Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Fixes


Nothing says pre-Thanksgiving like the warm smell of hearty cooking wafting through the house. Unfortunately, nothing says post-Thanksgiving like an indulgent food hangover. So this year, we’re trying to make some healthy tweaks to lighten our traditional T-day menu. Here’s our inspiration:

Mashed potatoes
Traditional mashed potato recipes generally call for loads of butter and cream, making them delicious, but not the lightest of dishes. Thankfully, upping the nutritional profile of your mash doesn’t have to mean missing out on comforting richness. Try these rosemary and goat-cheese mashed sweet potatoes (above) for a vitamin-rich side that’s low in fat and high in flavor. Feeling adventurous? You can also try swapping in cauliflower for potatoes.

We like saving enough room to enjoy every part of the meal, but stuffing often over-delivers on its name. Want to make sure you still have a spot for dessert? Instead of heavy fillers like bread and meat, use quinoa for a fragrant, nutty stuffing that can also stand alone as a side, like in this quinoa stuffing with apple, sweet potato and hazelnuts.

Pumpkin pie
With some recipes packing upwards of 400 calories and 17g of fat a pop, pumpkin pie isn’t the most artery-friendly of desserts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t savor this sweet and creamy seasonal staple. One easy way to lighten up without sacrificing too much on taste is trying a crust-less pie made with skim milk (around 160 calories a slice). Prefer the real deal? Opt for mini pies to make portion-control easy.

What are your healthy Thanksgiving tricks? Let us know in the comments!

Image: 2009-11-26 Thanksgiving Day, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from JanetandPhil’s photostream.