If you missed any of the Healthy Holiday Series you can read them here:

5 Simple Steps To Avoid Halloween Weight Gain

Holiday Treat Tip

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and since you’ll probably be planning your dinner menu in the next few days, I thought I’d share with you my Thanksgiving menu.

First, let’s hash out my philosophy when it comes to holidays.

I firmly believe that celebrating holidays is important. I personally don’t want to live a life where I am tracking and weighing out my Thanksgiving meal. Remember that what you do 90% of the time is more important than what you do the other 10% of the time.

However, I also want you to understand that your Thanksgiving meal is just that – a meal. Or at most a single day.  Celebrate the holiday, but don’t let that celebration turn the whole week or weekend into a caloric free-for-all.

I believe the most important thing is to go in with a plan that you’ll be happy with at the end of the day. So, take a breath, make a plan, and enjoy Thanksgiving!

When I am creating my Thanksgiving menu I like to balance traditional favorites with some lighter foods. So not all of these recipes would be deemed “healthy”, but that’s what we call balance.

APPETIZERS
I am all about easy dishes that can be prepped ahead of time and this Slow Cooker Spinach & Artichoke Dip fits the bill precisely.
You either love ’em or hate ’em but I personally adore Deviled Eggs. Again, these are a make ahead appetizer I can just bring out and share while the turkey is cooking.
Apple butter, honey, pecans and brie is the perfect fall combination These Brie, Apple & Honey Crostinis are quick but a little more elegant than my other two appetizers. Definitely a show stopper!

TURKEY

The Good Eats Roasted Turkey is my GO-TO turkey recipe. Hasn’t failed me yet! You do have to brine your turkey which means you have to plan ahead a bit, but it’s totally worth it
SIDES
I made these Velvety Mashed Potatoes last year and they were perfection. Here’s a trick: Cook your potatoes early in the day and keep them warm inside a crockpot until you serve your Thanksgiving meal.
This is also the Cranberry Sauce I made last year and I made a note to definitely repeat it. You can make this recipe a week ahead of time, freeze it, and thaw it on Thanksgiving day. I did that last week and no one knew the difference!
I have made these Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes for probably 7 years in a row. I originally pulled the recipe out of a Cooking Light magazine years ago, but I found it online for you! I love that they are sweet without being crazy with the marshmallows and brown sugar.
My MIL made this Classic Sage And Sausage Stuffing last year and I immediately snagged the recipe because it was so good.
I am on a HUGE goat cheese kick so this Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans and Maple-Balsamic Dressing spoke right too me. If you haven’t ever candied pecans before it’s super easy and it really turns a salad into one that fit for a holiday table.
This is the Roll recipe I have used for years and years. It’s light and fluffy and most importantly, hard to screw up. I don’t roll them in crescents, instead I prefer an ordinary round roll.
I love Green Bean Casserole, but I like to use fresh green beans and no canned cream of mushroom soup and this recipe fits the bill. I simply substitute out the canned green beans for freshly steamed ones.
DRINKS

I made this Sparking Cider last year and it was a huge hit so I’m making it again this year.

PIES

I’ve made this Key Lime White Chocolate Cheesecake for 3 years and it’s requested every year. If you aren’t a big cheesecake fan, don’t let the name fool you. This isn’t really cheesecake, it’s similar to key lime pie but, like, 400X better.
I am trying out this Banoffee Pie this year – I mean how can you go wrong with toffee, a cookie crust (I’m not a big fan of pastry) and dulce de leche?
This Chocolate Silk Pie shows up every Thanksgiving because it is THAT GOOD. There is nothing healthy about this pie, which is why we keep it as a special yearly Thanksgiving tradition.
To counteract the heavy chocolate in the other pies I’m also do Magnolia Lemon Pie for something a little lighter tasting.
That’s it! That’s my Thanksgiving menu! Steal anything you would like – hopefully this will make your Thanksgiving planning a little easier! If you want to read a blog post I wrote about how to avoid weight gain over Thanksgiving click here.

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