Americans have made a tradition out of stuffing themselves on Thanksgiving, but that doesn't mean that everything you eat has to be unhealthy. In fact, Thanksgiving can give you an excuse to try out some new and nutritious recipes. Side dishes can be made to be both healthy and tasty with these great Thanksgiving recipes.
Potato and Broccoli Puree
Rather than loading up your mashed potatoes with ingredients like butter and cheese, use this popular side dish as an opportunity to incorporate more healthy vegetables into your meal. This recipe uses broccoli, which is rich in healthy phytochemicals and vitamins. For variations on this recipe, try using spinach, kale or other yummy and healthy greens.
- 1 lb. broccoli, chopped
- ½ lb. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ qt. water
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 2 tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Cook potatoes, broccoli and scallions in a large pot with ½ qt. of simmering water. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Drain the vegetables, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Combine the cooking liquid with the cooked vegetables in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth.
- Add in the salt, pepper, butter and lemon juice and pulse until evenly mixed.
Green Bean Casserole
This popular Thanksgiving dish can be reworked to be even healthier and more delicious than before. In this recipe, a fresh sauce replaces canned soup, cutting out a significant amount of sodium and fat. Plus, you get great vitamins and nutrients from the fresh mushrooms, green beans and onions used in the recipe. One note: buy regular dry sherry for this dish rather than cooking sherry, which contains excessive sodium.
- 3 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, half diced, half thinly sliced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 3 tbsp. dry sherry
- 1 lb. frozen green beans
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 3 tbsp. buttermilk powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Coat a 2 ½ qt. baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook the diced onions in 1 tbsp. of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir regularly for about 4 minutes until the onions are softened and somewhat translucent.
- Stir in the onion powder, mushrooms, thyme, pepper and 1 tsp. of salt, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the mushroom juices are almost evaporated.
- Sprinkle in 1/3 cup of flour and stir until the vegetables are coated.
- Add the milk and sherry and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often.
- Add the green beans and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Continue cooking for about 1 minute.
- Stir in the sour cream and buttermilk powder, then transfer the mixture to the baking dish.
- In a separate bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of flour, ¼ tsp. of salt and the garlic and paprika.
- Add the sliced onions to the bowl and stir until coated.
- Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and flour mixture and cook for 4 or 5 minutes until crispy.
- Spread the topping over the casserole.
- Bake the casserole for about 15 minutes until it begins to bubble.
- Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Most families enjoy having fresh biscuits on the table for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately many store-bought biscuits are loaded with sodium, sugar and preservatives. This recipe offers a healthy alternative that has all the great biscuit flavor along with the healthy benefits of tomatoes and yogurt.
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. scallions, chopped
- 1 tbsp. sun-dried tomato, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Drain the chopped fresh tomato on a few paper towels.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- In another bowl, combine the yogurt and oil.
- Stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until evenly mixed.
- Stir the scallion, sun-dried tomato and fresh tomato into the flour mixture until the dough is thoroughly mixed.
- Drop ¼ cup of dough at a time onto the baking sheet. This should create about 12 biscuits.
- Bake for about 12 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown.