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Style Magazine

Thanksgiving Superfoods

Nov 01, 2010 10:55AM ● By Style

Thanksgiving has long been a traditional American meal of super-sized proportions.

And while it is accepted as a day to celebrate abundance and indulge in excess, you don’t have to. And if you do, many traditional ingredients (and a few new menu items with unique twists) offer a variety of benefits to health and body. This year, before the family gathers around the dinner table, consider the nutrition that’s naturally packed into the menu, and how you can maximize it…with Thanksgiving "superfoods."


Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as alpha-hydroxy acids, which reduce signs of aging in skin.

Pumpkin also helps promote eye health and guard against macular degeneration with its lutein and zeaxanthin content.

The gourd is loaded with essential fatty acids, which maintain healthy blood vessels and nerves, and provide proper lubrication for tissues,
including the skin.

Pumpkin seeds contain protein and energy-boosting properties to ensure you last through the game of Thanksgiving backyard football.


  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour                        
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder                             
  • 2 tsp. baking soda                                 
  • 1 tsp. salt                                             
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon                                  
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg                                  
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar                            
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute                       
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk                            
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup  water
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (toast for about 4 minutes in 375° oven)
  • 1 small fresh pumpkin – roasted and puréed to measure 15-ounces.

Cut small pumpkin in half, clean pumpkin and lie face down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake this at 350° for about 1 hour. Let cool then scoop out the flesh. Place in food processor to purée. Set aside.

Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through allspice) in a bowl. Mix together.

Place sugar, egg substitute, oil, buttermilk and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add 2/3 cup water and pumpkin purée, beating at low speed until blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Pour batter into 2 loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle pecans evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until done. Cool 10 minutes and then remove from pans. Serves 11-12 per loaf.

Recipe courtesy of Francie Cruz at Bocca Catering in Folsom.


Without its skin, the prominent holiday bird is
naturally low in fat and rich in protein.

It also provides an abundance of folic acid, and is a good source of vitamin B, zinc and potassium, which have been found to keep cholesterol down, protect against birth defects, cancer, heart disease, aid in nerve function and growth, boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure and assist in
healing processes.

Brine for Turkey

  • 6 cups kosher salt
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 16 each bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup pickling spice
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 1/2 gallons ice water

Bring the salt, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, pickling spice and the 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and add to the ice water, mixing well.

To brine turkey: Rinse the bird with cold water, removing any necks, gizzards, etc. (reserve for stock and gravy). Place the turkey in a bucket or deep container and cover with enough of the cooled brine to cover. You can also sanitize a small ice chest and place the bird directly in or in a heavy-duty clear garbage bag and surround with the brine. Add ice as needed to keep below 40 degrees.
Brine the turkey under refrigeration overnight or at least 8 hours. Remove from the brine before roasting, discarding the used brine.

Yields 2 1/2 gallons. Serves 40. Makes enough brine to cover a 12-16 pound bird.

Note: The brine can be made a full week ahead, if desired. After brining, the turkey should be cooked within 24 hours.

Recipe courtesy of Beth Sogaard from Beth Sogaard Catering in Plymouth.

 dark chocolate

New research has shown that dark chocolate is chock-full of antioxidants and can aid in lowering blood pressure.

It’s recommended to select dark chocolate with 60 percent or higher cocoa content;
the darker, the better…for you!


Renowned for its concentration of vitamin C, sweet and juicy oranges have been found to lower cholesterol, aid in preventing genetic disorders, and contribute to a reduced risk of colon cancer and many other cancers.

The nutritional makeup of oranges helps maintain blood pressure and promotes proper brain development. Valrhona Chocolate Sorbet

  • 6 ounces valrhona bittersweet chocolate, or other high quality chocolate
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. raspberry wine, port or black Muscat wine
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries to serve

Chop the chocolate into medium chunks. Place in the work bowl of a food processor and process until fine.

