Thanksgiving is a dieter’s nightmare. With all the ingredients for a fattening feast, Thanksgiving can spell nutritional disaster. If you swap out some of your fattening foods for a roasted alternative, or throw a few extra roasted vegetable options into the mix, you can ensure everyone is eating tasty, healthy veggies before they fill up on pie.
If you normally create a marshmallow-topped sweet potato or yam dish, you can substitute it with a roasted alternative. You can ask kids or other kitchen helpers to peel the sweet potatoes for you. Slice the potatoes or yams into french fry-sized rectangles. Lay these out on a cookie sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Roast these sweet potatoes for 30 minutes or so in a 350-degree F oven. This makes a great appetizer while you wait for the main course.
If your kids feel squeamish about squash, remove the peel and chop them into 1-inch cube pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and your favorite spices and roast for 30 minutes or so in a 350-degree F oven. The bright orange cubes, with crispy edges, might be more appealing than a squishy pile of squash.
Instead of the usual green bean casserole, full of sodium, roast up some beans. It’s not only healthier, but also looks fancier. Clean up the beans and lay them out on a pan, drizzle with oil and sprinkle chopped nuts on top. Roast for the last 20 minutes of your turkey’s time in the oven.
If you need to get more greens into your family this holiday, choose one to roast. Broccoli, brussels sprouts or other green favorites can be chopped into 1-inch squares and coated in oil. Grate some hard, sharp cheese on top and roast for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. The crispy, caramelized, cheesy greens will go down easier than the steamed versions.
If you are sick of mashed potatoes, and need to give the kids a job in the kitchen, roast some potatoes instead of boiling them. Ask kids to poke potatoes with forks seven to 10 times and to cover them with olive oil. Roast the potatoes during the last few minutes with the turkey. As you are letting the turkey cool and are carving it up, ask older kids or other kitchen helpers to remove the potatoes and either scoop out their insides and smash them in a bowl or cut them in half for each guest.