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    I hope you have kept last week’s tips for Thanksgiving in your mind and will remember them when Turkey Day comes (just days away)!! It’s one thing to “know” the healthy options but to actually MAKE THEM is key!! To ensure you have the best and healthiest choices possible - I have provided healthier versions of your favorite foods, along with some that you may want to try this year. In fact, I have provided a healthy option for each “staple” so your Thanksgiving meal could be right in front of you. You are welcome ;-)

    Although you may not want to know some of this, before I get to some yummy, healthy recipes for Thanksgiving, let me share the amount of calories and fat in some Thanksgiving staples. My hope is by you knowing how many calories/fat are foods, you choose differently. A question that is good to ask yourself before reaching for a certain food - “Is (insert food) going to help me get closer to achieving my goal(s)?


    Rib Roast (4 oz. or 3 slices) 336 calories, 21g fat

    Turkey, roasted dark meat (4 oz or 4 slices ) -- 323 calories

    Turkey, roasted white meat (4 oz or 4 slices) -- 180 calories, 1 g fat

    Ham (4 oz or 3 slices) -- 122 calories, 4 g fat


    Green Bean Casserole (1 large spoonful or 1/2 cup) -- 350 calories, 17 g fat

    Sweet Potato Casserole (1 large spoonful or 1/2 cup) -- 250 calories, 12 g fat


    Cornbread (2-inch square) -- 173 calories, 5 g fat

    Stuffing (1 cup) -- 320 calories, 18 g fat


    Mashed Potatoes (1 cup or 2 large spoonfuls) -- 237 calories, 9g fat

    Creamed Spinach ( ½ cup or 1 large spoonful) -- 150 calories, 10g fat

    Gravy (about 1/2 cup or 3 small ladles scoops ) -- 100 calories, 8g fat


    Pecan Pie (⅛ slice) -- 503 calories, 27 g fat

    Apple Pie (⅛ slice ) -- 411 calories, 19 g fat

    Pumpkin Pie (⅛ slice) -- 316 calories

    Now on to some great recipes to make this Thanksgiving your healthiest one yet!!



    2.5 to 2.75-pound turkey breast (if bone is included)

    1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

    3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

    1.5 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves

    5 teaspoons minced garlic

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


    Remove skin from turkey breast and discard. Cut the turkey breast away from the bone into two equal-sized fillets.

    Start preheating your indoor grill on high. Meanwhile, combine herb rub ingredients -- parsley, sage, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil -- in a processor bowl by pulsing for about 10 seconds.

    Use your hand or a spatula to spread the herb rub on both sides of each fillet. When grill is ready, arrange turkey fillets on grill so that the grill top rests evenly on both pieces of turkey. Cook about 14 minutes (if fillet is 2 inches thick). Test the thickest part of the turkey fillet to make sure turkey is cooked throughout. You should be collecting some drippings in the tray of your grill (you can use this and scrapings from the top and bottom grill plates to make a gravy)

    Remove turkey fillets to a serving platter and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

    Serving Size: 6

    Calories: 215

    Protein: 39 grams

    Carbs: 0.3 grams

    Fat: 5.5 grams


    Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without stuffing. But, as you know, butter-soaked bread cubes (aka stuffing) aren't exactly low in calories. And nobody should be stuffing-less on Turkey Day.


    6 slices Wonder Light Bread, any variety (or another light bread)

    1 cup chopped onion

    1 cup chopped celery

    1 cup chopped mushrooms

    1 cup fat-free broth, chicken or vegetable; room temperature

    1/4 cup Egg Beaters, Original

    1 tbsp. LAND O LAKES Whipped Light Butter

    2 cloves garlic; finely chopped

    salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme


    For best results, leave bread uncovered for a night or two, until slightly stale. Otherwise, begin by lightly toasting bread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. In a medium-sized pot, combine broth, celery and onion. Cook for 8 minutes at medium heat.

    Remove from heat and add mushrooms and garlic.

    Season mixture to taste with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Spray a medium-sized baking dish with nonstick spray, and place bread cubes in it. Once veggie-broth mixture has cooled slightly, add Egg Beaters and butter.

    Pour mixture evenly on top of bread. Mix gently with a fork. Bread cubes should be moist, but not saturated. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.

    Remove foil and fluff/ rearrange stuffing. Return to oven (uncovered) for 10 - 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Serves 5.

    Serving Size: 1 cup

    Calories: 88

    Fat: 1.5g

    Carbs: 16g



    1/2 c turkey juices (leftover from roasting and fat removed)

    4 c chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)

    1 1/4 c apple cider

    pinch salt

    pinch black pepper

    1 t dried thyme

    3 T all-purpose flour


    Remove turkey from roasting pan. In a small cup, combine the flour and 1/2 cup of the stock; set aside. Skim any visible fat from roasting pan with cheesecloth.

    Place the roasting pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. (Remember there might be fat remaining in the pan or on the outside, so don't let the heat get too hot--it will burst into flames!) Vigorously scrape the bottom of the pan with a long-handled spoon to deglaze it, and add the apple cider.

    Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half--it should take about 5 minutes at medium heat.

    Slowly add the remaining 3 1/2 c stock; whisk it into the cider mixture. Allow to simmer for 6 minutes. Whisk in the flour and stock mixture; bring gravy to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

    The gravy will start to thicken. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and strain.

