FitMenCooks Lean Body Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving2013-header
Ok, it’s that time of year again.  The time when you sit down with friends and family and share delicious mounds of mouthwatering food with one another, watch or play some football and sleep for hours on end. Oh yes, it is Thanksgiving.  And while the turkey, ham and even chicken provide healthy protein to build muscle, it’s usually the many side dishes at the Thanksgiving feast that get us sidetracked from our goals.  Admittedly, no one understands this more than me! So, here are 5 easy side dishes that you can make to help you have the Bulks-giving of your “muscle-head” dreams.

hearty-cornbread

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Nothing tops off a nice meal quite like warm, homemade cornbread. And it’s so easy to load up on this delicious bread at Thanksgiving. No worries this year if you do! Try this cornbread recipe that will satisfy your muscles and your appetite.

Ingredients – Makes 10 cornbread muffins:

nutrional-facts-hearty-cornbread• 1.5 scoop Labrada LeanPro 8 protein
• 1 cup cornmeal
• 1/2 cup corn flour (or oat flour, created by blending oatmeal)
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 egg
• 1 cup Greek yogurt
• 2 tbsp organic, raw honey
• 1/2 cup corn (drained, not creamed)
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp pepitas (raw, unsalted, or you can add your favorite seasonal nut)**
• dried cranberries (for topping)**

** denotes optional ingredients

 

Steps:

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1. Set oven to 350F degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix all your dry ingredients together first. Mix together with a fork. I recommend using a sifter when adding protein powder, corn meal and corn flour to the bowl in order to re-move all lumps.
3. In another bowl, mix together egg and Greek yogurt with a hand mixer until it is a smooth con-sistency.
4. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with the hand mixer.
5. Add honey and corn to the mixture. Blend with the hand mixer. Toss in pepitas and mix together until smooth.
6. Spray your muffin pan with a little nonstick cooking spray. Pour your cornmeal mixture into the pan. You can add a few dried cranberries to the top of the cornbread for added flavor.
7. Bake in the oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick that you stick in the center of it comes out clean.
8. Let these cool just a bit before serving but these are BEST served hot and fresh out of the oven.

 

ezekiel-bread-stuffing

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Nothing rounds out a nice Thanksgiving feast quite like stuffing. There are several ways to make stuffing and one of the best things about this dish is that you can easily put your own “spin” on it to keep your guests guessing at the ingredients and asking for the recipe. Here is an easy “base” stuffing using Ezekiel bread which is packed with nuts and seeds to increase protein and add extra flavor and texture. If you cannot access Ezekiel bread, try whole grain and/or seeded bread.

Ingredients – Makes 4 to 6 servings:
nutrional-facts-ezekiel-bread

• 8 slices toasted Ezekiel bread (if you want increase slight sweetness of stuffing, try
Ezekiel raisin bread)
• 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
• 2/3 shallot (chopped)
• 1 tbsp minced garlic
• 2 celery stalks (chopped)
• 1 (red) bell pepper (chopped)
• fresh rosemary twig
• Seasonings: 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp cumin, sea salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

1. Set oven to 375F.
2. Lightly toast pieces of Ezekiel bread and then cut into small cubes. Place in a large bowl or baking dish.
3. Place a nonstick skillet on medium heat and lightly spray with olive oil.
4. Add garlic and shallots to the skillet and cook until brown.
5. Cut celery and bell pepper into small pieces and add to the skillet.
6. Reduce the heat of the skillet to low-medium and pour 1 cup of chicken broth to the mixture and stir.
7. Add seasonings to the skillet and your rosemary twig. Cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
8. Remove the rosemary twig and then pour the broth and veggies over the bread cubes. Stir with a large spoon or spatula. Add remaining cup of chicken broth and continue to stir until the bread has absorbed the broth. If your stuffing is a little dry after adding the chicken broth, add tablespoons of chicken broth until it is moist.
9. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove and then stir with a spoon again. If you see the stuffing is a little dry, add a few more tablespoons of chicken broth and place back in the oven and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes.

 

grilled-asparagus

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Ok, there’s gotta be at least one thing that is green on your plate this Thanksgiving so why not make it a power food like asparagus? Plus, chances are you probably eat this anyway every week so why break a good thing? Here’s a simple twist on it that you and your guests should love this year. And it is quick and easy so you can make it right before you serve the feast.