Add the sugar and pulse. With the machine running, pour in about one cup of the boiling water. Process about 10 seconds more.

Transfer the mixture to a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add in the vanilla extract and the raspberry wine (port or black muscat wine).

Let cool and refrigerate until cold, about one hour. Freeze in an ice cream freezer, according to manufacturer’s instructions until almost firm. Transfer to a container and freeze for at least an hour, preferably 6 to 8 hours. Serve with fresh raspberries and a smile! Yields 3 cups. Serves 6.

Recipe courtesy of Beth Sogaard from Beth Sogaard Catering in Plymouth.


Renowned for its concentration of vitamin C, sweet and juicy oranges have been found to lower cholesterol, aid in preventing genetic disorders, and contribute to a reduced risk of colon cancer and many other cancers.

The nutritional makeup of oranges helps maintain blood pressure and promotes proper brain development.

Tartelette de Betteraves Rôties et Chèvre   

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Tart with Oranges (Serves 6)

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 pound roasted red beets
  • 1 pound roasted golden beets
  • 2 oranges, supreme
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • Juice from oranges
  • Mâche greens
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Nutmeg (to dust)

Preheat oven to 400°. Using a biscuit cutter, cut 4- to 6-inch rounds out of the puff pastry. Poke holes in the pastry with a fork as you would pie dough. Beat together egg and milk to make an egg wash. Place puff pastry rounds on a sheet pan and brush with egg wash. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes; remove from oven and cool.

Rub beets with olive oil and bake at 350° for an hour or until there is firm resistance when a toothpick is inserted. Remove beets from oven and let cool. Peel off the skin by rubbing the beets with a towel, then place in the fridge to cool.

Zest oranges and reserve. Supreme the oranges (for directions on how, visit and set segments aside. Squeeze the remaining juice from orange rinds for your vinaigrette. Combine zest, juice, vinegar and oil. Season to taste. Build tart by spreading a layer of goat cheese on puff pastry. Layer the beets next, alternating colors, then the oranges, and lightly dust with nutmeg. Toss the mâche greens with the vinaigrette and place a small amount on the top of tart.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Shane at La Provence Restaurant & Terrace in Roseville.

sweet potatoes

Offering a variety of health benefits, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

They also offer healing properties as an antioxidant food that works in the body to eliminate free radicals, the chemicals that damage cells and cell membranes, and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease and colon cancer.

Since these nutrients are also anti-inflammatory, they can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Potage de Patate Douce et Poire Façon Larry

Larry’s Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled, diced
  • 2 pears, cored then diced
  • 32 ounces chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cloves, ground
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch allspice, ground
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Nutmeg (to garnish)

In a heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high, heat the oil until you see the first whisp of smoke rise, then add the onion and garlic. Turn heat to medium and continue to cook until the onion is slightly brown.

Add the potatoes and pears. Cook until the pears begin to break down. Add all your spices and toast for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the chicken stock; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Purée using an immersion blender or a traditional blender in batches; strain through a soup strainer and adjust seasoning. Serves 6.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Shane at La Provence Restaurant & Terrace in Roseville.

pomegranate & cranberry

Pomegranates have been shown to lower cholesterol and prevent dental plaque build-up.

Research suggests that the nutrients pomegranates contain fight breast cancer cells, and that drinking pomegranate juice may be even inhibit the
development of lung cancer.

Loaded with nutrients that may help prevent heart disease, cancers and other diseases, cranberries are a super fruit that contain more antioxidants than most commonly eaten fruits.

Cranberries also may provide protection against chronic age-related afflictions like loss of
coordination and memory.

Pomegranate and Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup of pomegranate seeds (Trader Joes has these and can be frozen)
  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries (rinsed)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

In pan mix cranberries, orange juice, zest, cloves and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes and then stir in pomegranates. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy. Serves 8-10.

Recipe courtesy of Francie Cruz at Bocca Catering in Folsom.


