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Carb-Conscious (South Beach Diet Friendly) Thanksgiving Menu Options from Kalyn and Her Friends

Reduced Sugar Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
is Kalyn’s favorite this Thanksgiving!


(If you’re looking for the most updated collections of healthy holiday recipes, see my post with 25+ Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Holiday Side Dishes, Appetizers, and Salads or check out the whole index page of  Carb-Conscious Thanksgiving Recipes.)

If you’re looking for healthier Thanksgiving options, all month I’ve been sharing recipes that are a bit more South Beach Friendly than traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but just as tasty. I’ve decided to compile a list of those menu options, not only the recipes I’m trying, but the ones I’m seeing on blogs of my friends.Recommendations here are based on my personal philosophy that it’s ok to indulge in one or two of your very favorite *must have* holiday foods for a once-a-year occasion like Thanksgiving, if you make more diet-friendly choices for some other parts of the menu. For that reason you’ll find some things here that aren’t 100% South Beach Diet approved, after all, Thanksgiving only comes once a year! But in general the foods I include here will come closer to the way of eating that South Beach recommends, focusing on more complex carbs and avoiding an excess of saturated fats. None will be lacking in flavor though, so even if you’re not on a diet, you’ll find plenty of delicious options here.

Thanksgiving ideas From Kalyn’s Kitchen:

My version of Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar is a great option for Thanksgiving to replace the more traditional Sweet Potatoes or Yams loaded with sugar and butter.

If potatoes aren’t one of your *must have* foods, Alanna’s Roasted Cauliflower could be a great alternative.

I gave five salad suggestions that were a bit out of the ordinary so you can serve a Thanksgiving salad that will wow your guests.

Double Berry Jello Salad is a great new Thanksgiving tradition to start, and it’s lower in sugar than most salads of this type.


South Beach Diet Whole Wheat Stuffing with Sage, Italian Sausage, and Pears is a great alternative to traditional white bread or cornbread stuffing.


I featured some more options for Thanksgiving veggies, including the veggie dish my family requests every year. This photo is Twice Baked Cauliflower, one thing I’ll be making this year.


Of course you must have some kind of pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving, so be sure to try my Reduced Sugar Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe. This is a *diet* dessert that anyone would enjoy eating.

If you’re being a little more strict, or avoiding sugar for other reasons, this Sugar-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake is really excellent. This could be a regular dessert option for South Beach dieters because it’s low in carbs and saturated fat both.

If you’re planning ahead (or reading this after Thanksgiving is over) here are some after-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup Recipes.

Thanksgiving ideas from my friends:

If you need ideas on how to get juicy roast turkey, you can’t beat the tips Elise from Simply Recipes shares when she posts the recipe for her mom’s Roast Turkey.

Elise also shares a list of some of her favorite Thanksgiving Recipes. Two that look especially South Beach Friendly are Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme and a dressed-up version of Brussels Sprouts.


The homemade Cranberry and Dried Cherry Sauce posted by Nicole at Slashfood would be easy to make more South Beach friendly by replacing all or some of the sugar with Splenda. (Or just make it with sugar, since you won’t be eating huge bowls of it.)


I drooled when Alanna at A Veggie Venture posted World’s Best Green Bean Casserole. (With no canned soup and very minimal flour or butter, this is a keeper. Be sure to use 100% whole wheat bread for the topping if you’re doing South Beach.)Alanna is also doing a whole collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes, most of which are quite South Beach Friendly.

At Je Mange la Ville Michelle’s Cranberry-Orange Relish sounds fantastic, and it has very little sugar, or you could use Splenda if you wanted.

The Baked Oysters from Julie at A Mingling of Tastes sound like the perfect appetizer, and perfectly South Beach Friendly. Her Sweet Potato Galette with Spinach and Fontina and Chestnut, Cranberry and Pear Stuffing also look good. (Be moderate on the stuffing because chestnuts, cranberries, and pears are all pretty high in carbs.)

Another appetizer that sounds great is the Gorgonzola-Walnut Dip I saw on Tummy Treasure.

At Zinfully Delicious Bruno makes an incredible looking South Beach friendly appetizer of Spicy Shrimp on Daikon Chips with Roasted Garlic and Chile Aoili.

My blogging buddy Christine posted a different version of Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake that looks fantastic over at Christine Cooks.

(Final edit – it’s now the day before Thanksgiving and I’m busy cooking, not only for the big turkey day but also for a dinner party I’m having tonight and testing Thanksgiving leftover recipes for after Thanksgiving posts. But if you’re still looking for Thanksgiving ideas on the web, check out How to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner like Elise, Kalyn, and Alanna: From turkey to the South Beach Diet and beyond. Elise, Alanna, and I are all Blogher contributing editors for Food and Drink, along with Sam who isn’t cooking this year. Blogher co-founder Lisa Stone had fun collecting all our various Thanksgiving Day posts into a big Thanksgiving roundup.)

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12 comments on “Carb-Conscious (South Beach Diet Friendly) Thanksgiving Menu Options from Kalyn and Her Friends”

  1. Hey my friend, I am also out trolling for wonderful looking Thanksgiving dishes. The search engines have started showing up lots of folks looking for Thanksgiving options now. Would love to see some of your old turkey day recipes added to erecipeCards.

    Hope all is well, and the pumpkin pie sound just right… maybe even before Thanksgiving!


  2. I just wanted to say Thank you for putting these low-carb recipes together. My husband and son are Type 1 Diabetics and I’ve been looking for some great new recipes to try.

    Wishing you and your family a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. wow! Those are PERFECT.

  4. Melissa, thanks for commenting. I’ve been posting something for nearly two hours, kept finding mistakes and was feeling frustrated and then I check e-mail and see your comment. You made my day!

  5. I love your website!

  6. Anonymous, a reader told me that you can get whole wheat phyllo dough at Wild Oats, but I haven’t had a chance to go there yet. I do buy whole wheat pastry flour from Wild Oats and also a type of flour called “white whole wheat” which is also low-glycemic. It’s a type of wheat which is lighter in color so the flour is whiter even though it’s whole wheat flour.

    The whole wheat pastry flour is wonderful. My next experiment with it is going to be pizza crust or foccacia.

  7. Any luck finding whole-wheat phyllo dough in Salt Lake? What about whole wheat pastry flour?

  8. Thanks so much for the link Kalyn. What a beautiful round up of thanksgiving treats!

  9. Tanna, thanks so much.

    Julie, your Thanksgiving choices are all looking great to me. (What time is dinner? LOL.)

    Laura, you are too kind. Thanks for always being so encouraging to me, even when I’m complaining, which is far too often. (Laura is my best friend from school.) You’re an amazing woman yourself.

  10. Yesterday I went to the store and bought a can of pumpkin and two packages of low fat cream cheese to make your pumpkin cream cheese pie recipe. After hearing how good it is, I decided I HAD to try it. Thanks for the resource you provide for us cooks who are not “gourmet”, but appreciate a good recipe. You are an amazing woman who provides a great service. Thanks

  11. Hi Kalyn,
    I am flattered that my healthy Thanksgiving recipes got a shout out from you! Healthy, balanced food with a lot of vegetables is just the way I like to cook most of the time. Your Thanksgiving recipes look great too. I’m going to go check out the twice-baked cauliflower now.

  12. You blow my mind…a perfectly healthy but fabulous menu!

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