November 17, 2011
Colorful Thanksgiving Dinner first course
I would serve additional items that you can easily ignore. For me that would be nuts, olives, and raw veggies. It is important for you to eat as many of the first course items as you want that are Dukan safe. Missing are shrimp cocktails and stuffed eggs. The meatballs and ginger chicken can be made ahead and frozen. The bacon squares can to made a day or two ahead and then just arrange on a platter. Cucumber cups add color and are crisp. I was going for texture and color at an affordable price.
Crisp turkey bacon squares, grape tomatoes
Turkey meat balls
Thanksgiving needs to be yummy and colorful. No white please. The recipe for Zen balls is in the Dukan book( and on the Dukan facebook US site). Leave out the bran to save for the dressing. Try to add color to the mix. This can be done ahead.
Make tiny meatballs from ground turkey or chicken. I add fried mince onions and peppers, an egg, spices and herbs (sage, thyme, cracked fennel seeds, pepper, garlic powder). Bake in the oven and serve with a little bit of tomato sauce for color. This can be made ahead and frozen. Just reheated to serve.
Stuffed Cucumber Cups (make day before, finish quickly right before serving)
1 medium red or golden beet*
3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 tsp. finely minced fresh dill,
plus dill sprigs for garnish
1 tsp. very finely minced shallots
Salt and pepper
English (hothouse) cucumber
*(If you are unable to find a nice beet to roast use canned and roast to dry beet out a bit. Use no foil. )
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beet loosely in aluminum foil, sealing the package tightly. Bake until the beet is tender when pierced, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel the beet and cut it into very small, neat dice. You should have about 1/2 cup.
Place the diced beet in a small bowl and fold in the yogurt, minced dill and shallots. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Chill well.
Peel the cucumber and cut into 1/2-inch-wide chunks. You should have about 2 dozen. Use a melon baller to scoop out the center of each chunk to make room for a filling, taking care not to pierce the bottom and to leave the sides about 1/4 inch thick. Set the cucumber cups on a serving tray and chill. Just before filling, season with salt and white pepper.
To serve, spoon 1 teaspoon of the beet mixture into each cucumber cup and garnish with a small sprig of dill. Serve immediately.
*My notes: I needed two beets to get ½ cup finely minced. Use gloves to handle the beet. Make the day before and it is easy for an early guests to fill cups.
Marinate chicken pieces (chicken tenders cut into bite size pieces) in SF gingerale with 3 Tablespoons of grated ginger and a dash of reduced sodium soy sauce up to 3 hours. Bake in shallow pan 400 degrees F til cooked. Serve with pan juices and minced parsley sprinkled on the top. Do not forget toothpicks.
Make bacon crisp in the mirowave. Cut into thirds or fourths before mirowaving between paper towels. Serve with grape tomatoes.
Have a great Dukan holiday.