Dorothy's Thanksgiving: Recipe of the Week




It's November. Halloween has come and gone. The “busyness” of the holiday season has officially begun. Retail stores are boldly displaying Christmas decorations and Black Friday Deals; people have tagged their trees for pick-up in December; and everyone’s family calendars are sure to be overbooked with holiday social events, but FIRST … Thanksgiving! Personally, I love Thanksgiving --- not because I allow myself to indulge a little bit on my nutrition, but because it’s a time that I get to share with those I love the most, without any expectations. It's simply a time to just be truly THANKFUL. Who's excited? Anyone anxious about how they are going to avoid putting on the “Freshman 15” (or more!?!) over the next few months? We can all relate, right?!

Before I get to the food, here's some REAL tips to help you not only survive, but THRIVE through the holiday season:

1. Wake up and workout for at least 30 minutes a day. Do it. No excuses.
2. Eat breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. Might I recommend Shakeology®? Shameless plug.
3. Drink up before you eat up. Hydrate with H2O.
4. Fellowship first. Surround yourself with like-minded peeps.
5. Be "grateful" without a "plate full”. You receive more of what you give. Give generously of yourself.
6. Color is KING. Taste the rainbow.
7. Enjoy the rare stuff. It’s okay to indulge once in a while, but everything in moderation.
8. STOP when you're full. Eat slowly.
9. Plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
10. GIVE THANKS. Count your blessings. Each and every one of them.

I've selected some of my fave recipes to share with you for a somewhat healthier Thanksgiving feast! Let me know if you make any of them! I'd love to know! I personally do not care for pumpkin-flavored anything, so you will not see a pumpkin pie recipe from this girl. Sorry, not sorry. #fitfuel #payfitforwardwithBigD


Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad: {}

Crisp apples, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and hearty walnuts come together in a fresh Autumn salad.

Yield:  4 – 6 servings


6 c. salad (I used a combination of arugula and baby spinach, but any spring green mix will do)
1 red apple
1 green apple
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (such as Diamond of California)
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup dried cranberries

Dressing (*See Notes):
1 cup apple juice
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar in a pinch)
2 Tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup oil

Core and chop apples (thin slices or 1-inch chunks). Toss lettuce, apples, walnuts, feta, and cranberries together in a large bowl.

Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss with salad immediately before serving. Enjoy!

*I also love poppy seed dressing with this salad!

**Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger group.



Sweet Honey & Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins: {}

Yield:  12 muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
½ cup honey
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons Cholula Green Pepper Hot Sauce
1 (8.5-ounce) can cream-style corn

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease or line 12 muffin cups. In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to combine.

In the work bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add honey and eggs and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Stir in buttermilk, hot sauce, and corn. Pour or spoon ⅓ c. batter into each prepared muffin cup.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.



Quinoa Stuffing: {}

This simple stuffing is loaded with sweet apples and cranberries and topped with pine nuts. It tastes great warm or cold.

Yield:  16 servings, ⅔ cup each

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 4 cups)
2 medium green apples, with peel (about 2 cups)
4 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth
2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup pine nuts


Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add celery and apple; cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.

Add broth, quinoa, salt, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.

Add cranberries. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Add cilantro and pine nuts; fluff with fork and serve.



Scalloped Potato Flan with Gruyère and Garlic: {}

Thinly sliced potatoes are layered with garlic and Gruyère cheese, drenched in cream, then baked, overturned, and sliced for an elegant presentation that's perfect for special occasions and holiday dinners!

Yield:  8 – 10 servings

1 tablespoon butter, softened
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
3 eggs
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Prepare an 8- by 8- by 2-inch baking dish by greasing it with butter and lining it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in cream, kosher salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Lay the potatoes in overlapping rows until the bottom of the dish is completely covered. Sprinkle with a little bit of minced garlic and a handful of grated cheese. Repeat layers about halfway up the side of the dish. Pour half of the cream mixture over the potatoes, alternately lifting up the layers with a fork and then pressing down to ensure that the cream gets in between all of the layers. Repeat layering potatoes, garlic, and cheese until it's all used up and you reach the top of the dish. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the potatoes, once again lifting and pressing on the potato layers to make sure that there are not dry spots.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 ½ hours. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown and potatoes in the center of the dish are tender when pierced with a small knife.

