4 Lighter Versions Of Thanksgiving Favorites

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From apps to drinks to the main meal and dessert, the average Thanksgiving dinner adds up to approximately 4,500 calories — more than a pound. It would take a 150 pound person nine and a half hours of jogging, fifteen hours of dancing, or eight hours of circuit training to burn it all off. While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional splurge, it’s all too easy to fall off the wagon after a binge fest. With that in mind, here are some swaps for the most celebrated turkey day eats.

EASY SKINNY STUFFING

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. cubed stuffing bread or frozen bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery with leaves
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Mix the butter, chicken broth, and spices.
  2. Put milk, onion, celery, and bread in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the butter, broth, and spice mixture over it and lightly toss.
  4. Bake in a 13 x 9 pan at 375 F for 20-40 minutes, depending on how dry you like your stuffing.
  5. Drizzle chicken broth as the stuffing cooks to keep it moist — but not soggy.

 

LOW-CARB MASHED “POTATOES” 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • snipped chives

Directions:

  1. Separate the cauliflower into florets and discard the core.
  2. Bring about 2 cups of water to a simmer in a pot, then add the cauliflower. Cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook the cauliflower for 12-15 minutes or until very tender.
  3. Drain and discard all of the water (the drier the cauliflower, the better) and add the milk, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and mash with a masher until it looks like “mashed potatoes.” Garnish with chives.

 

SIMPLE ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, about 6 medium, washed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes into 1/8-inch thick rounds and place in a large bowl.
  3. Stir together the brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Drizzle sweet potatoes with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle spice mixture over potatoes and toss again to coat.
  5. Arrange sweet potatoes in a baking dish as pictured.
  6. Cover dish with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove foil and let cook an additional 20-30 minutes, until fork tender. If they start to become too brown, recover the dish with foil for the remained of the cooking time.

 

TOO-GOOD-TO-BE HEALTHY CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE

Ingredients:

  • Butter or coconut oil to butter the pie dish/dishes
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin puree1 can
  • 12 fl oz evaporated milk 1 can

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F and butter a glass porcelain 9 inch pie dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch. Whisk until the mixture is void of lumps.
  3. Add half of the maple syrup and whisk it in until the cornstarch is completely dissolved and there are no lumps. Then add the rest of the maple syrup and the vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add the 2 eggs and yolk, and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk until it’s mixed in well.
  6. Stir in the evaporated milk. Make sure that the evaporated milk is also mixed in well.
  7. Pour the prepared pumpkin custard into the 9 inch pie dish. Gently knock the pie dish on a hard surface like your kitchen countertop firmly a couple of times, to remove any air bubbles. Place the pie dish in the preheated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes, rotating the pie dish halfway through the cooking time — about 30 minutes.
  8. With a thermometer, check for an internal temperature of 165-170°F in the middle of the pie.
  9. Remove the pie dish from the oven and keep it in a cool, dry place to cool down — just make sure you keep it uncovered. When the pie has completely cooled to room temperature, cover the pie dish and refrigerate it overnight. Keep the pumpkin pie pudding in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
  10. Slice the crustless pumpkin pie pudding into 8-10 servings, and serve with whipped cream— drizzle of maple syrup optional.

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