Tasty Tuesday: Thanksgiving Sides & Desserts


With Thanksgiving just next week, many of us are sitting down to plan the menu or trying to decide what kind of dish we’ll bring to share at the family get together. Holidays can be tricky when it comes to clean eating because a lot of dishes are loaded with butter, oil, and sugar. It’s also easy to fill our plates and not even realize how many calories we just ate! Thankfully, with just a few simple ingredient swaps, we’ll can find many delicious side dishes and desserts to offer our family and guests next week.

Thanksgiving Sides

Maple and Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Total Time: 50 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 35 min.
Yield: 6 servings, 4 Brussels sprouts each

Aluminum foil
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
24 medium brussels sprouts
12 slices nitrite-free turkey bacon, cut in half
24 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water
½ tsp. ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Line large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
3. Combine maple syrup and vinegar in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Wrap each brussels sprout tightly with half slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
5. Arrange brussels sprouts on prepared baking sheet so that they are not touching.
6. Brush bacon with maple syrup mixture. Sprinkle with pepper.
7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until brussels sprouts are tender crisp and bacon is crisp.
8. Remove toothpicks before serving.

10 more healthy sides found here


Go HERE for 10 healthier Thanksgiving dessert ideas like

  • Pumpkin Pie w/ a whole wheat crust
  • Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pumpkin Coconut Custard
  • Pumpkin Cookies
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Cups
  • Apple Crisp
  • Slow Cooker Baked Apples
  • Apple Raisin Cake

And finally, take a peak at this ULTIMATE HEALTHY THANKSGIVING GUIDE which will give you even more ideas for veggies, desserts, sauces, potato options, soups, whole grains, how to cook and carve your turkey, what to do with leftovers and more!


Tasty Tuesday: Zucchini Salsa


The zucchini is ON right now! If you planted this popular veggie in your garden, chances are you have more than enough to make this easy and refreshing salsa. And if you didn’t plant a garden, chances are you can pick some up at a local farmer’s market or even from a neighbor who has more than enough to share! This recipe was shared with me from a friend who cans this salsa each year, and her family enjoys it all year long! Loaded with veggies, it’s a tasty way to enjoy that summer-fresh taste year-round!

And if you’ve never canned before, this is the perfect recipe to start on! It’s seriously so easy. Most people I know who can are happy to share their canning knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask and learn how to do it!

Zucchini Salsa

  • 10 cups tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (I put them in the blender with the skins on…so much easier! Just do a small batch of tomatoes in the blender at a time so you can control how chunky you want your salsa–you don’t want to totally liquify them!)
  • 8 cups grated zucchini
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 4 yellow banana peppers, chopped
  • 3 jalapenos chopped

(I chop all my peppers and onions in a food processor, it’s faster than by hand! Just be careful not to overdo it! I like my salsa a little chunky!)

  • 5 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 dashes Tabasco hot sauce
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch


  1. mix all ingredients in a large stock pot
  2. bring to slow boil, stirring occasionally
  3. simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. fill sterile canning jars and place on sterilized lids
  5. Salsa can be processed in hot water bath for 30 minutes or in a pressure canner for 5 minutes.
  6. Recipe will make about 12 pints or 6 quarts

Besides chips and salsa, use this veggie loaded salsa as a topping on eggs or in your tacos/fajitas! You can even make a double batch and give some away as neighbor gifts at Christmas time–it’s a huge hit!

Tasty Tuesday: Let’s Get Saucy!


Some people have the misconception that eating clean automatically means giving up any sauces you enjoy putting on your favorite foods. It’s true that typical sauces are full of added sugars, salts, and can really add calories to your meal if you’re not careful. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find healthy alternatives to your favorite dips or sauces to use occasionally.

With summer picnics and BBQs in full swing (not to mention a big holiday weekend coming up) impress your party guests with these 21 Day Fix Approved sauces & dips perfect for your next summer get together.

I shared the BBQ sauce recipe in last week’s post about healthy lunch ideas. But in case you missed it, here it is again:

grilling-8-365Clean Eating BBQ Sauce

  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs molasses
  • 1 Tbs raw sugar
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins has all clean ingredients and you can get it pretty much anywhere)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • a pinch of salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until combined and heated through.


Healthy Ranch Dressing/Dip

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. Allow time to chill before serving.

frui dip big3 Ingredient Creamy Fruit Dip

  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 3 tbs nut butter

Combine all ingredients and chill before serving



Tasty Tuesday: THE BEST baked sweet potato fries

sweetpotatofriesI love using sweet potatoes as side for many of my meals. Try this healthier version of regular french fries that are baked, not fried, and always turn out extra crispy! There are two different versions I’ve tried, both are good–it just depends on if you’re in the mood for spicy!

