Not known for being a skinny holiday, Thanksgiving can actually be a low carber’s most delicious holiday. The protein-rich turkey entrée boasts nearly zero carbs while winter squash and green vegetables pack a few (flavorful) carbs. Here are three delectable low-carb Thanksgiving recipes that will keep you from missing the high-carb stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Start your low carb Turkey Day feast with a warm, wonderful bowl of creamy pumpkin soup. Teeming with antioxidants and loaded with fiber, one serving comes in at around 9 grams of carbs.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch of cayenne
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 3/4 cups cooked mashed pumpkin or 1, 15-ounce, can pure pumpkin
- 1 cup half and half
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Crème fraiche
- Finely chopped cilantro
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and pepper and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and softened. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add broth and pumpkin, stirring well to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully purée in a blender, in batches if necessary.
- Return soup to pot over medium-low heat. Stir in half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Heat through, but do not let soup come to boil. Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro.
Roasted Asparagus Prosciutto Wraps
Roasted asparagus, cheese, and prosciutto are a medley of tastes and textures that boast a mere 1 gram of carbs per serving. Serve this as a stunning low carb starter or surprising Thanksgiving side dish.
- 24 baby asparagus spears, stem ends trimmed
- Olive oil
- 2-ounces softened goat cheese
- 2 1/2-ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spray or brush with olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Cut prosciutto into 12 evenly-sized pieces. Spread each with cheese. Place 2 stalks of asparagus on each piece of prosciutto and wrap prosciutto tightly around spears.
- Set asparagus wraps on baking sheet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm.
Thanksgiving Cornish Game Hens
An alternative to a giant bird, Cornish game hens give Thanksgiving guests their own protein-packed personal holiday meal. A flavorful layer of butter, herbs, and citrus rubbed under the skin makes this holiday entrée a tasty celebration to sink your teeth into.
- 6 small Cornish game hens, rinsed, patted dry, excess fat trimmed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 oranges, cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and season hens inside and out with salt and pepper. Turn hens breast side up and use your fingers to loosen the skin from the flesh, careful not to tear it.
- In a small bowl, mix together sage, parsley, thyme, orange zest, and butter. Rub herb butter underneath the skin of each hen. Pat skin down against flesh. Stuff each hen with orange slices.
- Place hens on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 25 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F and roast an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until the hen’s juices run clear when pierced with a knife. If desired, deglaze the pan juices and serve with the hens.