Gobble til you Wobble…we’ve all seen the cute kitchen towels and fun Thanksgiving shirts that say just that, but who is with me…sometimes a stuffed turkey is EXACTLY what you feel like following Thanksgiving dinner? The heavy gravy, the potatoes, the stuffing, the pie…need I continue (and is your mouth watering yet?). Well not to fear, on the healthy side of things when it comes to Thanksgiving…sure, we all may eat more than our fair share, but if you’re the one hosting you can create the most delicious and healthy Thanksgiving meal without expanding your waistline or blowing your diet! We’ve rounded up some lighter and healthy thanksgiving recipes that are sure to still have you satisfied on Thanksgiving day (fun fact: you can find a lot of these ingredients on iGoPink’s healthy grocery list).
Let’s start with the main course: Turkey! This has been our family’s go-to turkey (and quite frankly, great on roasting chickens too) recipe since I can remember. It uses olive oil and the natural juices of the turkey. Marinate the night before to bring out all the fantastic herb flavors!
Onto one of my favorites: Stuffing. Although I try not to eat bread in excess, stuffing is my weakness. However, most stuffing recipes call for a stick of butter, which makes me cringe. This stuffing recipe I found back probably 10+ years ago. I use whole wheat stuffing bread cubes (rather than cornbread) to make it. The mixture of the sausage, sage, cranberries and walnuts gives it such a unique twist. It’s now the dish I get requested to make most often.
Can’t have Thanksgiving without green bean casserole. A tried and true favorite of many, but truly it’s not THAT bad for you. Use the reduced fat cream of mushroom soup, I substitute unsweetened almond milk for regular milk and I omit the onions (that’s where the ‘bad stuff’ is) and if you really need a crunch on top, add some seasoned Panko bread crumbs at the end and broil on high for a few minutes until crispy.
Cranberries: they’re not everyone’s favorite so I replace cranberries with a salad with dried cranberries and apples with a light vinaigrette. It’s light in flavor, when everything else is so heavy, and gives a cold crisp off set to the hot dishes.
And who can do Thanksgiving without potatoes? Although they’re not the ‘healthiest’ of starches, they’re a staple for many. But my trick (that everyone raves about) is to omit the butter that is normally mixed in at mashing time. I boil red potatoes (my pref) and then to make them whipped or mashed I add in about ¼ c. of lowfat butter milk and driedranch dressing mix (one packet for a medium sized batch of potatoes). Your guests will all wonder what is in your potatoes and little do they know; they DON’T have butter!
Last but not least: dessert! You’re talking to the queen bee of having a sweet tooth, BUT by the time I make it to Thanksgiving dessert, I’m truly full. So, a great alternative to doing a full pie or heavy dessert, baked fruit! This can be apples, peaches, blueberries or bananas. Cut the fruit (or leave whole if you prefer) and sprinkle with a VERY little amount of brown sugar and instead of butter, I use butter flavored cooking spray like Pam to lightly spray the fruit. Put on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15-20 min and then serve over a single scoop of vanilla ice cream (I love some of the organic vanilla ice creams). It’s a sweet finish, but without feeling STUFFED.