Top Delicious Healthy Recipes For Thanksgiving Dinner

healthy turkey recipe
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Give Thanks & Feast On A Low-Calorie Healthy Meal

Staying on track with your diet during the holidays can be a challenge but not impossible. Find healthy recipes that cut the fat and sugars while keeping all the flavors you enjoy the most. Thanksgiving dinner is a great time to get together with family and friends to give thanks and spend time with loved ones.

Gather around the dining room table to feast and give thanks for the bounty we have received throughout the year. Over indulging on our favorite appetizers, meats, side dishes and desserts can easily pack on a few pounds and sabotage our diet.   Avoid the holiday bloat by eating a healthy thanksgiving meal including fresh organic vegetables, fruits, lean protein, low calorie side dishes, drinks and sugar-free deserts.  Stay on track with your diet and weight loss goals with low-calorie healthy foods.

Enjoying a huge meal consisting of traditional recipes containing large amounts of butter, fats and sugars will lead to unwanted calories and adding extra pounds during the holiday season. Easily stay on track with your diet by changing the recipes.  Reducing the fat and keeping all the flavors you enjoy. There is no need to skimp on your favorite dish just modify the ingredients used in each recipe.  Plan your meals ahead and save time by making a few dishes one day in advance.  Make your dinner party run smoothly with careful preparation and planning.   Give yourself more time to spend with the family and less time slaving in the kitchen.  I have entertained Thanksgiving dinner for over 20 years and I have found great recipes and

There is no need to skimp on your favorite dish just modify the ingredients used in each recipe.  Plan your meals ahead and save time by making a few dishes one day in advance.  Make your dinner party run smoothly with careful preparation and planning.   Give yourself more time to spend with the family and less time slaving in the kitchen.  I have entertained Thanksgiving dinner for over 20 years and I have found great recipes and short cuts that you and your family will enjoy during this holiday season.

10 Tips On How To Stay On Track With Your Diet During The Holidays

  • Stay on your diet before and after the holidays. Enjoy your dinner and get right back on track with your diet.
  • Go for a long walk after dinner to burn off the extra calories.
  • Don’t go to dinner hunger This leads to over – eating
  • Natural appetite suppressant Drink one glass of lemon water before eating
  • Plan meals in advance.  Use healthy recipes that reduce fats and sugars
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages. Opt for black coffee, tea, lemon water instead
  • Eat a digestive enzyme bromelain an all-natural supplement derived from papaya to help digestion
  • Use portation control as weight loss tool.
  • Don’t take home leftovers that will lead to over- eating later
  • Cut the carbohydrates like bread, muffins, cakes, and rolls.
  • Enjoy a low calorie, fat-free, sugar-free desert.

cold plate appetizer

Low-Calorie Appetizers

Serving appetizers when guests arrive is a great way to start any meal.  Using healthy recipes and fresh ingredients can make a great first impression.  Appetizers are small bites of food that your company can enjoy before dinner with a low-calorie drink, tea or coffee.  Place a tray out with olives, roasted peppers, low-calorie goat cheese, whole wheat crackers, pickles and tomatoes for a simple and fresh low-calorie appetizer.

Make these pre-dinner bites with fresh low-calorie ingredients packed with a combination of flavors your guests will love to dig into.  Top a whole grain wheat cracker with a small piece of low-fat cheddar cheese or vegan cheese, add a square slice of tofu turkey topped with a slice of cherry tomato.  Arrange the low-calorie appetizers on a platter and serve.   Experiment with different combinations of ingredients to make custom bite size appetizers that taste great and look amazing.  Choose products that are low in calories, low fat, sugar-free and have good nutritional value. This will help you and your guests stay on track with their diet during the holiday season.

healthy appetizers

Appetizers can be made out of fresh cubed fruit wrapped in tofu lunch meat topped with a cherry tomato and a basil leaf. Place the appetizers on the platter and serve.  Try slices of cucumber topped with a dollop of plain yogurt and a slice of cherry tomato for a fresh appetizer.  Place on a tray and serve.  Whole wheat crackers topped with a dollop of mustard a slice of tofu lunch meat cut into squares and a bay leaf.  Serve on a platter.  Serve your guests lean, low-calorie appetizers at your next party and enjoy the festivities with family and friends.

