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10 Veggie Dishes to Make This Thanksgiving Super Nutritious

by
author image Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN
Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a chef, nutritionist, recipe developer, media personality and award-winning cookbook author. She’s a culinary instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education and frequent contributor to Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Her newest book is the second edition of "The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook."

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10 Veggie Dishes to Make This Thanksgiving Super Nutritious
Jackie Newgent

There's a ton to be thankful for each holiday season. But a typical Thanksgiving dinner can provide well over a day’s worth of calories -- thanks, but no thanks! Luckily, there are options that provide significantly fewer calories and way more nutrition. You’ll want to plan on serving a few of these colorful vegetable dishes on your Thanksgiving table this year. Every delicious recipe features at least one nutrient-rich vegetable to help you stay healthy and energetic.

1. Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Jackie Newgent

1 CREAMY VEGAN PUMPKIN SOUP

Perfect for the season, this Thai-style soup bursts with coconut milk, curry paste and pure pumpkin puree. No hunting in the pumpkin patch is required to make this bowl of wonder. Plus, you’ll still get all the benefits that pumpkin has to offer, especially its bevy of naturally occurring beta carotene, which can protect the body from free-radical damage. CALORIES: 109

Related: Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup

2. Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Garlic
Jackie Newgent

2 BALSAMIC GLAZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH GARLIC

Brussels sprouts are packed with good-for-you nutrients, glucosinolates, which can help protect against cancer. Our flavorful recipe features Brussels sprouts tossed with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. The addition of vegetable broth helps create a glaze with balsamic vinegar during roasting. It’s a winning side dish! CALORIES: 94

Related: Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Garlic

3. “Pink” Pilaf
Jackie Newgent

3 “PINK” PILAF

Stuffing and potatoes may be traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but this year, we're feeling something a little more creative -- like this vibrant beet pilaf! It’s full of surprising comfort that makes breaking out of a comfort zone so appealing. It's “sticky” in texture due to beets pureed into the cooking liquid, giving it that special something extra. Beets are also high in digestion-promoting fiber and immunity-boosting vitamin C. CALORIES: 207

Related: “Pink” Pilaf

4. Vegetarian Skillet Stuffing
Jackie Newgent

4 VEGETARIAN SKILLET STUFFING

This bread stuffing is packed with vegetables -- and deliciousness. The recipe is significantly lighter in butter than classic stuffing, but it’s not light on moistness or taste, thanks to savory mushroom broth and fragrant herbs. It’s made with whole-grain bread for an extra dose of healthfulness. What’s more, the stuffing is prepared on your stovetop, so you don’t need oven space for it. CALORIES: 120

Related: Vegetarian Skillet Stuffing

5. Rosemary Sweet Potato Gravy
Jackie Newgent

5 ROSEMARY SWEET POTATO GRAVY

Greasy pan drippings aren’t necessary to make Thanksgiving gravy. This sweet-and-savory version is vegan. Shhh, don’t tell the meat eaters! Make it by sauteing red onion with olive oil and red wine vinegar; simmering with vegetable broth and sweet potato; and pureeing until velvety thick and creamy. It has a distinctive rosemary fragrance and is generously seasoned to make the taste of anything it’s paired with really pop! CALORIES: 30

Related: Rosemary Sweet Potato Gravy

6. Tri-Color Potato Skewers and Dip
Jackie Newgent

6 TRI-COLOR POTATO SKEWERS AND DIP

There’s a new way to enjoy potatoes: Serve them on sticks! These skewers make fun appetizers before a holiday meal. Or, they can add kid-friendliness to the main meal, too. When not weighed down by gravy, butter or cream, you’ll get the full potato benefits, including potassium, carotenoids and anthocyanins, plus plenty of fiber from the potato skins. Dunk them into a Greek yogurt dip for probiotic goodness. CALORIES: 110

Related: Tri-Color Potato Skewers and Dip

7. Butternut Squash “Risotto” With Sage
Jackie Newgent

7 BUTTERNUT SQUASH “RISOTTO” WITH SAGE

Here’s a scrumptious dish that makes an ideal vegetarian entree. Or serve smaller portions as an enticing side, if you prefer. You’ll prepare this simply like rice rather than traditional risotto. The butternut squash is the epitome of sweet and savory while providing a burst of beta carotene. Baby bella mushrooms provide “meatiness,” sage heightens fragrance and goat cheese creates tangy creaminess. CALORIES: 311

Related: Butternut Squash “Risotto” With Sage

8. Saucy Braised Root Vegetable Entree
Jackie Newgent

8 SAUCY BRAISED ROOT VEGETABLE ENTREE

A meaty stew or pot roast is an inviting and hearty entree. But what’s a vegetarian to do? Enjoy this saucy dish! It consists of braised carrots, parsnips and red onion stewed in earthy mushroom broth and spiked with edamame. A pumpkin pie spice accent makes it a lovely pick for Thanksgiving. Edamame’s punch of quality protein makes it a main dish. For a hearty meal, pair this dish with whole-grain pilaf. CALORIES: 209

Related: Saucy Braised Root Vegetable Entree

9. Caesar-Style Kale Salad
Jackie Newgent

9 CAESAR-STYLE KALE SALAD

Caesar dressing is classically made with uncooked egg and anchovies. That makes many home cooks uneasy -- but have heart! Here’s a refreshing take on the salad. The dressing is based on hummus, which is blended with green tea, parmesan cheese, garlic, cider vinegar, tamari, salt and pepper. Toss it with nutrient-packed baby kale rather than romaine, then garnish with grape tomatoes for color and sunflower seeds for crunch. CALORIES: 92

Related: Caesar-Style Kale Salad

10. Arugula Salad With Avocado and Pomegranate Arils
Jackie Newgent

10 ARUGULA SALAD WITH AVOCADO AND POMEGRANATE ARILS

Skip the bottled salad dressing this holiday season and make your own. Simply whisk together extra-virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar to create your own two-ingredient vinaigrette. Then add salt and pepper to bring out the full flavors of the salad. You'll use a mixture of baby arugula, red onion, Hass avocado and pomegranate arils (otherwise known as pomegranate seeds), creating an amazing bowlful of contrasting colors, textures and tastes. CALORIES: 143

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

What Do YOU Think?
Jackie Newgent

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Are vegetarian options planned for your Thanksgiving table? Do you enjoy traditional Thanksgiving dishes, or do you like to try new recipes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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