Healthier Recipes for Thanksgiving..Please Help

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seashell709
seashell709 Posts: 123 Member
I want to stay on track for thanksgiving. Any recipes for sides or pumpkin pie would be great. Thanks for your input and help.
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  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,990 Member
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    I'm guessing by healthy you mean lower calorie. Go with lots of vegetables for sides, prepared simply:
    /Sweet potatoes or winter squash cooked in water (so you won't have to add a lot cream/milk/butter back to get a nice texture) and mashed with "sweet" spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice).
    /Roasted veggies (like beets, turnips, carrots, cauliflower, mature onions, brussels sprouts - you can do broccoli and asparagus, but they don't seem so much like fall to me) -- roasting brings out their natural sweetness. Before or after cooking you can add a little olive; add fresh herbs after cooking or in just the last few minutes. Or you might want to sprinkle on some nuts, preferably toasted (or just add them in the last few minutes of roasting).

    Maybe you just need to stay away from dressing (stuffing), if you're serving that, or just have one small helping. Ditto with the gravy. And the cranberry sauce (whole berry sauce you make yourself, with a little citrus and nuts, would at least you some fiber and a bit of healthy fat for your calories).

    For the pumpkin pie, I think you have to go with a small piece and, unless you really love pie crust, maybe just eat the filling. The pumpkin is actually quite healthy, and I think you can make it with low fat or nonfat evaporated milk. Of course, there is the added sugar....
  • kimlynn919
    kimlynn919 Posts: 316 Member
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    pumpkin pie is one of the healthiest dessert options and my favorite as is, but i did see someone post not to long ago a recipe thats supposed to be a healthier version...


    for me, im planning on eating turkey (obviously) celery, deviled eggs, a veggie side i havent decided on yet... and a nice slice of pumpkin pie...if i do eat stuffing or anything else im going to try and weigh those portions and keep them super small
  • jenilla1
    jenilla1 Posts: 11,118 Member
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    I'm one of those people who just skips logging on major holidays. I've been on maintenance for years, so eating decent portions is just habit now. I just kind of know when I've had enough. I would never just guess my way through the whole year, because guesstimating over time is a sure fail for me, but it works well enough for a day or two.

    I like a break anyway. So I just eat what I want on the holiday, but I eat smaller portions than some of my "hungrier" friends and family take. I still have the satisfaction of tasting all the good things, but without the food hangover everybody gets. :drinker:

    P.S. I should mention that most desserts I make are modified. I like to avoid a ton of sugar when I can, and I find that in many recipes I can cut out 1/4 to 1/3 of the sugar and it still tastes about the same to me. (Many times I can cut down the fat in recipes by similar proportions, too.) Experiment a bit with the recipes you already love. Also, try http://www.skinnytaste.com/. She's got some good ideas.
  • teresamwhite
    teresamwhite Posts: 947 Member
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    WHat recipes do you traditionally make? I'd be happy to help you edit them to "clean" them up a little.

    Personally, I agree with jenilla, I don't log on holidays (the day itself) and just reduce my portion sizes so I can eat my favorites. But I get that you are trying to be "good" and adhere to your eating plan...good on ya!

    I love roasted root vegetables, tossed in a bit of olive oil and herbs, other vegetables either steamed or simmered in wine or double reduced stock. I think a chopped salad on the table is a beautiful touch, too. I like making a fruit display, with cut melons, pineapple, starfruit, berries and pomegranate seeds.
  • RipperSB
    RipperSB Posts: 315 Member
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    Liking a lot of the ideas from lynn, roasted veggies sticking to smaller portions should help curb the calories count. As for dessert, I suggest a pumkin or sweet potato pie made with Splenda instead of sugar and poured into ramikins instead of a pie crust to curb the calorie count.

