Thanksgiving in July

July 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

Peaches and Apricots 005  We had such incredibly perfect weather most of last week – clear, sunny; upper 70s with a nice breeze.  I decided to leap through this window of opportunity and get that oven blazing.  I was also salivating over the thought of sinking my teeth into a turkey breast I had bought on sale but kept in the freezer for, well, a window of opportunity to open up!

So off we were, headed for a meal worthy of that esteemed November holiday, with a few tweaks to the details.  To the main attraction of Roasted Turkey Breast I added Brown Rice with Craisins (dried cranberries), Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinaigrette Glaze, and Sweet Potato Mini Biscuits.  For dessert, a big bowl of Sliced Peaches with a dusting of nutmeg adds a seasonal touch to this out-of-season menu. 

Roast the turkey breast according to package instructions, usually about 2-1/2 hours for a six-pounder at 350°.  Allow it to rest a bit before removing the skin (along with most of the fat calories) and slicing it.

Cook the long-grain brown rice according to package directions, generally 1 cup rice in 2 cups boiling water, simmered for 30-35 minutes, except substitute chicken broth for at least half of the liquid and add ½ cup dried cranberries fifteen minutes into the cooking time.

For the Brussels sprouts:

1# sprouts               1 TB balsamic Vinegar                 1 Tb olive oil           salt and white pepper to taste

Trim the stem ends off sprouts, removing any discolored outer leaves, and cut them in half lengthwise.  Rinse in cold water then pat dry.  Whisk the oil and vinegar with the salt and pepper in a medium bowl then toss the dried sprouts in the vinaigrette.  Spread sprouts on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350° for 30 minutes, until golden-glazed.

The sweet potato biscuits were the true star of this show for my table guests:

1-1/4 C whole wheat flour                           ½ C unbleached white flour                         3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt                                                             3 TB butter                                                          1/3 C apricot nectar

1 C cooked, mashed sweet potato           3 TB honey                                                             ½ cup pecans

Whisk together the flours, powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl then cut in the softened butter to achieve a coarse meal texture.  Stir in the juice (apple, if you don’t have apricot), sweet potato, honey, and nuts and knead the mixture on a floured board with enough extra flour to make it workable, i.e., not too sticky.  Divide dough into 16 equal pieces – starting by halves, then quarters, and so on –and shape each into a small ball.  Place the balls on a parchment-lined or lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten them slightly.  Bake the biscuits at 350° for about 15 minutes or until they pass the clean toothpick test.  Serve warm.

Make some low-fat, low-sugar topping for the peaches by stirring DaVinci™ sugar free vanilla syrup into low-fat plain yogurt if you are feeling particularly virtuous, but the full fat variety can be a real treat if, like me, you’ve all but forgotten how rich and creamy it tastes after all those years of fat-gram counting. 

 All-in-all, a rather nice reminder to give thanks, no matter what month it is.

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Entry filed under: Musings of a Midwestern Foodie. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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Recipe. According to Encarta, "a list of ingredients and instructions for making something." The thesaurus offers the alternate terms, "formula, guidelines, directions, steps, technique."

And what is the "something" we are aiming for here? Simply a life of robust good health in every important area - spiritual, physical, cognitive, and emotional.

To that end we offer inspirational real-life stories about PEOPLE OF FAITH AND COURAGE; menus and cooking directions meant to fuel your creative inclinations and your healthy body in the form of MUSINGS OF A MIDWESTERN FOODIE; and ADVICE FOR LIFE from the perspective of those who have lived it to maturity. (Click on the green category tabs at the top of this page to learn more about each section.)

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