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Bring Back the Basics for Thanksgiving

For many dieters, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most dreaded, up there with Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Thanksgiving is a day of thanks but also a day of eating buttery mashed potatoes & gravy, turkey loaded with stuffing, sugary cranberry sauce, brown sugar yam souffle and of course, PIE. When you look at the basic components of a classic Thanksgiving meal however, the items aren’t that unhealthy at all. Turkey (a lean source of protein), potatoes (a serving of starch), green beans (vegetables), and cranberries (fruit) – the key is to make sure you stick to the plate method of portion sizes (1/2 fruits and vegetables, 1/4 grains, 1/4 lean protein) and stay away from all the unnecessary creams and sauces! Here are some healthy and delicious recipes to help you out for hosting this year’s feast. You can also click HERE for some guilt free, gluten free Thanksgiving recipes!


8  6-ounce slices of turkey breast
¼ c. canola oil
1 T. rosemary, chopped
½ T. garlic, chopped
½ tsp chili flakes (optional, if you like heat add more. If not you don’t have to add any.)
1 T. lemon juice
½ T. thyme, chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper

In a mixing bowl mix all the marinade ingredients together, then coat the turkey steaks, cover, and put in the refrigerator for an hour. Preheat grill on medium to low heat. Lightly salt and pepper the turkey steaks, add the turkey steaks to the grill. Grill for about 8 minutes on each side. Depending on the size and cut of your turkey steak it might take longer or shorter amount of cooking time. If it is way thick or burning you will have to finish it in the oven.

*Just buy turkey breast.. it cooks faster than cooking the whole bird. It’s the leaner of the meat on the turkey, and there is less temptation for leftovers.  At 6 ounces, everything is already portioned out.*

CAULIFLOWER PUREE – Serves about 40  ( depending on the size of the heads of cauliflower)

8 heads of cauliflower
12 cups Yukon potato
3 cups Greek-style yogurt
¾ cup unsalted butter
S & P to taste

Steam Cauliflower and Potatoes for about ½ hour or until soft. Add the vegetables and to a mixer. Then add the butter and greek style yogurt. Mix until fairly smooth. Add the salt and pepper. Serve ½ cup per person.

BROCCOLI – Serves 8 (Serving size: 4 ounces per person)

4 pounds broccoli
Cut and save the broccoli florets. Steam for 5 minutes.

LEMON ROSEMARY CHICKEN-LESS GRAVY – Serves 8 (Serving size: 1 ounce)

1 ½ c. water
2 tsp. chicken-less base
1/8 c. onion, diced
1/8 c. carrot, diced
1/8 c. celery, diced
½ tsp. rosemary, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 T. cornstarch +1 T. water to make a cornstarch slurry

Mix water and base together until well incorporated. In a pot, heat liquid until a simmer. Add the remainder of the ingredients except for the slurry. Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, just long enough to cook the veg but not reduce the liquid. Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch and 1 T. of water together, then whisk into the gravy to thicken. Blend the gravy. Serve hot.

PINEAPPLE ORANGE CRANBERRY SAUCE – Serves 8 (Serving size: 1 ounce)

1 c. fresh cranberries
½ c. pineapple juice
1 tsp. orange zest
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Truvia®
1 ½ T. honey

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and stir. Simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes until the sauce reduces by half. Blend until smooth and cool down in the refrigerator.

The whole meal comes to 375 calories, 45 grams protein and 41 grams carbohydrate.

PUMPKIN CREME BRULEE – Servings: 11 (Serving size: 2-ounce portion)

1 ½ cups Fage’® Greek-style yogurt
1 package Mori Nu® Vanilla pudding
2/3 cup So Delicious® Coconut milk – 50 Calories a cup
2 Tablespoons dehydrated cane sugar
1/3 teaspoon Agar Powder
¾ cup Pumpkin pie filling
½ teaspoon Pumpkin Spice

In a saucepan, add the coconut milk and bring to a low simmer. Whisk the agar into the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. After cooking the coconut milk add all the ingredients, except cane sugar, to a blender. Blend until smooth and fully incorporated. Using a piping bag, fill 11 – 2 oz ramekins and refrigerate for about 4 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle on a ½ teaspoon of cane sugar to each Ramekin. Using a butane cooking torch very carefully melt the sugar slowly until it crystallizes. If you do this too fast the sugar will burn.

Per serving: 96 Calories