Thanksgiving Day SWAPS (Stick With A Plan)


By: Shelby Strain, Friendship Nutrition Coach Sticking to your goals around the holiday’s can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish. Somehow overeating and eating poorly are justified the second family comes into town! Let’s face it, the holidays aren’t going anywhere any time soon. So why not make it a little easier on yourself by changing up the menu this year to help you power through and rid yourself of that holiday guilt! I definitely am not wanting to take anyone’s favorites away from them (I’m coming for you blueberry pie) so by all means, eat that pie, or make those mashed potatoes that have been handed down generation after generation. I’m simply offering some tweaks and new ideas to add to the line up in hopes to support the new lifestyle you are trying to adopt for yourself and your family. And maybe, you’ll create some new favorites along the way! 

#1 The Turkey

Turkey is turkey. Just please don’t deep fry it, mainly out of safety for your family, your house, and your neighbors. Also, if you’re roasting it yourself, try purchasing a free-range, organic turkey! A little more pricey but it’s well worth it when it comes to quality and flavor! 

#2 Sweet Potato Rosemary Mash


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1 tablespoon Kerrygold butter
  • 1/4 cup organic milk (can use plain almond or coconut milk or organic chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup plain, whole fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBS roughly chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cut peeled potatoes into 1 inch chunks
  2. Place cut sweet potatoes in a large stock pan and cover with cold water, and 1 teaspoon of salt. 
  3. Bring potatoes to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  4. Drain sweet potatoes over a colander and return sweet potatoes to warm pan. 
  5. Begin to mash with potato masher.
  6. Add in milk, butter, yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon saltl, rosemary, and pepper.
  7. Continue to mash** sweet potatoes until well combined and creamy.

**Use hand blender for super smooth mashed potatoes**Dairy free/vegan: Swap ¼-⅓ C vegetable stock and 1 TBS olive oil for milk and butter 

#3 Cranberry Orange Relish

INGREDEINTS1 navel orange1/4 C white sugar 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries⅛ tsp ground cinnamonINSTRUCTIONS

  1. Grate 2 teaspoons of zest from orange; discard remaining peel and pith from orange. Divide orange into sections.
  2. Place orange sections, orange zest, cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Transfer relish to a bowl and cover; refrigerate to allow flavors to blend, at least 2 hours.


#4 Green Bean Casserole

INGREDIENTS1.5 tablespoons olive oil2 cups chopped organic mushrooms1/8 + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt1 pound fresh green beans, washed and snipped3 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold butter1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour)1.5 cups 2% organic milk1/4 cup organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth)For the Onions2 large red onions, sliced1 large egg2 tablespoons water3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs1/4 cup grated parmesan1/8 teaspoon salt1/8 pepperINSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prep a 9×11 casserole dish and a baking sheet with olive oil. Set aside.
  •  Next, whisk together one egg and 2 tablespoons of water in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together bread crumbs, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  • Add onions to the egg mixture. Stir mixture until onions are coated with egg.
  • Add the breadcrumb mixture to the onions. Gently fold breadcrumbs into the mixture.
  • Spread onions out onto a baking sheet. Set aside.
  • Heat a large saucepan over medium/high heat. Add olive oil. When olive oil is fragrant, add mushrooms and saute for 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and pour mushrooms into a separate bowl.
  • In the same saucepan, prepare the roux. Melt butter over medium/high heat. Add flour to butter and mix until a paste is created. Slowly add milk while continually whisking the milk, butter, and flour together. Whisk until mixture is thick. Remove from heat.
  • Add broth and mushrooms to the rue and mix well.
  • Pour green beans into the casserole dish and pour the rue over green beans.
  • Place both the green bean casserole and baking sheet with onions to the oven.
  • Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Then stir the green onion mixture and bake for an additional 20 more minutes.
  • Remove casserole from oven and turn the oven heat to high broil. Broil the onions for 3-5 minutes for extra crispy onions*.
  • When onions are finished baking, use a spatula to gently place onions on top of the green bean casserole. Cover the whole casserole with onions and enjoy!


#5 Quinoa Sage Stuffing

INGREDIENTS1 cup quinoa, rinsed well2 cups organic vegetable broth1 bay leaf1 heaping cup of diced celery1 medium white onion, dicedsmall handful of fresh sage, chopped {about 2 tablespoons}1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oilsea saltfresh ground coarse pepperINSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a medium sized pot bring 1 cup of vegetable broth to a boil. Add in the quinoa and bay leaf, salt, pepper and stir. Set to low heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat {do not lift lid} and allow the quinoa to steam for another 10 minutes. When that is over, you will have picture perfect quinoa – trust me, no  more soggy mess!
  • Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over low heat. Add in the chopped celery and onion. Cook until they begin to become clear, about 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and add in the vegetable broth, sage, garlic powder and season with more salt and pepper if needed; simmer for a few minutes.
  • Combine the quinoa with the veggie mixture and add in the last 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, stir together well. Place the stuffing mix into a greased oven safe dish. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Then broil under a low flame until the top become golden brown.
  • TIP: I prefer my stuffing on the drier side so, this recipe will come out that way. If you like your stuffing to be on the moist side, feel free to add more broth into the quinoa mixture before it goes into the oven to bake. 

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