    I disagree with those that do not log it, however. If you bite it, you write it! Eat it, log it, accept it. It's you living your life.
  • tkillion810
    tkillion810 Posts: 591 Member
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    There are some great suggestions here! I also like skinnytaste. Her recipes still have a lot of flavor without breaking the bank - calorie wise. Maybe post your typical Thanksgiving meal and we can give some more specifics.

    I also like to start my day off with some movement. I usually participate in a local race that benefits our area food bank. Then when it comes time for the meal I ask myself what I really want to eat. I try to fill up first on veggies and salad, then I allow myself to enjoy a reasonable portion of that food I really wanted.

    It can also help if you host of the meal. You get to control the quality of the ingredients for the recipes that way.
  • bcattoes
    bcattoes Posts: 17,299 Member
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    Use 1/2 potatoes and 1/2 cauliflower and reduced fat sour cream instead of full fat cream for lower cal/carb mashed potato.
    Use 1/2 fat free canned milk and 1/2 full fat and add only 1/2 the sugar to reduce calories in traditional pumpkin pie. (there are also lots of lower calorie alternatives to traditional pie online)
    Serve mashed or baked sweet potatoes instead of the sweetened casseroles.
    If you traditionally serve green bean casserole, try roasted or sauteed green beans with garlic.
  • MyLuvMaya
    MyLuvMaya Posts: 23 Member
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    Liking a lot of the ideas from lynn, roasted veggies sticking to smaller portions should help curb the calories count. As for dessert, I suggest a pumkin or sweet potato pie made with Splenda instead of sugar and poured into ramikins instead of a pie crust to curb the calorie count.

    I disagree with those that do not log it, however. If you bite it, you write it! Eat it, log it, accept it. It's you living your life.

    I agree with that last line. If you eat it why not log it?
  • ckish
    ckish Posts: 358 Member
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    It comes down to a choice of weather you want to eat more of "low calorie" versions of certain foods or weather you prefer to have a small portion of a "classic" recipe you really enjoy. I try to eat from the perspective of consciously choosing the value of each calorie I consume. Therefore, if I make a "low calorie" version of something I make sure that I actually like the result and don't eat it wishing it were something else. My traditional Thanksgiving dinner comes in at 813 calories so I still have room for a great breakfast. That being said, I will use 1/2 & 1/2 in my whipped potatoes and freshly churned butter on my homemade bread. I won't eat 1/2 a loaf of bread and I won't have a mountain of potatoes but I will savor every tasty bite completely guilt free. My best advice is to save calories where you can and don't overindulge.
  • MyJourney1960
    MyJourney1960 Posts: 1,133 Member
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    I also think it would help if you would post your proposed/usual menu and we can help you tweak it.

    I tend to make lots of vegetable side dishes (and I make healthy, from scratch, no cans or packets involved, dishes). things like roast vegetables, roast beets that i make into a salad, one BIG salad (lettuce etc), one cabbage slaw (no mayo, but oil, vinegar etc), even the stuffing i make sure that the ratio of veg to filler is higher than most recipes call for.

    for dessert - you can make things like cheese cake (which actually works well in low fat and most people love cheese cake), apple crumble (using oats and butter for the crumbs), etc. let other people make and bring the fattening pies and make them take them home when they leave.

    buy a stack of containers and give people the leftovers so it won't be around to tempt you.
  • keem88
    keem88 Posts: 1,689 Member
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    turkey is healthy. fresh veggies are healthy. cranberries (not that canned crap) is healthy. stuffing is meh, but you can make it with whole grain bread instead and use minimal butter, or can make brown rice stuffing. sweet potatoes are healthy.

    as far as pumpkin pie, try skinnytaste she has a lot of pumpkin recipes that have lower macros in them. or you can make pumpkin muffins with whole grain flower and applesauce instead of oil.

