bread in a large bowl and set aside.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toast pistachios for 8-10 minutes. Shake pan halfway through. Once cool, chop and toss into the bowl with bread. Toss dried cranberries in at this time too.
- In a large skillet, cook sausage for 8-10 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to the bowl of bread with a slotted spoon.
- In the same skillet, add the chopped onion, apple, celery, and fennel. Sprinkle in the pinch of salt and black pepper. Stirring often, cook ingredients until onion is nice and soft which will take about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl with the bread.
- With heat on medium, pour in the apple cider vinegar. Scrape up browned sausage bits and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add ½ cup butter, stirring constantly. Once butter has just melted pour over bread mixture. Mix bowl contents well with a large wooden spoon. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and chicken stock. Pour eggs over the bread mixture evenly in attempt to saturate all of the bread. Stir up ingredients in baking dish a few times.
- With the remaining ¼ cup melted butter, dot the top of mixture.
- Cover baking dish with a greased piece of foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover baking dish, increase oven temperature to 450 and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Keep and eye on it at this point and if it seems to be getting too brown on top, decrease oven temp to 400℉ and place foil back over dish.
- Let sit for 10 minutes prior to serving.
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