Thanksgiving Recipes by and for Doctors: The Good, the Bad, and the Truly Useful

Credit: Thinkstock/circlePS

One week to go until Thanksgiving. Maybe you’re so busy that you haven’t even given a thought to the dinner menu. Or maybe you planned it months in advance. Of course, you could just be planning to let someone else do the cooking, too. But whether you’re cooking for a crowd or attending a dinner as a guest, it’s still worth looking at these tempting Thanksgiving recipes, all developed by or for doctors (and in one rather retro instance, by doctors’ wives).

We’ve grouped the recipes into three categories:  the good, the bad, and the truly useful. See if any of these doctor-approved recipes will have a space at your Thanksgiving table.

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THE GOOD
The Mayo Clinic, that esteemed institution, has been in the forefront of the healthy eating movement, and has even published several cookbooks. Many of their recipes, including some delicious-sounding Thanksgiving fare, are available online. Check out the stuffing recipe below, which uses wild rice or quinoa in place of the usual bread.

Wild Rice (or Quinoa) Stuffing
Serves 12
Ingredients
•    3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (or equal amount of uncooked quinoa)
•    2 1/2 cups water
•    1 tablespoon olive oil
•    3/4 cup chopped onion
•    1 cup sliced mushrooms
•    1 cup chopped apple (including peel)
•    1/4 cup dried cranberries
•    2 cups diced celery
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
•    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
•    1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
•    1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Directions
Rinse wild rice two to three times — until water runs clear.
Place wild rice and water in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, stirring frequently. Do not burn. Cook wild rice for about 30 minutes. (If you're using quinoa, cook it for about 15 minutes.)
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, apple, cranberries and celery. Stir and heat through until tender. Add the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Continue to stir and cook slowly until fragrant, about 10 minutes total.
Combine the rice, the fruit/vegetable mixture and chicken broth in a large bowl. Use to stuff turkey. Or bake in a dish coated with nonstick spray. Cover and keep warm in oven until serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
Nutritional information is available here.

For more of the Mayo Clinic’s Thanksgiving recipes, visit their website.

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Credit: UCSF Library

THE BAD

In 1950, a group called the University of California Doctors’ Wives Association published a cookbook,  Kitchen Consultations, describing themselves as a group of “health-minded, vitamin conscious women who used these recipes in their own homes.” The group worked for the benefit of the hospital, and particularly the pediatric department.

Their intentions were good . . their recipes less so. What was considered healthy in 1950 doesn’t exactly pass the test of time. Not to denigrate the doctors’ wives, who were probably considered very good cooks in their circle, the recipes today are more interesting for their historical significance than their culinary value. Golden Gate Soup, for instance, makes liberal use of cream. Corn Bread Turkey Dressing uses a half cup of melted turkey fat or butter. String Bean Casserole (recipe below) has a cream sauce which includes butter, milk, and American cheese (plus chopped, hard-boiled eggs on top).

Granted, Thanksgiving is one of the times each year you’re  sort of allowed to indulge, but even at Thanksgiving there are limits. But if your coronary arteries and those of your family can stand it, here’s the green bean recipe.

String Bean Casserole (courtesy of Mrs. Clark Johnson)

2 lbs. string beans, cooked in boiling, salted water. When tender, drain off liquid.

2 cups cream sauce made as follows: Melt 4 tbsp butter in sauce pan. Add 3 tbsp flour, cook together, stirring constantly until flour has a chance to cook, but not to brown. Add 2 cups milk, cook over medium heat, stirring until it thickens. Salt to taste.

1/4 lb. sharp American cheese. Coarsely grate or cut up cheese, add to cream sauce and stir until melted.

 6 green onions. Leave an inch of the green ends on, and slice the onions in thin slices lengthwise.

2 hard-boiled eggs, put through ricer or coarse strainer.

Mix string beans with cheese sauce. Place in large casserole, cover with onion slices then sprinkle with the eggs. Bake in 375 degree oven until well heated through, about 30 minutes.

For more about the good doctors' wives' association and cookbook, read this article from the University of California San Francisco library.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TRULY USEFUL

No matter how good your Thanksgiving dinner is, if you’ve done it right and provided an abundance for your guests, you’re bound to have leftovers. Sure, you can fork slices of cold turkey onto white bread for lunch the next day, or heat up some turkey and veggies in the microwave. But there are better ideas.

