Top 10 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

The holidays are finally upon us!! I know many of you have already started celebrating if you have multiple Thanksgiving festivities to attend. We have 4 Thanksgivings to attend every year so by the time we get to the last one, as good as it is, the traditional Thanksgiving fare is a bit sickening to stomach, AGAIN.

I figured you all could use some guidance on side dishes if, like me, you are stuck wishing somebody would PLEASE switch it up from the traditional turkey and mashed potatoes and do a Mexican, Italian, French…anyyything really, Thanksgiving! Hint Hint 🙂

I know many folks are pressed for time during the holidays so I wanted to spare you from having to search high and low for that perfect side dish to bring to your Thanksgiving dinner table. Don’t worry, every single one of these recipes is Flavorful Fit Fare approved – meaning it is tasty AND healthy!!

These recipes are sure to wow and impress even the best chef in the family. Nobody will even notice that soupy green bean casserole filled with highly processed condensed soups and topped with who-even-knows-what-they-are-really-made-of french onions is missing!

Drumroll please…..

TOP 10 THANKSGIVING SIDE DISHES:

    1. Rosemary-Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
      rosemary-garlic-mashed-cauliflower-4-258x300
      Photo by: The Cookie Rookie
    2. Light Sweet Potato Casserole
      exps27308_LT10505D21
      Photo by: Taste of Home
    3. Southern Style Green Beans – add in some turkey bacon, mm!!
      healthy-southern-style-green-beans-1-of-1-3
      Photo by: Amy in the Kitchen

       

Healthier Cider Gravy gravy
Healthy Harvest Stuffing

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Photo by: Martha Stewart.com

    Tarragon Peas and Pearl Onions

    54fde7ae65ead-terragon-peas-onions-de
    Photo by:  Good Housekeeping

      Healthy Pumpkin Pie

      pumpkin-pie-ck-549931-x
      Photo by: Randy Mayo for MyRecipes.com

        Root Vegetable Gratin

        root vegetable gratin
        Photo by: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

        Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce

        healthy-cranberry-sauce-recipe
        Photo by: Wellness Mama website

        Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

        soft-whole-wheat-dinner-rolls_2015
        Photo by: Jami at Oregon Cottage.com

        There you have it – some of the best, healthy recipes for you to try this Thanksgiving! I know I will be bringing some of these to my family meals this week in hopes to not gain 5 pant sizes :).

        HAPPY THANKSGIVING READERS!! I am thankful for all of your support!!

        XO- Keri

        HIIT – Is it really worth all the fuss?

        I am very passionate about this type of routine so get ready for a long-winded post!! HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has become very popular in the fitness world these past couple years. HIIT lovers rave about it revving up your metabolism long after you work out and blasting insane amounts of calories in a short amount of time. It consists of doing high intensity intervals of 20 (or more) seconds of moves such as burpees, jumping jacks, jump squats, etc. and then taking 10 seconds rest per set. You can mix weight training, yoga, etc. in with the intervals for a total body workout.

        I had dabbled in some interval training previously when getting in extra awesome shape for my wedding and honeymoon but never put much effort into it. I was working out in the gym 1 hour almost every single day of the week and losing weight so why did I need to change?

        Well, that change came after the wedding when I struggled to keep up with all the hours at the gym and the restricted diet. I didn’t want to spend that much time working out anymore. I grew tired of turning down social opportunities and I’m pretty sure some friends and family grew tired of it as well.

        I cut back from 7 days a week doing cardio and/or weights every day to 4-5 days a week. I allow myself the occasional splurge. In fact, I just had the most delicious (and totes worth it) pecan roll from Panera yesterday that somebody split with me! However, I don’t cheat all the time. That is the key as I have said a million times before and will say again: Moderation.

        I have gained 5 pounds since my wedding a little over a year ago. Am I freaking out? NO! Why not? Because…

        1. I am the healthiest I have ever been, I am the happiest I have ever been, and I look and feel great!
        2. I have gained more muscle and become stronger than I was last year by cutting back on the long cardio sessions and switching over to HIIT. Who doesn’t love a perky butt? You aren’t going to get that just doing cardio ladies. Sorry to burst your bubble (butts 😉 ) but you will get them by doing HIIT and weight training!
        3. I SAVED MONEY by quitting my gym and doing home workouts. I invested in a weight bench and some dumbbells to help for added resistance for about the cost of 2 months gym membership.

        If you have a smart tv or Roku type device then go search Youtube videos. There are millions out there that are FREE! A lot require no equipment and last as little as 15-30 minutes.