    thanksgiving generally has healthy foods. it's just that people don't know when to stop stuffing their faces.
  • vanryswicksl
    vanryswicksl Posts: 16 Member
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    Another option for the pumpkin pie is an impossible pumpkin pie that uses Bisquick instead of a pie crust. I'm not sure if it would cut too many calories or not but is tasty.
  • 2manyhats
    2manyhats Posts: 1,185 Member
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    A favorite of ours is to dice sweet potatoes and apples, sprinkle with a bit of olive oil, stir to coat, then sprinkle on some cinnamon and bake. So yummy it's more like a dessert!
  • Railr0aderTony
    Railr0aderTony Posts: 6,804 Member
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    gty_thanksgiving_meal_jp_111110_wg.jpg

    Its all healthy, the only thing that is unhealthy is eatting too much of it.
  • 1longroad
    1longroad Posts: 642 Member
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    I always loved traditional green bean casserole, until I made my Easter green beans for Thanksgiving and now I don't miss green bean casserole at all.

    Rinse and cut to size 1-3 pounds of fresh green beans, depending upon number of people to feed and how many leftovers you want.

    Chop 1 to 2 medium white or yellow onions

    Chop 3 slices of bacon for every poind of green beans used.

    In large skillet or pot, render bacon. When bacon has let go of most of the fat, but is not yet brown, add onion, salt, pepper, garlic and any other spices, cooking until onion is almost soft. Add green beans. Now, add water (my pref.), or chicken broth. Cover and cook until green beans ate to desired tenderness. Serve.

    These taste SO good and even though there is bacon calories, there isn't fried onions, cream of soup etc.

    My daughter also makes grilled brussel sprouts with balsamic glaze!! I am hungry doe thanksgiving, lol!!
  • spencch
    spencch Posts: 4 Member
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    Mashed sweet potatoes and apples

    Boil or bake sweet potatoes until soft (60 minutes in oven or 40 minutes boiling). Typically do 6 - 8 sweet potatoes, depending on the size of the crowd

    Mash the sweet potatoes. Cut up two apples and add to the mashed sweet potatoes in a large pot.

    Add tablespoon of cinnamon or Allspice (or both) and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

    Very tasty, low calorie and low fat.

    Less than 100 calories per cup. No fat.

    Combine this with white meat turkey, low fat gravy and green beans and you have a nice Thanksgiving meal that is <350 calories.
    May even leave a little room for some healthy pumpkin pie (if made from a healthy recipe - the regular stuff (300 cal) is still fairly high calorie), or a small slice of something else you enjoy.
  • kristensaav
    kristensaav Posts: 41 Member
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    Pinterest has a ton of healthy recipes for pumpkin pies! Just join and type in the search bar paleo or low sugar or low fat pumpkin pie etc. This website is very helpful with finding healthy recipes!
  • jenilla1
    jenilla1 Posts: 11,118 Member
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    Not sure why they used ground beef in that. It seems more appropriate to use ground turkey to me. Maybe I'm just biased because I hate ground beef! :ohwell:
  • CaliopeCupcake
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    YOU CAN MKE A DELIGHTFUL FAT-FREE/SUGAR-FREE CHEEECAKE [PLAIN OR PUMPKIN] USING EGG WHITES, FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE AND SPLENDA. LINE THE BOTTOM OF THE SPRINGFORM PAN WITH JUST FLAT GRAHAM CRACKERS.


    MY FAVE FAT FREE CREAMY BROCOLI SIDE DISH:

    STEAM 4 CUPS OF FLORETS UNTIL SOFT; STIR IN ONE 9 OZ PKG FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE WHILE BROCCOLI IS HOT SO IT WILL MELT. ADD 1/4 C FINELY CHOPPED ONION [OR MORE TO TASTE] AND GENTLY COMBINE 1/2 C SLIVERED ALMONDS [WITH SKINS LOOKS NICER] AND SERVE, SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE. IT'S EVEN BETTER THE NEXT DAY AND IS ALSO A GREAT VEGETARIAN MEAL REPLACEMENT.

    I WON THE SPAM CONTEST WITH THIS RECIPE BY ADDING SHREDDED SPAM FOR A LUCHEON RECIPE.