Sonali Ruder, who blogs as The Foodie Physician, has some suggestions. Dr. Ruder is board-certified in emergency medicine, but on her blog she describes herself as “physician, chef, recipe developer, and board-certified foodie.” She's also a culinary school graduate and cookbook author who write, "I love using my medical and culinary backgrounds to create healthy and delicious family friendly recipes."

Dr. Ruder’s recipes for leftover turkey sound so good they make it worth ordering a far bigger bird than you think you need. Check out this recipe for Turkey and Cranberry Panini.

Credit:The Foodie Physician

Turkey and Cranberry Panini
Makes 1 panino

2 slices ciabatta or other bread
1 ounce reduced fat Muenster or other good melting cheese, shredded
2.5 ounces leftover sliced turkey or chicken breast
2 tablespoons whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup baby spinach leaves
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1 teaspoon olive oil

Place one slice of bread on a cutting board and sprinkle on half of the cheese.  Arrange the turkey slices on top of the cheese and then top with the cranberry sauce and spinach.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Spread the honey mustard on the second slice of bread and close the sandwich.

Heat a Panini press or a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.  Brush the outside of the panino with olive oil on both sides and place it on the Panini press.  Close the press and cook for 3-5 minutes until the bread is toasted and the cheese melts.  If you don’t have a Panini press, place the panino on a grill pan or skillet and place another skillet weighted with a couple of cans on top.  After 1-2 minutes, remove the skillet, flip the panino over and repeat the process on the second side.  Cut in half and serve hot.
(You can find nutritional information for the Panini, plus another great leftover recipe--Turkey Soup with Couscous and Spinach--here.)

Last year The Foodie Physician did a roundup of favorite Thanksgiving recipes from around the web, and those recipes sound delicious, too. Pumpkin Hummus would make a perfect Thanksgiving afternoon appetizer; Shredded Brussels Sprout and Toasted Pecan Salad makes great use of an often overlooked vegetable, and Caramel Rum Banana Bread Pudding for dessert might just make people skip the pumpkin and pecan pies. You can check out those recipes at The Foodie Physician here.

Add your own recipes to the Comments section below, and help your fellow doctors make this the most delicious Thanksgiving ever!

Credit: Thinkstock/circlePS

One week to go until Thanksgiving. Maybe you’re so busy that you haven’t even given a thought to the dinner menu. Or maybe you planned it months in advance. Of course, you could just be planning to let someone else do the cooking, too. But whether you’re cooking for a crowd or attending a dinner as a guest, it’s still worth looking at these tempting Thanksgiving recipes, all developed by or for doctors (and in one rather retro instance, by doctors’ wives).

We’ve grouped the recipes into three categories:  the good, the bad, and the truly useful. See if any of these doctor-approved recipes will have a space at your Thanksgiving table.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

THE GOOD
The Mayo Clinic, that esteemed institution, has been in the forefront of the healthy eating movement, and has even published several cookbooks. Many of their recipes, including some delicious-sounding Thanksgiving fare, are available online. Check out the stuffing recipe below, which uses wild rice or quinoa in place of the usual bread.

Wild Rice (or Quinoa) Stuffing
Serves 12
Ingredients
•    3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (or equal amount of uncooked quinoa)
•    2 1/2 cups water
•    1 tablespoon olive oil
•    3/4 cup chopped onion
•    1 cup sliced mushrooms
•    1 cup chopped apple (including peel)
•    1/4 cup dried cranberries
•    2 cups diced celery
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
•    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
•    1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
•    1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Directions
Rinse wild rice two to three times — until water runs clear.
Place wild rice and water in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, stirring frequently. Do not burn. Cook wild rice for about 30 minutes. (If you're using quinoa, cook it for about 15 minutes.)
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, apple, cranberries and celery. Stir and heat through until tender. Add the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Continue to stir and cook slowly until fragrant, about 10 minutes total.
Combine the rice, the fruit/vegetable mixture and chicken broth in a large bowl. Use to stuff turkey. Or bake in a dish coated with nonstick spray. Cover and keep warm in oven until serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
Nutritional information is available here.

For more of the Mayo Clinic’s Thanksgiving recipes, visit their website.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Credit: UCSF Library

THE BAD

In 1950, a group called the University of California Doctors’ Wives Association published a cookbook,  Kitchen Consultations, describing themselves as a group of “health-minded, vitamin conscious women who used these recipes in their own homes.” The group worked for the benefit of the hospital, and particularly the pediatric department.

