Last night, I stopped by the Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club event to create a “perfect Thanksgiving meal” with the $50 gift card Sam’s Club sent me. I decided to do ham instead of turkey (everyone does turkey!) And I tried to keep the meal as healthy as possible - but a little indulgent, too. I also wanted to have an easy and convenient meal, so I chose to make the ham in a crock pot.
Here’s what I purchased (prices at your Sam’s Club may differ):
- Member’s Mark Boneless Spiral Ham – $14.24 for nearly 5 pounds of ham
- Member’s Mark All Natural Mashed Potatoes - $6.86
- 5 pound bag of sweet potatoes - $3.49
- 2 pound bag of Brussels sprouts - $4.97
Subtotal - $29.56
And then there was dessert
Dessert was a hard decision. Pricewise there were many affordable choices as most of pies, cookies, cakes and cheesecakes were under $15. However, due to my daughter’s nut allergies and my mother-in-law’s sensitivity to gluten, most of the desserts weren’t a good fit for my family. No pecan pie, no tiramisu, no baklava (my fave) and no red velvet cake for us. Boo!
My gluten free mother-in-law can have cheesecake (she cuts off the graham cracker crust) and the ones in the Sam’s Club bakery were gorgeous and very tempting. But cheesecake didn’t seem very Thanksgiving-ish to me. I checked out the Cheesecake Factory pumpkin cheesecake in the freezer section, but it was full of ingredients I wasn’t comfortable with, like high fructose corn syrup. Plus both were HUGE. Since there will only be five of us this year, I didn’t want to buy a too much dessert. I don’t mind indulging on Thanksgiving, but I don’t want to keep stuffing my face with treats for days afterwards.
A healthier dessert option
It was the fresh fruit and berries in the produce section that caught my eye - persimmons, pomegranates, kiwi, Cuties mandarin oranges, several types of apples, Driscoll’s raspberries and blackberries, and several varieties of pears. But I wanted a decadent treat, too. Then it hit me – a cheese and fruit dessert plate. Perfect!
- A big wedge of Devon Squire White Stilton with Cranberries - $12.23
- 4 pound box of petit sugar pears - $5.98 (I tried these when I visited Sam’s Club headquarters last September. Really delicious with a unique almost wine-like flavor.)
Grand total: $47.77
A pretty fancy meal for a great price!
A healthy Thanksgiving feast
As long as you keep your portion sizes reasonable (small!) ham isn’t too bad a choice. Turkey is obviously a lot leaner, but not everyone likes turkey.
Brussels sprouts are super healthy as long as you don’t cover them in butter or cheese sauce. I like to roast my Brussels sprouts in olive oil with a little bit of sea salt and pepper instead.
Sweet potatoes are full of fiber and antioxidants. You can microwave them for five minutes and serve them like a baked potato with a pat of a low saturated fat, buttery spread like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Or you can mash them – use skim milk (or vegetable broth) and a small amount of buttery spread along with salt and pepper.
While the Member’s Mark All Natural Mashed Potatoes are delicious, a third of its calories come from fat. Healthier choices from Sam’s Club would be a tossed salad with feta cheese crumbles and berries. Or you could cook up another vegetable like green beans or asparagus.
More healthy vegetable recipes:
- Oven Roasted Asparagus and Smashed Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus and Broccoli with Toasted Hazelnuts
- Roasted veggies
Crock Pot Ham with Beer and Chutney Glaze
While the Member’s Mark Boneless Spiral Ham comes with a packet to make a honey glaze, I’m using this recipe for crock pot ham instead.
Based on a recipe by Fances Towner Giedt in her cookbook, Heartland Cooking Crockery Favorite
Makes 8 servings
- One 5 to 6 pound fully cooked, spiral cut ham
- 1 jar mango chutney
- 3 tablespoons spicy or Dijon-style mustard
- 24 ounces of beer
- Trim off any excess fat. Place ham on a metal roasting rack or trivet in a 5-quart or larger crock pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Remove tongs and metal rack from your slow cooker.
- Pour off and discard pan juice.
- Return ham to crock pot. If cooking on LOW, change setting to HIGH.
- Place chutney in a small bowl. Stir in mustard and beer.
- Pour chutney and beer mixture over ham into the crock pot. Cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes, basting every 5 minutes with the chutney and beer mixture.
- Transfer ham to a warm carving platter or a cutting board. Cover with foil and keep warm with a clean dish towel. Let stand for 15 minutes before uncovering and slicing.
- Spoon chutney and beer mixture over ham when serving.
Nutritional information per serving:
- Calories 415
- Protein 51 g
- Total fat 13 g
- Saturated fat 4.4 g
- Carbs 18 g
- Fiber 1 g
Weight Watcher POINTS = 9
This Mama’s tips
- You’ll need to make sure that your slow cooker is big enough – or your ham small enough – to use the lid. If it doesn’t quite fit, you can cover the top with aluminum foil instead.
- If you cannot find chutney at your local supermarket, use a cup of mild mango salsa plus a cup of peach or apricot preserves instead.
- Crockpot ham is terrific for potluck events like Super Bowl parties.
- For a roasting rack, I use two small, round cake racks in my crock pot.
- Use the leftover ham in soup, quiche or a stir fry.
Connect with Sam’s Club
To locate a Holiday Taste of Sam’s Club event, visit samsclub.com. For more recipes, instructional videos, daily tips and deals, visit the Holidays Made Simple site or download the Sam’s Club mobile application to your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. You can also find Sam’s Club on Facebook or on Twitter @samsclub and @samsclubdeals.
Disclosure: as a Sam’s Club Food Ambassador I receive compensation for my time and efforts.