What’s For Dinner?? Thanksgiving Edition: Lightened Up Recipes

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!! Honestly, I am not a huge fan of the traditional Thanksgiving meal…although I love Thanksgiving. I love gathering with friends and family and taking time to be thankful for all that I have. Whether you are cooking or bringing food to wherever you are heading, here are some of my favorite recipes for “lightened up” apps and side dishes to enjoy with your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving!!



Roasted Veggies

Super easy to prepare and a healthier alternative to a creamy green bean casserole. Cut up cauliflower, dice sweet potatoes, butternut squash and sliced carrots.   Mix olive oil, salt and pepper and a little sage, mix well and then toss mixture with the veggies. Cook the potatoes and squash together for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees on a cookie sheet, then add cauliflower and carrots and cook for another 20 minutes. Turn the veggies as needed.

Lightened Up Sweet Potato Casserole 

*From Skinnytaste.com*

2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 tsp agave

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

pinch allspice

8 oz can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

2 tbsp chopped pecans

1 cup mini marshmallows

Cut sweet potatoes into large chunks; boil potatoes in a large pot covered with water until potatoes are soft if pierced with a fork. Drain and return to the pot.

Preheat oven to 400°.



Lightly spray a pie dish or casserole dish with oil, spoon in sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with pecans and marshmallows. Bake for 15 minutes.


Skinny Pumpkin Pie

*Recipe from Skinnytaste.com

15 oz canned pumpkin

2 tbsp whipped butter, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar, unpacked

1/2 cup fat free milk

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 frozen pie crust sheet, Pillsbury (thawed to room temperature) OR better yet..make your own 🙂


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly dust a large cutting board or flat surface with flour. Roll out a room temperature pie crust sheet, so that it becomes thin enough to cut off about 30%, so that your final crust is 5 oz.

Place into a 9-inch pie dish, cutting off excess dough.

Place pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Add butter, and mix well.

Using an electric mixer, mix in brown sugar, milk, eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth.

Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. Bake about 70 to 75 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean

Serve with whipped coconut cream or whipped cream if desired.


Low Calorie Stuffing

*From Lalaloosh.com


8 slices light bread (I used Weight Watchers bread)
1 1/2 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
¼ cup granny smith apples (finely chopped with skin on)
1/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh sage
2 tbsp. light butter (I used Brummel & Brown)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Start by drying out your bread. You can either do this by toasting in the oven, or by leaving the bread sit out at room temperature overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium pot, combine chicken broth, onions, celery, apples, butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and sage. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Mean while, break up your bread into small ½” pieces by chopping or just breaking apart with your hands. Put bread into a large oven safe dish.

When broth mixture is ready, slowly pour onto bread, making sure to cover all the pieces. Next, mix in the egg substitute and make sure to cover all pieces. If bread cubes do not seem wet enough (they should be moist, but not saturated), add a tbsp or two of warm water until appropriate texture is reached. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Cover dish with foil and transfer to over. Cook for about 25 minutes. Then, take out stuffing, mix it around and fluff it a bit and put back in the oven, uncovered for about another 15 minutes.

Need a kid-friendly appetizer to bring?? Arrange either fruits or veggies into the shape of a turkey. For fruit, use an apple or pear as the “body” and then arrange a variety of fruit as the feathers. For veggies. use a bowl with a healthy veggies dip as the body, add a red pepper and carrots for the feet, arrange veggies as the feathers 🙂

Last but not least….a skinny cocktail 🙂 

Fresh Cranberry Margaritas 

*from Cookie and Kate


Cranberry jam
  • 1½ cup fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup light agave nectar or sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 to 2 oranges)
Sugar and spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) fresh lime juice
  • 1½ cup (12 ounces) silver/blanco tequila
  • optional garnish: 8 star anise
  1. Make the jam: In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, agave (or sugar), orange juice and ½ cup water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and jammy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the orange zest and set aside to cool.
  2. Make the sugar and spice blend: On a small, flat plate, mix together the salt, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves (or allspice).
  3. Line the glasses: You will need 8 old fashioned/small cocktail glasses. Rub a wedge of lime along the rim of each glass, then dip it into the sugar and spice blend. Repeat for remaining glasses, then fill each with ice (assuming that you will be serving the cocktails immediately).
  4. To make each cocktail individually, combine 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) lime juice, 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) orange juice, 3 tablespoons (1½ ounces) tequila and 2 tablespoons cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker. Cover and shake until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into prepared glass and serve with a star anise.






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