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A happier, healthier you

A Complete Guide to a Yes Health Approved Thanksgiving

by Yes Health Team

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Or overwhelmed with what to bring to your Friendsgiving potluck? Well, lucky you! We’ve created a complete guide of crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving recipes that no one will even guess are Yes Health approved.

Here’s the Thanksgiving lineup:

Thanksgiving appetizer

Thanksgiving main course

Thanksgiving sides

Thanksgiving dessert

Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipe

Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed roasted mushrooms topped with parsley
Original Recipe by Coach Sara A.

 

Coach Sara A’s tips: The fresh garlic and Italian parsley stuffing provides many heart healthy, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. The part-skim mozzarella cheese is naturally lower in fat than other cheeses and the whole wheat panko breadcrumbs has half the fat, less carbs, and less calories than traditional breadcrumbs! 

*Recipe may be modified to be vegan and lactose free by eliminating the cheese or using a dairy free cheese. May be modified to gluten-free by eliminating the breadcrumbs or using gluten free breadcrumbs. 

 Ingredients:

  • Two-8 ounce packages white button mushrooms
  •  ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, washed, and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • Two-1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese deli slices, cut into thin 1-inch squares 

Directions:

  1. Carefully break off stems and clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Discard stems. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Stuff each mushroom cap with about 1 tsp of the breadcrumb-parsley mixture, or until the cavity is full.
  4. Cut each deli slice of part-skim mozzarella into 15 small squares, or enough for one small piece per mushroom. Top each stuffed mushroom cap with a small square of part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake on a lined baking sheet for 12 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

Mushrooms may be prepared and stuffed ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake and serve hot.

Makes about 30 mushrooms.

 

Thanksgiving Main Course Recipe

Turkey Meatloaf

turkey meatloaf topped with nuts and cranberries on slate board
Original Recipe by Coach Miriam

 

Coach Miriam’s tip: This turkey loaf is a festive and practical alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving turkey, especially if serving a smaller party. It’s loaded with veggies for fiber as well as lean protein from the turkey breast and heart healthy fats from the pecans. Pair with a sweet potato mash and green veggies for a complete meal!

Ingredients:

1 cup lightly toasted whole grain bread cubes

½ cup plain milk or unsweetened milk alternative

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup diced carrots

½ cup diced celery

¼ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon finely chopped sage or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1-pound ground turkey breast

½ pound ground turkey

½ cup whole cranberry sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and lightly coat a 9 x 5’’ loaf pan with cooking oil such as avocado oil, or a nonstick spray.
  2. Cut bread into small evenly sized cubes, then lightly toast in the toaster or oven.
  3. In a large bowl, soak breadcrumbs in milk. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk egg and stir into bread and milk mixture breaking up breadcrumbs a bit.
  5. Add mustard, chopped vegetables, dried cranberries, pecans (reserve 1 tablespoon for topping), and herbs (reserve 1 teaspoon of each the sage and rosemary for topping if using fresh and skip using herbs for topping if using dried). Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Add turkey and mix all ingredients until well combined.
  7. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 5” loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35 minutes.
  8. Remove loaf from pan. Drain excess liquid as needed by lightly patting any liquid with a paper towel. 
  9. Evenly coat the loaf with cranberry sauce and sprinkle with reserved pecans and fresh herbs.
  10. Bake another 25-minutes or until the thickest part of the loaf reads 165F degrees. 
  11. Let cool and slice into approximately 1.5” slices for about 6 servings.

 

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Mashed cauliflower topped with olive oil and herbs on wooden table
Original Recipe by Coach Sara A.

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 medium brown russet potato, diced 

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (may substitute with parmesan cheese) 

2 Tbsp grass-fed butter 

Salt & pepper to taste 

Optional ingredients: 

⅓ cup Plain Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese 

1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese 

2-4 gloves roasted garlic 

Chives, chopped

Directions: 

  1. Wash and chop the potato. In a large pot with a steamer basket, steam potatoes for about 5-6 minutes until slightly tender. The smaller the potatoes are chopped, the faster they will cook. 
  2. While the potatoes are steaming, wash and chop the cauliflower into bite size florets. Add the cauliflower to the potatoes, toss to mix. Cover and continue to steam for an additional 12-18 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and cooked through. Be careful not to over cook until it’s mushy.
  3. Drain the cauliflower-potato mixture. Add grass-fed butter, nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese, and any optional ingredients such as plain Greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, sharp cheddar, and/or roasted garlic cloves.  
  4. Using an electric mixer or immersion hand blender, blend until smooth. 
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped chives if desired. Serve while hot!

