The crowd around your Thanksgiving table may be a bit smaller this year, but you can still make the most of your intimate gathering. Whether you look forward to cooking a scaled-down version of a traditional Thanksgiving feast or totally breaking with tradition, I have plenty of tips for having a low carb Thanksgiving during COVID:
- Harness your hunger. Start your day with an easy low carb breakfast, like scrambled eggs or a smoothie, and have some low carb snacks on hand, such as almonds, olives or cubes of cheese to keep your appetite in check before the main event.
2. Go cold turkey on a full turkey. There’s no need to splurge on a 20-pound bird (unless you live for leftovers), when you can get creative with smaller birds or turkey breast recipes. Try these low carb swaps for Thanksgiving turkey:
- Roast up individual Cornish game hens.
- Try Butterflied Roast Chicken or Fool-Proof Roasted Chicken.
- Go with Lemon and Parmesan Turkey Cutlets, Spinach-Stuffed Turkey Breast or Turkey Breast Stuffed with Spiced Apple and Pumpkin with Sage.
3. Do Thanksgiving take-out. Skip the cooking this year and support your favorite local restaurant. Many of them might be doing special Thanksgiving dinners for take-out or delivery.
4. Order ahead from your grocery store. Whether you’re in the mood for turkey, turkey breast, ham or prime rib, most grocery stores will do all the work for you. All you have to do is schedule a time to pick it up. You can also select these appetizers and sides to complement your meal:
- Shrimp cocktail platter
- Smoked salmon platter
- Fresh veggie platter
- Fresh fruit platter
- Cheese or charcuterie platter
- Brussels sprouts
- Toasted almonds and green beans
- Braised greens like kale or chard
- Roasted root vegetables
- Roasted cauliflower or mushrooms
5. Make sides the spotlight. Augment your pre-ordered main dish with delicious, homemade low carb Thanksgiving side dish recipes like these:
- Butternut Squash and Escarole Gratin
- Brussels Sprout with Bacon and Parmesan
- Braised Leeks and Fennel
- Cauliflower Cheddar Mash
- Candied Ginger Sweet Potatoes
- Cranberry, Orange and Walnut Relish
- Green Bean Casserole Topped with Crispy Onions
- Maple Chive Corn Mini Muffins
- Sauteed Chard with Garlic Pepitas and Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Sausage Sage Stuffing
- Wild Mushroom Stuffing
6. Break with tradition. Mix it up this Thanksgiving with Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Chicken Pesto Pizza or Turkey and Roasted Zucchini Lasagna. There will always be room for (cauliflower) mashed potatoes next year.
7. Definitely do dessert. You’ll love these 5 low carb Thanksgiving dessert recipes.
8. Work off your meal. Plan for some extra activity during this long weekend, whether it’s a post-meal walk around the block, a bike ride or hike with your family or even an at-home workout or two.
This Thanksgiving, no matter how you’re celebrating, you can still be thankful for good food, family and friends.