Gina Neely Shares Her Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/24/2014 | 04:45 PM EST

Centric guides you to some healthy dish options for this year's holiday feast

Here at Centric, we’re all about healthy eating and living, so for this Thanksgiving holiday we encourage you to cut back on the sugar and starch and incorporate some healthier, green options for your holiday menu.

While we love baked macaroni and cheese and fried turkey as much as the next person, being mindful of what you eat and how much you eat is crucial to your well being. Thankfully for you, if you’re still looking for some great recipes for the big day we’ve curated our favorite healthy Thanksgiving dishes, and even tapped celebrity chef Gina Neely to provide her faves as well.

Check it out, and eat with care!

Gina’s Thanksgiving Kale Dish

“This is a quick and inexpensive recipe that I just love!  

It's different, fresh and not your "run of the mill" dish.  Yes, I know kale is the new trendy vegetable, but I always try to introduce something new to the table (and my palate) each year.  Plus, sauteing kale doesn't come with a lot of pressure, as most dishes can for the holidays, especially if you're cooking for a large group. Anybody can do this one!

This recipe has it all from tastiness to healthiness. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!”

Sautéed Kale with Garlic

1/4 C Olive oil

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

2 pounds kale (about 3 large bunches),

well washed,stems discarded, roughly chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 C chicken broth

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until the edges of the garlic turn golden brown, about 2 mins.

Add the kale in handfuls, and stir and toss with a pair of tongs, adding more as they wilt down. Season with salt and pepper, and continue to sauté for about 5 mins. Add the chicken broth to the pot, cover with lid and steam for 10-12 mins, until the kale is very soft and tender. Remove the lid, add the lemon juice and a final toss and serve (6-8 people).



Citrus Collard Greens With Raisins Redux

1 tablespoon(s) sea salt

1/2 teaspoon(s) sea salt, combined with above sea salt

2 bunch(es) (about 12 cups) collard greens, ribs removed, cut into strips, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil

2 clove(s) garlic, minced

2/3 cup(s) raisins

1/3 cup(s) fresh-squeezed orange juice

In large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts (12 cups) water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add collards and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile, prepare large bowl of ice water. Remove collards from heat, drain, and plunge into the bowl of cold water to stop cooking and set the color. Drain, gently pressing greens against the colander. In a medium-size sauté pan, combine olive oil and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the collards, raisins, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add orange juice and cook for an additional 15 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should remain bright green). Season with additional salt to taste if needed and serve immediately.



Green Bean Casserole

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 medium sweet onion, (half diced, half thinly sliced), divided

8 ounces mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1 cup low-fat milk

3 tablespoons dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note)

1 pound frozen French-cut green beans, (about 4 cups)

1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

3 tablespoons buttermilk powder, (see Ingredient Note)

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in  large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the vegetables; stir to coat. Add milk and sherry and bring to simmer, stirring often. Stir in green beans and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and buttermilk powder. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Whisk remaining 1/3 cup flour, paprika, garlic powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add sliced onion; toss to coat. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion along with any remaining flour mixture and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Spread the onion topping over casserole. Bake casserole until bubbling, about 15 minutes.



Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 medium)

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup “no-chicken” broth (see Tip), warmed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Black or white pepper to taste

Peel potatoes, if desired, and cut into 2-inch chunks. Place the potatoes and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well.

Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher, an electric hand-held mixer or by working through a ricer. Stir broth, oil, rosemary and pepper into the potatoes.



Roasted Broccoli With Lemon, Pine Nuts and Basil

1 large head broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch florets, stems peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced shallots

Thinly sliced basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400°. On large baking sheet, toss the broccoli and stems with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast broccoli in oven for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and tender. Meanwhile, in small skillet, toast pine nuts over moderate heat until light golden all over, about 4 minutes. In small bowl, whisk lemon juice with shallot and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Scrape broccoli into a serving bowl, add dressing, pine nuts and basil and toss to coat. Serve.

(Photo: Gina Neely/Sword Entertainment LLC)

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