A Healthy Thanksgiving Video and 7 Recipes

If you’re anything like those in our office, your mind is already on planning next week’s menu.
And, similarly, you are trying to find a way to still be a bit healthier, yes?
If so, then check out the below.

7 Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

By Erin Brelsford | 

Personally, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, right after Christmas. I love that my whole family is in town, I love that we watch “School of Rock” every year, I love the nap I take at the end of the day, but most of all, I love the food. What I don’t love, though, is the way I feel after eating a big meal of carbs, starch and sugar.

In an effort to feel a little lighter after our Thanksgiving meal, my family and I have come up with a few recipes that can at least help make that happen.

7 Healthy Thanksgiving Sides:

1. Green Bean Casserole

What you need:

  • one 9” x 12” disposal aluminum pan
  • one 6 lb 5 oz can green beans, completely drained
  • a jar of Alfredo sauce with Mushrooms (Paul Newman is good brand)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Mural of Flavor – Penzey’s
  • 2 medium white onions, sliced about ½” thick
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups flour


  • Pour the green beans into the pan and spread evenly.
  • Pour approximately ¾ of a jar of Alfredo sauce with Mushrooms (Paul Newman is good brand) on top of the green beans.
  • Sprinkle all seasonings into the green bean/sauce mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Pull sliced onion apart to make the onion rings.
  • In a bowl, beat two eggs and add about 2 tbsp milk, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
  • Coat a few of the onion rings with the egg mixture at a time.
  • With a fork, drop each onion ring in a large storage baggie with approximately two cups of flour, some salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
  • Shake bag with onions and flour mixture until coated.
  • Preheated skillet with approximately 1” of vegetable oil until hot.
  • Place coated onion rings into oil and cook on each side until browned.  
  • Place browned, cooked onion rings on paper towels to remove oil residue.
  • Place onion rings on the top of the green bean mixture until the top is covered.
  • Bake at 350 Degrees for 30 – 45 min.
  • Remember, everything in this casserole is already cooked, so you just need to make sure it is thoroughly heated for serving.

2. Paleo Vegetable Stuffing

What you need:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 2 large packages whole mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ bunch celery, chopped including leaves
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp rubbed sage
  • 2/3 cup pecans, toasted, chopped in halves (place nuts in preheated 350 degree oven 5 – 10 min to toast)
  • 2 packages “hot” turkey breakfast sausage


  • In a stock pot or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil.
  • Sauté onions in the bottom of the pot until golden brown
  • Add all other ingredients in with onions except pecans and mushrooms.
  • Simmer, without lid, until carrots and cauliflower are tender.
  • Add mushrooms and sauté for ten minutes, then remove pot from heat.
  • Add pecans.
  • Add  “hot” turkey breakfast sausage that has been browned thoroughly on the stove. As you are cooking, use your spoon to keep the sausage broken into small pieces similar to hamburger meat.
  • If you’re using this to stuff your turkey, make sure the internal temperature of the stuffing is at least 165 degrees. Baking the stuffing mix in a covered Pyrex dish at 350 for approximately 30 minutes works best for achieving this temperature.

3. Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower

What you need:

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • ½ cup dry parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • milk or buttermilk


  • Steam cauliflower until soft.
  • Place in a mixing bowl.
  • Add all other ingredients except milk.
  • Beat with hand mixer, adding milk or buttermilk until consistency desired is reached.

Note:  Beat well to ensure no lumps. It better mimics mashed potatoes when it’s smooth.

4. Cranberries

What you need:

  • 1 package fresh cranberries
  • 2 apples, one Granny Smith and one Gala
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, including juice


  • In food processor, chop cranberries and apples. It may take 2 or 3 times through the chopper to get to the right consistency.
  • Stir in Splenda and pecans.
  • Chop mandarin oranges and them, along with their juice, to the mixture.
  • Place in container and refrigerate until cold.
  • This dish can be frozen and used at a later date.

5. Butternut Squash Cauliflower Casserole

What you need:

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large pot or vegetable steamer, steam squash, cauliflower and garlic cloves until tender.
  • Drain vegetables in a colander and transfer half to a food processor.
  • Puree until smooth and transfer to a large bowl, then repeat with remaining vegetables.
  • Stir half of the Parmesan, cream, salt, pepper and dried thyme.
  • Transfer pureed vegetables to a glass or ceramic baking dish and spread out smoothly.
  • Top with remaining Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Turn broiler on high and broil 5 minutes to brown topping.
  • Serve hot.

6. Herb Cheddar Biscuits

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup coconut or almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cover baking sheet in parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and dry seasonings.
  4. Add melted butter.
  5. Add eggs, work out the clumps.
  6. Add fresh herbs and cheese and mix until combined.
  7. Using a cookie scooper, scoop 10 mounds of batter onto baking sheet.
  8. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown.

7. Carrots and Rutabaga Mash

What you need: 

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound rutabaga, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • salt
  • black pepper


  • Boil carrots and rutabaga together until soft.
  • Drain and add butter.
  • Smash together using either a potato masher or food processor. It’s okay if there are lumps.
  • Season with lots of pepper and a little salt.

Image Source BigStock

via 7 Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

Do you have a favorite healthy holiday recipe?
Please share it in the comments section below and we’ll add it to next week’s blog post,
just before the holiday.

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