My heart lurched in my chest at bowling last week (I’m in a Thursday morning league), when I realized that Thanksgiving was only three weeks away. Don’t get me wrong; I love Thanksgiving. I love the time with family, the football, and most of all the food. But, it is a lot of work, all that cooking.
I have spent too many Thanksgivings being too hot and tired by the time I finished preparing everything to really enjoy the meal by the time we sat down to eat. These days, I start preparing things days ahead of time, so that my actually cooking on Thanksgiving Day is much less than it used to be.
Today I am going to share two Corn Casserole recipes that I have lightened up to make them more Weight Watchers friendly. One is made using the old standby Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix; the other, in order to cut down on calories and Smart Points, doesn’t use the boxed mix. I am also giving directions for making these in either the Instant Pot, or cooking in the oven. You won’t save any time cooking these in an electric pressure cooker, but you will free up valuable space in your oven, and your corn casserole will be incredibly moist, almost like a pudding.
When looking at how to lighten the recipe, I first decided to change the butter to the light butter spread that I like to use by Land O Lakes. I then changed the 2 eggs to 1 whole egg and 1 egg white. Finally, I changed the sour cream to half fat-free and half low-fat. After, making the first casserole in the Instant Pot, I found that the casserole was so moist (because you don’t lose any liquid to evaporation in a pressure cooker), that I could cut the creamed corn to one cup and not sacrifice anything. This first recipe yields a very easy-to-make corn casserole worthy of any Thanksgiving table.
When looking at the recipe, I was still faced with a side dish that was 7 Smart Points. Since my daily allotment is 30 Smart Points, I wanted to see if I could do better than 23% of those points.
So, I looked at the ingredients again, examining the number of Smart Points for each. The item that overwhelmingly has the highest number of points is that box of Jiffy corn muffin mix. The only way to lighten the points left to me was to replace the box of mix with a lighter homemade substitute. I found a good one at the Keeper of the Home website. I love that it calls for whole wheat flour – if you use brown whole wheat flour, it will have less points than white whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour is denser, and therefore more filling, in my estimation. The cream corn adds plenty of sweetness, so I cut the sugar in half.
In the end, this is a recipe that takes a little more work, since there is more measuring of dry ingredients rather than simply pouring in a box mix, but we are now looking at 5 Smart Points per serving. I hope that you like it as much as my family does.
If you are planning to bake your casserole in the oven, you can assemble it any time before the holiday and freeze it in the baking dish. Or you can prepare it the night before, and bake it with your other sides. On Thanksgiving, simply pop it in the oven from the freezer and bake it for 2 hours. If you are going to bake it in the Instant Pot, you can assemble it the night before, if you’d like, and then cook according to the directions.