My Favorite Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

November 20, 2011

A repost from last Thanksgiving... here are my favorite Thanksgiving recipes - PointsPlus values included!  ENJOY!
Cranberry Orange Relish

There is nothing I love more than a tasty cranberry sauce. It is SO easy to make… and tastes 1000 times better than the canned stuff. This is awesome as a condiment for sandwiches, and even a dessert topping. This is the recipe I’ve used for the past several years. I’ve lightened it by subbing some Splenda for the sugar and using Light Orange Juice.

Makes approximately 4 cups of sauce.
1 serving = ¼ cup = 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value

½ cup Splenda
½ cup Honey
2 cups Orange Juice – I use Trop50 Light Orange Juice
2 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp fresh orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups fresh cranberries – basically 1 bag
1 tsp sea salt

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the Splenda, honey and orange juice. Simmer until everything is completely dissolved. Add the ginger, orange zest and cinnamon stick. Stir. Next, add the cranberries and simmer stirring occasionally for 45-60 minutes. The mixture should become thick. Remove from heat and stir in the salt.

This can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator.

Sarah’s Stuffing

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found about 5 years ago on I’ve changed some of the ingredients to my tastes, and lightened it a bit, eliminating unneeded butter, and using reduced-fat sausage.

12 servings
1 serving = ½ cup = 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values

12 oz Jimmy Dean reduced-fat sausage
2 cups chopped onion
2 apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 cup dried cranberries
14 oz Pre package stuffing mix – like Pepperidge Farm
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the sausage until brown. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl. Now, use the same skillet over medium heat and add the onions, apples, celery, and poultry seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary, cranberries, and sage.

Mix the onion mixture with the sausage mixture and Stuffing Mix in the large bowl. Add the chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste.

I’ll be honest; I usually don’t stuff the turkey… I actually make this the day before, and then put it in my crock pot on low to reheat on Thanksgiving Day. Easy Peasy… and delicious!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes – aka Drunk Potatoes
Makes 8 servings
1 serving = ½ of a full potato = 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values

My husband is Canadian, and last year he went to his sister’s house in Vancouver for Canadian Thanksgiving… which is in October – usually the same day as Columbus Day in the US. They made sweet potatoes that were glazed with a mixture of Kahlua, butter, and sugar. I took the same ingredients… added in a streusel topping and decided to make twice baked potatoes with it instead… here’s the yummy result:

4 medium-sized sweet potatoes/yams
3 Tbsp Light Butter
3 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup Kahlua or other coffee flavored Liqueur

For the topping:
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp Light Butter, softened
¼ cup chopped pecans

Cut the potatoes lengthwise in half; place the cut-sides down on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake 30 to 35 min. on 425 degrees or until tender.

Remove from oven and cool a few minutes until you can handle them, and then scoop out the centers of potatoes into a bowl, leaving behind the shell.

Add 3 Tbsp of the light butter, 3 Tbsp of the brown sugar, and the Kahlua to the sweet potatoes. Mash until everything is well combined, and mixture is fairly smooth.

Fill the shells with potato mixture;

In a separate bowl, combine the topping ingredients: 3 Tbsp brown sugar, the flour, 2 Tbsp Light Butter, and the chopped pecans. Mix together until crumbly. Top each potato with about a Tbsp of the mixture.

Return the potatoes to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is heated through and the crumb topping is just starting to brown.

Green Beans with Yellow Pepper Butter
This is a classic recipe that makes an excellent substitution to the traditional Green Bean Casserole that is found on many Thanksgiving dinner tables. This recipe was taken from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, and adapted by me to lighten it up. I think it tastes just as great as the original.

Serves 8
Servings Size = ½ cup = 3 PointsPlus Values

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium yellow sweet pepper, coarsely shredded
4 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups green beans, trimmed
1 large yellow sweet pepper, cut into thin strips

In a small saucepan melt the 1 tablespoon butter. Add the shredded sweet pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Set aside.

In a blender or food processor bowl combine the 4 Tablespoons softened butter and the pine nuts. Cover; blend or process until almost smooth. Add cooked sweet pepper, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Cover; blend or process until almost smooth. Set aside.

In a covered saucepan cook beans in a small amount of boiling water for 12 minutes. Add the sweet pepper strips the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain the beans and sweet pepper strips.

To serve, transfer beans and sweet pepper strips to a serving bowl. Add the blended margarine mixture; toss to coat.

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  1. Yum! I think I'll come to your house!

  2. I believe I shall be making a number of these. Yummy!


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