Thanksgiving is right around the corner and eating healthy shouldn’t stop you from enjoying those delicious Thanksgiving classics. Enjoy your favorite side dishes without the guilt with these healthy swap out side dishes that will make your whole family go back for seconds. Making Thanksgiving healthy this year is going to be a piece of cake…or a piece of pumpkin pie!
1. Carrot Mushroom Stuffing
You can’t have Thanksgiving without some warm, comforting stuffing on your plate. Try out this veggie stuffing that has a fresh, Asian style twist. Use this as a side dish or to stuff your turkey!
· 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
· 6 cups sliced fresh shiitake and/or button mushrooms
· ¼ cup sliced green onions
· 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
· 2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
· 1½ teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
· ¼ teaspoon pepper
· 6 cups dry whole-grain bread cubes
· 3 cups coarsely shredded carrots (6 medium)
· 1 cup to 1¼ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
· Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally. Add green onions for the last 1 minute of cooking. Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce, oregano, rosemary and pepper.
· In a large bowl, combine mushroom mixture, bread cubes and carrots. Drizzle with enough of the broth to moisten.
· Place stuffing in an ungreased 2- to 2- ½-quart au gratin or baking dish. Bake, covered, for 45 to 55 minutes or until heated through. (Or to use to stuff a 10- to 12-pound turkey, prepare as above, except use ¾ to 1 cup broth instead of 1 to 1¼ cups broth. Spoon lightly into turkey neck and body cavities; do not pack. Internal temperature of stuffing should register 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.)
2. Cauliflower Mash
Cauliflower mash is the perfect low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes. This recipe will taste so good you will forget it’s not potatoes!
- 2 medium heads cauliflower, florets removed
- 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup of milk
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly chopped chives, for garnish
- Butter, for serving
· Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Drain well, pressing with paper towels or a clean dish towel to remove as much excess water as possible.
· Return to pot and mash cauliflower with a potato masher until smooth and no large chunks remain.
· Stir in cream cheese and milk and season with salt and pepper and mash until completely combined and creamy. (Add a couple tablespoons more milk until you reach desired consistency.)
· Garnish with chives, season with more pepper, and top with a pat of butter.
3. Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Is Green Bean Casserole a tradition at your Thanksgiving dinner? Swap out a few ingredients and you have a healthier and Vegan casserole!
· 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
· 1 yellow onion, chopped
· 1 pound frozen cut green beans (or fresh)
· 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 1 (15 oz.) can per 1 1/12 cups, drained and rinsed
· 1 1/4 cups water
· 1 garlic
· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
· 1 sprig fresh rosemary, (1 sprig is about 1 teaspoon minced)
· freshly ground black pepper
· 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
· Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a 3½-quart dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the onion until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the frozen green beans and ½ teaspoon of salt and stir well. Cover the pot and let the vegetables cook until heated through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, combine the chickpeas, water, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, rosemary, a couple grinds of fresh black pepper, and the balsamic vinegar into a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- When the vegetables are tender, pour the sauce over the top and stir well. Adjust any seasoning to taste, then sprinkle the crushed hazelnut mixture over the top, if using. Bake the casserole at 350ºF for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are piping hot and the topping is lightly golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
4. Lightened Creamed Corn
Get your corn pudding fix with this gluten and dairy free recipe.
· 2 extra large eggs
· 1/4 cup raw honey
· 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
· ½ cup almond milk
· 2 tablespoons organic cornmeal
· 1 tablespoon organic corn starch
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 2 cups Florida sweet corn kernels
· 2 scallions thinly sliced
· Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
· In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the honey and coconut oil until the honey is more or less dissolved. Stir in the milk, followed by the cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, corn kernels and scallions. Whisk until just combined.
· Lightly grease an 8 x 8 casserole or baking dish and pour in the corn mixture. Bake in the oven until the pudding is set, about 30 minutes. If you want the top to be browned, transfer the dish to the broiler for 1 minute.
· Allow the pudding to rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then serve.
5. Beet and Apple Salad
Add some color to your dish with this crisp salad!
- 4 large beats
- 5 thyme sprigs
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup of apple-cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 3 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1/3 cup salted pistachios, chopped.
- 1 green apple, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a baking dish, lightly drizzle the beets and thyme with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast until the beets are tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut them into 3/4-inch dice.
- In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until emulsified. Add the horseradish and season with salt and pepper; toss with the beets and pistachios. Transfer the beets to a platter, top with the apple and serve.
Try out these healthy, easy recipes for this upcoming Thanksgiving and you will certainly not regret it! Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating boring. You deserve to indulge this holiday season, but by making a few recipe changes you can indulge without the guilt.