        I have been doing the Fitness Blender workouts which blends a lot of various types of exercises into one short, easy to follow routine. Don’t get me wrong…it is VERY high intensity. As in “I need to hit pause and go lay down before I throw up” intensity (that may or may not have been me last night doing a crazy long HIIT workout). If you really can mentally push yourself you will be amazed at how fast this type of routine can transform your body. I fell in love with this workout style because it is the best of both worlds — you get to have time doing other things you love by only allocating 30min/day working out but yet you get an amazing figure at the same time!

        So is it worth all the fuss? Heck yes it is! GO TRY IT! You won’t be sorry when you are looking smokin’ in that bikini by Spring Break!

         

         

        Skinny Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs

        I LOVE me some Italian food. Everything about it just exudes comfort: pizza, pasta, bread, wine! I seriously think I could eat it everyday, and I absolutely would, if only it contained zero calories and carbohydrates! One can dream right?

        Italian Meatballs in Marinara

        Well guess what, your dreams are about to come true!! This recipe is one that I adapted from a real-life Italian great-grandmother’s recipe that I saw on Pinterest recently. I was dying to try it because it sounded so amazing and I was hungry….Pinterest always does that to me. 

        Italian meatballs

        Anyways, I typically use lots of vegetables when cooking my pasta sauces (like this one) to make it a one-pot meal but decided to try the plain ol’ marinara route this time to go with the chunky meatballs. Let me tell you, this was anything but plain! It was liquid gold. I could not stop tasting the sauce (benefits of being the cook 🙂 ) so long story short….TRY THIS RECIPE!!!

        It does take a tad longer to cook than your regular sauce because this requires simmering for a minimum of 2 hours. You coulllllld cut it short but i highly recommend being patient with it and letting it simmer. It allows all the flavors to marry together and really makes it creamier. I tasted the sauce throughout the cooking process and can attest that it definitely tasted more incredible after even 1 hour of simmering…but 2 hours..faaah-get about it! See what I did there?

        meatballs in marinara

        I served these over some edamame noodles that were delicious! It was our first time trying them but won’t be our last. High in fiber, protein and low in carbs and fat. Great alternative if spiralized noodles aren’t for you. These have a slightly different texture than regular wheat noodles but taste a lot more similar to pasta than you would think.

        Hope you guys have a great weekend and get to enjoy it before the holiday crazy starts up!


         

         

         

        Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa

        You may not find this on your standard take-out menu, but this Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa is every bit as scrumptious as your favorite take-out fried rice – only healthier! My husband is very picky about eating take-out Asian food because he doesn’t like the sauces that typically come drenched all over it . Not only that, but they are typically very high is sodium and he watches his sodium intake like a hawk (due to high blood pressure and general health reasons) so we usually don’t eat it often.

        Curry chicken fried rice
        Sorry the pictures aren’t the best…I was too hungry to take many before devouring!

         

        SO, what was a wife to do? Not eat Asian food ever again? Yeah right! I decided, like any caring wife would, to make him like the foods I like so we could enjoy them together! =) It took a little persuasion to try this but guess what? HE LOVED IT! We will definitely be making this recipe again in the future! It was super easy to make which was a plus on a busy weeknight for us. Give it a try and let me know how you like it in the comments!

        This Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa could be either a main entrée or side dish depending if you choose to add in meat. The quinoa would pair well with pork, beef, or chicken – so feel free to experiment with your favorites!


         

         

        Curry Chicken Fried Quinoa

        Serves: 2-4

        Ingredients:

        • 2 (4 oz. each) boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts, shredded or cut into 1 inch cubes
        • 2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
        • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
        • 2 garlic cloves, minced
        • 2 large egg whites
        • 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
        • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
        • 1 tsp. red pepper (cayenne) powder
        • 1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
        • 1/2 package frozen mixed vegetables
        • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
        • 1 Tbsp. siracha (optional for topping)

        Directions:

        1. In a wok, or large skillet, heat 1 tsp. of canola oil over medium beat.Add in onion and garlic and cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Remove onions and garlic and set aside.
        2. In medium bowl combine chicken, curry powder, onion powder, and red pepper (cayenne) powder and 1 Tbsp canola oil. Toss chicken in heated skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until chicken is cooked through and no pink remains. Remove and set aside
        3. Add remaining canola oil into same heated wok, or skillet, and stir in mixed frozen vegetables. Stir frequently until heated through.
        4. Once vegetables are warmed through, create a circle in the middle of the pan by pushing vegetables out towards edges of pan. Add in 2 egg whites and stir until cooked through.
        5. Toss the chicken, soy sauce, and quinoa in with the vegetable mixture.
        6. Serve with drizzle of siracha or more soy sauce on top and enjoy!!

         

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