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Love Thanksgiving dinner but not the next morning’s groans and weight gain? This year, instead of gobbling a traditional meal weighed down with saturated fat, calories, and no-fiber carbs, tuck into a Thanksgiving feast featuring healthy twists on familiar favorites. Trade predictable mashed white potatoes—yummy but mostly starch—for delicious, vitamin-rich mashed sweet potatoes flavored with orange zest and warm spices. Rather than plain brussels sprouts, jazz up fresh-off-the-stalk sprouts with a mustard glaze and heart-healthy hazelnuts. Bread stuffing, a comfort-food fave, goes guilt-free with fortified whole grains, fresh herbs, and colorful vegetables, adding fiber, phytonutrients, and flavor. And, because no Thanksgiving is complete without a pitcher of gravy, try our foolproof lump-free version made without an ounce of fat. Even pumpkin pie gets a healthy lift with a high-fiber walnut crust and tofu-and-yogurt whipped topping. You and your guests will be grateful, indeed.
Herb Roasted Turkey with Foolproof Gravy
Serves 8, with leftovers / Prep tips: Have a few feet of kitchen twine on hand to truss the turkey. Adding broth to the roasting pan helps moisten the meat as it cooks. Ingredient tip: Enhance your gravy’s flavor by seeking out house-made turkey or chicken broth from your butcher or favorite natural foods market. Canned or boxed broth may be used in a pinch. View recipe.
Cranberry Sauce with Apple and Sage
Makes 1 2/3 cups / Apple juice concentrate sweetens the cranberries naturally while adding additional fall flavor. View recipe.
Herbed Bread and Vegetable Stuffing
Serves 8 / Prep tips: Try using sprouted whole-grain bread for added texture and nuttiness. Serving tip: If some of your guests are vegetarian, use the stuffing to fill portobello mushroom caps; brush caps with olive oil, fill, and bake at 375 degrees until tender. View recipe.
Orange-and-Spice Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 8 / Ingredient tip: Look for orange-fleshed sweet potatoes with dark skins, often labeled as garnet yams. They are sweeter and have a higher moisture content than pale-fleshed sweet potatoes. View recipe.
Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts
Serves 8 / Ingredient tip: Look for brussels sprouts sold still on the stalk; they’re fresher and easy to snap off when ready to cook. Small sprouts tend to be sweeter and more tender. Prep tip: To toast hazelnuts, bake raw nuts at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until fragrant. Cool, then rub vigorously with a towel to remove papery skins. View recipe.
Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust
Serves 12 / This delicious, press-in crust has a sandy texture similar to a graham cracker crust. To prevent it from getting soggy, store pie at room temperature instead of refrigerating. It will keep well for two days at room temperature; five days refrigerated. Ingredient tip: Be sure your spices are fresh for maximum flavor. Serving tip: The orange-scented, tofu-and-yogurt topping nicely balances the sweet pie; but you can indulge in whipped cream, of course. View recipe.
Turkey day timeline
• Purchase all ingredients.
• Make dough for piecrust. Refrigerate.
• Bake piecrust; finish making pie and whipped topping.
• Toast hazelnuts.
• Make stuffing; refrigerate in a covered ovenproof dish.
4 hours before dinner:
• Prep and roast turkey
While turkey roasts:
• Cut sweet potatoes and cover with water in a saucepan.
• Trim and halve brussels sprouts. Have them ready to go in a steamer basket.
• Take stuffing out of fridge to warm up a bit.
• Set table.
After turkey finishes roasting:
• Place turkey on a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
• Turn oven to 350 degrees. Reheat stuffing (25–35 minutes).
• Make gravy; start sweet potatoes to cook.
• Finish sweet potatoes; cover and keep warm.
• Make brussels sprouts 20 minutes before serving time.