Happy Bulksgiving! Give Thanks For These 5 Side-Dish Recipes

Sure, you use that bird to bulk, but what about the side dishes? This Thanksgiving, make the most of your entire meal with these muscle-building recipes.

It's hard to imagine today's Thanksgiving is what the Pilgrims had in mind when they decided to give thanks. For them, it was likely a sigh of relief that they hadn't starved to death over the preceding year.

For us, Thanksgiving is a chance to indulge in caloric excess while watching football from a sofa. If you're already going to overeat, why not put those excess calories to work? Harness the holidays, build some size, and give thanks for the anabolic powers of food!

While turkey, ham, and even chicken are already chock-full of muscle-building protein, their health benefits are often overshadowed by the many butter-heavy and cream-based side dishes that sidetrack us from our holiday goals. No one understands this better than me!

So, here are five easy side dishes you can use to stay fit while getting full. Load up on the turkey and complement your gains with these recipes.

1

Hearty Protein Cornbread

Warm, homemade cornbread—flakey, buttery, and oh so easy to load up on! This year, try this recipe and pass the cornbread basket around the table a couple of times without guilt. It satisfies your muscles and your appetite!

Hearty Protein Cornbread

Ingredients

Leanpro 8 1.5 scoops


cornmeal 1 cup


corn flour 1/2 cups


baking soda 1 tsp


baking powder 2 tsp


egg 1


greek yogurt 1 cup


honey 2 tbsp


corn 1/2 cup


vanilla extract 1 tbsp


cranberries dried


Directions
  1. Set oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all your dry ingredients together with a fork. I recommend using a sifter when adding protein powder, corn meal, and corn flour in order to remove all lumps.
  3. In another bowl, mix together egg and Greek yogurt with a hand mixer until you reach a smooth consistency.
  4. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with the hand mixer.
  5. Add honey and corn to the mixture. Blend with the hand mixer. Toss in pepitas and mix together until smooth.
  6. Spray your muffin pan with a little nonstick cooking spray. Pour your cornmeal mixture into the pan. You can add a few dried cranberries to the top of the cornbread for added flavor.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick that you stick in the center of it comes out clean.
  8. Let cool slightly before serving, but remember, cornbread is best served hot and fresh out of the oven.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 muffin Recipe yields 10
Amount per serving
Calories 116
Total Fat 3 g
Total Carbs 15 g
Protein 8 g
2

Ezekiel Bread Stuffing

Nothing rounds out a nice Thanksgiving feast like stuffing. There are several ways to make it; the best thing about this dish is that it can be personalized. Put your own spin on things to keep guests guessing at the ingredients and hankering for your recipe.

Here is an easy way to make it your own using Ezekiel bread! It's packed with nuts and seeds to increase protein and add extra flavor and texture. If you don't have Ezekiel bread on hand, try whole-grain or seeded bread.

Ezekiel Bread Stuffing

Ingredients

ezekiel 8 slices toasted


chicken broth 2 cup


shallots 2/3 minced


garlic 1 tbsp minced


celery stocks 2


bell pepper 1 red


rosemary 1 twig


sea salt, cumin, sage, pepper 1 tbsp to taste


Directions
  1. Set oven to 375 F.
  2. Lightly toast pieces of Ezekiel bread and then cut into small cubes. Place in a large bowl or baking dish.
  3. Place a nonstick skillet on medium heat and lightly spray with olive oil.
  4. Add garlic and shallots to the skillet and cook until brown.
  5. Cut celery and bell pepper into small pieces and add to the skillet.
  6. Reduce the heat of the skillet to low medium and pour 1 cup of chicken broth to the mixture and stir.
  7. Add seasonings and your rosemary twig to the skillet. Cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the rosemary twig and then pour the broth and veggies over the bread cubes. Stir with a large spoon or spatula. Add remaining cup of chicken broth and continue to stir until the bread absorbs the broth. If your stuffing is a little dry after adding the chicken broth, add a few tablespoons of chicken broth until it is moist.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove and then stir with a spoon again. If you see the stuffing is a little dry, add a few more tablespoons of chicken broth and place back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving Recipe yields 5
Amount per serving
Calories 142
Total Fat 1 g
Total Carbs 25 g
Protein 8 g
3

Grilled Asparagus with Panko, Parmesan, and Almonds

Your Thanksgiving plate needs at least one green vegetable, so why not make it a power food like asparagus? Chances are a heaping serving of asparagus is already a part of your weekly diet, so why break a good thing? This is a traditional, grilled version that your guests are sure to love. It's quick and easy so you can make it right before you serve your feast.

