Thanksgiving is a holiday to enjoy time with friends, family, and all those delicious carb-loaded, gravy-slathered, sugar-glazed treats that Grandma likes to cook up for the whole family. That's what the holiday has become for many: a diet disaster. I wonder how the pilgrims would judge people slumped in front of football games in a food coma.
Packing on some extra hibernation pounds doesn't have to be a given. There are simple tweaks you can make to traditional Thanksgiving dishes that deliver the punch of flavor, without the punch to the gut!
I'm here to show you how. Combine these seven dishes into one healthy-and-fit Thanksgiving feast, and you'll be serving up fare that would have given the pilgrims six-pack abs.
Deviled Eggs With Guacamole
Hard Boiled Eggs 12
Hot Sauce 4 tsp
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice 2 tsp
- Peel hardboiled eggs; once peeled, cut in half (length-wise). Remove yolks and place in a bowl.
- Add avocado to your yolks and mash them together; add hot sauce, lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly.
- Refill your egg whites halves with avocado/yolk mix.
Fresh cranberries 1 pound
Freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice 3/4 cup
Freshly-squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup
Lemon zest 1 tbsp
Raw honey 1/2 cup
Allspice 1/8 teaspoon
- Place saucepan under medium heat; add grapefruit juice, lemon juice, raw honey and allspice. Stir until honey melts. Juice should be slightly simmering.
- Add cranberries and continue to stir.
- As the cranberries cook, they'll pop. The sauce is ready when all cranberries have popped.
- Let sauce cool in refrigerator and serve with turkey.
Garlic and Herb Gravy
White onions 2 (medium)
Garlic cloves 5 (finely chopped)
Low-sodium chicken broth 1 quart
Coconut aminos 1 tbsp
Organic unsalted butter 2 tbsp
Organic thyme 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
Sea salt 1/2 tsp
- Place saucepan under high heat. Add broth, onions, garlic and thyme, and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, lower heat to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes (or until the onions and garlic are soft).
- Add sea salt, pepper, and coconut aminos as it simmers.
- Once it's simmered for about 30 minutes, pour mixture to a blender and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Serve immediately.
Rosemary Apple Roasted Turkey
Turkey 1 (16 pounds)
Olive oil 3/4 cup
Balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup
Sea salt 1 tbsp
Apples 10 (peel, cored and sliced in half)
Rosemary 5 sprigs
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F) and arrange rack as low as possible in the oven.
- Remove the bird's gizzards (eek!).
- Rinse turkey and dry using paper towels. Tie its legs together with a string.
- Place turkey (breast side up) in a roasting pan.
- Put rosemary and two apple halves inside turkey. Sprinkle turkey with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, adding sea salt to taste.
- Place remaining apple wedges around the roasting pan.
- Place roasting pan in the oven and roast for 4 hours (15 minutes per pound). *Note: if you see the turkey's skin browning too soon, cover turkey with foil.
- To know when your turkey is done, check its temperature by sticking a meat thermometer into its thigh. At 175 degrees, the turkey is done.
- Once turkey is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool off for 20-30 minutes. Carve and serve!
Parsnips 4 (medium, peeled and sliced)
White onion 1/2
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Water 1/2 cup
Sea salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
- Place skillet under medium heat and add olive oil. Once olive oil is hot, add onions. Cook until onions have fried a bit.
- Add parsnips and water to the skillet and close with lid. Cook until parsnips have softened.
- Pour onion/parsnip mix, sea salt and pepper into a food processor. Process until the parsnips have mashed.
- Serve immediately.
Brussels sprouts 1 pound (halved and then cut into strips)
Yellow onion 1/2 cup (finely diced)
Coconut oil 3 tbsp
Walnuts 1/2 cup (chopped)
Sweet organic cherries 1/2 cup (chopped)
Raw organic honey 3 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Place skillet under medium heat and add coconut oil; once oil is hot, add onions and saut? them until they start caramelizing (or turning brown).
- Add Brussels sprouts to the skillet and cook until tender.
- Toss in walnuts and cherries; cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- For dressing: melt honey in a small saucepan and add balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Mix to combine.
- Pour dressing over Brussels sprouts. Add sea salt and pepper on top (to taste).
Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust
Walnuts 3 cups
Baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoon
Sea salt 1/2 teaspoon
Organic unsalted butter 3 tablespoons (melted)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place walnuts, baking soda and sea salt in food processor and blend until finely ground.
- Add butter and pulse until butter is mixed in.
- Using your spatula, scrape the mixture into your pie pan and using your fingers, spread the batter thinner across the bottom of the pan and thicker around the edges of the crust.
- Place the pie pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes (while you prepare the filling).
Raw organic pumpkin purée 1 15-oz can
Canned full-fat coconut milk 1 cup
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Ground cloves 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
Ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp
Ground ginger 1/4 tsp
Ground cardamom 1/4 tsp
Sea salt 1/4 tsp
Raw honey 3 tbsp
Arrowroot powder 1 tbsp
Organic free-range eggs 3
- Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate mixing bowl.
- Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate mixing bowl.
- Combine both wet and dry ingredients.
- Pour filling mixture into the baked crust (*Don't overfill the crust - so you might have a little bit of batter left)
- Bake for 1 hour (at 350 degrees) or until the center of the pie is firm.
- Let the pie cool completely before cutting.