Bon Appetit: How To Make Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes Healthier Featured

 

Authors: huffingtonpost FOOD

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Charred Green Beans with Harissa and Almonds (Photo by Romulo Yanes)

By Marissa Lippert, Bon Appétit

The bitter dilemma crops up each and every Thanksgiving holiday: stay true to your healthy eating resolve -- or throw caution and calories to the wind? But guess what: There is a happy medium. And we're going to show you how. We've figured out how to make common Thanksgiving dishes (from green bean casserole to sausage stuffing) a bit less likely to stretch your waistline.

And don't fear, you'll still love every bite.

For more recipes and holiday ideas, visit Bon Appétit's Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide.

More from Bon Appétit:
Bon Appétit's Guide to Fast, Easy Meals
10 Snacks You Thought Were Healthy But Really Aren't
Fall's Best Salads
10 Quick and Easy School-Night Dinners

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  • The Mashed Potatoes

    Heavy cream, sticks of butter, even tubs of cream cheese (we've heard rumors!) get whipped into those cholesterol-drowned starch bombs. Mashed potatoes may never vanish from the table -- they're a Thanksgiving classic, after all -- but there are ways to lighten them up (and save you room for a piece of pumpkin pie): 1. Swap out the butter for olive oil and roasted garlic. 2. Bump down from heavy cream to a mix of whole milk and a touch of butter. 3. Add some minced chives, caramelized onions, or mustard for flavor. 4. Skip the cream cheese in favor of Greek yogurt, pepper, and horseradish -- they'll give your potatoes punch. 5. If you're really aiming to go rogue this holiday, mix parsnips in with your potatoes for some healthy fiber.<br> <br> <strong>TRY THESE RECIPES</strong><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2005/03/mustard_mashed_potatoes?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Mustard Mashed Potatoes</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/04/olive_oil_mashed_potatoes_with_spinach_and_basil?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Olive Oil-Mashed Potatoes with Spinach and Basil</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2007/01/garlic_and_olive_oil_smashed_yukon_gold_potatoes?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Garlic and Olive Oil Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes</a><br> <br> <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/6378990949/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Dinner Series</a></em>

  • The Stuffing

    Soften the caloric blow the quick and dirty way by packing vegetables (try mushrooms, root vegetables, celery, or fennel) alongside your cubes of bread. Add flavor with toasted nuts, dried fruit, apples, and herbs like thyme and sage. Dare we suggest mixing in whole wheat bread as well? Yes, we dare.<br> <br> <strong>TRY THESE RECIPES</strong><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/11/wild_mushroom_and_spinach_stuffing?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Wild Mushroom and Spinach Stuffing</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/11/herb_and_onion_stuffing?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Herb and Onion Stuffing</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/11/dried_cranberry_apricot_and_fig_stuffing?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Dried Cranberry, Apricot, and Fig Stuffing</a><br> <br> <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/maggiejane/4106965666/sizes/o/in/photostream/">Maggie Hoffman</a></em>

  • The Green Bean Casserole

    Green bean casserole has grown up: those emerald strings are confident in themselves and no longer need to lean on cream and cheese. Keep them simple: roast or saute them with a drizzle of olive oil, possibly some browned garlic slivers, toasted walnuts or hazelnuts, lemon zest... Options are endless.<br> <br> <strong>TRY THESE RECIPES</strong><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/11/green-beans-with-miso-and-almonds?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Green Beans with Miso and Almonds</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2007/12/green_beans_with_sage_and_pancetta?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Green Beans with Sage and Pancetta</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/quick-recipes/2012/07/charred-green-beans-with-harissa-and-almonds?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Charred Green Beans with Harissa and Almonds</a><br> <br> <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomcensani/4139010191/sizes/z/in/photostream/">tomcensani</a></em>

  • The Gravy

    No turkey should touch the table without a gravy boat as its wingman. Turkey drippings are what gives the sauce its flavor, but they're not exactly healthy. So keep the rest of the ingredients light. Aim to use minimal butter (if any), and if you've got roasted carrots and onions in the bottom of the pan, add them for a chunkier, vegetable-heavy gravy. A dash of wine, white or red, apple cider, or liquor will also add depth without adding fat.<br> <br> <strong>TRY THESE RECIPES</strong><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/11/fresh_fennel_pan_gravy?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Fresh Fennel Pan Gravy </a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/11/roast_heritage_turkey_with_cider_gravy?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Roast Heritage Turkey with Bacon-Herb Butter and Cider Gravy</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/11/salted_roast_turkey_with_orange_fall_spices_and_sherry_gravy?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Salted Roast Turkey with Orange, Fall Spices, and Sherry Gravy</a><br> <br> <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gloryfoods/6245311386/sizes/z/in/photostream/">Glory Foods</a></em>

  • The Dessert

    Let's be honest: There's not so much you can do to make a fantastic Thanksgiving dessert super-healthy. That said, you can focus on fruit-forward desserts that eschew extra fat. Apple or pear tarts, for example, are sneaky, gorgeous ways of getting around a pie's extra layer of crust. Pumpkin pie is also a good choice; whether canned or fresh, pumpkin contains loads of disease-fighting antioxidants, and it's relatively low-cal (at least until you add sugar and heavy cream). Pecan pie is tried and true, but it weighs in like brick. Go for a small sliver if you must.<br> <br> <strong>TRY THESE RECIPES</strong><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/11/grandmas-pumpkin-pie?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Grandma's Pumpkin Pie</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2003/10/rustic_apple_tart_with_honey_dates_and_nuts?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Rustic Apple Tart with Honey, Nuts and Dates</a><br> <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2006/12/spiced_cranberry_pear_tart?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="_hplink">Spiced Cranberry Pear Tart</a><br> <br> <em>Photo via Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevingessner/3066989890/sizes/z/in/photostream/">kevingessner</a></em>

 

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