Healthy Holiday Alternatives

We all love the holidays.  It is the one a day we all sit around the table enjoying friends and family and stuff our selves silly, and then go back for seconds and try not to feel guilty.  In order to help you alleviate some of that guilt and refrain from putting yourself back to the starting line with your fitness goals, I am going to offer you some healthy alternatives to your traditional Thanksgiving feast. These flavorful options will not only satisfy your Thanksgiving taste buds, but also help you cut down on calories and fat and help you return for seconds guilt free!

Starters:  Turkey Apple Slices and Dip

Turkey Day Appetizer

I love this fun and festive turkey idea for a pre-dinner snack.  Apples are full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that are sure to keep your crowd pleasantly pleased as you put the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving feast.  Simply slice various types of apples and put a small dish of dip in the center of a plate.  A super easy apple dip is all natural raw almond butter.  For a little more protein try putting plain non-fat Greek yogurt in a bowl and mix with cinnamon and stevia.  Yum!  Always a crowd favorite!

Sweet Potato Casserole

(Serves 9)

healthy Thanksgiving alternatives

  • 2 1/2 lbs peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup fat-free half and half
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 4 1/2 tsp cubed Smart Balance 50/50 butter
  • 1/4 chopped pecans
1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place sweet potatoes in large pot and cover with water.  Bring pot to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 12-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat.  Let cool a bit and then drain.
2.  Mash sweet potatoes in large bowl.  Add next four ingredients and mix well with beater.  Pour mixture into greased 9×13 casserole dish.
3.  Grind oats in a blender.  Add sugar and butter, and pulse until pieces are the size of peas.  Add pecans and pulse brieftly.  Distribute over sweet potatoes equally.
4.  Cover with foil  and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Nutrition:  198 Calories, 5g protein, 34g carbs, 4g fat
Simple Orange and Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Simple Orange and Rosemary Roasted Turkey

 Serves 22
  • 13 lb turkey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 chopped stalks celery
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 peeled orange, cut into rings
1.  Whisk olive oil and vinegar together in small bowl.  Stir in parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic and salt.
2.  Pour balsamic oil mixture over turkey, rubbing into outside and inside of bird (if you have an injector you can also inject some into turkey).
3.  Gently place half of the orange rings under the skin, being careful not to tear.  Place the remaining rings, onion and celery in the cavity of the bird.  Tie legs together.
4.  Place turkey in roasting pan.  Add about 1/4 inch of water or broth to the bottom of the plan.  Roast turkey according to package instructions.
5.  be sure to baste turkey occasionally to keep it moist.  One indication of doneness is that the juices run clear when the turkey is pierced with a fork.
Check back later this week for my favorite HEALTHY pumpkin pie recipe!  It is packed full of protein and no sugar added!
-Mandy Malool
ISSA-CFT, SFN