We have great news for you guys! We don’t have to start gaining holiday weight just because Thanksgiving is here! Turkey is already a recommended lean protein, so why should we start putting on those holiday pounds? You can enjoy the holiday just as much, without the post-dinner guilt, by making the following small changes to your side dishes:

Mashed (Sweet) Potatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pierce each sweet potato in several places with a fork.
  2. Place directly on the oven rack and roast until soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Transfer to a cutting board; let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
  4. Slip off the skins and cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch slices; transfer to a large bowl. Add butter.
  5. Smash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher or fork until fluffy but some lumps remain.
  6. Add maple syrup, chili powder, ground cumin, ginger, salt and pepper; stir to combine

Gluten-Free Stuffing

Preheat oven to 275°F.

  1. Spread cornbread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.
  3. Cook sausage in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until softened and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the cornbread, sage and pepper to the skillet and gently toss to combine. Pour broth over the mixture. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake the stuffing until steaming hot, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until lightly crisped on top, about 15 minutes more.

Green Beans

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove.
  2. Add half the green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beans with a slotted spoon to the ice water to cool. Repeat with the remaining beans. Place a kitchen towel on a baking sheet and use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans from the ice water; blot dry with another towel.
  3. Just before serving, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the green beans and stir. Add parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes.

These slightest changes can save you enough calories to stay fit throughout the holiday season. The next couple of months should be full of joy, not guilt. Go into the New Year feeling your best and treating your body the way it deserves to be treated!

-RISE Programs

Holiday Recipes: