Monday, November 19, 2018
by Jennifer Roberts, MS, RD, and Julia Jordan
BJC | November kicks off holiday season with one of the most food-focused holidays of the year — Thanksgiving. We’ve gathered some tips from our pros on how to make your Thanksgiving a healthy success.
The turkey — The right tool really does make all the difference. For a delicious turkey done right, use a thermometer. If you’ve typically relied on the plastic pop-up, take the plunge and buy a meat thermometer. You’ll want to check the temperature of the turkey above the leg in the thickest part of the meat. When the temperature reaches 165°F, the turkey is done. Take it out and let it sit for a few minutes before carving. Once you see success with the turkey, you’ll want to use your thermometer on other meats and dishes, and you’ll have far fewer over- or under-cooked meals.
Keeping it safe — Food safety is such a top priority for chefs that it becomes an automatic part of what they do. Cooking for a crowd on Thanksgiving means we need to think like chefs for the day. Wash your hands and wash them often. Keep food out of the temperature danger zone of 40-140°F. This means thawing in the refrigerator, never on the counter. It also means putting leftovers in the refrigerator right after the meal. Anything out for more than four hours needs to be tossed.
‘Planned-overs’ — Leftovers are some people’s favorite part of Thanksgiving. To reduce waste, have a plan. Know how many people you’re hosting and prepare accordingly. If you want extra for sandwiches, soup or other weekend favorites, include those amounts in your planning. Make sure you’ll have space in the refrigerator and containers to store the leftovers in.
If you want to send your guests home with food, have them bring containers or pick up some extras that you don’t mind sharing.
Any leftovers stored in the refrigerator should be used within a few days. If you won’t be able to use them in that time, put them straight into the freezer. When reheating, get out your thermometer and make sure everything gets back to 165°F.
Celebrate fall with cranberries
Most Thanksgiving feasts aren’t complete without some form of cranberries, but there’s more to these little berries than the fact that they’re a holiday favorite.
At only 45 calories per cup, cranberries contain fiber and are rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C.
Morrison Healthcare Food Services, BJC’s food service provider, is making the most of cranberries by featuring them as this month’s “Superfood” in cafés across BJC and offering several tasty cranberry recipes, including Caramelized Cran-Apple Stromboli, Cranberry Barbecue Chicken Sandwich, Red Cabbage Cran-Apple Slaw, and Salmon with Cranberry and Ginger.
Throughout November, taste a seasonal cranberry dish in your BJC café.
It’s a sugar shake up!
Sugar can be a big temptation. Visit your local BJC café to get the scoop on sugar during November, and sample healthy desserts.
Chef tips provided by Chris Aquilino, Morrison corporate executive chef. Additional tips and recipes are available at stopfoodwasteday.com and balanceittakesyou.com.
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