Cut down on waste and whip up some delicious creations (win-win!). Turn common Thanksgiving leftovers into these unexpected goodies.
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Is there anything more necessary than a generous scoop of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving? A slice of hot buttered cornbread is nice, too. Some would even say it’s the green bean casserole that really makes the meal special. Personal preferences aside, we can all agree that the sides are the best part of Thanksgiving — next to the smorgasbord of pie, of course. And since we only get to enjoy this celebratory feast one day each year, why not dig in to the indulgent dishes that are so representative of the holiday? Then again, if you plan on having a lot of leftovers, you could be enjoying these dishes for a few days (or an entire week) after Thanksgiving has passed. That’s incentive to throw some healthier options into the mix. Here are the classic, comforting sides we all long for, with a few minor alterations to make each one less of a splurge. As it turns out, your healthiest Thanksgiving could be your most-traditional yet. Who knew?
There always seems to be a random selection of leftovers the day after the big feast. Use your Thanksgiving leftovers to create scrumptious new dishes that will wow family and friends.
Although you may be busy thinking about cooking for the big feast, everyone still needs to eat a nutritious breakfast on Thanksgiving. It’s a no-brainer that the meal should be quick and easy, but there’s a secret if you’re trying to avoid belly rumbling before dinner. Protein, healthy fat and whole grains take longer for the body to work on, making you feel fuller longer. Choose a Thanksgiving Day breakfast with one or all of these nutrients to help keep your guests satisfied and help avoid some of the groveling that happens before dinner is served.
Holiday meals just wouldn’t be the same without cranberry sauce. But this year, we think you should give up your favorite canned variety, and get festive with this nutritious batch of cranberry-chia jam. Enjoy it with your Thanksgiving meal, to liven up breakfast, or as part of your leftover spread.
It can be a challenge to use the words “healthy” and “desserts” in the same breath, especially when you’re serving up Thanksgiving dessert. Keep this one trick in your back pocket and you’ll be surprised at how sweet healthy desserts can really be: You can’t go wrong if you bake along with the season. All of these treats (all gluten-free) use your fall fruit favorites, like pumpkin, apples and pears — low in calories and high in fiber. Plus, cranberry is naturally bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C.
This Thanksgiving, gather your friends and family and serve them, well, sorghum! It won’t send your guests running for the hills — we promise. The recipes we’ve created below are as tasty as they are good for you. But instead of white bread and butter, we’ve added a slew of hearty whole grains to your Thanksgiving. Sorghum (pictured above) powers up a salad amped up by sprouted lentils and spinach while millet stars in a corn-chive casserole. No need to scrap the stuffing. Just lighten up by loading up on veggies and using heart-healthy fats like olive oil. Even the typical waist-busting green bean casserole can be good for you — the secret’s in the gravy.
Thanksgiving isn’t exactly the time to obsess over calories. That said, if you’re watching what you eat, don’t feel like you have to sit on the culinary sidelines of everyone’s favorite food holiday. This lineup includes healthy options for all of the traditional highlights of the feast: turkey, green vegetable, orange vegetable, stuffing, potatoes — even dessert.
Stuff a butterflied skinless turkey breast with a whole-wheat cranberry stuffing for a Thanksgiving main that’s just under 400 calories (gravy included!).
Make a garlicky mustard-herb paste to give turkey-breast meat delicious flavor.
If you have guests with special dietary needs coming over this holiday (the vegan nephew, the aunt with the nut allergy, the gluten-free neighbors, the sibling on the paleo diet), there’s no need to fret.
Quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain that’s easy to cook and reheat, making it even more holiday-friendly.