Are you tired of the same ole’ Thanksgiving Day meal, which, by the way, has been estimated to pack nearly 3,170 calories? Start a new tradition this year with our healthy twists on some seasonal favorites. This holiday meal is scrumptious, nutritious and, with just 741 calories for servings of each of the dishes—including dessert—it won’t leave you feeling bogged down and exhausted after dinner!
The Nutrition Twins® Skinny Rosemary Turkey With Vegetables
This dish is a great variation from the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, as you get delicious moist turkey from a flavorful sauce that is a much lower calorie alternative to gravy. Plus, this dish is loaded with veggies that aren’t smothered in butter the way that many vegetables often are during the holiday season.
Serving Size: ¼-pound turkey and 2 tablespoons sauce
1 pound turkey breast tenderloin slices, all visible fat removed
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable oil spray (or vegetable oil in a spray container)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
10 ounces chanterelle or button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/4 cup chopped shallots or onion
Fresh rosemary (optional)
-Rinse turkey, pat dry and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together broth, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Set aside.
-Spray a large skillet with vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. Add half the turkey to hot skillet. Cook about 2 minutes per side, or until turkey is tender and no longer pink. Repeat with remaining turkey. Move skillet away from heat. Remove turkey from skillet and keep warm.
-Add vinegar and rosemary to skillet, stirring to scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan. Return skillet to heat and add mushrooms, carrots, celery and shallots or onion.
-Over medium heat, cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir broth mixture and add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, approximately 3 minutes. Cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Serve sauce with turkey on a bed of rosemary, if desired.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 169 kcal; Protein 28 g; Carbohydrates 5 g; Total Fat 4 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Cholesterol 67 mg; Sodium 137 mg
Feta, Brussels Sprout and Chestnut Salad
If you’ve ever roasted Brussels sprouts, you know they get sweet and caramelized like candy. Add a splash of maple syrup, feta and almonds and you’ll want this for dessert!
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
¼ cup chestnuts, halved
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon almonds
2 tablespoons non-fat feta
-Fill a pot with one-half cup of water and bring to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and allow them to boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender enough to stick a fork through them. Next, remove them from the heat and pour them into a colander to drain the water. Briefly rinse Brussels sprouts in cold water. Put them in a mixing bowl, add maple syrup and chestnuts, and toss ingredients together.
-Next, pour Brussels sprouts and chestnut mixture into a pan and sauté them for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high heat until Brussels sprouts begin to caramelize.
-In the meantime, toast almonds in either an oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees F or until almonds are golden brown. Once both the sautéed Brussels sprouts and the almonds are done add almonds and feta to the brussel sprouts and chestnuts. This dish can be served either cold or warm. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 126; Total Fat 2 g; Protein 4 g; Carbohydrate 23 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 6 g; Sodium 78 mg
Sweet Potato Polenta
This delicious sweet potato and creamy polenta combo tastes rich and smooth but you’ll never miss the butter or the calories!
Serving Size: ¼ cup
3 sweet potatoes
4½ cups water
1 box of polenta
½ cup skim milk
-First peel and cube (½“ thick) sweet potatoes. Place them in a baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil in a spray container. Put them in the oven for about 50 minutes on 400 degrees F until soft.
-Once sweet potatoes are finished baking, allow them to cool for about 10 minutes. Next, place them in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
-Bring water to a boil. Add polenta, milk and sweet potato puree. Turn down the heat and stir until mixture is consistent and fluffy. This should take about 2 minutes. Once complete, serve warm and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 96; Total Fat 0 g; Protein 3 g; Carbohydrate 20 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 17 mg
Turkey Bacon Stuffed Squash
This dish incorporates winter squash, turkey and thyme all in one scrumptiously satisfying meal. The turkey bacon adds the extra succulent twist.
Serving Size: 3 ounces
3 medium Acorn Squash
3 6-ounce skinless, boneless turkey breast
4 slices of turkey bacon, 10 slices if wrapping turkey breasts
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon thyme, fresh
-Spray a glass-baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Slice each acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves in the baking dish. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for 90 to 120 minutes.
-In the meantime, fry bacon in a cooking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Once bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan and pat it with paper towels. Next, chop the onion, mince the garlic and crumble the bacon. In a small mixing bowl, mix these ingredients and add thyme.
-Place turkey breasts on a cutting board. First, slice about halfway (in depth) through the turkey breast down the center. Use a paring knife to make a pocket on each side of the vertical slice. Next, slice the turkey breast horizontally, again about halfway (in depth). Divide the onion mixture in three even portions and stuff the inside of each turkey breast with the onion mixture.
-Starting from the end of the turkey breast, roll it up so that the seam is facing down. (Optional: Slice 2 pieces of uncooked bacon in half to create 4 pieces. Wrap each piece of bacon around the turkey breast with the seam of the bacon facing down)
-Place each rolled turkey breast in a glass-baking dish sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes.
-After both the turkey breasts and squash are done baking, take them out of the oven. Slice each turkey breast in half and place each half in the center of each of the squash halves. Serve warm and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts Per Serving (without bacon): Calories 197; Total Fat 6 g; Protein 30 g; Carbohydrate 6 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 437 mg
Nutrition Facts Per Serving (with bacon): Calories 259; Total Fat 10 g; Protein 34 g; Carbohydrate 6g; Fiber: 1 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 802 mg
Pumpkin Pie Rolls-ups
These are the perfect bites to round out the meal, scrumptious and light at the same time—just 92 calories each! Top each with a dollop of light vanilla ice cream or vanilla Greek yogurt for an additional taste-bud extravaganza!
Serving Size: ½ egg roll
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon walnuts, chopped
1 egg roll wrapper
1 tablespoon pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
Honey drizzle (optional)
-Mix cinnamon and sugar into a bowl until mixture is completely combined. Chop walnuts and toast them in an oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees F for about 90 seconds or until golden brown.
-Place an egg roll wrapper on a flat surface. Evenly sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cinnamon sugar mixture onto the egg roll wrapper. Next, sprinkle ¼ teaspoon chopped walnuts on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree and 1 tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese in the center of the egg roll wrapper.
-Fold two opposite corners in toward the center. Starting with a non-folded corner, roll up the egg roll with seam facing down.
-Evenly place each egg roll onto a nonstick baking sheet and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon sugar mixture on each one. Place the egg rolls in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until crispy. Serve with a drizzle of honey and a pinch of chopped walnuts.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 91; Total Fat 4 g; Protein 3 g; Carbohydrate 5 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 127 mg
Create a few more healthy holiday traditions this year by breaking a sweat on Workout Wednesday and hitting the open road for a race on Thanksgiving Day!