Healthy Thanksgiving Feast

Keep all of your favorite flavors!

healthy Thanksgiving Feast

How to survive holiday eating

How do I get through the holidays eating healthy? Like a champ! 

Does my family eat the same nutritious meals as I recommend to my clients? Of course! 

Do I sacrifice flavor? Not even a little bit! 

Healthy holiday tips and tricks

Here are some tips and family favorite recipes as I approach the holidays in my household.

We eat. We enjoy. We stay healthy. 

Appetizers (lunch)

  • Deviled eggs
  • Raw veggies with hummus dip
  • Fresh fruit plate

Early dinner (around 4 to let the food digest before bedtime)

  • Turkey
  • Cornbread Stuffing – I make the homemade cornbread the day before and let it sit out overnight to dry out a little bit
  • Cranberry Cream – best to make the night before
  • Homemade fresh cranberry sauce
  • 7-layer salad 
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Rolls

Desserts (no shortcuts-the real thing)

Ironically, I make delicious desserts. My husband cooks most of the dinner, except the salad, I do that, and stuffing. Our two favorites are Lemon Meringue Pie and Pumpkin Cheesecake! But, as I said, we go for it all when it comes to dessert – so find a recipe you love and INDULGE! 

Portion Control

I use many of the tips that I suggest in my portion control blog to stay on track with a healthy plate on Thanksgiving.  In addition, I pile my plate with the veggies first (I don’t use a separate bowl) and then fill in my plate with turkey, stuffing and all the sides.  This is one of the easiest ways to moderate portions and make the plate healthier without overthinking your food choices.

Delicious Recipes to Try

7-Layer Vegetable Salad

Prep: 30 Minutes Chill: 2-24 hours

You don’t have to allow this salad to chill for 24 hours. But it is perfect when you need a dish that you can make ahead. 

4 cups torn iceberg lettuce, romaine, leaf, lettuce, Bibb lettuce and/or spinach

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, broccoli flowerets, or frozen peas

1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)

2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled (1/4 pound)

3/4 cup shredded Swiss, American, or cheddar cheese (3 ounces)

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (2)

3/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing 

1/1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed (optional)

My version of the 7- layers are: lettuce, frozen peas and carrots, green onion, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, dressing, shredded cheese.

I hard boil the eggs the day before Thanksgiving. 

We have bacon for breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving or the day before, and I am sure to cook 4 extra slices and let them cool and chop. Then the crumbles are ready when I assemble the salad.

I pour half a bag of frozen peas and carrots into a bowl and let thaw Thanksgiving morning.

When I am ready to assemble salad (usually only a few hours before dinner), I chop and place lettuce in a large bowl, top (in the following order) with the thawed peas and carrots, sliced green onions, sliced hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon.

I then make the dressing with about a 1/2 cup mayo, some salt and a dash of lemon juice; we like tangy, so enough lemon juice to taste the tang of lemon. Next, I spread the dressing over the bacon. Top the mayo mixture with shredded cheese and then sprinkle with Johnny’s seasoning (which seems to be the special ingredient everyone loves!)

This dish is my most requested salad for potlucks and dinners at friends all year!

Cornbread Stuffing

Prepare one loaf of cornbread. 

In a bowl mix:

1 cup chicken broth

1 egg

In a separate bowl, combine:

Cornbread chunks

2 tablespoons of Italian herbs

1 can creamed corn

1 cup Monterey Jack shredded cheese

Drizzle the dry ingredients with the chicken broth mixture until moist. 

Put in greased pan

Bake at 350 for 1 hour


Cranberry Cream

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peak

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

16 ounces cranberry sauce

Beat together the cream cheese and cranberry sauce. Whip cream as usual with sugar and vanilla, then fold into cranberry cheese mixture. Freeze until solid. 

I hope this offers you and your loved ones some new ideas or a fresh spin on a classic recipe. If you require healthy makeovers for your family’s menu, reach out – I have ideas for you! 

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