Remove the flan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes before placing a platter over the top of the dish. Carefully overturn the flan onto the platter and slice into serving-sized portions. Serve warm.

Tips, Tricks, & Variations:
I cut the parchment paper to the width of the dish and then lay it so that it covers the bottom and goes up two sides. I make sure that the other two unlined sides are generously greased with butter, and I run a knife along their edges after the potatoes come out of the oven and again before overturning the dish, just to make sure there's no sticking where the parchment paper is missing.

If you use more than 3 pounds of potatoes, all of the ingredients will not fit in an 8- by 8-inch dish. If you use a larger dish, you may have to adjust the cooking time accordingly if your layer of potatoes ends up being thicker or thinner than usual.

Garlic is a prominent flavor in this dish, so feel free to cut back on the amount if you prefer.

If you use regular table salt or sea salt instead of kosher salt, reduce the amount of salt to about 2 ¼ teaspoons for an equivalent level of saltiness.

This recipe has never overflowed for me, but it does go all the way to the top, so use a baking sheet under your dish in the oven if you're concerned about potential spills.

You may slice this flan into wedges or squares. If you want to make this dish ahead of time, individual portions may be reheated in a 400° oven for 10 – 15 minutes.



Citrus-Herb Roasted Turkey: {}

 This roast turkey is basted in a delicious citrus, garlic, and herb marinade that makes it extra juicy and brings out its flavor.

 Yield:  12 servings (4 oz. each)


1 (12 lb.) fresh turkey (neck, heart, and gizzard removed)

5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons finely chopped lemon peel

2 Tablespoons finely chopped orange peel

½ cup low-sodium organic chicken broth

½ cup fresh orange juice

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tablespoon paprika

1½ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

1½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves

1½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450°. Position rack in the lower third of the oven.

Place oil, lemon peel, orange peel, broth, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Place turkey breast-side up on rack in roasting pan. Rub turkey with half of prepared dressing, including under the skin and inside the cavity. Reserve remaining dressing for basting.

Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until skin is golden brown. Remove turkey from oven and cover breast with aluminum foil.

Return turkey to oven. Reduce heat to 350°. Bake, brushing turkey with remaining dressing every hour, for an additional 2 to 2½ hours or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 165°.

Transfer turkey to a large serving platter and cover with foil. Let turkey stand for 10 minutes before carving.



Maple-Glazed Pears à la Mode: {}

To bypass the butter needed to cook the pears, use a two-step process of first broiling, then roasting the fruit to release its maximum flavor. A delicious combo of light sour cream and low-fat vanilla yogurt makes a great substitution for vanilla ice cream. Bosc or Bartlett pears work well in this recipe, but you can also substitute apples with equally delicious results.

Yield:  4 servings (4 Weight Watcher Points; Serving = 2 pear halves with 2 Tablespoons vanilla cream)

⅓ cup light sour cream
⅓ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
4 firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise in half
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup

To prepare the vanilla cream, spoon the sour cream and yogurt into a coffee filter or cheesecloth-lined strainer; set over a bowl and let stand 30 minutes. Discard the liquid.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Arrange the pears, cut-side down, in a 9-inch-square baking pan. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top. Broil the pears 6 inches from the heat until the pears begin to brown, 12 minutes.

Remove the pears from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.

Drizzle the maple syrup over the pears. Bake until the syrup is bubbly and the pears are tender, 20 minutes.

Spoon the vanilla cream into a bowl and stir until smooth.

Serve the pears warm, drizzled with any pan juices, with the vanilla cream.


Meet The Author

Contributing Writer

Dorothy is a #fitover40 mom who loves spending time with her hubs and Mini-me as much as possible! She also loves all things Tony Horton, weightlifting, and most recently, boxing! She has successfully completed 10 Beachbody programs and believes in the success of the products so strongly, she became a health and fitness life coach in February 2015 to help others on their journey. Dorothy is an exceptional #MOMpreneur, in that she owns a second business as well! Dorothy Buchanan Photography

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