Recipe adapted from Simply Scratch


2 medium sweet potatoes (about the size of your hand), scrubbed and peeled
2  tablespoons olive oil

For Regular Fries:

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2tbsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

For Spicy Fries

½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Cut the sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick fries. Let them soak in a bowl of ice water for about an hour (sometimes in a pinch I’ve done 30 min). DO NOT SKIP THE SOAKING! I made the mistake of skipping the soak once and my fries turned out horrible! The soaking is the secret weapon behind making sure your fries turn out nice and crispy!

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and spray a foil lined cooking sheet with cooking oil.

In a bowl FOR SPICY FRIES: combine the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. FOR REGULAR FRIES: combine the garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Set the bowl off to the side.

Remove fries from the water & pat dry. I then put the fries in a large Ziploc type bag or a large bowl and add the seasoning and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the fries in the oil and seasoning until well coated.

Place the seasoned sweet potato fries on the foil lined  pan(s) and pop them into the oven for 15 minutes. Once the fries start to brown flip & rotate pans and continue to bake for 5-10 minutes more. Depending on how thin or thick you cut the sweet potatoes and the heat of your oven will depend on if they’ll need any more time in the oven. If the sweet potatoes stick, let them cool slightly before flipping. Keep a close eye on sweet potato fries as they always want to burn when you aren’t looking.

If you’re making the regular fries,as soon as the fries are out of the oven, I put them in a bowl and mix in the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir to coat well.

These fries are delicious and are a great way to curb any cravings for those greasy french fries!


Tasty Tuesday: Savory (clean eating) Sides

sidesIf you’re on board with clean eating, you probably know that your protein and carbs shouldn’t be the star of the meal. The shining star on your plate should be your veggies! You can pretty much have unlimited veggies on a clean eating plan, just be careful not to douse them in olive oil (I’ll talk about this later on in the post). So here are a few of my favorite side dishes that compliment any meal.

Sweet Potatoes: these have quickly become one of my favorite meal staples. Sweet potatoes are considered a good carbohydrate, have 5347151255_f2f7a5bbc6_bbetacartotene and potassium to aid in recovery from your workouts. They also have manganese which is great for healthy muscle function. You can mash or bake them, or turn them into healthy sweet potato fries. Don’t ruin the nutritional value by using butter on them. If I need a little flavor, I’ll add 1/4 teaspoon or less of cinnamon to my portion.


5684475740_72a6ea6b32_oBlack Beans: These have fiber-rich carbs, protein and antioxidants. The protein and antioxidants help fuel muscle recovery after a workout. You can eat them warmed up, or in a side like this Black Bean Salad:

  • 2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 15 oz corn, drained
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

combine beans, corn, pepper, and cilantro in a bowl and mix well. Drizzle lime juice while stirring, making sure it’s mixed in well. Cover and chill 1-2 hours before serving. Serves 8 half cup servings. 100 Calories.


Berries have high amounts of antioxidants and vitamins that helps stave off soreness from after a hard workout. Berries work great in Greek Yogurt.I also love plain berries lightly mixed with some granola (for my easy DIY granola recipe, click HERE).

mushrooms-skillet-pan-cooking-kitchen-chef-foodQuinoa: a healthy carbohydrate that provides healthy muscle building protein. It also has the 8 amino acids your body needs to put protein to good use. I’ve loved this Garlic-Mushroom Quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms,  sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)
  • In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in quinoa until well combined.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.



Roasted Veggies: This is my favorite way to eat vegetables! The flavor is amazing and most of the time you can roast your veggies at the same time your chicken is cooking. Chop a variety of veggies and put them in a baggie. This is where you have to be careful about using too much olive oil. I start with about 1 tablespoon or you can spray your veggies with an oil like PAM. Mix the veggies in the bag until they are evenly coated. I also might lightly sprinkle them with some garlic salt only about 1/4 tsp– again less is more! Put them on a tin-foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350 until done (usually about 20-30 minutes)


Cauliflower Rice: I love cauliflower! You can eat it raw, roast it, mash it, or use for cauliflower rice (my favorite!):

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Grate cauliflower florets or pulse in a food processor until it resembles rice.
  2. Place grated cauliflower and water in a microwave-safe covered dish.
  3. Cook cauliflower in microwave on high until tender, about 7 minutes.
  4. Stir lime juice, cilantro into cooked cauliflower until well blended.

I hope you’ve found some healthy alternatives to use as sides that your entire family will love!