While we set our clocks back, let’s look ahead to what’s in store this November – namely, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays bringing together family, friends, football – and food! From the turkey with stuffing to the green beans and cranberry sauce it can seem like an overwhelming amount of treats. It’s no wonder most people decide to eat around 2pm that day – it encompasses a full days’ worth of food!
This year, we’re trying something a little bit different. Instead of feeling like a stuffed turkey at the end of the meal, we’re adding some healthy and delicious options to break up the meal.
Thanksgiving Deviled Eggs
Instead of just gorging yourself in one sitting, try spreading out your indulgences in a series of smaller, healthier snacks.
This festive appetizer is a take on the classic deviled egg. It brings together fall holidays and adds some creative color to your dining room table. Though halloween is over, pumpkins and gourds are still in season. Don’t put that pumpkin spice away just yet.
Our Tip: Use some fat free mayo to make this recipe both tasty and healthy.
Green beans are a great, versatile veggie to have with any meal. Thanksgiving is no different. But some people, we hear, aren’t the biggest of fans of these culinary creations. While good seasoning and just the right amount of char can go a long way to improving the taste, sometimes it’s necessary to add in just a little bit more incentive.
One of the most tried-and-true methods of making something taste better works here too: just add bacon. If you’re a carnivore – or are serving these meat eaters – try wrapping your green beans in a slice of bacon. Even the most adamant vegetable cynic will have to give these delicious baked green beans to the test.
If you’re looking to make these even healthier, try substituting turkey bacon for regular bacon. You’ll be reducing the saturated and unsaturated fats when doing this, so be sure to keep the green beans nice and juicy. We would recommend soaking the green beans before cooking if you’re giving this extra healthy route a go.
Our Tip: Half the brown sugar and consider a butter substitute to make take this recipe to another level of healthy.
Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
Whoever said cooking healthy dishes meant using less cheese was sorely mistaken. Eating is about making tradeoffs. One of our favorite tradeoffs is the trend towards of cauliflower replacing heavy carbs and starches. This leaves us with plenty of options to dress it up with our favorite low-fat cheese and maybe even some crumbled bacon bits (the store bought kind are very low in fat – but look out for that sodium).
While mashed potatoes may be a staple, we don’t think anyone will miss them once they try this creamy substitute. The greek yogurt and fat-free (or light) cream cheese in this recipe replaces the cream and butter normally found in the coronary-attack potato version.
If you can’t stand to be without your regular mashed potatoes, consider rolling back your portion and adding these to the mix. That way, you’ll still have a taste of your favorite staple while not over-indulging on a dinner that is traditionally filled with heavy carbs.
Our Tip: We use part-skim or fat free cheese whenever we can. Part-skim works better to melt into a recipe like this.
Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Wild Rice Pilaf
If you’re looking to cut down on the amount of dishes served (and therefore the amount of food consumed), you may want to add this recipe to your cook book. This healthy option combines 3 common sides into one to prevent that dreaded belly ache from over eating.
We like this recipe because it is especially well rounded with healthy fat from olive oil, carbs from wild rice and fruit, and some protein from the nuts. All of these pair very nicely with white or dark meat turkey.
Our Tip: Substitute couscous for the rice if you want to try something a little extra special.
Chickpea Cookie Dough Dip
That’s right, cookie dough! While this may not traditionally be a common Thanksgiving dessert, it’s a great substitute for some of the heavier options. The best part about a dessert dip – you can have as much or as little as you like. This gives you plenty of space to fill up on your healthier meal options above!
Our Tip: Don’t tell anyone what it is before they try it. It’s a great little secret recipe that will keep your family and friends guessing.