Healthy eating is no longer a crazy fad but a widespread movement that reaches far beyond the social borders of hippies, locavores and their ilk. But those of us who weren’t raised perusing the incense-infused aisles of the local health food store for fructose-sweetened knock-offs of the diabetes-inducing cereals all the other kids were eating need a little help. With Thanksgiving coming up, there is no better time to try out delicious recipes that will weigh lightly on your conscience (if not on your scale).
Starting with the basics, a good beginner’s guide to pair with your holiday grocery list is The Clean 15, a guide to 15 fruits and vegetables whose non-organic options are low enough in harmful pesticides to greatly reduce your risk of growing a third eye (save that for yoga class). Sadly many of the fruits and veggies involved in classic family dinner dishes, such as the apples in your favorite pie, are often full of pesticide residue if they’re not certified organic. But fear not, the Clean 15 has plenty of yummy choices like the ones used in these recipes that are worth giving thanks for.
1. Asparagus with Creamy Tarragon Sauce
This Huffington Post slideshow features 25 photos of different preparations for this member of the Clean 15. Steamed asparagus is a good, green substitute for green bean casserole, and with its creamy but light sauce you won’t even miss the Cream of Mushroom soup.
2. Eggplant Gratin
This luxurious dish is a fine replacement for scalloped potatoes, with all the cheese, much higher nutritional value and much lower risk of ingesting pesticides.
3. Honey Grapefruit Salad
Pie is a traditional staple in most any holiday-geared household, but let’s be honest, who ever has room for it? This traditional French dessert is light, full of Clean 15-approved grapefruit, and spiked with a little Grand Marnier to make things interesting. Follow the link for the original recipe in French from Le Figaro, or reference the English translation below.
2 red grapefruits, 1 grapefruit, 3 oranges, 4 tablespoons of honey, 1 lime, 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier, 2 sprigs of fresh mint
Wash the fruit and zest one orange and the lime. Juice the oranges and the lime and pour it into a pot with the zest. Add the honey and one sprig of mint. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove the mint and set your sauce aside.
Peel the grapefruit, cut them into quarters and put them in a large bowl. Add the sauce and the Grand Marnier. Refrigerate and serve decorated with mint leaves.
4 & 5. Sweet Creamed Corn and Sweet Potato Casserole
These are two favorites for which there is no need to turn organic- sweet corn and sweet potatoes are both Clean 15 cardholders.