Health recipes for Thanksgiving meals
6 Healthy Recipes for a Better Thanksgiving
By Vital Plan Posted 11-18-2016
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What’s on your menu for Thanksgiving this year? Looking for something different, something that won’t leave you feeling stuffed and regretting that third helping?

This Thanksgiving, celebrate with wholesome, healing foods that will help you kick off the holiday season on good footing and give you a head start on any new year’s resolutions for 2017.

While many of us may be habituated to indulging in the same highly processed and aggressively sweetened foods as we have in past years, we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new this year. Your body, soul and mind will “thank” you for it. Your taste buds will, too, for that matter.

That wholesome foods fall short in terms of flavor is a pervasive and unfortunate myth. Below are a few recipes to show just how good healing foods can be.

To anyone who will be doing the cooking this year for Thanksgiving, you’ll also appreciate that these recipes are relatively easy to assemble and make yet thoroughly satisfying to enjoy with friends and family.

1. Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin

Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin Recipe
From our own archives, here’s an entrée that offers turkey as its centerpiece, though with a twist, and it saves you from having to roast a whole turkey. As its name suggests, the Stuffed Turkey Tenderloin with Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Pecan packs the best fall flavors & nutrition into one tidy, elegant bundle.

2. Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie Recipe
If you would rather a vegan Thanksgiving, you might try the Shepherd’s Pie by Minimalist Baker, which contains only 9 ingredients, with fiber-rich, iron-rich lentils standing in for the meat and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes fluffed on top. (Tip: Opt for seed-grown potatoes, which requires lower concentrations of fungicide, versus spud-grown.)

3. Roasted Winter Squash Soup

Roasted Winter Squash Soup Recipe
Grab your best chef’s knife, wield it confidently and brace yourself as you cut into that winter squash. It can seem a risky endeavor at times, but totally worth the effort. Rich in antioxidants, winter squash promote anti-inflammatory benefits. Whether it’s acorn, butternut, pumpkin or kabocha, choose your favorite as the base for this simple, satisfying soup, our Roasted Winter Squash Soup.

4. Perfect Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Perfect Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe
Sweet potatoes, along with pumpkins and apples, are one of those foods that help to complete any Thanksgiving table. For the Perfect Roasted Sweet Potatoes, try this recipe from Sweet Potato Soul, where a spice blend of paprika, cinnamon and cayenne will wake up your palate and complement the natural sweetness of this very popular tuberous root.

5. Best Shredded Kale Salad

Best Shredded Kale Salad Recipe
Let’s not forget our greens. Oh She Glows promises the Best Shredded Kale Salad with this recipe. A hearty and nowadays very popular green, raw kale would make a nice textural as well as visual complement to everything else on your table. Tossed with a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing and a Pecan Parmesan mixture, the salad blends great flavor with good nutrition.

6. Impossible Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Last but not least, dessert: Impossible Pumpkin Pie from Chocolate Covered Katie. The author calls it “impossible” because it sets up on its own, without any crust, but you may also find it “impossibly” healthy yet still a pie. It’s the type of recipe that allows you to customize to your own dietary and taste preferences, whether you opt to use oat flour or almond flour, sorghum or spelt. Give stevia a try for the sweetener in this dessert; just a pinch is needed.

These recipes show that a Thanksgiving meal made with wholesome, healing foods can be just as delectable as any other. Note that the quality of the ingredients makes a big difference in the flavor and texture of the dish in which they’re used, so choose the freshest, organic ingredients available and whenever possible.

Make a commitment to yourself and your family to start reinvesting in your well-being now, and begin to enjoy the benefits right away. Why wait to the new year?

about the author
Dr. Bill Rawls
Dr. Bill Rawls has practiced conventional medicine as a gynecologist for
over 20 years and is also the co-founder and medical director of Vital Plan, a wellness and herbal supplement company.
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