How To Prepare a Low-Fat Thanksgiving Dinner

Eating together

Thanksgiving dinner can be one of the most fattening meals you eat all year. With a plate full of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and dessert, you can easily exceed your calorie limit for the entire day--in one sitting. So how can you trim some of the fat off of your Thanksgiving holiday meal? Read on for some tips on how to prepare a low-fat Thanksgiving dinner:

  1. Turkey tips. Of course the entire meal centers around the bird, but you can make it lower in fat by seasoning the bird with your favorite fresh herbs and spices and skipping the butter and oil on top. In addition, take the skin off of the turkey after you roast it and stick to eating the lower fat white meat. Also, don't douse your turkey in high-fat gravy--you can make lower fat gravy with a small amount of turkey drippings, fat fee chicken broth and sautéed veggies.
  2. Stuffing. Stuffing doesn't have to be laden with butter or sausage. Instead, use whole grain bread cubes and sautéed onions, celery and apples. To give it some extra flavor, add some fat free chicken broth instead of using water. Cut the butter in your stuffing recipe in half--you won't miss that extra butter at all!
  3. Lower fat potatoes. To make low-fat mashed potatoes, use just a small amount of butter and skim milk and add some extra flavor by using fat free sour cream. You can also flavor up your mashed potatoes by adding some minced garlic or garlic powder. If sweet potato casserole is more your thing, don't sabotage healthy sweet potatoes by adding butter, cream and marshmallow topping. Instead roast the sweet potatoes in their skins, then slice them open and top them with a little drizzle of butter and some brown sugar.
  4. Load up on the veggies. Make the vegetables the focus of your meal by grilling them and adding seasonings. Skip the fattening green bean casserole and instead make green beans with sautéed mushrooms and garlic.
  5. Low-fat desserts. Instead of making a fattening pie crust for your apple pie, make an oatmeal crumble topping for apples. Spray a casserole dish with fat free cooking spray. Pour one can of apple pie filling into the dish. Mix 2 tablespoons butter, ½ cup quick cooking oatmeal, ¼ cup whole wheat flour, ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts until crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture over apple pie filling. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
  6. Other tips. Don't fill up before your meal on heavy appetizers and fattening drinks. Instead serve wine spritzers (white wine and club soda to taste) and a vegetable platter with some low-fat onion dip. To make the dip, mix one 16-ounce container of fat free sour cream with a packet of onion soup mix (you can use ranch dressing mix if you prefer). Serve it with a spread of broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, green peppers and sliced cucumbers.

By using these tips, you should find that you'll leave the Thanksgiving dinner table feeling good--instead of feeling like a stuffed turkey!


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Wow, I like! Now if only all of us Americans can resist the temptation to pig out on food this holiday season...

By Riley Klein