Including pumpkin in Thanksgiving dinner healthfully may pose a dilemma, but utilizing reduced-fat ingredients in the traditional pumpkin pie reduces the calorie impact. Opting for pumpkin bars or other crust-less treats also make for a guilt-free dessert. Don’t forget about the seeds! Garnishing salads or potatoes with protein-rich pumpkin seeds add a seasonal dimension of color and texture.  


This year, can the can, and opt for a fresh take on cranberry sauce. Choose frozen cranberries, with locked-in flavor and nutrients; Combine with orange juice for a delightfully tart sauce infused with antioxidants and vitamin C. Dried cranberries are a delightfully tart addition to salads and nut mixes.


While Turkey is the main event of Thanksgiving Dinner, preparation and cooking technique can be the difference between a good or bad bird. Stuff the turkey cavity with onions, lemons or apples, and sprigs of fresh herbs such as sage, thyme and rosemary. For a turkey that’s moist and wholesome, rather than rubbing the skin with butter or oil, spray it with an oil spray and season it with salt, pepper or seasoning rub of choice. 


The gut-friendly pomegranate accents the holiday spread with a tartness that’s healthy and refreshing. Stir pomegranate juice into vinaigrettes for salads. Use it instead of milk for moister, sweeter cornbread or instead of water in cranberry sauce, and mix a handful of pomegranate seeds into that sauce before serving.


Barley is an often-overlooked grain whose benefits include lowering cholesterol, and maintaining the intestinal tract with high concentration of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is critical to health, yet few people in our modern society even come close to the recommended daily intake. Many experts believe that good health begins in the colon, and without sufficient dietary fiber in the diet, the risk of disease increases.

Combine barley with sweet potatoes and onions for a fresh spin on popular sides, for a Barley-Sweet Potato hash. Or reserve leftover turkey to include in Turkey Barley Soup after the feast. Visit for recipes. 


Possibly the superhero of superfoods, spinach contains vitamin K1, iron, calcium and magnesium, all essential for maintaining bone health. The leafy green also contains nutrients that combat chemicals that can lead to heart attack and stroke, and research suggests that spinach may increase brain function.

Simmering the cooked spinach in water or light olive oil instead of in butter makes the dish even less fattening. As a popular side dish, creamed spinach can be made with health-conscious in mind. Low-fat yogurt or milk may be substituted without sacrificing flavor and nutritional benefits. 


The Thanksgiving table provides many uses for the most famous citrus. Place half an orange in the turkey cavity for a fresh burst of citrus flavor, or combine orange and cranberry in a delicious tart and sweet cranberry sauce.


Dubbed the underestimated Super Food, mushrooms are rich sources of riboflavin and potassium. Riboflavin is vital for normal reproduction, growth, repair and development of body tissues including the skin, eyes, connective tissue and immune and nervous systems.

Incorporate mushrooms into Thanksgiving dinner in a starter such as soup or appetizer. Use a variety of wild and domestic mushrooms combined for a healthy flavor explosion and ideal beginning to a family feast. Stuff mushrooms with fresh herbs and cheeses for a hearty appetizer.


Forego the marshmallow-covered sweet potato bake and opt for a healthier offering. Simply bake them with honey and ginger, or combine sweet potatoes with barley for a delicious twist on the classic Thanksgiving sweet side dish.


Chocolate is not traditionally on the Thanksgiving menu, but missing out could be bitter-sweet. In addition to the classic pies, tempt guests taste buds with Dark Chocolate Pudding or a Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake.


Barley Sweet Potato Hash


  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place the barley in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, shaking the pan often, for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove the barley to a bowl.

In the same saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Add the barley and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until the barley is tender but still firm and the liquid is absorbed. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Recipe courtesy of Your Organic Kitchen by Jesse Ziff Cool.