Their intentions were good . . their recipes less so. What was considered healthy in 1950 doesn’t exactly pass the test of time. Not to denigrate the doctors’ wives, who were probably considered very good cooks in their circle, the recipes today are more interesting for their historical significance than their culinary value. Golden Gate Soup, for instance, makes liberal use of cream. Corn Bread Turkey Dressing uses a half cup of melted turkey fat or butter. String Bean Casserole (recipe below) has a cream sauce which includes butter, milk, and American cheese (plus chopped, hard-boiled eggs on top).

Granted, Thanksgiving is one of the times each year you’re  sort of allowed to indulge, but even at Thanksgiving there are limits. But if your coronary arteries and those of your family can stand it, here’s the green bean recipe.

String Bean Casserole (courtesy of Mrs. Clark Johnson)

2 lbs. string beans, cooked in boiling, salted water. When tender, drain off liquid.

2 cups cream sauce made as follows: Melt 4 tbsp butter in sauce pan. Add 3 tbsp flour, cook together, stirring constantly until flour has a chance to cook, but not to brown. Add 2 cups milk, cook over medium heat, stirring until it thickens. Salt to taste.

1/4 lb. sharp American cheese. Coarsely grate or cut up cheese, add to cream sauce and stir until melted.

 6 green onions. Leave an inch of the green ends on, and slice the onions in thin slices lengthwise.

2 hard-boiled eggs, put through ricer or coarse strainer.

Mix string beans with cheese sauce. Place in large casserole, cover with onion slices then sprinkle with the eggs. Bake in 375 degree oven until well heated through, about 30 minutes.

For more about the good doctors' wives' association and cookbook, read this article from the University of California San Francisco library.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE TRULY USEFUL

No matter how good your Thanksgiving dinner is, if you’ve done it right and provided an abundance for your guests, you’re bound to have leftovers. Sure, you can fork slices of cold turkey onto white bread for lunch the next day, or heat up some turkey and veggies in the microwave. But there are better ideas.

Sonali Ruder, who blogs as The Foodie Physician, has some suggestions. Dr. Ruder is board-certified in emergency medicine, but on her blog she describes herself as “physician, chef, recipe developer, and board-certified foodie.” She's also a culinary school graduate and cookbook author who write, "I love using my medical and culinary backgrounds to create healthy and delicious family friendly recipes."

Dr. Ruder’s recipes for leftover turkey sound so good they make it worth ordering a far bigger bird than you think you need. Check out this recipe for Turkey and Cranberry Panini.

Credit:The Foodie Physician

Turkey and Cranberry Panini
Makes 1 panino

2 slices ciabatta or other bread
1 ounce reduced fat Muenster or other good melting cheese, shredded
2.5 ounces leftover sliced turkey or chicken breast
2 tablespoons whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup baby spinach leaves
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1 teaspoon olive oil

Place one slice of bread on a cutting board and sprinkle on half of the cheese.  Arrange the turkey slices on top of the cheese and then top with the cranberry sauce and spinach.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Spread the honey mustard on the second slice of bread and close the sandwich.

Heat a Panini press or a grill pan or skillet over medium heat.  Brush the outside of the panino with olive oil on both sides and place it on the Panini press.  Close the press and cook for 3-5 minutes until the bread is toasted and the cheese melts.  If you don’t have a Panini press, place the panino on a grill pan or skillet and place another skillet weighted with a couple of cans on top.  After 1-2 minutes, remove the skillet, flip the panino over and repeat the process on the second side.  Cut in half and serve hot.
(You can find nutritional information for the Panini, plus another great leftover recipe--Turkey Soup with Couscous and Spinach--here.)

Last year The Foodie Physician did a roundup of favorite Thanksgiving recipes from around the web, and those recipes sound delicious, too. Pumpkin Hummus would make a perfect Thanksgiving afternoon appetizer; Shredded Brussels Sprout and Toasted Pecan Salad makes great use of an often overlooked vegetable, and Caramel Rum Banana Bread Pudding for dessert might just make people skip the pumpkin and pecan pies. You can check out those recipes at The Foodie Physician here.

Add your own recipes to the Comments section below, and help your fellow doctors make this the most delicious Thanksgiving ever!