    Servings Per Recipe: 16

    Calories: 20.0

    Fat: 0.0 g

    Carbs: 4.1 g

    Protein: 0.9 g



    2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries (no sugar added)

    One 12-oz. bag whole cranberries (fresh or frozen; no sugar added)

    1/4 cup Truvia spoonable no-calorie sweetener (or another no-calorie granulated sweetener), or more to taste

    Two 1/4-oz. envelopes dry unflavored gelatin

    1 tsp. orange zest

    1/8 tsp. salt

    Optional: additional no-calorie sweetener


    In a medium pot, combine cherries, cranberries, sweetener, and 1 cup water. Set heat to high, and bring to a boil.

    Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water.

    Remove pot from heat, add contents of the small bowl, and thoroughly mix. Stir in orange zest and salt.

    Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours.

    If you like, add additional sweetener to taste.


    1/12th of recipe (about 1/3 cup)

    33 calories

    0g total fat

    11.5g carbs


    Don’t let “cauliflower” steer you away from giving this a try - you will save yourself up to 100 calories without sacrificing taste. I personally would make it and not tell anyone that it is cauliflower. See what happens. You and your guests will be pleasantly surprised!!


    1 large head cauliflower

    1 cup goat cheese

    4 tablespoons low-fat cream

    Liberal dashes salt and pepper

    1 tablespoon butter


    Chop cauliflower up, including stems. Place in a large microwave safe bowl and heat for about eight minutes, until soft.

    Place warmed cauliflower, goat cheese, cream, salt and pepper and butter into a food processor and pulse until creamy. Garnish with butter and extra salt and pepper and enjoy!

    Serving size - 6 (1 cup)



    Two 16-oz. bags frozen French-style green beans, thawed, drained & thoroughly dried

    Two 10.75-oz. cans Campbell's 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery Soup

    One 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained

    1 bag (about 1 oz.) Crispy Delites Red Onion Chips or 1 oz. (about 25 pieces) onion-flavored soy crisps, crushed


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

    Make sure green beans are thoroughly drained and completely dry -- use a towel if you need to. Then, place half of the green beans in a casserole dish (a 2 - 3 quart rectangular one works best).

    Cover with remaining green beans, and then top with the rest of the soup. Evenly top with the remaining water chestnuts. Place dish in the oven, and cook for 45 minutes.

    Top with crushed soy crisps, and return dish to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until chips turn golden brown.

    Serving Size: 10

    Calories: 76

    Fat: 2g

    Carbs: 13g



    1 T olive oil

    1 c onions, chopped fine

    1 large butternut squash, approx. 3 lbs

    4 c low sodium chicken stock

    1 orange

    1/2 c orange juice


    1/2 bunch cilantro, fresh, leaf only

    1/4 c unsweetened coconut, flake

    1 orange (zest, juice, and fruit)

    1 serrano chili pepper


    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Peel, halve, and remove the seeds from the squash.

    Dice into 3/4 inch cubes. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray, add cubed squash, and spray the top of the squash. Roast 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender.

    Remove from oven. Place oil in a dutch oven or medium size saucepan. Sauté the onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened.

    Add the squash and stock; cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat for 10 minutes.

    Add the orange zest and the juice; simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

    Using a blender or food processor, purée the mixture in batches. (For a smoother texture, strain the soup through a sieve, but you'll remove some of the fiber.) In a blender or food processor, blend the coconut, hot pepper, cilantro, orange juice and flesh until mixture forms a puree. If mixture is too thick, add warm water to thin it.

    Ladle the soup into soup cups and garnish each serving with about a teaspoon of the pesto.

    Serving Size: 8

    Calories: 128.6

    Fat: 2.8 g

    Carbs: 25.6 g


    By substituting butternut squash for sweet potatoes and using some key light ingredients, you can save over 200 calories and nearly 17 grams of fat per serving on this Turkey Day classic. And it tastes EXACTLY like the real thing (yes, EXACTLY)


    1 large butternut squash (large enough to yield 2 cups mashed flesh)

    1/2 cup Egg Beaters; Original

    1/3 cup light vanilla soymilk

    1/3 cup sugar-free maple syrup

    1 tsp. cinnamon

    1/4 cup SPLENDA (or any other calorie-free sugar); Granular

    1 tsp. vanilla extract

    2/3 cup miniature marshmallows


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Peel squash and cut into large chunks (removing seeds).

    Fill a large, microwave-safe dish with a half an inch of water.

    Place squash into dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for approximately 8 minutes (and drain). Squash should be tender enough to mash, but not fully cooked.

    With a potato masher, food processor or fork, mash squash.

    Measure out 2 generous cups, lightly packed, and place in an oven-safe baking dish. Add all ingredients except for marshmallows.

    Mix ingredients thoroughly, but do not over-stir; squash should still be pulpy. Allow to cook for 45 – 50 minutes.

    Remove from oven, and disperse marshmallows over top of pie. Return to oven for 5 minutes, until marshmallows begin to brown. Allow to cool.

    Serves Size: 4

    Serving Size: 1/4 recipe; approx. 2/3 cup

    Calories: 110

    Fat: <0.5g

    Carbs: 25g

    If these recipes don’t meet your taste and you want to cook/make a healthy meal - use everyone’s friend - Google. You can find unlimited recipes that will save you hundreds of calories and most importantly - still enjoyable meals!!

    Stay tuned to next week’s blog as I will continue to provide tips and information to make this holiday season your healthiest!!


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