Weather yo are a regular party planner or just a seasonal one you will enjoy making healthy appetizers, finger foods and Hors D’ ovevres for your next party.  Dieting should never stand in the way of a party. Now you don’t have to stress out about throwing a party and maintaining your diet.  Use a wooden skewer to make fantastic low-calorie appetizers.

Skewer a small cherry tomato, a ball of low-fat mozzarella cheese, a second tomato and top with a bay leaf drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Place the appetizers on a platter to serve. These are simple to make and are low in calories.    Fresh apple slices drizzled with melted peanut butter topped with granola is a refreshing treat. A healthy appetizer packed with flavor and satisfying to eat.

Serve fresh cup apple slices sprinkled with lemon juice along with low-fat goat cheese, lean tofu turkey slices, wheat crackers, pitted olives and side salad.  Serving healthy appetizers and beverages before the meal is a great way to begin any dinner party.

Healthy Vegetable Garden Dip

When you entertain guests or family it is always nice to serve appetizers before any meal.  This is a nice way to welcome guests as they arrive to your dinner party. Healthy drinks can be served such as apple cider, apple spritzer, tea, coffee or lemon water and your guests can have healthy low-calorie appetizers as they mix and mingle.  Today’s low-calorie appetizers are fresh cut vegetables, fruit, wheat crackers, low-fat goat cheese, pitted olives and garden vegetable dip using low-fat ingredients instead of cream cheese and heavy cream.  This is so delicious you will want to make it during the week to dip your cut vegetables in.

Vegetable dip

Healthy Vegetable Garden Dip Ingredients

2 Cups of plain yogurt

½ Cup finely diced carrots Diced

1 Package of frozen drained thawed spinach (squeeze out all the water)

1 Package of ranch seasoning mix (if you want to add more seasoning you can it is your preference)

In a bowl add the plain yogurt and seasoning and mix.  Taste the mixture and determine if you want more seasoning.  Add more seasoning to taste.

Add the spinach and carrots.  Mix well with a mixer to blend

Chill the dip in the refrigerator and let the flavors combine.

This is a delicious dip served with fresh cut vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, and asparagus.  Serve the chilled garden vegetable dip in a small blow in the center of a large platter.  Cut your washed vegetables into bite size pieces and arrange the vegetables around the platter surrounding the dip.  This is a delicious and healthy appetizer your family and friends will enjoy.

 

healthy recipes turkey dinner

Images Courtesy of Justin Smith

How to Make a Healthy Turkey Dinner and Throw Out The Fat

Enjoying a huge meal consisting of traditional recipes containing large amounts of butter, fats and sugars will lead to unwanted calories and adding extra pounds during the holiday season. Easily stay on track with your diet by changing the recipes and eliminating the dangerous fats and sugars.

Reducing the fat and keeping all the flavors you enjoy. There is no need to skimp on your favorite dish just modify the ingredients used in each recipe.  Plan your meals ahead and save time by making a few dishes one day in advance.  Make your dinner party run smoothly with careful preparation and planning.   Give yourself more time to spend with the family and less time slaving in the kitchen.  I have entertained Thanksgiving dinner for over 20 years and I have found great recipes and tips that you and your family will enjoy during this holiday season.

Turkey is packed full of protein and is considered a traditional entrée during the Thanksgiving holidays. Turkeys vary in size and weight and need to be cooked according to the specification on the package. Turkey is packed with protein and is considered a lean and healthy meat. Save time in the kitchen by cooking in advance. Turkey is easy to prepare one day a head of time and clean up can be a breeze.  If you want to save time in the kitchen.  Heat and serve your turkey the next day on a large platter drizzled with pan juices from the cooking process to keep the meat moist.

Roasting the Turkey to Save Calories and Reduce the Fat

Roasting the turkey in the oven is a great way to cook the bird and retain the natural juices and flavors for the low fat gravy. You will need a large roasting pan.  Defrost your turkey in the refrigerator prior to cooking. To clean the bird, remove the gizzards from the cavity and discard the paper.  Place the gizzards in a medium pan and cover with water.  Bring the water to a slow simmer and cook until done for 1.5 hours.  Keep the liquid for the gravy.

Note: is important to clean and wash all surfaces and hands with soap and water before and after preparation.

