The Lazy Guide To Cooking A Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

On the other hand, Thanksgiving not only calls for a ton of food, but a lot of dishes that take a long time — sometimes all day — to make. Unfortunately, these dishes are not necessarily the healthiest. Swapping out the ever popular ingredients, such as potatoes and fried appetizers, for vegetable-based foods will not only keep you from getting the dreaded food coma, but it will also help your waistline.

A Little Alcohol Goes a Long Way

If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, but don't want to end the night completely dehydrated, offer wine spritzers to your guests. Fill a wine glass with half sparkling water and half wine. This way, you will use less alcohol and can enjoy delicious drinks with half the calories, sugar, and alcohol content.

Bake Make-Ahead Savory Muffins

Savory muffins are the perfect appetizer or side dish for Thanksgiving. Not only can you make these the day before, but they will give you and your guest an extra serving of vegetables. You can make anything from spinach to zucchini muffins, which will help control your appetite and prevent overindulging during the big meal.

Brine The Turkey in a Cooler

If you want to save time and get ahead of the game, you will need to cook most of your sides the day before, which means that you won't have space in your refrigerator for a turkey. Luckily, you can whip out your cooler, fill it with ice, and brine your turkey.

Cook Your Turkey Overnight

It may sound too good to be true, but you can be productive while you sleep. Roasting your turkey at a lower temperature for a long period of time will give it the juicy and crispy character that you know and love. Get a good night sleep before Thanksgiving and cook a delicious turkey while doing so.

Quick Appetizers: Greek Yogurt Dip with Vegetables

Appetizers that you don't have to cook are a great way to make the pre-dinner work a cinch. You can always put out bowls of unsalted nuts to give your guests a dose of healthy fats, but you can also make your own Greek yogurt dip to serve with sliced vegetables.

Roast Your Vegetables

Everything tastes better roasted and your guests will be more likely to enjoy vegetables if they are delicious. All you need to do is chop your Brussels sprouts, carrots, green beans, or peppers and cover them with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Pop them in the oven for 30 minutes and they are ready to go.

Start with Soup

Instead of your favorite fried appetizers, have you ever thought about serving pumpkin soup at Thanksgiving? This recipe can be cooked in a slow-cooker and made throughout the course of the day to save time.

Stuffing That Doesn’t Leave You Stuffed

We are all about healthy swaps and, besides mac and cheese, stuffing tends to be one of the heaviest dishes we eat at Thanksgiving. Instead of using refined white flour and breadcrumbs, substitute with whole-grain quinoa. This will lighten your load and allow you to enjoy with zero guilt.

Swap Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

There is no need to peel, boil, and mash potatoes when you can make a quicker and healthier version with cauliflower. Cauliflower mashed potatoes are the perfect alternative and a great side to your lean slice of turkey.