Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes are easier to make than you think.
Many who are trying to fight liver or heart disease assume that Thanksgiving is a day off from healthy eating. Or if you are like me, with a failing liver, you try and avoid the whole food and family scene altogether. Changing traditions and recipes can be hard.
I was a downer that 1stt year after being diagnosed with Hepatitis C and end stage cirrhosis. I didn’t even watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. As a matter of fact, I let go of all of my traditions. There was more than a little anger and sadness mixed.
Some things are hard to let go of. Gosh, I miss a spiral sliced ham with the bone in. For you, it might be letting go of drinking beer while watching football, or eating yourself into a food coma. However you CAN keep some traditions, including food. You may just have to change the way you prepare them.
I am happy to say that things have certainly changed since that first Thanksgiving after the diagnosis. I completed Hepatitis C treatment, and now eat a liver loving diet, and enjoy many of the same traditions that make Thanksgiving great! How do I do it? You, dear friend are going to get an insider’s look at Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes that will fill your heart with gratitude and your tummy with mouthwatering food!
On the Menu –
Roasted Turkey and cornbread dressing are served with mashed potatoes and gravy. Sweet potatoes and green beans are on the side. Waldorf salad is a crunch and cool addition and the cranberry relish has a sweet and tangy zest. Add a hot roll and iced green tea and you are ready to celebrate a traditional holiday meal with gratitude for just being alive.
All of the recipes are posted on the liver loving drop down menu. But here’s a quick look at just how nutritious this meal is.
Roasted Turkey is the centerpiece for most Thanksgiving meals. It is naturally low in fat which is good for your heart and your liver. This delicious meat is full of trace minerals and selenium also. Many brands inject sodium, so you should check the label and choose a turkey that has the least amount. When baking, do not add extra salt. Instead rub it down good with olive oil and cook as you normally would.
Mom always put hers in breast side down, and so do I. If it is a huge turkey and the lid won’t fit, I make a little tent out of aluminum foil. It turns out juicy and tender – the butter and salt are not even missed!
Turkey is low in fat and considered to be a great option for the liver to easily metabolize. Not only that, it helps to protect you from fat overload. Your heart and your liver will thank you.
I love cornbread dressing! My mom made the best in the world. Gosh I miss her and try to duplicate her recipe every year. That is, except the year that she grabbed the wrong bowl by mistake. She sautéed the celery and onion in Cool Whip! We didn’t figure it out til we went to look for the bowl of margarine later. Needless to say, the dressing was on the sweet side that year.
The cornbread itself is made with baking powder, so it’s low in sodium. The whole grain goodness of coarse corn meal and eggs provide healthy carbs, fiber, and protein. When you add in the celery and onion, this is a hearty healthy dish! Click here for recipe
Mashed potatoes are always great prepared with almond or rice milk and a little low sodium butter or margarine. Take your portion out and then season it up for your family if you want to. My bunch has learned to eat it my way, but you may want to make creamy buttery potatoes for the holiday. I make them healthy and that means a second helping is guilt free.
I hook my gravy up to an IV bag. Not really, but I love the stuff! It is not too difficult to make some low fat gravy. When I was a kid, mom always took a spoon and made a little pond in our potatoes. Then she ladled it full of turkey gravy. I still like to do that for my grandkids. My mouth is watering right now just thinking of it!
Sweet potatoes are a staple at our place year round. But on Thanksgiving it becomes a much bigger deal. Mashed sweet potatoes are so good for you. They contain nearly triple the amount of Vitamin A than other vegetables. They’re full of fiber and naturally sweet. Unless you’re watching sugars, you can indulge yourself here.
It’s a family affair to put the marshmallows on top. The kids always stuff their mouths full playing Chubby Bunny. This nana buys 2 bags to make sure there is enough for the baked sweet potatoes. If you follow some of my recipes and add nuts or orange juice, it really kicks in protein and vitamin C as well. We always slide them in the oven until the marshmallows are melty and golden. Except last year when my sis turned the broiler on and caught the whole thing on fire. When it is done right, it is like desert for me! Sweet potato pie can actually be made with low sugar!
Waldorf Salad is like a desert and a salad at once also. Apples are full of vitamins and antioxidants as well as fiber. The natural sweetness has benefits in many areas. With the iron in raisins, and protein from pecans, this is uber healthy. Good news: If you are borderline diabetic or have sugar metabolism problems, this is a great dish for you. The dressing has to be modified to reduce fat and sugar for me. You may be able to indulge for the holiday.
Grandmother’s salad was always beautiful and made fresh that morning. Uncle Homer came down from Kansas and peeled the apples every year. He could peel an apple without breaking the peeling. All of us kids loved watching the curling red slice as it came off of the apple with his pocket knife. I can see grandma and Uncle Homer watching from heaven every time I make it. Last year I used pecans, which was a no no. She insisted on walnuts. Mine was just as good if I do say so!
Cranberry Salad is one of my favorites all year! I like the mix of tangy oranges and sweet apples with tart cranberries. These little berries are popular for those who are battling urinary tract infections. They are also anti-aging, antioxidant, High in vitamins and minerals as well as omega 3 fatty acid. Click here for recipe!!
Families are funny. Uncle Homer could spit his chewing tobacco in a can while peeling apples. There’s a lovely image to hold in your mind. He was from daddy’s side. Grandmother washed the apples several times before mixing for the Waldorf Salad. She was from mama’s side. Families are not perfect, but we still create great memories.
Perhaps your famiy has changed through the years. Mine has. There are still good memories of Thanksgivings involving the dinner and those who prepared it. Many of those people have passed on from this life, but their memories and their recipes are treasured during this holiday. It is good to remember those who loved us, and to recall the days shared cooking and eating together.
I hope you enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving meal with someone who loves you. You know that I do. I’ll be logging on. We can share the holiday through cyber space. I am so very thankful for my Best Friends every day, but especially while eating Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes. Xoxoxo Karen:)
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