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  • Monet

Healthy Soul Food Alternatives (Recipes Included)

So, the holidays are coming up! What does that mean? More food, of course. Traditional meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, Kwanzaa, and other holidays can be very fattening. It can be fattening based on the way you cook it. If you use a lot of butter, fat, or meat based broth, it can lead to high cholesterol and weight gain. When you cook all these meals with those products, it takes the nutritional value out of meals. If you have made a promise to yourself to do better and want to stick to a healthy meal plan, I have some exciting healthy recipes to share with you. With these recipes, you and your family can enjoy a nice healthy holiday dinner. Keep reading for more recipes and how to prepare each meal.

Adding herbs and spices is a great way to have a burst of healthy flavor. There is valuable nutrition and health enhancers in doing so as well. Garlic has been noted to lower cholesterol levels. Thyme contains vitamin K which has been noted to maintain bone strength. Sage is delicious on poultry and is noted for helping to keep the mind finely tuned. Traditionally Butter is all the rage when roasting a turkey. Butter is divinely full of fat. Try replacing butter with olive oil for a low fat healthier option. Try this simple but very tasty roast turkey recipe:

1. Herb Roasted Turkey

1 (12- to 16-pound) fresh turkey

1 cup water

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 chopped large yellow onion 1 chopped large carrot 1 chopped large celery stalk 2 minced garlic cloves 7 chopped fresh sage leaves 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

To Prepare and Roast

Step 1

Combine yellow onion chopped large carrot chopped celery minced garlic cloves sage leaves thyme leaves and black pepper. Mix together in a bowl and set aside.

Step 2

Place a rack on second-lowest level in oven; preheat oven to 500°. Prepare a large roasting pan by setting a rack in the pan.

Step 3

Put 1/2 cup of the vegetable,herb and spice mix inside neck cavity and 1/2 cup inside chest cavity of the turkey. Place the remaining vegetables on the bottom of pan, and add the cup of water. Tie the ends of the turkey legs with twine. Place the tip of the wings up and over back and tuck under the turkey. Use a baking brush to turkey to put olive oil over the turkey. Place turkey, breast side down, on roasting rack. Roast 30 minutes at 550 degrees. Lower oven temperature to 350°. Baste turkey with the juices created in pan while roasting. Roast for 30 minutes additional minutes.

Step 4

Remove turkey from oven. Protect your hands and use caution to turn the turkey breast side up. Baste with pan juices and return to oven. If the breast seems to be browning to fast by appearing dark, cover the turkey with with foil. Roast 45 minutes longer. Baste with pan juices once again. The turkey is ready when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the turkey at the thickest part of the thigh clear from the bone and 165°F is achieved.

Step 5

Drain the juices from the turkey cavity into the pan. Place the turkey to a carving board, and cover loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for 30-40 minutes before carving. Carve, Serve and enjoy!

2. Sweet Potatoes

Keep it simple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pick small serving size potatoes. Scrub the potatoes being careful not to bruise the potatoes. With a fork poke several holes all around the potatoes and wrap the potatoes in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve individually or cut the potatoes open scoop out the cooked potatoes and mash in a bowl.

In keeping with a healthy option, omit the butter and replace with a scoop of Greek yogurt a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of Cloves and Nutmeg for individual servings.

If mashing add the fire mentioned, a splash of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of honey.

Blend well, serve and enjoy.

3. Collard Greens


smoked turkey wings (optional)

4 cups of water

2 Vegetable Bullion Cubes

2 teaspoons Marjoram

1 small white onion chopped

2 garlic cloves , minced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 bunches of collard greens

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

5 yellow chili peppers

3 tablespoons chili pepper vinegar

3 tablespoons baking soda.


1. Soak collard greens in the sink or large bowl in cold water and baking soda for 15 minutes. Rinse collard greens in the sink under running cold water.

2. Shake access water from the leaves. Separate greens from the stem.

3. Place collard green leaves in a stack.

4. Roll the leaves together and cut into 1 inch pieces.

5. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Sauteé the onion and garlic until soft.

6. Add the collard greens to the onions and garlic and sauteé stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes.

7. Add the water, Marjoram and Vegetable Bouillon . Bring to a boil constantly stirring until the bullion cubes have dissolved. Reduce heat to a simmer.

8. Add the smoked turkey wings. Cover with a lid and continue to simmer for 1 hour.

9. Check the water level. Add the chili peppers and chili pepper vinegar. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes until the greens are tender.

10. Once greens are tender, add salt and pepper to taste.

Tip* If the greens taste bitter add just a "pinch" of sugar.

Monet – “My name is Monet. It is said the same way as singer Janelle (Monae)! Friends and family call me Naisy (neigh•zee). Writing has always been my passion. My other hobbies are playing piano, cooking, working out (Pilates and tae Kwan do), reading and beauty/skin care”

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