Roasted Cornish Game Hens
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Rub a little of the marinade into the body cavity and under the skin of each hen.
Then, place two Cornish hens in a zip-top bag and pour half of the marinade over them. Repeat with the other two. Set aside and marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to roast, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Take hens out of their marinade and place them in a baking dish (9x13 or a rimmed baking sheet works well).
Scoop marinade out of bag and spoon onto each of the hens.
Roast for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes until a meat thermometer placed in thickest part reads 165 degrees.
Remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes before serving. Reserve pan drippings for the gravy.
Traditions. I personally think that no matter your athletic aspirations or health inclinations, you shouldn’t forgo traditions. That being said, I also think you shouldn’t forgo your health. It’s a sticky dilemma. This dilemma can be solved with a few simple updates to traditional foods that bring back so many memories. Food experiences are often so intertwined with memories and experiences with loved ones that it’s hard to untangle them from emotional comfort and nostalgia.
I, too, cherish food traditions. I love a big golden turkey coming out of the oven for Thanksgiving just as much as I love that slice of pie. The tastes and smells of these particular foods put me in my grandparent’s kitchen, talking amongst my aunts and uncles, feeling loved. Just because you’ve adopted a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean it needs to be a different experience. Holidays are one of the occasions that I abide by an 80/20 rule, especially if I’m not in charge of the menu planning. I eat clean most of the time so my aunt’s signature holiday dessert can count for that 20% where I allow myself to not worry as much about what I’m eating. If you’re in charge of the menu, you can easily substitute a few healthier ingredients for traditional holiday foods or change up the menu a bit to accommodate your clean eating goals.
The following recipes are a full holiday meal spread of traditional fall foods made with clean ingredients. This meal accommodates serving about 6 to 8 but can easily be scaled up for a larger group. The full meal will take you about 2 to 2 ½ hours to prepare if only one person is cooking. I’ve included a few sequential notes to help with timing each dish at the end. On the menu: Roasted Cornish Game Hens, Marbled Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Squash, and Creamy Mushroom Green Beans with Crispy Shallots. For dessert, try a dairy-free pumpkin pie! I’m thankful to experience these traditions and share healthier foods with my family both near and far. The time spent bonding around the table with family is truly a time to be cherished.
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