Thanksgiving a Healthier Way

Holiday recipe ideas

Thanksgiving Sides


Honey glazed baby carrots

Makes 4 servings


  • 3 tbs EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1 lb organic baby carrots
  • 1.5-2.5 tbs honey
  • Chopped parsley or dill to preference (I like dill.)


Steam carrots 4-5 minutes depending on how crisp you like your veggies.   Drain carrots.


Heat EVOO in saucepan, stir in honey.  Once honey is warm, place carrots in and gently toss them to coat.

Serve hot.

*Sweet Potato Casserole

Courtesy of Cooking Light


To prepare this a day ahead, cook the sweet potatoes; combine with brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Before baking, stir in half the pecans, place in a baking dish, and top with the remaining pecans and marshmallows. If you’re toting this dish to a Thanksgiving celebration, assemble the casserole and bake at your host’s home while the turkey stands.


  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an

even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.


Yield: 16 servings

CALORIES 186 (27% from fat); FAT 5.5g (sat 2g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 1.6g;

CHOLESTEROL 8mg; CALCIUM 23mg; SODIUM 272mg; FIBER 2.5g; IRON 0.7mg;


Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2007


*Green Beans with Toasted Almond Gremolata

Courtesy of Cooking Light


For a restaurant-caliber presentation, leave the green beans whole, and toss with toasted almonds, garlic, lemon rind, and fresh parsley. The garnish (without the nuts) is called gremolata and typically accompanies the veal dish osso buco but it also can add great flavor to steamed


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


Steam beans, covered, 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and return to pan. Add parsley and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.


Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

CALORIES 59 (35% from fat); FAT 2.3g (sat 0.2g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.4mg;


FIBER 1.6g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2003


*Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Courtesy of Cooking Light

This tasty side captures the flavor of ranch dressing without additional calories, fat, and sodium. Make these potatoes up to one day ahead, and refrigerate until just before serving. When you reheat them, you may need to add some additional buttermilk and sour cream to achieve a rich



Yield 12 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)



  • 13 cups cubed red potato (about 4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill



Place potato in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Place potato in a large bowl. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.


Nutritional Information


  • 197 Calories(21% from fat)
  • 4.5g Fat (sat 2.7g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.2g)
  • 4.3g Protein
  • 35.9g Carbs
  • 3.2g Fiber
  • 14mg Chol
  • 0.6mg Iron
  • 206mg Sodium
  • 47mg Calc


Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2007


*Bread Stuffing with Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Apples


Cook the pearl onions in boiling water for 20 seconds and plunge them into ice water to make the skins slip off easily. Substitute cipollini, another small onion, if you can find them. (I cheat and use red onions I have already cut up and frozen.)


  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) loaf sourdough bread (I use the wheat variety .)
  • 8 bacon slices, chopped (I use nitrate/nitrite free center cut. Or you can use a spicy Italian turkey or chicken sausage if you prefer. )
  • 2 cups pearl onions, peeled (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I use less.)
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (You can use only egg whites to reduce the cholesterol content but it’s only two eggs for the whole dish, so if you are having cholesterol heavy foods you may want to cut here.)


Preheat oven to 400°.

Remove crust from bread; cut bread into 3/4-inch cubes to measure 8 cups. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on 2 jelly-roll pans. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool. Place bread in a large bowl. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.


Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels. Add onions to drippings in pan; cook 3 minutes or until soft, stirring often. Sprinkle sugar over onions; cook for 3 minutes or onion mixture to bread. Return pan to heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add apple and celery to pan; cook 6 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring frequently. Stir in parsley and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); cook 1 minute. Add apple mixture to bread mixture; toss to combine. Combine broth and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Add egg mixture to bread mixture; toss to coat. Spoon bread mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.


Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until browned.


Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

CALORIES 202 (22% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 1.3g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 8.7g;

CHOLESTEROL 41mg; CALCIUM 72mg; SODIUM 640mg; FIBER 2.8g; IRON 2.8mg;


Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2007


Cranberry-Orange Relish


Can make up to 3 days ahead


  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 c orange sections
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12-ouncd) bag fresh cranberriesk rinsed and drained
  • Cinnamon stick (optional garnish)


Combine all ingredients except cinnamon stick in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency.

Nutritional Info-1/4c serving

  • Calories 68
  • Fat 0.1 g (0.1 polysaturated)
  • Protein 0.4g
  • Carbs 17.8g
  • Fiber 2.5 g
  • Chol 0 mg
  • Iron 0.2 mg
  • Sodium 38 mg
  • Calc 14 mg

*These recipes are not mine.  Recipes are copyrighted to their respectful owners. They are ones I have adapted through out the years and find work to help keep me on track through the holidays.



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