4 Healthy Swaps For Your Thanksgiving Table

Written with love, by Jennifer Dene

healthy thanksgiving dinner swaps // bridal health

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about easy nutrition swaps that lighten up your bridal kitchen. Today I’ll share with you how to use similar tricks to makeover your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes!

The holidays are a bit stressful for everyone, but add the pressure of planning a wedding — and trying to stick with your healthy routine — and they can become totally overwhelming. These easy modifications allow you to enjoy all of the flavors of your favorite holiday recipes, without feeling worried that you might derail your clean eating routine. Plus, with food as nutritious and delicious as this you will actually feel ready to face your fiance’s family and all of their “well-meaning” wedding questions!

Mac & Cheese Makeover

1.    Choose your favorite mac and cheese recipe.

2.    Swap the white pasta for wholegrain, spelt or brown rice pasta.

3.    Buy the best quality, organic cheese that you can.

4.    Add some finely chopped or grated vegetables for a filling fiber and nutrition hit.

Creamy Mashed Potato Makeover

1.    Choose your favorite mashed potato recipe.

2.    Buy organic potatoes as conventional potatoes have more pesticides by weight than any other produce.

3.    Wash the potatoes well but leave the skin on as this is where a lot of the nutrients and fiber are contained.

4.    Buy the best quality, organic cream/milk/butter that you can.

5.    Swap 1/3 – 1/2 the dairy liquid for low sodium chicken or vegetable broth.

Green Bean Casserole Makeover

(Serves 4)
Keep this side dish light and bright, and use the cream where it really counts— I’m looking at you mashed potato!


1 pound trimmed green beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

2 tablespoons flaked almonds


1.    Fill a pan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil

2.    Add the beans and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, beans should remain bright green with a snap to them

3.    Drain beans and transfer to a serving dish

4.    Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper

5.    Sprinkle with flaked almonds and serve

Sweet Potato Casserole Makeover

(serves 4)
Swap the calorie laden casserole for jacket-baked sweet potatoes that pack a flavor and nutritional punch.


4 medium sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup pecans, finely grated

1/2 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


1.    Preheat oven to 400ºF

2.    Halve sweet potatoes lengthways, without cutting all the way through (they should open like a pocket)

3.    Add 1/2 tablespoon butter to the center of each sweet potato

4.    Combine grated pecans, sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger in a small bowl. Divide this spice mix evenly between the potatoes, on top of the butter

5.    Close the two potato halves and wrap each sweet potato in foil like a burrito

6.    Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until soft