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50+ Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

   

Are you searching for healthier Thanksgiving recipes?  Look no further because I’ve compiled a huge list of recipes from side dishes to desserts that are healthier than your standard Thanksgiving fare.

       
healthier thanksgiving recipes
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My quest for healthier Thanksgiving recipes started because I’m currently doing a Whole30.  Even though my 30 days are up before Turkey Day I wanted to see if I could come up with healthier alternatives to my usual recipes.  No matter what diet you follow it never hurts to see if there are tasty and healthier alternatives to what you usually eat.  I feel like it’s a bonus to serve your family healthier recipes too, no matter how they normally eat.

The recipes below may not be specifically geared for the holidays, but I felt like they were in the spirit of traditional Thanksgiving food.  Whether it’s less butter, less sugar, less grains, more veggies or whatever else, small changes can make a big difference without impacting the deliciousness of your Thanksgiving meal.

50 Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

Turkey

Best Ever Brined Turkey and Gluten-Free Gravy from Gutsy by Nature

Perfect Roasted Turkey from Our Paleo Life

Rosemary Roasted Turkey from Primal Palate

Simple Roast Turkey Breast from Cook Eat Paleo

Ultimate Roasted Turkey from Cooking Light via My Recipes

Gravy

Healthy Mushroom Gravy from Perry Santanachote/Daily Burn

Low-fat Turkey Gravy from the Mayo Clinic

Easy Paleo Herb Gravy from Nom Nom Paleo

Turkey Gravy (Paleo/Whole30) from Simple Life by Kels

Low Calorie Everyday Gravy from Going Cavewoman

Stuffing/Dressing

New Brunswick-Style Potato Stuffing from The Domestic Man

Gluten-free Quinoa Stuffing from Carolyn Stalnaker/SheKnows

Healthy Harvest Stuffing from Martha Stewart

Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing from PaleOMG

Grain-Free Thanksgiving Stuffing from Against All Grain

Out-of-this-World Healthy Stuffing from Bethenny

HG’s Save the Day Stuffing from Hungry Girl

Best Ever Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing from Paleo Foundation

Paleo Sausage, Apple and Chestnut Stuffing from Perchance to Cook

Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes

Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries from Little Bits Of

Low-Cal, Low-Fat Mashed Potatoes from Fitness Magazine

Healthy Garlic Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes from Apple of my Eye

Healthy Mashed Potatoes from Ahead of Thyme

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole from Ellie Krieger via POPSUGAR

Healthy Mashed Potatoes from Pillsbury

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole from Cook the Story

Cranberry Sauce/Relish

Cranberry Relish from Elise Bauer/Simply Recipes

Sugarless Cranberry Sauce from Wellness Mama

Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce from Cookie and Kate

Cranberry Relish from Eating Well

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce from Busy but Healthy

Gingered Cranberry-Orange Relish from Eating Well

Veggie Side Dishes

Green Bean Casserole With Crispy Shallots from Ellie Krieger/Food Network

Healthy Green Bean Casserole from Wellness Mama

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad from Chowhound

Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Paleo Grubs

Brussels Sprouts With Balsamic and Cranberries from Paleo Leap

Rustic Leek Gratin from A Squirrel in the Kitchen

Roasted Carrots with Vinaigrette from the Pioneer Woman

Maple-Glazed Root Vegetables from Paleo Grubs

Celery Root Mash from Stupid Easy Paleo

Blistered Green Beans with Crushed Almonds from Heartbeet Kitchen

Dessert/Sweets

Pumpkin Pie Bites from Paleo Leap

Paleo Pumpkin Pie from Cook Eat Paleo

Healthy Pumpkin Pie from Chocolate Covered Katy

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake from Gluten Free on a Shoestring

Paleo Pecan Pie from the Healthy Foodie

Healthy 4-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse from the Roasted Root

Almond Flour Zucchini Bread from Against All Grain

Healthy Flourless Pumpkin Breakfast Cake from Big Man’s World

Pumpkin Bake from Former Fitness Flunky

Paleo and Vegan Apple Crisp from Detoxinista

Hope you found some delicious inspiration from these healthier Thanksgiving recipes.  A big thank you to all of the amazing chefs and cooks who take the time to develop and share their amazing recipes.  If you have a great recipe to share feel free to leave your link in the comments!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Meal Prep Inspiration/Pinspiration

   

Meal prep is my number one way to stay on track when it comes to eating better, but sometimes I need fresh and new meal ideas.  When I need meal prep inspiration I head straight to Pinterest.  There I have found hundreds of meal prep ideas, recipes and even suggestions for storage and transport.  Today I have rounded up some of my very favorite pins to share in hopes they spark your meal prep inspiration too.

