Thanksgiving dinner can be a chore. It can also be enough calories to sustain a person for a week's worth of meals! Thanksgiving doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here's how to make a low calorie, low fat thanksgiving dinner and have a healthy, fabulous feast.
- Roast a turkey as you normally would. When carving the turkey, separate the dark meat from the white meat. The white meat and the breast meat tend to be naturally lower in fat. Use the white meat, and particularly the breast meat, for your calorie and fat conscious guests.
- There are an infinite number of side dishes and condiments that can be served. Some healthy condiment choices that are low fat and low calorie include pickled asparagus, pickled beets, and fresh cut vegetables with fat free ranch dressing.
- Mashed potatoes are naturally fat free when prepared with fat free milk, and no butter. However, it is the gravy and the heaping mound of creamy butter that ruin the moment. Try whipping your potatoes with fat free sour cream, a small amount of fat free milk, and add salt, pepper and garlic powder to give them a powerhouse taste.
- Gravy can be made using beef or chicken bouillon cubes instead of using the fat turkey stock. Melt the bouillon cubes in water, add parsley flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and use cornstarch and water to thicken, rather than flour.
- Rather than going for the candied yams, try baking yams and sprinkling with cinnamon. Use pure maple syrup to slightly sweeten the yams, rather than processed white or brown sugar. You won't believe how delicious these can be, and still be ultra satisfying.
- Add a variety of colorful, healthy, low fat, low calorie salads as side dishes rather than the traditional cooked vegetables, and vegetable casseroles. Fresh spinach salad with mandarin oranges, crushed almonds or walnuts, and raisins, with a low fat (preferably no fat!) poppy seed dressing will kill your sweet tooth and add cruciferous greens to your feast. Fresh broccoli, mixed with about 1/4 cup of no fat cheese, fat free bacon flavored bits, and one cup of fat free mayo or salad dressing makes a great dress up for veggies.
- For the traditional dinner roll, try pumpernickel or a whole grain slice of bread. Use sugar free jam as a spread, or try a wedge or low fat, or no fat creamed type cheese, instead of butter or margarine.
- Turkey stuffing can be baked in a casserole dish, rather than in the fat inside of the turkey. Use fat free, boxed cornbread mix rather than white bread crumbs. Make your stuffing hearty using green peppers, green chilies, celery, onions or other vegetables for color and flavor.