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5 ways to cut cost & calories from your Holiday dinner

20 November 2009 18,187 views 5 Comments

turkey carve

5 ways to cut cost and calories from your holiday dinner

As we all know the holidays are typically a time  of cheer, community and food.  But this year may be a little different due to the economical issues hitting so many households these days.  Please remember, different does not have to imply “bad”.  It is my opinion that a fantastic holiday dinner doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  I know, you’re thinking I am going to suggest cutting corners on quality right? Well, you’re wrong.  Check out these five simple ways to save money and calories on your holiday dinner.
  1. turnipMake “turn-atoes”. Turnips are very inexpensive and add a fantastic peppery flavor to classic mashed potatoes.   Turnips help curb free radicals by  supplying high quantities of Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid and magnesium.  Russet potatoes work best for this “turnatoe” combination;  simply use one  medium turnip for every large Russet potato.  Turnips are high in water content so you can leave out the cream which eliminates even more cost and calories.
  2. Change up the veggies. We usually see the same vegetables at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner;  peas, corn, green beans and some form of sweet potato and marshmallow surprise.  Look at the produce section of your local store and get creative based on the price per pound.  Zucchini is very affordable this time of year, so are green beans, and broccoli and a whole butternut squash can easily replace 3-4 sweet potatoes and eliminate the need to buy marshmallows.  Canned vegetables are usually most affordable but they are tasteless and nutritionally  lifeless so if you do veer away from fresh vegetables the next best choice nutritionally is frozen.
  3. breadSkip the dinner rolls. Rolls can be pricey and are usually made from processed ingredients.  Consider buying a hearty loaf of multi-grain bread from a local bakery.   You can heat up some of the slices for the Thanksgiving bread basket and have plenty left for your  Turkey sandwiches the next day.
  4. apple sauceGo crustless. Making pies may be tradition but the ingredients for a pie crust are expensive.  Plus, 90 percent of pre-made pie crusts available are loaded with saturated fat and hydrogenated oils.  Consider giving tradition a new look.  Make the filling for your favorite apple pie but cook it over a slow simmer to create homemade apple sauce instead.  Serve it warm with vanilla frozen yogurt and no body will miss the crust.  You can do the same thing  with the filling for a chocolate cream, lemon meringue or butterscotch cream pie;  just make the filling and serve it a clear glass bowl with a dollop of homemade whip cream or meringue.
  5. Keep the carcass. After cleaning off all the turkey meat, place the bones in a large pot, cover with water, add salt, pepper, a bay leaf, thyme and the classic Mirepoix of  diced onion, carrot and celery.  After a few hours, strain everything over a large bowl and you have a fantastic, low sodium broth to use as a base for soup or for cooking rice.


  • Hotjoint said:

    I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How do you do this?

  • Amanda Powers L.M.T., N.C. said:

    Dear “HotJoint”,

    Thank you for inquiring.

    I write all of the articles on this site and often find myself adding information after I view them “live” for a while. I hope this hasn’t caused you any confusion toward the integrity of the information. My goal is to make each posting read well while providing valuable information.

    Thank you for viewing changingbadhabits.com enough times to notice changes in the articles.


  • Johnsn said:

    Do you have a copy writer for such good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! 🙂

  • Amanda Powers L.M.T., N.C. said:

    Dear Johnsn,

    Thank you for the kind comment.
    No, I do not have a copy writer. I write all of the articles on this Blog myself.

    Thank you again for checking out changingbadhabits.com

  • slimberryblog.com said:

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    an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

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