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Gratitude for bringing family together

This Thanksgiving, I am very aware and grateful for the privilege of enjoying a day with my family. With two of my three boys in college, my heart is full when everyone is in the house together. As I think about the holiday this year, I’ve been reflecting on how to balance our family table. My husband and I like to serve plenty of traditional favorites while being mindful of healthy eating habits.

In addition to the dishes that are favorites of our parents, we ask our kids what they want on the table. Typical dishes like stuffing and mashed potatoes are at the top of their list, but they are fond of some of our childhood favorites too. Our family’s southern roots bring sweet potato casserole, whipped butternut squash, pecan pie, and candied apples. While my Greek heritage brings delicious spanakopita to our Thanksgiving. 

Moving a traditional menu forward

Over the years I’ve tried to create versions of these traditional recipes with less (or no) sugar and dairy but I’m quite often caught by my perceptive oldest son with very acute taste buds. I still try. My own plate is usually full of side dishes since I enjoy the colorful selection of vegetables available this time of year.

Fresh vegetables from a summer farm share

Sharing lightened up recipes

We have two updated recipes on our menu for this year to share with you. They stand alongside the traditional favorites to add in some extra vegetables and lighten things up.

  • My husband will make the usual brussels sprouts this year, but with a twist. Our sprouts will feature a balsamic reduction for depth and subtle sweetness with toasted pecans for crunch and texture. We are opting for a meat free version, instead of last year’s iteration which featured bacon. 
  • I am bringing back a baked artichoke recipe I’ve enjoyed in the past by Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of Mad Hungry and Martha Stewart’s Executive Food Director. I found this recipe several years ago and loved it for its Italian influence with lemon, herbs, and garlic. Lemon always brightens things up and this dish is a refreshing break from the heavier foods that are traditional to Thanksgiving.

A grateful heart for my MOVE community

I hope that this unique blend of food my family is planning will bring everyone joy and honor our past while encouraging them to try new things. I hope you find your own inspiration in planning your holiday menu. This is really a beautiful time of year. The entire concept of Thanksgiving is an intentional appreciation of abundance and all the positive in our lives. There is a nourishing focus on gratitude that is good for the soul and beneficial to our overall health and wellness. 

In that spirit, and with a grateful heart, I offer my thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of our MOVE community. All of you make MOVE the special place that it is and we are so fortunate to work together in good health.

Happy Thanksgiving!