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Chat Leftovers: Thanksgiving Q&A

Questions came fast and furious during yesterday's Free Range chat, so we'll try to answer some each day through Thanksgiving, starting with these two:

Washington, DC: I have a special holiday challenge: for medical reasons, I’ve been told to eat a low-carb diet, but at the same time, I’m supposed to gain weight. I’m finding it a challenge to cook foods -- especially holiday-friendly fare -- that are consistent with these two goals (and I’m really sick of eating almonds). Got any brilliant ideas for me, especially on desserts? (A delicious pumpkin custard, perhaps?) Thanks!

Berry Mousse. (Renee Comet for The Washington Post)

A challenge indeed. Cranberries and raspberries are in the low-carb fruit category, and both make for some spectacular desserts. I took a spin through our recipe database and found the following candidates, including a personal favorite of mine, Tiny Tim Cranberry Tarts (11 carbs per serving). They have three cranberries inside, surrounded by a cream-cheese pastry crust and a topping of nuts and brown sugar. I have made them for 20 years running. They are also individually sized, which is a good option for controlling carb or calorie intake at the holidays:

Berry Mousse. Only 6 carbs per serving.

Raspberry Goat Cheese Meringues. Also 6 carbs per serving.

You might also like Baked Ricotta Custards (10 carbs per serving), which taste much richer than they are. And there is this very British Victoria Sandwich Cake (28 carbs per serving, but you could cut smaller slices), with a layer of raspberry jam. Looks just right for the holidays.

More thanksgiving questions: I’m going to cook the stuffing on Wednesday and heat it Thursday after I take the Turkey out of the oven. At what temp and for how long should I do this? I also need to cook sliced sweet potatoes at 400 for 20 minutes post turkey, so can I do this while the stuffing is in the oven?

As long as it’s a fairly moist stuffing, wrap the baking dish/casserole it’s in with aluminum foil. It should reheat nicely during that 400-degree, 20-minute window for your cooked sliced sweet potatoes. But if the stuffing comes out of the fridge or freezer fairly crumbly to start with, you may want to sprinkle it with a little chicken broth or apple cider, or dot the surface with bits of unsalted butter, before reheating it.

If you want to reheat the stuffing separately, be sure to cover the stuffing with foil. Try 350 degrees (oven or toaster oven) for 20 to 30 minutes, checking after the first 15 minutes. You may need to use a fork to break it up to promote even heating.

-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  |  November 19, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Chat Leftovers , Thanksgiving  | Tags: Bonnie Benwick, Chat Leftovers, Thanksgiving Q&A  
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Next: I Spice: Red Hots (really)


First, I'd ask your doctor or nutritionist whether you are supposed to be avoiding all carbs, or just highly refined ones like white flour and sugar. Unrefined carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains will give you a lot of options.

If not, you can adapt cheesecake recipes to use a sugar substitute, make a turkey stuffing that is largely vegetable based, and try some cream-based soups.

Posted by: ec3663 | November 20, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

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