Everyone knows that the Holiday Season is all about spending time with friends, family, and indulging in special eats and treats. Taking part in all of these things doesn’t have to leave you feeling bad about yourself, though! It’s important not to restrict yourself and miss out on what makes the holidays so special, but sometimes it can be easier than you think to make small changes that lead to more mindful decisions.
To make life easier, try bringing one of your own healthy dishes to your Thanksgiving feast! Not only will you feel good about contributing, but you’ll also have at least one dish that you know you can all enjoy and feel good about eating!
For The Appetizer
Whole Grain Stuffing Squares
Who doesn’t love stuffing?! This recipe can be made gluten free or vegetarian depending on which type of stuffing you choose, so the possibilities are endless. These stuffing squares are the perfect way to kick off any Thanksgiving party and pre-game for the feast to come!
- 5 ounces gluten-free whole-grain bread, such as Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, toasted, cooled and finely crushed
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- One 8-ounce package mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Place the cooled breadcrumbs in a large bowl. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes; add to the breadcrumbs.
- Add 3 tablespoons oil, the onion, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add to the breadcrumb mixture. Add the carrots, celery, and baking soda to the bowl and mix well. Stir in the eggs. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and spread evenly; bake until browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes; cut into 16 squares.
- 12g Carbs
- 10g Fat
- 5g Protein
For the Side Dish:
This sautéed carrot recipe is salty, savory, and the perfect complement to your main turkey course. It can be prepped start to finish in just about 15 minutes and is sure to please! This recipe yields six servings each coming in at just under 100 calories.
- 2 pounds carrots
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
- Peel the carrots and cut them diagonally in 1/4-inch slices.
- Place the carrots, 1/3 cup water, the salt, and pepper in a large (10- to 12-inch) sauté pan and bring to a boil.
- Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through.
- Add the butter and sauté for another minute, until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter.
- Off the heat, toss with the dill or parsley.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
- 15g Carbs
- 4g Fat
- 1g Protein
For The Main Course:
Vegan Stuffed Squash
Not everyone likes turkey, you know! Looking for something different that is free from all of the major allergens? Try out this Vegan Wild-Rice Stuffed Butternut Squash for a filling, savory, and healthy alternative to the classic turkey main course!
- 2 medium butternut squash (2 to 2 1/4 pounds each)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons dried unsweetened cherries
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Arrange the halves in a large baking dish, flesh-side up.
- Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup and 2 tablespoons oil. Brush the flesh-side of the squash halves with some of the maple-oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Put the squash flesh-side down in the baking dish, then brush the skin side with the maple-oil mixture and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
- Roast until the squash is fork-tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Let the squash rest until cool enough to handle. Scoop some of the flesh out into a large bowl, leaving about 1/4-inch border of flesh all around. Leave the scooped-out flesh in relatively large chunks.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the rice, curry powder, cinnamon, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir until the spices are toasted, about 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 30 to 40 minutes (different brands of wild rice may vary in cooking times; add more water if needed). Remove from heat and add to the chunks of butternut squash along with the remaining maple-oil, cherries, parsley, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Evenly stuff the scooped-out squash halves with the filling, then drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and bake, uncovered, until the filling is warmed through, about 30 minutes. Cut each in half crosswise and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with walnuts and parsley. Serve warm.
- 65 Grams Net Carbs
- 19 Grams Fat
- 9 Grams Protein
All recipes & Images originate from The Food Network.
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