Healthy Thanksgiving Tips 

​Ahh the holidays! The time of year for abundant savory meals and delicious desserts. It can be challenging to stay on track. The holidays do not have to be a time to gain weight or lose sight of healthy eating. 

My family tries to incorporate a new vegetable dish each year instead of the same typical sides. Adding more vegetables, a nice leafy green salad or even using whole grain bread for homemade stuffing are all great alternatives and new ways to introduce healthy traditions to your family. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love spending time with my favorite people, family, friends and my other favorite thing, food. All the prep and time it takes to make the perfect meal for your loved ones and poof, it’s all over within a short amount of time. After the food coma, it’s time to take the leftovers home. But what to do with all the leftovers? Here are some healthy alternatives to the typical leftovers you may eat for the next few days after Thanksgiving. Turkey is low in fat and high in protein — a perfect and healthy option to many creative dishes. -Leigh Anne Hansen


Stuffed Turkey Peppers

4-6 servings (depending on your leftovers)

 3 cups of shredded turkey 

1 1/2 cups of low-fat shredded cheese of your choice. (Half cup for topping)

1/2 of 15oz can of black beans rinsed and drained. (Use the leftovers beans for a dip or with morning eggs)

1 cup of leftover stuffing 

1/2 – 1 cup diced onions 

1 egg

4-6 Bell peppers (try to use red, orange or yellow for some festive fun)

 1. Cut a thin slice from the stem end of each bell pepper to remove the top. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse peppers. 

2.Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and place mixture in clean dried peppers. Add remaining cheese for top of mixture. Place in baking dish and bake at 350′ for 20-30 min. 

*** I added black beans and used less stuffing 

Link: Turkey Stuffed Peppers


Turkey Pesto Pasta

** this recipe was originally for a panini (link below) I modified it to make into a pasta dish. 

Serves 4-5

1/2 box of veggie pasta or whole grain penne pasta

2-3 cups of shredded turkey 

1 cup cubed fresh mozzarella cheese

1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes 

Pesto Sauce: 

1 bunch of kale or spinach: 3 cups (rinsed, striped and chopped)

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves 

1/4 cup walnuts (toasted)

2-3 cloves garlic diced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

Salt to taste


In a food processor, combine the kale leaves, basil leaves. Pulse 12 to 14 times, until the kale or spinach leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Turn off processor and stir mixture. Add the walnuts and diced garlic and process again. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. 

Pasta: Cook pasta and drain. Add shredded turkey, cubed mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and pesto sauce. Serve hot or cold.

Modified Turkey Pesto Pasta– recipe from a panini


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