Delicious Substitutions for Thanksgiving Dinner

According to, there are a lot of sugar cubes in one traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Do you really want to derail your diet or gain 5 pounds from one dinner, where you are eating things that are not necessarily absolute for a good Thanksgiving meal?  Did the Puritans really want you to eat these things?  Of course not!

Here is a picture of a traditional meal. This is the equivalent of almost 26 sugar cubes.

Traditional Thanksgiving Meal

Item Calories Sugar
Stuffing 160 2g
Turkey Breast, 4 oz. 142 0g
Gravy 25 1g
Sweet Potato Casserole 320 41g
Dinner Roll 110 4g
1/2 Tbsp Butter 50 0g
Cranberry Sauce (canned) 110 21g
Green Beans 30 2g
Mashed Potatoes 155 3g
Pumpkin Pie  w/ Whipped Cream 340 31g
Totals 1442 105g

(Calories from sugar:  420)

Sugarstacks breaks each item down with pictures.


TURKEY BREAST:  cooked instead of the whole bird or give the dark meat to the skinny guys, 4 ounces per portion

GRAVY:  A tablespoon or two of gravy won’t kill you.

LOW CARB BREAD STUFFING:  You could make stuffing with low carb bread like or even Sara Lee 45 Calorie Bread (and eat a small portion) or skip stuffing.  Do you really need it?

FRUIT:  Candied Cranberries are a bad idea.  Skip it.  Have sugar free jello instead or some delicious fresh fruit cut up and placed out in a bowl.  One serving could be about 11g of carbs.

VEGETABLES:  Go ahead, make your favorite veggies.  Don’t do the version where it is smothered in Cream of Mushroom soup.  If you absolutely must, here is a low carb recipe version of it:  (6 g net carbs vs. 17g per serving)

MASHED POTATOES are not the best choice, make mashed cauliflower (see recipe below).  Tastes great:  (If you must eat mashed potatoes, only a small one or two tablespoons worth)

DINNER ROLL:  Not a great idea.  Skip this or have a slice of low-carb bread like mentioned above.

PIE:  VERY LARGE AMOUNT OF CARBS unless you do a low carb pie.   Get a dessert that is low cal like low-carb ice cream (Breyers has a delicious Smart Carb Vanilla) or get a recipe for low carb pie and make that (see below for four links to low carb pie recipes).  Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries in it is also very good.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE:  Gotta be the most stupid Thanksgiving creation ever.  FORGET IT!  So many carbs, I don’t even know what to say.  Even the low carb version is 20 g  versus 40g of carbs for traditional casserole.  That is a lot.

–HOWEVER:  This is a faux sweet potato casserole recipe and will be ok for your diet!

–ALSO, I make a really nice salad with cheese in it and serve that instead of Sweet Potato Casserole.


****BUT INSTEAD OF THE STUPID CASSEROLE OR MASHED CAULIFLOWER OR POTATOES, how about just this intead??? Now this looks delish.  I can’t wait to try it….****

Cyndi’s “Twice Baked” Cauliflower



I got this idea from twice baked potatoes. You can cut the calories more than this if you use fat free or low fat dairy products. So good I could eat it every day. Great way to cut the potatoes out of a meal if you need to…

Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 20
Number of Servings: 4


Cauliflower, frozen, cooked, 4 cup (1″ pieces)
Sour Cream, .25 cup
Chopped Chives, 1 tsp
Colby Cheese, .25 cup, shredded
Monterey Cheese, .25 cup, shredded
Hormel Bacon Bits, 2 tbsp
Butter, salted, 1 tbsp
Garlic powder, .5 tsp
Salt, 1 dash
Pepper, black, 1 dash


Cook cauliflower until tender [I use frozen and the microwave with NO water added for 10 minutes on high]. Preheat oven to 400F. Chop fine with pastry blender, potato masher or knife. Add all ingredients together in a medium bowl, fold until mixed. Use cooking spray on 4 seven ounce ramekins or other small oven safe dishes and spoon mixture into dishes. Place all small dishes on a cookie sheet for easier handling. Bake for 15 minutes on middle rack and then broil for a few minutes until top is golden brown. Makes 4 servings, but you may want to make extra, cuz…OMG this is good.

Number of Servings: 4

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CYNDIDAVISUSA.


Below are the cauliflower and pie recipe information.

Please consider carefully before you subject yourself, your family or your guests to an unnecessarily high-calorie, high-carb Thanksgiving dinner.  Try the substitutions that I mentioned. Plan ahead and happy holidays!

Recipe for Surprise Mashed “Potatoes”

4 cups cauliflower florets

1 ounce I can’t believe it’s not butter

1 ounce Lake O’Lakes fat free half & half

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper


Steam or microwave the cauliflower until soft. Puree in food

Processor, adding the butter spray and the half and half to taste. Season with salt and pepper.


4 servings – 60 calories, 1 ½ g fat, 3 g protein,

11g carbohydrates

Recipes for Pies:  (Pumpkin, Chocolate, Key-Lime, Pecan)–also good for diabetics.—low-carb-version/

2 thoughts on “Delicious Substitutions for Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving and a Thanksgiving Food/Exercise Match Up Chart | Skinny-Rules

  2. Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving and Here is Your Exercise/Food Chart to Keep Skinny | Skinny-Rules

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