Perfect Turkey Gravy

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 each turkey neck, gizzards and heart from one turkey (save the liver for something else)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 each bay leaves
  • 6 tbsp. rice flour or all-purpose regular flour, or use 4 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup drippings from roasted turkey pan, defatted
  • Salt and pepper (to season)

Combine the water, turkey neck and gizzards, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaves in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and boil for 1-2 hours, adding more water as needed.

Strain the stock and measure out 4 cups into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer.

Stir the rice flour or other starch into the 1 cup of cold water until smooth. Whisk into the boiling stock, a little at a time until the gravy starts thickening. You may not need all the starch mixture. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper.

You can make ahead up to 3 days to this point. Bring the gravy back to a simmer and then whisk in the drippings from the roasted turkey. Simmer for 10 minutes more or until the gravy is your perfect thickness. If it gets too thick, whisk in a little more broth. Taste again and re-season if needed. Yields 4 cups. Serves 10.

Recipe courtesy of Beth Sogaard from Beth Sogaard Catering in Plymouth. 209-245-3968,

Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin (about 1 3/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces skim milk (has a slight taste) or 8 ounces low-fat soymilk 
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2/3 reduced fat graham cracker crust  take off the sides of the crust and discard)
  • 3/4 cup Splenda sugar substitute
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 egg whites, for the crust

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix pumpkin, milk, and egg whites until smooth. Gradually stir in Splenda (1/4 cup at a time). Add the pumpkin pie spice; taste and add more if need be. Pour into crust** and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 45 minutes (may vary depending on ovens). Let cool and serve your favorite way. **To make to crust less likely to turn soggy (like mine), beat some egg whites and brush over the crust and bake at 350°F for about 5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Wishing Barbie via

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ginger and Honey


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, honey, ginger, walnut oil, cardamom, and pepper. Transfer to a large cast iron frying pan. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Stir the potatoes to expose the pieces from the bottom of the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelized on the outside.

Recipe courtesy of Christine via

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Half a white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (wild and domestic)
  • 1/2 cup white wine, or 1/2 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice

Put olive oil in stockpot and bring to medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery and carrots. Cook until tender. Add mushrooms, white wine and chicken broth. Cover and heat through. In a bowl, blend half-and-half, flour, thyme and pepper. Then stir in cooked wild rice. Pour rice mixture into hot stockpot with vegetables. Cook over medium heat. Stir continually until thickened and bubbly.

Recipe by Mayo Clinic Staff.

Turkey Barley Soup


  • 6 cups chicken broth or turkey broth
  • 1 to 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (about 2 teaspoons dried)

Combine broth, turkey, barley, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, black pepper and parsley in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours, or simmer over low heat on the stovetop for 1 hour, or until the carrots are tender and the barley is soft. Serves 4 to 6.

Stuffed Mushrooms


  • 1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 28 large (2 1/2-inch-diameter) white mushrooms, stemmed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Stir the bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano, garlic, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl to blend.

Drizzle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each mushroom. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes. Serve.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, via

Cranberry and Orange Relish


  • 1lb (450g) fresh cranberries
  • Rind and juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 heaped teaspoon freshly grated root ginger or 1/2 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 1/2 inch (4cm) piece cinnamon stick
  • 3 ounces (75g) white sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons port (optional)

Pare off the orange rind using a sharp knife or potato peeler leaving the white pith behind. Shred the rind finely. Then squeeze the juice from the orange and discard any pips. Roughly chop the cranberries in a food processor. Place the cranberries in a heavy based saucepan along with the orange and lemon juices, the orange zest, the spices and the sugar. Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil stirring regularly. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, put a lid on the pan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the port. Allow to cool completely and then remove the cinnamon stick and cloves. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until required.

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Food Revolution.