Clean the bird in a clean sink and wash out the cavity at both ends and wash the skin off as well.  Pat the turkey dry with a clean paper towel.  In the bottom of your roasting pan add a rack of raw carrots, celery sticks on the bottom of the pan.  Cut and add two large onions.

The bottom of your roasting pan should be lined with vegetables.  Prepare the turkey by sprinkling salt on the inside of each cavity.  Add extra moisture under the skin of the turkey by separating the skin from the meat with your fingers on the breast of the turkey.

herbs

Herb Seasoning Rub

In a bowl add 1 Cup of grape seed oil or olive.  Add the herbs and seasoning of your choice,1 sprig of sage, 1 sprig of rosemary, 5 sprigs of thyme salt and pepper.  Mix the oil and herbs in a food processor to puree.  With your hands place the herbs and oil under the skin of the turkey and on the inside of the cavity to add flavor and moisture from the olive oil.

Fill the cavity of the bird with one sprig of rosemary, A few sprigs of thyme, 2 chopped onions, 2 cut carrots and 2 cut stalks of celery and 2 bazel leafs.

Rub the top of the turkey with olive oil. Tie the legs shut with twine and place the turkey on top of the vegetable rack.  Preheat your oven to the recommended time for cooking.  Each turkey will have cooking instructions on the package.

Cook the turkey 325 degrees for 3 1/2 hours  according to the recommended suggestions on the package according to the weight and size of the bird. Add one cup of water to the roasting pan and cover the bird with parchment paper and foil to seal in the juices.

Baste the bird once per hour until done. In about three hours the internal temperature should reach 185 degrees F.  Check the turkey 30 minutes before it is completely done to prevent over cooking.

Each oven may vary in temperature and it is a good idea to place an oven thermometer inside the oven to prevent over cooking.  Once the turkey is completely cooked through remove the turkey pan from the oven and set the pan on a cooling rack.  Keep the turkey covered and let the turkey cool twenty minutes in the pan.   Slice and serve the turkey on a large platter.  Keep the pan juices from the low fat gravy.

healthy gravy recipe

Low-Calorie Giblet & Turkey Gravy

Adding gravy to your turkey dinner is a great way to add additional flavors and moisture from the cooking process.  Removing the fat and keeping all the juice from the turkey, vegetables and giblets will give you a very tasty gravy sauce to pour over your cauliflower mash (taste like mashed potatoes low fat recipe) Follow this simple recipe for healthy gray and top your turkey and vegetables with this delicious sauce.

Ingredients

All juice in the pan from cooking the turkey 8-6 cups of liquid

All the juice from cooking the giblets

Total 6-8 cups of liquid from the cooking process.

2 Tablespoons of flour or 1-2 packet of powder gravy mix (This adds great flavor)

1 Cup of hot water

Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

Remove the fat from the cooking liquid by separating the liquid from the fat.  If you prepare your turkey in advance you can refrigerate the cooled cooking liquid until it solidifies into a solid.  Scrape the fat off the top of the liquid.  Throw the fat away and keep the liquid for the gravy. If you are making the gravy right after cooking the turkey simply separate the fat from the liquid and discard.  The fat will float on top of the liquid making it easy to remove with a spoon, ladle or use a   OXO Good Grip 4 Cup Fat Separator measuring cup that separates the fat from the liquid found in cooking stores and online at Amazon.  This is a great tool to use in the kitchen for removing fat from the cooking liquid.

Instructions for Low-Calorie Gravy

Use the cooking pan you cooked the turkey in.  Remove all the turkey and vegetables.  Strain the cooking liquid to remove any large bits and fat.   Add all the liquid from the cooking process to the roasting pan.

Slowly heat the liquid to a simmer on top of the stove.  Scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan and mix it in the gravy adding more flavor.

In a measuring cup add one cup of hot water and 2 table spoons of flour or one to two packets of turkey gravy mix.  (I personally like the turkey gravy mix to add flavor and thicken the gravy.)  Mix the ingredients in the hot water.

Slowly add the flour and water mixture or the gravy mix and water to the simmering liquid.  The liquid will thicken as it heats.

