What are YOU doing for Thanksgiving this year?

Jill calls the holiday season–Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas–the Trifecta of Diet Doom! Check out her description of it–writing perfection!  It can seem like that. We can be tempted to just give up and indulge this time of year.

But with just a substitution or two, you can turn your Thanksgiving feast into something just as delicious, but a whole lot healthier. Here are two of my favorite “special” vegetable recipes from the past year.

First up is a green bean recipe that will put that old green bean casserole recipe to shame. I cannot tell a lie. I had nothing to do with this recipe. It is Balsamic Glazed Green Beans and Pearl Onions. A most worthy side dish at only 53 calories per serving!

Next is one of my all-time favorite “comfort food” recipes. This idea for this recipe originally came in my health insurance newsletter–so it has to be healthy, right? It is Cauliflower Potato Bake. Somewhat reminiscent of Potatoes au Gratin. Definitely healthified, at only 66 calories per serving. I actually think this dish is perfect paired with a baked ham. Because everybody knows you have to have MASHED potatoes with turkey, right? Tada! I give you Mashed Cauliflower. Don’t turn your nose up at it until you try it (Cammy, you’re excused.) It only took me two years of hearing about mashed cauliflower before I would try it! And now its one of my favorite veggies! And I felt especially vindicated when I heard some of the top chefs on The Food Network mentioning ‘cauliflower mash.’ Its so good and creamy that you don’t even need gravy. (But at only 40 calories per serving, you can afford a little gravy on top!)

What are your favorite healthified Thanksgiving recipes?  Or do you just indulge for the day?  I think I am still a bit of a volume eater, so I like to have a few healthy choices and have bigger servings.


17 thoughts on “What are YOU doing for Thanksgiving this year?

  1. We were just talking about doing a fresh veggie instead of the usual green bean casserole – great timing on this post! The balsamic glaze sounds wonderful!

    We do a sweet potato casserole from Cooking Light magazine, but everything else is the same…nowadays, we just try to keep it to one plate.

  2. Aw, thanks for the shout out!!

    I’m so sick of greenbean casserole that if I never have it again, that will be perfectly fine with me. We are doing corn on the cob instead – it’s the healthy treat that’s fun to eat! 🙂

  3. We have the standards but have definitely healthified the vegetables. My sister makes a green bean casserole from scratch that is so good if you have it, you’d never want to cream of whatever soup one again! We also have a roasted vegetable of some sort – this year it’s brussels sprouts. I don’t like mashed potatoes so that’s not a temptation for me (which also excuses me from mashed cauliflower wihich I like even less, if that’s possible). I don’t care for the whipped sweet potatoes either – too much like a dessert. But my mom’s homemade cornbread dressing? That’s my thing. Love it and don’t deny that I’ll eat it either.

    And, I’m making that pumpkin cake again. I wasn’t going to make it this year and mom called me and said every single one of my brothers and sister had requested I bring it. Sigh.

  4. I was all geared up to protest the cauliflower madness, but then I saw I was excused. Thank you!

    I did TRY the mashed cauliflower, but I despised it. So there. I’ll just crunch mine raw alongside some mashed potatoes, thank you. 🙂

    • Cammy, I’m with you too. Cannot stand the cauliflower mash – tasteless goop! I do, however, like cauli-rice which tells me it has to be a texture thing since I don’t like mashed potatoes either.

  5. Hi, I’m a new follower and want to thank you for the cauliflower and green bean recipes. Wish I could take those to my daughter’s house instead of the three pumpkin pies they asked me to bring. The pies I take will be the real thing, but when I do them for me they are made with skim milk, sugar substitute and no crust. Actually pretty good ! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. We try to do a green veggie now that we never used to have. Sometimes brussel sprouts. this year is likely to be asparagus!

    I often eat my pumpkin pie without the crust to ‘healthify’ it for me. Other people want the crust, and my dad makes the Turkey day pies each year, so no choice except to not eat the crust. Of course, I am making a pumpkin gingerbread trifle, so healthy bets are a little off on that one 😀

    • Trifle!!! I used to make that for Christmas. I even know how to make a reduced calorie one. I will have to revive that this year.

  7. Sadly, Thanksgiving is my MIL’s non-negotiable. We’ve been having the exact same menu prepared the exact same way for the last 30 years. She refuses to allow anyone to bring anything or entertain any ideas that might add variety. I made the mistake of taking something several years ago. It promptly went into the fridge and never made it to the table. It used to make me angry – it still frustrates me, but what can you do??? We just laugh about it and move on. It’s only one meal and with everyone together, it’s not about the food! (And yes, the dreaded green bean casserole is among the offerings!)

  8. Our thanksgiving is pretty simple and vegetarian (not that vegetarian means healthier). I will eat a serving of everything and I won’t worry about counting calories. It is just one meal (and that’s all I eat that day) and I will just have just one plate full. I will also have dessert but I don’t usually have much of that, it is too sweet and I am too full. Friday will be a new day :).

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