Hearty and Wholesome Thanksgiving Recipes: Do the Mashed Potatoes…Now Do the Cranberry Twist

by Kristen Carlucci on November 25, 2009

in General

Interested in what is on the Simply Savor menu this Turkey Day?  Over the years I’ve accumulated a ton of Thanksgiving recipes, and am so excited to share some of my favorites with all of you! 

Whether you’re cooking a meal for a family of 3, 40, or just bringing an appetizer to a party, here are some healthy and delicious options to save you calories and fat without losing flavor this holiday season.


Stay tuned because every day until Thanksgiving, I’ll be posting wholesome, new recipes for you to enjoy!

Missed the latest Thanksgiving recipe series?

Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey & White-Wine Gravy

Stuffing Edition: Cornbread Apple Stuffing and Bulgar Stuffing with Dried Cranberries + Hazelnuts


Potatoes have gotten a bad rap since the fad low-carb diet craze, but these foods can actually be nutritional powerhouses (that is, when eaten sans sour cream, or 20 sticks of butter) ;)   They are low in calories (~150 in 1 medium-sized potato), high in fiber (4g) and chockful of essential vitamins/minerals.

Some Fun Facts

One red/Yukon potato contains 66 micrograms of folate needed for building cells (this is almost the same amount found in 1 cup of spinach or broccoli!)

One sweet potato has ~8x the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting Vitamin A you need daily!

Quick Tips

-Let your potato cool before eating. Research shows that doing so can help you burn close to 25 percent more fat after a meal, thanks to a fat-resistant starch.

-For the benefits of added fiber in your diet, try keeping the skin on your mashed potatoes to make “smashed potatoes!”


Mashed Potatoes With Roasted Garlic and Rosemary  from Cooking Light Magazine


Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)


2 whole garlic heads

2 pounds cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.

Place potato and onion in a saucepan; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Combine garlic, potato mixture, 1/4 cup cooking liquid, and remaining ingredients; mash with a potato masher.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 93  Fat: 0.2g  Protein: 2.8g  Carbohydrates: 21g  Fiber: 2.1g

 Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Orange Essence  from Ellie Krieger, Food Network



4 medium sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), peeled and cut into a large dice
1/4 cup buttermilk, warmed slightly
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional


Steam the potatoes in a large covered pan fitted with a steamer basket until they are tender, about 8 minutes.

In a large bowl mash the potatoes with the buttermilk and orange juice. Stir in the zest, salt, and nutmeg. Serve the potatoes topped with the butter, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings, serving size 3/4 cup

Cook time: 8 minutes




Looking for a little less carbs and a little more veggies in your Thanksgiving dinner?  Try out this “mashed” recipe using cauliflower in place of potatoes!

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes from The Biggest Loser and South Beach Diet


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 (1-cup) servings


1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into large florets (about 8 cups)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 (14-ounce) cans lower-sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


In a large saucepan, combine cauliflower, garlic, and broth. If cauliflower is not completely covered by broth, add water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12 minutes.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, then drain cauliflower and garlic. Transfer cauliflower and garlic to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, pulsing in some or all of the reserved cooking liquid, if necessary, to moisten mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, stir in chives. Serve warm.

Nutrition at a Glance
Per serving: 80 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 183 mg sodium

Variations: Fold in shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese or a small amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese after puréeing; mix in cooked, chopped turkey bacon; or use chopped fresh parsley or basil in addition to or in place of the chives.


Hungry Girl’s Kickin’ Cranberry Sauce


(Can be made the night before!)

One 12-oz. bag whole cranberries
One 11-oz. can mandarin orange segments in their own juice
1 cup peeled and finely chopped apples
1 envelope (1/4 oz.) dry unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/4 cup roasted almonds
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

In a medium pot, combine cranberries, Splenda, and sugar with 1 3/4 cups water. Set stove to medium heat, cover pot, and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes, uncovering to stir occasionally. Meanwhile, in a small dish, combine gelatin with 1/4 cup cold water, stir well and set aside.

Turn off heat and stir in gelatin mixture, stirring until dissolved and thoroughly combined. Stir in cinnamon and apples and mix well. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (overnight is best).

Once chilled and set, remove mixture from the fridge and give it a good stir. Drain juice from the can of orange segments. Roughly chop orange segments and drain any excess liquid from them. Slightly crush almonds so that they break into smaller pieces. Add chopped orange segments and almond pieces to the cranberry sauce, and mix thoroughly. Serve with lean turkey, pork, or chicken, or anything else you like cranberries with!


PER SERVING (1/3 cup): 63 calories, 1g fat, 20mg sodium, 13g carbs, 2g fiber, 8.5g sugars, 1g protein — POINTS® value 1*


More recipes to come later today!!….Casseroles and Desserts!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Estela @ Weekly Bite September 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Great post Kristen! I love cranberry sauce! I can eat it straight from the bowl!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) September 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Awesome post! I love potatoes 🙂 Adding rosemary is a great idea


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