While Thanksgiving is known for the delicious food and quality family time, there are a few ways to make classic dishes without feeling overly full. Also, many popular dishes lacking important macronutrients that your body needs for your overall well-being. Here are some easy substitutes that will make your holiday special!
Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce
Healthier than the canned version of this staple, this recipe is quick and easy
12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- ½ cup water
- Zest of 1 medium orange*, preferably organic (about 1 teaspoon)
- Optional add-ins: ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and/or ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- First, rinse the cranberries well and drain off excess water. Pick through the cranberries and discard any squishy ones.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, honey and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped and the mixture has thickened to your liking, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the orange zest. If you’d like to add cinnamon or orange juice, add it now. Taste and, if the mixture is too tart (keeping in mind that cranberry sauce is supposed to be a little tart!), add more orange juice, honey or maple syrup to taste.
- The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. It will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
Orange-Scented Green Beans
- Peel of one orange
- 2 pounds trimmed green beans, available in the produce department
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped
- Fill a pan with 2 inches water and bring to a boil. Add orange peel and beans. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, beans should remain bright green with a snap to them. Drain beans and return to pan. Remove peel. Toss with butter, salt and chives then transfer to a serving dish.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling potatoes after cooked
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.
- Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil.
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- 3 pounds medium Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 thick slices bacon (about 8 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Trim the bottom end of the Brussels sprouts, leaving the core intact, and pull off the outer dark leaves. Halve through the core. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. (This can be done a day ahead.)
- Meanwhile, put the oil and bacon in a very large skillet or stewpot, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until they brown and the edges get crisp, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, salt, pepper, and bacon. Serve warm.