Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up & My Best Advice

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up & Advice

So, we’re 1 week out.. And what are you bringing to the table this year?

Lots of fall veggies and real food dishes?


And a little bit of the things that you LOVE [even those that are not nutrient dense]? Like wine. And….. maybe another glass of wine. Or the cheese plate. Or, let’s say, the pumpkin pie insides. I mean, if we’re listing them in order from best to good.

But you know I don’t only mean what you’re physically bringing to the table, right? It’s mental too. And emotional, for most of us, whether you care to admit it or not.

So, as we head into the swirl of this week and the kick off of celebration of some of the best things in life: good food, good wine, good company and a little pause to reflect on all of life’s blessings with a little side of gratitude, it’s time to get your head right.

I was just re-reading my post from last year, when I offered you guys a little advice on what can be an overwhelming day for some just starting out on this healthy lifestyle journey. [Read it here: Thanksgiving: How To Not Blow It (A Guide) {November 2012] and some from the year before here: Thanksgiving Thoughts [November 2011]}.

Is that you this year?

If so, let me just add in one more tip to that little list.

That is:

#1. Give yourself permission to approach each holiday, party, event and situation with fresh eyes. There is almost ALWAYS a way to make your favorite things in a real food way with upgraded ingredients. After all, the idea of that combination of ingredients must have originated from somewhere. So just do the real thing. [Hint: Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup with canned fried fake onions is not real food. But a real cream, real mushrooms, real green beans and pan fried onions in great oil/healthy fat is]. Guess which one probably tastes better too?


# 2. There is also almost ALWAYS clutter food or drinks that you probably have consumed in the past just because tradition says, or because you always have. Well, if those things  are not serving you well, or you don’t really care about them, or they make you feel worse, guilty, or get you stuck in a bad cycle, enough! Get rid of them. Out. Done. No more. Why bother? You only have limited room in your stomach anyways, so just stick with the things you love and lose the rest.

I know this may seem obvious to some of you. But the human brain is funny.

Sometimes we all just do things because they are comfortable and familiar. Not because it’s what we really want, really care about, or really actually need. The path of least resistance. Which never usually leads to any kind of place that’s enjoyable being [a simple truth in life too].

So, just a little reminder to think about it now, even a week before the season truly starts. Prep your head.

To come into each situation with a clean slate. To be mindful and fully present in the day. To ask yourself what you really love, and then just ignore the rest. So you can enjoy and love the day, not stress or get overwhelmed about the unending amount of food around.

Stay hydrated. Workout. Get fresh air. Eat vegetables. Pay attention to your body’s signals. Know that you will eat and drink again, and probably really soon. Value good quality food over good quantity of food no matter what you eat.

So what’s on my menu this year? I’m still trying to decide between a lot of favorites.

Like these, just to mention a few.

[The hyperlinked recipes below are ones previously published on the blog. Feel free to use them and share them with others! The ones that are not hyperlinked are exclusively part of the Ultimate Party Guide + E-Cookbook that I launched last year. It has over 90 great original recipes that you can use for gatherings and parties all throughout the year. Printable PDF copies available too.]

Real-Food Ideas for Thanksgiving:


How to Build The Most Amazing Cheese Platter

Roasted Vegetable + Meze Platter

Curry Roasted Cashews

Holiday Spiced Pecans

Honey Sesame Garbanzo Beans

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Cucumber-Quinoa Cups [3 Ways]

Homemade Parmesan Crisps with Roasted Tomatoes

Cucumber-Hummus Boats

Baked Dates with Blue/Goat Cheese + Almonds

Roasted Potato Bites with Chive-Parsley Tapenade

Turkey Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Greek Chicken/Turkey or Lamb Meatballs

Healthy Spinach + Artichoke Dip

Crab Cakes [Gluten-Free]


The Best Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy Celery Root Soup

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

Vegetables, Sides + Main Dishes:

Roasted Apple, Fennel + Yam Hash

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Twice Baked Yams with Pecan Crumble

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes (with garlic or herbs)

Millet + Sausage Bread Stuffing with Apples

Autumn Millet Bake

Sweet Apple + Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Bacon Maple Brussel Sprout Hash

Pan-Fried Brussel Sprouts with Shallots + Rosemary

Nutmeg Spiced Squash

Roasted Carrots or Parsnips with Honey, Cilantro + Lime

Curried Cauliflower

Sausage + Winter Greens Gratin


How To Make Your Own Healthy Simple Syrup

Maple- Cinnamon Whiskey Warmer

Cranberry or Pomegranate Sparkler

Hard Cider Sangria (hot or cold)

White or Red Sangria

Coconut Orange Rum Cocktail

Chai Infused Whiskey or Bourbon Cocktail

Sage Gin Fizz

Cucumber Lime Gin + Tonics

Aperol Spritz

Ginger Tequila Cocktail

Jalepeno Margarita

Fresh Grapefruit Greyhound

Lemon-Thyme Lemon Drop

Moscow Mule


Mini Coconut-Almond Macaroons {GF, DF}

Sarah’s Peanut Butter Cookies (or Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip) with Vanilla or Coconut Milk Ice Cream {GF, DF}

Salted Peanut Florentine Cookies {GF}

Sarah’s All Time Favorite Chocolate Chips Cookies {GF, DF}

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Pudding Cups [GF, DF}

Mini Cheesecake Bites {GF}

Chocolate Olive Oil Molten Cake {GF, DF}

Healthy Chocolate-Banana Fudge [GF, DF}

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Toffee {GF}

Pistachio + Chocolate Covered “Ice Cream” Bites {GF, DF}

Healthy Baked Apple or Pear “Pie”{GF, DF}

Homemade Applesauce + Mini Applesauce Pies {GF, DF}

Homemade Ice-Cream Cake with Cookie Crunch

Lemon Bars {GF, DF}

If you like the Simply Real Health philosophy, be sure to check out some of the other ways we can help you feel better, healthier, happier and more energized in your daily life – customized plans + help are available here, no matter your situation + lifestyle.

Get the Ultimate Healthy Party Guide + E-Cookbook here

Get the Fall Meal Plan here



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