       

Having meals ready that you can store in the freezer helps ensure that you have long-term options available. Building a little stock pile of individual or family sized meals that are ready to defrost and eat can get you over the hump when you may not have time to grab fresh ingredients:

On the other hand, sometimes you crave fresh veggies and greens. When the mood strikes it’s awesome to be able to pack a whole bunch of salads at once and have them last throughout the week:

Freezer pancakes are such a great idea for busy mornings. I used this pin as a jumping off point for coming up with a variety of variations for various dietary needs. Whether you’re doing Whole30, Paleo, keto or another diet, prepping and freezing pancakes in bulk is a really simple and easy way to ensure you have a solid breakfast ready each morning.

Meal prep may not always be about prepping a whole meal. Sometimes it’s nice to have meal components ready and available just to help you get food on the able faster. This cauliflower rice is one of those things you may not have time to make on a weeknight, but prepping a few bags can help ensure you have healthy side dishes ready in just a few minutes:

Sometimes I stumble upon new types of containers for prepping. You absolutely do not need fancy containers to do meal prep, but sometimes it can be handy for stacking and storing or portion control when you do use the same container for each meal. I really like these 3 section containers, though I’ll admit I have not decided whether or not to spend the money on them. Right now I’m fairly happy with my Great Value 25 oz. entree containers from Walmart.

Since coming off Whole30 I’ve been exploring keto or low carb recipes a little more. I like them because they can be fairly on track with Whole30, but allow for dairy, which I love. This recipe for pizza rolls is definitely an “eat in moderation” type of recipe, but it’s easy, stores really well and makes a fantastic meal when paired with salad or veggies so it’s perfect for meal prepping.

Whenever you need new ideas it can be so much fun to see what other people have had success with. Please stop by and check out my entire collection of Meal Prep pins for more meal prep inspiration:




About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Zoodle Pie for Meal Prep Monday

   

Meal Prep

       

Zoodle pie, my take on spaghetti pie, has become a new favorite for meal prep in our house.  The simple substitution of zoodles (zucchini noodles) for regular pasta provides a big dose of veggies in a tasty and easy dish.

Since I’m just starting to get back into meal prepping again I’ve been looking for fast and fun things to make.  I also wanted to try totally new meals that we’ve never had before.  Zoodle pie definitely fit the bill.  The prep is a little intensive, but once you get the zucchini spiralized and squeezed out the remaining steps go pretty quickly.

I’ve been making various versions of spaghetti pie for years, but for this particular recipe I took inspiration from Pioneer Woman’s Best Lasagna Ever recipe.  I made the actual recipe for Christmas dinner so I knew it was already a winner.  My favorite part about the recipe was using cottage cheese and eggs rather than ricotta because I think ricotta can be a little bland. The cottage cheese/egg mixture really helps hold the zoodles together well in this dish.
Zoodle Pie

Zoodle Pie

Serves 12

Ingredients
3 medium zucchini + 1/2 tbsp salt
32 oz. cottage cheese
3 eggs
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb Italian turkey sausage
1 24 oz jar sugar free pasta sauce

Preheat over to 350 F.

Spiralize the zucchini and place into a colander. Sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp. salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse gently and squeeze excess water out of zoodles. Place zoodles on a towel and roll up, gently squeezing excess water out as you roll. Set aside.

Mix the cottage cheese, eggs, 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, garlic and onion powders, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until well combined. Set aside.

Brown Italian turkey until cooked through and crumble. Mix with entire jar of pasta sauce.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Ladle approximately one cup of meat/sauce mixture into bottom of pan and spread evenly. Top with 1/2 of the zoodles, spread evenly. Top zoodles with 1/2 of cottage cheese mixture, spread evenly. Spread another cup of meat/sauce mixture evenly over cottage cheese mixture. Spread remaining zoodles evenly and top with the remaining cottage cheese mixture, spread evenly. Spread all remaining meat/sauce over the top. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 c. Parmesean cheese on top.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until top is browned.

Water content in the zucchini may cause excess moisture in this dish. If dish looks a bit too wet after 45 minutes you can continue to bake for another 15 minutes, tenting the top with foil to prevent excess browning if necessary.

