Healthy Recipes for Women: 3 Thanksgiving Classics Lightened Up!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Nov 21, 2011 12:30:00 PM

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, your mouth is probably already starting to water thinking of all of those delicious holiday classics. You are probably also thinking about what your favorite Turkey Day treats will do to your diet or healthy living plan...but fear not! This ultimate eater's holiday does not have to mean sacrificing your healthy diet OR sacrificing the taste bud-tingling pleasure that comes with eating our holiday favorites. We have scoured the net for the best "healthier" options and present to you our top 3 just as delicious, but much more nutritious versions of some of your faves!

Green Bean Casserole

This recipe from SHAPE Magazine  who is famous for sharing the best in healthy eating for women, has all of the creaminess and the crunch of the classic version but with only 90 calories per 3/4 cup serving!

4c  fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

Cooking spray

2  shallots, slicedhealthy thanksgiving recipe green bean casserole

8oz  baby bella mushrooms (or any mushrooms), sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

2c  plus 2 tablespoons rice milk, divided

2T  cornstarch

10  wonton wrappers

Fill a 2-quart saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Place green beans in water and cook just until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat and spritz with cooking spray. Sauté shallots until translucent and just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use a bit more cooking spray if necessary to prevent the mushrooms from burning or drying out.

Shake rice milk thoroughly to thicken it, and add 2 cups to the pan with the mushrooms; bring to a boil. As the mixture is boiling, combine cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons of rice milk in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to rice milk in the pan; bring to a boil again. Whisk frequently until the sauce is thickened, then reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut wontons into thin strips. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 minutes. Stir, then bake until golden brown (another 2 to 3 minutes), monitoring carefully to prevent burning. Set aside to cool. (Don't turn off oven.) Add green beans to rice milk mixture, stir to coat evenly, and place in a 2-quart casserole dish greased with cooking spray; cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the rice milk mixture is hot and bubbly. Remove from oven; top with the crisp wontons. Serve immediately, family-style.

Stuffing with Celery and Thyme

With a little revision, Women's Health Magazine made this once-a-year favorite a low-calorie food that you can eat year-round at just 93 calories per serving!

4 cups cubed reduced-sodium whole-wheat bread

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 stalks celery, minced

1 cup chopped onions

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups frozen defatted chicken stock, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 12" x 8" baking dish with no-stick spray.  Coat a large baking sheet with no-stick spray. Place the bread on the baking sheet and mist with no-stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl.

Coat a 10" no-stick skillet with no-stick spray and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil, celery, onions, poultry seasoning, thyme, and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not browned.  Add the stock to the bread cubes in the bowl. Toss to mix. Add the onion mixture and mix well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Makes 8 servings.

Graham Cracker Pumpkin Pie

Swapping a pre-made or homemade dough crust for a graham cracker one can actually be healthier! Sugar substitutes and swapping tofu for milk and eggs help this recipe from Eating Well get even healthier, giving the pie a delicious, super-silky texture that's done in 2/3 the time.

healthy thanksgiving recipe pumpkin pie1 can (16 ounces) pureed pumpkin

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup Splenda sweetener

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

3 tbs. cornstarch to firm up the pie filling

1 package (10-12 ounces) silken/soft tofu

1 9-inch graham cracker crust pie shell 


Preheat oven to 425° F.

Mix the pumpkin and sugar. Add salt, spices, cornstarch and tofu, mix thoroughly.

Lower heat to 350° F and bake for another 60 minutes. Chill and serve.

Have a great, healthy Thanksgiving recipe? Share it in our comment section below!


Recipes from:

Women's Health Magazine's Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes 

SHAPE Magazine's Top 5 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

More recipes and healthy holiday tips, check out the article:

Thanksgiving Day 2011: Top Easy, Healthy Recipes for Your Holiday Menu



Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women, healthy recipes

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