Healthy Thanksgiving recipes from Novant Health

Apple, blue cheese, and pecan salad is a healthy Thanksgiving side dish Big flavor without the calories or fat

By Michelle Thomas

Fresh and and seasonal ingredients make for a great Thanksgiving dinner side dish. This salad gets tossed with a quick homemade vinaigrette and is a great way to keep fat and calories in check without skimping on flavor.

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper


For the salad:

  • 2 cups butter lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Directions:

  • To make the vinaigrette: Add all ingredients for the dressing to a jar, season with salt and pepper and shake well to combine.
  • Add the pecans to a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the tablespoon of maple syrup over the pecans and toss well to combine. Toast pecans 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan often so they don’t stick to the bottom. Remove from heat and let cool, then add the pecans to the salad.
  • To assemble the salads, add the lettuce to a large bowl. Top with sliced apples, cranberries, crumbled blue cheese and pecans.
  • Give the salad a good toss, and if eating immediately, pour the vinaigrette over top – if not, then store the salad and vinaigrette separate in the fridge and when ready, toss together and serve.

Zesty and healthy green beans for ThanksgivingBold and fresh flavor without the cream of mushroom soup

By Michelle Thomas

While turkey may be the main attraction on your Thanksgiving menu, side dishes play a big role too. These garlic green beans are simple to prepare and full of flavor. Filling your plate with fresh, colorful vegetables is an easy way to keep a healthy routine throughout the holiday season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste depending on your preferred level of spice)
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes, drain the green beans and transfer to a large bowl with water and ice to blanch. Let the green beans sit in the ice bath for 15-30 seconds, then remove from the bowl and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add in the green beans, lemon juice and a little bit of lemon zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Give everything a good toss together and cook for another minute, add additional seasoning/red pepper flakes to taste. Serve immediately.

Not your average Thanksgiving leftover sandwich This one features some extra fruits and vegetables

By Michelle Thomas

The days after Thanksgiving often mean one thing: a lot of leftovers. Instead of making the same hearty plate of food you had the day before, get creative and healthy! A protein-packed sandwich is a great way to use up leftover turkey and incorporate a few extra servings of fruits and vegetables while still tasting delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups leftover Brussels sprouts, shaved or chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices cranberry raisin bread/spinach wrap (or any bread you want)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Sliced leftover turkey
  • Sliced white cheddar cheese
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced very thinly
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with the lemon juice and honey. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Spread the mustard on two slices of bread. Then add the turkey, cheddar cheese, spinach, apple slices, and a few spoonfuls of the Brussels sprouts

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