Two traditional Thanksgiving recipes — with a healthy twist

By Charles Platkin


Just about now you’re starting to hear about how many thousands of calories you’ll consume at Thanksgiving — and how much weight you’ll gain this holiday season. To help you avoid those extra pounds, we went to some of the country’s leading nutritionists, chefs and cookbook authors and came up with a few tasty, healthier makeovers of traditional recipes.


3⁄4 pound lean ground turkey


2 tablespoon canola oil

6 stalks celery, chopped

2 onions, chopped

30 slices day-old light whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted

1⁄2 cup egg substitute, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons ground sage

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup fat-free chicken broth


Cook turkey in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until evenly browned. Drain and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, add oil and cook celery and onions over medium heat until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, celery and onion mixture, bread, egg substitute, sage, salt and pepper. Slowly add just enough broth to make the stuffing moist but not mushy. Press the mixture into a baking dish. Bake 1 hour or until top is brown and crisp. Serves 10.

Traditional: (per 1.5-cup serving) 394 calories

Healthier Makeover: (per 1.5-cup serving) 219 calories, 7 grams fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 17 grams protein

Saving: 175 calories

Ultimate smashed potatoes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter


1 large yellow onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced

2 pounds small red-skin potatoes

3⁄4 cup no-salt, fat-free chicken broth

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in large skillet over low heat. Add onion, reduce heat to very low and cook, stirring often, until onion is golden and soft, about 45 minutes. If onion starts to brown, reduce heat further.

Meanwhile, place potatoes in large pot, fill with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat and cook until tender when pierced with fork, about 25 minutes.

Drain in colander. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Scrape in contents of skillet; add broth, mustard, salt and pepper. Beat with mixer at medium speed until smooth but not too creamy. Serve at once. Serves 8.

Traditional: (per 5.7-ounce serving) 208 calories

Healthier Makeover: (per 5.7-ounce serving): 128 calories, 2 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 261 milligrams sodium, 25 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein, 2 grams dietary fiber, 655 milligrams potassium.

Saving: 80 calories

Charles Stuart Platkin is a syndicated health, nutrition and fitness columnist and founder of iWellness Solutions. He can be reached at

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