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Last Minute Quick and Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

by Christie Cash January 14, 2016

Last Minute Quick and Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

You were all set to have the only thing you needed to show off at Thanksgiving dinner be your slammin’ new bod, then out of nowhere; the “So let me know what you’re bringing!” text comes through. You have to flaunt your culinary skills, too? And on such short notice? No need to panic, Beauties, we’ve rounded up some delicious recipes that span the taste and dietary spectrum, following the traditions of the holiday while also sticking to your healthy eating plan. Bonus: many of these tasty dishes can be prepared faster than it takes to bust out your Thursday Workout, which you were still totally planning to do, right?

Garlic Green Beans -

Give the table a savory dose of vitamins B12, C, and K, as well as fiber and folate.



Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 ¼ lbs green beans
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Directions

  • In small skillet, toast garlic cloves in olive oil with a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Add green beans, season with salt and sugar and cook 2 minutes
  • Add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook 6 minutes
  • Uncover and boil until the water evaporates
  • Season with salt and pepper and toss with chopped pecans
Pear & Bleu Cheese Salad

What better way to celebrate the freshest flavors of Fall than combining in-season pears with sharp and tangy bleu cheese? Pears are a fantastic source of fiber, as well as potassium and copper, and bleu cheese is an excellent digestive aide.



Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup nuts (walnuts, almonds, or cashews)
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Belgian endive
  • 2 ripe pears
  • 2 oz mild blue cheese (about 1/2 cup loosely packed crumbles)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • Spread the nuts on a sheet pan in a single layer
  • Bake 7-10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until the nuts are toasted and fragrant. Let the nuts cool, and then coarsely chop
  • Trim the stems of the watercress and arugula. Wash and dry the leaves
  • Whisk the vinegar and mustard together in a large salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper
  • Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth, slightly thick dressing
  • Halve the endive lengthwise, cut out core, then thinly slice crosswise and add all the lettuces to the bowl
  • Quarter and core the unpeeled pears and thinly slice; add to the bowl
  • Sprinkle the cheese and nuts over the salad, and season once more with salt and pepper
  • Toss the salad gently to evenly dress all the greens
"Cornbread" and Sausage Stuffing -

This dish can be modified to reflect the delicious savory flavors in all their glory or can be easily turned grain-free and paleo-friendly. Gotta love a dish with options!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe grain-free cornbread (found here), cut into cubes and left uncovered overnight to dry
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 large eggs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position
  • Cook pork over medium heat in a large skillet, using back of a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces. Drain grease and spoon the pork into a large bowl
  • Melt butter in the skillet. Add onion and celery, then cook, stirring, frequently until onions are just turning translucent (about 5 minutes)
  • Stir in sage, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into the bowl with the pork. Add dried and cubed cornbread to onion and pork mixture
  • Whisk chicken stock and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour over cornbread mixture and gently toss until all ingredients are wet
  • Pour into an 11 x 7 - inch baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown
Quinoa and Mushroom-Stuffed Butternut Squash -

This impressive-yet-simple dish not only looks gorgeous on the plate, but provides yummy helpings of protein, antioxidants, selenium, and fiber.



Ingredients

  • 4 lbs butternut squash (approximately 2 regular-sized squashes)
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450º F
  • Cut squashes in half, removing the seeds, and place cut side up in two 11×7 baking dishes. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil (one tablespoon per squash), and add 1/4 inch of water to baking dishes
  • Cover baking dishes with foil and bake for around 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, and then reduce temperature to 375º F
  • In a small pot, bring 4 cups water to a boil and add quinoa. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all water. Remove from heat
  • In a pan, heat remaining olive oil and sauté mushrooms and onions on medium heat. Add in the garlic, and cook until fragrant and onions are translucent
  • After squash has cooled, scoop out the insides, leaving about a ¼ inch of flesh
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, butternut squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic, and parmesan cheese. Mix well and season with salt and pepper
  • Spoon mixture back into the hollow butternut squash shells and return them to the oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden brown
Parmesan Garlic Roasted Mushrooms -

Parmesan’s sharp, nutty flavor along with its calcium-rich qualities make it the perfect addition to this mouthwateringly aromatic side.



Ingredients

  • 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped olives or capers
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF and lightly spray a shallow casserole dish with nonstick spray
  • In the bowl, toss mushrooms, garlic, oil, olives or capers, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper
  • Dot the butter evenly over the top of the mushrooms and roast for 20 minutes, stirring half way through Remove from the oven, turn on the broiler and place the oven rack on the highest level
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan over the mushrooms, return to the oven on the top rack and broil until the cheese melts and begins to brown, about 3 minutes
Vegan Mashed Potatoes -

Vegan, gluten-free, and every bit as creamy and wonderful as the original? We think this is the perfect update to your classic Thanksgiving spread.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5-6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegan butter, melted/softened
  • ¼ cup fresh chives

Directions

  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot and cover with water. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat, add 1 tsp of sea salt, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until very tender
  • While the potatoes cook, chop up the chives and soften the butter
  • Once tender, drain the potatoes and place them back in the hot pot off the heat for 1 minute to evaporate any additional water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl
  • Mash the potatoes using either a potato masher or a hand mixer until fluffy. Note: Be careful using a hand mixer as you can overmix the potatoes and they can become gluey. Light and fluffy is the way to go!
  • Add in butter, garlic, remaining salt, black pepper and stir to combine
  • Top with chives, stir and serve
  • Tip: Delicious when topped with mushroom gravy!
Buckeye Brownies -

Because there’s always room for extra dessert. This chewy, fudgy, gluten-free treat gets topped by a creamy peanut butter layer, then glazed with a smooth blanket of dark chocolate.

Ingredients

Brownies:

  • ⅓ cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend already has xanthan or guar gum)
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • Peanut Butter Layer:
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons half & half or whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze:
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • Make a foil sling for your pan: Cut 18″ length foil and fold lengthwise to 8″ width. Fit foil into length of 13×9″ metal baking pan, pushing into corners and up the sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14″ length foil and fit into width of the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray

For the Brownies

  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, whisk cocoa and boiling water together until smooth
  • Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted. If necessary, place the bowl in the microwave in 30-second increments to help melt the chocolate
  • Whisk in the melted butter and oil. Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla extract, and continue to whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if needed), and salt. Stir the flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool 1 hour

For the Peanut Butter Layer

  • Beat together peanut butter, butter and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes
  • Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the powdered sugar and the half & half or milk, mixing to combine after each addition
  • Add the vanilla extract, beat to combine, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until completely smooth, creamy, and spreadable
  • Using a spatula, spread the peanut butter mixture in an even layer over the top of the brownies. The mixture will be a bit sticky, but do your best to spread as evenly as you can

For the Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze

  • Melt together chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely smooth and melted
  • Pour the mixture over the peanut butter layer and spread into an even layer with a spatula. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until set.
  • When set, cut and serve

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Christie Cash
Christie Cash

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