10 Guilt-Free Friendsgiving Sides to Make This Year

 
 Top 10 easy friendsgiving recipes

This is my first year hosting Friendsgiving (I’m SO excited!) and I’ve had a lot of requests asking for healthy swaps to traditional Thanksgiving meals! Here are some suggestions - and what I plan to make for my friends!

I made each recipe serve 8 people! Most of these recipes do call for an oven or stovetop - but a few are made in the microwave!


1. Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Casserole

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, keep the peel on, scrub to clean, cut into small slices or cubes

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • Oil spray (e.g. olive oil spray)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Dash of salt, Cinnamon to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Slice sweet potatoes

  3. Bake in oil-sprayed (e.g. olive oil cooking spray) 11 x 7-inch baking dish

  4. Bake for 30 minutes

  5. Mix in a bowl: butter, pecans, salt, and vanilla

  6. Take sweet potatoes out, mix #5 mixture into pan, top with marshmallows

  7. Bake for an additional 20 minutes

  8. Top with cinnamon when it comes out of the oven

2. Roasted “Caramelized” Carrots

Roasted carrots can still be a TREAT! Try this recipe when you just want to bring a veggie side dish, but you need it to be a crowdpleaser.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag carrots, peeled, sliced in half (long-ways) & chop off tops

  • Cinnamon to taste

  • Oil spray

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F

  2. Line cookie sheet with tin foil, spray tin foil with an oil spray (like olive oil spray)

  3. Place carrots on cookie sheet

  4. Bake for 35 minutes, take carrots out & top with cinnamon

  5. Bake for another 15 minutes

3. Low-Carb Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 cups green beans

  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (e.g. Campbell’s) - get a low-sodium kind if it’s available!

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I’ve actually only been able to find these at Whole Foods!)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F

  2. Stir the soup and green beans in a casserole dish - make sure the green beans are coated

  3. Bake for 25 minutes, stir afterwards

  4. Put breadcrumbs on top, bake for an additional 5 minutes



4. Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes”

Honestly guys, I recommend just buying this one rather than trying to make it yourself. The thought of trying to mash cauliflower in a food processor or by hand makes me want to crawl back in bed!

This one from Trader Joe’s is my favorite!

TJs-mashed-cauliflower.jpg


5. Feel Good Roasted Potatoes

Ok ok I know some of us still love good-old potatoes. Here’s a slightly healthier - (but still v. tasty!) - recipe. Keep the skins on the potatoes to get that extra fiber - this will help everything from dinner move along in your system so you can go to the bathroom easily the next day!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small red-skinned (or a mixture of colored skins) potatoes, keep the peel on, scrub to clean, cut into small slices or cubes

  • An oil spray (e.g. olive oil spray)

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (I like to buy pre-minced in a jar)

  • Dashes of salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Line cookie sheet with tin foil, spray tin foil with an oil spray (like olive oil spray)

  3. Place potatoes on cookie sheet - add garlic & mix around pan

  4. Bake for 30 minutes, add salt & pepper to taste when they come out of the oven


6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Pecans 

Makes 4 servings as a side dish

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 oz washed Brussels sprouts, sliced in half

  • 7 strips of bacon, cooked, and crumbled or sliced into bits

  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted pecans

  • An oil spray

  • Salt & pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Line cookie sheet with tin foil, spray tin foil with an oil spray (like olive oil spray)

  3. Bake Brussels sprouts for 25 minutes

  4. Add bacon & pecans, stir everything around. May need to spray with an oil spray if Brussels sprouts are looking very crispy

  5. Bake for another 5-10 minutes to desired crispiness!

7. Lightened-Up Gravy 

Honestly, similar to the mashed cauliflower, I think this one is best bought than made.

I find the research strong that you are more full on foods you CHEW vs. foods you drink or slurp (think eating some fruits versus drinking a smoothie). Therefore, choosing a gravy that’s lower calorie can be a good rule of thumb.

Here is one that I like - that you can likely find at most grocery stores!



 


8. Cranberry Sauce Without All the Sugar

Ingredients

  • 12-ounce fresh cranberries

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 orange peel (wash an orange, peel it, and just use the peel. It’s ok if you don’t grate this - you can just use as is)

  • Dash salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir (abou 10 minutes) until you see that (most) cranberries have burst

  3. Refrigerate & serve once chilled



9. Guilt-Free Keto Stuffing

D9132044-AEE9-4DC3-BEF7-C4F1B0F452B6.JPG

You may be surprised with the main ingredient here :)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bag pre-chopped cauliflower florets

  • 15 oz pre-mixed mirepoix (or make your own with 1 onion and 1 bunch celery, diced)

  • 1 Tbsp pre-minced garlic

  • Oil spray

  • 1/4 cup pecans

  • Salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F

  2. Line cookie sheet with tin foil, spray tin foil with an oil spray (like olive oil spray)

  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except pecans, and stir

  4. Spread the mixture in a single layer on the cookie sheet, roast for 15 minutes

  5. Add pecans, bake for another 5 minutes




10. Crowd-Pleasing Corn

Ingredients

  • 2 bags frozen corn

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 4 strips bacon

  • Oil spray

  • Salt & red pepper flakes to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook bacon on stove-top in a skillet. You likely don’t need an oil spray because there’s enough fat in the bacon

  2. Remove bacon & cut into small pieces

  3. Add corn and onion to pan (cook in bacon fat), cook until corn is no longer frozen

  4. Add bacon back in - serve hot or cold






11. (Bonus) Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • Half of a 14.5oz jar of canned, diced tomatoes

  • 1 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced

  • 2 green zucchinis, thinly sliced

  • 1 eggplant (either get a thin eggplant, or chop the eggplant in half long-ways first before slicing it), thinly sliced

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F

  2. Spray a baking dish with an oil spray, add canned tomatoes (with juice)

  3. Layer veggies so they’re standing upright

  4. Add salt & pepper

  5. Bake for 40 minutes


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