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The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

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With Thanksgiving just weeks away, it’s time to start planning for what is often the biggest, most indulgent meal of the year. There’s no need to stress. It’s totally possible to enjoy the celebratory feast without undoing all the progress you’ve made all year. Whether you’re hosting yourself or bringing a dish to a gathering, it’s all about making better choices whenever you can. Swapping in healthier versions of classic Thanksgiving dishes is a good place to start. Here, Found coaches share their go-to recipes for the occasion to help you enjoy a more balanced feast—and avoid the dreaded food coma. 

 

Want more advice on staying on track throughout the holidays?

Check out these tips →

 

Sweet Potato Avocado Bites

Skip the crackers and use the humble sweet potato as a base for delectable vegan bites that taste as vibrant as they look. —Coach Natalie M. 

 

Ingredients

20 to 25 pieces

 

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch thick pieces

  • ½ tsp. cumin

  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • 1 ½ tsp. olive oil

  • 1 large avocado, pitted

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice

  • ½ tsp. sea salt

  • 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced into ⅛-inch thick pieces

  • ½ cup radish sprouts

 

Directions

  1. ​​Preheat oven to 425° F.

  2. Add the sliced sweet potatoes, cumin, paprika, olive oil, and sea salt to a bowl. Toss to coat.

  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the sweet potato slices out into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender.

  4. Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and ½ teaspoon sea salt and mash together with the back of a fork.

  5. Spread the sweet potato slices out of a serving platter or tray. Top each slice with a dollop of smashed avocado, one tomato slice, and a sprinkling of radish sprouts.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

 Recipe source: Blissful Basil

 

 

Autumn on a Plate Salad

With kale, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and apples, this hearty salad brings together some of the tastiest—and most nutrient-packed—produce of the season. —Coach Sabrina S.

 

Ingredients

12 servings

  • 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 8 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered

  • ¼ cup olive oil 

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • ⅓ cup sliced leek (1 medium)

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 

  • 2 Tbsp. honey

  • 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

  • 1 tsp. fresh tarragon, snipped

  • 4 cups (8 oz.) fresh kale, torn into pieces

  • 1 cup celery root, finely chopped

  • 1 medium red cooking apple (such as Braeburn, Fuji, or Gala), thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • ¼ cup skinless hazelnuts (filberts), blanched, toasted, and coarsely chopped

  • ¼ cup (1 oz.) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 radish, thinly sliced

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. In a large shallow baking pan lined with foil, toss together squash, Brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. of the oil, ¼ tsp. of the salt, and ¼ tsp. of the pepper. Roast 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

  2. For vinaigrette, in a medium bowl whisk together leek, lemon juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, tarragon, and the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.

  3. In a large bowl, combine kale, celery root, apple, hazelnuts, and squash mixture. Drizzle with vinaigrette; toss gently to coat. Top with cheese and radish. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

 Recipe source: EatingWell

 

 

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Stuffing

A classic Thanksgiving staple gets a gluten-free makeover with a simple (and delicious) swap for bread—cauliflower! Because the dish comes together entirely on the stovetop, you save precious oven space too. —Coach Natalie M. 

 

Ingredients

6 servings

 

  • 4 Tbsp. butter

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced

  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped

  • 1 cup (8-oz.) package baby bella mushrooms, chopped

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped 

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped (or 1 tsp. ground sage)

  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

 

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.

  2. Add cauliflower and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.

  3. Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Pour over broth and cook until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes. 

 Recipe source: Delish

 

 

Vegan Turkey Alternative: Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

For the non-meaters in the group, look no further than this hearty plant-based loaf, which brings together fiber-rich lentils, sweet carrots and apples, crunchy toasted walnuts, topped off with a tangy glaze. Bonus: Like turkey, the leftovers are just as tasty served cold in sandwiches and on salads. —Coach Lisa M. 