Serve in a gravy dish.  The guests can pour the gravy over the turkey and cauliflower mash to add more turkey flavor without the fat.  Your family will truly enjoy this low-calorie gravy recipe.

corn

Low-Calorie Cream Corn Side Dish

Time Preparation: 5 minutes/ Serves 8

Corn has been a staple in the diet for centuries and is eaten off the corn cob or used in products and recipes we eat every day.  Traditionally corn is served at thanksgiving in side dishes either plain, corn on the cob, or cream corn.  Today’s healthy recipe is low calorie, low fat cream corn side dish, using low fat ingredients and not using heavy cream or cream soups.  Lighten this recipe with fat free, sugar-free ingredients and your family will surely love this dish.  Giving you delicious corn flavors and none of the fat.

Ingredients

2 15 ounce Cans of corn (drained) or 2 cups of frozen corn

Note: Garnish (Save two Tablespoons of whole cooked corn kernels to garnish the dish.)

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

Pinch of salt

Fresh ground black pepper

½ teaspoon of butter for flavoring (Optional)

2 green scallons sliced at an angle for garnish (Optional)

Instructions

Add the corn to a small pot

Add the soy milk to the corn and stir.  Bring the mixture up to a simmer and heat through 3-5 min until the corn is cooked and tender

Use a blender or emersion blender to puree the corn and soy milk.

Add the salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir to combine

Serve hot.  Sprinkle a few corn kernels on top of this creamy side dish to garnish

You family will love this traditional side dish and won’t miss the heavy cream at all.

mash cauliflower

Image Curtesy of  Foodestia

Cauliflower Mash Taste Just Like Mashed Potatoes Without The Guilt

Traditionally mashed potatoes with lots of butter and heavy cream is made for Thanksgiving dinner.  Try thilow-calorieie cauliflower mash made with fresh cauliflower, greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, and seasoning.  Cut the fatty ingredients and reduce the calories of this family faviorate.  Top the mash with your low fat giblet and turkey gravy for a creamy and delishish side dish.  Perfect for any meal.

Ingredients

1 large head of cauliflower cut into pieces

1 cup plain yogurt

½ cup goat cheese or parmesan cheese or low-fat cheddar cheese or low-fat goat cheese. You choose the cheese you want to use in your  cauliflower mash.  Each cheese will give you a unique flavor and taste.

½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

½ teaspoon of salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter (This will give you the flavor of butter without adding too many calories.)

Instructions

Steam the cut cauliflower on medium heat for 18 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender

Place the cooked cauliflower in a bowl with the butter, Greek yogurt, and goat cheese or parmesan cheese.  Use a food processor or and emersion blender to purée

Add you seasoning to taste.  This dish is great for the holidays or during the week as a healthy side dish.

Serve this side dish in a bowl topped with chopped scallions sliced at an angle to garnish.  This dish is great for the holidays or during the week as a healthy side dish. Creamy delicious tastes like mashed potatoes without all the fat.

healthy green bean casserole

Image Curtesy of Jessica Rossi 

Healthy Low-Calorie Green Bean Casserole

This casserole dish is a yearly tradition for many families during the holidays season. Made with fried onions, creamy soups, and butter.  Try this low-calorie version and you will have the entire flavor without all the fat.  Dry your own onions in the oven and save on fattening calories. Make your oven into a dehydrator and make your own homemade dried onions without deep frying.  Use the dried onions to top your green bean casserole or to top any other salad or family favorite.  This low-calorie recipe takes extra time to prepare however the taste is fantastic and will become a family favorite.

Instructions for Dried Onions.

Preheat your oven to 178 degrees

Cut 4 – 6 large onions into thin slices.

Separate the onions into slivers and place the onions on a cookie sheet in a single layer.

Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours until the onions are dried and crumbly.

This will be used on top of the green bean casserole dish.

Green Bean Casserole Instructions

2 Cans of fat-free low-calorie cream of mushroom soup.

1 cup of plain almond milk or 1 cup soy milk

8 cups of cooked green beans or 4 cans of drained green beans

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl mix the soup, soy milk, and combine

Add the cooked green beans to the milk and soup mixture.

Add one cup of the dried onions save the rest of the onions for the topping

Add the mixture to a large casserole dish pan.

Top the casserole with the remaining onions.

Place the casserole in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through.

