This recipe with just 11.6g of carbs comes to us from the kitchen of longtime Cooking Light Contributor David Bonom who says, "For one of my birthdays, all of my friends chipped in and gave me the smoker of my dreams, knowing that they would benefit from it. Ever since then, my suburban New Jersey neighbors have gotten to enjoy the smells of my Thanksgiving turkey as it smokes in the backyard." Applewood chips lend a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to the meat. You can also try smoking the turkey with cherry or alder wood chips for more delicate smoked flavor.
Protein-Packed Cheese Board
Enjoy this spread as an appetizer or dessert. Nuts and cheese pack in the protein while the fruit and chocolate add just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your cravings. Not only does this cheese board pack in protein, there is more than 390mg of calcium per serving thanks to the cheese, almonds, and chocolate. Guests will love this lighter alternative to traditional Thanksgiving desserts. With 10 servings per cheese board, there's plenty for friends and family, but the recipe is easy to double if you need more.
Broiled Shrimp with Buttermilk Rémoulade
If preboiled shrimp and cocktail sauce is a standard starter at your holiday gathering, try these quick broiled shrimp with a spicy rémoulade dipping sauce—a homemade alternative that takes minutes, tastes much better, and is much lower in sodium. Like cocktail sauce, the rémoulade gets a pungent kick from prepared horseradish, though you could also try Creole mustard. We leave the tails on the shrimp for easy handling. Keep a small bowl next to the serving plate for discarded shrimp tails.
Balsamic-Glazed Green Beans and Pearl Onions
Dress up green beans with pearl onions and balsamic vinegar to give this worthy-of-a-special-occasion side dish a nice flavor. Tangy and delicious: these green beans are simple, yet elegant. While this 5-star side cooks quickly (10 minutes), it takes about 30 minutes to peel and chop the onions. Prepare the onions in advance if you'll be pressed for time, so this quick stovetop recipe can save you time and oven space on the big day. Be sure to purchase trimmed green beans, so it doesn't take long than necessary.
Potato and Leek Gratin
A mandoline will slice the potatoes quickly and to the same thickness, though a sharp knife will also work. Instead of being buried in cream, the potatoes and leeks are simmered in and drizzled with milk so the potatoes get wonderfully crisp and tender and the cheeses form a melty, golden crust. The result is a rich, rustic potato side with contrasting flavors and textures—a bit of crunch to round out the stuffing, sauces, and mashes on the plate. Reheat leftovers in the oven until crisped and warmed through, and then serve with eggs and a side of fruit for breakfast.
Braised Turkey Roulade with Pancetta, Shallots, and Porcini Gravy
Our readers rave about these turkey breasts stuffed with sliced pancetta, chopped shallots, fresh rosemary, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. This pretty entrée is a perfect dish for an elegant holiday dinner and certainly simpler to carve than a whole turkey. The combination of shallots and porcini soaking liquid creates a savory, earthy gravy. Be sure to use a sharp, thin knife to slice the turkey so the pieces don't fall apart.
Swiss Chard with Crème Fraîche
If your audience favors a creamier approach, serve Swiss chard enriched with crème fraîche—a dish that's ready in about 15 minutes. The sweet taste of the crème fraîche offers an appealing contrast to the bitter flavor of Swiss chard, a sister vegetable of kale, mustard greens, and collard greens. Enjoy this nutrient dense vegetables regularly with our collection of Swiss Chard Recipes. Not sure where to find creme crème fraîche? Look for it at your local supermarket among the specialty cheeses or at gourmet food stores.
They'll be no leftovers when you serve your family these delicious carrots. This easy three-ingredient side dish is a great option when for the busiest cooking day of the year. Ready in just 20 minutes, you can pop these into the oven while you're putting the finishing touches on the rest of the meal. Our reviewers swear they'll please even the pickiest eater, and they're so simple, we're sure they'll make it to your weekly dinner rotation in no time.
Grapefruit, Endive, and Arugula Salad
Give yourself the gift of one worry-free dish this holiday season. This 15-minute, no-cook, citrus-flecked salad tastes best when it sits at least 10 minutes. No guest will be able to resist our lemony homemade vinaigrette, which adds sweet flavor without lots of fat, calories, or carbs. Tossing the endive leaves in the vinaigrette first softens their bitter edge. You could also sub thinly sliced fennel or chopped Romaine hearts. Top with chopped walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, and grapefruit slices.
Spiralized Cinnamon Apples with Greek Yogurt
We’re kind of obsessed with spiralizing, so naturally we had to give it a try with apples. The result? A perfectly twirlable treat. Top with Greek yogurt and homemade granola, and you have a sweet little snack, size, or dessert for less than 150 calories per serving. With just 10.5g of carbs and 33mg sodium, you can indulge in this seasonal treat sans guilt. For more low-carb options, see 10 Smart Diabetic Swaps for the Holidays.
Almond Butter Chocolate Truffles
You'll never crave a store-brand peanut butter and chocolate candy again with these homemade truffles. Made with almond butter and melted dark chocolate, you can add any toppings you like such as coconut, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, or dried fruit. Make a bunch of these to save in your fridge as a quick, sweet snack that won't make you crash later thanks to 8g of protein, 5.1g fiber, and little added sugar thanks to unsalted almonds, almond butter, and dark chocolate cacao.