 

Ingredients

Makes one 9x5" loaf

 

For the loaf:

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils

  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

  • 3 Tbsp. ground flax + ½ cup water

  • Olive oil 

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 ½  cups sweet onion, diced

  • 1 cup celery, diced

  • 1 cup carrot, grated

  • ⅓ cup apple, peeled and grated (use any sweet, firm variety) 

  • ⅓ cup raisins

  • ½ cup oat flour

  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs

  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme (or ¾ tsp. dried thyme)

  • Salt & pepper, to taste

  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

 

For the glaze:

  • ¼ cup ketchup

  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

  • 2 Tbsp. apple butter (unsweetened applesauce also works in a pinch)

  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Rinse and strain lentils. Place lentils into a pot along with 3 cups of water (or vegetable broth). Bring to a boil and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 40 to 45 minutes. Stir frequently and add a touch of water if needed. The goal is to slightly overcook the lentils, so they’re easy to mash. When ready, mash lentils slightly with a spoon.

  2. Place walnuts on a sheet pan and toast at 325° F for about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350° F.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk ground flax and water and set aside.

  4. In a skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil. Saute the garlic and onion in the oil for about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add in the celery, carrots, apples, and raisins. Saute about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste.

  6. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. 

  7. Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl, and spread half on top of the loaf. Reserve the rest for dipping.

  8. Bake uncovered at 350° F for 40 to 50 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let the loaf cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let it cool another 10 to 15 minutes, then slice.

Recipe source: Oh She Glows

 

 

Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

This crowd-pleaser is simple to make, has zero refined sugar, and brings all the big flavor of traditional pumpkin pie. It’s the perfect way to end a celebratory feast. —Coach Caroline H.

 

Ingredients

8 to 10 servings

 

  • 2 ¾ cups pumpkin purée

  • ½ cup maple syrup

  • ¼ cup coconut sugar

  • ⅓ cup dairy milk alternative 

  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

  • 2 ½  Tbsp. arrowroot powder

  • 1 ¾  tsp. pumpkin pie spice (a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)

  • ¼  tsp. sea salt

  • Gluten-free pie crust

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Blend all ingredients except the pie crust together in a high-powered blender or food processor, and pour into pie crust.  

  2. Bake for 55 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely. 

  3. Place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours, and serve.

 Recipe source: Self Health & Wellness

 

 

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

You can whip up this salty-sweet crisp, the quicker, easier cousin of pie, in minutes and let the oven do the rest of the work. Baking apples brings out their natural sweetness, without the need to add any refined sugar. —Coach Birema S.

 

Ingredients

6 servings 

 

  • 1 cup (100 g) old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 ½ cups (150 g) homemade oat flour (see note*)

  • ½ tsp. + 1 pinch sea salt

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, separated

  • 6 Tbsp. pasture-raised salted butter, separated

  • 6 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, separated

  • 6 medium apples (try Pink Lady or Granny Smith; you can peel if desired, but it’s not necessary), chopped

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 7x11" baking dish or a 10" cast-iron skillet with pasture-raised butter or ghee.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup rolled oats, 1 ¼  cups oat flour, ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon, and ½ tsp. of sea salt. Mix well.

  3. In a separate bowl, grate 3 Tbsp. of butter or cut into small cubes. Then, use fingers to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Then, gently stir in 3 Tbsp. of maple syrup. Set aside in the refrigerator.

  4. Melt 3 Tbsp. of butter and transfer to a large bowl. Add in the remaining ¼ cup oat flour, ½  tsp. ground cinnamon, 3 Tbsp. of maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt. Whisk together, then add in the chopped apples and toss to coat.

  5. Distribute the coated apples into the prepared baking dish, then remove the crumble mixture from the refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over the apples.

  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the apples are soft and the crumble is lightly golden. Watch closely during the last 10 minutes, so the crumble doesn’t burn. Enjoy warm and serve with a scoop of your favorite ice cream if desired.

 

*To make the oat flour: Add 1 ½ cups (150 g) of old-fashioned rolled oats to a blender or food processor. Process until it resembles flour.

 Recipe source: Purely Flourish

 

Have you checked in with your coach today? Take some time to log your meals and share photos, so they can help you track your progress!