Ingredients – Makes 2 – 3 servings:

nutrional-facts-grilled-asparagus• 1 bundle thick asparagus spears (about 12)
• 1/4 cup panko crumbs
• 1/8 cup almonds
• 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
• Seasonings: pinch of sea salt, pepper to taste
• 2 tbsp reduced fat parmesan**

** denotes optional ingredients

Steps:

1. Remove the ends/stems from asparagus.
2. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Lightly spray with olive or coconut oil. Add minced garlic.
3. When the pan is hot, add the asparagus. Sear the asparagus on all sides moving the skillet back/forth across the heat.
4. After the asparagus sears for about 3 minutes, add in the panko crumbs. Move the skillet around so the spears become coated in panko crumbs and allow the panko to brown.
5. After about 2-3 minutes or when the panko becomes dark, remove from the skillet and place on a plate.
6. Sprinkle with almonds and parmesan cheese (if desired). Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately while hot.

 

honeyed-pecan

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Being from Texas, there’s no other food I look for on Thanksgiving Day than sweet potato cas-serole. You’d think I’d be tired of sweet potatoes since I eat so many throughout the week; but, that is not the case! Sweet potatoes are a great complex carb source and provide great fuel for workouts. And this recipe…well, it’s not for “low-carbers.” Here’s a quick take on a Thanksgiv-ing Day southern staple.

Ingredients – Makes about 5 to 6 servings:

nutrional-facts-honeyed-pecan• ~1100g sweet potatoes (3 to 4 large sweet potatoes)
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup Almond milk
• 2 tbsp raw honey
• 3/4 cup chopped pecans
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 tbsp coconut oil**
• 1 tbsp nutmeg**

** denotes optional ingredients

Steps:

1. Set oven to 350F.
2. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Immediately re-move from the oven so not to burn.
3. To save time peeling potatoes, steam sweet potatoes until they soft. When they are finished, let them cool a bit and then easily remove the skin and strain the sweet potatoes.
4. In a bowl, begin to mash the sweet potatoes with a masher, fork or hand blender.
5. Add egg, almond milk, coconut oil, 1 tbsp honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1/2 of the pecans. Mix with a hand blender until smooth. For best results, beat the egg before adding to the sweet potato.
6. Pour the mixture in a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top and then drizzle the rest of the honey over the pecans.
7. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

 

stuffed-baked

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Stuffed Baked Apples with Vanilla Greek Yogurt

If you’re like me, cakes and pies are your downfall. Just one bite of cake “unleashes the beast” that you rarely like to uncover, especially in front of guests and “fit friends.” But, just because you will not indulge in cakes this year does not mean you still cannot enjoy an amazing dessert to satisfy that sweet tooth. Try this easy recipe of stuffed baked apples. Trust it looks much more complicated than it really is. Guaranteed delicious.

Ingredients – Makes 5 stuffed apples:

nutrional-facts-stuffed-baked-apples• 5 gala apples
• 2/3 cup instant oats (I used instant toasted oats)
• 1/8 cup dried blueberry (or naturally dried fruit of your choice)
• 1/2 cup raw walnut halves
• 2 tbsp Kelapo coconut oil
• 1/8 cup raw, organic honey
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• lemon wedge (NOT for the recipe)

Steps:

1. Set oven to 375F.
2. Core your apples by using a corer or grapefruit knife. Then take a grapefruit knife or pairing knife and make a larger hole by carving out the sides. Do not go all the way through the ap-ple.
3. Rub the lemon wedge along the insides of the apples to keep them from browning.
4. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly together using a spatula. Ensure there is no dry oatmeal. If the oatmeal is still dry, add 1 tsp coconut oil.
5. Spoon the contents of the bowl into the hallowed out apples. Pack it in tight and then stack on top of the apple.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top has browned.

 

Thanksgiving2013-DownloadAbout the Author

photo 1 (1)Kevin is a fitness enthusiast out of Dallas, TX. When he saw himself in his friend’s Facebook photo he knew it was time to make a change. He was overweight, felt sluggish and had steadily rising blood pressure. So, he did what many people try to do – he started exercising to try to “out train” a poor diet. He quickly learned through periods of weight cycling that if he was going to accomplish his fitness goals, it would have to be through a steady, healthy diet, complemented by hard work in the gym.

He started studying nutrition and got started cooking! In 2012 Kevin started a small blog to share his meals online in order to build a community around healthy food ideas.

The blog was called Fit Men Cook and it had a simple message and belief system – “Our bodies are built in the kitchen, Sculpted in the gym.”

Kevin firmly believes that healthier food options do not have to be boring. Ever. In fact, they are pretty tasty!

Fit (Wo)Men Cook is the “fit” story of all of us. It is taking your individual success stories and things (in nutrition & fitness) that have worked for you, and sharing those ideas with the masses so we can all grow, improve together. Just everyday people – no matter the fitness level or athletic ability – aiming to live the best life possible through fitness and healthy eating. Are you a Fit (Wo)Men Cook?

You can find Kevin and follow the Fit Men Cook movement online at:

 

 

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