Grilled Asparagus with Panko, Parmesan, and Almonds

Ingredients

asparagus spears 1 bundle


panko crumbs 1/4 cup


almonds 1/8 cup


garlic 2 tbsp


sea salt, pepper to taste


parmessan cheese 2 tbsp


Directions
  1. Remove asparagus ends.
  2. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Lightly spray with olive or coconut oil. Add minced garlic.
  3. When the pan is hot, add the asparagus. Sear the asparagus on all sides moving the skillet back and forth across heat.
  4. After the asparagus sears for about 3 minutes, add in the panko crumbs. Move the skillet around so the spears become coated in panko crumbs and allow the panko to brown.
  5. After about 2-3 minutes or when the panko becomes dark, remove from the skillet and place on a plate.
  6. If desired, sprinkle with almonds and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately while still hot.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving Recipe yields 2
Amount per serving
Calories 130
Total Fat 6 g
Total Carbs 16 g
Protein 6 g
4

Honeyed Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole

Being from Texas, nothing makes me look forward to Thanksgiving more than sweet potato casserole! Sweet potatoes are one of my staples throughout a normal week, but I never tire of them. Sweet potatoes are a great complex carb source and provide fuel for workouts.

Honeyed Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Ingredients

sweet potatoes 3-4 large


egg 1


almond milk 1/3 cup


honey 2 tbsp


cinnamon 1 tbsp


vanilla extract 1 tbsp


coconut oil 1/2 tbsp


Directions
  1. Set oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven so not to burn.
  3. To save time peeling potatoes, steam sweet potatoes until they soft. When they are finished, let them cool a bit and then easily remove the skin and strain the sweet potatoes.
  4. In a bowl, begin to mash the sweet potatoes with a masher, fork or hand blender.
  5. Add egg, almond milk, coconut oil, 1 tbsp honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract and half the pecans. Mix with a hand blender until smooth. For best results, beat the egg before adding to the sweet potato.
  6. Pour the mixture in a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top and then drizzle the rest of the honey over the pecans.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving Recipe yields 6
Amount per serving
Calories 305
Total Fat 12 g
Total Carbs 46 g
Protein 6 g
5

Stuffed Baked Apples with Vanilla Greek Yogurt

If you're like me, cakes and pies are your downfall. Just one bite of cake unleashes the beast, and you're unlikely to recover from his sweet attack. This year, resist the urge to go Cookie Monster in front of your guests without depriving yourself of an amazing dessert. Try this easy recipe for stuffed baked apples! It's an easy-to-make treat that looks like it took tons of prep. Plus, it's guaranteed to be delicious.

Stuffed Baked Apples with Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Ingredients

gala apple 5


instant oats 2/3 cups


dried blueberries 1/8 cup


raw walnut halves 1/2 cup


coconut oil 2 tbsp


cinnamon 1 tbsp


raw honey 1/8 cup


lemon wedge


Directions
  1. Set oven to 375 F.
  2. Core your apples by using a corer or grapefruit knife. Then, take a grapefruit knife or paring knife and make a larger hole by carving out the sides. Do not go all the way through the apple.
  3. Rub the lemon wedge along the insides of the apples to keep them from browning.
  4. Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix together using a spatula. Ensure there is no dry oatmeal. If the oatmeal is still dry, add 1 tsp coconut oil.
  5. Spoon the contents of the bowl into the hollowed-out apples. Pack it in tight and then stack some on top of the apple.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top has browned.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 apple Recipe yields 5
Amount per serving
Calories 256
Total Fat 12 g
Total Carbs 41 g
Protein 3 g