Ask A Detroit Chef: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

By Liz Parker

Thanksgiving is well-known for being an “overeating” holiday – after all, there are so many delicious foods to eat. However, there’s a way to eat what you want but healthier versions of it, too. Check out these nutritious recipes from Chef Shanel DeWalt to try and save some calories this holiday season.

Shanel DeWalt
Divine Indulgence Personal Chef Services LLC
(313) 926-2554
www.divineindulgencepcs.com

Chef Shanel DeWalt is the owner and Executive Personal Chef of Divine Indulgence Personal Chef Services LLC. Divine Indulgence Personal Chef Services provides an exclusive culinary experience for private, corporate and social events. Shanel creates high quality full course meals, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts for all occasions. She enjoys preparing specialty menus for weddings, private romantic dinners, conferences, holiday parties, and small business & corporate events utilizing fresh seasonal ingredients. She has been cooking professionally for 3+ years, and has an Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and is an alumni of Schoolcraft College Culinary Program. Her company has been recognized by Comcast Business and The HUB Detroit for her commitment and pursuit of excellence in business. Shanel has been recognized in Michigan Chronicle in the “Best Of Young Detroit” section by UAW-Ford. Chef DeWalt is currently the youngest woman to have a personal chef service with a roster of clients, and she resides in Detroit, MI.

Green Bean Casserole 

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 2½ cups low-fat milk
  • ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Toss green beans in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon oil until well coated. Divide between 2 baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast, stirring twice and rotating the pans top to bottom about halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add milk and continue to stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook, stirring, until the sauce bubbles and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley.
  4. When the green beans are done, remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Transfer half the green beans to a 2-quart, broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the green beans. Add the remaining green beans and top with the remaining sauce.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese over the mixture. Place under the broiler and broil, watching closely, until the mixture is bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Related: Best Thanksgiving Celebrations and Events for the Family in Detroit

Roasted Turkey Breast

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pound turkey breast, bone-in, skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sage, fresh, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon rosemary, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon sest
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, herbs, sea salt and black pepper to make a paste. Then rub the mixture into the turkey breast, coating all sides.
  3. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast for about 1 ½ hours to 1 ¾ hours, until an instant read thermometer registered 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
  4. Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice from half lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
  2. Cook Quinoa according to package directions.
  3. Spread butternut squash and fennel evenly, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, sea salt and black pepper over the squash mixture and toss with your hands to coat.
  4. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until squash is turning golden around the edges. Stir squash mixture halfway through cooking.
  5. Once quinoa is complete, fluff with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl. Combine butternut squash and fennel with the quinoa. Drizzle with olive oil and add lemon juice, toss and serve.

Related: Best Places to Buy a Thanksgiving Turkey in Detroit

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