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Matthew Thompson's Blog

November 21, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “Which is healthier: apple or pumpkin pie?”

A: After a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, there comes a period of time in which I can’t even think about food. It’s a time for watching football or listening to a sibling snore on the couch, maybe knocking out a little dishwashing if I’m feeling ambitious. For a few hours, the house goes quiet as people enjoy the satisfaction of a post-meal stupor. Sooner or later, however, a pang of hunger finally comes back. And when it does: Pie.

Pie is point-after-touchdown of Thanksgiving Day. After enjoying one of the most delicious meals of the year, you get treated to an added bonus: a rich, sweet, flaky dessert. Talk about something to be thankful for!

But for the health-conscious, that extra treat can mean extra stress. It’s no fun to have to choose between potentially wrecking your...

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November 18, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “How can I make a healthier sweet potato casserole?”

A: One of the tiny pleasures of married life is getting to try a different family’s Thanksgiving menu. While I love the meal my mom whipped up every year (and am so happy to return to it every other year), it’s fun to experience new traditions at my in-laws’ in the off years. To wit: three years ago, I had sweet potato casserole for the first time.

My first thought, of course, was “How have I missed this?” Since it was never part of the menu growing up, I never knew what I wasn’t enjoying! I’m not sure what mania kept my family from cooking it—it’s certainly a trait I didn’t inherit. Sweet potato casserole combines the rich, velvety flavor of whipped sweet potatoes, earthy brown sugar, pecans, spices and (at least in traditional households) a layer of perfectly browned...

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November 17, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “How can I make a healthier green bean casserole?”

A: Whatever your thoughts on Campbell’s Soup, you have to respect their Green Bean Casserole recipe. Developed by their home economics department in 1955 as a way to boost mushroom soup sales, the dish has turned into an all-time American holiday classic. We had it in my house growing up—I remember it as the first veggie dish I ever asked for seconds of.

But for all my warm memories of Green Bean Casserole, its nutrition profile leaves me a little cold. It packs in 21 g of fat, 276 calories and 649 mg of sodium per serving. Yikes! In a meal laden with nutritional splurge foods, shouldn’t the veggie at least aspire to healthiness?

That’s why I love EatingWell’s slimmed-down version of...

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November 16, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “What should I make for vegetarians or people with special dietary needs?”

A: Has this ever happened to you? It’s the week before Thanksgiving, the turkey’s in the freezer and the menu is finalized, when a cousin lets slip that she’ll be bringing a new vegetarian boyfriend to the meal or a sibling reveals that they’ve gone gluten-free. If so, you know how stressful it can be. Food plays a central role in family celebrations and holidays, especially at Thanksgiving. Everyone wants to accommodate people with special dietary needs (maybe you have some yourself!), while at the same time not making them feel left out of the celebration. Add to that the difficulty of adding another entree to an already packed cooking schedule and you’ve got a recipe for panic!

Don’t worry: EatingWell has you covered! We’ve created a number of easy-...

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November 15, 2011 - 9:00am

Q: “How can I cook a healthier Thanksgiving meal that still tastes delicious?”

A: As someone concerned about my health (and that of people close to me), I tend to have slightly mixed feelings when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal. On the one hand: Turkey! Gravy! Stuffing! Mashed potatoes! You’d have to be a total holiday Grinch not to look forward to a meal like that. On the other hand, for anyone who struggles to manage his or her weight (or has a long-term condition like diabetes to contend with), Turkey Day can represent the beginning of a calorie-rich season of limited control and endless temptation. Surely there must be some way to strike a balance.

Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t think there was! In fact, we at EatingWell have a...

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