How to sneak in WW-friendly foods at your Thanksgiving dinner

No one will be the wiser, and you can stay on track!
Published September 19, 2019

Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated, enjoyable meals of the year. Here’s how to incorporate healthier ingredients into standard favourites without sacrificing flavour or tradition.


Make a memorable salad


Tasked with making the usual spring mix and cherry tomato salad for Thanksgiving dinner? The sheer variety of ZeroPoint foods perfect for making salads is straight-up inspiring. Try some of these flavour combinations and prep guidelines for a gorgeous, dinner-party approved salad everyone will love:


  • Make a composed salad out of all your favourite roasted vegetables (serve chilled or at room temperature.) Roasted baby beets, radishes, onions, carrots, and green beans are especially beautiful and can be paired with a wide variety of dressings and toppings.
  • Use dark leafy greens or Brussels sprouts in place of lettuce (or a mixture of both.) Kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, and spinach can be served raw. Be sure to remove any woody stems before prepping for the salad and massage hardy greens with a small amount of olive oil and lemon juice. Brussels sprouts can be very thinly sliced into ribbons and used in place of cabbage.
  • Add protein in the form of beans or tofu. If you’re adding beans to a leafy salad do so right before serving, if the salad is made of firm vegetables they can be added earlier. Use diced and dry-fried or baked extra-firm tofu in place of croutons with the option to marinate before cooking.


Get inspired by this recipe: No-Cook Brussels Sprouts Salad


Switch up your condiments


No one’s saying the turkey gravy should be forfeited but swapping out a couple of rich condiments with lighter alternatives is a great way to add flavour without excess SmartPoints. The following healthier condiment suggestions will perk up any Thanksgiving plate:


  • Add mustard to the menu! When it comes to mustards, the choices are a lot more varied than smooth or grainy. Any well-stocked grocery or specialty food store should have a large selection of hot or flavoured mustards, including (but not limited to) mustards that have added ingredients such as tarragon, cranberries, wine, basil, roasted garlic, and beer.
  • Serve chutney and fruit salsa with your choice of protein. Whether you plan on serving turkey, ham or chicken, store-bought or homemade fruit-based sauces taste delicious the day of or when making leftover sandwiches.


Get inspired by this recipe: Easy Cranberry Chutney


Make a couple of (reasonable) dessert substitutions


Dessert is often the most anticipated course of Thanksgiving dinner and not the most ideal in terms of making it entirely out of ZeroPoint ingredients. However, there are small, almost undetectable swaps you can make while still preserving the integrity of the original recipe:


  • Serve frozen yogourt instead of vanilla ice cream with dessert. Good quality vanilla  frozen yogourt is easily found in the frozen food aisle of most grocery stores. To add more flavour, let the frozen yogourt sit out on the counter for 20 minutes before stirring in fresh or candied ginger, crushed gingerbread biscuits or pumpkin purée. Refreeze before serving.
  • Create individual desserts in ramekins. Ramekins are not only ideal for portion control, they also eliminate the need for a buttery crust. For the creamiest results bake custard-based desserts in a water bath.
  • Make a seasonal fruit arrangement for the table to complement the prepared dessert. This can be as simple as a bowl of whole fruit or you can make a cut-up fruit tray (squeeze fresh lemon or orange juice over apples and pears to prevent browning.)


Get inspired by this recipe: Pumpkin Flan