Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

We’re just a week out from Thanksgiving, and like the rest of America, you’re probably planning your Thanksgiving strategy.

To get you ready for the biggest meal of the season, I thought I’d share some of my favorite healthy options that you can incorporate into your festivities!  I’ve only made a turkey (breast) once, so I’m probably not your expert in that area… but, I have plenty of apps, salads, sides and desserts that you can make for your special feast.

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup | No Thanks to Cake

Click on any of the images below to see the full recipe, taste-tested and recommended by yours truly!

Appetizers

Appetizers tend to be a dangerous territory.  So, I always try to bring something that I can munch on.  Something that I know is somewhat safe.  Here’s a few of my top picks…

Veggie Appetizer Pizza | No Thanks to Cake

BLT Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes | No Thanks to Cake

Lightened Up Holiday Chex Mix | No Thanks to Cake

Spinach Cheese Ball Appetizers | No Thanks to Cake

Salads

Salads are another way to fill your plate.  I usually try to fill my plate at least half with salad and fresh, healthy veggie sides.  These salads will help you get to your goal of having a healthy Thanksgiving for sure!

Broccoli Cranberry Salad | No Thanks to Cake

Individual Layered Salads | No Thanks to Cake - - Great idea for entertaining.  So easy, and so impressive to your guests!

Summer Pasta Salad with Baby Greens | No Thanks to Cake

Sides

Other “sides” tends to be my danger zone.  That’s where you find the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the stuffing… all the things I want to load my plate up with.  These lightened up sides can be a great alternative.

Baked Creamed Spinach | No Thanks to Cake

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole | No Thanks to Cake

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake

Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower and Tomatoes | No Thanks to Cake

Maple Orange Brussels Sprouts | No Thanks to Cake

Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole | No Thanks to Cake

Desserts

The Thanksgiving meal isn’t quite finished until the desserts roll out… for years, I’ve gone with dessert “minis” as a way to control my portions.  I’m also including this year one decadent dessert… the oreo bars, because they’re just that dang good!

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Mousse Mini Desserts | No Thanks to Cake

Gooey Pumpkin Oreo Bars | No Thanks to Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake Ball Turkeys | No Thanks to Cake

Pumpkin Butterscotch Mini Desserts | No Thanks to Cake

Whatever you’re eating this Thanksgiving, consider how you can make it healthier… and consider your strategy before you step up to the buffet table.  You can do this!!

What food are you looking to enjoy most this Thanksgiving Day?

Related posts:

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

While I know that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, is it wrong that I have my eyes on Christmas?  Yep, I’m one of those that looks past that fancy feast… and really prefers Christmas.

I mean, there’s something special about the flavors of peppermint and gingerbread that far exceed my excitement for pumpkin.  And, with major retail being in a HUGE rush for Christmas, it makes it even easier to skip over Thanksgiving and look ahead to my favorite wintry holiday

PS.. If you haven’t tried the Gingerbread Biscotti at Starbucks, you should.  So delicious.  A bit indulgent, but worth it.  Tasting that for the first time on Saturday officially pushed me over the edge into gingerbread territory… and inspired today’s recipe.

Gingerbread Overnight Oats | No Thanks to Cake

It’s spicy and rich… and incredibly filling.  I love eating oats like this because I get major mileage out of them… full for hours.  This one is perfect for the season.  Try it!

Gingerbread Overnight Oats

Inspired by My Whole Food Life

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Gingerbread Overnight Oats | No Thanks to Cake

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. chia seeds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. molasses
1/3 cup skim milk + a splash of milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Place all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

Gingerbread Overnight Oats | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Add wet ingredients and stir to combine well.

Gingerbread Overnight Oats | No Thanks to Cake

Gingerbread Overnight Oats | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight, if desired.  If overnight, add a splash of milk in the morning to mix the oats well.  Drizzle with honey, if desired.  Enjoy!  Note:  I’ve grown to enjoy the oats after they’ve sat for just about 30 minutes, leaving them slightly chewy.  Both ways are delicious though!

Gingerbread Overnight Oats | No Thanks to Cake

Gingerbread Overnight Oats | No Thanks to Cake
Per entire recipe serving:

CAL 262; CARB 49g; FAT 4g; PROT 9g; FIB 6g; WW Points Plus: 7

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Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze

I haven’t quite decided what I want to do for Thanksgiving yet.  I’m debating making my favorite veggie side dishes, while watching Gilmore Girls all day, while wearing yoga pants… and zero makeup.  And, for some reason, that plan sounds quietly heavenly.  

Today’s recipe reminds me of Thanksgiving, and I’m a little obsessed with how pretty these multicolored carrots came out…

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake

I picked up the carrots at my local Sprouts store, and I’ve seen them at King Soopers and Trader Joe’s too.  They’re kind of a special occasion carrot, if you ask me.  And, they taste phenomenal prepared this way…

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze

Adapted from Flavour and Savour

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Roasted Carrots with Honey-Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake

About 12 – 15 medium carrots (multicolor, if you can find them)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil + 1 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Scrub and peel the carrots. Cut larger ones in half lengthwise so that carrots are of uniform size.

Roasted Carrots with Honey-Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
3.  In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, water, minced garlic, rosemary, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
4.  Add carrots, coating evenly.

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
5.  Arrange in a single layer in a baking sheet prepared with cooking spray.

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
6.  Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally until tender and just beginning to brown.

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
7.  Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
Roasted Carrots with Honey Mustard Glaze | No Thanks to Cake
Per 1/6 recipe serving (about 1/2 cup):

CAL 105; CARB 20g; FAT 3g; PROT 2g; FIB 4g; WW Points Plus: 3

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Beef Potato and Quinoa Soup

It is officially winter in Colorado.  Not per the calendar, but definitely per the temperatures that are rolling in.  Over the weekend, knowing that this was coming our way… it just made sense to post a recipe that was warm, comforting, and did I mention delicious??

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

This recipe comes from the lovely Gina over at Skinnytaste.  It reminds me a lot of the Healthy Chicken Quinoa Soup recipe I shared a while back, but with some extra latin flavors…  The combination of the beef, the sazon, quinoa, and the fresh cilantro comes together to create the perfect dish to eat while snuggling under a blanket in front of the fire.

Beef Potato and Quinoa Soup

From Skinnytaste

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

2 tsp. olive oil
6-7 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sazon
1/2 lb. beef, cubed into small bite size pieces
5 cups water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp. yellow bell pepper, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup cooked quinoa 
6 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Saute oil in a large pot, add scallions and garlic and sauté until soft over medium heat, about 3 minutes.

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Add tomato, cumin, sazon with achiote, 1/4 cup cilantro and cook another 2 minutes.   Note:  This is the first time I’ve ever used Sazon, and it’s delicious!  This is what the packaging looks like, and/or you can make your own using Skinnytaste’s recipe!

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Add beef, water, boullion, carrot, bell pepper, salt and bring to a boil.

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Cover and simmer on low about 1-1/2 hours, until meat is tender.  Add potato and cooked quinoa and cook an additional 25 minutes.

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Add remaining chopped cilantro and serve.

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Beef Potato Quinoa Soup | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1 1/2 cup serving:

CAL 308; CARB 31g; FAT 14g; PROT 16g; FIB 5g; WW Points Plus: 8 

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