Traditional Thanksgiving the Skinny Way

thanksgiving day tableHands down, Thanksgiving is the biggest cooking holiday out there. Some of the foods that are served at the Thanksgiving table are actually healthy foods that have gotten a bad rap because of the way they are prepared – or just for the fact that people overdo it on the portion size: the average person eats 3000 calories!

But you can cook your traditional favorites a lot healthier while retaining that delicious taste of the original version. So here are four ways to lighten up the classic recipe without compromising a lot on taste:

Mashed Potatoes

Use 1% buttermilk instead of heavy cream, it gives extra zing to your mash, just set the buttermilk out to come to room temperature so your potatoes don’t end up cold.

Soups

Is Lobster bisque a must for your holiday table? Use half and half instead of heavy cream, use the same amount but save on half the fat.

Make your Stuffing More Wholesome with Whole Grain

If you can’t find whole grain croutons, you can always buy one loaf of good quality whole wheat bread, cube it, and toast it in a 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

 

Skinny Chef’s Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Hungarian Nutroll

Hungarian nut roll is one of my family’s most treasured recipes – but this version has less fat since it’s made with skim milk and low-fat margarine. Fresh yeast is usually found in the dairy section, but you can substitute with 2 (.04 ounce) packets of dry yeast Get the recipe »

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet and naturally creamy, this mash is a great substitute for regular mashed potatoes. I love to serve it along side fish, so you’re cashing in on vitamin E as well as tons of vitamin A from the mash. Get the recipe »

Shallots and Green Beans

Shallots belong to the family of chives, leeks, garlic and onions. I think they look like tulip bulbs and taste a lot milder than garlic and onions. They lend a gentle onion flavor to vinaigrettes and are a great substitute for raw garlic that can sometimes be hard to digest. Get the recipe »

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookies

Purchase a pumpkin shape cookie cutter to make these fanciful whole wheat trick or treats for Halloween. The molasses adds vital iron and other minerals to these whole grain goodies that have an extra helping of fiber. Get the recipe »

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Moist pumpkin and rich chocolate make an outrageous dessert pair. Pumpkin has tons of beta carotene, an important antioxidant and the chocolate has flavenoids which also boost the levels of antioxidants in this bread pudding. Get the recipe »

Granny’s Stuffing

My granny makes the moistest stuffing and here is the “skinny” version with all the flavor and less fat. Even though she calls it stuffing, Granny likes to bake this Thanksgiving classic outside the bird. Get the recipe »

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut squash adds flavor and color to this classic fall recipe. Since butternut squash is naturally creamy and non-fat, it creates the “risotto” texture without relying on Mascarpone that is extremely high in saturated fat. Frozen butternut squash puree can be found in most freezer sections of your local grocery store. Get the recipe »

Gingerbread Cookies

Sesame seeds add a delicate crunch to these spicy treats. I like it when the cookies soften up as they are stored, but my husband is a crisp cookie fan, so I reheat them for a few minutes in a warm oven before serving the second day. Get the recipe »

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