Ever wonder how many calories get racked up at the Thanksgiving table? On average, Americans consume 4,500 calories the day of the feast, and that’s not including breakfast, appetizers or a midnight turkey sandwich. But a little nutritional knowledge is power.
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.
Next week we’ll be celebrating Thanksgivukkah, or Thanksgiving + Hanukkah. It’s when the first full day of Hanukkah falls on Turkey Day. The last time this happened was in 1888, and it won’t happen again for many moons (79,000 years to be exact). Make your Thanksgivukkah table extra special with an array of healthy, Hanukkah fare combined with traditional Thanksgiving ingredients.
It’s the perpetual Thanksgiving debate: turkey legs or breast meat? We all have our taste preferences, but which one is healthier? Find out in this Thanksgiving food fight!
The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are busy enough; worrying about having the right tools for the feast needn’t add to the stress. With Joseph Joseph’s Duo Carve, a two-in-one Japanese stainless steel knife set, you’ll slice the holiday bird with ease. The 8-inch carving knife and 7 1/2-inch carving fork come with a protective cover for storage.
You can buy your own Joseph Joseph Duo Carve or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, your favorite Thanksgiving dish. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, November 15 at 5 p.m. EST.
We’re giving away one Joseph Joseph Duo Carve to one randomly-selected commenter. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on November 13 and 5 p.m. EST on November 15, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $30. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Is it the bird? The sides?
Maybe this is your first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian, or perhaps you’re hosting your first vegan guests at a holiday dinner. Just because the traditional turkey takes center stage, it doesn’t mean there can’t be delicious plant-based options for both main dishes and sides that will satisfy you or all of your guests this year. I asked some top plant-based RDs how they navigate Thanksgiving and the winter holidays while still getting to enjoy festive foods. After all, isn’t that the best part about the season?
Use the turkey carcass, leftover dark meat and even leftover veggie sides to whip up this deliciously warming soup.
Recipe:Next Day Turkey Soup
Leftover turkey breast combines with beans, chili peppers, and jack cheese makes a mean chili.
Recipe: Leftover Turkey Chili
Make a delish panini using turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
Recipe: Turkey, Dressing, and Cranberry Panini
Combine chunks of leftover turkey with celery, apple, grapes and pecans for a main-dish salad or light lunch.
Recipe: Waldorf Salad.
According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should all be eating 2 cups of orange veggies each week. Pumpkin pie can help meet these recommendations plus that brilliant orange color provides the antioxidants vitamin A and lutein.
Fatty ingredients like traditional pastry crust, butter, cream cheese, half-and-half, or shortening can sabotage the nutritional value. Mountains of sugar from canned pumpkin pie filling and spoonfuls of sugary toppings can also send calories through the roof. Topped with whipped cream or a la mode, a slice can weigh in at close to 500 calories.
Healthy Pumpkin Pie Tips:
- Use gingersnap cookies for a lighter crust made without partially hydrogenated oils or make your own canola oil pie crust.
- No need for mounds of sugar—let the sweetness of the pumpkin take over.
- Steer clear of sugary or heavily-sweetened pumpkin pie filling. The canned pumpkin puree should have one ingredient; add your own spices from there.
- Serve with one heaping spoon of freshly made whipped cream and fresh fruit like apples, oranges and pears.
- Try Food Network Kitchens slimmed version.