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Instead of loosening the belt notch this year and making room for that extra ten “holiday pounds,” why not try some low-fat, low calorie spins on traditional dishes and make some tasty alternatives.

In November, as Thanksgiving approaches, people all over America look forward to tucking into a traditional feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams with marshmallows, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and other delectable classics. 

Below, are ten recipes which are packed with flavor and still healthy for those who are trying to avoid holiday weight gain.

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Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Healthier Turkey Recipe

1    10-12 lb. turkey
2    tbsp. canola oil
2    tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (plus 3 additional sprigs)
1    tbsp. of each: fresh chopped sage and fresh chopped thyme (plus 3 additional sprigs)
1    tsp. each:  ground pepper and kosher salt
1 ½ lb. peeled and halved shallots, divided
1    tart green apple
2    c. water

Pre-heat oven to 475°F and place oven rack in lowest position.  Remove neck and giblets from inside the turkey and reserve or discard according to preference.  Place turkey with breast side facing up and pat dry with paper towels.  Combine oil, chopped pepper, salt, thyme and sage in small bowl and rub mixture all over turkey.  Place herb sprigs and shallots and apple inside the cavity and add 3 c. of water to the pan.  Roast turkey for 45 min. or until golden brown and remove from the oven.  Cover turkey breast with double layer of aluminum foil and then scatter shallots remaining into the pan around the bird.  Reduce oven to 350°F and continue roasting turkey until internal temperature reaches 165°F to 1 ¾ hours.  If pan becomes dry add more water, making sure to keep the turkey moist is the most important part of recipe.  Transfer to a serving platter, allow turkey to off cool for 20 minutes, carve and enjoy.  One serving contains 155 calories, 5 grams of fat, 62 mg of cholesterol and 25 grams of protein.  Serves 8-10, with average serving size of 1 ½ ounces per person.

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

3    ½ lbs. peeled and cut sweet potatoes (approximately 8 cups chopped into ½ in. pieces)
1/3 c. pure maple syrup (can use fat free or sugar free to reduce calorie content further)
2    tbsp. butter
1    tbsp. lemon juice
½      tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper to suit taste

Preheat oven to 400°F and arrange sweet potatoes evenly in a 9 X 13 glass baking pan.  Combine maple syrup, pepper, salt and lemon juice in small bowl and pour over sweet potatoes.  Cover and bake for approximately 15 minutes and uncover. Stir every 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and start to brown, 45-50 minutes.  One serving contains approximately 96 calories and makes approximately 8, one cup servings.

Winter Green Salad Mixture (Tasty Alternative to Green Bean Casserole)

2-3 cloves garlic, minced
¼   tsp. kosher salt
¼   tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste
2    tbsp. lemon juice
1    tbsp. sherry vinegar 

12 c. chopped mixed bitter salad greens, such as chicory, radicchio and escarole, such as chicory, radicchio and escarole
2-3 anchovy fillets rinsed with water and finely chop
1/3 c. of extra virgin olive oil
3 large hard-boiled eggs

Put minced garlic cloves into a large serving bowl and add pepper and salt to taste.  Combine lemon juice and sherry vinegar and allow standing for 5 minutes and stirring in the anchovies to taste.  Wisk in the oil slowly until all ingredients are combined.  Add greens mixture, shred the egg whites and 1 egg yolk and sprinkle over the salad.  One serving has 92 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 22 mg of cholesterol, 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber.  Recipe makes 10, one cup servings.

Crock Pot Apple Butter

2 ¼ pounds of apples, peeled, cored and chopped fine
1 ½ c. and 1 tbsp. of white sugar
¾    tsp. of ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. of ground cloves
1/8 tsp. of salt

Put chopped apples in a slow cooker.  In a medium sized bowl and mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt and pour the mixture over the apples and toss well.  Cover and cook on high for approximately for one hour, reduce heat to low and cook an additional nine or ten hours, until the mixture is soft and brown.  Uncover and cook for another hour and stir ingredients with a whisk, place into sterile jars or freezer bags.  Yield four quarts and 110 calories per 2 ounce serving.

Low Calorie Turkey Wraps

10 whole wheat flour tortillas wrap
10 c. smoked turkey (fat-free)
1 avocado, peeled, seed removed and sliced
½ c. of sour cream (fat-free)
½ c. cheddar cheese (fat-free)
(Can add lettuce and tomato and other vegetables if desired)

Heat up flour tortillas over medium flame until lightly browned and divide ingredients and spread out evenly over the warmed tortillas.  Fold tortillas in half and serve.  The recipe makes 10 servings and has 260 calories per wrap.

Mushrooms and Nutmeg

2    1/2 pounds of fresh mushrooms
1 ¾   c. and 2 tbsp. of white wine
3      tbsp. and 1 ½ tsp. of ground nutmeg
2 ½   tsp. of salt

Clean and slice mushrooms and combine with above ingredients.  Cook the mixture over medium heat until the wine begins to boil and reduce heat to low and cook until mushrooms are tender.  Remove from heat and serve while hot.  Makes 10 one cup servings and has 72 calories per serving.

Low Calorie Broccoli Salad

¼ c. and tbsp. and 1 tbsp. of finely diced red onion
3 tbsp. and 1 ½ tsp. of raisins
5 cups of broccoli florets
2 tbsp. and 1 ½ tsp. dry roast sunflower seeds
¼ c. and 1 tbsp. of unflavored yogurt
2 tbsp. and 1 ½ tsp. of orange juice
1 tbsp. and ¾ tsp. of fat free mayonnaise

In large mixing bowl combine broccoli, raisins, onions and sunflower seeds.  In a smaller bowl combine and whisk orange juice and mayonnaise until smooth and pour over broccoli mixture and toss evenly.  Makes 10 one cup serving and contains 42 calories per serving.

Cheesy Baked Cauliflower

2 heads of cauliflower
½ c. butter, cut into chunks
2 tsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 c. grated low-fat or fat-free Parmesan cheese

Steam the heads of cauliflower for 30 minutes, drain and put on a pie plate.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  In medium mixing bowl combine mayonnaise and prepared mustard, spread the mix over cauliflower and dab chunks of butter on top.  Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Recipe makes 10 one cup servings and has 163 calories per serving.

Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad

2 (0.3 oz.) packages of sugar-free cherry jello mix
2 c. boiling water
1 (16 oz.) can of jellied cranberry sauce
1 (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
½ c. of chopped pecans

Combine the jello mix and boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Mix in the cranberry and pineapple and transfer to a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Sprinkle the pecans on top and chill until set and serve.  Recipe serves 10-12 and has 124 calories per one cup serving.

Pumpkin Kaya

(Tasty Alternative to Traditional Pumpkin Pie)

1 ¼ c. of cubed, fresh pumpkin
3 tbsp. and ½ tsp. of coconut cream
1 tbsp. and 2 ½ tsp. brown sugar
2 ½ c. young pandan leaves

Put pumpkin into a steamer and set in pot over an inch of water.  Bring water to a boil and cover, steam until soft or for about 20 minutes.  Transfer the pumpkin into a blender and blend until completely smooth.  Combine the pumpkin and other ingredients into a pot and cook over medium-low heat.  Cook and stir frequently, until the mixture is thick and smooth for about an hour.  Remove the pandan leaves and cool kaya before serving, unused portions can be refrigerated for later use.  Recipe serves 10-12 and contains 20 calories per one cup serving.

  • www.eatingwell.com/category/health_diet_considerations/low_calorie
  • allrecipes.com/recipes/