This zoodle pie is excellent right out of the oven, but for meal prepping I suggest refrigerating overnight and cutting it the next day. I found that it was easier to cut equal portions when it was chilled and firm.

What are you including in your meal prep this week?

Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest board for prep ideas, planning and tips:


About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Meal Prep Monday

   

Meal Prep Monday Banner

       

It’s Meal Prep Monday!  Today I am sharing some of the meal prep items I’ve made over the past week.  I’ve continued to enjoy a little more leeway with the ingredients I can use in meal prep.  Even though I have opted to reincorporate things like rice in our post-Whole30 meals the portion sizes are significantly smaller than average which makes them more sensible.  This weeks meal include:

meal prepDeconstructed Cabbage Rolls
White Rice

I sauteed ground pork, onions and cabbage with the addition of salt and pepper only.  It seems like that may be kinda boring, but this is the way Grandma did it and she was one hell of a cook so I’ll stick with her on that one.  I mixed a cup of tomato sauce with a dash of coconut sugar, apple cider and white vinegars and some Worcestershire sauce to make a classic cabbage roll-type sauce.  Everyone seems to have their own take on how this should taste, but I was going for a hint of sweet and a lot of zip with the two types of vinegar.

Meal prep
Grilled Chicken Breast
Wild rice blend

I have discovered that brining makes nearly any meat more delicious, especially chicken breasts that can easily get dried out when overcooked or reheated.  I’ve tried this simple brine recipe twice now, tweaking slightly for anything I didn’t have on hand and both times it’s come out wonderfully.   I paired these grilled chicken breasts with a brown and wild rice blend that was seasoned with a bay leaf and a half tablespoon barbecue rub mix.

Meal prep

Scrambled Egg Cups with Quinoa

Sometimes leftovers cause you to get creative so when I had leftover quinoa and a whole bunch of eggs I decided to mix them up into scrambled egg cups.  Six eggs and about a cup of cooked quinoa yielded 10 standard muffins cups filled about 3/4 of the way full.  I baked these for 20 minutes at 350 until almost set.  I was careful not to overcook them since we would reheat them during the week and I didn’t want to chew on little hockey pucks.

What are you including in your meal prep this week?

Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest board for prep ideas, planning and tips:

Follow Former Fitness Flunky’s board Fit Food Finds – Meal Prep on Pinterest.
 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Meal Prep Monday

   

Meal Prep Monday Banner

       

It’s Meal Prep Monday!  Today I am sharing some of the meal prep items I’ve made over the past week.  I was so excited to be able to cook some different things like beans, rice and other grains that I started  prepping  on the last day of our Whole30 just to be ready.

Meal Prep

Cheddar Jalapeño  Sausage 
Quinoa with sautéed kale and onions

I’ve used Miller chicken sausages in past preps, but they don’t get old for us. It’s an easy and fairly nutritious choice, though I sometimes find them a bit salty. To counter that I made simple quinoa with sautéed onions and frozen chopped kale. I didn’t use any salt to counterbalance the sausage seasoning.

Meal Prep
Kalua Shredded Pork
Speckled butter beans
White rice with jalapeño cream

Kalua pork has become one of my favorite go-to recipes for meal prepping. It’s so easy and hands-off and yields a huge batch of incredibly versatile meat. This week I paired the shredded pork with plain rice and boiled speckled butter beans. Simple sounded good, but to add a twist I charred 4 cloves of garlic and 8 jalapeños under the broiler and then peeled and pureed them once cool with coconut milk, a little salt and some lemon juice. Zing! The sauce was a bit more spicy than anticipated, but when you mixed everything together the heat leveled out. I think you could sub any pepper into this mix, even bell, depending on your spice preference.

I am so excited to be able to expand my repertoire with grains and beans again. While it can be nice to take a break and explore other options I personally feel like beans, rice, quinoa, lentils, etc. are a healthy part of our diet and I am glad to have them back. One part of the Whole30 I really struggle with is cutting out things I feel are solid nutritional choices (especially beans).

I need to get back in the kitchen and finish cooking for the week. Next up is a recipe I found on Pinterest for blender muffins. I really like having prepped breakfast options available so I am hoping they come out well.

What are you including in your meal prep this week?

Follow my Meal Prep Pinterest board for prep ideas, planning and tips:

Follow Former Fitness Flunky’s board Fit Food Finds – Meal Prep on Pinterest.
 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.