A welcoming dining room. Check.
Good friends and family. Check.
A cozy room to take your after-dinner nap (or watch football). Check.
Good food that won’t break Aunt Mildred’s paleo-gluten-free-juicing diet? Wah-wahhhh.
Inevitably every Thanksgiving, there is one dieting friend or one relative who has decided to throw a monkey wrench in your holiday menu planning with their latest weight-loss/ clean eating plans. While it’s pretty much impossible to make every person sitting around your Thanksgiving table happy, there are healthier recipes out there for you to serve your most food-conscious guests. Whether it’s your gluten-free friend or your low carbin’ cousin, these seven healthy recipes from some of our favorite food blogs and magazines will help make your Thanksgiving menu diet-proof this year. Even Aunt Mildred can eat something!
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
This one’s easy. Unless someone at your table is a vegetarian. Turkey has lots of health benefits. According to Body & Soul, it’s a rich source of protein, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and even vitamin B6 and niacin, which are both essential for the body’s energy production. Instead of springing for a whole turkey, you could always go simple and small with a turkey breast. We like this simple Herb Roasted Turkey Breast recipe from Barefoot Contessa.
Instead of starchy mashed potatoes this year, opt for mashed cauliflower. The side dish has all of the comfort food elements as potatoes do, yet it’s much healthier for you. (Cauliflower is known to be associated with a lower risk of some cancers, as they contain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients — plant nutrients that may help neutralize damaging toxins.) Plus, it will make your paleo, low-carb and gluten-free guests extremely happy. This Mashed Cauliflower recipe from Delish is a great one to try.
Low Carb & Gluten Free Turkey Stuffing
“You just can’t eat turkey without stuffing. Am I right???” So writes “I Breath I’m Hungry” blogger, Mellissa Sevigny. Her breadless low carb and gluten-free take on this Thanksgiving staple is a must try. “The cauliflower soaks up all of the other flavors and has a nice soft texture, the sausage makes it hearty, and the nuts give it a nice crunch.” Done and done.
Green Beans with Parmesan
Serve this easy green bean dish from Eating Well as a healthy alternative to your beloved green bean casserole. The secret? Brown the butter before tossing it with the breadcrumbs to produce the nice nutty flavor. Log this in the category of low-carbish.
Curried Carrot Soup with Tarragon Oil
If you’re a non-traditionalist, you might want to give Naomi Pomeroy’s healthy soup recipe from Food & Wine a try. Cook the carrots with Madras curry powder, ginger and garlic… then before serving, add a splash of Tabasco sauce and a drizzle of tarragon-infused oil. Just the right amount of boom.
Roasted Kabocha Squash and Grapes
Who doesn’t love winter squash? This healthy kabocha squash recipe from Eating Well could be a real Thanksgiving surprise, thanks to roasted grapes that intensify the flavor. Butternut or acorn would also work. Yum!
Crustless Apple Pie
We recently caught this low sugar deconstructed apple pie recipe from Pop Sugar on Facebook, and it’s one we’ve been dying to try! Your guests will love you because it saves calories and cuts carbs by skipping the crust. Plus, the caramel sauce is dairy-free. Oh, and did we mention you’ll save time by not having to roll out that pesky pie crust? That makes this recipe worth its weight in gold.