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APPETIZERS AND SIDES
A female empowering non-diet dietitian supporting women who want to create a healthier relationship with food.
SOUPS AND STEWS
DIPS, DRESSINGS & MARINADEs
SNACKS & DESSERTS
Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday and time of year! I love the comforting foods, time with family and friends, sweater weather… I could go on and on! However, I know the holidays can be a stressful time for some. Besides any potential family drama or travel issues, creating a healthier Thanksgiving feast is a huge undertaking! The sheer volume of food can be a lot to manage with grocery shopping, timing and keeping all of the recipes straight. Depending on how many people you are hosting, this can be another barrier. Nobody wants to run out of food to serve!
And a quick caveat… by “healthier Thanksgiving”, I don’t mean low calorie meals. If you are new to following this blog you should know that I don’t preach this message.
When I decided to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner on my own, I did so for my mom and sister. Although it was a small number of people, I still wanted to make sure we had everything that’s part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal: the turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies, stuffing and dessert. I also had to consider making a plant-based meal for my vegetarian sister. Thankfully, and with some help from my family, I managed to pull it off. It wasn’t the prettiest dinner but I was so proud of myself for making all of the recipes, especially the roasted turkey!
Through this experience, I learned some things along the way that can help make the process easier and less stressful. So here I am, documenting it all for your benefit!
Here we go… your Ultimate Guide to a Healthier Thanksgiving!
First things first, breakfast. We have to start the day off right and nothing says “all day energy” like a protein- and fibre-rich breakfast. But don’t worry, I’m taking into account the upcoming dishes and cooking, so stick to these Apple Pie Overnight Oats to do the trick.
Let’s mix it up a bit for the appetizers. This Toasted Sweet Potato with Beet Hummus sounds just about right! The hummus can be made a few days in advance to save you some time day-of. You can also go all-out and follow this how-to guide on making your own charcuterie board with all of the fixings!
I know the main focus is the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, but if you’re at all interested in a bit of veggies, check out these recipes as a refreshing accompaniment!
The citrus component may make this sound like a summer recipe but it really brings these Balsamic Citrus Roasted Beets to life!
If you’re a brussels sprouts fan like me, give these Lemon and Rosemary Brussels Sprouts a go! Or opt for some flavourful leafy greens with my favourite Fall Harvest Salad recipe.
Okay, enough about the vegetables, let’s move on to the starchy goodness. I know the classic mashed potato is a favourite but if you’re ever looking to mix it up, here are my suggestions…
You can never go wrong with Crispy Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes but if you’re looking for a vegan option, check out this Vegan Mashed Potato recipe. I have also been dying to try these Perfect White Buns, and this is the perfect occasion!
We cannot forget about the stuffing! Arguably the best part of the meal, if done right! Keep it traditional with The Best Stuffing Recipe Ever. If that title is not convincing enough, I don’t know what is. For anyone catering to guests who are gluten-free, paleo and/or vegan, I encourage you to save yourself the headache and use this Sweet Potato Unstuffing.
This was the recipe I used when I made my first Thanksgiving dinner for my family. It’s easy to follow, has limited ingredients and comes out of the oven perfectly roasted!
For a plant-based option, how about this Acorn Squash with Chickpeas and Chimichurri?! I get that your time is limited so if you’re looking for something quicker, opt for this Sheet Pan Dijon Chicken with Rosemary Potatoes! You could even use turkey breasts instead of chicken if you want to keep the classic Thanksgiving vibe.
Here we go, getting into the exciting stuff. How good does this Spice Cranberry Punch look?! If you need a non-alcoholic option, I love the idea of these Fruit Infused Waters… just look at these flavours!
Finally, we get to the grand finale of this healthier Thanksgiving. Like I said, including foods we love is so important for our mental health, so I consider these recipes perfectly good for us.
Let’s go with a fruit forward option to start it off. These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars just sound incredibly delicious and cozy. We can’t forget about our chocolate lovers, and for you I offer these decadent Fudgy Tahini Brownies. And trying our best to be inclusive around here, for our vegan friends, I have an option for you too: Vegan Chocolate Mousse.
If these recipes weren’t enough for you, don’t worry, I understand you my fellow type A friend. To wrap it up, you need to check out these PACKED menu and preparation schedules. Whether it’s a traditional or plant-based menu you’re after or just a good ole’ how-to guide, you’ll find it all!
If you try any of these recipes please let me know! I would love to hear how they turned out and how you integrated them into your holiday. However you decide to celebrate I hope you have an amazing weekend. I’m thankful for every single one of you who support me and this blog. Thank you!!
Bachelor in Applied Sciences, Professional Masters Diploma in Dietetics, Diploma in Sports Nutrition from the International Olympic Committee
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Food for a happy and healthy life