This is the low-calorie version and tasted great and is heart healthy.  Try dehydrating your onions for the green bean casserole and other dishes, soups and salads. Use as a garnish to add extra crunch and flavor without the fat.

sugar free pumpkin pie

Image Courtesy of browiesfordinner

Fat-Free Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie With Almod Crust

Pumpkin Pie is traditionally made with ingredients, sugars and heavy cream that will promote weight gain.  Try this delicious sugar-free low- calorie pumpkin pie recipe with an almond curst at your next thanksgiving dinner. Almonds are high in protein and good fats your body needs to produce energy.  Try this Paleo Almond crust recipe for your pies and low-calorie desserts. Use fresh ingredients and healthy oils to combine this pie dough.  Use the dough right away or refrigerate the dough for later use.  This on

Use fresh ingredients and healthy oils to combine this pie dough.  Use the dough right away or refrigerate the dough for later use.  This on pie crust recipe can be  used to make all kinds of healthy desserts, pumpkin pie, apple pie, blueberry pie, peach pie and much more.  Lose the fattening butter and flour and try this fantastic healthy recipe for sugar-free pumpkin pie

Healthy Paleo Almond Pie Crust Ingredients

2 ½ cups almond flour

½ cup Tapioca flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 eggs

4 tablespoons of coconut oil melted

Instructions

Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to combine

Form the mixture into a ball and chill or use right away.

Sprinkle some almond flour on the counter top and rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking.

Roll the dough out ¼ inch thick 9 inches in diameter to fit an 8 inch pie shell.

Place the dough in the pie shell.

Fold the edges of the dough neatly around the pie shell

Make a decorative edge in the dough by using a wooden spoon or crimp the edges with your fingers to make a pattern around the edge of the crust. You can even use the extra dough.  Roll out the dough in a 1/4 inch flat piece . Use a small cookie cutter in the shape of a maple leaf and cut out some shapes.  Place the maple leaf cut out around the edge of the crust and gently brush with the egg wash.  This will make you pie look festive for Thanksgiving.

Egg Wash: mix one egg in a bowl and add 2 table spoons of water.  Mix the egg and water.

Brush the sides of the dough before baking

Sugar free Pumpkin Pie filling

1 Packet of sugar free pudding mix (Cooking pudding mix) this will sweeten and thicken the pie

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 15 ounce can of pure pumpkin puree

1 can of Carnation Evaporated milk or 1 cup of soy milk

2 Large eggs

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well

Place the pie shell on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Pour the pie filling into the pie shell

Place the pie in a 425 degrees F oven for 15 minutes

Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 40 -50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.

Serve cooled.   Top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.  Sprinkle with cinnamon to garnish.

Any recipe can be modified to remove the fat and sugars leaving you with a healthy low-calorie meal.  Enjoy your holidays and stay on track with your diet plan with these delicious recipes.

healthy buffet

Save time and effort by putting out a full buffet table for guests.  Set the table in a safe location that is out of the way and easy to access.  At on end set up a beverage area complete with an ice bucket, glasses, punch bowl with ladle and low-calorie  punch, drinks.  Add the plates, utensils and napkins. Save on space by rolling the utensils up in the napkins and place next to the plates.  Place the appetizers, hot and cold side dishes and the turkey on the buffet table.  Guests can serve them self and you will have more time to spend with the family.  Use these healthy recipes for your next  Thanksgiving dinner.  Lose the fat and keep all flavors you enjoy the most.

Place the appetizers, hot and cold side dishes and the turkey on the buffet table.  Guests can serve them self and you will have more time to spend with the family.  Use these healthy recipes for your next  Thanksgiving dinner.  Lose the fat and keep all flavors you enjoy the most. Staying on track with your diet doesn’t have to be complicated.  The secret to weight loss is planning meals in advance and using organic low fat, sugar-free ingredients in your recipes.

If you like these recipes and want more detailed information, visit Weight Loss Diet Plans on how to lose weight and keep it off for good. Tour the site and  sign up for your free gift of Garcinia while supplies last.  Download the FREE Paleo Hacks Report on weight loss and free recipes.  Lose weight while eating the foods you love the most.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  Leave me a comment.  What is your favorite low-calorie healthy recipe?

Cheers

Patricia Lynn

Images Courtesy of Stock images at Freedigitalphotos.net

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About Patricia Lynn 27 Articles
I am the author of How To Lose Belly Fat Guide a blog dedicated to the latest information on weight loss, diet, healthy recipes, fitness and good health.

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