Healthy Twist on Your Thanksgiving Sides

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The minute November arrives, Holidays are on our minds, and Thanksgiving is the kick-off! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; it is all about enjoying time and great food with family and friends, and is generally stress free!! There are foods at the table on Thanksgiving that we may only get once or twice a year, making them special dishes to really look forward to. This year surprise your family with some new healthier versions of your traditional favorites!

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, halved
  • 1 pound medium red potatoes, halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives (optional)


  1. Place potatoes and bay leaves in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; discard bay leaves.
  2. Return potatoes to saucepan. Add milk, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper; mash to desired consistency. Divide potatoes evenly among 6 plates. Drizzle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.

Serves 6. Each serving contains Calories 173, Fat 7.4 g, Protein .7 g, Carbohydrate 25 g, Fiber 3 g, Cholesterol 1 mg, Sodium 260 mg.

Fall Fruits and Pecan Stuffing


  • 12 ounces whole-grain bread, cut into ¾ in. cubes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 1 large Fuji apple, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Arrange bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Place bread in a large bowl.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, celery, and carrot to pan; sauté 6 minutes. Add apple; cook 4 minutes. Stir in pecans, cranberries, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add apple mixture to bread; toss.
  3. Combine stock, butter, and eggs in a bowl. Drizzle over bread mixture; toss. Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into a 13- x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.

Serves 12. Each serving contains Calories 230, Fat 13.3 g, Protein 7 g, Carbohydrate 23 g, Fiber 4 g, Cholesterol 39 mg, Sodium 271 mg.

One Pan Green Bean Casserole


  • 1 pound French green beans
  • 2 (1-oz.) slices whole-wheat bread
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1½ ounces Parmesan cheese (about 6 Tbsp.), grated and divided
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • ½ cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cook beans in a large saucepan filled with boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge beans into ice water; drain well.
  3. Place bread in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Stir in parsley, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cheese.
  4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 8 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in stock, milk, and sherry. Bring to a simmer; cook 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining 4 tablespoons cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add beans to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly with breadcrumb mixture. Broil 2 minutes.

Serves 8. Each serving contains Calories 124, Fat 7.1 g, Protein 6 g, Carbohydrate 11 g, Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 4 mg, Sodium 241 mg.

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 2¼ cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1½ tablespoons mild honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Scant ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. With a fork, pierce the sweet potatoes all over and set them directly on the oven rack. Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until they are tender; let cool slightly. Slit the skins and scoop the potatoes into a large bowl. Mash until smooth. You should have 1¼ cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Increase the oven temperature to 425° F.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly butter a shallow 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish and dust it with cornmeal, tapping out any excess. In another large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the sugar, salt and baking soda. Melt the butter in the boiling water, then stir the butter-and-water mixture into the dry ingredients. Let cool slightly.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the buttermilk, honey, cumin, white pepper, cloves and cayenne into the mashed sweet potatoes until combined. At medium speed, beat in the cornmeal mixture.
  4. In a clean stainless steel bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold the beaten egg whites into the sweet-potato mixture until no white streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden and risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve the sweet potato spoon bread warm or at room temperature.

Serves 10-12.

Whole Grain Baked Corn Bread

Serves 10-12.


  • 7.5 ounces whole-grain yellow cornmeal (about 1½ cups)
  • 4.75 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups nonfat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in oven. Preheat oven to 450° F (leave pan in oven as it preheats).
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon cornmeal and flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Combine buttermilk, oil, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Add to cornmeal mixture; stir just until batter is combined.
  4. Cut butter into pieces. Carefully place butter in hot skillet in oven; bake at 450° F for 1 to 2 minutes or until butter melts and begins to brown. Carefully remove pan from oven, and pour butter into batter, stirring just until combined. Immediately pour batter into pan. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until browned on edges and lightly browned on top. Cool 5 minutes before slicing; serve warm.

Serves 12. Each serving contains Calories 185, Fat 9.1 g, Protein 5 g, Carbohydrate 22 g, Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 39 mg, Sodium 301 mg.