Holiday dinners are so typically loaded with fat, sugar, and lots of cholesterol. I tried to reduce those for our Thanksgiving meal, and this is what I came up with. I’m sure I’ll be changing and tweeking this even more as time goes on. I would love to hear your ideas and what you do. For now, here’s our menu and here’s what I did:
- Turkey – avoid turkey fat
- Stuffing – reduce the amount of butter by half (we didn’t miss it)
- Gravy – Make gravy from the turkey broth, but refrigerate it first and then skim the fat off the top before making gravy. Or use Heinz Home Style Roasted Turkey Gravy which has low fat and very low cholesterol.
- Holiday Sweet Potatoes – leave out the eggs to reduce cholesterol, use less butter and sugar. Use part Kal Powdered Stevia in place of 1/2 cup of sugar – we can’t tell the difference, they’e still yummy!
- Green Bean Casserole – use Healthy Request Mushroom Soup. Use less of the French Fried Onion, maybe use only 1/2 to 3/4 of a small can instead of the whole can (a small can has nearly 500 calories & over 40 grams of fat). Skip adding the onion rings in the beans and only use them on top of the casserole which is the most important part anyway. My husband likes to add extra virgin olive oil to counter some of the negative effects of all the saturated fat in the French Fried Onions, so I would say to add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Mashed Potatoes – Use low-fat milk, a little butter, salt and pepper in the potatoes themselves. Then put small pats of butter on top of the hot potatoes before serving. I use half the butter from the regular recipe, but with butter being melted on top, it isn’t noticeable. I think the main thing is to use flavorful potatoes. Some are more flavorful than others.
- Rolls – use multi-grain rolls with fiber and no cholesterol. (Rhodes makes frozen multi-grain roll dough that has to rise first before baking.)
- Dessert – well, this is a very hard category. Considering all the fat in a holiday meal, it’s good to choose a dessert that isn’t loaded with fat or cholesterol. Substituting half of the sugar with a good brand of Stevia works well for us. (Some Stevia brands leave a strong aftertaste. Kal Stevia doesn’t.)