Serve Up Healthy Side Dishes

By Sidra Forman, Chef

Thanksgiving is practically synonymous with food—and lots of it. Aside from the turkey, there’s candied sweet potatoes, cranberry relish, stuffing (or dressing), green bean casserole and other dishes that aren’t exactly heart-healthy. Actually, the turkey itself, especially if you remove the skin, is pretty healthy, but this year, why not give your sides a lower cholesterol, lower saturated fat twist. I promise, these dishes are just as tasty—or even more so—than their more fattening originals.


A few easy hints: Roasting veggies is a great way to cut calories and fat. Try seasoning foods with fresh herbs, flavorful vinegars and healthier buttery spreads, like Smart Balance® Omega Buttery Spreads, instead of butter and cream to slim down your sides. You can also give the following lightened-up recipes a try to have a trim Thanksgiving!


Note: The recipes below all serve four, but if you are making a large variety of side dishes for your holiday meal, each recipe can serve six to eight.

Baked Mashed Sweet Potato with Orange and Pecans


Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


2 sweet potatoes
1 orange peeled, sectioned and roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
½ cup roughly chopped pecans


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake until tender, about 30 minutes. (Exact time depends on size of potatoes.)
3. Remove skins and mash with orange, salt, pepper to taste and rosemary.
4. Put sweet potato mixture in a large pan or four individual ramekins, and sprinkle with pecans.
5. Bake until pecans are toasted, about 5 minutes. Serve.


Nutritional Information
1 serving
Calories: 201
Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrate: 26 g
Dietary Fiber: 6 g
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 102 mg
Calcium: 63 mg



Quick Cranberry Relish


Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes


1 cup fresh cranberries
½ apple, cored
2 tablespoons walnuts
2 teaspoons sugar


1. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse on and off until combined and roughly chopped, about one minute.
2. Serve immediately (or make it in advance and store in the refrigerator overnight).


Nutritional Information
1 serving
Calories: 61
Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrate: 10 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Total Fat: 2.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1 mg

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