Thanksgiving is fast approaching! The day we give thanks for family and friends, health and FOOD! Many Americans will tack on an additional 2,500 calories on this holiday based on food alone. That doesn’t even include a glass of wine! And we’re all familiar with the post-Thanksgiving meal nap…
However, contrary to popular belief, scientists say turkey has no more tryptophan than any other poultry; the truth is that when you combine tryptophan with foods high in carbohydrates (hello, stuffing and potatoes!), serotonin levels will spike leaving you feeling sleepy. Plus, we’re simply eating too much!
I love Thanksgiving food and there is nothing better than a delicious meal with the ones you love, but there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t feel like a stuffed turkey after the last piece of pie has been served.
I’ve collected some delicious recipes that swap out fat for flavor and no, these aren’t diet foods or fat-free dishes, just lighter more nutritious versions of your favorites! Cheers from my family to yours. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving with these delicious recipes surrounded by those you love!
1. Swap Fried Turkey for Grilled Turkey
Tender delicious turkey with no clean up? Yes – I’m in! I always grill my turkey on our gas grill. This turkey will turn out fork tender and amazingly juicy and moist. No need for messy, greasy pans, and the best part is you have your oven space for the other side dishes! Get the recipe here!
2. Swap Mashed Potatoes for Mashed Cauliflower
What really makes mashed potatoes tasty is the butter and cream that you whip them with! This mashed cauliflower recipe is light, creamy, and delicious without adding all the extra calories. A fresh gourmet low-carb approach that will surprise even your biggest skeptic.
3. Swap Stuffing for Portion-Controlled Stuffins
Let’s face it, some people make very traditional recipes while others add some interesting ingredients like giblets and stale bread. Bottom line, it can be a mystery as to what you are eating as well as we often tend to eat too much of it. This little babies are made with a yummy traditional stuffing recipe but in adorable portion sized rolls.
4. Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes for Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese or Roasted Sweet Potatoes
The typical sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping that gets passed around every year is usually made with canned sweet potatoes in a heavy syrup, filled with additives and tons of tasteless calories. Both our mashed sweet potato recipe with goat cheese and chives and our roasted sweet potato recipes will blow your socks off and are actually good for you. Sweet potatoes are naturally scrumptious, rich in beta-carotene, and loaded with vitamins! So try something new and see those faces light up when they taste this dish.
5. Swap Green Bean Casserole for Brussels Sprouts
I know we all ate a similar green bean casserole recipe as kids that our moms found on the back of a soup can, but those mushy beans covered in creamed soup aren’t that appetizing and they’re filled with tons of salt, MSG, and topped with deep fried onions. This healthy swap for Brussels Sprouts is a fresh dairy-free option that everyone at the Thanksgiving Day table can enjoy. These roasted Brussels sprouts are light, clean, and have a nice nutty flavor.
6. Tin can molded Cranberry Jelly for REAL Cranberry Sauce
Who knew making real cranberry sauce was such a snap. My son loves molded cranberry jelly, so I wasn’t sure how well he would take to me making a fresh sauce. He went crazy over it! This recipe uses less sugar and the touch of nutmeg makes a huge difference! Cranberries are packed full of antioxidants, so it’s great choice to go with any holiday meal.
7. Pecan Pie for Pumpkin Mousse
Pumpkin pie is my all-time favorite dessert! I LOVE pumpkin, and this recipe is will satisfy your sweet tooth. If you love pumpkin pie and cheesecake, and this dessert will cover your cravings for both without the calories. So you can have your pie and eat it, too!