Low-Carb Thanksgiving Ideas

I was helping a friend research low-carb eating plans and realized I need to eat more vegetables. I’m now making a conscious effort to balance protein and carbs. I also have been aiming to eat a tossed salad at least once a day, either at lunch or dinner. For me, it’s more about keeping my blood sugar in check, avoiding a lot of crap food, and eating consciously.

All this meal planning has got me thinking ahead to Thanksgiving, which is traditionally a bread-heavy carb fest. Mashed potatoes and rolls aren’t important to me, but I know that cranberry sauce and dressing (stuffing) are key. “One of the tricks to making low-carb turkey stuffing is to use a lot of vegetables,” says Laura Dolson, the about.com guide to Low Carb Diets. I plan to simply limit my portion size.

We are dining with friends who are sure to have their top secret, family recipe Pumpkin Torte. The Pumpkin Torte beats any pie, any day, so that’s a mandatory part of my holiday eating plan.

Menu 1: Thanksgiving Dinner with Pumpkin Torte

  • Roast turkey, skinless, 3 oz
  • Sweet potatoes, 1/3 cup
  • Green bean casserole, 1/2 cup
  • Cranberry sauce, 1/3 cup
  • Dressing, 1/4 cup (instead of 1 square cornbread or 1 small dinner roll)
  • Optional: Tossed salad
  • Pumpkin Torte, 1 square (instead of 1 wedge pumpkin pie)

Sources: This eating plan is based on portions and theories in the Insulin Resistance Diet (Link and Balance strategy) and Dr. Barry Sears’ Zone diet books.

Menu 2: Eat This, Not That! Thanksgiving

  • Turkey breast, 6 oz
  • Mashed potatoes, 2/3 cup
  • Green bean casserole, 1 cup
  • Cranberry sauce, 1/4 cup (homemade)
  • 1 small dinner roll
  • Gravy, 1/3 cup
  • 1 medium slice of pumpkin pie

Source: Eat This, Not That! by David Zinczenko

Menu 3: Zone Diet Dinner
A site based on the Zone diet offers a menu with grilled turkey and more than four kinds of vegetables, not counting the salad (link):

  • Grilled turkey
  • Tossed salad with vinegar and oil dressing
  • Green vegetables: steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus, and green bean casserole
  • Yellow squash baked in the oven
  • Mashed cauliflower (instead of potatoes)
  • Fruit salad sprinkled with pine nuts and a yogurt dressing
  • Low-carb rolls, spread with almond butter and broiled in oven
  • Dessert: apple slices with non-fat caramel sauce to dip in

Other Resources:

  • Planning Your Low-Carb Thanksgiving Dinner (link)
  • Thanksgiving menu of low carb options from appetizers to dessert (link)
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  1. Pingback: Planning for Thanksgiving « QC Tester Hobbies: Sustainable Excellence

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