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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

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks -- a day to spend quality time with family while enjoying memorable tastes of the holiday season. The only downside is that a typical Thanksgiving dinner can provide well over a day’s worth of calories. Luckily, there are options that’ll provide significantly fewer calories and way more nutrition. You’ll definitely want to plan on serving one (or many) of these colorful vegetable dishes on your Thanksgiving table this year. Every recipe features at least one nutrient-rich veggie to help you stay healthy and energetic during the holiday season. And they’re absolutely delicious!

1. Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Jackie Newgent

1 CREAMY VEGAN PUMPKIN SOUP

The vivid color of pumpkin brightens up any dinner table. It may just steal the show at the Thanksgiving meal. Perfect for the season, this soup is made using 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. The soup’s Thai-style flair will win you over! CALORIES: 109

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

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, including cancer-protective glucosinolates. When they’re prepared properly, they’re righteously good. These Brussels sprouts are roasted until browned and just cooked through. What they’re roasted with -- garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper -- takes the flavor to the next level. The addition of vegetable broth helps create a glaze with balsamic vinegar during roasting. It’s a winning side dish! CALORIES: 94

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

3. “Pink” Pilaf
Jackie Newgent

3 “PINK” PILAF

Stuffing and potatoes may be traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but it’s OK to break tradition. Try this vibrant pilaf! It’s full of surprising comfort that makes breaking out of a comfort zone so appealing. It is “sticky” in texture due to beets pureed into the cooking liquid, giving it that special something extra -- not to mention more fiber for satisfaction and phytonutrients called betalains for potential anti-inflammatory effects. CALORIES: 207

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

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

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! It’s made 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: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

6. Tri-Color Potato Skewers and Dip
Jackie Newgent

6 TRI-COLOR POTATO SKEWERS AND DIP

There’s a better way to enjoy potatoes. Serve them on sticks! These skewers are fun served as appetizers before a holiday meal. 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 Greek yogurt dip for gut-friendly goodness. CALORIES: 110

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

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 rich seasonal flavors will excite anyone’s palate. 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: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

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’s based on 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. Pair with whole-grain pilaf to make it a meal. CALORIES: 209

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

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. So 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. It’s tangy! Toss it with nutrient-packed baby kale rather than romaine, then garnish with grape tomatoes for color and sunflower seeds for crunch. It’s tasty! CALORIES: 92

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

10. Arugula Salad With Avocado and Pomegranate Arils
Jackie Newgent

10 ARUGULA SALAD WITH AVOCADO AND POMEGRANATE ARILS

Skip bottled salad dressing this holiday season. Keep it simple and real by whisking 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. The salad here is a mixture of baby arugula, red onion, Hass avocado and pomegranate arils (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? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving vegetable dish? Please leave a comment below and let us know.

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