Light Creamed Spinach


  • 1 packet baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tub of low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of water for boiling
  • 1 tablespoon of light olive oil or 1/2 cup of water for simmering the cooked spinach

Boil the washed spinach in a medium-sized saucepan. Drain thoroughly in a colander. Return the drained spinach to the saucepan. Add either the olive oil or the water, and the garlic. Simmer on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Add the yogurt to the spinach and garlic mixture, and cook on medium to low heat until well blended. Serve warm as a side dish for meat or other vegetables, or as an accompaniment to baked or boiled potatoes. Crusty rolls or garlic/French bread also go well with this dish.

Recipe by Sapna Nayyar-Pellicane, via

Chocolate Fondue

  • 1 pound chocolate, dark, milk or white; chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream, or whole marshmallows, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. liquer, such as crème de cacoa, optional
  • 40 each strawberries, washed and dried
  • 40 each 6” bamboo skewers

Bring the cream up to a boil in a heavy bottomed 6 quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the marshmallow and the chocolate. Reduce heat to low and stir until chocolate is melted and marshmallow is incorporated. Stir in liqueur and transfer to a fondue pot or small chafing dish to keep warm for service.

Skewer strawberries on the end of the skewers. Serve alongside the fondue for dipping. Yields 3 cups. Serves 20.

*Can be served with cookies, skewered brownie bites, mini rice krisy treats or anything else your imagination can conjure up!

Recipe courtesy of Beth Sogaard from Beth Sogaard Catering in Plymouth. 209-245-3968,

Outrageous Warm Double-Chocolate Pudding

Custard layer:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (such as Hershey's)
  • choppedCooking spray

Cake layer:

  • 3 ounces dark-chocolate candy bar (such as Hershey's), chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 6 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 325°.

To prepare custard layer, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup egg substitute, stirring well with a whisk. Cook the milk in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat; add semisweet chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Gradually add hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Pour the hot milk mixture into 6 (4-ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray. Place ramekins in a baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven; cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove ramekins from pan; drain water.

To prepare cake layer, place dark chocolate in a small glass bowl. Microwave at high 2 minutes or until almost melted; stir after 1 minute. Set aside. Beat 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup egg substitute with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add dark chocolate and applesauce; beat until well blended. Pour evenly over the custard layer. Place ramekins in baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Remove ramekins from pan. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light.

Turkey Goulash

  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 each large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 each large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 each large yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed
  • 2 pounds turkey tenderloins, or other boneless turkey meat, cut into 2” pieces
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 quarts turkey or chicken broth, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp. Italian flat leafed parsley, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup sour cream, to garnish, optional

Heat the oil in a heavy 6-8 quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper and sauté until lightly caramelized and translucent, about 10 minutes, turning down the heat if they start to darken. Stir in the bell peppers and cook for five minutes to soften. Add the garlic, paprikas and caraway and cook another minute or two, just to release their aromas. Now add the turkey meat, stirring to coat with the spices. Add the tomato paste and the turkey or chicken broth and stir well.

Bring the stew up to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is very tender, about 35-45 minutes. Thicken the stew by dissolving the cornstarch in the cold water, then adding the simmering stew and stirring well. Stir in the parsley. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.

Serve over hot, buttered noodles or steamed rice. Garnish with sour cream and additional minced parsley, if desired.
Yields 4 quarts. Serves 10.
*To make with leftover turkey meat, reduce the simmering time to 15 minutes, thicken and serve!

Recipe courtesy of Beth Sogaard from Beth Sogaard Catering in Plymouth. 209-245-3968,

Chocolate Bruschetta

  • 12 slices sourdough baguette
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, or melted butter
  • 1 ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Brush the bread with the oil or butter. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat and add the bread in a single layer. Toast the bread, turning once, until golden brown but still springy in the middle.

Remove from heat and place on plates. Grate the chocolate right over the bread slices with a microplaner or fine grater. Let melt a moment and serve immediately. Yields 12 each. Serves 4.
*Recommended with tangy sourdough bread, but a nutty wheat bread or brioche works as well.

Recipe courtesy of Beth Sogaard from Beth Sogaard Catering in Plymouth. 209-245-3968,