 

Carrot Souffle

carrot souffle in glass bakeware
Original Recipe by Coach Anne

 

Coach Anne’s tip: This dish is a great lower sugar and starch alternative to the classic sweet potato casserole that is commonly served around Thanksgiving. The recipe may easily be adapted to dairy free by using olive/avocado oil instead of butter, and almond/soy milk instead of cow’s milk. 

Ingredients: 

2 pound bag of carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (may use whole baby carrots too)

½ cup soft butter (may use olive oil or avocado oil for dairy free) *May use olive oil for dairy free or lower saturated fat option

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ tsp salt

1 cup milk (I prefer ultra filtered milk, OR unsweetened almond/soy milk for dairy free)

3 large eggs at room temperature

4 Tbsp flour (traditional wheat flour or gluten free flour) 

2 tsp baking powder

1-2 Tbsp dried dill (use more if using fresh dill)

Nonstick spray or oil to grease the pan 

Instructions: 

  1. Peel and coarsely chop carrots. Boil until soft ~15min. (may use whole baby carrots)
  2. Add boiled carrots and all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. (If you have an immersion blender, you may add remaining ingredients to the pot with the cooked carrots and blend until smooth)
  3. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray or grease with a touch of oil. Pour blended carrot mixture into a shallow baking dish. Garnish with a little additional dill if desired.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy! 

Alterations: 

  • May swap milk for plain Greek yogurt for a higher protein 
  • May prepare in individual ramekins – adjust baking time 
  • May swap butter for olive oil for dairy free or lower saturated fat option

 

Roasted Balsamic Brussels & Apple 

roasted brussels, apple, and cranberries in ramekin
Original Recipe by Coach Miriam

 

Coach Miriam’s Tip: Brussels and apples are seasonal, nutritious and delicious! Brussels are considered a cruciferous vegetable rich in an array of vitamins and phytonutrients (aka plant nutrients) important in health promotion. This recipe is savory yet slightly sweet with the addition of apple and touch of maple syrup. Topping it off with pecans adds heart healthy fats and makes this a fitting dish for the season.

Ingredients:

 1-pound Brussels sprouts, halved

1 large apple, chopped into a medium dice

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup chopped pecans

¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F 
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine oil, salt and pepper. Add Brussels and apple and evenly coat. 
  1. Spread mixture onto a larger baking pan lined with parchment or foil. (Note foil will result in crispier Brussels and possibly shorter roasting time). Make sure not to overcrowd the pan and use two pans if needed. Bake for 15 minutes.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, syrup and Dijon mustard. Remove Brussels from the oven and evenly toss with tongs or a mixing spoon.
  1. Bake another 10 minutes then toss with pecans and top with cranberries for a pop of color.

 

Thanksgiving Dessert Recipe

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

mini pumpkin cheesecake
Original Recipe by Coach Anne

 

Coach Anne’s tip: recipe makes 12 mini cheesecakes – if cooking for a crowd I suggest doubling the recipe

Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons melted butter (or avocado oil)

2 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of salt

*Quick crust hack: place a gingersnap cookie (or Gluten Free gingersnap) at the bottom of each muffin tin”

Filling:

1 eight ounce package cream cheese, softened (may use reduced fat)

½  cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 egg plus 1 egg white, slightly beaten

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

Festive garnishes: Top each with a Dollop of whipped cream, spiced pepitas, pumpkin seeds or pecans, pomegranate seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon, candied orange peel, etc.  Enjoy and feel free to share your photos!

Dairy free/gluten free modifications: may swap cream cheese for a vegan/nut based cream cheese alternative, butter for oil and graham crackers for gluten free graham crackers or gingersnap cookies. 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line muffin pan with tin foil muffin liners
  2. In a bowl, mix crust ingredients until well combined. Divide mixture evenly between the 12 cups. Press crumbs firmly on the bottom and 1/3 up sides of each cup using a bottle cap or the bottom of a tablespoon. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, blend room temp filling ingredients together until smooth. (may use hand or stand mixer, food processor or immersion blender). Spoon this mixture into each crust-lined cup, dividing evenly between all 12.
  4. Place cheesecakes into the preheated oven and bake for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Remove each cheesecake from the muffin tin and let cool completely on wire rack, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Just before serving, top with cream, garnish of choice or enjoy as is!

Final Thoughts

Do you have questions about a recipe? Or want more healthy holiday recipes, try Yes Health free for 14 days, and see what your health coaches recommend for you.

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