If I have learned one thing throughout the course of this pandemic, it has been that quarantine and staying inside has not been kind to my waistline. We have all heard about the dreaded quarantine-19 that so many of us have gained. With the holidays coming up, it can be even more challenging to try and stay on track and eat healthy. Luckily for you, we have the go-to guide for your thanksgiving meals, with a twist… they taste good and are good for you! Eating healthy for Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be miserable. With these fun recipes, the holidays can still be filled with delicious, heart-loving food. And don’t worry — we will make sure to hit all of the Thanksgiving classics, so you won’t be missing out!
You can’t have Thanksgiving without a turkey! Fortunately, turkey is already relatively healthy and packed with protein. It’s when we start drenching it in butter and seasonings that it begins to become an unhealthy option. Instead of roasting a whole turkey, I suggest roasting a turkey breast instead. By roasting the breast of turkey, you are making sure you are eating leaner cuts of meat – versus the dark meat that has a higher fat concentration to it. That’s enough health talk, let’s jump into the recipe!
- 5 lbs. Turkey Breast
- 2 tbsp. of Softened Salted Butter
- 2 Large Grated Garlic Cloves
- 1 tbsp. of Rosemary
- 1 tsp. of Smoked Paprika
- 1 ¾ tsp. of Salt
- Ground Black Pepper to Taste
- 3 Cups of Water
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Wash and dry the turkey with warm water.
- Place the dried turkey into a baking tray with a rack.
- In a bowl, add the butter, garlic, rosemary, paprika, salt, and pepper and mix.
- After mixing, take a basting brush and rub the turkey with the seasoning.
- After seasoning the turkey, make sure that it is balanced on the cooking rack and pour 3 cups of water into the large cooking tray.
- Place the turkey, uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes, take the turkey out and cover it with foil and let it cook for 80 more minutes
- Make sure that the meat reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees before taking out
- After the turkey is done cooking, remove the foil and let it rest for 20 minutes
Is it really Thanksgiving if you don’t have the creamy mashed potatoes to go along with the savory turkey?! I know what you are thinking…mashed potatoes are loaded with salt and butter, not to mention potatoes are a carb-heavy food. What if I told you that you could get the same great taste of mashed potatoes from cauliflower? Well, it’s true! Mashed cauliflower provides that same warm and creamy taste as mashed potatoes, with fewer calories and carbs!
- 3 lbs. of Cauliflower Heads
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves
- 1 tbsp. of Salted Butter
- ½ tsp. of Salt
- Ground Pepper to Taste
- Cut up the cauliflower into small chunks.
- In a pot, put your cauliflower and garlic in, then pour enough water in the pan to completely cover the veggies.
- Boil the cauliflower and garlic for about 10-15 minutes, until it is soft
- Once the cauliflower is cooked, drain the water from the pot
- Place the cooked cauliflower into a food processor, until the cauliflower has a creamy consistency
- Pour out the creamy cauliflower into a bowl and serve!
Another Thanksgiving staple: stuffing. You may think that it’s impossible to make a healthy stuffing, but you’re wrong! Now, is stuffing the best option? No, but it’s all about moderation. By using whole grain bread, less butter, and tons of veggies, you can make a relatively healthy stuffing! With this nutritious spin on stuffing, you will be able to enjoy one of the Thanksgiving dishes you love, without feeling guilty the next day.
- 12 oz. of Whole-Grained Bread, Cut into Cubes
- 2 tbsp. of Canola Oil
- 2 c. of Chopped Yellow Onions
- 1 c. Chopped Celery
- 1 c. Chopped Carrots
- 1 tbsp. of Minced Garlic
- ¼ c. of Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
- ¼ c. of Chopped Sage
- ¾ tsp. of Kosher Salt
- ¾ tsp. of Black Pepper
- 2 ½ c. of Unsalted Chicken Stock
- 3 tbsp. of Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 2 Large Eggs
- Cooking Spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Layer the bread cubes on the bottom of a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.
- Check on them every 5 minutes, the bread should be golden brown.
- After baking the bread cubes, place them in a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat a large pan with oil in it on the stove.
- After the pan is heated, add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Sauté the veggies for 10-15 minutes.
- Make sure that the veggies are soft.
- Remove the pan from heat, and add in the parsley, sage, salt, and pepper.
- Then put the bread, seasoning, and veggies in a bowl and toss them together.
- Add chicken stock, butter, and eggs to the bowl. Then stir the mixture occasionally for about 10 minutes.
- Let the bread sit and soak up the moisture.
- Then place the mixture into a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
When you are on a diet or trying to watch what you eat, most of the time, that means missing out on dessert. What if I told you that you could have your cake and eat it too!? With this healthy pumpkin cake recipe, you will be able to divulge in a sweet treat, without the feeling of guilt later! Also, the Greek Yogurt icing is to die for!
- 3 Large Eggs
- ¾ c. of Honey
- 1 ½ c. of Pumpkin Purée
- 1 tsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. of Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 2 tsp. of Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. of Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. of Baking Soda
- ½ tsp. of Salt
- 1 c. of Shredded Zucchini
- 3 1/3 c. of Almond Flour
- 2 ½ c. of Greek Yogurt
- 4 oz. of Cream Cheese
- ¾ c. of Sugar
- 1 tsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line the bottom of a cooking sheet with parchment paper and spray the sides with any type of cooking oil.
- In a large bowl add the eggs, maple syrup, pumpkin purée, vinegar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then mix together until there are no lumps.
- Add the shredded zucchini and almond flour and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the cooking pan and bake for 60 minutes, checking on it every 15 or so minutes.
- Remove the cooking pan from the oven and let it cool in the fridge
- Add Greek yogurt, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract into a bowl and beat it with a mixer until it is fluffy and smooth.
- Spread the icing on top of the cake and enjoy!
There you have it, a healthy spin on four traditional Thanksgiving dishes. With these recipes, you can stay on track and keep your diet going through the holiday season. No more quarantine-19 for you! You shouldn’t have to feel miserable while dieting. (Especially in 2020.) Instead, enjoy these tasty recipes this Thanksgiving and feel 100% guilt-free. Let us know if you decided to try them out. We love photos of food! We at McGohan Brabender hope that you have a safe and healthy holiday season!